The Sonic Society

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Top 5 Hardest Working Producer/Writers in Audio Drama Today

otrmikeAudio Drama is replete with people who put their nose to the grindstone. Many producers work extremely hard to produce incredible productions. But who are the hardest working producer/writers in the modern audio drama movement? To tunnel down the list, it’s important to keep in mind that many producers like Dirk Maggs (Perfectly Normal Productions) and John Ballentine (Campfire Radio Theater) take longer to produce very high level productions. To make our list of hardest working producers/writers we have to look at consistent releases, and a hand involved in all parts of the process from writing, directing, acting, and audio editing.

Here’s our list.

5. Bill Hollweg (Broken Seas Audio)

While Broken Seas has slowed down its production releases from their heyday several years ago. One producer remains tireless in his production grind. Working daily to produce everything from original shows such as Jake Sampson- Monster Hunter, The Saga of the Grog & Gryphon, to 2109 AD, to his beloved recreations and adaptations to Planet of the Apes, Battlestar Galactica, a certain unmentionable dark haired barbarian, and most recently Amity- Dark Waters, Bill continues to tirelessly provide entertainment to the BSA fan crowd. His dedication to all things audio drama extends to his love song to the old time radio days with Swagcast where he painstakingly works to get rid of the buzz from the poor recordings to provide clearer production sounds. Bill works several jobs, and natural insomnia has him up editing and writing late at night and early in the morning before his classic work day begins.

4. Pete Lutz (Narada Radio Company)

Deep into season three, Peter Lutz is following in the footsteps of his hero Orson Welles in creating the anthology series Pulp-Pourri Theatre. In three years, Pete has produced over thirty shows pulled from public domain pulp stories, classic theatre tales, and original scripts. Rumour has it, Mr. Lutz is working steadily on a long series of western stories to be produced by NRC. Award winning, Pete Lutz keeps rolling out more and more hour long and multiple hour long productions that he puts in archive.org for your listening pleasure!

3. Gregg Taylor (Decoder Ring Theatre)

Moving down from our solid second place spot is Gregg Taylor from Decoder Ring Theatre. Perhaps one of the most prolific writers in the modern age of radio drama, Gregg used to release a brand new show every other week. A release schedule that was only breeched once since they began eleven years ago (the same time as The Sonic Society by the way). Gregg has moved more recently to a monthly release schedule, but that doesn’t mean he’s become less productive. The author of over a dozen novels and comics, based on his iconic brands The Red Panda and Black Jack Justice as well as other stories, Mr. Taylor epitomizes- the now legendary mantra update- of “how to get to Carnegie Hall” for successful podcasts everywhere, “How do you get listeners? Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.”

2. Jeffrey Adams (Icebox Radio)

If there is one true innovator in the world of free modern podcast audio theatre it is Jeffrey Adams. Jeff created Sound Stages which began initially as a precursor to the Sonic Society and then transformed into the 24 hour, seven days a week live audio drama Internet radio station that you can hear today. Jeff’s original works became the award winning foundation of his stories that he set in “the land of the Icebox” near International Falls. Icebox Radio officially became a non-profit organization with memberships, donations and an executive council. Most recently, Icebox Radio has made the transition to Radio Icebox in which Jeffrey has taken his talented pen, directing skills, and production experience to run a continuous serial about a strange northern town cut off from the rest of civilization.

1. Jerry Robbins (Colonial Radio Theatre)

There are several talented audio drama companies, very few are driven predominately by a single writer, director, producer, and actor. For over two decades Jerry has written and produced hundreds of radio plays- first released on cassettes, then CD’s and now through downloads. Colonial Radio Theatre has been given dozens of awards, and has had the opportunity to work with personalities such as Ray Bradbury and Walter Koenig. Jerry has written and produced well over a hundred episodes of his western saga Powder River and their catalogue includes everything from children’s tales, horror, mystery, drama, comedy, action adventure, historical drama, fantasy, and science fiction. CRT has adapted classic novels, famous plays, comic books, and television shows. Jerry has also created such indelible original series such as Jerry and the Pirates, Beacon Hill, Royall House, The Dibble Show, and Ticonderoga. His production from William Luce‘s radio adaptation of the one man play Jerry became known for Barrymore tops this reviewer’s list of must listen audio. There is little doubt as to why CRT remains at the top of Amazon audio book charts month after month because they are always producing, and always releasing.

 

This list is far from complete. There are so many writers and producers out there that work extremely hard on their productions but may have more spread out release dates. Some are fairly new on the scene (only a year or two beginning). Many more take long deserved hiatus from their works, and still others find life interrupts their passion for making radio plays.

This list is not meant to overlook the fantastic community of which I happily belong, nor suggest that one radio drama production is arbitrarily better or worse than others, but rather to give my thanks to those who work and release consistently and unendingly in their pursuit to provide to us- the listeners- their audio dramas.

Thanks to all, and may the list above inspire you to get more productions out there!


About The Author

Born to Teachers and Amateur Audio Enthusiasts in the small rural community of Belwood, Jack's first love was stories- writing, reading, telling, and singing. He developed his acting skills through High School, University, and through film and community theatre. Jack writes the lion's share of Electric Vicuna's Audio Drama scripts and has his own writing site at www.jackjward.com He's thrilled to co-host the Sonic Society with his wonderful, talented, friend David Ault!

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