SCRIPT: The Dunwich Horror

First, the links:

The full page

Episode 1     Dunwich1

Episode 2     Dunwich2

Episode 3     Dunwich3

Episode 4     Dunwich4

This four-part audio drama is, of course, adapted from the classic H.P. Lovecraft story about a creepy degenerate family in the wilds of New England, who birthed a monster and the possible chaos that such a child of the outside might cause.

It was an exceptionally difficult story to adapt because, structurally, the “story” doesn’t really begin until halfway through, when Wilbur makes his first visit to Miskatonic University.  Everything before that is backstory and foreshadowing.  And while such data is great for tone and creating an unsettling mood, and is really very necessary for the conclusions the characters within the story come to, it is also very dull to front load anything with that much data.  On the other hand, if you leave it out, you lose much of Lovecraft’s atmosphere and get basically “a generic cultist story”, as with the movie adaptation from 1970.

I still feel my version still suffers from heavy data dump, but at least I endeavored to spread it around and bring it in from a variety of sources, so it’s not just one voice all the time.  Plus, I hate losing too much of Lovecraft’s language, since that is one of the key features of his work.

Also vital to the story, for me, were the portrayals of the Whateleys, and (if I do say so myself) my brother and I did a great job as Wilbur and Lavinia.

For writing Lavinia, in particular, I needed to dig really deep to “find” her in the story.  Most adaptations of the story just decide she’s crazy (in that complete loss of faculties fictional Lovecraft way) and let the actress babble and drool.  But Lavinia was never “crazy” – or not any more crazy than she grew up.

Assuming that it was the “mating” that would have pushed her over the edge, her behavior after the birth would have to show the crazy – but in the story itself, people mention how proudly she strutted about town with Wilbur, showing off her baby, and how she looked worried when a jocose fishmonger made some move to go into the sealed part of the house.  Neither being the act of a stereotypically crazy person.

Instead, I found every reference to her and realized she was much more interesting than that.  I took the references to her being a bit of a wild child, left to her own devices, and how she never got taught much, and played with that.  The key, in my head, was to make her someone you could feel pity for, but still would never actually want to be around.

For Wilbur, what I stressed in recording with my brother Danar was that Wilbur sounds and looks like a grownup but is still a child, and we got that petulance and childish tones in there whenever we could.

As a final fun background note, when we had everyone in to record the Dunwich townsfolk, we kept sliding out of the accent and starting again, and the Widow who narrates so much of the town story – but was originally intended to be a male character – came about because Risa could hold the accent better than any of the guys in the room.

Final final – I did a slightly different cover for each episode, slowly shifting the view and making it spookier, and am quite pleased, as they were one of my first really successful gimp compositions.

[All scripts are copyrighted to Julie Hoverson and Wheeality Productions and posting them here is not any sort of waiver of that copyright.  They are posted here for personal use – such as being able to understand the episodes better – only.]

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Published in: on August 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Music isn’t always sweet….

[Right off, I want to disclaim that I love all the composers working in and around audio dramas, and am not pointing any fingers in any way, shape or form.  Anyone writing prose has the same problems with avoiding being influenced, even subconsciously, and the people doing outright plagiarism are few and far between – I hope.]

Today I want to talk to show producers about protecting yourself when it comes to music and sound effects.

This commentary came about because I was watching a gameplay video on youtube – a bare bones free game, so I was pretty sure they had no licensing budget.

In the game there was a music box.

Which played Music Box Dancer (1974, Frank Mills).

Which is NOT copyright-free.

So my assumption is someone – whether it be the game’s sound effect person, or some person out on the internet “making sound effects” bought a music box and figured that recording the song on the music box would be fair use, and the sound file made its way into the game…

You see where I’m going with this?

That game designer may have used the track in all innocence, assuming that the sound person had secured any needed licensing, but they will probably still be liable for copyright infringement when BMI or whatever licensing company finds out and gets involved.

This is why we all have to pay attention.

Even Josh Woodward – who has a ton of great creative commons music that can be used in podcasts, etc., has at least one piece on his site (www.joshwoodward.com) that is a parody of a famous song, and thus not technically usable in a show.

When in doubt, always check.

If nothing else, it’s also possible that composers can be influenced – completely unconsciously – by existing music, and the outcome might be too much like this or that.

There was this episode of (of all things) The Partridge Family where Keith (the older brother who wrote songs for the band) had composed a song, and the next morning middle brother Danny claimed it was his, and that Keith stole it.  Keith figured out that Danny, half-asleep, had heard it through the vents and believed it was his own song, so that night he played the soundtrack to Gigi or something and Danny came down the next day humming songs from a musical he’d never heard while awake….

All ancient pop culture aside, since we’re all working on a shoestring and don’t have the time or money for lawyers, best to be vigilant.

Published in: Uncategorized on August 1, 2019 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

SCRIPT: Sword Kvetch

First, the links:

text:  sword kvetch
Listen
Page
19nb_sword_kvetch

OK, so this one doesn’t have a huge backstory, except for my love for a couple of modern fairy tales books, “Dragon, Dragon” by John Gardner and another book that I think was called The Ugly Princess, but I can’t find on the internet.  Problem is I memorized my favorite stories so long ago (and retold them over and over again to kids I babysat over the years), that the copies are buried deep in my archives.

But one of the stories in the unnamed book was called Petronella, about a princess who sets out to rescue a prince who turns out to be a chump, and I wanted to do something like that, but not quite like that.

I love the way this turned out, and we all had a blast making it.

[All scripts are copyrighted to Julie Hoverson and Wheeality Productions and posting them here is not any sort of waiver of that copyright.  They are posted here for personal use – such as being able to understand the episodes better – only.]

Published in: on July 11, 2019 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  

SCRIPT: The Perfect Pigeon

And of course, there’s a little story behind it…

But first:
Script:  the perfect pigeon
Download
Page
19noc_perfect20pigeon_website

I love con artists in fiction.  In real life, they’re generally terrible, swindling people out of their hard earned money, but in stories, they can have hearts of gold and only harm those who deserve it.

For those not familiar with the style of the art for this episode, in the 40s-50s or thereabouts, there was a series of mystery books called “mapbacks” which were printed with a map on the back – either the city of the setting, or the actual scene of the crime.  I attempted to emulate one of those.

Dell Mapbacks: A History

I have ideas for sequels with these characters, but I need a good week of old mystery and caper films and a heavy dose of Lord Peter Wimsey to get myself back in the proper mood.

[All scripts are copyrighted to Julie Hoverson and Wheeality Productions and posting them here is not any sort of waiver of that copyright.  They are posted here for personal use – such as being able to understand the episodes better – only.]

Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

SCRIPT: Cry Wolf (B&B Investigations 1)

Cry Wolf is the first of four fairy tale based detective stories (so far), where the investigators – the “B&B” – are Beauty and the Beast, aka Donna Bella and Paul Bette.

page
download link
Script:  BnB1_CryWolf
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In this case, Mrs. Wolf hires the intrepid gumshoes to clear her dead husband’s name, since the insurance won’t pay off, as he was killed while committing a crime (“but he would never eat a grandma!”).

If you like this case, the other three stories in the series are “The Naked Truth”, “The Close Shave”, and “Pumps and Spectators”.

[All scripts are copyrighted to Julie Hoverson and Wheeality Productions and posting them here is not any sort of waiver of that copyright.  They are posted here for personal use – such as being able to understand the episodes better – only.]

Published in: on June 29, 2019 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

SCRIPT: The Thrice Tolled Bell

A classic 19 Nocturne Boulevard episode with a great story behind it.  But first, here’s the script and link.

script:  thrice tolled
Listen
episode page

the th8

And now the story….

When I was prepping the first episodes of 19 Nocturne, and networking with the existing audio drama community at the time, the wonderful Bill Hollweg of Brokensea Audio issued a challenge to the community to write a Hammer film homage using no established characters but Dracula and Van Helsing, and include a wooden leg, a broken bell, and the words “It’s never done that before!”

I immediately sat down and wrote this, then decided not to enter it, since I wanted to produce it myself.

Also, when it came to casting, I was looking for my crotchety housekeeper and went to Beverly Poole’s school production (my old high school) of Twelfth Night (I think it was – it was a long time ago) and Molly was in it, using precisely the accent and voice i wanted, so I immediately grabbed Beverly and said “Bring me that girl!!”

I have worked a lot with the various high school classes that have passed through my old alma mater, since there’s nothing like supporting kids in the arts.

[All scripts are copyrighted to Julie Hoverson and Wheeality Productions and posting them here is not any sort of waiver of that copyright.  They are posted here for personal use – such as being able to understand the episodes better – only.]

Published in: on June 28, 2019 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  

SCRIPT: A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell

Here’s the script and links for this episode of 19 Nocturne Boulevard:

Doc:  jury of her peers
download episode19nb - Jury - 700px - high

This has a kind of funny history for me.  I was listening to short stories from Librivox, and heard “A Jury of Her Peers” and it instantly started writing itself as a script in my head.  The whole thing was so very perfect and dialog-heavy, and the underlying meaning was so poignant.

It wasn’t until I was either nearly finished or finished with the script that I looked up the story – to see what else Glaspell had written – and found out she had originally written this as a play “Trifles”, then adapted her own stage play into a short story. No wonder it was so perfect.

There are several other adaptations available, both in short films (check youtube for “Trifles”) and audio drama.  I added or changed very little except what I felt would help really get across the time and setting of the story, and thus the possible isolation in a time most people think back on as being exceptionally social (at least, compared to today).

Another Susan Glaspell story that I love a lot is “How the Prince Saw America.”  I would record it, but it makes me all teary and that doesn’t make reading easy.  Here’s the Librivox recording.

[All scripts remain the copyrighted property of Julie Hoverson and are provided for the convenience of our fans.]

Published in: on June 22, 2019 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

SCRIPT: Jack. In the Box.

Another new listing, so I can attach the script to the episode and its links.

One of my earliest scripts, written with the idea of performing it in my OTR group, this is a sweet classic.

Link:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/nineteennocturne/19Noc_Jack_in_the_Box1.mp3

Script:  Jack_In the box

19nb - jack in the box - 700px - high

The snippets of radio shows in there are homages to obvious OTR shows, including I Love a Mystery and Buck Rogers.

Fun fact – this is the first mention of Tunis the Unstoppable (think Ming the Merciless), who later appeared in Bingo the Birthday Clown.  I loved the name and couldn’t resist using it again…

[All scripts remain the copyrighted property of Julie Hoverson and are provided for the convenience of our fans.]

Published in: on June 18, 2019 at 6:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Liking the Unlikeable

[A discussion of a certain kind of characters, not asking why people like my show]

Why do people first listen to your show?

Answers vary – but often settle down to genre, friendship, fandom, or boredom.  Meaning that they like space operas, they know someone who worked on it, they follow your writer or actor(s), or they ran out of other things to listen to.

Now the more important question:

What makes them come back?

If you surveyed a hundred people, I’d bet the answer would come down to the plot or the characters.  And while good characters can carry a difficult or dull plot, it takes a great plot to carry difficult or dull people.

This is why it’s so vital to have likeable, recognizable characters, right out the gate.  You can always kill them off later, but giving characters some kind of hook that people can remember, sympathize with, and hang onto until the next episode comes out helps get the listeners invested in the story – makes them want to know what happens (at least to that person).

But we love antiheroes, right?  We love the contrary bastards who it takes time to get to know.  Luke Skywalker is a pale wussy shadow of Han Solo, who in turn is a puppy compared to Avon of Blake’s Seven or Riddick of Pitch Black.

[You will notice I’m going to use primarily male examples for this, as this has been male character territory for a long time…  this is not to exclude female characters from this type, just to acknowledge what we’ve grown up with – the cultural assumption that unlikeable female characters are just unlikeable.]

However, these more complicated and not easily likeable characters take time to grow on people.  How many times have we heard someone say “oh, I didn’t like him at first, but ever since ________ happened, he’s been my favorite!”

A big part of the reason it takes time to get to know these unlikeable characters is that they are almost always set against the obviously “heroic” characters, only working together out of pity, or for the money, or because they hate the enemy for their own deep dark reasons, and you know they would throw the hero into the mouth of hell if it would buy them the chance to strike a final blow.

But they do need to be redeemable.  They must have some spark of humanity, however deep inside, to keep them tuned to the audience.  If they don’t then they should remain in the category of “characters we love to hate, and would love to see bad things happen to, but don’t want to die and be gone.”

One of our favorite quirks that make bad people entertaining is being clever.  We love Hannibal Lector or The Joker, and despise or pity the nameless and gormless thug who doesn’t see it coming.   It’s a classic moment when head neurosurgeon Stig Helmer (The Kingdom) storms into the hospital’s superintendent and demands “Where are our noses?  If you are making this place a circus, we want noses – big red ones with elastic bands!”*

We’ll put up with a lot for a truly clever but irritatingly obstreperous or morally grey character.

Somewhere in between, is the irritating character – the annoying voice, overly stupid, just a bit too quirky, or cowardly, or brave – for whatever reason, they grate on listeners and heroic characters alike.  Irritating characters are often someone that cannot be left behind or sent away – whether it’s because they have necessary skills, they ARE the point of the quest (escorting them somewhere), or because the group is stuck together for some reason.  These types are best served by a long slow redemptive arc, pushed along by a couple of horrible shocks that adjust their basic attitude, until they are pulling with the team and may even do amazing things.

Worst of all is the hopelessly boring character.  The bland dialog, the lackluster back story.  The “nothing to see here” person.  Even a good actor can’t always breathe life into the truly dull.  If it’s only for a line or two, no big deal – even Shakespeare didn’t bother to name every messenger, or give quirks to every “lord”.

On the other hand, look what he did with a gravedigger…

*slightly paraphrased due to translation and memory…

 

Published in: Uncategorized on June 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Scripts? Would people like scripts?

I’ve noticed that a lot of shows nowadays make transcripts available, and while I don’t have that, I have the original scripts.  The difference being transcripts presumably follow any changes made during the editing process, and may also be more descriptive of event effects.

I also can’t change the old site, since the software is on an old computer, and I’m not a web designer, and there’s no budget to pay someone else,…. blah blah blah.

So I’m going to link to episodes here, and also include the script(s) for that episode.  I hope that will give people a bit of what they need.

It may be a slow process, since there’s like a hundred shows to get through, so have patience, but also I have no problem with people dropping me a line here, at 19nocturne<at>live(dot]com, or on facebook to request episodes you’d like to have the script fro sooner rather than later.

For now, I had this in my head recently, so let’s have some PROMEVIL!!!!

Polky

Episode 1: http://traffic.libsyn.com/nineteennocturne/19Noc_PromEvil_1.mp3
Episode 2: http://traffic.libsyn.com/nineteennocturne/19Noc_PromEvil_2.mp3
Episode 3: http://traffic.libsyn.com/nineteennocturne/19Noc_PromEvil_3.mp3
Episode 4: http://traffic.libsyn.com/nineteennocturne/19Noc_PromEvil_4.mp3

And the scripts:
PromEvil part 1
PromEvil part 2
PromEvil part 3edited
PromEvil part 4

Please note that the openings with short quotes from the characters are not in the original script.  There are a few other changes throughout, due to things like difficult sound effects to make or find or get across, etc.

[All scripts are copyrighted to Julie Hoverson and Wheeality Productions and posting them here is not any sort of waiver of that copyright.  They are posted here for personal use – such as being able to understand the episodes better – only.]

Published in: on June 14, 2019 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment