Friday, April 27, 2007

BEhind the scenes - Kris Lee McBride: A New Voice

Best Evidence is a risky film for a lot of reasons. One of them is the serious nature of the content, particularly when compared to most other documentaries about the UFO phenomenon.

Now, to UFO afficianados, "serious" sounds promising, but a parade of talking heads is death on television.

It's the fine line that I've always had to walk - trying to keep it entertaining for the vast majority of people for whom UFOs are just an interesting diversion, while also providing content that the much smaller minority of people truly interested in the UFO phenomenon might find compelling.

One of the other (calculated) risks is my attempt to give the film a different voice. Most documentaries have male narrators - indeed, while the person might be different each time, the style they use (deep, faux authoritative, with seeming gravitas) often sounds the same. Now, there's a reason producers do this - why try to re-invent the wheel when it seems to work perfectly well?

I'm not most producers, however. I think we should hear different voices in films, particularly films about the UFO phenomenon, where so many of the voices are older men.

Enter actress Kris Lee McBride as the narrator for Best Evidence.

Kris is a recent graduate of the acting program at the University of Windsor, in Ontario. I directed her this past winter in a play here in Halifax, where she demonstrated the kind of talent that you can't teach, and the kind of commitment to her craft that all producer or director respects. In short, she's top notch, so I decided she was going to be the English-language voice for Best Evidence.

Now, over the years I've made some pretty boneheaded decisions (narrating Do You Believe in Majic myself was one of them). Engaging Kris for Best Evidence has been one of the better ones.

How do I know? There's my own reaction, of course, and that of my post audio guy, and... well, everyone else involved. But, corny as it sounds, my Mom, who represents the general viewing public as well as anyone else, dug Kris' work (my Mom has never had a problem telling me when I've made a boneheaded decision). I sent a clip of a segment of the film to my parents, just for some feedback. My Mom wrote me: "Just finished listening to the piece on Shaq Harbour, Kris is good, a nice clear, easy listening voice, must be the theatre training."

Good enough for my Mom? Then she's good enough for me!

There's a new voice coming to the world of UFO documentaries, and it's Kris Lee McBride. I'm pretty sure that someday you're going to see her on bigger screens, or in bigger projects, because she's got what it takes to make it there - and then some!

When that day comes, we'll all look back fondly on Best Evidence, where it began, and say, "remember when?"

Paul Kimball

3 comments:

Keith Renney said...

Paul,

Sounds like you've found yourself a muse! LOL.

Seriously, my girlfriend is an actress - she would kill for someone to throw this kind of praise her way.

I look forward to seeing your film when it hits the US.

Keith

Paul Kimball said...

Keith:

Hopefully your girlfriend wouldn't really kill. I'm not worth it. :-)

Thanks for popping by. I'll be updating the site if and when we get a sale into the American market, or when DVDs become available.

As for KLM, she's gonna go far - mark my words. I just hope she remembers me in ten years time!

Paul

Susan MJ said...

This would have been such a great documentary, interesting, thought provoking etc, just very well done, but Kris Lee McBride's voice was very distracting.As a female narrator, she needs to really work on her voice, especially if she has as much talent as you say she does, maybe voice lessons would help, because in this documentary she sounded like fingernails on a blackboard. She nearly ruined it. I'll watch it in full if it ever gets re-narrated.