By Scott Murray
I'm sure by now many people are wondering what they're going to hear when they tune into The Crimson Files starting August 24th. So, I thought I would answer some questions in the blog today.
What kind of show am I going to hear?
In a lot of ways, a fiction podcast is like listening to an audiobook with more voices, music and sound effects. Another key difference is that this story was written FOR audio as opposed to something written for print and adapted to audio.
Superhero stories and be anything from light-hearted to dark. What is the tone of The Crimson Files?
I would say The Crimson Files has a tone that could be closely associated films like Ant-Man with hints of the 1966 Batman TV series.
So there's humor?
Yes. There is humor in every episode, and sometimes you don't see it coming. There are characters in the story (Mr. Bill, Slick Saucy, Doc, Grandma Jeanie) who will say and do things at any time that might make you laugh. There are also several pop culture references, as well as nods to other superhero stories and other movies within the series.
What kind of quality should I expect?
Expect a high level of quality, especially in the voice actors and the production of the show. A high volume of days and hours are going into making the best possible show for the audience.
What's the best way to indulge in the story? Is it hard to follow?
Fiction podcasts are a "theater of the mind" form of entertainment. Many people will listen, and the show will generate visuals in their head. Others will listen and just follow along. A lot of work goes into making the story easy for the listener to follow (on the script and post-production side). There is also room for people to come to their own conclusions as to what is happening in certain scenes (like fight scenes).
How many episodes are in Season One?
There are six episodes in Season One, and each episode is about 25 minutes. A new episode will post every Friday starting August 24th.
Will there be a Season Two?
Most likely. The response and reaction to the first season will play a major role in making it happen. I can tell you that I have TONS of ideas for multiple seasons.
By Scott Murray
It's hard to believe that I made the decision to develop, write and produce a fiction podcast back in May, and in 2 weeks we'll wrap production on the first season. In my experience as a creative content producer, I've noticed that when you set out to work on a new project, two things are likely to happen:
1. You hit several roadblocks and challenges that hinder the project
2. One thing after another falls into place and keeps the project rolling
For me, if the first situation happens...it's a sign that I'm not on the right track. It might be necessary to blow it up, and start over. Fortunately, The Crimson Files has experienced the other scenario. From June until now:
1. I developed the story
2. Started writing scripts
3. Found an affordable recording studio
4. Held auditions and invited voice actors to audition
5. Cast all the roles
6. Got a show theme produced
7. Got artwork produced
8. Started production and post-production
9. Launched a website and promos
10. Set a premiere date
It's not to say there haven't been challenges, but overall everything has come together so well. It's even exceeded my expectations. My wife wasn't sure what to make of this idea at first. However, as scripts were written, she got to hear our talented actors bring characters to live and listened to produced/edited show content...she's 100 percent invested in this now.
I've also had the chance to have a couple of trusted colleagues listen to the first episode. One of these colleagues is an avid fiction podcast listener. They both had similar comments about the show:
1. The character of Wyatt is likable, and you care about him
2. The pacing is perfect
3. They are very interested to know what happens in Episode 2
Number 3 is especially significant because having people interested in COMING BACK after the first episode is key. This was another sign that this was the right project to pursue.
I finished writing the last two episodes of the first season this week. There was some added pressure in this because I knew it was important to have a fitting wrap-up and a meaningful finale. I have to say that I'm very pleased with how it ends and how it sets up another season.
August 24th is the target date to launch the show. I can't wait for you all to hear it.
By Scott Murray
As I worked on the central storyline for The Crimson Files, I didn't want to throw together a stereotypical superhero origin story and plot. I felt that would come off unoriginal and kind of gutsy. So, I started to think about a central character that could be connected to the hero and tell their story.
I thought about how reporters have been a prominent part of comic book/superhero history. Obviously, in the earlier days, that meant newspaper. I actually thought about going "old school" and creating a reporter that sought out the truth about the hero while most of the newsroom spun their stories into negatives about her. However, I didn't know if it would really come off "classic style" or if it would just sound like I wasn't aware that there are other forms of media in 2018.
So, if it wasn't newspaper, the next obvious choice was internet. However, I still didn't feel like a reporter for an internet news site was interesting enough. So, I turned to the YouTuber and internet celebrity side of things. I felt that really showcased today's media - how anyone can generate engaging or viral content and become famous.
In the first audio trailer for the show, you hear Wyatt and his friend Reggie attempting to create a scary ghost hunting video. We find out that the internet had a field day making fun of it. Then, we learn that it's an accidental video recording that ends up changing his luck for the better.
By Scott Murray
Once I knew this fiction podcast was going to involve a superhero, I immediately started to think about her costume and powers. The creative process actually evolved pretty fast on this, and there were several components involved in it.
Inspiration from The Bat
I am a huge fan of Batman, and I love hearing the stories about how he inspires so many people to get through real-life challenges. I think he can do that because he's a hero without superpowers, yet he is one of the most badass and powerful heroes in comics.
I thought this story's hero could have similar attributes, but I also wanted to take it all a step further. I not only wanted her to be a hero that fights without superpowers, but also face her own set of challenges. When the series begins, she is basically an aspiring superhero. She's got very specific (and unique) reasons for choosing this life, but it all comes with consequences and risks.
Not only is it a challenging experiment, but she also has to deal with public perception. It's not as simple as putting on a costume and the city of Fort Henson is just ready to embrace her idea. I decided to create a hero that was not only willing to fight for good, but also do it no matter what people might say about her.
Something, Something Bird
Again, I knew I wanted wings and something bird-like. Needless to say, a lot superheros have bird names. Oddly, a crane hasn't been as prominent. Since I knew I didn't want her to fly (overused power), I thought the concept of her leaping high into the air (wings out) was just as cool. After all, while cranes can fly, they also have a graceful wings-out jumping ability. As the show progresses, you'll learn more about her crane-like gadgets.
I didn't think it was enough to call her The Crane (even though people might call her that for simplicity's sake). This is where a describer would fit in nicely, and I figured it had to be a color. CRIMSON seemed to be the best fit, especially since there are red-crowned cranes in existence.
Giving her voice
I generally take a very open-minded approach to auditions of any kind. I may have my own ideas of a look/sound, but I leave things open for creative interpretation and variety. That was a little more challenging for The Crimson Crane. She really had to have a strong, mature voice that could be friendly and tough. Fortunately, Stephanie Nadolny (Dragon Ball Z) and I have been talking about working together for years. The Crimson Files gave us that chance. She is the perfect voice for this character.
The first episode of The Crimson Files podcast is set to go out in August of 2018.
By Scott Murray
I've always been a very conceptual and visual person. Anytime I wrote something, it would always be based on the images in my head. Anytime I read something, my brain would attempt to produce a visual representation of it. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, but one major benefit was that I was never limited in the way I could tell stories.
I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, and long before I was attempting to make movies with my parents' video camera, I was producing content on audio cassette. I recorded over 50 tapes full of stuff, ranging from 1-2 hour stories to comedy skits. I did this using:
Then I would listen to them for entertainment. I would laugh a lot. While it may sound conceited for me to say I loved my own stuff, it wasn't like that. When the audio played, it triggered images in my head. Those images included different people playing the parts, as well as scenery, action scenes and more. So, my mindset was never that I was listening to my own content. However, I loved making them as much as I did listening to them.
Later on, I got to play these for other people. This included teachers letting me play them in my classes in high school. That was the biggest distribution I ever got. Many (including my parents) probably wondered, "What is the purpose for doing this?"
Well, maybe now we have an aswer.
However, it seems like it all started in my room so many years ago. This is definitely a more sophisticated project, but the story still originated the same way.
It also plays the same way, and I really hope audiences will enjoy this new audio story experience.
Insights and news about The Crimson Files Podcast.