Imagined Life is a different kind of show. It’s an audio biography of famous people at it’s core, but it’s told in second person placing YOU firmly in the experience of that person. It also withholds the identity of who YOU are until the very end thus creating a kind of immersive guessing game.
Top notch writing with terrific narration from Robbie Daymond and Virgina Madsen demand an equally high level approach to the audio design.
There are many great scenes across the 18 episodes I produced - here is one of my favorites. It’s from the cold open to The Commoner - no spoilers in this clip so pop on some headphones and give this 3 minutes of attention.
One of the more creative parts of the series for me as an audio designer is the constant opportunity to filter the sonic world through the subject’s perception.
The ability to move between objective and subjective points of view is filled creative possibilities for audio only media - and I think it’s one of the form’s greatest strengths.
The key for me early on was realizing that while the story is told in second person - for the listener it should be a first person experience.
“Audio Design” in my use of the phrase is the artful combination of Music and Sound Design elements to illustrate not only what the person is hearing - but HOW they are hearing it, how it changes based on their experiences and how they feel about it. The purpose of Audio Design in Imagined Life is in placing the listener inside the subject life and experiences.
I think this section of the Commoner demonstrates these ideas as well as any other I’ve designed from the series. I’ll be sharing more from this series and others in upcoming posts.
Take a listen and let me me know what you think!