The eerie music in the background and the small soundFx of rockets or other space objects passing by… This audio clip was good at creating an image in my head, when the two astronauts were talking about the crash it was almost like a horror movie, one of the astronauts describes the crash as “magnificent decimation”. You know something bad is about to happen when you hear the eerie music playing. The small amount of static was a key part as well, because it really made it believable that they were talking to each other through the radio. Our brains hear certain sounds and it stimulates the Reticular Activation System. The science behind sound triggering our emotions in our brain with sounds is well documented.
Trying to elicit a mood with just sound can be hard, so one has to use the correct voice tone when playing the part or play the correct soundFx. When the astronauts realized they were stranded on the moon and would inevitably die there, they had to sell that emotion of serene calm in their voice. We had to feel that emotion with them otherwise it is just someone reading words that have no meaning.
I actually enjoyed the thought of an alternate universe that Moon Graffiti used. There have been several movies or TV shows that have used this concept. Planet of the Apes is one that comes to mind and a very popular series on Amazon Prime called The Man in the High Castle is more recent. The show depicts what America would be like if the Axis powers had won WWII.
I also listened to the podcast This American Life Episode477: Getting Away With It. The story talking about his childhood came to life by the background music and the subtle ways he talked. Throwing in a few Spanish phrases that his mom used to talk to him, also made me feel as if I was there getting talked to her by his mother.