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Audiogent Special - Behind the scenes - Part 2

Cornelius Huber is an authority on Interactive Audiobooks. In this special he shares his experiencees from his numerous productions.


One of the hardest things to get down when working with a lot of people is the communication. You have got to make sure that everybody gets the same exact message. That there is no mixed messaging going on. Might seem simple at first. I mean, you just tell everybody, right? 

But the thing is: There are going to be so many people with different ideas and their individual interpretations of what's supposed to happen. And on a day to day basis there will be someone who was not there the day before, and people will jump on and off the project all the time. So many people and things will be moving so fast that you got to count on everybody getting the same message. The specific thing I can say is: keep your design document up to date. Seems obvious, right? But then things start happening. Like some audio technician does not read the project briefing and suddenly develops his own ideas on how the show should be run. So naturally, things need to be adjusted and sometimes even project personel needs to change, you need to stay flexible if you want to succeed. The more specific and detailed your design document and scripts are the better to help communicate to all the different departments.

It lies in my nature to move past the script. Things change in my mind, you know. Even up until the last night before recording, you never stop optimizing. You are always gonna be changing things. I created all kinds of story boards, personal notes and diagrams and stuff. And that is all good, as long as you make sure that all that stuff gets distributed to all the crew. But it always comes back to the design document and script because that's what everybody sees.

So: no matter how trivial the details may seem, always make sure the design document and script stay updated and stay current.

There were two tools in particular that helped stay on top of things. On one hand, I am using DROPBOX as a versatile tool to store, backup and distribute large amounts of project data. Its use is free of charge and it is fairly easy to set up. In fact, I believe you do not actually need to know much about using a computer, which is quite useful when you are dealing with an interdisciplinary team. So even the "non-Computer"-guys won't have any problems.

The second tool to mention is the STORYMACHINE, which is the much vaunted screenwriting and authoring tool for Interactive Audiobooks. I created this proprietary piece of software to help with various aspects of the complex tasks of a big scale production for interactive fiction. Consequently the tool offers functionality that surpasses traditional screenwriting tools by far, such as special backup and communication tools for whole writing teams. Incidently I have never seen any commercial screenwriting tool to have these type of features. Which is why STORYMACHINE is going to remain the standard writing software in our productions.

Conclusion: No matter how trivial the details may seem, always make sure that screenplay, treatment and design document stay updated and stay current. Maintain backups. Make sure that all team members have access to all necessary documents.