Have you ever said to yourself, “What the world needs now is a professional, commercial podcast network?” Neither has this TVWriter™ minion. But now that I think about it, what a great idea! (Provided that don’t bar the door to newbies, like everything else calls itself a network seems to do.)
The pic is the network. Here’s the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/deadlymanners/deadly-manners-trailer
by KC Ifeanyi
Podcast dramas have bubbled in the recent past as a modern resurgence of the radio serials of yesteryear. Shows like Homecoming and Welcome to Night Vale became must-listens more so because it was a welcomed breeze in the sometimes stale landscape of topical or non-fiction podcasts in general. However, as novel as audio dramas may seem, it hasn’t necessarily translated into an abundance of advertisers–a familiar plight of podcasts at large. But Alex Aldea is set on changing that.
Aldea is the founder of the podcast network The Paragon Collective, home of the Reddit-born anthology series NoSleep, Darkest Night, and its most recent entry in the audio drama space Deadly Manners, a whodunnit murder mystery starring Kristen Bell, Anna Chlumsky, RuPaul, Denis O’Hare, and narrated by LeVar Burton.
“I think it’s a really cool a growing medium,” Aldea says. “I started Paragon about three and a half years ago and there’s been a big shift with me of trying to find a place where I felt I belonged. And the second we started working with NoSleep and getting into the fiction space, it just kind of clicked–and there’s really a hardcore fan base out there.”
Deadly Manners started as a pitch from TV writer Ali Garfinkel (Burn Notice, Hand of God) who had previously written two episodes of Darkest Night. Tonally speaking, Garfinkel says she wanted to make a show that would live somewhere between the 1992 black comedy Death Becomes Her and Clue–the challenge being that she couldn’t write Deadly Manners in the vein of either of her inspirations.
“I’m a TV writer so I’m very used to just writing for visuals. And so writing for an audio podcast, there’s no subtlety. You can’t have a scene with a bunch of actors looking at one another and sharing feelings with a glance–you have to describe everything because people are just listening,” Garfinkel says. “The thing about audio drama is that it seems like it would be less immersive than a TV show or movie, but when it’s recorded the way that Alex does it with the binaural headphones, you’re literally surrounded by sound and it’s a 3D experience. And I think for some people it has more of an impact than just watching a video.”
Creating that immersive experience is what Aldea hopes will pull in listeners beyond the fanbases his podcast network of shows has already accrued. And Aldea’s attention to production detail in order to execute his creative vision is something he’s not willing to shortchange–even if that means driving for hours just to use one microphone….