Yes, we made another Gloaming at the end of last year, and I forgot to put it on the blog. Here, then is episode 5: Ruttington Perish Council…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Award-winning horror-comedy returns to the West End for Hallowe’en
London, 16th October, 2012
Expect screams of terror and hilarity when the award-winning horror-comedy podcasts In The Gloaming make their debut at the Leicester Square Theatre next week.
The team behind the In The Gloaming podcasts return with In The Gloaming Live! at the Leicester Square Theatre on the 25th and 28th October, 2012.
Started in 2009, the In The Gloaming podcasts were an opportunity for a group of young comedians to get together once a month. Within six months they were winning international awards, taking centre stage at the World Horror Festival, and getting thousands of downloads. This month, as part of the Leicester Square Theatre’s 13th Hour Horror Festival, they will be back on stage once more.
Devised by Nathaniel Tapley, a comedy writer and performer for The News Quiz, The Revolution Will Be Televised, Dick And Dom’s Funny Business, and Gigglebiz amongst other things, In The Gloaming was created as a tribute to a kind of programme that doesn’t often get made any more.
“I was watching a lot of Tales of the Unexpected and Hammer House Of Horror and wondered why we didn’t have anything similar. We’d also just had another baby, so I had lots of long, sleepless nights to fill with making up nasty little stories,” Tapley says.
He assembled a cast which included ex-Eastender Michael Greco, and talented character comedians like Lizzie Roper (Dead Boss), Darren Strange (Parents), Ruth Bratt (Mongrels, Derek), and John Voce (Miranda), and they created a whole series of horror-comedy podcasts that took the world by storm.
The mixture of spooky stories and silly humour proved an instant hit. The episodes, presented by creepy Melmoth Darkleigh soon garnered a huge online audience. Within two months they were receiving thousands of downloads of every episode.
As the cast got busier it got more difficult to arrange times when they could get together and record. In 2010, the team won a Parsec Award (an international prize) for Best New Podcaster, but could not manage to schedule recording any more episodes after that.
This October, however, the Leicester Square Theatre asked them to perform their original episodes, as well as a brand new one written exclusively for the show, for which they have re-assembled the original cast.
Tapley says, “It’s great that the Leicester Square Theatre have given us the opportunity to revisit all of the fun we had a couple of years ago. It lets us introduce our grisly mix of belly-laughs, and belly-innards to a whole new group of people.”
In The Gloaming Live! at the Leicester Square Theatre on the 25th and 28th October, 2012. Performances are at 21:00 on the 25th and 20:30 on the 28th, and tickets cost £10.
COMPANY INFORMATION: In The Gloaming were a series of horror-comedy podcasts launched in 2009. They won the 2010 Parsec Award for Best New Podcasters.
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Posted in Gloaming Announcements, Self Gloamotion | Tagged Brendan Murphy, Gigglebiz, Gloaming, john voce, Leicester Square Theatre, lizzie roper, michael greco, Parsec Award, sally chattaway | 1 Comment »
The lovely people at the 13th Hour Horror Festival are putting on In The Gloaming Live! on October 25th and 28th at the Leicester Square Theatre in London’s fashionable West End. And there will be a new episode to celebrate.
We’ve got the original casts back together, and we’re all going to be performing updated versions of all your old favourites as well as a brand new episode.
The details are here. Celebrate Halloween with tales of weight loss, zombies, and Michael Greco’s Beppe shoes. Book your tickets now!
Whatever this might look like it is not the principal cast of In The Gloaming reading some sort of script. No way. Nothing to see here…
First the anthology in which I have a story is running a competition. If you explain why I would be the ideal companion in the event of a zombie attack, you could win a prize. So, you could go and do that if you’ve got an extremely good imagination, or believe that an uncanny ability to fashion puns that refer to obscure sexual acts will be a skill that will come in handy when the undead rise from their graves and march upon their living to crack open their skulls and feast on the tasty innards.
Second, the big show at the Brighton Fringe Festival is tomorrow evening. If you haven’t already, I urge you to buy tickets now. Because if lots of people buy them then I can stop posting messages about the show on social networks and actually learn some skills which might come in useful in the event of a zombie-based apocalyptic event.
I could learn tae-kwon-do. I probably won’t, but I could. Or rifle shooting. Or how to fashion a shelter out of twigs and hedgehog turd. The newfound free time might just enable me to become the perfect companion in times of zombie attack.
Whatever. Think about it.
In September the In The Gloaming podcasts won the Parsec Award for Best New Podcaster. We jumped around like victorious loons for a few seconds, until we remembered that we hadn’t made a new episode since March. And that we had no upcoming episodes in the pipelines.
To the outside observer In The Gloaming looked cold and dead, and only we knew there was still a flicker of humanity inside just waiting for the right time to blossom. It felt like being Nick Clegg.
There were lots of reasons that we hadn’t been able to do as many episodes as we’d hoped. People’s schedules clashed, they got work or didn’t get work at the wrong times, we weren’t getting as many downloads as we might have hoped (the episodes had been listened to about 6,500 times at that point). However, most of the reasons we weren’t able to churn them out on a monthly basis were self-inflicted, and could have been avoided with a little thought early on in the process.
So, here are my tips about what NOT to do, if you want to make an audio drama podcast of your own:
Don’t bother making audio trailers – One of the first groups of people to be interested in what we were doing was one comprised of people who were doing the same sort of thing. People like 19 Nocturne Boulevard orWormwood. And they often wanted to swap audio trailers, little snippets that could be stuck on the end of another show to spread the word. We never bothered to make these because we were too busy making the shows themselves, and thought they probably wouldn’t be worth the time in the number of new listeners they brought to us. We were wrong. There is a very small group of people used to listening to new audio dramas as podcasts. Get them involved from the beginning. Be generous with your time and effort with other podcast producers. Trying to forge the path completely on your own is hard and lonely. These are people who would like to advertise your podcast for free. Let them.
Be half an hour long – This was, in some ways, an intentional error. Part of the point of In The Gloaming was to prove that we could make half hour shows of radio quality. We wanted people’s response to be ‘This should be on the radio’, and to prove that it was ready to be. However, people often split up their listening to a podcast, catching a few minutes on their way into work, so broken shows work well. Narrative comedies that require unbroken attention (including any magnificent aural soundscapes you may create) ask a lot of the listener, and finding half an hour to listen to an episode (forgoing half an hour of television or proper radio or actual interaction with other humans) can be difficult. It suited our purposes, but it was far from ideal for in Internet show. If you’re planning on doing audio dramas or narrative comedies, why not think about ten- or fifteen-minute episodes? They will be easier for people to find the time to listen to.
Don’t have a business plan – This isn’t quite true. We had a plan, it just wasn’t a hugely good one. It was (as I outlined above) Get Picked Up By TheBBC. When that didn’t materialise the next obvious option was to look for a sponsor. However, those things we’d designed to make it more like a radio show made it less effective on The Internet, and so we didn’t have the subscriber numbers we needed to get a sponsor. We had a little income from the tip jar – enough to cover the podcast hosting – and we had a merchandising site, but nothing people wanted to buy on it. There were successful revenue streams: live shows, signed scripts, etc. However, by the time we had worked out how to fund the shows, we had stalled on producing them for long enough that the momentum was gone. The lesson here is: at least have an idea how you’re going to make enough money to cover your costs, and always implement your business plan quickly. You may well have a number of people willing to support you financially, so give them a way in which they can. Speaking of which:
Fail to make the things people want to buy – In our case: CDs. We’ve had lots of requests for CDs. People want to give them as gifts, people who aren’t au fait with downloading, people who want to show their support. There has been constant demand for CDs of the episodes. I did try to get this set up at one point, using Lulu, but found that they made all their CDs in the US, and then shipped them to England making them hugely expensive (even though we were only charging $4.00 each for them). I then wanted to add some audio liner notes to each one, a little extra that wasn’t available on the website, but never got around to recording them. The fact that there was no UK service that would do what we wanted and that I couldn’t be bothered to fulfil orders myself meant that we missed out on the one revenue stream that seemed promising.
Underestimate the amount of time it will take – Each In The Gloaming took a few days to write, a day to record, and two or three days to edit. That’s at least a full work week out of every month. When you’ve got children (or, you know, a job) that’s just not feasible. Perhaps we’ll do them quarterly in future, but monthly doesn’t seem like we can do it at all.
Post irregularly – We started with a monthly schedule, but soon got bogged down with diary incompatibilities, and just the sheer amount of work it was. The fact that we couldn’t be relied upon to produce podcasts every month meant that a lot of the momentum we started with dissipated. Set yourself a schedule and stick to it. Don’t stick to two-thirds of it. Stick to it, no matter how difficult it is. Then sit back, learn lessons, and plan Season 2.
Don’t collect emails – We never had an email list or any promotion beyond writing a blog. This is silly. Do better than us.
Don’t allow embedding – It took us six months to find a service that allowed easy embedding and sharing of mp3s on Twitter and Facebook. We went for a paid service that was not as good as what we could have got from WordPress, and didn’t offer the stats or functionality. We’re now faced with the rubbish options of continuing to use a (paid) service that isn’t as good as other ones or to change the website RSS feed, and risk losing all of the subscribers who are attached to the old feed. Do your research about how you’re going to distribute your podcast before you set up a standing order…
Basic, fundamental errors. Tonnes of them. We couldn’t have been more dim if we’d just dribbled into the Internet whilst smashing ourselves in the face with a flat-iron.
However, we’ve had more than 100 downloads a week, every week, for more than a year. We were asked to perform at the World Horror Convention 2010. It’s led to other bits of work, and to the selling of some of the short stories written for the site. The live show is getting a full run in the Brighton Festival next year (Friday 13th May, for those who want to book tickets). We’ve won awards. And we’ve got a producer attached, who’s making an In The Gloaming feature film, which should be out next year.
That’s how not to do it. Go and do better…
We won the Parsec award for Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster! Big thank yous to the people who worked so hard organising the awards, to all of the cast and crew who gave their time and talents so freely, and, most of all, to those of you who download the podcasts.
I’m doing actual human cheek-blushes…