Audio Drama 101 pt. 2

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Audio Drama 101
Audio Drama 101 Part Deux

In the last post you will recall I said I would ask the team here at FateCrafters for any advice they would like to offer to those of us who would like to dive headfirst into audio drama. Before I could even blink, I had received three different responses!

In this post, I am delighted to bring you Words of Wisdom from one of our newest members, who incidentally, is the longest serving audio drama producer in team FateCrafters, M J Cogburn of Darker Projects.

Words of Wisdom

As you have read on the website, our mission is to help and support each other in the creative process, so that we can bring you the best in immersive drama – something for everyone’s taste.

We were discussing in our most back of back rooms – huddled in a group whispering to each other when it was brought up that we might want to bring some of these ideas to you, our dedicated listeners!

Collectively, between all of us here, we are actors, directors, editors, writers, producers and post-producers. No matter the position we have taken upon ourselves – each and every position is a rewarding, gratifying situation to be in because we are helping to revive a “dead art form.”

“Audio drama? A dead art form?” you may ask. Well, yes. Close to a hundred years ago radio drama had its initial development; however, within a twenty-year span, it became a leading international entertainment. When the television was invented in the 1950’s, the drop in radio drama began and as technology continued to soar into new and more fancied gadgets – records, 8 track tapes, cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs – it’s understandable why it dropped off.

Lately, though, if you look around, you’ll find more and more audio dramas popping up, and the Modern Audio Drama world is proving over and over again that this “dead art form” is not as “dead” as it may seem.  If you look at the creative people in this community you’ll find that they are run and staffed either by the founders themselves, or they are being headed by volunteers. Can you imagine that? A group of people writing in a creative, inspiring style who, in turn, give the script to amazing vocalists, who then return said lines to a post-producer to put in sound effects and music so that it can finish up the picture that is painted in your mind’s eye.

So … what do they get for all this work? No matter which audio company you look at – every company has the warm, fuzzy feeling of doing a job well done. They are exceedingly proud of what they have put out and would love to hear some feedback from anyone who listened to the show(s) they have finished. Other than that fuzzy feeling – what else do they get?  Some companies ask you to pay a minimal fee to listen to their work; while others give of their talent, time and passion for free.

No matter which company you are looking at, there are a few things that you might want to know.

A Few Things About Audio Drama

1) Original scripts for an audio drama can require  anywhere from a few weeks  to a few months to prepare, from securing the rights to produce it from the original author to vetting the story, to adapting the story into an audio script, getting the author’s final approval, and finally release it to the actors.

2) Actors need a minimum of two weeks to record their lines. These people have jobs, families, and social lives – as do the rest of us. Most of the audio companies are not able to pay their actors for their work – so most actors are doing this for the love of acting.

3) For every (1) minute of finished audio drama, the average post producer needs 15 – 60 minutes to produce it. Yup. It can take up to 1 HOUR to get 1 MINUTE of the completed program done. It all depends on how involved a particular scene is.

4) Lastly, for a 30-minute original drama in audio format, you are looking at an investment of around 100 hours. Divide that into a typical day, and that can mean somewhere in the neighborhood of at least a month sometimes two months to finalize one of your favorite shows.

Your favorite podcast or series take a lot of work from a LOT of volunteers. So, please be supportive with your patience and good will toward them. Please keep this in mind when you are wondering when the next audio drama may be coming out.

Work Work Work

Thanks M J for that insightful, if not daunting perspective. Seriously though, if the sound of all that hard work still hasn’t shifted that yearning to create an audio drama of your own, then I’ll see you for the next thrilling installment of Audio Drama 101 in a couple of weeks.

Until then, why not check out M J’s work over at Darker Projects.

If you’ve just joined us, then check out the link below for part 1, where I explain why I’ve gone mad and decided to create an audio drama.

 In part 3 we look at creating a podcast on a shoestring.