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Podfic remix meta
Okay, so I want to talk about what I was trying to do with this remix, and then you guys can tell me what worked and what didn't. If you're going to listen to the piece, I really, really encourage you to do that first before you read this.

The concept of remixing podfic like this is not original to me. A lot of podficcers have talked about it, and fire_juggler once created a poem by manipulating their own podfic. I believe, aside from that, no one else has actually done this. If you know of any others, or if you decide to make one yourself, please link me! I'm very curious to see how other people would go about this. (Someone should do it for Night Vale! I bet that would work really well.)

The general concept of this story is a Killjoys AU: the kid was taken in by Dr. Death Defying instead of by the Killjoys, and after he died, she took over the radio station. The Killjoys are dead too, except for Party Poison, and the two of them join forces. It's a story about trust issues, about the costs and benefits of giving a shit about another person. I messed with characterizations as much as possible given the constraints; I tried to portray her as more of an adult, with more confidence and agency, and him as less rational, less of a leader, lost without his gang. Both of them are pretty fucked in the head, as I imagine anyone would become under their circumstances.

I used eleven podfics of nine fics, all Killjoys. Two of these podfics were created specifically for this project, though the fics existed already: "Katabasis" performed by me, and "RAY GUN" performed by Rhea314. The "B/L/I/N/D" podfic was never posted, but I got permission to use it; all other source podfics were posted publicly. I drew from both of crazybutsound's "Haircare Tips for Zonerunners" podfics, and two people have podficced "Born to Motorbabies"--which was convenient because that story is longer than the rest and provided me with more material to draw from, so having two voices helped preserve vocal variety.

The creative process for this, for me, is actually a lot like vidding. You start with a bunch of source material, you spend a long time sorting through it choosing bits and pieces you want to use, and then you recontextualize them to make something new. That kind of creativity requires a lot of flexibility; my vids tend to go through a lot of reshaping as I'm making them, and they often turn out very different--and usually much better--works than originally planned. This was even more fluid in the making; the flow of it depended on which lines worked together, and I had to figure that out by playing with them. You can't just use the text to do this; natural speech involves a lot of mushing sounds together, and if there's mush around the edges of the part you want, you can't always cut it off intelligibly.

I didn't want to do too much piecing together of individual words and phrases, partly because I think parsing it would be irritating, but mostly because the main thing I wanted to accomplish with this was playing with context. The idea was to take existing lines and put them together in ways that altered their original meaning. For example, the line "Party Poison doesn't ever have to pay" originally referred to acquiring hair dye, but I put it directly after a line about consequences to be paid. "Everything else is forgivable, but not the radio" is from a scene about the kid accidentally breaking equipment, but here it means Korse's attitude about the zonerunners. "They don't age; they're not built to" was about Korse, but in this story it's about radio mixes. Finding these transformative juxtapositions was hands-down my favorite part of this project. There's some unavoidable splicing of short phrases, but mostly I tried to take at least entire clauses if not complete sentences. I also tried to work around dialogue tags, using surrounding lines to make it clear who's speaking instead of just pulling a bunch of "he says" and "she says" clips. (A handy technique for writing, too!)

I'd really love to hear people's thoughts on this. Was the piece coherent on its own? How was your understanding/interpretation of it affected by reading this post? How did my attempts at characterization come across? Which combinations of lines worked, and which ones confused you? If you're familiar with the source podfics, did you recognize particular lines as you listened, and did the context seem to change them? What potential do you see in this mode of transformative creation? Bring it on, I am all ears.

This entry was originally posted at http://jedusaur.dreamwidth.org/103159.html.

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