| Back in the
days before television, there was this thing called radio. Many
of us have parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents who
remember the Golden age of Radio. Back then, families would gather
around the ol’ box to listen to their favorite dramas, adventures,
comedies, variety shows, etc. You name it, radio had it.
When TV took off in the 1950s, this theater
of the mind slowly became absorbed by the music industry to the
point where radio shows became all but extinct. The art form was
dying out by the 1970s until NPR produced the first “Star
Wars” radio drama, introducing a new generation of kids
to this very cool format.
Of course, we’ve always had sportscasting
and talk radio, but it wasn’t the same as good old radio
drama. Perhaps the most famous radio program of all time was Orson
Welles’ broadcast of HG Wells’ War Of The Worlds,
which caused a huge panic in October of 1938, as the audience
listening couldn’t tell if it was just a program, or a live
In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s,
books on tape, or audiobooks became a new form of entertainment.
Most productions were just a single performer reading the book
out loud on tape, but in some cases, music and sound effects were
used to enhance the listening experience. This hearkened back
to the old radio days of yesteryear.
The advent of the 21st Century has introduced
a new word to the vernacular – Podcasting. Many podcasts
follow the talk radio format; sometimes the shows are live, other
times they’re recorded for future downloading. But podcasting
has provided a new opportunity to revive radio dramas.
Perhaps the term Audio Drama is more precise.
Since the cost of recording audio has dropped to ridiculously
low prices, it doesn’t take much for anyone to set up their
own recording studio in their home. With a bit of ingenuity and
a flair for script writing, one can produce their own audio program
for a fraction of the cost it would take to shoot even a short
film or video.
Distribution via podcast channels, or even
YouTube can give you access to a huge potential audience. If you’re
a filmmaker trying to raise money for your feature movie, then
perhaps converting it into a short audio drama may help to get
you to build an audience and eventually raise the funds to produce
Also, recording your own audio programming
can help you explore different genres, and since it’s the
music and sound effects that helps to paint the picture in the
listener’s mind, you don’t need to travel to distant
exotic locations—a few sound samples can give the effect
you’re looking for.
Podcasts can be downloaded for future listening,
or streamed live off your webpage. Giving your audiences these
options maximizes their enjoyment and can help you build a fan
base. We here at Four Scorpio Productions are working on several
audio programs specifically written for the medium. Our Audio
Serial The Adventures of Johnny Chesterfield is a throwback to
the old 1930s radio plays. The show will chronicle the chipper
and over-enthusiastic delivery boy Johnny Chesterfield as he delivers
packages of cigarettes to the major Hollywood studios. Look for
“cameos” from old time Hollywood stars and movie moguls
as this pre-WW2 comedy/adventure show feeds your 20th Century
We’re currently in production with
some short sketches that will introduce you to some of our characters.
Stay tuned to this website as we announce the premiere on our