All going to plan

It’s a strange feeling for everything to be going to plan, but, everything is. I’ve done four recording sessions so far for series 3 with various cast members and everything is backed up as far as Episode 3 (and a few sketches beyond). The editing is the big labour intensive task now and I’m please to report that that too is coming along nicely.

A little bit of news, I have secured two guest voices for series 3, one of which is Radio 4’s Kathy Clugston. I felt ashamed that I’d only used Kathy for the voice of a Sat Nav in previous series and I’m thrilled to say that the performances she’s given for series 3 are totally fab! The other voice is a closely guarded secret and I’ll reveal that halfway through the run as the scene he is in approaches. Hint: he’s delirious to be on board.

So, we’re on target for the first episode to be released on 15th July. Hoorah! I realise that pride comes before a fall but hopefully this time I won’t be holding the hard drive when that happens.

Pin It

Recording begins

Last night, after a lot of time spent in front of the blinking cursor of doom, we finally made it into the studio.  I say studio, it was Anna’s front room – thanks Anna!

Lee and Ian pose for a photo

Lee and Ian (not to be confused with Ironman)

This is the perfect opportunity to introduce you to the two newest members of The 4amcab Company: Ian and CJ. 

When the first episode is released you may recognise Ian’s voice from a previous episode.  Ian was the main storyline character in S1Ep4 – Hainault?, playing a very tired Martin, who falls asleep on a night bus to Hainault and ends up robbing a petrol station.  Ian has ventured north, out of London, to join us for the whole of Series 3.

CJ and Ian look on, as Lee pretends to do some acting

CJ and Ian look on, as Lee pretends to do some acting

CJ is the other new member to join the merry band of 4amcab actors.  CJ has worked extensively in theatre, both behind the scenes and on the stage.  The first thing I asked her to do was speak in a Dutch accent and pretend to be on a porn shoot – as she didn’t run away, I think she’ll fit right in!

More details will be published soon on The 4amcab Company page.

So the first session is done, with more on the way.  Now the mamoth task of editing almost 4 hours of intensive 4amcab goodness begins.  We are very much on our way to Series 3.  Exciting, eh?

Pin It

Almost Ready…

It’s been somewhat quiet on the 4amcab website this year and that’s partly because of Rachel’s crazy plan.

Well, excuses aside, the gears have been turning and very soon you will start to see the fruit (mixed metaphors allowing).  I thought it might be interesting to share what has been going on and fill you in on the plan for the rest of the summer, with the forthcoming release of series 3.

This time around, I decided to try things a little bit differently.  With previous series we had found that the conveyor belt of writing, script editing, recording, editing and releasing (then starting all over again on the next episode) was a difficult one to maintain.  Something had to change to make the project more manageable.  I decided that for the third series I wanted everything to be written before I began the recording.  The good news is, that’s nearly done.

Right now, at time of writing this, there are just a handful of sketches to complete.  Next week I will be recording the first three episodes followed up with another recording session of the second half of the series.

So the big news is, I’ll release a short tease for the new series on 1st July and then two weeks later, on 15th July, the first episode will come out.  As all the writing and recording for the series will be in the bag, this means I’ll release the rest of the series weekly.  You’ll be able to hear all six episodes by the middle of August.  Phew!

CALENDARThe final bit of 4amcab news, for the moment, is that I’m hoping to have a few new voices on the show.  More on that shortly.

Set your podcatcher to stun* and get ready for the 1st July.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride**.



*automatic download
**no, it won’t

Pin It

Almost done

On Saturday 30th November, the 4amcab team assembled for the last time this year and recorded the final episode of the current series.  It’s been so much fun to work with all our brilliantly talented actors, that I just wanted to acknowledge them all in white and black, for giving up their time to do our silly little show.christmasrecChris B, Anna, Will, Helen, Chris L, Jo and Dan have been fantastic and always up for trying out our crazy sketches, even when they are just that little bit too rude (sorry Anna & Will in particular!). 

Once the final episode is released into the wilderness and we’ve had time to recover from all the festivites we will begin working on the next stage of 4amcab’s existence (whatever that is?) and Rachel and I certainly hope that all our actors will join us again for the ride.  I’m fairly confident that they will, as they get to go to the pub afterwards!christmaspub

The final episode of Series 2 will be released on Wednesday 18th December, just in time to get you in the Christmas Spirit.

Pin It

Hello Stranger!

Hi there, how are you?  It feels like ages since we last saw you, haven’t you grown?!

So, the 4amcab podcast has been on a bit of a post series break but the good news is that we’ve been grinding out one last script ready to round off Series 2.  The Christmas Special is written, it gets recorded on Saturday and it will be ready to download on Wednesday 18th December.  Hurrah!

It’ll be the final episode of the series but not the last you’ll hear from us.  Rachel and I have had our first “What the flip do we do next?” meeting and once the Christmas Hangover has properly kicked in we’ll be detoxing and banging our heads against a wall repeatedly until something new comes out.  It may be Series 3, it may be a panel gameshow for snails, at this moment we have no idea.  Like I said, though, we’re not done yet.


In the meantime, sit back, set the alarm clock for 4am on 18th December and relax while we work hard in the background to bring you the conclusion of 4amcab 2.

It’s really good to see you again.  We’ve really missed you.

Pin It

Making 4am Cab – Part 2: Recording

We thought it would be interesting to give you an insight into how 4amcab gets made, so this is the second part of a three part blog post doing just that.  Lee shares his process for recording.

Part 2: Recording
Once the script is finished, usually a day before the recording, it’s emailed out to the actors.  The 4amcab Company will all have been roped into booked for the recording date and be chomping at the bit to get to the biscuits with the most amount of chocolate on them.  We’ve recorded the show in a plethora of locations, including my shed, my car, my garage and a few local venues that have been kind enough to lend their facilities.  We currently use a basement room in the Alban Arena, which sounds surprisingly acoustically good.

I arrive slightly early, something for which I’m not known and set up the mobile studio.  There’s a mixing desk, one microphone which has switchable polar patterns (that just means that it’s suitable for any number of actors recording at the same time – it has nothing to do with Derek!) and a small solid state recorder where all the voices of the actors are transfered into 1’s and 0’s.

Gradually the actors arrive ready for their moment to shine.  I’ve got an unusual directing style in that I don’t immediatley give any, or at least it’s minimal.  The thinking behind this is that the actors all give their time freely and I want them to give the best performance that they can and play to their own strengths.  Most of the time they are very good and just require only a little nudge or explanation of the sketch to find the humour.  In fact, I’m constantly impressed with how flippin’ brilliant they all are and we tend to only do two takes and the occassional pick up to give a variation on the punch line.

Due to the last minuteness of the script, the actors sometimes won’t have had the chance to read the whole thing through before we start.  With that in mind, and as the episode is broken up with other sketches along the way, we always start recording the story first.  This ensures continuity of the characters and for the flow of the story to make sense.  From here on in, it’s just ploughing through the episode’s other sketches and getting the best takes possible.  As we have our own company of actors and we write with them in mind, they are cast into their roles before they arrive.  It is very rare to have to make changes, however, it’s at this point that I know if a sketch doesn’t quite work and I can try a different actor or even a frantic last minute rewrite.  So far we’ve only ever cut two sketches and that is testament to the quality of the writing, awesome acting and flow of the episodes to date.

Once we’ve wrapped the recording, assuming I don’t drop the recorder on the floor without saving and have to record the whole thing again (this actually happed for Series 2 Episode 2!) we all toddle off in our various directions to relax and return to normal life.

If I’m lucky there’ll be a chocolate biscuit left!

Oh yeah, then there’s the small matter of the edit.

Pin It

First Recording Completed

Last night we officially began Series 2 as we recorded the first episode.


The actors all gathered together in a basement room and we set the hard disc recorder going.  While you wait for the results, pop on over to the 4amcab Company page and see who the actors all are.  Also, you have just enough time to listen to all of the first series again.  All our previous episodes are available to listen to on the website or you can head over to iTunes and grab them all from there.  While you’re on iTunes, feel free to subscribe and you’ll get every episode as they are published.

So, now begins the big job of the edit.  See you all on the other side. 

The next 4amcab arrives on the 1st of May, make sure you’re along for the ride.

Pin It