By Scott Murray
I remember how nervous I was when Season One of The Crimson Files launched last year. Sure, I've been producing podcasts since 2011, and some of those included shows with story elements. However, I had never taken on anything of this magnitude. It took almost all summer to do the casting, scriptwriting, recording and editing. This includes the countless days and hours piecing together dialogue with music and sound effects. With all of that work, the scariest feeling is wondering if people will find the show, listen to it and like it.
Fast forward a year later, and Season One has another month of new downloads as Season Two gets ready to launch. I'm still immersed in a lengthy post-production process (as I write this, I'm editing Episode 3 of 6), but the countdown to the new season is still exciting.
There were some advantages and challenges to writing and producing a new season. One major advantage was familiarity. One of my strengths is writing for voice. When I wrote the first season, I had a general "idea" of how the characters would sound. Now, I know how they sound. Also, I didn't have to spend as much of the story introducing the characters to the audience.
The biggest challenge was making sure I gave people a good reason to come back and stay. I wanted to create a new villain and a new challenge that felt very different or very "next level" from the first season. I knew I needed to make sure the story gave all of the characters a chance to have meaningful moments like they did in the first season. After all, I have to assume people have some favorites outside of the main characters - people like Grandma Jeanie, Doc, Jenna, Donovan, Slick Saucy and Mr. Bill. I feel strongly that this season has achieved all of these important elements.
I envision Season Two taking place a few months after the end of Season One. In that time, The Crimson Crane is an established hero, and The Crimson Files is more popular than ever. As a result, people's lives have changed.
This includes Mr. Bill. Just to intrigue you, I can tell you he has a scene this season involving the Hillbilly Hellcats song, "Hillbillies on Speed."
As with last season, there was a really good ebb-and-flow with how this story came together. Once again, after the writing, casting, recording and editing, it's time for people to return to Fort Henson with us.
After the trip, I would love to hear what you think. But first, I want to thank you for being part of the journey.
By Scott Murray
After weeks of recording in studio and several hours already spent on post production, I'm excited to share a clip from Season Two of The Crimson Files Fiction Podcast. It's always fun to hear how voicework + music/sound effects come together in a scene. This is from the first episode of Season Two, and The Crane is trying to develop a strategy for stopping a road rager. Unfortunately, a gameplan doesn't come easy.
By Scott Murray
It's hard to believe that a year ago, I was taking on my most ambitious podcast project to date, and there were a lot of unknowns. The answers to some of those Season 1 unknowns were keys to making Season 2 happen. These included:
Well, we obviously pulled off the first season, but the answers to the rest of the questions would come much later. I had to just put the show out there and see what happens. Then, in May of 2019, I started thinking about the possibilities for continuing the story.
Did people listen? Yes! In fact, people continued to find the show and listen to the first season. For a six-episode limited run, I was pleased with the download numbers. There was also not a huge discrepancy between the first episode and the rest of them. This tells me a lot of people listened to the entire season.
So, I checked that box. Then, I realized there was no reason to even think about a second season without asking the cast about it. So, I reached out to them and simply asked how they would feel about producing another six episodes. Everyone was on board.
What should happen in a second season?
I felt a new season required a next-level challenge that was very different from Drench. However, if there was one major constant in the positive feedback I got last year, it was how great Drench was as a villain. So, not only does the team have to be challenged in a compelling way, the new baddie had some big shoes to fill.
We're making it happen
One of the advantages of a second season is you're getting to build on what you established in the first season. A lot of last year's narrative focused on the audience getting to know Wyatt, Reggie, Jenna, Grandma Jeanie, Doc and The Crimson Crane. Now, we can take familiar characters and do something new.
Also, we began production last week, and the cast is easily jumping back into the characters they voiced in the first six episodes. I juggled a lot of challenges when developing this new story. Some of my concerns included:
Well, I didn't rush things, and just like last season, everything came together. As each scene and episode flowed into the other, my initial concerns took care of themselves. This happened last season, and that is definitely a great sign.
After finishing the finale yesterday, I can tell you that I'm very pleased with how everything turned out. Once again, I find myself very anxious for you to hear the new season.
After a successful first season in 2018, The Crimson Files returns with a new story. The action/comedy superhero-themed fiction podcast will bring back the entire main cast and feature some new voices in Season Two.
Some of the new characters include:
Gwendolynn Murphy as Gina
Douglas Cunningham as Police Chief Frank Elliot
Aaron Michael as Spike
As production begins on July 21st, an official synopsis has been released for Season Two:
Months following the defeat of Drench, the people of Fort Henson have officially embraced The Crimson Crane as their superhero. Now, an unexpected threat will challenge the legitimacy of The Crane and test the resilience of her team.
Season 2 is expected to wrap production in August and premiere in September 2019.
Insights and news about The Crimson Files Podcast.