“…We have the ability to take something from idea to reality, and it’s more satisfying than we can express.”Long Cat Media
Please introduce yourselves and…. How would you describe what ‘jobs’ you do in creating such sublime briliiant and entertaining audio fiction?
I’m Lindsay Sharman, the writer, co-director and co-founder of Long Cat Media.
And I’m Laurence Owen, the composer, sound designer and editor, co-director and co-founder of Long Cat Media. We also act. We wear a lot of hats.
How do you come up with such wonderous ideas to collaborate on, and can you enlighten us re your creative progress from idea to recording and beyond?
Ideas evolve naturally over time and discussion. It helps that we live together, because that means we casually throw ideas around all the time. Not just ideas that we intend to turn into a podcast; often it’s just ‘here’s something that I’ve been reading about recently, isn’t that cool?
If we both get excited about something, then we know it has potential and we start talking about what it could be. Generally speaking, Laurence comes at it from a musical / soundscape direction, and I come from a character and story perspective, but we both contribute to each area at various stages. So the answer is: lots of talking.
Which project has so far had the most challenges, and been one you are most proud of finishing, and why?!
The Ballad of Anne & Mary was particularly challenging. It’s a serialised drama / musical hybrid, which means striking the tricky balance of when and how to ‘songify’ the action and when not to. There are no rules for such a hybrid, so we made them up as we went along.
Not only that, but the recording was done in full lockdown, using many different mics and improvised home setups, with no two cast members in the same room at the same time. Getting all those isolated performances to slot convincingly together – both dialogue and singing – was extremely complicated. We’re proud of how it turned out!
How and where do you find your collaborators – your actors, musicians, tech team for example? What do you look for in these folks to ensure the LONG CAT MEDIA vibe of brilliance and excellence is upheld?!
The tech team and all our musicians are… just Laurence, so that simplifies things! Although one day, we’d like to employ a full-time dialogue editor. Regarding actors, we’ve both worked in the entertainment business for a fairly long time so we have a network of talented and reliable people we can call on. We will also look further afield: at voice agencies’ websites, other audio dramas, recommendations, and we put casting calls out on social media.
As for what we look for in our actors, in no particular order (as they’re all of equal importance) : (1) they suit the role, (2) their showreel / audition is well-recorded and well- acted, (3) they respond professionally to emails and seem like they’d be easy to work with, (4) they’re enthusiastic about the project, (5) they prepare adequately (by reading the script beforehand, making notes, and are able to show an understanding of their character and scene dynamics.)