Pitching Audio Drama Ideas

The subject of pitching original content ideas to Audible has been a popular one this year.

It began with Eric Nuzum’s appearance on the podcast, and was followed up by Joseph Tucker’s interview with Audible “comisionee” Chris Winstanley.

Joseph returns this week with another interview – this time with Rebecca Fenton of Audible UK’s ‘Original Content’ team.

If you’ve got an idea for an Audio Drama you think they’d like to commission, you can get in touch with them at submit@audible.co.uk

You might also be interested in the Chasing Audible podcast, and in particular, their interview with Steven Jay Cohen (episode 10. This show takes a look at publishing on Audible as well as coming up with story ideas that might be pitch-worthy.

And Joseph himself has a new show out, we’ve mentioned it before, it’s called Mirth Defect. It’s absolutely hilarious, but not for the easily offended.

Neither is one of our own Audio Dramas, actually. We’ve been making one recently called A Scottish Podcast, so feel free to check that out too.

Oh, and we mention a great video by Mike Russell on producing Audio Drama in Adobe Audition’s new Essential Sound panel.

As always, you can get in touch with us about anything and everything at podcast@audiodramaproduction.com

Finding & Creating Recording Environments

Unless your entire cast are working remotely, you’re going to need a place to record your Audio Dramas. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer here, and there are a lot of factors that come into play. You’ll have many things to take into consideration regardless of where you plan to set up your ‘studio’, and that’s the purpose of this episode.

Recording at Home

  • You need to decide if you’re purely focused on recording voices, or if you’re working ‘around the mics’
  • If it’s the former, you’ll want sound dampened conditions. This will benefit your audio quality in post-production.
  • Are you setting up a permanent or semi-permanent studio?
  • External walls can be an issue. Is your neighbour a drummer?
  • Windows – do you have a busy road or environment outside?
  • Does the floor creak when you walk around?
  • Internal noise, are you in cupboard with boiler or gas meter?
  • Other noises around the home, like the fridge. Try Ric Viers car keys tip.
  • Equipment – Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, or for multiple actors, M-Audio M-Track 8, SM58 microphones.

Field/Location Recording

The great outsdoors are free to use. Working on location offers a great natural soundscape built in to your recordings.

  • Choose sites with your ears, not your eyes.
  • Take as many provisional sound samples as you can.
  • Roads – look for natural barriers (trees, conifer hedgerows)
  • Site visits – consider midweek and weekend differences.
  • Weather – how exposed are you?
  • Cheap or affordable gear – Zoom H1, ATR3350 lav mics (upgrade to Zoom H4 or recorder with ¼” inputs for more control)

Hiring a Studio or Rehearsal Space

Costs money, but can give session a sense of professionalism. What should you consider?

  • Does it have a deadroom or sound dampened conditions?
  • Does hire include engineer?
  • Does hire include equipment?
  • Is there a band playing in the room next door?
  • Equipment – vocal condenser mics

Other Options

  • School, college, community centre, church

Also mentioned on this episode.

Alien: Out of the Shadows, We’re Alive: Lockdown, Archive 81, The Longest Podcast In The World.

Get your best Audio Drama tips and advice in to podcast@audiodramaproduction.com for inclusion in our 100th episode.

Audible Commissioning Revisited

Big thanks to Joseph Tucker, creator of The King Strikes Back, who sent us a great interview with Chris Winstanley. Chris recently pitched an audio comedy series to Audible and was commissioned by them to make a pilot episode. This is a valuable insight if you’re planning to pitch an idea to Audible. If you’ve not already heard it, we had Eric Nuzum (SVP of Original Content at Audible) on the podcast in Episode 76.

Joseph has also put out a survey on Audio Drama distribution models and he’d love to get your opinion. You can fill out the survey here.

I also mention four new podcasts created by our Knights of the Pledge.

They are Chasing AudibleThe Owl Field PodcastIron Horses Can’t Be Broken, and Nova Dark.

Music by Kevin Hartnell.

As always, you can get in touch with the show at podcast@audiodramaproduction.com

How Do You Get Commissioned By Audible?

Happy New Year to you. We’re kicking off 2016 with the SVP of Original Content at Audible.com Eric Nuzum. Eric spent 11 years at NPR as the Vice President of Programming and has a wealth of experience when it comes to identifying quality audio content.

In this chat we find out his opinions on Audio Drama, and what he believes makes for good content with potential for mass consumption. We also talk about the pitching process for creators who want to be commissioned by Audible, and ask for some advice for writer/producers aspiring to work professionally.

It’s a short interview but extremely valuable and insightful. We offer some of our own thoughts afterwards, but we’d really like to hear yours too. Get in touch with us at podcast@audiodramaproduction.com

Elsewhere, a huge thanks to Steve Cardinal for supporting us on Patreon. Steve is the co-creator of the extremely funny time travel Audio Drama It’s About Time. And best wishes to Brian Mock who has taken the first steps as an Audio Drama creator with his new series Z-Poc Nation.

The Rise of the Docudrama. Audiobook Confusion on Audible

We’ve been listening to some great podcasts recently – most notably, The Black Tapes, and brand new show The Message (by the way, check out the story behind this one). These shows are audio fiction for sure, but the term docudrama probably suits them best. In this episode we take a look at inner workings of docudrama-style podcasts, and ask ourselves questions like; blacktapes

Are these shows more accessible to first time listeners than traditional Audio Drama?

Is creating this style of show a better option for you, if your main interest lies in writing, rather than heavy production?

How can creators of docudrama shows find ways around “reported action”, and should they even need to?

the-message-podcast

We then move on to the topic of the month – Locke & Key. We talked with Fred Greenhalgh last week about creating this wonderful Audio Drama, this week we look at a small minority of negative comments the show has received in Audible’s reviews section.

The reason we bring this up is that much of these comments are judging an Audio Drama on the fact that it isn’t an Audiobook, and not on actually judging the overall quality of the story, acting, and production.

In the main, Locke & Key has been marketed as an Audiobook. Is this part of the problem? And does this mean Audio Drama might actually benefit from being ‘rebranded’ with a new name? audiodramaday

So, we’ve had our opinions, now we’d like to hear yours – and you can send them to us at podcast@audiodramaproduction.com 

Finally, Friday the 30th October (and not the 31st as reported last episode) is World Audio Drama Day. Be sure to get it touch with the great folks there and let them know what you’re up to this month, and if you’re not up to anything, there’s still time to organise something!