NEW STRETCH GOAL!
We were initially reluctant to set stretch goals for this project, but we've decided to add one here in the final days of our campaign, and it's a doozy:
A SECOND SEASON OF TALES FROM THE BLACK VAULT
YES! If we manage to make the stretch goal of $3,000, we will have enough to pay for the production for another full eight episodes of Tales from the Black Vault! It's an immense task - we'll need to raise almost $200 per day for the last four days, but if you'd like to hear twice as many spine-tingling tales from our talented cast, now is the time to dig deep, and share the word with your friends and family.
Listen to our demo episode, which was produced with few (zero) resources, and imagine what we could do with access to actual studio time and proper equipment!
The cast of The Black Vault has been improvising Lovecraftian horror stories onstage since 2012. We terrified and severely creeped out audiences in an acclaimed two-month mainstage run at the Hideout Theatre in Austin, Texas, delivered sanity-blasting performances at improv festivals as far-flung as Juneau, Alaska, and turned up in numerous enigmatic guest appearances and inexplicable mash-up shows on stages everywhere.
And now, we would like to record a podcast.
For this project, we will improvise a set of eight brand-new, twenty-minute audio performances in a recording studio. Then we'll add scoring, add sound effects, and distribute the series online for free!
Lovecraft fans, this is a chance to hear some completely original stories set in the style of the master of cosmic horror.
Improv fans, this is a chance to make a new type of improv podcast—an improvised narrative with top-of-the-line recording and post-production. If we can blaze this trail, other troupes can follow.
And everyone should listen to our first demo episode and check out the rewards to the right.
For more information, check out the FAQ below!
The current cast of The Black Vault features a murderer's row of Austin-improv talent.
Emily Breedlove has performed opera across the country, and improvised in genre shows ranging from the Arabian Nights to improvised Doctor Who.
Jay Michael co-created Start Trekkin', the longest-running improvised genre show in Austin.
Brad Hawkins created Trust No One at the Institution Theater.
Justin Davis created The Next Chapter and The Professor, a Doctor Who-inspired improv show.
Andreas Fabis directs Pick Your Own Path at the Hideout, and performs with Marc in The Escorts.
Peter Rogers is a renowned improv narrator who's appeared in countless mainstage shows.
And Roy Janik is the artistic director and one of the owners of the Hideout Theatre.
Lindsey McGowen is heading up the production side of things. She comes to improv from the world of a cappella recording, where she has considerable experience with audio engineering.
Peter Rogers—who, in addition to being in the cast, is also the tech wizard who built most of the Austin Improv Wiki—will be helping her out.
(Note: if you see us live, you'll get to see stunning improvised tech from Neal Tibrewala, Cindy Page, and Michael Yew—they'll be consulting with us on this project. And while Clay Towery has passed on from this world, he shall always remain a Member Emeritus in the next.)
When we're finished, we will unleash eight brand new recordings of horrible tales in the style of H.P. Lovecraft that the world never heard before. These stories will be professionally engineered and completely free to anyone who dares listen. If you help us bring this project to completion, you get more things!
Exclusive Early Access!
Video Thanks From The Cast!
Your Own Lovecraftian Monologue!
Spooky Voice Mail Message!
Ominous Handwritten Letters!
We'll Include You In The Story!
Record With Us!
The cast and crew of Tales from the Black Vault thanks your for your patronage, and we hope to bring you our new series of horror radio drama in the coming months. The stars are right, so please lend us your support today!
This promo video includes photos from Control Images and Steve Rogers Photography, fonts from the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Society (cthulhulives.org/toybox/propdocs/propfonts.html), and Mike Koenig's "TV Static" sound from soundbible.com/1611-TV-Static.html. Thanks, guys!
Risks and challenges
Tales from the Black Vault will be improvised, and that comes with its own risks and safeguards. On the plus side, our current cast has a dozen experienced improvisors, so if scheduling goes awry or a cast member develops a crippling fear of microphones, we can still easily fill our recording sessions with capable performers. On the other hand, there is always the risk with improv that the stories we improvise won't be that good—one safeguard against this is that the troupe has a very good track record of consistently delivering engaging performances.
In addition, our current plan is to actually record *ten* stories and produce the best eight, ensuring a quality set of recordings.
There is also a risk that our outstanding audio engineer, Lindsey McGowen, may be consumed by eldritch abominations or something. Lindsey is taking time off from her busy improv-tech schedule to make sure she has enough time and energy for this project, and we'll be training up assistant editors who can take up the slack if anything goes wrong.
Finally, this project is uncharted territory. No Austin improv troupe has ever done a podcast, let alone a podcast with this level of production quality. As far as we can tell, no troupe anywhere has attempted a project quite like this. That means there could be 'unknown unknowns' that make things unexpectedly difficult. To guard against that, we've already produced a demo episode on the cheap, and we will keep backers apprised of our progress with regular updates.
The upside is that, if this project succeeds, it can provide a blueprint for other troupes who want to pursue similar projects. Austin alone is full of enough genre improv for many, many podcasts.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)