(7b) Production Notes

SPOILER NOTE! This production note contains spoilers for Chapter 7. Do not read it if you haven’t read or listened to Chapter 7 in it’s entirety yet, and you care about that sort of thing.

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Seriously, big spoiler.

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Before we get to what everyone’s waiting for, I just wanted to say how much I love Harry’s “This Is Why Science Is Awesome” speech. It’s damned inspirational, one of the great pieces of pro-science propaganda. There’s even a short video of it. This is what makes humanity great.

And in stark contrast to that – the rape-threat scene. Obviously this story was never intended for young audiences, but this cemented that into place. It was during this chapter that I decided I had to follow this series to its end. Half of it was Harry’s incredible speech, and half of it is the pure emotional shock of hearing an 11-year-old boy casually say he plans to rape a 10-year-old girl. It had an immediate physical effect on me, and the after-effects lingered for the rest of the day. The fact that it came so out of the blue in such an unexpected setting… it was damned effective.

(7a) Production Notes

There are a lot of minor characters in HPMoR, and I generally have a hard time keeping their voices distinct in my mind. Thus, for a few of them I’ve used very exaggerated distinct voices. This helps me remember who sounds like what, helps differentiate the characters when there’s just one person voicing them all, and is a lot more fun for me. (OK, I’ll admit it, the fact that it’s fun for me is probably the main reason I do it) For Ron I chose Keanu Reeves ala Point Break. The somewhat-dim surfer guy that only talked from the back of his throat seemed perfect, and I often start Ron lines with a warm-up of “Woah! Via con dios.” (I have stock phrases for most characters that I repeat when I need to get in-voice)

I find the Platform 9 & 3/4ths ambient sounds very soothing, I could listen to it all day. Unfortunately I’ve lost the links to the original sound files, so I cannot properly credit them. :/ I think the primary track was an outdoor market somewhere in Germany, with the train sounds overlaid.

(6b) Production Notes

Originally, this was the first episode that had a voice other than my own.

I tend not to put too much trust in the promises of others. Humans are flakey – they get bored or tired, or something important comes up. Sometimes they die. I knew this would be a long project, and I didn’t want to have to rely on anyone else to complete it. But as I was working on this episode I was talking with my friend Drake Walker, and complaining about my lack of vocal range. There had already been two old men in the previous two weeks, and I didn’t have a third “old man” voice to use for Dumbledore. In retrospect this doesn’t matter – the extras are forgettable and would soon be forgotten. But I didn’t know that yet, and I was frustrated. While I was trying out a new old-man-voice on him, Drake suggested that he voice Dumbledore.

Drake has been my friend since middle school. He knows more about me than anyone else alive, and I trust him more than anyone else I know. In addition to that, he has a good stage presence and a rich voice. So I weighed this for a moment and asked him if he was sure he wanted to do this – it would stretch well over a year and some weeks could require a lot of time in front of the microphone. He jumped at it, and I agreed.

It was one of the best things to happen to the podcast. I still didn’t trust offers from anyone whom I didn’t know in person, but it opened me up to the possibility of collaboration with others. Eventually I opened up enough to accept lines from complete strangers (more on that when we get to the first of those episodes), and even soliciting for voice acting help.

Those who listened to this chapter when it first aired will notice I removed the “Dark Harry Theme”. Most people would recognize it as the T-1000 Theme from Terminator 2 – a low menacing swell, somewhat industrial in sound. While I feel it’s of an appropriate mood, I’m not really sure it’s needed. And it becomes harder and harder to incorporate it as Harry rotates into dark mode in the later chapters. I dropped it later on, so I’m taking it out now as I go along updating these.