George_Keller_small_10“Isn’t Minnesota just fly over country?” Those who’ve moved here from parts elsewhere have heard this tired refrain about Minneapolis forever. It’s a quip with all the social graces and trappings of a wine cooler – cheap, and incapable of getting better with age.

Personally, I’ll admit that when I moved here from New York I thought I’d stay maybe a year or so – that was 20 years ago. Every Winter I make the same pledge and still stay. Why? Hey, Spring, Fall and Summer are the most glorious month imaginable.

Seriously, the change of seasons this far North of the Mason Dixon is pretty amazing.

The Minnesota Department of Tourism is hip to this and has a lot of info on their new website about Fall Getaways around the state.

Not your average George – Ms. Keller, our announcer.

The ad agency for MN Tourism, Colle+McVoy, came up with some fun radio spots that we got to help produce here last week. The writer, Jay Walsh, thought he’d explode this whole “fly-over” conceit in an unusual way. He cast voice-over actors who could do an accent that was a strange brew of Brooklyn, Philly & Jersey – and then had them use those voices to portray Canada geese.

I know, but it works.

The main voice-over actors were three great guys out of New York – Gary Yudman,Bill Lobely, and Frank Simms whom we brought into recording studio A via ISDN digital patch from Nutmeg Audio Post. The tricky part about this recording was trying to unearth which goose each actor would play. With accents like this Jay’s fear was that they might sound too alike. So we recorded a few passes with everyone in alternate roles and determined that Gary would be 1st goose, with Frank and Bill being 2nd & 3rd. Roles set, they breathed a lot of life into the spot with smart voicings and ad-libs – a few of which made the final cut.

To tie the radio spot together, Jay cast Twin Cities voice-over actor George Keller as the announcer. Her smooth and easy sound settled nicely into the manic mélange of Brooklyn-Philly-Jersey Canada Geesieness that we’d recorded from the other guys. Speaking of George, you can catch her on stage at the Penumbra Theater later this month in the play, “Grandchildren Of The Buffalo Soldiers”. While she was in studio, she told us a bit about the piece. Click play to hear more…

Getting the sound-design and audio post production right for this radio spot proved to be its own conundrum. As you might imagine, there aren’t any recordings of Canada geese flying in formation. And, if there were, they’d no doubt contain the sound of them being sucked into a jet engine. Not quite what we wanted. So, we took a few isolated flight calls, layered them in like audio phyllo dough, spread them left and right and then filled the scene with a little outdoor reverb. Later in the spot we needed to hear bird wings in flight so, for that, we slyly futzed the sound of a sheet being snapped. Once we got that rhythm down, the mix, quite literally, came in for a smooth landing.

Here’s “Geese” from Colle+McVoy

George Keller can be booked through her Minneapolis agent Moore Creative Talent,inc., Gary Yudman is at Paradigm, Bill Lobely is with Buchwald, and Frank Simms is represented by Atlas Talent Agency, Inc.

Got a comment? Please click the comments button below and let us know…