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Author Topic: Ben Phillips' reading style  (Read 12645 times)

netwiz

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on: February 22, 2008, 09:02:13 AM
Sorry about this, but I'm finding it quite difficult to listen to the stories that Ben reads. I find that he tends to rush the narration, with the result that it's sometimes difficult to tell that a context has changed, such as a different character talking. The best readers of stories - and actors- use silence to punctuate their performance. It's in the timing. Please Ben, slow down a bit and give the story a chance to breathe.
thanks
Nick



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Reply #1 on: February 22, 2008, 08:11:59 PM
There are usually a variety of opinions on reading styles, and that's a good thing. 
Variety is the melange of life.  ;)

Ben is one of my top 3 or 4 favorite voices in podcasting.



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Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 08:59:08 PM
Ben is one of my top 3 or 4 favorite voices in podcasting.

Yeah, let me second that. And I was actually surprised by the original post's complaint - not because of the negative view of Ben's narration; that's a matter of taste - but because I always thought Ben was very good at punctuating his narration, at least when a single character is talking - I do agree that character transitions are not one of his strengths.




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Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 09:37:26 PM
Yeah, I'm not opposed to diversity, but hearing Ben's narrations almost always make me smile.  (Okay, I can't think of a time when they've bothered me.)  It's odd, I've always thought the way he paces his readings is part of why they're so good.


gelee

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Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 09:44:20 PM
Fourthed.



Russell Nash

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Reply #5 on: February 22, 2008, 10:31:00 PM
fifthed

say that three times fast.



netwiz

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Reply #6 on: February 23, 2008, 07:13:58 PM
It seems I'm in a minority, which is fair enough, but there is one comment that transitions aren't Ben's strong point. To clarify this point, it's often only after the transition that I realise that it is a different character who is talking. Also, when Ben uses different intonations for different characters, I think that sometimes he's going at such a pace that the voicing slips, as he doesn't keep up with himself.

I've heard many worse readers, and I think that with just a bit more effort or coaching, Ben could be really good.



Ben Phillips

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Reply #7 on: February 26, 2008, 01:31:43 AM
The feedback is appreciated!  I will do what I can to slow down at least a little, and demarcate the different characters more.



deflective

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Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 11:17:19 PM
i've been waiting for the latest pseudopod thread to become available and i just can't wait any longer.

well done! i greatly enjoyed both the episode and the autopsy. dunno if it was the changes you made but these are some of my favourite pseudopods.

keep up the good work.



Rhio2k

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Reply #9 on: March 21, 2008, 09:46:56 AM
Sorry about this, but I'm finding it quite difficult to listen to the stories that Ben reads. I find that he tends to rush the narration, with the result that it's sometimes difficult to tell that a context has changed, such as a different character talking. The best readers of stories - and actors- use silence to punctuate their performance. It's in the timing. Please Ben, slow down a bit and give the story a chance to breathe.
thanks
Nick

I dunno...he does pretty well, in contrast to Alistair, who's dull, matter-of-fact style makes even the most horrific story sound like a boring mystery story. Might be an english (UK) thing, but he really takes the horror out of stories when he reads them. I have found that Ben stumbles sometimes, but it's easy to ignore.



Thaurismunths

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Reply #10 on: March 21, 2008, 01:52:22 PM
Sorry about this, but I'm finding it quite difficult to listen to the stories that Ben reads. I find that he tends to rush the narration, with the result that it's sometimes difficult to tell that a context has changed, such as a different character talking. The best readers of stories - and actors- use silence to punctuate their performance. It's in the timing. Please Ben, slow down a bit and give the story a chance to breathe.
thanks
Nick

I dunno...he does pretty well, in contrast to Alistair, who's dull, matter-of-fact style makes even the most horrific story sound like a boring mystery story. Might be an english (UK) thing, but he really takes the horror out of stories when he reads them. I have found that Ben stumbles sometimes, but it's easy to ignore.
I have to disagree with you strongly.
Stories like "Why I Hate Cake" are perfectly suited for his voice. And, coming from an American, the accent adds a lot to the telling.

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DKT

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Reply #11 on: March 21, 2008, 03:16:07 PM
Sorry about this, but I'm finding it quite difficult to listen to the stories that Ben reads. I find that he tends to rush the narration, with the result that it's sometimes difficult to tell that a context has changed, such as a different character talking. The best readers of stories - and actors- use silence to punctuate their performance. It's in the timing. Please Ben, slow down a bit and give the story a chance to breathe.
thanks
Nick

I dunno...he does pretty well, in contrast to Alistair, who's dull, matter-of-fact style makes even the most horrific story sound like a boring mystery story. Might be an english (UK) thing, but he really takes the horror out of stories when he reads them. I have found that Ben stumbles sometimes, but it's easy to ignore.
I have to disagree with you strongly.
Stories like "Why I Hate Cake" are perfectly suited for his voice. And, coming from an American, the accent adds a lot to the telling.

I agree with Thaurismunths.  Alasdair's given some amazing readings.  He absolutely nailed Tales of the White Street Society, so much so I think that if I read that story, I'd hear his voice in my head.  And I always enjoy listening to his outros.  I think they've added a huge personality to this podcast.


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Reply #12 on: March 23, 2008, 02:41:37 AM
I have to say, I really dig Al's voice.  It's got a smoky, wooly quality to it that makes me feel like we're sitting in wing-backed chairs by the fire wearing particularly warm sweaters... quite a feat since I'm usually esconced behind the wheel of my car on the freeway when I hear him!

And Ben is one of those "solid" readers; in my mind, he's like Steve - consistent and even, making the story (if it's strong enough) take control.

Of course, being who I am, I don't think I would say anything at all if I didn't like a particular voice.  Ah... now all the other readers are going to think I don't like THEM...

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gelee

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Reply #13 on: March 26, 2008, 11:10:09 PM
I have to say, I really dig Al's voice.  It's got a smoky, wooly quality to it that makes me feel like we're sitting in wing-backed chairs by the fire wearing particularly warm sweaters... quite a feat since I'm usually esconced behind the wheel of my car on the freeway when I hear him!

And Ben is one of those "solid" readers; in my mind, he's like Steve - consistent and even, making the story (if it's strong enough) take control.

Of course, being who I am, I don't think I would say anything at all if I didn't like a particular voice.  Ah... now all the other readers are going to think I don't like THEM...
I tend to sort of do the same.  I don't want to bust someone's chops for doing me the favor of reading a story to me.  It's easy to forget that these folks are doing all this work gratis.  I'll take what I get and say 'thank you.'
That said, I enjoy Al's readings as much as Ben's.  Always good stuff.



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Reply #14 on: October 15, 2009, 10:08:31 PM
Apologies for the thread necro, I've only recently joined these forums.

I enjoy Ben's style. It could be because of the amount of time I spent doing table top RPG's with him, but I don't think that's it. He does a good job with voices, and I can't think of any characters that he's adopted a voice for that he can't pull off. The character voice stays consistent throughout the story. Plus he does a real solid job on the voices of characters that are jerks or are losing it.

And for what it's worth, the two stories that were referenced by Wil Wheaton were both read by Ben.

Thanks for what you do, and keep up the good work.

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Reply #15 on: October 20, 2009, 09:48:32 PM
I don't want to bust someone's chops for doing me the favor of reading a story to me.  It's easy to forget that these folks are doing all this work gratis.  I'll take what I get and say 'thank you.'
That said, I enjoy Al's readings as much as Ben's.  Always good stuff.

Just because they do it for free doesn't put them beyond criticism.  If I think a reading sucks, and hurts the story, I will say so.

But I've put up, and volunteered my reading services to EA, making myself a target for same criticism should an editor decide to use me.

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MacArthurBug

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Reply #16 on: October 20, 2009, 11:22:04 PM
My initial reaction to this was sort of a "huh" too. I like Bens style most of the time. Every reader on here has had their good stories and their bad. And there are some I like hearing better (that accent) and some folks I wish would opt out of reading. Over all, unless a reading is either absolutly disgusting or REALLY good I don't even take note of it.

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Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


kibitzer

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Reply #17 on: October 21, 2009, 10:05:40 AM
Umm... and that's kinda the way it should be, and what I hope EA are aiming for.


gelee

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Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 11:12:39 AM
My initial reaction to this was sort of a "huh" too. I like Bens style most of the time. Every reader on here has had their good stories and their bad. And there are some I like hearing better (that accent) and some folks I wish would opt out of reading. Over all, unless a reading is either absolutly disgusting or REALLY good I don't even take note of it.
Exactly.  Unless the reading is exceptionaly bad, I won't knock it, and with EA podcasts, that just doesn't happen much.  I have listened to some 'casts where they seem to have a real problem with the readings.  I look at the production stuff the same way.  Unless it's really, really bad, I won't mention it.



Ben Phillips

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Reply #19 on: October 27, 2009, 03:23:23 AM
I enjoy Ben's style. It could be because of the amount of time I spent doing table top RPG's with him ...

Ohh, you nerd, you've outed us both!  Actually I'm pretty sure we're in good company around here.  And anyone who hasn't guessed that Pseudopod is run by nerds hasn't been paying attention at all.

Good to see somebody on the forums that I actually know from that "real life" place.



kibitzer

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Reply #20 on: October 27, 2009, 09:54:38 PM
Wait... PP is run by nerds?? That's it, I'm outta here.


Swamp

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Reply #21 on: October 27, 2009, 10:15:40 PM
Wait... PP is run by nerds?? That's it, I'm outta here.

Yes, but scary nerds.  Major twitching scary nerds from Hell.

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kibitzer

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Reply #22 on: October 28, 2009, 02:45:51 AM
Oh. Well that's OK then.


Unblinking

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Reply #23 on: November 04, 2009, 09:09:31 PM
Good to see somebody on the forums that I actually know from that "real life" place.

"Real"?  Do you mean Facebook?



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Reply #24 on: November 07, 2009, 06:46:31 PM
Good to see somebody on the forums that I actually know from that "real life" place.

"Real"?  Do you mean Facebook?
no silly he means Myspace.

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Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?