Mike Monello and Nick Braccia: Five Things They Learned Editing Video Palace: In Search Of The Eyeless Man

In the popular podcast, Video Palace, Mark Cambria, helped by his sweetheart Tamra Wulff, investigated the origins of a series of mystical white video tapes. Cambria went missing in pursuit of these tapes, however not before hearing whispers of a threatening figure called the Eyeless Man.

Fascinated by these events, Maynard Wills, PhD, a teacher of folklore, starts his own examination into the origins of the tapes and the Eyeless Man, who he thinks has hidden in the dark corners of media culture and urban myths for years. As part of his study, he has actually invited popular authors of scary and gothic fiction to share their Eyeless Man stories, whether heard around the campfire or experienced personally.

Those who got involved and shared their tales include Bram Stoker Award ® winners, Owl Goingback and John Skipp, Brea Grant and Graham Skipper.

As Professor Wills chases the shadowy Eyeless Man hes significantly not able to separate reality from folklore. Only his protege, Daniel Carver, makes every effort to conserve him from the fate that befell Mark Cambria and untold others. Read this thrilling and frightening collection at your own risk; you might just get swept away, too.



We could not simply dive in and try to tell written Video Palace stories without having a discussion on how to achieve that. We had to get on the same page– and quickly– about what makes the DNA of a Video Palace story, regardless of medium. Eventually any Video Palace story requires to transport the listener and develop completing sensations of curiosity and vulnerability; a must in scary fiction. Youve got plenty of tools to do that in audio, plus the podcast is a very first individual story, so listeners benefited from the immediacy of their connection to Mark. To assist set up the stories to feel more dangerous and personal, we welcomed each author to identify how they came upon their story.

Michael Monello is a leader in immersive storytelling. In the late 1990s, Monello and his partners at Haxan Films created The Blair Witch Project, a story told across several media, which ended up being a pop-culture touchstone. Monello cofounded Campfire in 2006 which creates groundbreaking participatory stories and experiences for TELEVISION programs such as True Blood, Game of Thrones, The Purge, The Man in the High Castle, Westworld, Hunters, and more. He cocreated and co-executive produced Video Palace, a scripted fiction scary podcast for Shudder. Monello resides in Brooklyn with his better half Julie and daughters Ava and Lila.

Legal work is the bane of any creative venture, but it was particularly difficult for us as we were taking characters and folklore we created with Shudder for the Video Palace podcast and adding totally new stories and characters for the book with the folks at Simon & & Schuster/Tiller press. Due to the fact that we wished to use our factors an up-front payment and royalties too, we needed to form an LLC to act as the legal entity in between ourselves, Shudder, Simon & & Schuster/Tiller, and our contributors. The initial step was getting Shudder and Simon & & Schuster on the very same page over all the various rights and character concerns while protecting ourselves and our factors. Both organizations made it as easy as possible, and everyone wanted to make this book occur, however the details of the law and agreement language truly bogged us down on event. This was especially challenging as we were moving on with the book while still working through the contracts. Making sure that the interests of all the included parties were being dealt with appropriately was even more time consuming than we anticipated and considerably more costly than we budgeted. We would have prolonged conversations in between ourselves about whatever before we would get on the phone with our legal team simply to lessen the quantity of time logged on the legal meter. We kept our legal emails to a minimum and would preface any internal discussion about problems we wished to attend to by asking ourselves if it was a battle worth combating, as the cost of the fight came out of our own pockets.

Once we got the approval to begin on Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man, we just had about 3 months to get a manuscript together in order to hit the essential pre-Halloween release date. Given that we both have full-time jobs and Nick was wrapping his upcoming book on The Sopranos, we understood an anthology technique was the only choice, with the 2 people acting in a producer/director/editor capability. In the beginning, we believed we d light the beacons and solicit submissions, but when we thought of it, the threat appeared undue. Would we have time to check out everything? And what if we read whatever and didnt love what we got? To paraphrase a line we both utilize with our daughters, “You get what you get and you do not get upset.” We eventually decided that we could not guarantee we d get to excellent this method. Rather, we chose to commission stories. Between our personal networks, plus a huge increase from Ben Rock and Bob DeRosa (our podcast writer/director group) we were able to wrangle a talented and varied group of voices who our companied believe could deliver so long as they were set up with the appropriate information and got the right assistance. Going the commission path gave us more self-confidence and control. It likewise meant a lot more hours prepping, talking and working through our vision; remember, if we went submission, we would probably have actually received 100+ stories. We were contractually bound to provide a book with 10-12 stories and we could just pay for that lots of before going deep( er) into our own pockets. We d have to coach, short and spending plan to greatness otherwise we d be left to write stories to cover our staying word count; whether we had a great concept (and the time to support it) or not. What did we lose out on by going commission? Well, we were restricted in individuals we might approach (though fortunate we understand a lot of fantastic authors) and were fairly specific we would have been able to surface some brand-new and amazing voices had we chanced on submissions. This being our IP, our child, the control indicated more to us. Weve got some concepts for how we can open up Video Palace storytelling chances in the future, though..



We couldnt just dive in and try to tell written Video Palace stories without having a discussion on how to accomplish that. We had to get on the very same page– and quickly– about what makes the DNA of a Video Palace story, regardless of medium.



And while the legal inconvenience up front hurt, having both Simon & & Schuster and Shudder onboard for the marketing has been incredible. We asked if we might have some stories from the audiobook production to produce 3 reward episodes for podcast fans and everyone accepted it– the very first one drops Monday, October 12. We requested particular possessions to be made for sharing throughout their social feeds in addition to for our factors and they delivered. They are even making a special premium item we asked for that will be used to assist create more attention for the book. Were currently in full self-promotion mode and were so much better geared up to manage it since we listened to their ideas, they listened to ours, and were all working towards the exact same outcome. The choice we made– being marketing production partners, rather than anxious authors– led to us having a genuine sense of agency around the books success and more powerful collaboration with our publisher.

Searching for The Eyeless Man: Indiebound|Bookshop|Amazon.

Theres definitely some crossover. In both mediums, you wish to keep simply sufficient details and, when you do provide answers, they need to stimulate new questions. Ultimately any Video Palace story needs to carry the listener and create contending sensations of curiosity and vulnerability; a should in horror fiction. Youve got lots of tools to do that in audio, plus the podcast is a first individual story, so listeners gained from the immediacy of their connection to Mark. In prose, whatever– all the pressure– is on language to accomplish these feelings. To help set up the stories to feel more hazardous and personal, we invited each author to identify how they came across their story. Did it occur to them? If not, who did they hear it from? In the case of very first person stories, the immediacy exists, however even in pre-owned ones theres a clear connection to the author. We provided each writer the possibility to compose a little in advance introduction about the origin of their story. The ones we got worked so well, we made certain everybody included one in their final draft. This assisted make things even more personal and relatable. Ultimately, the most intelligent relocation we made was commissioning incredibly skilled authors and storytellers. In prose stories, swarming with menace and woe, just one uncomfortable metaphor or wrong note can torpedo the immersion. The mastery of expressive language was a should and everyone delivered.

Thanks to all the editors and authors who came prior to us, we were conscious that the marketing capabilities of most publishers are usually stretched thin. Because we both hold day jobs in marketing, we understand how difficult it is to manage the large volume of titles released monthly by a publisher like ours, so we chose instead of be the squeaky wheel requesting more marketing support, we took it upon ourselves to be an engine for concepts and interest with our group. We brought marketing ideas to the table and found everyone super-receptive to hearing them, and enthusiastic adequate to invest in the ones they felt would move the needle and be manageable provided their insane work..

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We built an enticing invitation doc that focused on tone, style and length with some broad examples of the kind of stories that may work. We desired everyones story to feel more theirs than ours, but it was likewise vital that they all hung together. To get private authors aligned, we drew comparisons and built bridges to specific IP, books and movies that our contributors loved to assist cover the space.

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