Bessyboo, Queen of the Purple-Eyed Creatures (bessyboo) wrote,
Bessyboo, Queen of the Purple-Eyed Creatures

PODFIC BIG BANG: Betas and Covers and Soundtracks, OH MY!

So, I did pretty much everything for the first round of podficbigbang EXCEPT submit an actual podfic. And anyone who has paid attention to any of the comment threads between reena_jenkins and myself over the last, oh, TWO MONTHS has probably been privy to at least a part of what we've been up to.

My "official" roles were as follows:

Considering the run time of all of Reena's stuff alone is right around the TEN HOUR MARK, I have been a busy little podfic bee recently. (Ask me sometime about the story involving me writing the note "check your pronunciation of 'clitoris'" on a ripped-off piece of brown paper bag while at work, in between customers, when my manager's back was turned. NO SRSLY.)

Here's my Director's Commentary on my part of these projects:

I ended up making two covers for this one for basically one reason, which was actually my starting point for the whole cover concept, which involves some semi-convoluted storytime. SO BUCKLE UP KIDS, it's time for this week's edition of BESS'S TL;DR!

All the way back in January, when I first signed up for artist & beta duties for PBB, Reena (who I had recently befriended) was like, "So I'm doing this fic that is 70,000+ words of McShep plus kiddies, and I figured I should call dibs on you before someone else does. You up for it?" And of course I was like, "FUCK YES I AM SO THERE". So she gives me a link and I start reading this fic. And all the while I know I'm going to be doing the cover art for this so I'm trying to get a mental image of Nora and PJ, and they're both a little fluid in my head, ALLLL the way up until I hit the last coda in the 'verse, and then I get to the section where John is describing Nora and he finally sees what Rodney means when he says she jumped over the "attractive to teenage boys" phase and into the "attractive to grown men" phase, and BAM! All of the sudden, Nora was Laura Benanti for me. And even better, once I had made that connection, I went, "AND SHE PLAYED AN AWKWARD LITTLE GIRL WITH BRAIDS IN GYPSY!!! SCORE!"

Unfortunately, most of the How Not To Fly 'verse takes place when Nora is 12. Laura Benanti wasn't active on Broadway until she was nearly 20, and most pictures available of her are when she's closer to 30. And the photo I linked to above is pretty much the only decent one I can find of her in her little girl!Louise costume. SO. Back to the drawing board. "Hmm," I think, "who can play a young Laura?" And then, EPIPHANY! I remember that there was a young girl who actually played Young Louise in the beginning of LuPone's Gypsy. And conveniently, after some googling, I discover that the girl is Emma Rowley, and she was actually 13 when she was in the show, and thus is now 16. So, I actually ended up--almost by accident--having a pictorial timeline of Nora growing up. Allow me to subject you now to my random Nora photo album:

Nora at ~11. I imagine her nanny is taking her and PJ somewhere they have to get bundled up for.

Nora at 12. This is Nora in How Not to Fly.

Nora at ~15. A school photo, perhaps?

Nora at ~17. This is the Nora who stays out late with Jack and makes John & Rodney call the police in a panic.

Nora at ~22. Nora circa college graduation.

Adult Nora.

SO that was Nora. Casting PJ, comparatively, was a pretty boring story. It basically involved going the Wikipedia page for currently active male child actors in the U.S., clicking on a couple names, and settling on Preston Bailey. (It is not a coincidence that his last name is high-up, alphabetically. FYI. XD) He worked quite well for my purposes, and PJ wasn't as fully-formed in my head as Nora. (After I made the cover and had him all cast, he did actually end up kind of BECOMING PJ in my head.)

So I had my Nora, I had my PJ, I made my cover, Reena liked it, all was good.

...EXCEPT. I still kind of wanted to use Laura Benanti. So I started thinking about maybe doing a cover for the codas, using her for Nora and...someone else for PJ. Of course, naturally, this involved casting grown up!PJ as well. I originally wanted to use Frazer Hines (aka Jamie of old skool!Doctor Who), but alas, I could not find the right photo to use as a base, because pretty much all the photos of him at the right age are not HQ enough, and/or involve him wearing his ridiculously awesome highlander costume, which is not exactly appropriate for PJ XD

So eventually I gave up looking for pictures of him, and just kind of threw my hands up and went, "hey! I already have HQ pictures of Michael Seater (aka Derek of Life With Derek) on my hard drive! He's close enough, I'll use him." And I think he worked out just fine.

As Reena pointed out when she first saw the second cover, because of the shift of focus from John-n-Rodney in the main fic to Nora-n-PJ in the snippets, I decided to flip their places, which I think worked out nicely, and provides kind of a nice symmetry to the two covers.

So, to sum up: I cast Laura Benanti as Nora, realized she was way too old and I couldn't use her, still wanted to use her ANYWAY, and this caused me to make a second cover for the codas. ...okay, apparently I *can* sum that up without the convoluted storytime. Whatevs, I talk to much, ya'll know this already. XD

This Never Happened

OH DEAR GOD, okay, I promise I will have list of resources and sound effects and songs and lots of intelligent things to say about them, but I FINALLY FINISHED AND SUBMITTED THIS SUCKER (only a week late!) and it is 6:30 AM and BESSY IS TIRED, so Imma go to bed. I'll update this post later today, I promise!

OKAY I'M AWAKE, so it's time to tell ya'll what I did!

First off? This project ended up happening during like, the busiest week EVER for me, so unfortunately, it's not as polished as I'd kind of like it to be. THAT SAID, I did put a lot of work into it, so I hope you guys like it ^^


Opening Music: "Teenagers", MCR cover by Vitamin String Quartet
-I don't think this one NEEDS an explanation ;) As soon as I saw this in my iTunes, I knew it was the opening music.

They stay up way too late gossiping and eating junk food and watching movies, and it’s completely awesome. ... After that, Frank usually stays over one night every weekend.
Sound Effect 1: Sleepover
-This one is a combination of two YouTube clips (1 & 2) and a section from the beginning of "Stonehenge Apocalypse" (...yes, that's the awful Syfy movie where Mischa Collins says, "IT WAS A ~ROBOT HEAD!" XD) Strangely, teenaged boys don't seem to record themselves having sleepovers and then put it on YouTube, so the voices are all teenaged girls >.> Also, I used SA because A) it had the right "THIS IS A MOVIE :O" srs bsns music, and B) Frank and Mikey are totally the type of dorks to watch ridiculous SyFy movies at sleepovers. This one turned out a little differently than I originally envisioned, but I just wasn't finding the clips I needed for how I originally pictured it, and in the end I think it turned out fine.

There’s a very clear separation in his head. ... School lets out for the holidays, and Frank gets shipped around everywhere to a million relatives’ houses, which he likes because...
Music Clip 1: "Sleigh Ride", performed by the St. Paul Central High School Concert Band (Winter 2005)
-I knew I wanted holiday music here, but...guys, I'm a cynical Jewish retail worker. My hatred of Christmas music runs DEEP >.< And since I was too lazy/horrified by the idea of having to GO THROUGH TONS OF CHISTMAS SONGS to choose one, I looked in my iTunes. And the only holiday song I had was a recording of Sleigh Ride performed by my high school band. So...congrats, Mr. Oyen. The Central Concert Band has finally hit the big time. XD

...and Frank’s like I hate to burst your bubble, dude, but I don’t WANT to wait, I am having waiting THRUST UPON ME, and Mikey’s like ‘lol thrust’ which makes them all laugh until they have to stop to hold their heads and groan. ... School starts up again, the year goes on.
Sound Effect 2: School Bell
-Downloaded from here. Uh....not much more to say about this one?

...and Frank grins at his phone before snuggling down and sleeping off the rest of his hangover, waking up just in time to eat dinner and watch a movie with his parents in the den. ... Gerard actually does go to school all day in drag, and Mikey and Frank can’t stop laughing every time they catch each other’s eye all day.
Music Clip 2: "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" by Aerosmith
-I wanted something to do with Gerard's drag in the next scene, and this song IMMEDIATELY sprang to mind. (I'm imagining it playing while Gerard, looking like a pin-up leaning against the car, shakes his head while the wind blows his skirt & hair around. YOU KNOW THAT THIS IMAGE IS EPIC.)

...the photo place where Ray works part-time and the shoe store so Frank can eyeball his hot dude some more, but runs away when Mikey tries to make him ask the guy’s name. ... More time passes, Gerard eventually drags himself up out of his pit of misery – well, okay, everyone else drags him, and the final blow to Gerard’s wallowing time is dealt by his Grandma...
Sound Effect 3: Crying ("Come out of your room!")
-I knew I wanted crying here, but I just wasn't satisfied with anything I found--it was too boring. And so I decided to take this clip and, uh...spruce it up a little? (Yes, that's my voice.)

He doesn’t even really like Slipknot, but it seems like the thing to do. ... After an hour of listening to his angriest music, he has a headache and...
Music Clip 3: "Psychosocial" by Slipknot
-This one was probably the most obvious SFX choice in the entire podfic. Frank goes up to his room and puts on Slipknot on his iPod? HAVE SOME SLIPKNOT MUSIC.

...and she’s like ‘oh no!’ and makes them both a glass of iced tea and sits and rubs Mikey’s knee while he tells the floor how much everything sucks. ... Frank forgives his Mom pretty soon, because she looks really sad when he won’t speak to her, but he’s still in a giant rage...
Music Clip 4: "These Days Are Dark" by Harry and the Potters
-....I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself XD It was this, or something ridiculously emo and angsty, but none of the Evanescence songs I kept trying were working, and this one has bonus inspirational message! XDDDDDDD .........I am so sorry.

...and Frank basically promises to be a Saint, he’ll do ANYTHING, he can’t even believe this is happening. ... So, blah, blah, montage of happiness.
Music Clip 5: "I Feel Fantastic" by Jonathan Coulton
-I needed a song that properly conveyed "*DELIGHTED FLAIL!*, and this JoCo song definitely seemed appropriate.

It will be JUST LIKE THE OC, except better, because it won’t have Marissa in it. ... School starts again in the Fall, and Frank moves in with the Ways.
Music Clip 6/Sound Effect 4: "California" by Phantom Planet/School Bell
-With the O.C. reference, how could I NOT?! Haha. Ends with the school bell to denote school starting again. Obvs.

Gerard kind of blushes and scratches his head and looks away when people praise his art, but he’s pleased, Frank can tell. ... The SATs take up like every spare inch of Frank’s brain, because he knows he’ll...
Sound Effect 5: Studying
-For the SATs, an appropriately studious sound effect was needed! Mixed from this and this.

Mikey’s totally smart, but he’s super lazy. ... Frank’s birthday rolls around! Halloween!
Music Clip 7: "This Is Halloween" covered by Panic(!) at the Disco
-I toyed with the idea of mixing a "Halloween-themed" sound effect, but I ended up going with this song because A) it was easier and I was running short on time, and B) I really really liked this song and it worked here. Unlike Christmas, Halloween is my ~faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaavorite Holiday, and I also love Nightmare Before Christmas, so I also have the original and Marilyn Manson versions of this song, but I thought that the Panic version would be appropriate for a Bandom fic ;)

Already he’s planning his next like FIFTEEN. ... Party! It’s pretty awesome.
Sound Effect 6: PARTY!
-This was actually the first sound effect I knew I wanted. podklb and I both noted the non-transition in the text from one scene to another here (which works with the not-fic style in text form, but sounds a bit awkward in podfic form), and I knew I wanted to do party sounds. I mixed the "Party Crowd" sound from the Top 5 Sounds here with "Show Me Love (Extended Version)" by t.A.T.u., which is probably the most "dance/clubby" song in my iTunes.

Frank feels twinges of jealousy whenever he thinks about Gerard with someone like that, but he just tries to ignore them.) ... Nothing much else interesting happens for the rest of the year.
Music Clip 8: "Walk of Shame" by The Like
-Let me preface this one by saying I was very, VERY tempted to somehow use this clip here, because when I searched "sex awkward bear", that came up. (I was not actually expecting any hits.) And just....LOLWAT. But ultimately I think this song by The Like more appropriately expresses the sentiments of the moment, despite its lack of "LOLWHUT THAT EXISTS" factor.

He grimaces at how gross his jeans are and thanks God that part of his agreement with the Ways is that he does his own laundry. ... Life is pretty much hell after that.
Music Clip 9: "Highway To Hell" covered by the Glee Cast
-I searched "hell" in my iTunes and this came up. I found it v. appropriate for Frank's feelings here. Also, Jonathan Groff ILU <3

“We can just keep doing what we’re doing,” Scott suggests, which, yeah, but Frank kind of wants more. ... He tries to talk to Mikey about it, but Mikey’s never all-the-way fucked a dude either so he doesn’t know.
Music Clip 10: "I Wanna Sex You Up" covered by the Glee Cast
-I needed a song about sex (preferably that actually had "sex" in the lyrics, which narrows the list considerably), so I resorted to iTunes search again, and once again a Glee song came up. And while I was hesitant to use two Glee songs in a row, it really does work in context.

Frank picks up the controller and unpauses the game, and promptly drives off the side of the track like fifteen times in a row. ... The thing with Scott isn’t just about sex.
Sound Effect 7: Mario Kart
-This was another "duh" one for me. Clearly this break was calling for the dulcet sounds of Nintendo characters smashing each other off a cartoon racetrack. Clip taken from here.

and Frank escapes up to his room to write an email to his Mom about how he can’t wait for college to start so that high school can just be OVER ALREADY. ... Prom approaches.
Music Clip 11: "Billy S." by Skye Sweetnam
-In this spot, I originally toyed with the idea of using "High School Never Ends" by Bowling For Soup (aka that song that EVERY FANDOM UNDER THE SUN has a fanvid to), but eventually decided that that one was too much of a "looking back at high school AFTER graduation", while "Billy S." is a high schooler's POV. (Also, I'm pretty sure I haven't listened to this album in about six years, but since I'm me and I never get rid of ANYTHING, it's still in my iTunes XD)

“Well,” Gerard says petulantly. “You better, asshole.” ... Mikey doesn’t come back until the next afternoon, by which time...
Music Clip 12: "Fools Like Me" by Lisa Loeb
-This one took a LOOOONNNNG time to choose. "You and Me" by Lifehouse, which I originally thought of for this spot, ended up being too slow, and not *quite* right, and after toying with half a dozen songs and scouring my iTunes, I kept coming back to this one.

“Yeah,” says Frank. “Yeah, okay.” ... Graduation happens, and Frank’s parents come up to watch him walk across the stage...
Music Clip 13: "Pomp & Circumstance" performed by the London Philharmonic
-Add this to the "duh" pile. Graduation = Pomp and Circumstance. Pretty much.

Gerard hugs him closer, his face pressed against Frank’s neck. ... When his parents take him back to Jersey for college, it’s such a weird feeling.
Music Clip 14: "Summertime" by The Sundays
-This is another one where I toyed with a few songs before settling on this. I liked the happy, yet still slightly wistful feeling to it, it's got the whole "summertime" theme, so, appropriate, and also I just love this song.

Ending Music: "Ever Ever After" by Carrie Underwood
-With an ending line like, "And they all lived happily ever after." my mind went to Taylor Swift, but FUCK NO I WAS JUST NOT GOING THERE, so you get the next-best happy-love-story-fairytale-yay music: the Enchanted soundtrack! I think it works pretty well. Well, I hope it does, anyway!

Again, I hope ya'll like this one! (Also, check it out for podklb's masterful vocalization of numerous emoticons! It's pretty frigging impressive, NGL!)

Larger Version

I've always loved this pair of stories by seperis (this one is the prequel to "Job Orientation", which eosrose previously podficced), so when Eos put out a comment asking for cover art for this story, I went, "ooooh, yay, podfic of that! I can totes do the cover art! :D"

This one took a lot of putting down and coming back to. First I got frustrated with the search for base images--the serpent was actually relatively easy to find, it was choosing the right ones of Merlin & Arthur--Arthur especially--that got me all fed up. I eventually threw up my hands and just went with one that already had them both in it, which I think ended up working out quite well. Then I got frustrated with the coloring on the boys, and had to put it down and come back again. Finally I just buckled down and fiddled with tint layers for like an hour and a half, added the text, and frankly, I'm pretty pleased overall with how this one turned out. Despite the hair-tearing process XD

Larger Version

My final cover for Reena for PBB. I had already done the (first) cover for "How Not to Fly", which heavily featured the kids, as was appropriate to that story. However, this story, while also kidfic, is really more about John'n'Rodney; Peter, while a big part of the story, is much more incidental in this one than Nora & PJ, who are really the focus of the story, in HNtF.

I decided I wanted to focus more on the "weddings" part of it, since that really is the framing device for the story. "What can I use to represent weddings," I thought, "in a non-lulzy way?" (AKA not this.) So wedding rings it was. When I decided on the base photo, I kind of looked at it, and went, "Huh. How can I fit John'n'Rodney--and possibly Peter--into this?" And then I looked again. And realized that it was vaguely Venn Diagram-looking. And went "AHA!"

So I stuck Rodney in, fought my usual epic battle of "BESS AND THE SELECTION TOOL VS. JOHN'S HAIR, ROUND 358!" (I totally won this one) and stuck John in, and then looked at it. And went, "Goddamn, how do I fit Peter in. He really is too important to leave off the cover." So Peter-in-the-middle it was.

My thought process on casting Peter pretty much went, "Need a kind of chubby male child actor. ...Dudley? Sure, why not. *google image search* GDI it Harry Melling, why did you have to grow up and get kind of cute? NEEDS MOAR IMAGES OF YOU OUT OF COSTUME AS A CHILD." But I did find one that worked.

When I made this, it just so happened that I had downloaded a shit ton of new fonts the day before, so this was the first thing I made with my shiny new expanded font library, and you can kind of tell--I went a bit font-crazy! XD Not that I don't think it works, I actually really like how the title came out. But. Yeah, kinda font-crazy XD

At the risk of sounding kind of big-headed, I really love how this one came out. It's probably my favorite podfic cover I've done so far.

So that's it! YAY FOR PODFIC BIG BANG! :DDD *scurries off to listen to hours and hours of SHINY NEW PODFIC YAY*
Tags: !! graphics, my geekery: let me show you it, podfic+me=blob of tl;dr flailing

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