INTRO: High School trips to a foreign country can be exciting, thrilling and eye-opening. For high school student Alex Daly, her trip to Vietnam in 2015 took an unexpected turn that shaped the person she is today.
IN: And then she grabbed me…
OUT: …I felt pure fear.
REFLECTION: I interviewed my friend Alex who I met living on campus earlier this year. During one of our first conversations she told me a story about one of the scariest moments she’s ever experienced. Her story was about her high school trip to Vietnam in 2015 in which a side shop worker verbally and physically abused her. The first time I heard this story my heart started beating from fear as I listened to the events that occurred. I decided this would be a great story to tell as it expresses both fear and surprise.
Ethically, I had to assure Alex felt comfortable to disclose her frightening experience as recalling it could potentially trigger a traumatic flashback causing her to become panicked or anxious. Although she had told me this story before I assured her it was okay to stop at any time if she felt anxious or uncomfortable. The final interview ran smoothly with suspense, tension and fear being expressed in her voice, and the conversation flowing naturally with little prompts needed by me. I initially had some problems with the recording equipment, causing us to record the interview a total of three times. We spaced these out over two days so it would not sound as if she was just repeating the story instead of fully experiencing it.
Journalistically I had to assure the story was edited in a way that captivated and engaged the audience. My first hurdle was increasing the recorded volume on Hindenburg, as the volume of her voice was quieter than expected. This caused me to become anxious because I wasn’t sure if the ambient sounds I included would drown out her voice. After playing around with the volume on Hindenburg I managed to achieve a good level of sound. I began cutting and editing the original recording, first by removing any unnecessary parts to shorten the time. I really wanted to include a captivating beginning to the story to engage the audience and provoke a sense of curiosity. I decided to grab an enthralling moment from later on in the recording and copy and paste it into the beginning of my recording to give an intriguing start. After playing around with the original recording I began to add my ambient sound. I tried to portray the busy streets of Vietnam by including car noises, beeping horns and loud talking crowds at the beginning of the recording. As she discusses the souvenir shop I added wind chimes to represent the abundance of side shops Vietnam is infamous for. When Alex begins to talk about the moments before she was attacked I aimed to elicit a feeling of uncertainty and anticipation by incorporating wind noises and eerie ambient sound. As the story begins to pick up pace, I included a heartbeat to mimic the feeling of terror felt during the experience, followed by some literal sounds, such as running and a slap to fully place the audience in the moment. I left in original breaths and pauses to assure the recording sounded and felt as natural as possible, demonstrating the fear that was experienced that day.
McHugh, S (2017), Lecture, Week 3, “The Art and Craft of Editing”, 7 August 2017.
McHugh, S (2017), Lecture, Week 4, “Actuality”, 14 August 2017.
Rome, L. (2017). “Editing Sound.” Bsideradio.org. http://bsideradio.org/editing-sound/ [Accessed 26 Aug. 2017].