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[Stanley Fest ’14] Getting Vocal With ‘Tales From Beyond the Pale’

By  on April 27, 2014

One of the most pleasant surprises of this year’s Stanley Film Fest was being able to witness a live recording of Tales From Beyond The Pale at the Historic Park Theater in downtown Estes Park. For those unfamiliar, Pale is a radio show produced and directed by Larry Fessenden (Habit, Beneath) and Glenn McQuaid (V/H/S, I Sell The Dead). Previous episodes have been penned by the likes of JT Petty, Simon Barrett and many other noted horror writers.

Fessenden filled me in on the show’s history several days before the performance, “we devised the concept some years ago and we went into the studio and did 10 of them, which allowed us to craft them very well. It’s an experience as an audio drama, it’s not just about dialogue. It’s also about sound design. And that did well, it was well liked. So we said, ‘let’s do it live.’ An opportunity came up with a theater engagement in New York and we pushed ourselves and approached different collaborators and did it live and that was great. But this is our first time traveling with the live show.”

That live show is surprisingly complex. If you’re thinking a radio show just involves a microphone and some prerecorded sound effects, you’d be wrong. There are several other performers onstage in addition to the voice actors, ensuring the room (and your ears) are filled with a palpable atmosphere. From plinking ice in a glass when someone pours a drink to stretching celery in unnatural ways to depict a werewolf transformation. McQuaid rightly insists that this stuff is every bit as valuable as the meat and bones of the narrative, “the foley because your performance too. The show is happening live and if someone’s digging a grave, the actor needs to hear and feel that.”

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