It was payday this week, and after payday I tend to buy new albums, just to liven up my listening experience. This month, however, I ran into some difficulty in selecting something to purchase; I’d pretty much exhausted my listening capacity for industrial and metal with near-constant Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson throughout the last month, and I just didn’t know what I was in the mood for.
Then, something twigged in me; I had been listening to a documentary about the War of the Worlds, and all the panic it caused when it first aired in 1938. I’ve not listened to it all yet, but of the bits I’ve heard, a lot of it holds up really well to modern storytelling techniques. Yes, the idea of invaders from Mars may be a bit far-fetched nowadays, but the way that they presented the story, interrupting a music show, framing the plot as live radio broadcasts. You can compare it to modern films like Cloverfield, the Blair Witch Project, anything that tries to present itself as being genuine and real.
Now, I’m not going to dump on these modern works here, as easy as it would be to say ‘Oh, yes, you’ll never beat the classics’. That’s complete bull, classics are beaten every day, people are just too nostalgic (For example, I used to think that the prosthetics in the original Star Wars were the best things ever. then I looked at Admiral Ackbar again a couple of years ago. Awesome, but not quite as awesome as I had remembered). However, there’s just a quality about the radio broadcast and mid-20th century American speech patterns that really bring home the believability.
Maybe it’s because everything is so restrained? There’s something more believable about somebody who ISN’T screaming blue murder, but is speaking in a frightened, yet controlled manner. Of course, it’s not necessarily realistic, but as a storytelling device, it conveys more to me in the audience.
Since I’m dabbling in mid 20th-century radio dramas, I should also mention the Jack Benny shows. They are absolutely hilarious, with fantastic performances and surprisingly clever writing, I highly recommend listening to them!
Anyways, to bed. Don’t forget to vote in the poll as to what print work I’ll be working on in the next few weeks! Poll will close on Monday, so have your say, your input is always valued, so get in there and let me know what you think!