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TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – January 15, 2018

Good morning!

Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

Kathryn Graham: ‘You’re No Hemingway’

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Kelly Jo Brick: The Write Path With Marc Zicree, Part 2

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Logline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Outline/Story

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: UPDATES

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Wolf 359 — Audio Drama At Its Best

by Bob Tinsley

Audio Dramas (aka Radio Dramas, though that comparison is WAY out of date) are starting to make big noises in the entertainment world. It’s a great proving ground for people who want to be in the entertainment industry as well as established stars, Laurence Fishburne and David Schwimmer for just two examples.

You might also keep in mind that people like Gene Roddenberry wrote for radio before he became a Big Deal. And several properties that began as interweb Audio Dramas are currently in development for TV and movie deals.

Audio Dramas are a lot of fun to listen to. The big advantage is that you can listen and enjoy while doing other things, like driving, cooking, working on the car, etc. They are also available in just about any length you like, from 5 minutes to over an hour, and in just about any genre you can think of.

So, where do you find these fun bit of mind candy? Download just about any podcatcher like, Podcast Addict, Podcatcher, iTunes, or even Google Play Music and start searching for Audio Drama.

To give you a head start, you might want to check out Wolf 359, especially if you like science fiction. It’s “Alien” meets “Good Morning, Vietnam!” It’s currently in its fourth season with 60 main episodes and another 23 mini-episodes. I’m only up to Episode 52. Gotta catch up!

The action takes place on a research station in orbit around the red dwarf, Wolf 359. You have a mad scientist who performs secret experiments on a crew member (without his knowledge) and creates a dangerous plant creature that prowls the station and hides in places the crew doesn’t know exist. Their mission is sponsored by an evil Earth corporation with an agenda the crew knows nothing about.

When the crew gets a little mutinous they get a visit from a ruthless team of “trouble shooters.” The captain of the previous crew of the Hephaestus, all of whom mysteriously disappeared, suddenly shows up in her own spacecraft. And then the aliens come!

From the website (http://www.wolf359.fm) :

Life’s not easy for Doug Eiffel, the communications officer for the U.S.S. Hephaestus Research Station, currently on Day 448 of its orbit around red dwarf star Wolf 359. He’s stuck on a scientific survey mission of indeterminate length, 7.8 light years from Earth. His only company on board the station are stern mission chief Minkowski, insane science officer Hilbert, and Hephaestus Station’s sentient, often malfunctioning operating system HERA.

He doesn’t have much to do for his job other than monitoring static and intercepting the occasional decades-old radio broadcast from Earth, so he spends most of his time creating extensive audio logs about the ordinary, day-to-day happenings within the station. But the Hephaestus is an odd place, and life in extremely isolated, zero gravity conditions has a way of doing funny things to people’s minds. Even the simplest of tasks can turn into a gargantuan struggle, and the most ordinary-seeming things have a way of turning into anything but that.

Wolf 359 is a radio drama in the tradition of Golden Age of Radio shows like Escape! and Suspense. Take one part space adventure, add one part character drama, mix in one part absurdist sitcom, and you get Wolf 359.

The production values are top-notch, as is the acting. It’s very easy to get drawn into the world of the Hephaestus. Luckily there are enough episodes already available to binge for a very long time. And a new episode is released every two weeks like clockwork.

Enjoy! I sure am.


Bob Tinsley is TVWriter™’s Audio Drama Expert-in-Residence. He’s also a fine sculptor and writer, currently living a life much envied by our Beloved Leader, LB.

The Idea that Inspired The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

What do you think? Fact or myth?

We’re leaning in the myth direction.

But that could be because we’ve been – wait for it – myth-directed.

Tolkienites, please, please, please set us straight!

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – January 8, 2018

Good morning! Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday, January 7th? They are, in order:

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

My Favorite Audio Dramas of 2017

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing

Herbie J Pilato: Thank you, “The Flash!” It looks like the dark and dingy days of TV may be over!

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Outline/Story

The Logline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: About

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Audio Script Competition

by Bob Tinsley

As you may have noticed, TVWriter™ has been generously allowing me space from time to time to enthuse about the opportunities for writers in the Audio Drama field. Pursuant to that – and before LB decides to pull the plug – here’s something I think everybody who comes here should know:

The Audio Drama Production Podcast is holding a competition for new audio drama scripts. The bare bones are these:

They will be accepting scripts in any genre except fan fiction in three categories: 10-minute, 15-minute, and 30-minute scripts. For those of you unfamiliar with audio scripts a decent rule of thumb is 165 to 185 words of finished script to one minute of run time.

The submission window runs from January 8 to the 21st.  The links to the place to pay and upload scripts will be posted on the website and FaceBook page on January 8. (see below)

The winning scripts will be performed live at The Vault Festival in London on March 7 and at the Edinburgh Podfest in August. The other scripts will be placed in a repository from which 20 producers will choose scripts they like to produce and distribute on the Interwebs.

The submission fee is $6 for up to three scripts.

Don’t worry too much about format. Celtix and, I believe, Final Draft have templates for audio (radio) plays. There are two accepted formats: one is the old radio format, also known as BBC format. Most dedicated voice actors that I have talked to prefer this format. Sample scripts and a Word and Wordclone compatible template can be downloaded from

http://www.ruyasonic.com/rdr_main.htm

The other format is the standard screenplay format. Most high-budget audio productions, such as Bronzeville with Laurence Fishburne and Homecoming with David Schwimmer, use this format because most of their actors are either film or TV actors.

The most important thing to remember is to pitch the action toward audible rather than visual cues. “John grabbed Mary and shook her,” doesn’t translate well to audio. “John grabbed Mary and shook her ’til her teeth rattled and her cheeks flapped like a dog with its head out the window of a speeding car,” on the other hand, does.

The audio drama field is growing by leaps and bounds, creating opportunities for those of us willing to give it a try. Even if you don’t win this competition, having your script chosen for production afterward will provide a nice hard-point on your resume.

All the details of the competition can be found on the Audio Drama Production Podcast website at http://audiodramaproduction.com/2017/12/adpp-audio-drama-script-writing-competition-2018/

The Audio Drama field is particularly nice because of its low cost of entry, but the nicest part about the Audio Drama community of producers and actors is how welcoming and helpful they all are. Give them half an excuse to choose your script, and they will.

So, get to writing, and be ready to submit starting January 8, 2018. You’ve got nothing to lose other than your unproduced status.

Hidden Metaphors in Anatomical Terms

Arika Okrent, our favorite grammar cop/English language scholar, gets down to the nitty gritty today – body parts. And once again this video gem doesn’t fail to charm.

More about Arika, YouTube’s Patron Saint of Wordsmiths