ABC has launched their new kids channel, ABC3. And we’re proud to be a part of it!
On Saturday December 5, ABC3 screened the first episode of “Barney’s Barrier Reef”, a series that holds a special place in our hearts, as it represents one of the craziest audio production deadlines we’ve ever had to meet!
Barney’s is a 20-part co-production between the BBC and Townsville-based reef specialists Digital Dimensions, featuring CBBC celebrity presenters Barney Harwood and Gemma Hunt, who take viewers on a zany, whirlwind tour of the ecology of the Great Barrier Reef. The series employs a blend of location pieces, goofy sketches, and Pythonesque animations to keep its primary school aged audience entertained while they learn.
The style of the show meant that we had to use every audio trick in the book, with over-the-top cartoon-style effects made up of every pop, whistle, and bang we could muster!
The team worked through Christmas last year for four straight weeks of all-day, late-night, and sometimes all-night sessions, to pull together the 20 episodes just in time for their original screening date in the UK.
Needless to say, we needed a very disciplined workflow to keep up with the schedule! The picture-locked vision for the episodes was being completed by Digital Dimensions and delivered to us daily. We had three studios operating simultaneously, with me setting up the session and balancing the dialog on our mobile Pro-Tools rig, Dave working like a mad man (we think he did lose his mind part way through) in Studio Two handling the mammoth task of the sound design, and Phil performing the mighty mix in Studio One before uploading each episode to the BBC’s server for review by the show’s director.
As well as the audio post, Wild Blue Music took care of the voice-over recording, plus several weeks’ sound recording on location at Heron and Magnetic Islands – a harrowing assignment for poor Phil.
Tune in to ABC3 to check it out, or you can watch a segment here: www.wildbluemusic.com/film-tv-radio-productions/barneys-barmy-barrier-reef/