Echo chamber

Yesterday, I spent most of the day in the recording room with Nick and Andrew, and the "location sound" guy, Brendan. Nick was recording the voice-over parts (mostly the narrator's lines) and I was along to assist as best I could.

First, let me just say how strange and gratifying it is to listen to someone read the words you wrote. Since some of the stuff Nick laid down was poetry, that was especially thrilling.

Second, let me say how hard it is to read poetry out loud. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember--and I think I'm pretty good at it. I can even read other people's poems out loud pretty effectively (I love reading Liz's poem "Inshallah"). But even actors struggle to read it with emphasis, shifts in tempo, caesura... Nick did a great job, but it must have been frustrating to him to have Andrew and me stopping him all the time.

And that brings me to my third point. I can't say enough about Andrew's direction on this film. He knows every word of this script. If you poured all of them onto the floor, he could put it back together again. He's also climbed in and explored the cavities and spaces between the words. He understands not just what each line means. But what it also means. And also means. And also means....

What a privilege it is, as a writer, to have someone who fully inhabits your work.