Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blast from Future Past: Rock Blastaar and the Radio Rangers

I finally got around to uploading Rock Blastaar and the Radio Rangers to Soundcloud. It was created in 2007 as part of WPRB's inaugural membership drive. We were hesitant about the classic PBS/NPR gambit of what I jokingly referred to as "holding the music hostage," but not sure how to express it in a way that affirmed what we felt WPRB was about. Late one Friday night after my show we started recording silly promos for the upcoming drive, and hit on the notion that Dr. Cosmo had actually taken the music hostage, in classic supervillain form. From there it was snapping on the lego pieces of the collective sci-fi unconscious, with some clear influence from the Firesign Theater.

It was an interesting, if consciously anachronistic project: create seven serial episodes over the course of the weeklong membership drive, culminating with a live and in-person finale sunday night. It was a mighty (and perhaps foolhardy) undertaking, but it the first creative project I came to that was really my own. I went after it with passion, writing, recording, and editing the episodes in fairly rapid succession. As the week wore on and I ran on less and less sleep, and thankfully had the much-needed help of Zoe Saunders and my brother Brendan Flynn writing the scripts to the last few episodes. It also gave me an in-depth understanding of the pace and demands of writing radio plays on a regular basis, which proved exceedingly useful in my senior thesis, an analysis of the 1938 "War of the Worlds" broadcast and its role in the burgeoning field of communications research.

Alex Basile and I also developed a sequel in 2009. We concepted it in Princeton that summer, but I actually recorded most of my lines in Cambodia and sent to him to stitch into the finished whole. Thomas Friedman may be kind of foolish, but the world is a lot flatter than it used to be.