The story of Aaron Hernandez & Football, Inc reported by the Boston Globe Spotlight Team offered a number of opportunities to use sound to immerse the listener into the story.
The cold open of E4 is great example of how sound blended with the hard news style you’d expect from Spotlight can help illustrate the story in a more immersive way. And that is the way I typically view sound in these investigative series - as illustration. It can take different forms and style - but ultimately I view it as artistic rendering in the chosen medium, which of course here is Audio.
Later in same episode we travel with Aaron to Florida as his paranoia over the double homicide catches up with him and sound is used to illustrate how that paranoia is shaping his perceptions.
One technical note here. Making the best of poorly recorded police tape.
The police recording was picking up some pretty bad electrical interference. Of course noise reduction was employed to reduce it and improve intelligibility, but it’s not perfect and couldn’t remove it all.
The other sound on the police tape is birds from the parking lot. I made sure to “pre-lap” bird sound under the narration leading into the police tape and continued it under the police tape. This helped “connect” the tape with the larger design feel and masked a bit of the edges of the tape.
And finally in Episode 5 we arrive at Aaron’s final days and hours in prison before his suicide.
What struck me about this entire sequence was how the event calls into question what really happened without ever really asking “what really happened”. I’m not one for conspiracy, but these events still seem strange to me.
Gladiator was the second most downloaded new show of 2018 according to Podtrac - which is remarkable considering it came out in October.
I’m really happy with how it came out and with the response. Let me know what you think!