Okay, I don't have a lot of time, so I'll try and be clear as I can here.
Just about everybody starts of with a freeware program called Audacity (unless you're an apple fan in which case you might have other options). It is to sound recording and editing what Gimp is to graphics - it does the job and with practice it has a surprising number of tools that can turn out some pretty fancy work. Unlike Gimp it is very simple to pick up if you take it slowly. I won't lie to you, it's like every other creative tool, it needs practice to get really good work out of it, but it is very intuitive and a lot easier to pick up than Gimp (or photoshop, photoimpact, etc).
As software it is pretty safe and stable (even the latest beta, or testing version) but it is like video in that it needs a fair amount of storage space for the temporary files that you use whilst you are working on your audio. When you have got it to a state where you think it is "finished" then you compress it into an mp3 (usually). In that respect I think it is a bit like video editing which takes up a lot of space until it is compressed for the final, output file.
In your case, it might take up storage memory but if you either delete the working files or burn them to a disk after you have created your mp3, it should be manageable.
My main problem at the moment is my system itself. I have a major problem with my laptop (I think it has something to do with the drives), I'm still waiting for it to be looked at. Also, I already have problems running WMM (which is the software I use for the videos). So until my laptop can be fixed, I'll just have to hold off adding anything new.
Plus, I'm not very good at narrating (If you're a 3 year old, I rock
), but when it comes to narrating these stories, I truely suck! Ask Starshine! I tend to read like I type - fast! So I make no sense!
Ball-park figures, you are normally looking at a month to create your script and audition, a month to get your voice actors to get all their lines in and at least a month to post-produce/edit the audio into a finished production BUT that is for a block of three 30 minute episodes, (say a quarter of a season). As a toon-show animation you don't have to worry about lip-synching but you might want to vary the pacing of the "slides" to fit the voices... hmmm interesting challenge. Doable, but unique.
Sorry day dreaming again! Bottom line is that, yes, it will definitely take longer than your current schedule but there are things that could speed it up - short-cuts and decisions that could make the job more streamlined.
The biggest timesaver, the most efficient way of doing it, though would be to audition for an audio director - an audio editor or engineer who would have the experience to turn lines into a soundscape. If you want to go this way I can set it up for you
- How big are your episodes? I make 5x01 - For I Have Chosen the Path Unseen - to be 8:02 + 8:51 + 9:49 = 28:42 BUT that includes intros for part 2 & 3 and outros for parts 1 & 2 that could be deleted
- How big is your cast? 3-6 is manageable, 10+ is a challenge
- You could keep doing your "new" episodes as you are, creating a large fictional, video archive for readers - You could re-do your earlier videos in audio. This would pick up a whole new audience without having to create new fiction, getting the most value out of your "investment"
- You don't need to do every episode. The guys at Hidden Frontier started off some of their series with a fan film video and did the rest of the season as an audio drama. In your case, you could just do either one or two episodes each season with a voice track, maybe the premiere and the season finale
- Even just a trailer with a voice track, of 2-3 minutes, would enhance the series and draw people into "reading" them.
For the most part, the video runs on average 8 to 10 minutes, although lately they have been running a bit longer, and with youtube upping the time limit there's no telling what we can achieve here.
The first couple of episodes are being re-done, we're calling them the Directors Cut, so they're nothing like what is already up on youtube. This is so that they are the same as later episodes, so I wouldn't go by them. Sorry, I know what I want to say here, but it ain't coming out to clearly!
As for what actors are used for each episode, for the most part we stick to the main characters, occassionally we have extras.
I don't think I've covered everything here, I'll read it again tomorrow and see if I have anything more to add or make clearer!
I think you guys have done a terrific job and, if you want to take it a step further, it'd be my pleasure to help you!
Aw! Thank you! And it's great to have your help!
On a separate note, since you have the script and the graphics, have you thought of turning them into a pdf "photo-novel"?
*scratches head* Sorry, K, I have know idea what a photo-novel is!!!
However, I have been thinking... Yes, I know very dangerous. With the launch of the new website we will be including short stories for each episode (the first episode is done - except for the editing, which Allee is so graciously putting herself through right now). What I would love to see happen, is having the books put into audio. My friend, Starshine, is blind and she only has me to read the stories to her, and like I said, I'm hopeless at it. So it would be really good if maybe we could start there! What do you think?
Okay, I better get a move on, I need to leave in about 15 minutes!
Thank again, Kirok!
Have a great day!