16 Feb Congeria
Hey Sleepless! So if you’ve been following the blog for the last week, you’ll know I’m deep in a forest in the Carpathian mountains, hunting down some kind of pig-based creature that my guide, Danny, was going to show me.
Well, there’s been a temporary setback, hence the absence of a blog on Tuesday. Last Friday night, in the middle of a colossal storm, Danny went out to investigate some strange noises in the forest at midnight. Now, you’re probably expecting me to say that he never came back, but if only it was that simple.
Danny did come back. But he’s changed.
We’ve been here for a week. Danny keeps pacing up and down the cabin, going in and out of his bedroom, rattling pots and pans in the kitchen. I keep hearing him mutter under his breath, and occasionally he makes strange oinking sounds. It’s a little disconcerting. So I was stuck here in the cabin with him – and I’d like to just clarify here, Danny’s an old friend. I’ve known him for years. He’s not some rando I just met, he’s my Transylvanian contact from back in my newspaper days. He’s never behaved like this before. It’s very odd.
Anyway, the storm on Friday never let up. It’s been storming for seven solid days now. We’re lucky we have a huge supply of firewood otherwise we’d be here in the cold. Thankfully we’ve had a log fire burning every night.
Above the fireplace, there’s an odd picture. It’s a pig, staring straight out into the room. It’s just… there, looking out. It’s standing in a field, and while the painting looks like it’s broad daylight, the shadows are strange and creeping. There’s a darkness to the picture. And the pig’s eyes… they’re very human. They look like they follow you around the room wherever you are.
I keep catching Danny looking at the painting. Sometimes, when he thinks I’m not listening, I hear him talk to it. Whispering that he’s sorry. Whispering that he’ll make amends.
I don’t like it. I’m freaked out. Which is why I’ve persuaded Jessica McEvoy to make a stop-over in Transylvania on her way to the tour.
“But the tour’s in America and I’m in America,” she said when I asked her. I told her there was something suspicious going on with pigs, but no deal. Then I told her about the cupboards in the cottage, absolutely filled with snacks. She’ll be arriving tonight.
The storm is meant to abate tonight too, and Danny promises that once Jessica gets here, we’ll be able to begin our trek deeper into the forest. I still don’t know what it is he wants to show me. I guess we’ll see.
In the meantime though, I want to talk about something else. You may have heard of Congeria, a new podcast from Atticus Jackson, Henry Galley and a bunch of other talented folk. I’ve heard some of the show, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Trust me, you want to get in on this one on the ground floor.
If you haven’t heard it yet, check out the audio trailer below. If you have, well, listen again. It’s that good.
Meanwhile, I asked Atticus and Henry to share a few words with us about Congeria.
David Cummings really laid out an amazing ground floor of how to run a podcast. I wanted to build off of that ground floor with an entertaining audio-drama production that was serialized instead of storytelling based like The NoSleep Podcast. All this popped into my head one late night while talking to the infamous Henry Galley, and we kinda just said, “Flip it, let’s try it out”. I’m very excited to bring the chaotic world of Congeria to life.
I’m nervous and excited. This is the biggest project I’ve ever created/co-created. Since day 1 back in March of 2017, I’ve been very optimistic about this podcast. I wanted the best actors, the best production, the best music, and the best writing. I think I covered all my bases with Congeria. These people really are fantastic!
I don’t know if I can say that Congeria is something unlike what people are used to hearing from serialized audio drama podcasts. There’s a ton of them, and I haven’t heard nearly enough to be an expert on them. Congeria is special though, at least to me it is. I was able to work with all the people I love working with, and also bring in some people who aren’t hugely popular, but have amazing talent. I’ve also thrown in a few cameos from some popular Youtube channels, so I hope people will get a kick out of that! At the end of the day, I’m happy with what we’ve created. I just hope others are as entertained by Congeria as I am.
With Congeria, we wanted to tell the stories we believe in, and, in doing so, try to create an audio drama podcast that stands out. We tried to take it back to basics. Ensemble cast, more minimal narration, and an insulated fictional universe that isn’t making any attempt to be our own reality. It’s fiction, it knows it’s fiction, and it has fun with it.
I’m that natural mix of excited beyond words and utterly terrified, but ultimately, I have a huge amount of confidence in the team, and know that together it’s created something special. The nerves are never fully gonna go away, but having this faith in the people I’m working with definitely helps alleviate that a little.
I hope everyone gets a good time [out of Congeria], a collection of weird and wonderful characters they can love (or love to hate, in some cases), and a story that’ll stay with them. That’s what it’s all about, after all, telling stories that make people feel something, those are the ones that matter. I can safely say it’s already done that for me.
Having watched Henry, Atticus, Gabrielle and the others work so hard on Congeria over the last months, I’m incredibly excited to see it come to fruition, and I’ll be looking forward to February 20th when it launches.
While you wait, why not also check out the animated trailer?
See you next time, Sleepless!