31 October 2010

"Under the Lamplight"

A brand new piece I wrote for Radio Hound Productions is now online! "Under the Lamplight" is the final installment in their Scream Til You Die Shocktober! Terrible Tales of Terrific Terror series. Which means it's spooktacular. Or ghoulicious. Or doomnificient. Or eerieriffic. Give yourself a treat for Halloween and listen to it here (click the "Pod" icon next to the title). To listen to the rest of the Scream Til You Die Shocktober series, click here.

The story of how I came up with this is stupidly long and mostly uninteresting. Suffice it to say that it stems from a visit I took to the Biltmore Estate back in the '90s with my family, where I got the idea of a man falling in love with a dead person's image. That specific idea cropped up in a short story that ended up going nowhere, and then returned like a rotting zombie to make an appearance in this radio play.

A severely altered and changed appearance, I should add. My goal for this was to try to combine what I love about Edgar Allan Poe's stories with my love for Japanese horror tales. Not the modern day creepy-children-with-long-hair movies, mind you, but the old stories they (sometimes) derive from. Lafcadio Hearn's books are full of them (Kwaidan being his most famous, made into a film AND a Project Gutenberg e-book) and Wikipedia has pretty healthy pages devoted to specific stories. I also rewatched Ugetsu and read the stories available in the Criterion Collection's DVD package of the film.

Those inspirations somehow gelled and congealed with my original idea to produce "Under the Lamplight." I avoided jump scares because, you know, it's radio and you can't really have anything jump out at people. Also, they're cheap as hell. So I focused instead on steadily increasing the creepiness and moody atmosphere throughout, amping these elements for the ending. I hope you enjoy it, not just this Halloween, but anytime you need an old-fashioned scare.

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