By Scott Murray
Wow. It's hard to believe the first episode of The Crimson Files launches tomorrow. It's exciting, scary and surreal rolled all into one. About three months ago, all I had was an idea. There was no concept, no story, no characters, no recordings and no artwork. I just decided to create a fiction podcast.
I had my concerns:
Could I do everything well enough (write, direct, produce, edit)?
Could I write an engaging 6-part continuous story?
Would I find people to play all of the parts?
Could I get it all done in a reasonable timeframe?
My wife had concerns. She knew I hadn't written anything like this in over ten years (and back then, it was all visual). She wondered if the concept would translate well enough to audio. She worried if all of the potential obstacles would turn this into a long-running and time-consuming effort.
However, three months later, we're both excited.
I found an affordable place to record the scenes.
I hired some talented music producers to create a theme.
Post-production has been lengthy and extensive. However, it's also been very fun to hear it all mesh together.
I've had colleges listen, give me feedback, and it's been very positive.
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
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.
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