How To Build A World Into A Podcast

Guest post by Claire Scherzinger

I am a painter—a recent graduate of the UVic MFA program in Visual Studies. Painting can be a very solitary act, which led me to dive into what seems like an endless world of podcasts.

Eventually, as I finished my thesis work I realized how static my paintings were. I was proud of this body of work, but realized that they can’t necessarily achieve a level of immersive-ness present in film and audio. I thought, wouldn’t it be totally on point to create a podcast around this world? But I had no idea where to start.

So, I asked Cliff Haman, the proverbial glue of our department, if he knew people in the fine arts faculty who could help me make this happen. He quickly put me in touch with Kirk McNally in the music department. Kirk gave me the emails of some of his best students and from there the project slowly took shape.

This podcast is a science fiction audio drama centred around an exoplanet called Arca-45672. I invented all of the flora and fauna of this world—the geology, the history. I also have a background in creative writing—and so my winter holiday was spent travelling around Canada writing and editing a 300 page script for an eight person cast. It is a human story filled with adventure, love, betrayal and overarching questions as to what makes us human.

When I returned from the break, my director and co-producer, Kirsten Sharun, and I began the casting process. We ended up using all UVic theatre students and graduates of the department she knew personally. As I listened to Margaret Hicks and Ryan Kniel bring life to the two main characters, I felt the chilly fission of goosebumps running through my skin.

William Lynch was the master of the recording studio. He made sure we had quality audio. As this was a cross-department project, we got to use the new state of the art recording studio in the music department. His attention to detail and knowledge of recording assuaged me of many fears in the production process.

Now, as we near our launch date on May 22nd, I can feel the burnout washing over me, but this is a welcomed feeling. Making use of the university resources that may not be in your department is something I would encourage anyone with ambition for a large project to do—ask for help to know what resources are available to you.

Most importantly, subscribe to Arca45672 on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you find podcasts and please listen, rate and review the show. Being an indie podcaster is tough—and the only way we can make the podcast a real success is to have continual listener support. Follow us on Instagram @arca45672, on Twitter @45672arca. Find us at www.arca45672.com and get in touch if you have questions about podcasting. Your support means the world to us.

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