The City park radio programming guidelines are strictly G so we had to invent an expletive Terry could say on air – he is after all a male 20 something bogan and aliens are shooting at him, so our actor Michael came up with flip! for our f word. The sound editor shall fire a handy blaster shot any time he tries that s word.
Testing the Translation Circuit
It’s science fiction so there are long technical explains and worse – alien words. The Questr is equipped with a handy translation device that magically works at a distance. So we can stick with english as the truly universal language, and use fake alien accents – the radio equivalent of a Dalek costume 🙂
However it’s always a surprise to a script writer as to which innocuous little words trip the tongues of the voice actors. Star shines will become shar stines, capacitors morph into capacitators, and time saving efforts turn into marathon recording sessions. After handling the periodic table with ease Rowena created the Thornhill capacitator, our take on a flux capacitor. So now its super special. “fruity tropical lime with a hint of hazlenut character” that was a little line i got off a bottle of Josef Chromy chardonnay and seriously regretted. Took a dozen takes and script writer was about to be strangled since the bottle was empty and we couldn’t just drown our woes.
Our script writers actually dodge creating alien names. just alien 1 alien 2 etc… They have no problems creating characters and convoluted plots but were so pleased I found this handy thing online fantasynamegenerators.com I haven’t yet tried hustling them into making up a language as involved as say Dothraki. Maybe season 3.
We’ve all heard the old story about how on Halloween night in 1938, Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds caused such panic across America that police raided the broadcast office demanding the fictionalised Martian invasion be interrupted. Whether apocryphal – as now thought – or not, the story demonstrated how, from the 1920s to the 1950s, radio drama was a powerful and popular medium.
But with the advent of TV, audio serials gradually disappeared from broadcast schedules in the US and Australia – and in 2010, when even the UK’s BBC Radio 4 was cutting back on its Friday Play, commentators wondered aloud whether video had finally killed the radio star.
But no – in fact, we are in the midst of a remarkable revival in great quality audio drama that is attracting millions of new listeners. Spurred on by new technology, business models and techniques for engaging an audience, there has been an explosion of audio drama production start-ups – with more than 200 independents currently active.
The fact is, audio drama never really died. Public service broadcasters – such as Ireland’s RTE and France’s ArteRadio – have kept the flag flying for new drama, while the UK’s BBC Radio 3, 4 and 4 Extra remain a significant cultural force with more than 10m listeners to their collective output. Equally, independent producers in the US had doggedly pushed out content through the distribution of tapes and CDs. But this is a costly process – and too frequently commercial broadcasters have calculated that the higher costs of drama don’t match well with the short slots required for advertising revenue.
Podcasting changes this in three important respects: there are little broadcasting or distribution overheads to be paid, no commissioning gate-keeper to be persuaded and, crucially, no limit to the potential audience. If an idea captures an audience’s imagination it can gain scale rapidly and go international. It’s this aspect that has seized the popular imagination, as fictional drama such as Welcome to Night Vale (2012) and the non-fiction crime podcast Serial (2014) have picked up millions of new listeners – and, in the case of Serial, made headlines.
Indeed, increasingly the name “radio drama” has become a misnomer. Public service radio broadcasters increasingly combine digital radio transmission with live internet streaming and platforms for accessing live content – such as the BBC’s excellent iPlayer Radio. New independent producers often work exclusively over the internet, combining transmissions with social media to bring the audience with them in building the story.
Click here for success
One of the reasons for the break out success of Welcome to Night Vale – a supernatural drama run on a shoestring budget – was its huge following on social media platforms, such as Tumblr, where the show’s mysteries were picked apart and deciphered.
Unshackled from a reliance on broadcasts, independent producers have really excelled in
devising new ways to get closer to their audiences. Quirky science-fiction drama such as The Bright Sessions and Wolf 359 engage their listeners across a dizzying range of channels, giving special talks and content to financial contributors. They also benefit from a regular flow of appreciative fan-art. Comedies such as Wooden Overcoats and The Thrilling Adventure Hour do live performances. You Are Here follows the adventure book model, allowing listeners to decide the plot.
Major producers such as BBC Radio have often struggled to catch up with the burgeoning independent scene – their output is just so broad and varied. As a consequence, BBC Radio has sought to emulate some of the tactics of independents, making separate iTunes and social media feeds for big names such as The Archers (now running in its 65th year) and special productions, such as the recent Tracks. Indeed, in order to build anticipation for the forthcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, listeners have been invited to submit their own illustrations.
Popularity into profits
Yet in this new landscape, big public broadcasts retain the major advantage of a reliable revenue stream. By contrast, one of the downsides of the free-to-air model is that popularity is no guarantee of sustainable funding.
Consequently, there has been a flurry of innovation to generate funding. Many UK audio dramas, such as The Light of September, Mars Corp and Wooden Overcoats, have relied on Kickstarter campaigns to pay for productions upfront, others, such as Greater Boston and ars Paradoxica, build popularity first then income through the Patreon donation service. Advertising revenue is another option – but this requires a certain threshold of audience size and can detract from the intimacy of the content unless the drama presents itself as part of the real world, as does The Black Tapes.
A commission from a broadcaster is of course the lowest risk option, but though the BBC has a mandate to bring new writers to public attention, the high level of submissions makes commissioning a drawn-out process. Yet as the infrastructure around the internet matures, networks have emerged to link producers with advertisers and promoters. Amazon’s Audible has also entered the market with the aim of commissioning eye-catching drama to supplement its audiobook catalogue.
Perhaps the most successful model among independent producers, however, must be Big Finish, the longstanding UK-based audio drama company that has obtained licences from big TV franchises such as Doctor Who to produce straightforward pay-per-download content. By taking advantage of the brand recognition, they are able introduce loyal fans to their extensive catalogue of content in other ranges and genres.
Thanks to competition between the public and independent sector, and the development of new funding models, there is a rich harvest of high quality drama for anyone who cares to find it. In the immediate future, the prospects for audio drama look strong as technological changes make this long-forgotten medium suddenly desirable among multitasking millennials. In a connected world, individuals can take a story from their phone, to their house, to their car without ever needing to break the flow of the story or take their eyes off the road.
Set on Gallifrey in the Rassilon Era, we meet the young Theta Sigma and her best friend, a boy, in trouble again at the Timelord academy. Rather than miss out on ‘the school excursion’ in the time capsules they seize an opportunity to head out of poorly supervised detention and climb aboard what will become “the Questr“.
Written By Adam Brooks
Cast: The Doctor and Narrator – Rowena Dinsmore, Best Friend – Adam Brooks, Students/soldiers/rebels – Brooke Malloy,Royce Gale,Carolyn Rutter, Teacher – John Brooks
Edited by: Adam Brooks, Carolyn Rutter and Trevor Sneath
Theme Music Played by Elvis Smith and Jack Willett
Adam wanted to explore the doctor’s youth and also to have a female protagonist. He set the story in what was mentioned within the Whovian canon as a favourite period of earth’s history. Being female and having no budget constraints with wardrobe ( big benefit of audio drama!) meant we could indulge in some frills, literally, to underscore her youth and femininity.
Sound FX *
[ White Noise ] Real Library Sound by REAL Sound
[Ambient Background Sounds] Museum visit by Sleepy Sheep
British Museum, Entrance Hall by MasterSoundEffects
St James's Park祐pring Afternoon
Classroom by Random/Pointless Videos
Ambient Medieval/Fantasy Town Sounds (Put on Loop) by Helix
Lord of the Rings ASMR - Rivendell - Ambient sound white noise by ASMR Rooms
City Park Sound Effects by CMIUC100
Market Place (foreign voices) by HQSFX
People Talking in Background Ambience
Park SOUND EFFECTS - Outside Ambience City Stadt SOUNDS by BerlinAtmospheres
Footsteps SOUND EFFECTS Good for outdoors, with extra people too
Footsteps - SOUND EFFECTS (creaky stairs and various others
Sci Fi Beeps by BerlinAtmospheres
High School Hallway Ambience by SoundEffectsFactory
23 FOOTSTEPS Looping Sound Pack [FREE DOWNLOAD] by SoundLikeTube
Knock On Door And Footsteps (Creepy House) by Nosferatu Sound Effects
Horror Sound Effect - Creaking Door Open (Drawn Out)
Horror Sound Effect - Horror Scream
Sliding Wooden Door by Sound FX
Door Sound Collection by Sound Effects Central
Sliding Glass Doors by Sound Effects
Button Press Sound
Sliding Closet Door Series by Free Sound Effects
Sliding Glass Door Opening by Audio Library - Sound Effects
Top 10. Most Terrifying Wild Animal Sounds by Hannibal Lectorr
5 Terrifying Animal Sounds by DeltaForge
5 Strange Sounds No One Can Explain by Beyond Science
Wild animal sounds for kids by nutolina
Engine room noise
Scream Collection - Female by Sound Effects Central
Footsteps On Stairs Sound Effect by Audio Productions
Footsteps Wooden Stairs Sound Effect by Audio Enabled
Wooden stairs squeak sound effect (normal speed) by Jojikiba