Liam Nolan is the producer of the RTE feature Because You Can’t Smell Someone on Skype. We sent him a couple of questions by email and he kindly responded:
AudioLab: Did you imagine this documentary before you started recording? eg the use of Skype sounds and also the pace, to and froing of the story
LN: Yes, I had a good idea of what it might sound like. The couple had recounted to me the story of how they had met (on-line and then through Skype) so I had a good idea of the narrative before recording. As for the Skype sounds – yes, those Skype bleeping noises were always going to be a part of the soundscape and help re-create the sense of Ciarán and Kelly’s early ‘Skype romance’. Furthermore, Ronan Kelly (series producer) re-edited the piece after my initial cut, and made the Skype sounds more consistent, more prominent. I think all of this improved the piece further. The to and froing of the story – I laid out the narrative structure in a chronological order which was faithful to their story.
AudioLab: Did you interview the talent together or individually?
LN: I recorded Ciarán and Kelly separately one afternoon at their home. One interviewee will always remembers events differently from another so I thought it best to get differing recollections. It was interesting piecing together both interviews as they recollected the same scenes.
AudioLab: The inclusion of Neil Young’s Harvest- the pace and mood it sets- did you imagine that before you started or did you play around with music and words before you found the right song?
LN: Actually, the couple used to play ‘Harvest’ sometimes whilst they spoke on Skype. I used ‘Harvest’ in the first place because Kelly had made a reference to it, but then I cut that line. However, the song still worked so I decided to leave it in the cut and, in a sneaky way, it was my way of putting ‘their song’ into the final piece – it was the soundtrack of their romance. But, the point is, the song worked so I didn’t change it. Some times, things can fall into place when editing.