“253 Mathilde” Crowdfunds Second Season
The realistic science fiction audio drama series is back with a remarkably modest budget.
DIAMOND SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, January 3, 2023/ EINPresswire.com / -- It’s not often in the entertainment industry that you see a complex, effects-heavy science fiction series promising a 12 episode season for $50. Even in the relatively-economical world of audio drama it raises some eyebrows.
“253 Mathilde” didn’t base this modest Kickstarter goal on naive optimism, but rather on having completed a first season with zero budget. All eighteen actors involved in the first season donated their time because they felt the project was worthwhile, and 90% of the season two crowdfund goes to rewarding them with a little pay. The project has already raised over the minimum $50, but seeks as much more as possible in order to offer more appropriate pay to the approximately 30 actors who’ll make appearances in the second season.
How has the series achieved professional sound quality without money? It owes a lot to resources built up over the decades by the audio community. Sound effects archives like freesound.org offer searchable access to tens of thousands of effects which cover almost every occasion, and the show’s creator improvises a few sounds to fill in the rest. The music comes from websites where composers have generously donated digitally-rendered music to fit any scene or mood. The series creator then spends many hours painstakingly editing each episode, mixing up to a dozen layers of background sounds to make everything come out just right.
What makes “253 Mathilde” worth donating so much time to? It’s the story of humanity’s first interstellar mission, a generational endeavor that takes the series namesake asteroid to Tau Ceti over the course of a hundred and fourteen years. It’s a series that really puts the science into science fiction, painstakingly researching the issues involved, from relativistic effects to gravitational reversals. “It’s not as complicated as planning the actual mission would be,” relates series creator Paul Knierim, “but sometimes it feels like it.” Despite the outer space setting and the science, the series is fundamentally about the people of a small town: a world with a population of 200 people who’ve spent their lives together through good times and bad. Neither utopian nor dystopian, it offers a nuanced vision of the future filled with complicated people and dilemmas that have no easy answers.
As the crowdfund enters the home stretch, Knierim isn’t waiting around. He’s completed scripts for ten of the twelve episodes, and is deep into production of the first of them. To learn more or get involved, see the series website or the project’s Kickstarter page.
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