The Story So Far: Fiction Podcasts Take Their Next Steps
From left, Eli Horowitz, Alex Blumberg and Mark Phillips at a Gimlet Media studio; founded by Mr. Blumberg, Gimlet is a maker of podcasts that is expanding into fictional narrative with “Homecoming,” directed by Mr. Horowitz and sound design by Mr. Phillips. Credit George Etheredge for The New York Times
On one long August day, Eli Horowitz camped out in a cramped studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn, with Oscar Isaac, Catherine Keener, a microphone and a solitary Betta fish named Young Hollywood swimming laps around its little bowl. Mr. Horowitz was there to direct Ms. Keener and Mr. Isaac as they acted out the story of a strange and intimate relationship between a therapist and an army veteran who come together as part of a secretive — maybe even sinister — government program. Mr. Isaac played the vet, Ms. Keener the therapist. Young Hollywood served as scenery.
The catch: They had to convey all of this exclusively through sound — including the fish. Also, Mr. Horowitz had never directed an actor in his life.
“I literally Googled ‘how to direct,’” Mr. Horowitz said. “I swear I read a WikiHow page about it.”
Mr. Horowitz has built a career as an experimental storyteller. He was managing editor and then publisher of the innovative fiction outfit McSweeney’s, then the creator of a pair of “digital novels,” which play with geolocation and serialization to make stories for mobile devices. Now he’s working in a new form: the fictional podcast.
Content retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/arts/fiction-podcasts-homecoming.html?_r=0.