Audio Drama: ‘The White Vault’

Yeppers, kids, that’s right. We here at TVWriter™ still have a bug up our brainstems about audio drama. So hip, so trendy…and so cheap to produce so what’re you waiting for?

Big thanks to the obsessive Mr. Bob Tinsley for bringing the following article from the Fear Forever horror website to our attention so we can bring it to yours:

‘The White Vault’ Ashore
by Amy Seidman

The popular radio dramas of days past have seen a resurgence in popularity in modern day podcast form. One such podcast is the sci-fi horror-drama THE WHITE VAULT. FEAR FOREVER  spoke with this eerie and unsettling show’s creator Kaitlin Statz prior to their live show in New York City on March 13th (you can find ticket info here!)

FEAR FOREVER (FF):Introduce yourselves and tell us a little about THE WHITE VAULT?

KAITLIN STATZ (KS): I’m Kaitlin Statz, and I’m the creator and writer of THE WHITE VAULT and other audio drama podcasts. I work with Travis Vengroff, my co-creator and producer extraordinaire.  We are the key creators behind FOOL AND SCHOLAR PRODUCTIONS, where we strive to create audio drama podcasts as “Movies for your Headphones”.

FF: Kaitlin, where did the concept for THE WHITE VAULT come from?

KS: THE WHITE VAULT formed as the result of several influencing factors. I was constantly consuming horror media, as I do even now, and wrote short horror stories for a sci-fi anthology at that time. Also, I met some particularly interesting people, who were both positive influences on my writing and excellent character inspiration.  But the final push was a trip to Iceland.  While driving through the snowfields and ice-crowned mountains I realized how wonderfully dangerous something so beautiful could be.  I wanted to try my hand at the false sense of security society feels; something waiting to be easily torn away by the terror of Mother Nature, or by something we cannot fathom. I came home from that trip ready to write.

FF: THE WHITE VAULT would fall into the “found footage” sub-genre of horror which is to my knowledge, quite a niche sub-genre in the podcast/audio show medium. What made you decide to write and create the show in that format?

KS: I cannot take credit for being the first found-footage audio drama, as there are certainly others out there. I chose to cast the story through found-footage to help build a sense of realism, and as a lens for the story.

We pull together the bits of hope, confusion, and despair that permeates THE WHITE VAULT through the skills of our actors but, to help with this, the found-footage format creates background conversations, candid emotional outbursts, and mistakenly divulged information characters would otherwise deem too personal in a conversational setting.

Interestingly, it also works in reverse. Writing horror for THE WHITE VAULT leans on the pacing of information release. Found-footage allows for information to be discovered only as the characters encounter it, letting listeners follow the unfurling mystery along with bewildered and frightened characters.

FF: Who did you base your characters on?

KS: So many people. When I was underway with my Graduate studies, I was in classes and labs filled with interesting, dedicated people from across the globe.  These were intelligent students with an eagerness for knowledge and to progress their lives, ready to clear a path fitting their life view. I based many of the characters on how I envisioned my fellow graduate students in their futures; from the devastating divorces to the happy families, from excelling in their life-long dream to choosing a path otherwise unheard of.  It was these people who helped craft my character choices for  THE WHITE VAULT.

FF:What inspired you to set this in Arctic Circle?

KS: The awe of it.  I’ve been to the Arctic Circle, though never to Svalbard itself, and while many people live there, it is a wonderland of white wastes, glowing lights, chilling cold, and the wild power of nature. This is to say it is a place of beauty, but also a place to fear and respect.

Svalbard was chosen due to several political and natural reasons. Bureaucratically, the VISA work regulations for Svalbard are rather lax, so getting an international team to the island for work on short notice seemed more plausible. More importantly, the setting of the long polar night and natural fear of an island populated with polar bears helps to solidify a true fear of the natural world.

FF: Kaitlin how does your job in cartography play into THE WHITE VAULT?

KS: I’m not sure my fantasy cartography illustrations play into my creation of THE WHITE VAULT in any physical capacity, but the feeling of creating a story and creating a world is very similar. I put time and thought into how to form a map as I would a story, focusing on the perfect structures of mountains and dialogue….

Read it all at FearForever.Com