We took off into 2023 with some amazing new projects here at the Offbeat Studio in Edinburgh's Royal Mile.
We're currently in production of a series of audiobooks through to April and later this year we look forward to the release of two major Hollywood animation series we've been involved in recording.
Film and TV Broadcasts
This HBO Max series features recordings we made with Hollywood actor and Arrested Development star Alia Shawkat, who voices a character (yet to be announced) in the upcoming animation series.
Not sure exactly when the episodes we recorded are going to be broadcast so watch this space, but the experience of working with Alia and Hollywood producers directing from LA was a truly memorable one. MORE ABOUT ALIA SHAWKAT
Another top secret animation project was for Bento Box and Fox TV, which we recorded with Christina Hendricks, is also being broadcast this year. We will update this post just as soon as we are allowed to announce it.
The recording was attended online from LA by Hollywood Producers who directed her character for various episodes of the animated series.
Christina was in Scotland working on The Buccaneers, a series shot in Scotland for Apple TV. She is probably best known for her role as Joan Harris in the critically acclaimed AMC drama series Mad Men. In 2010, a poll of female readers taken by Esquire magazine named her "the sexiest woman in the world". She was also voted "Best Looking Woman in America"
BBC TV series with KT Tunstall
We recorded KT Tunstall's commentary for a forthcoming series on BBC TV in March for this series which will be aired on BBC TV in June/July this year. KT took time off from her UK tour while she was in the Scottish leg of her gig itinerary to come to the studio to record 6 episodes.
A special and sensitive episode of Nicky's 5 Live series 'Different was recorded at Offbeat for Audio Always and will be broadcast early in 2023.
In this BBC podcast, Nicky Campbell and Producer Ailsa Rochester explore some personal issues in relation to abuse at a famous Edinburgh School.
At the end of the session, and after he filmed a free unexpected open tuning lesson from Iain, Nicky picked up a guitar at the studio which was tuned to G, which lightened the atmosphere following a very harrowing and intense interview.
World Book Night 2023
Catherine Simpson's book One Body, about her cancer experience is only one of four audiobook titles to be chosen by The Reading Agency in London for World Book Night in April 2023.
The audiobook was written and narrated by Catherine herself and it was produced by Iain McKinna and Steve Worsley for Saraband Publishing at the Offbeat Studio.
Catherine Simpson explores the idea that functionality is connected to an individual’s worth with grace and dark humour.’ - Irish Times
‘Simpson reveals – in an often-hilarious book – how she confronted her devastating diagnosis, and how it made her love her body again.’ - Mail on Sunday
We are beyond excited to be working in conjunction with Vikki Reilly from Publishing Scotland, recording a series of 5 Audiobooks from various Scottish Publishers through until April 2023.
Titles we are producing for the project
Carrie Kills a Man, written and narrated by Carrie Marshall and published by 404 Ink.
Ruxton: The First Modern Murder by Tom Wood and narrated by Steve Worsley and published by Ringwood Publishing.
The Gingerbread Men by Joanna Corrance and narrated by Steve Worsley and published by Haunt Publishing
As well as producing and directing, we have sourced amazing new narrators for two of the titles which include Ewan Morrison's, How To Survive Everything, narrated by Olivia Caw and published by Saraband.
And the Booker Prize shortlisted novel for 2022, Elena Knows by Claudia Pineiro narrated by Sally Masterson and published by Charco Press
Established in Edinburgh in 1974, Publishing Scotland is the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland.
This amazing and inspiring audiobook has only recently been produced at the studio with author/narrator Lucy Turner.
It's beautifully written and narrated by an extraordinary woman who has travelled the world in many danger zones in a career working for the United Nations. Her book version has already reached no1 in the Amazon charts in several categories since it's release.
As someone who speaks several languages, Lucy uses Nine Wonder Words in Nine chapters from various ancient cultures, including her childhood home of Islay.
Designed to lift the spirits, inspire, educate, and make you laugh all at the same time.
In January we produce the audiobook Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace, the third in the Miss Blaine trilogy series by author/narrator Olga Wojtas for Saraband Publishing in Manchester. Previous titles we have produced are The Golden Samovar and Weird Sisters.
The trilogy is both highly entertaining and informative and features the enigmatic and adventurous time travelling school Prefect of the mysterious Edinburgh Headmistress Miss Blaine.
A journalist for more than 30 years, Olga was Scottish editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement before she began adding creative writing to her portfolio.
She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2015 and has had numerous short stories and several novellas.
The Miss Blaine's Prefect trilogy will also be released in the USA.
Produced and Directed by Iain McKinna
Fast Track to Property Millions
Also released in January is this highly comprehensive and instructional audiobook with essential information, and the absolute MUST DOs of successful property investing, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls.
Fast Track to Property Millions is written by Laurie Taylor, Alex Robertson and Connor Tracey, three successful entrepreneurs who run REWD Training Ltd.
The paperback version is published by Extremis Publishing in Stirling,
The audiobook will be available on Amazon, Audible, Apple, Spotify and many other platforms.
Narrated by Steve Worsley and Produced by Iain McKinna.
Find out MORE about Audiobook Productions at Offbeat.
Farewell to 2022
Quite apart from numerous music projects at the studio, which belong to another blogpost, last year was an amazing one for our voice and audio work.
Here are some notable examples
The Princess Bride
2022 began with a New Years day broadcast of William Goldings Classic Story on BBC Radio 4.
We recorded all of Grant O'Rourke's voice parts as William Goldings narration for the full production of the radio production as well as a series of shorts from Xmas Day 2021. BBC producer Kirsty Williams directed the recording session
Broadcaster Allan Little came to the studio to record Green Energy, Some Inconvenient Truths, three part series for BBC World Service and is available to listen to on BBC Sounds. Allan investigates the best way to capture, store and redistribute the renewable sources of energy freely available all over the world including wind, solar and hydro. He also highlights some of the downsides of the new technology.
Dr Gavin Francis
We produced Dr Gavin Francis's audiobook Recovery for Profile Books Observer Book Of The Week and The Sunday Times bestseller about the secret power of recovery, exploring why we heal and how to do it better.
Sunday Times ‘Filled with compassion and warmth, the book provides both insight and succour.'
Scotland on Sunday 'It couldn’t be more timely… Even if you are not at present ill, it is worth reading this book because the gentle guidance it gives is actually applicable to being healthy. There are things we can do that make life, even a life without pain or fatigue or anxiety, richer.’
Independent ‘sparkling, uplifting… ‘brief, and useful and written with his customary blend of case study and literary precedent’
The Queens Platinum Jubilee
Working with DM Audio, a division of Penguin Random House, we produced the Gaelic Version of the late Queen's Life Story. This involved sourcing BBC Gaelic Producer Catriona Murray and Gaelic language Narrator Debbie Mackay.
Producing this title was quite challenging as nobody here at Offbeat speaks Gaelic but thanks to the expertise of our Gaelic professionals the project was a resounding success.
The Witch Farm
Following on from the hugely successful radio 4 series The Battersea Poltergeist, we have also recorded Evelyn Hollow's voice for The Witch Farm. Another spooky series from BBC Producer Danny Robins.Joseph Fiennes and Alexandra Roach star in a new paranormal cold case while Danny dials in to Offbeat top produce Evelyn's commentary for the series.
It's 1989, rural Wales, a lonely old farmhouse in the shadow of the imposing Brecon Beacons mountains. Young, pregnant Liz Rich and her artist husband Bill rent an isolated farmhouse, hoping for a fresh start, but the house holds dark secrets.
Eilidh, The voice of children
Working for Voquent in conjunction with Acapella Group in Belgium, we recorded 12 year old Eilidh's voice which will be used as AI for kids who are unable to speak. We were struck by just how professional Eilidh was as this wasn't an easy voice over project. She has a beautiful clear and warm tone in her voice. Think of Stephen Hawkins but with a lovely gentle Scots accent.
She had to spend 6 sessions repeating phrases that didn't always make grammatical sense. It was directed by two producers in Belgium who were keeping her tone in line with the requirements of the complicated algorithms involved.
We recorded a cast for segments of the book The Way Of All Flesh in conjunction with Bright White in York for a 3D audio installation for Unesco City of Literature and Creative Informatics which was trialled at John Knox House in 2022. JasonHarvey, Russell Beard and Gayanne Potter voiced the parts.
Visitors to Literature House put on set of open backed headphones and followed the plot of the story assisted by sound effects positioned in place through GPS Technology, similar to computer games. The realism of the experience is impressive and was implemented beautifully by the tech wizards at Bright White.
Royal Yacht Britannia
Another project commissioned by Bright White in York was the Ukrainian audio version of the Royal
Yacht Britannia tour which was also recorded here at Offbeat
Voice artist Tetiana Kyiko provided the voice for the recording and her friend Tanya ensured the necessary accuracy when it came to recording the language.
It can be quite daunting recording foreign language programmes but also interesting how you can follow the cadence of the voice when it comes to dropping in over mistakes etc.