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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Radio Dramas

The surprising thing about radio dramas is that there are not more of them. Seeing as podcasting is an obvious vehicle to bring back the nearly dead art form of radio plays, you'd assume there would be more, but there are only a handful of dramas.

Perhaps more people haven't gotten into audio dramas because it is quite productionintensive, much more so than regular podcasts. You need more than simply a microphone and a computer; you will need background sounds, possibly music, more than one microphone (which means also getting a mixer), more than one voice, and a writer to keep the serial going. Very few podcasts have this level of production, so radio dramas still struggle as an art form. Table 3.11 lists two of the most popular radio drama podcasts.

Table 3.11. Popular Radio Dramas



Website URL

Grant and Doug

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd


Andy Doan

Spaceship Radio


The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd

Created by Grant Baciocco and Doug Price, this show is the clear favorite of radio dramas. The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd is a serial drama about a time-traveling adventure told in 5-minute weekly shows. It is a G-rated comedy with enough pop culture jokes to keep the parents laughing while amusing the kids with Dr. Floyd's pursuit of the evil Dr. Steve.

Spaceship Radio

From what sounds like a broadcast straight out of the golden era of radio, this show is actually hosted today by Andy Doan. At first taking old sci-fi radio shows and releasing them over podcast, he then made a call for scripts from writers, wanting to record and release original sci-fi radio dramas. The show is released about six to eight times a month. The average length is 30 minutes per episode. The show is G-rated.

Finding a Niche

The good news about the lack of dramas is that there is a niche to be filled. Dr. Floyd is incredibly popular, but there is room for more radio dramas if you have the itch to create a serial drama. The startup costs are substantially higher, but there are undoubtedly listeners who are hungry for more dramas and would pounce on a well-done podcast.

One thing to keep in mind is that even though you can find CDs of sound effects, they are copyrighted like music. So you will either need to procure permission to use the sound effects, find free sounds, or record your own. If your podcast drama is going to be an everyday drama with door slams and cars driving off, you can probably do this all yourself. If you're going to need spaceship theremin sounds, that will be more difficult.

One of the best sites for free sound effects is the Freesound Project at http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/index.php This is a site with user uploaded and created sounds that are Creative Commons licensed so that everyone can make use of them.

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