The Gray Area Season 2

Inside the Gray Area: “Shadows Have Offended”

July 28, 2020

In our final dip into the “Paths” story, writer and showrunner Edward Champion discusses Marc Maron, why coffee is important, how the pandemic forced him to serve as singer, Robert Frost, balancing the personal with the political, why the conceptual thrust of The Man in the High Castle is problematic, uprooting the white male “Johns” of 20th century Northeastern literature, John Irving, the Scott Baio Memorial Bridge, the creative process of writing stories to find ideas that work better in other stories, cannibalizing from unpublished material, the influence of dreams, how a passage in John Knowles's A Separate Peace inspired sound design for a scene, why New Hampshire was the setting, writing a counternarrative to Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe novels, usurping the white male storytelling template to tell meaningful stories of outliers and POC, searching for music tracks that were similar to Leroy Anderson, the Kennedy assassination, his uneasy relationship with footsteps in audio drama, sticking with the first person as much as possible in audio drama, “Peat Bog Soldiers,” on being fond of therapy, the value of therapy in understanding human emotions, stylizing quick character reveals, family funerals, the invaluable Vincent Fallow as German consultant, how an early scene in John Carpenter's Halloween inspired the rain-based sound design during the driving scene, ghosting, an actor who was highly disturbed by the material, why there are so many “fucks” in Chelsea's reaction, Martin Luther King, the considerable detail he went into for the kitchen sound design, finding intense moments in kale, why the great Julie Chapin epitomized the warmth and tenderness of Grandma, how J.K. MacCauley got the role of Grandpa, channeling the 20th century voice, Jerry Lacy's classy response to a casting invitation, Anthony Bourdain, Horace Fletcher, T.C. Boyle's The Road to Wellville, Santayana, Gertrude Stein, Richard Aldington's Death of a Hero, World War I, how he channeled personal experience for the Chelsea dinner scene dynamic, The Last Puritan, Chelsea's dormant literary knowledge, state schools vs. Ivy League universities, the lack of empathy towards those who come from low-income backgrounds, how Ivy Leaguers and the rich refuse to consider intelligence from lower income groups, writing the World War I monologue, the chemistry between Katrina Clairvoyant and Tanja Miljovec, recording most of the Chelsea/Maya dialogue on Columbus Day Weekend, how Tanja's screaming got him in trouble with lawyers, his relationships with scholars and academics, being an autodidactic, how a real-life fire in his apartment inspired sound design, Neil Sheehan's A Bright Shining Lie, the Buddhist crisis during the Vietnam War, deliberately casting audio drama staples for the epic, the operatic nature of the story, Sergio Leone, orisons, voices from the heavens, secular prayer, why Peter Coleman is a great actor to work with, casting comedic actors in dramatic roles, why challenge and pushback is essential to making art, recording stunt driving in Connecticut, the Hindenburg blimp, callbacks to “Buddies for Hire,” the influence of Chaplin's famous speech in The Great Dictator, recording pickup lines during a pandemic, recreating conversations from “Fuel to the Fire,” July 4th barbeques, finding voice actors by doing karaoke, when Zack Glassman learned that he was very funny as The Receptionist, holding on laughter while recording comedy, and the importance of crying sometimes while editing. (Running time: 37 minutes, 14 seconds)


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