After years of being acquainted with each other via various audio drama sites and knowing that we would like to work with each other at some point, we are happy to announce that Aural Stage Studios, Inc. and award-winning audio dramatist Sable Jak are teaming up for a 4-part micro-series audio drama.
5 LEVELS OF FEAR
(more about the story shortly)
But, before we tell you why this would be a totally terrific, truly awesome, perfectly fabulous project to be part of, we'd like to give you a little background on how it came about.
They say it's all about the timing and that has certainly proved true here. Aural Stage Studios, Inc. became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the goal of supporting the development and craft of audio drama. In the meantime a 20-year icon of the audio drama business, Jim French Productions, Inc. had gone into retirement releasing their staff writers, including Sable Jak. (more about all of us at the end)
We were looking for something unique to do and Sable just happened to have something that seemed like it was made just for us!
Through our various contacts, we started talking in "wouldn't it be great" terms which quickly morphed to, "what have you got" and was followed by "have I got something for you!"
When you sit back and look at the myriad lines leading to this particular point in time it's easy to see that this is something that not only had to happen but was meant to happen.
5 Levels of Fear - the story
This is a 4-part micro-series that follows three urban explorers on a trip into a century-old abandoned mansion: One that has never been explored before.
One that, frankly, had escaped the notice of almost everyone and has little to no information available about it. Except for the blueprints. And, as it turns out, those aren't exactly truthful.
One of the explorers, due to a fall in a past exploration, is now confined to a wheelchair and through body cams keeps track of the other two as they enter the house. Because they can't get in at ground level they end up going in through the roof; which is not a preferred method of entrance. They find the place, at first, in pristine shape, complete with belongings from everyone who'd lived there, including two young lovers. But that deteriorates as they descend lower into the house.
Then they find the floor that isn't on the blueprints, and the rows of beds with restraints, and a hallway that progressively narrows; always followed by the howl of someone who has been trapped in the building for a few weeks, or so they've been told. And not lastly they find the jungle growing up from the dank, dark, grave-like basement.
Wanting to explore turns quickly into needing to escape.
Our goal is to create a listening experience that grabs the listener and takes them on an immersive journey through a decaying mansion with secrets so frightening no one has spoken of them in a hundred years.
As producers, we at Aural Stage find that 5 Levels of Fear ( a "Spirit of Moondance" award winner at the 2015 Moondance International Film Festival ) provides an exciting opportunity to fully explore a setting through sound- to create an intimate sense of space for our audience. And an opportunity to challenge our cast with emotionally fluid characters and physicality.
What we need
To bring this script to life we are assembling a talented cast and crew of seasoned audio drama professionals.
Our fundraising goal is $5,000.00.
Here's what that amount will pay for:
Casting is underway at Backstage and TPS Online.
Matthew Boudreau (X-Files: : Cold Cases, Locke and Key) is an audio producer, writer, field recordist and sound designer from Buffalo, NY. He is a U.S. Air Force Veteran with a background in transportation. His love of audio drama stems from listening to stories while on the road and during road trips with his wife and son. Matthew studied writing and theatre design at SUNY Oswego. He is formerly an editor for the online literary journal Ink&Coda. He has taught voice acting for the Buffalo Chrysalis Theatre Company and has spoken about audio production and voice acting and sound design at several venues, including CONvergence in Bloomington, MN and the SXSW film festival in Austin, TX. Matthew founded and manages 11th Hour Production, an annual regional audio drama event. He also produces and sometimes hosts the Wondery podcast, Radio Drama Revival.
His production credits include the award-winning audio dramas Intensive Care, A Prophets Guide and 1918; the films The Passion of Paul Ross, The Big Bad, 25¢ for Love, and Spiraling; and the Audible productions Locke & Key and X-Files: Cold Cases.
Amy K. Bormet Currently living in Los Angeles, Amy K. Bormet is an in-demand pianist, vocalist, and composer. The quintet from her debut album, Striking, was featured as part of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. As an advocate for women in music, Amy created the Washington Women in Jazz Festival in 2011 and continues to serve as executive director. Amy K Bormet’s latest project, Ephemera, is a platform for her new art songs with improvisation. Ephemera performed a two-week tour of Sweden in the fall of 2015.
Sable Jak (who sometimes works under "Sebastian T Sweet Productions) has written for audio drama for over 20 years finally landing with Jim French Productions, Inc. writing for their flagship character Harry Nile, shorts and other stories, and also wrote the only 5-part micro-series involving Harry. She was with Jim French for a little over 12 years. Her book through Michael Wiese Publishers "Writing the Fantasy Film, Heroes and Journeys in Alternate Realities" is in colleges across the nation and she was also a columnist for the popular screenwriting magazine now owned by Final Draft: "scr(ipt)." However, through all of that, it is her audio drama writing that she is most proud of and hopes to continue doing for a long time.
Eli McIlveen (Alba Salix) Eli McIlveen is the creative force behind the Forgery League podcast and creator, playwright and director of the award-winning audio drama Alba Salix.
Eli has been recording strange noises since he first “borrowed” his dad’s cassette player as a kid. During his five-year stint at CKMS-FM (University of Waterloo), he was a producer, actor and occasional writer for the weekly comedy series Philler, and went on to host a weekly radio theatre showcase. Since then he’s been sound designer and operator for a raft of theatre productions in Toronto.
Eli is the line producer for Radio Drama Revival, a biweekly podcast showcasing the best in modern audio drama. He is also a dialogue editor for 11th Hour Audio Productions and has appeared in Jim Robbie and the Wanderers and Radiation World playing mostly invertebrates and nerds.
Jack Straw Studios Seattle, Washington
Monique Boudreau (A Prophets Guide, Heavenly Deception) is a writer, researcher, editor, and graphic designer with degrees in archaeology and anthropology. Her work has appeared on Aural Fixation and the Audio Drama Production Podcast. Her audio drama script, Ancient Evil, was featured on Dialed In and was a finalist in the 2013 Parsec Awards.
Monique is the submission editor and researcher for Radio Drama Revival, the graphic designer and production assistant for 11th Hour Audio Productions and has collaborated with the producers of the Audio Drama Production Podcast, the New England Audio Producers, and the CONvergence Mark Time Broadcast Center.
Monique recently completed an audio drama series called Otherworldlies. She is currently writing a creative non-fiction novel about her experiences as an American nomad. She enjoys travel and has lived in three countries, seven states, eighteen cities, 34 homes, one station wagon and a tent.
5 Levels of Fear will be available for purchase through Blackstone Audio.
"Blackstone Audio, the largest independent audiobook company in America, currently boasts a catalog of over 10,000 titles with 100+ new titles being added each month, and offers the finest in contemporary fiction and nonfiction, as well as the world’s great classics."
When do we need to be funded?
We are scheduling recording of the project in early September of this year which means that people will, of course, need to be paid by then.
5 Levels of Fear is dedicated to Jim French of Jim French Productions, Inc. for his many years of dedication to the art form that is audio drama and for paving the way for future generations of producers.
We've got our first sponsor!!!
Nollie's Cafe in Seattle!
One of the best eateries in Seattle and an ardent supporter of the arts.
Our New sponsor!
Michael Wiese Productions
A New Sponsor!
We're thrilled that the top publisher of film and screenwriting books in the nation (if not the world) has come on board as one of our sponsors. Click on the logo or above link for more information about their books!
We are once again, thrilled... thrilled we tell you, at our newest sponsor. Jim French of Jim French Productions. If you don't recognize the logo it was one that was in the works before Jim decided to retire so we felt it should get at least one outing. Jim will be an invaluable source of encouragement and wisdom for us as we go forward.
Our latest Sponsor!
Sound Designer, Matthew Boudreau proudly uses iZotope software.