- Firstly, can you tell us a little about Truth or Consequences? What it’s about and how did you come up with the idea?
Truth or Consequences is a comedic mystery about a high school Media Studies class who are tasked with making a podcast about their hometown, leading them to a dark story from the school’s past that brings real danger in the present day. We wanted to write something that pokes fun at the tropes and genres that are popular in podcasting, now that it’s become so mainstream. We started working on it after we finished film school and still wanted a project to collaborate on. We cobbled together the idea using random words in old brainstorming journals as inspiration (ie Truth or Consequences New Mexico, librarian, etc.) so that was really fun to go back to all of our old ideas and turn them into something new.
- What made you want to enter it into the Podcast Contest?
We knew we had a great idea figured out, but needed something to force us to get it onto the page. All 3 of us fear authority and can only finish something when there is a deadline attached, so we decided to set a goal of submitting to the Shore Scripts as motivation. It worked!
- How did you feel when you found out that you were one of our winners?
So excited! We immediately FaceTimed each other and raised a glass of whatever we could find. We are all early in our careers, so it really means a lot when people respond to our work and actually help us make it. It’s a huge confidence boost and a reminder to keep working at it.
- Do you want to develop the script further? If so, what will you look to change?
Yes, we do. We want the script to be as funny as possible, while still being an intriguing and well-planned mystery. We think the script could use some editing and punch ups for the comedy, and we’d like to further outline the plot of the entire season, so we can be more deliberate about the seeds that are planted in the pilot.
- What do you feel will be your biggest challenge in terms of getting your script off the page and recorded?
We know that two-person scenes are preferred in podcasts, but we’d like to include at least a few scenes of the entire class in our script to establish the group dynamic. The challenge will be to make sure the dialogue and performances are distinct enough where the listener can follow it easily, without any visuals.
- Have you written any other podcast scripts before? What do you feel are the main differences between writing an audio drama over a screenplay?
This is our first podcast script. It’s definitely been an adjustment from writing screenplays since we’re used to trying to show as many things visually on-screen as we can. There have been many moments where we’ve wondered, “is this script too talky?” and have to remind ourselves that’s the whole point of podcasts. We all love to write dialogue though, so it’s turned out to be a great fit.
- What are your aspirations for the podcast once it’s completed? Getting a full-season greenlit? A film or TV adaptation?
We’re definitely looking to get a full-season greenlit. The pilot just scratches the surface, we have an endgame in mind for these characters and a ton of ideas about how they get there. We do think that this format, where the story is told through the projects of a Media Studies class, would also translate very well to TV.
- Do you have any advice for screenwriters who are looking to write a narrative podcast for the first time?
It really is the Wild West right now. We were surprised at how few resources are out there for how to do it, but it just shows that there’s no right or wrong way. Just write the podcast that you’d want to listen to, and have fun with the fact that the audience can’t see anything! It opens up a whole new can of worms. We structured it as a traditional screenplay at first, but then went back and tried to find moments that could be enhanced and exaggerated sonically. It became a fun challenge and made us reconsider storytelling/how to engage audiences on a whole other level.
Thanks so much and best wishes for the recording!