Personal Essay: Graeme Dunlop
In 2009, I chanced upon Pseudopod in a post by Wil Wheaton:
“Today’s entry is something I love, that probably wouldn’t be able to exist in any other medium at any other time: Pseudopod.
Pseudopod ‘brings you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere’ and it’s pretty damn awesome. Every week, they release a new short story, entirely for free. The stories hit way more often than they miss (and that’s really just because of personal tastes; the readers are all fantastic and the writing is always very, very good) and they range from short, 10-minute distractions to 45-minute journeys to Places Man Was Not Meant To Go.”
"Cool," I thought, "I’ll go check it out." I subscribed, and thus began my journey.
It took me a little while to get into it, but it wasn’t long before I was well and truly hooked, and going back over every episode from the first. It’s the first podcast I ever listened to and, honestly, is still one of my favourites.
Becoming audio producer for my favourite ’cast was both exciting and terrifying! I’m self-taught in audio production, and in the beginning, there was the horror that I’d somehow screw it all up and destroy Pseudopod.
Thankfully, the tentacular one is more than strong enough to withstand my shortcomings :)
One of my formative stories—in the audio sense—was Episode 285, “Kill Screen“ by Chris Lewis Carter. This one had multiple readers and Shawn wanted some very particular sound effects. It took me some time to track them down and work out how best to fit all the pieces together. But in the end I was pleased with the result, and felt like I’d really accomplished something! (Of course, I’d do it differently now. That was four years ago!)
A story I really enjoyed producing is “The Killing Machine” by Karen Runge, which appears in Episode 347: Flash On The Borderlands XVI: Trial & Discipline. Part of the fun was Shawn’s contribution of Diamanda Galas’ “music” which is as . . . interesting . . . to hear as the story suggests. But a lot of it was Eve Upton’s wonderful narration which, at times, reminded me of the voice of Overwatch in Half Life 2: “Attention ground units. Anticitizen reported in this community. Code: lock, cauterize, stabilize.” (You can hear it here,) Any kind of tenuous connection with Half Life 2 makes me very happy indeed.
As does audio production for Pseudopod! It’s not always easy or fun, but it IS always satisfying. I don’t regret one single moment in this job, and I hope the care we put into each and every episode comes through. We love this podcast.
As my Pseudopod t-shirt says, “Quite possibly the last thing you’ll ever hear.” I would die happy if that were so.
Graeme Dunlop is a Software Solution Architect and Sonic Ninja. Despite his somewhat mixed accent, he was born in Australia. He loves the spoken word and believes it has the ability to lift the printed word above and beyond cold words on a page. He and Barry J. Northern founded Cast of Wonders in 2011 and can be found narrating or hosting the occasional episode, or working on projects behind the scenes. He is co-editor and co-host of PodCastle and has read stories for all of Escape Artists podcasts.
Graeme lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Amanda, and crazy boy dog, Jake.