Saturday, December 31, 2016

The 15-Minute Matter (Revisited)

Still tweaking the various sections, such as this one about the 15-minute episodes, the next step is to incorporate additional segments from the program.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Expense Account Matter Matter (Revisited)

After a bit of re-editing, the segment discussing the expense account device works a bit better. You check it out on the Facebook page: It's almost ready to submit to the first festival.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Making It Real Matter

Something about adding credits to the documentary makes it feel that much more real. I'm planning to submit it for a festival a little later this year but still need to make some tweaks. I just removed a clip I really like from the intro, putting the challenge to me of finding the right place for it elsewhere in the film. It's not over by a long shot.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Evolving Art Form (Revisited)

I've revised the segment I posted in late-December to incorporate some subsequent interviews and tighten things up slightly. Though I suspect there's more tweaking to be done, it remains satisfying.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The "More Than Nostalgia?" Matter

Could radio drama ever return to the airwaves as something other than an occasional curiosity? Veteran radio broadcaster Dick Bertel had some thoughts on the matter when I interviewed him last year?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Wit & Wisdom Matter

What I love most about radio drama among all the forms of dramatic media is the emphasis it gives to the human voice as the driver of the story. Though imaginative sound design often helps set the scene, it's rarely used to paper over narrative shortcomings the way visual effects are in TV and movies. This is especially true for detective dramas, which like their literary counterparts are often told in the first person. For many fans of radio drama, myself included, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was a pinnacle of the genre.

Very often the finest moment of any story would come at the end when Johnny finishes his report and offers his remarks on the case. In many ways, particularly during Bob Bailey's tenure in the lead role, it was a microcosm of what made the show so great. Even in a genre whose success frequently hinged on the quality of the main character's narration, Bailey's delivery of the various writers' sardonic dialogue under Jack Johnstone's direction typically added up to something special.

As I've been revisiting the show's long run as research for this documentary, two particular examples stand out, each by one of old-time radio's best writers. One is from The Cui Bono Matte(by Les Crutchfield) and the other from The Markham Matter (by E. Jack Neuman writing as John Dawson). Both are noteworthy not just for how they speak to the plot but also the way they display Johnny's character. 

The Markham Matter: "In the end it was his attempt to run away, and it didn't work. It never works. Even if you get away, you find something new to run from."

The Cui Bono Matter: "When you gave me this assignment, Don, you asked a question, a phrase in Latin: cui bono? Who benefits? So, here is your answer: nobody."

If you've never heard these stories before, and even if you have, they're both well worth a listen.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Music Man Matter?

One of the best moments from my interview with the late Ed Walker was this piece discussing Bob Bailey and the way certain actors fit a role perfectly. The title of this post will make more sense once you watch it.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The "Why Radio?" Matter

Several weeks back, veteran actor Terry Molloy​, known for both his roles on Doctor Who and the BBC's ongoing radio drama The Archers, was kind enough to be interviewed for my documentary. Among the topics we discussed was what makes radio so special even in a world where technology enables virtually anything to be visualized on-screen. Anyone who's seen him speak at conventions will not be the least bit surprised at his eloquence on the topic.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Enduring Art Form Matter

Last month, award-winning playwright Robert Shearman, who's written numerous plays for BBC Radio, sat down for an interview about the art and enduring power of radio drama.

Monday, March 21, 2016

This was a productive weekend, with two interviews recorded. Next up is the not-so-fun part - transcribing them - to clear the way for the fun part - editing the footage.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Meanwhile Across the Pond

While radio drama may be mainly a curiosity within American popular culture, the medium is still active and vibrant in other countries, particularly the UK. Current productions cover a range of genres, as shown by a 2014 BBC radio adaptation of The Martian Chronicles, which was recently released on CD and digitally. My review of this production, whose cast includes Derek Jacobi and Hayley Atwell, can be found at the website

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The On Further Review Matter

On refection, aside from from tweaks in cutaways, the big need is an epilogue of some sort to tie the various threads together. I have a few thoughts about what that should be and am trying to set up some additional interviews to make it so.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Matter of Perspective

After putting the project aside for a couple weeks to regain some perspective, the current endeavor is to tweak at least the obvious shortcomings in the rough cut. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The 15-minute Matter

A few choice words about the impact of the 15-minute episode format on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. The next step will be to compile the completed segments to see what I have - or don't have, as the case may be.