Will Rogers, Lead Podcast Writer for Skylark Media, is the writer behind Blackwood, a producer of Earth Break, the director of The Long Hallway, and a creative contributor/performer on numerous additional series, like Guide to the Unknown.
Based in central New Jersey, Will is a producer, problem-solver, and performer known for his quick-wit, outside-the-box thinking, and ability to execute.
As the writer of Blackwood, I was responsible for generating not only all six scripts, but ensuring they were produced with ad breaks, and a particular run-time in mind.
My responsibilities stretched beyond writing, as I participated in the recording process at Unbridled Sound, ensuring that any creative decisions were made in the spirit of the series. I was also responsible for overseeing the post processing on each episode, providing notes on each cut to our director, producer, and sound studio.
I oversaw the ad placement and PR processes leading up to launch, and watched as we debuted at #1 on Apple Podcast’s Art Category.
Pre-Production of Earth Break began as I was in Los Angeles for the recording of Blackwood.
I worked closely with series writer Morgan Ormond to guide the writing process, not only of each episode, but the full series trajectory.
After Blackwood, it seemed possible to push the limits of the Audio Drama genre of podcasting. As Morgan’s scripts involved so much physicality, I pitched to the executive team at Skylark Media the idea of recording Earth Break on location, similar to the way film and television are filmed. When we brought on producer April Lamb and director Aaron Katz, the idea was taken further. Before I knew it, I was on a remote farm an hour north of LA watching our lead performer, Jenny Slate, run along dirt roads and escape from aliens in my rental car. The sound was captured live, lending Earth Break a level of authenticity unheard of in podcasting.
It was this unique production method that helped open the doors for our premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, the first fiction podcast to debut at the event. For months before the opening, I worked closely with Aaron to film and edit a visual component for the premiere, designed to add, but not outshine, the stellar audio of the show (once again recorded and edited by Unbridled Sound). I also worked again to advise on each cut of the episodes, and oversaw the launch strategy, where we once again debuted as the #1 Arts podcast on Apple Podcasts.
Earth Break represents a tremendous step forward for authenticity in fiction podcasting, and a personal point of pride and appreciation that an idea of mine was treated seriously and executed so expertly.
During post-production of Earth Break, I worked closely with Skylark Media’s co-founder and VP Derrick Smith on the podcast strategy for the foreseeable future. One of my suggestions was that, while Blackwood and Earth Break are productions to be proud of, the cost associated, and number of people involved means we can only tackle productions of that magnitude once a year.
We began working on a series of in-house productions, relying on ourselves and the incredible Skylark Media staff for the writing. One of the things my coworkers frequently ask me about is how to write podcasts, and so The Long Hallway was born as a means to allow for more diverse voices, offering anyone, whether they’re a writer by trade or not to pitch ideas.
I oversaw the writing process of twelve short-form scripts, working directly with our writers to develop and refine their concepts. Production was carried out over the course of two weeks in Baltimore, Maryland, where I both ran the recording equipment and directed performers both professional and amateur to get the performances required. From there, I worked directly with our editor to help assemble and polish the audio.
The Long Hallway is a labor of love, designed to test the market for “flash fiction” storytelling in podcasting. My goal was to offer an opportunity to aspiring writers, and finally display my passion and aptitude for working with performers. The Long Hallway represents not my first directing effort, but my first professional directing debut.
Guide to the Unknown is a weekly comedy podcast created and hosted by my sister Kristen R Anderson and myself.
The latest, and sole remaining independent podcast on my slate, Guide to the Unknown is recorded each week live on YouTube in front of our audience who are able to communicate directly with us via a chat box. Every episode, Kristen and I each research an urban legend, legendary creator, or myth, and then share what we learned with each other and our listeners/viewers. The live feed is edited and released on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other podcast apps each Friday.
Guide to the Unknown is a true independent production, where all artwork, audio design, and material is generated by my sister and myself.