Black Chords · News

Black Chords Teaser, and what comes next

Hopefully by now you’re taken some time to give the Teaser for Black Chords a listen. If you haven’t it’s right over here. Thanks again to the lovely Jessica Calvello for lending her talent to the debut!

But I’ve been getting some questions about the project, and I decided to go ahead and whip up this post to answer a few of them, including questions on when you can expect to see (hear) the pilot episode go live. Let’s get to it.

What is Black Chords?

Black Chords is an audiodrama/radioplay in the tradition of the audiodramas from the 30’s and 40’s. The story takes place in an alternate universe Los Angeles in 1941, and it’s a blend of Detective Noir and the cosmic horror of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. It will be written and engineered by little old me for the time being.

Who’s in it?

I’ve approached some fellow voice-over talent already, and while I don’t want to give too much away, I can happily say that those I’ve talked to are not only super-talented staples from the anime industry, but they’re also excited about the concept. Winning.

When are we going to hear more? Where’s the pilot episode?

As of writing this, I’m shooting for releasing the first hour-ish long episode via YouTube by mid April. It serves as both an introduction to the world, and kind of a gatekeeper, because there’s a catch buried in the waveforms of this episode.

Catch? Wait. What’s the catch?

Remember those voice actors I mentioned? While they’re friends of mine, they’re professionals who deserve to be paid. So, with that in mind, the pilot will serve as a yardstick for listener interest. The reaction and support will determine if the project goes forward after that.

What’s needed for the first season?

Because of the amount of talent going in, and the sheer volume of production work it takes to make a show like this, the first season’s existence, and how many episodes there will be will be entirely up to fan support. I’ll be setting two goals on the Patreon to be met.

At $200 per month from patrons, Black Chords will get a full season, consisting of once-a-month episodes.

At $400 or more, that will be enough to produce an episode twice a month, or one every two weeks, akin to the schedules of other podcasts like Welcome to Nightvale.

Well, okay, but why that much?

I’ll break it down. Aside from hosting costs to give the episodes the ability to be put on streaming services like ITunes for those that don’t like listening through YouTube, this prime cost will come from paying the talent. While the voiceactors I’ve reached out to are willing to work with me on rates, I’ve been in this freelance game for far too long to be a cheapskate.

Depending on the casting, a single episode of Black Chords will cost me anywhere from $75 to $300, and while I’ll be writing the scripts with that in mind, it doesn’t change the fact that they deserve to be paid for their time, no matter how large or small the role is.

As for other costs, well, I kinda gotta eat, too. Remaining funds will be used for bills, rent, and keeping more than mustard in the refrigerator. Blessed be.

Can we support it now?

Um, sure? I mean I appreciate the zeal, but I also don’t expect anyone to chip in based on just the teaser. I won’t be updating my Patreon with the tier goals until the pilot episode’s released, so for now if you would like to contribute, you would be first and foremost supporting my books, articles, and other creative geekery. In other words, don’t feel pressured to hitting my tip jar based on the idea alone.

And I think that about covers it. Of course, if you have any other questions or comments, you can feel free to sound off below, shoot me an email, or reach out to me on Twitter.



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