My interview with The Blood Crow Stories

The Blood Crow Stories is an anthology series of horror stories. Their first season highlights the story of the S.S. Utopia, a cruise ship in the early 1900’s. Modern-day college student, Max, begins to do his thesis on the audio diaries of the passengers on the ship. What he didn’t know were the horrors that were waiting for him among the tapes, and why the ship sank so mysteriously almost 100 years ago

 Below is the interview I was able to do with Ellie Collins, one of the creators of this audio drama.

 What are the 3 best things about working on The Blood Crow Stories?

 The cast and crew are the best I could’ve dreamed of. There’s so much opportunity to really go full out with writing. And hearing it all come together.

 What is your favorite thing about being a podcaster according to you?

 For me it has been that no matter what type of show I make, I get to tell stories. Personal stories, media stories, and now fiction stories. Storytelling is, to me, one of the oldest and most profound forms of arm. I love it.

 How did you stumble into the world of podcasting?

 I was asked to guest on a podcast a couple times, they liked my hosting style, and put me with a couple other hosts and launched us with a spinoff show.

 What was the first podcast you listened to?

 Oh, hmm, probably This American Life.

 What is your writing process?

 I have a cloud based scriptwriting site and app. The script is pretty much always open in front of me, and I create the frame work then go through the episode and do a lot of talking to myself as characters lol. I’m pretty much either writing or brainstorming in every spare moments

What was the inspiration for The Blood Crow Stories?

For the format of the show it’s American Horror Story, with having a new story every season. SS Utopia draws inspiration from the video game “BioShock” and the movie “Alien”. There’s also a touch of just Guillermo del Toro in there stylistically.

What do you like about audio drama as a medium?

It creates such an intimate relationship with the listener. It’s not just a screen that can easily ignored. You’re right there in their ears, and you have a deeper ability to affect your listeners. Also, with that level of intimacy, it makes you really step up your game. You can’t cut corners to put out a truly quality show, and we work to improve all the time.

How does getting the script made into an actual audio drama work?

We have a scheduling system we set up, everyone puts down what days they can do, and we schedule. Then when people come in they record either together or by themselves, depending on how they feel about that scene. Then we put together the vocals, and go back and do a foley session for sound effects, and add those. Then our audio engineer, Scott, takes the 40 tracks of audio and pieces it together and we tweak and tweak until we have it just right.

How do you go about getting others involved? Particularly if they’re far away?

Everyone for us is local mostly. And we have all been friends for a long time. With Atlanta’s budding film industry, I’m lucky to be surrounded by such massive talent. We had a guest star, Lauren Shippen of The Bright Sessions, and she just sent us three takes of each line and we chose from what she sent.

Could you tell us a bit about the process to turn a script into a finished audio drama. Which part do you enjoy the most?

Honestly recording everyone is my favorite part. We had a long lead time up to the season so everyone had a chance to settle in to their characters. We actually get most of our dialogue in one take because everyone is so talented. It’s amazing to hear them breathe life into what was on paper, and sometimes they have amazing ideas that make their way into the show

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