Building Apps and Finding Voices

Hi – this is Daniel Jamison!

I feel very lucky to have joined the project for this round, since Calvium has provided the team with a ready-to-go app-builder. The builder gives us direct and ongoing access to the content management system (CMS) for a beta version of Hidden Florence. In other words, I can record a version of Ercole the cop talking about Le Murate, visit the site and test the app, and then perform revisions to the dialogue – all without needing to wait for updates! That’s definitely handy, since, as David’s post describes below, the experience of visiting a location in the flesh sometimes demands a complete re-think for the script.

For me, part of the fun of getting to draft a ‘complete’ beta version was inserting my own recordings of the guide dialogue. As the draft scripts took shape, I developed a very clear sense of what Ercole sbirro would sound like: gruff and bluff, but with a softer side. Then, I sat down with my computer microphone and GarageBand and just gave it my best shot! Through my amateur efforts to bring him to life, Ercole got a little Brooklyn accent – I’m not sure, but I may have been channeling my grandfather, who was a detective with the NYPD.

Once the Ercole recordings were finished and uploaded into the app-builder, I could head to Florence and see how well my birro fit in. My partner Terri and I did a full walk-through of the ‘Crime & Punishment’ beta last Wednesday. The Verdict: Ercole, the tough cop with a tender heart, may be ready for the big (tiny) screen, but I probably don’t have a future in voice-acting. That said, I’ll keep working at it!

blog pic murate

Next time I check in, I’ll have more to say about another composite character: Marietta, a wheeler-dealer textile worker and widow being developed as the guide of the second of our four new walks.

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