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It began with a certain vagueness. A mist, a 'shimmer' around things that made them seem unreal. Romantic, mystical even; Adding a softness to the edges of life that didn't otherwise exist.
But then it grew thicker.
The sun disappeared from the sky. The curling tendrils of cloud and mist swallowed the streets, the buildings and the people. The entire world became a vague, shifting, intangible grey.
Fear set in, then panic, depression, then mania.
The roads became graveyards of burned out, skeletal wreckages. Planes lay silent on the runway.
Trade ground to a halt. Food production suffered. Food riots began. Canned food became a priceless commodity and people were willing to do anything, and everything to get it.
With the mist came the return of superstition. People reported hearing strange noises, or things moving in the mist, but no-one knew for sure.
Governments talked, splintered, but did...could do...nothing.
Scientists spoke of climate change, but their attempts to solve the problem failed, catastrophically.
The religious claimed it was a Divine Judgement. Such ideas no longer seemed quite so silly.
Cults formed as people flocked to those who claimed to know the truth, or merely provided the promise of food.
Hope came and went...
...But the Fog remained.
There has been an enormous growth in the popularity of online Podcasts. Series such as the Black Tapes, Homecoming, Limetown and others have attracted the attention of major studios. A new Golden Age of "Radio" has quietly begun.
We are tasked with creating 'The Next Big Thing'.
Working together, we are going to create the First Season of a Podcast provisionally entitled "Of Fog and Mist".
It is my intention that the Podcast will be produced with Professional Actors in Association with a Record Producer friend of mine.
Taking its cue from stories such as Stephen King's the Mist and John Carpenter's The Fog, the story begins as the whole world is shrouded in a thick, unexplainable Fog.
But unlike those stories, there are no scientific experiments gone wrong, or ghostly pirates lurking in the Mist, there is only the darkest side of humanity.
Of Fog and Mist is an examination of humanity and what would happen in a world where the truth is clouded and can only be half-glimpsed. A world where we are separated from each other, and even ourselves. Where no-one can see what we do under cover of Fog. Where our minds start playing tricks on us, desperation and madness kicks in and hope fades away to the grey.
Opinions seem to vary on how many words equate to one minute of time.
But the consensus seems to be that between 3000-5000 words equates to a 30 minute podcast, depending on the speed of delivery.
So however that breaks down between the number of entrants.
SETTING: MANCHESTER, UK.
The POV of the story will come from the characters in Manchester City Centre and the surrounding Suburbs and Countryside. Partly because that that is the catchment area for Production purposes but also because these people would be separated from the decisions made by the Government Officials, meaning all their information is second hand which will create a greater sense of mystery and helplessness. However, these people would receive updates from the world around them, through news channels, radio, the internet, phone calls, rumours etc. So events are worldwide, we're merely getting them from the perspective of these people.
A world where anything can be happening just beyond the edges of your visibility. Where every interaction can be dangerous and you never know what people are going to do and where madness is slowly starting to creep in.
BUDGET: Limitless. Rogue States or Governments can try to dispel the Fog by setting off Nuclear Explosions, Militaries can go rogue and declare Martial Law, or team up with the Police to start to stockpile food for their own survival. PETA can release zoo animals, so there can be Elephants and Lions roaming down the streets.
We will start officially tomorrow and look to complete our efforts by September the 7th.
I envisage that the first week will be taken up largely with discussions about the general Chronology or events/plot, characters and such, so everyone is on the same page regarding where the story is heading.
Once we have a basic plan, individual writers can elect to write a certain section. Then we'll collate it and have a rough outline of the whole season.
I think it would be a great way of channelling the talent on here into something productive, with a definitive end goal. I also think it would be a lot of fun and generate some engaging talk and ideas.
The intention is to distribute the Final Product over ITunes, Spotify, Acast, Youtube etc.
Don't know much about podcasts, at least not this type. I'll check out Homecoming later today, had no idea it started as a podcast. So it's not gonna be like just a narrator telling a story? There will be actual (non-visual) scenes with characters talking, radio broadcasts, etc. Basically we're right there in the middle of events as they're unfolding.
Are you going to give us more story specifics, or are we all collaborating on pretty much everything? For example, if it takes place when the mist first arrives or focuses on years later... is this all up for debate?
This is an interesting challenge. It seems to have been inspired by the current state of the world. Am I correct in that assumption, Rick?
I don't plan on participating; I'm out the game for the foreseeable future. I did want to comment, though, as I'm definitely on the podcast bandwagon atm but haven't been familiar with this side of it up until now. I tend to listen to the big ones (Joe Rogan, etc.), which are not written and have no structure. I think the free form is a large part of the appeal, but I'd be curious as to how the podcasts mentioned above fare within a narrative structure (the closest I've listened to would be Last Podcast on the Left, a true crime podcast). All this to say kudos on being timely and inventive.