ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY NEWS AUDIO EDITION – 04/30/2020

by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 


Music from https://filmmusic.io
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • I TOLD YOU SO, PART 1.

Playwrights Horizons Debuts New Fiction Podcast With Works by Heather Christian, Robert O’Hara, and More.

Playwrights Horizons has launched Soundstage, a new scripted fiction podcast from the Off-Broadway theatre that was originally scheduled to be released later this year. Due to the pandemic, and the number of people now at home, Playwrights released the first episode, penned by Obie winner Heather Christian, April 9.

Soundstage features new works by playwrights and composers penned specifically for the audio medium. The launch episode, Christian’s PRIME: A Practical Breviary, is a 10-song cycle inspired by cloistered monks’ breviary masses. 

Commissioned playwrights creating work for future seasons include Kirsten Childs, Milo Cramer, Jeremy O. Harris, Lucas Hnath, Carlos Murillo, Jenny Schwartz, and Kate Tarker.

https://bit.ly/3a5z3Di

  • I TOLD YOU SO, PART 2.

New Audio Drama From Jesse Eisenberg To Be Released As Audible Original.

Actor Jesse Eisenberg has written and performed a new six-hour original audio drama for Audible. When You Finish Saving The World, in which interconnected monologues tell three members of one family’s story. The production co-stars Finn Wolfhard from Stranger Things and will debut later this year as an Audible Original exclusive.

https://bit.ly/2JXr9AZ

  • RESOURCES.

A Look At the Heavy Lifting Behind The Truth’s ‘The Body Genius’.

This article by Mariel Cariker explores the process behind the creation of the mini-series, The Body Genius, on the anthology fiction podcast, The Truth. In interviews with both Jonathan Mitchell, creator of The Truth, and Hunter Nelson, writer of The Body Genius and a former writer for The Onion, the article covers everything from the initial pitch (yes, podcasters sometimes need to pitch, too) to writing, recording, and sound design. 

From the article: “Because the scene is still relatively new, every artist who brings a crazy or personal or ambitious project they couldn’t get made elsewhere to the world of audio fiction stands a good chance of doing something that’s never been done before and permanently altering the landscape.”

As an example of what it takes to get a podcast series on the interwebz, this article is a must read.

https://bit.ly/2XstwEa

  • IF YA WANNA WRITE, YA GOTTA LISTEN.

Uncanny County.

Mystical truck drivers. Robots gone haywire. [Patrice? Are you there?] Killer clown demons. And pie. So. Much. Pie. This quirky, darkly comic, Southwestern-flavored anthology brings you a new paranormal audio play every month. Sit back, open your ears, and hold on tight. Because you’re about to take a quick detour…through Uncanny County.

Created by Todd Faulkner, who played Agent Loeb of FX’s The Americans,  and Alison Crane, this series provides a folksy melange of horror and humor that made me a fan from the first episode. As a lead-in for the third season they are putting out a mini-series of 5-minute shorts called Tales From A Distance Of No Less Than Six Feet. At five episodes as of this writing, the series is no less than a total delight. The sound design is sparse, but the writing and the performances more than make up for that. I truly love this format. Highly recommended.

https://www.uncannycounty.com/


Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating.

Diana Black: Happiness amid Sorrow, Gloom and Mass Hysteria

by Diana Black

Death, oppression and panic invariably lead to gloom and depression – economic and personal.

Over the last 100 years or so, we’ve had WWI (1914), Spanish Influenza (1918), The Great Depression (1929), WWII (1939), Round One of the Corona viruses – SARS – CoV (2003), the GFC (2008) then Round Two – MERS – CoV (2012), and now Round Three – COVID -19…

Sales of romance narratives soared during the WWII and the GFC… why their success over grittier, darker fare? Nostalgic escapism into happier times or what could be a brighter future? Within romance narratives a happy ending is paramount, but prior to the happy couple walking off arm-in-arm, there must be moments of heart-felt solace and a sense of the best of who we are (or can aspire to be).

And most critical in a world where mass hysteria and wall-to-wall uncertainty reigns supreme, ‘predictability’ in the form of a sunset clause on the misery.

While it may have been only books and the cinema that lightened hearts and minds in times past, later on it was the little screen and now – via multiple streaming platforms. In those earlier times, audiences wanted uplifting, romantic films, swashbuckling adventures awash with heroism, love and comedic delight. Are we similarly flocking to uplifting, lighter narratives? The jury is still out on that one…

A perusal of what’s trending on Netflix, Hulu, Tubi, HBO and Amazon – reveals an eclectic mix of dramatic and supernatural narratives – all with a dark underbelly.

There’s some comedies peppered with snitty/witty dialogue. Disney Plus is the apparent ‘go to’ for family friendly fare, with much of their material on the lighter, less snittier side. Will we see more of it in this current Covid-19 era?

The Australian film producer, David Lightfoot (Wolf Creek, 2005…a horror-thriller) would seem to think so – currently clearing his slate and shelving violent movies for feel-good dramas and comedy. He et al anticipate a strong demand for uplifting cinema once over the COVID-19 lockdown.

Another production from ‘down under’, the “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”, explores the unbridled optimism of a smart and progressive, Lady Detective.

The television series ended a while back, but she and her gallant Jack, have returned to the Acorn TV screening site in “Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears”. Why is the character Phryne Fisher so damn popular she even has fans so ardent they rival hard-core Trekkies?

Optimism…and it’s in short supply these days…

As this current misery lingers on, and with us having been willingly enthralled by dark cynicism for so long via courtroom, hospital and detective dramas, grim fantasies and ghastly doco’s revealing humanity’s sleazier side, one wonders whether we’re capable of embracing lighter narrative fare.

Are we so jaded by the harsh reality of our current world crises that we cannot escape into the virtual cinemas aka our all-too-small living quarters?

Maybe the burden of guilt lays too heavy.

We’ve collectively brought this on ourselves through the overpopulation of our species (many of whom would in the natural world have long since ‘passed’), coupled with a total disregard and respect for Nature that’s allowed mega-cities of unhygienic humans – enough of whom embracing disgusting and unethical dietary habits, to become disease-riddled petri-dishes.

Miss Phryne Fisher, we need you.

And in the real world, what will be Round Four?


Diana Black is an optioned screenwriter who has placed in competitions with features and teleplays.  She’s also a professional actor with a Bachelor of Creative Arts – Drama, Film & TV and a regular contributor to TVWriter™.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY NEWS AUDIO EDITION – 04/23/2020

by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 


Music from https://filmmusic.io
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • I TOLD YOU SO.

7 New Netflix Shows in April 2020, and the Best Reasons to Watch.

One of those shows, The Midnight Gospel, is an adaptation of a podcast. “Have you ever wondered what podcasting might look like in the future, especially if that future was animated? Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward and podcaster Duncan Trussell have teamed up for an imaginative vision of alternate reality podcasting. First of all, it’s called “spacecasting,” and the eight-episode first season follows Clancy, a slacker spacecaster who lives in another dimension called The Chromatic Ribbon.”

https://www.indiewire.com/2020/04/netflix-best-new-shows-april-2020-full-list-1202222610/

  • RESOURCES, PART 1.

From Power Rangers to X-Men, Karl Dutton Turns Action Into Audio Dramas.

This interview with Karl Dutton, founder of Scyther Podcasts and creator of X-Men: The Audio Drama, Power Rangers: The Audio Drama, and the Batman: The Long Halloween mini-series, discusses the production process for his numerous series. When asked why he got into audio fiction, Dutton replied, “Honestly? Budget. The fact that I wanted to do these super high-concept sci-fi works but didn’t have the means to do so.” In this short and newbie-friendly interview Dutton talks about writing, production, and casting. A good read with links to his work.

https://innotechtoday.com/karl-dutton/

  • RESOURCES, PART 2.

March 2020 Audio Drama, Fiction and RPG Podcast Debut Releases.

A new compilation of all the audio fiction podcasts he could find debuting in March. There are over sixty of them, one for every taste. Including, of course, mine own, Escape Scifi!

https://bit.ly/3bNzFOV

  • RESOURCES, PART 3.

Short Fiction Best Practices with Jonathan Mitchell.

In this interview with the ubiquitous Wil Williams on Spotify for Podcasters Jonathan Mitchell, creator of audio fiction anthology show, The Truth, talks about “his history in podcasts and broadcast [media], the importance of structure in storytelling, and how to deliver poignant stories in a short amount of time.”

Mitchell’s advice: “Understand the importance of character and how character relates to story. Love the medium. Think a lot about how you listen to things and what you hear. Follow the stuff that makes you really inspired to play.”

Read the whole thing, then listen to The Truth.

https://podcasters.spotify.com/blog/short-fiction-best-practices-with-jonathan-mitchell

http://www.thetruthpodcast.com/

  • IF YA WANNA WRITE, YA GOTTA LISTEN.

Old Gods of Appalachia.

This fiction podcast puts the lie to the widely held belief that single narrator shows are boring. Steve Shell, writer and narrator, has a wonderful voice that burrows down deep in your guts and sets its hook. This podcast sits at the pinnacle of the classic spooky storytelling tradition, but is elevated even further by the immersive soundscape and music. The language is lyrical and hypnotic. I can’t say enough good things about Old Gods of Appalachia. Go listen.

https://www.oldgodsofappalachia.com/


Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY NEWS AUDIO EDITION – 04/16/2020

by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 


Music from https://filmmusic.io
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • I TOLD YOU SO.

Dramatic Audio Podcast “World of Tomorrow” Focuses on Fictitious Experimental Prototype City of The Future Filled With Mysteries and Intrigue.

The Mouse roars into audio fiction podcasting. Walt Disney World News Today announced the late February drop of a new audio fiction podcast called World of Tomorrow — Murder in Progress from writer/director Benjamin Lancaster, known for “The Further Adventures of Walt’s Frozen Head.” 

The series, which is available on all major podcasting platforms, and also on YouTube, follows the life of Tim E. Less. A self-styled private eye, Tim E. Less is on a search to uncover who killed one of Progress City’s most prominent citizens. 

Currently 20 people are involved with the show’s production. The series lead of Tim E. Less will be played by Brian Ballace, and Callie Willis will play the female protagonist Eve R. Moore.

https://bit.ly/3bxILPD

  • RESOURCES, PART 1.

The Podcast Glossary: Podcasting Terms, Lingo, & Jargon Explained!

From The Podcast Host comes one of the best glossaries of podcasting terms I’ve yet seen. There are even links to other articles that expand on the terms defined. Written by Matthew McLean, one of the co-creators of A Scottish Podcast, a fiction podcast that’s been around since 2016, this article is a must read.

https://bit.ly/3dA9Y6g

  • RESOURCES, PART 2.

How Do You Edit And Produce An Audio Drama Podcast?

Again from The Podcast Host is an article about editing and producing an audio fiction show. I disagree with a couple of the points at the very beginning of this article, but it was written almost exactly (at the time of this writing) two years ago, so I’ll give it a pass. Most of this piece is timeless as it outlines Matthew McLean’s (yes, him again) editing and production process. McLean answers the question, “How do I do this?” 

https://bit.ly/2UoIGID

  • WHAT? I NEED A WEBSITE, TOO?

Podpage. A Web Platform for Podcasters.

Podpage is a new website platform specifically for podcasters. This platform was designed to automatically structure your site for episodes, categories, custom pages, sponsor links, player links, and optimize your pages for social network links. One of the most valuable features automatically updates your site whenever you post a new episode to your feed. 

The downside is that it is relatively expensive, $60 per year for the Basic option, and $180 per year for the Professional option. There are a lot of free and lower-priced options out there, but they require a more labor intensive effort than Podpage appears to. Are these lower priced options a false economy given that your time is your money? Only you can make that decision.

https://www.podpage.com/

  • IF YA WANNA WRITE, YA GOTTA LISTEN.

Red Valley.

Hypersleep. Stasis. Cryonic preservation. Warren Godby (Writer/Co-Director Jonathan Williams) plays an accounts man struggling to fit in at enormous tech corporation Overhead.He’s assigned to track down a defunct research station that has disappeared from the books. His investigation introduces him to Gordon Porlock (Co-Director/Producer Alan Mandel), a recluse from the archives department who’s eager to share recordings from the station’s last known occupant, Aubrey Wood (Tash Reith-Banks). 

Together, the three of them journey to the limits of experimental science, confront horror and trauma from the past, present and future, and try to remember the level select cheat from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. ?Take a seat in a battered 1998 Vauxhall Astra, turn on the tape deck, and learn what really happened at Red Valley.

An intriguing story well presented by two hapless cogs in the machine.

https://www.redvalleypod.com/


Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY NEWS AUDIO EDITION – 04/09/2020

by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 


Music from https://filmmusic.io
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


  • I TOLD YOU SO, PART 1.

Why Wondery Thinks The Next Game Of Thrones Will Come On Audio Through Podcasts.

In this interview with Jen Sargent, Chief Operating Officer of Wondery, one of the world’s leading podcast content creators, she talks about where she sees serialized podcasts going. In regards to how podcasts and Hollywood are related, she said, “Wondery has about nine shows in active development, all are either optioned or ordered to series across multiple networks and platforms and production houses.”

https://bit.ly/3dhs64Q

  • I TOLD YOU SO, PART 2.

iHeart Podcasts Could Become TV Shows.

UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, has signed a multi-year first-look deal with podcast network, iHeart. UCP President Dawn Olmstead said, “Partnering with iHeart to not only adapt some of their enviable and extensive podcast library to television but also expand the production and reach of UCP Audio originals is a giant leap in our platform building strategy. We look forward to making waves in the podcast space this year and we are very excited to have iHeart joining us on our endeavor.” Pay attention, folks. Things are gettin’ real.

https://bit.ly/3blgcVN

  • RESOURCES, PART 1.

The Art And Science Of Podcast Show Descriptions.

Dan Misener returns with another data geek’s delight. In this article he analyses podcast descriptions. That’s the part that’s supposed to hook a potential listener into giving your podcast a try. In addition, that’s where the search engines go to find podcasts for people who are looking for them. You think that’s important? I do. He has some specific recommendations for structuring your description. His most important recommendation: “Include the hookiest, most important human-readable details at the beginning of your show description.” Read it.

https://bit.ly/385i5nj

  • RESOURCES, PART 2.

Chartable Has Its Own Top 200 Charts.

Chartable has introduced its own list of the top 200 podcasts in just about any category. They break the podcasts down into 47 different categories. I know. I counted them. There are even separate categories for fiction podcast rank and fiction podcast trends.

https://chartable.com/charts/chartable

  • RESOURCES, PART 3.

How To Get Help With Your Podcast.

To be honest, deciding to start your own audio fiction podcast is — daunting. That’s a good word. But help is available, and this article by Matthew McLean, one of the creators and stars of A Scottish Podcast, a supernatural comedy fiction podcast, will lead you down the path. As with most DIY podcast articles this was written with non-fiction podcasters in mind, but it applies just as well to fiction podcasters. 

https://bit.ly/3974uMZ

  • IF YA WANNA WRITE, YA GOTTA LISTEN.

The Liberty Podcast.

This podcast from Fool and Scholar Productions, the brain-child of Travis Vengroff and Kaitlin Statz, has been running since 2017. It encompases three main story lines: Vigilance (one season), Critical Research (two seasons), and Tales from the Tower. That last began its fourth season in March with a first episode that will knock your socks off! The sound design by Travis and the writing by Kaitlin are — well — professional (that seems so inadequate). The season premiere will leave you clicking the download button for episode 2 before you even realize what you’re doing.

 http://libertyendures.com/podcasts


Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating.