In a World… Without Highlighters

I’ve heard a great deal of Don LaFontaine’s work in older movie trailers, so I was curious as to how using that voice and style could make anything seem dramatic.  Looking around for inspiration, one of the first items I saw was a highlighter, which thus became my subject.  I decided to emphasize the contrast between the brightness of the highlighter and the drabness of studying in order to make the highlighter the protagonist of this fictional tale.  I recorded the piece dramatically in Audacity, and then played around with the pitch to deepen my voice.  This took a bit of work, as initially I sounded like a terrible beast, and then over-corrected so my voice resembled a chipmunk’s.  I eventually found a happy medium, and the result is below.

UMW Spam

I was initially attracted to this assignment due to the sheer amount of spam my UMW email account has become inundated with.  I liked the idea of reclaiming these annoying adds/tricks, so I found a poorly phrased piece of spam relegated to the junk section of my email.  In recording my reading of the email on Audacity, I was somewhat inspired by phonetic punctuation in that I tried to read the piece somewhat literally.  As such, I read the words in all caps with a great deal of emphasis, capitalized words with some emphasis, and words without spaces between them very quickly.  I essentially was trying to underscore the ridiculousness of the spam itself.  In this way the piece has a bit of a rhythm to it, with some sections that sound somewhat normal and some sections that seem quite odd.  This was a fun way to take control of these emails in a manner that allows me to poke fun at them.

Xena’s Voicemail

I know, I know… Xena again.  But I’m loving these ideas that integrate television characters with new creativity and media, and thus I tried my hand at this assignment.  I began by brainstorming the sort of messages that might be left for Xena (who is a rather stoic character).  I decided that the most likely voicemail would be a request for help or intelligence information.  I opted to report the movements of one of Xena’s chief adversary’s, Caesar (whose betrayal ultimately led to her initial slip to darkness).  I recorded my piece in audacity, making the tone somewhat jovial and familiar for comedy purposes.  I then searched for a voicemail intro on freesound.org to add to the beginning of the recording.  The result was a fairly authentic sounding and amusing piece.  I have a feeling that Xena would be annoyed with modern phones…