Working in audio plays started out of necessity, but before long I found myself focusing on scenarios that would be tough to pull off with visuals. (Don’t get me wrong–anything can be done. Locke was amazing, and it’s one man driving his car for two hours, talking to people via speakerphone.)
Having spent time in an MRI, though, I’m pretty sure nobody really wants to look at the interior of one for any length of time. At least Ivan Locke was free to move his head as he talked. (And the visual, from a patient’s point of view inside an MRI tube, is of a blank grey wall, slightly too close to your eyes. Nothing to focus on. Heck, the internet doesn’t even have photos from the inside of an MRI!) This claustrophobia on screen would quickly lead to misery–viewers’ misery, I mean (a little character misery can be a fine thing, unfortunately for them).
The Truth’s Brain Chemistry takes great advantage of an unfilmable space. I’m not saying more, because spoilers, but if you don’t already know the piece, go have a listen right now—you won’t regret it. (If by some chance you haven’t already poured through their back catalog, my apologies to everyone who was expecting anything from you in the next day or two. It’s an epic binge, but well worth it!)
In an upcoming Theatrophone show, we have another tight space, a meeting that takes place inside a dark wardrobe. After that, the world is wide open: audio plays have sweet spots beyond claustrophobic quarters, of course. Horror shows can be especially effective at creeping you out when it’s your own mind filling in the creepy details (like that episode of Black Mirror without the futuristic tap into your brain), and podcasts can give us zombies without risk of hokey makeup and outer space without a wild effects budget. Where to go next?