Sunday, 15 March 2015

#Noir106 and #NoirDS106Players present "Fatal Femmes"

Now from the look of my blog since the beginning of 2015 you would think that I have been cocooned during the coldest winter in years (at least here in Ontario, Canada) far away from the keyboard but in fact, I have been busy writing, writing, writing. And what makes it so fun is the collaborative nature of the project. In January, I started hearing about #noir106, a new version of #headless106, just with a different theme. Now I am not fond of Gimp and this laptop doesn't have Fireworks on it, so I actually don't make a lot of gifs anymore, but I do so love radio. And I like using Audacity even though I know Garageband is far superior (but not free). And I love to write. So I emailed quite a few people who I have worked with in the past and said "How about a #noir106 radio show?" And everyone signed up. I created a working document in Google Docs with a timeline for when things had to be done. We knew we had to have it done for the week of March 9th to coincide with the students who were enrolled in #noir106. No time limit on the length of the show and no rules about what we were going to put up. That's it.

The amazing benefits of working this way was that we used a single document, that could be edited over and over again. We had a brainstorming section, where new ideas could be added and subtracted. Ben Rimes suggested a noir radio play and did a huge amount of voicework, Rochelle Lockridge ended up being the overall executive producer, Christina Hendricks wanted to do some writing and soundwork but ended up doing so much more, Mariana Funes wanted to work on voiceovers, commercials and more (and did), Rhonda Jessen was committed to the cooking show and of course we had the blessings of IamTalkyTina. This is the benefit of synergy. We all brought energy, ideas and knowledge to the project. And more people. Before I knew it the project had grown to include Jim Groom, Kevin Hodgson, Ronald L, Rhonda's husband Tom, John Johnston, Nigel Robertson with original music provided by the Headless Inkspots, Viv Rolfe and David Kernohan. And it is all original content.

For me, watching Blond Ice was the key to moving the project along. Until I saw the movie, I really was unsure about how I was going to approach the whole topic of noir. I ended up writing a song that evening to send to Nanalou Burgeron to record, then researching and doing more reading on the whole noir phenomena after WWII, particularly the role of women in noir. I ended up writing the radio play "Three Fingers of Gin"with help from my sister Angela Ludbrook and my son Peter Young, while Mariana and I collaborated on the DS106 on the Couch piece. Then it was on to writing the commercials and the cooking show. Luckily, Rochelle Lockridge produced the radio play and Christina Hendricks was in charge of the foley so you will notice how wonderfully high end the radio show sounds. Ben Rimes as Jack and Talky Tina as Daphne de Beauvior were amazing.

Here is the poster for the

radio show according to Talky Tina.

Mariana also made a great poster showing her mastery of the gif.

But Rochelle had a slightly different cover of the play which I think has the actual title displayed correctly.
The great thing about how the show worked was how well we worked as a team, even though we live in different places in the world, in different time zones and all of us are very busy. And it was done on time and I hope without anyone feeling pressured. There was of course a minor contract dispute but when one of the players is the star, egos start to get in the way. It was quickly resolved.

On a side note, I find it interesting that roles espoused to women during the late 40's and into the early 60's in cinema have had such a long term impact on how North American culture still perceives women, their work and their level of participation in society. The echo of the "domestic goddess is a good girl and women of ambition are bad" is still reverberating through our society and I fear will continue to echo for many years yet. It certainly was a factor in my own life, one I fought against for many years and still fight against. When I was young it was more overt, but while it may not be as explicit, it is still there. It demonstrates the power of the spoken word, visual images and media to bring about change for both good or ill.

As for the complete show it will be on DS106Radio "Fatal Femmes" scheduled for 3/23/15 at 9PM EDT. Hope you tune in for a listen!