In this installment of her web series writing tips, Stephanie Bourbon answers all our novel writing career questions.
How does this help us as TV writers? Well, besides the personal satisfaction writing a novel can give (because there’s nobody hovering over you with second-guessing notes), there’s the little matter of how much money you can make if your book becomes a TV series or film. Not to mention what good little career launchers well-written novels can be.
While you mull this over, let Stephanie give you the deets.
Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer and illustrator. Now she’s branching out into video with a series of extremely helpful ones about – surprise! – writing and illustrating.
We don’t usually show trailers of broadcast or cable/satellite series, but today we’re making an exception because, hey, this is a fascinating look into one of TV’s most hotly awaited new shows.
We’re talking Watchmen, baby, based on the comic book series created by Alan Moore & David Gibbons. Except Moore’s name isn’t in any of the official credits because he demanded to be out, out, out of the loop, and for reasons probably having to do with gross ignorance, HBO refuses to use the term “comic book” and refers only to the comics’ later “graphic novel” version.
Anyway, if you’re a fan we think you’ll definitely enjoy checking this out.
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 are now trawling through podcasts looking 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.
Variety is partnering with the International Filmmaker Project to present the first 10 Storytellers to Watch event. Among the honorees are Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, creators of the podcast Limetown, now in post-production as a TV series, or FaceBook series. See below. The event will be in NYC on September 19.
If you need any more proof that podcasting is no longer an outlier in the entertainment industry, The New York NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show at the Javits Convention Center October 16-17 has a podcast track. “Sessions will examine aspects of launching and producing a podcast in the all-new Pop-Up Marketplace & Theater on Thursday, October 17.”
YouTube Creators Are Turning The Site Into A Podcast Network.
This fascinating article states that people are increasingly coming to YouTube to find podcasts, fiction and non-fiction. Canadian adults, according to Today’s Podcast Listener: 2019 National Survey Report from Futuri Media and the University of Florida, 43% of monthly podcast listeners listed YouTube as their primary source, beating iTunes/Apple Podcasts at 34% and Spotify at 23%. Why? Because YouTube is where they go for entertainment.
To increase engagement with their listeners, creators are creating secondary clip channels to go along with their primary podcast channel. Often the clip channel gets more “views” than the main channel even though it may have fewer subscribers.
Jessica Biel Is Willing to Die for Her Podcast in Facebook Watch’s ‘Limetown’ Trailer.
This might fall more into the web series bailiwick, but since it’s based on an audio fiction podcast series, I’m claiming it.
The video version of the audio fiction podcast, Limetown, stars Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci. But it’s not going to TV, either broadcast or subscription. It’s going, exclusively at least to begin with, to FaceBook Watch. Did you know there even was such a thing? Have you ever watched anything on it?
Podcorn, a new marketing platform, wants to help connect podcast creators with sponsors. They are launching with $2.2 million in seed money from venture capitalists. They promise that creators will have full control over rates, creativity and scheduling.
One of the angel investors, Ethan Kurzweil, said that Podcorn has “the marketplace expertise and product vision to have a profound impact on the industry and apply their creativity to create new partnership opportunities for podcasters and brands.”
The article is full of words like promise and hope, so caveat emptor.
Sound effects constitute one of the most important tools in the audio fiction creator’s tool box. As you have no access to visual cues, sound effects establish setting, action, and mood.
Finding the right sound effect also creates one of the biggest time-sucks in production. If you are a sound designer or have one on your team, great! Otherwise, the information in this article will save you some time.
Now that you know what Foley is, the talented Ele Matelan, foley artist extraordinaire, talks about the differences in performing foley in the studio and live on stage. Live Foley is a big deal when podcasts take their show on the road for live performances. More on that below.
The No Sleep Podcast, one of the most popular podcasts out there, just announced their third US and European tours putting on live shows pretty much everywhere that’s anywhere. They actually make money doing this. Ticket sales are wonderful.
Welcome to Night Vale, a weird fiction tour de force, has been touring since 2013. They don’t do this for kicks, folks. Well, not just for kicks. The ticket sales help too.
Fireside Mystery Theatre is an audio fiction podcast and variety show “with a decidedly modern macabre sensibility” recorded live once a month at The Slipper Room in NYC. They perform with a full cast, live foley, and musical acts. Tickets are available.
Every one of these presents a golden opportunity to see how audio fiction works. You might also be able to buy one of the producers or performers a drink afterward and pump them for info.
In this article Troy Price laments the fact that many podcasts rely on their hosting company’s RSS feed as their web home.
Hosting companies don’t allow you to post photos, cast biographies, set up a merchandise shop, or find and promote additional income streams through licensing.
And when someone asks you about your podcast when you’re away from easy web access, telling them to look for it on their favorite podcatcher doesn’t usually stick in their mind. Your website address usually will, if you name it right.
That’s another point Price makes: make the name of your website as close to the name of your podcast as you can. It’s a short read, but full of good information.
New York City hosts the She Makes Me Laugh Festival at The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) October 4th through the 6th. This comedy festival highlights female and non-binary performers and creators.
The festival also features live performances of the podcasts Bad Romance and Awkward Sex in the City. This constitutes a great opportunity to experience what it takes to produce a podcast and to talk with the producers. It also highlights the fact that podcasts and comedy are as natural a match as podcasts and horror.
This Lifehacker article gives a great overview of the author’s favorites in the Comedy, Drama and Musical genres. Musical? Really? Yep, it’s a thing. Obscure, but a thing. If you want a genre without much competition, this is your huckleberry.
According to the author, Nick Douglas, “Listening to podcasts without any audio dramas like watching TV without ever trying Game of Thrones or Arrested Development or Orange Is the New Black.”
IF YOU WANNA WRITE/PRODUCE, YOU GOTTA LISTEN, PART 2.
We’re Alive: Gold Rush, the second spin-off series from the original We’re Alive, debuted this week with 200,000 downloads in the first two days. The original story ran for four hugely successful seasons starting in 2009. The first spin-off titled We’re Alive: Lockdown consisted of six episodes.
There is also We’re Alive: Frontier, a live-action, on video, RPG show behind a paywall on Project Alpha beginning its second season in October. The We’re Alive podcast series has accumulated 160 million downloads.
Click the link below. While you’re there, take some time to wander through the website. The production and fan support for We’re Alive has made Kc Wayland, writer, director, producer, the 800-pound gorilla in the audio fiction arena.
So, until next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, keep listening and keep creating.
SPEAKING OF AUDIO FICTION…
Did you know that all audio fiction entries in TVWriter™’s PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 pilot script competition are eligible for the two major category prizes plus special prizes and a reduced entry fee?
The only element in this article that’s even more appealing than its immense helpfulness is its warm, moving candor. The writer, Andrea Jarrell, now has several more big fans – LB and the rest of us here at TVWriter™. Here’s why:
How I Stopped Sabotaging My Writing Goals: Confessions of a Late Bloomer
by Andrea Jarrell
Given that I published my first book at age 55, some might call me a late-blooming author. I am. But not because I suddenly discovered writing and decided to write a book. I am a late bloomer because I finally stopped sabotaging myself and did the work needed to realize life-long ambitions.
Writing books is all I ever wanted to do. Yet, for many years, I wore my writing dream like a costume—acting the part but never really committing to the work. Throughout my childhood, teens and 20s, I might have looked like someone working for her dream: sending earnest poems to teen magazines and entering contests, majoring in the right subjects, founding student publications, and working in New York City publishing jobs.
Sometimes a glimmer of the dream would start to come true: winning the Rotary Creative Writing Contest in junior high, getting into selective writing workshops, getting my first byline in a national magazine. But instead of these little wins driving me towards my dream, they often caused me to back away and to talk about the dream more than to go after it.
In my late 20s, I got jobs alongside my dream—jobs in marketing and PR that required a bit of writing talent. These jobs felt safe and productive. I got married and started a family. By my early 30s I had fashioned other goals that took me up a management ladder as I pretended the original dream to write books no longer mattered. I felt vaguely depressed every time I went into a bookstore but didn’t examine this feeling too carefully.
Of course my nemesis was fear—fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being told I didn’t have talent, that I wasn’t the best, that I had to work harder. Harder? The truth is I hadn’t been working at all….