It’s back to the future — only better — for the makers of “The Elmwood Strain.”
Rather than ride out the pandemic in isolation, a group of predominantly local filmmakers focused on producing a high-grade scripted horror podcast. It’s sort of like the old-time scripted radio dramas of yore, but with much higher production standards.
The creators describe “The Elmwood Strain” as part horror, part thriller and part mystery. The story turns on a new psychedelic drug with rather unfortunate aftereffects. If that’s your thing, this thing is for you.
“I was trying to go for something that transcended traditional radio drama. And also, to be honest with you, transcended most scripted podcasts,” says Anthony Ladesich, director of the podcast.
“I find that there’s a lot of residual radio drama performance style where everything is really big,” Ladesich says. “I wanted really minute, small, nuanced performances that would provide a platform in the edit… to take those moments and do world building around them.”
In terms of sound design, the key is subtlety — a neat trick in telling a horror story. The goal is to encourage the listener’s imagination to become a surrogate cinematographer filling in the blanks — sort of like stripping the visuals from a Robert Altman film to reveal the multi-layered depth of his famed cross-talking background conversations.
Check out the attached video to see how they did. “The Elmwood Strain” premieres Monday on The Violet Hour, a scripted horror podcast network.