Joseph G. Buchman, PhD
11 June 2014
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The Shadow of the Lion

I've recently restored 11 of the 13 episodes of a second radio series of Professor Bannerman's, a documentary about life in Great Britain in the early 1960s. Available HERE.

The Rediscovery of "Their Other World"

In 1963 or so, then Indiana University Assistant Professor of Telecommunications, LeRoy Bannerman, applied for and was awarded a grant from NASA to produce a 13-episode, half-hour each, radio series on the emerging field of "bioastronautics." It was a project that was broadcast nationally and would eventually see him promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

When I first entered Professor Bannerman's studio in 1978, I confronted learning audio production the way Orson Welles might have taught it - the 3-dimensional sculpting of a virtual reality world, vividly projected within each individual listener's "theater of the mind." Far more "high definition" than any ultra-high definition digital television produced today -- it lived, not on a wall over there, but deep inside each listener's mind. Far more realistic than 5.1 digital surround sound, it was sound that was not so much heard as . . . felt.

Indiana University's audio production studios were a special place back then (they are sadly gone now; remodeled into office and video editing space). Designed as an extension of the Fine Arts complex where students learned to sculpt with wood, stone, metal, fiber . . . and with the finest of all possible fine art mediums -- light (television) and sound (radio and tv).

Professor Bannerman was the Michelangelo of Studios 3 and 4; a master teacher of scripting, pacing, drama, comedy and (among other things) Foley Effects.

Twenty-one years later, when I joined the faculty of Indiana University (for two years as a "Visiting Professor") I sought out my old audio art teacher and in one conversation asked him what he was, out of all his audio masterpieces, most proud of having produced. There I learned about, and then began a quest to find, "Their Other World."

Tragically the 13 reels of tape which had been archived by the University had been tossed into a trash bin about a year earlier. Even more mysteriously, despite speaking with the NASA representative who had boxed and mailed them, the master copies sent by NASA to NARA (the National Archives and Records Administration) were nowhere to be found. It seemed Their Other World had been lost. Professor Bannerman still had a faint mimeograph copy of the original studio performance scripts, which I had retyped and formatted into this PDF file.

After a full decade of searching, and thanks to the help of Robert Fistick of the Library of Congress, the 13 reels of audiotape shipped by NASA in the 1970s, were discovered in 2011 in NARA's "uncatalogued collection," converted to .wavs and .mp3s, burned to CDs and thumbdrives, and presented to Professor Bannerman in celebration of his 90th birthday (as well as to Indiana University for second shot at permanent preservation).

The thirteen episodes are available for your own "theater of the mind" enjoyment -- HERE.

 

Professor Bannerman