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The WGA‘s recent seminar on e-publishing revealed how this storytelling arena has just exploded in a few short years — and it’s indeed become a legit pool of intellectual property for Hollywood to draw from.

Perhaps most interestingly, is now developing original (non-book) dramatic content. Taking their cue from Netflix and Amazon Studios, they’re looking for edgy, high-concept narratives — but ears-only, of course.

Audible isn’t looking for 10-minute mini-dramas or mini-comedies: they want projects with a minimum 5 hours of running time (which may be a single narrative, or 5-10 episodes of a dramatic series for binge-listening). They’re looking for synopsis and treatment first, and anticipate a full development cycle before going to script (and eventually, greenlighting production with name talent attached).

Who knew radio drama would come back? Will epic poetry be next?

Happily, Audible is also working with the WGA to become a Guild signatory.

Radio drama has continued as a viable genre in the United Kingdom and even in Canada; I suspect we American writers have a lot more catching up to do to get a handle on the rhythms, techniques and uniqueness of audio comedy and drama.

Audible’s bid to join Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Studios may seem like a longshot, but a few years ago, not many people were ready to bet on Amazon: now they’re a serious player in the space (see Alpha House). One might argue whether this is truly screenwriting. However, many of the first television series writers came out of the world of radio drama. So perhaps this is a case of everything that goes around, comes around…

Written by tborst

June 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm

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