Uncharted Regions: Needs To Be On Your Radar | #HIFFSD 2017

Uncharted Regions is an audio drama series produced by Swords & Circuitry Studios. The series’ executive producers, Neal and Jana Hallford, promise, “thirteen classic audio dramas that take you into the realms of Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Mystery.” The world premiere of the first episode, Someday, Over You, as the opening act of the San Diego Creators block on the first day of 8th Annual Horrible Imaginings Film Festival (HIFF).

The best way I can think to describe the series is: Tales from the Darkside and The Twilight Zone met Alfred Hitchcock Presents somewhere in a fog-riddled alley in the murky pre-dawn hours and made a pact to bring the strange and unexplained back to the airwaves.

Someday, Over You stars (voice cast): Ron Christopher Jones as Woody Hawkins, Patrick Gates as Foster and Devona Williams as Marlena Mathis and is inspired by the Jazz Era and revolves around the discovery of a hereto unknown recording by legendary jazz singer, Marlena Mathis, and the deep, dark family secret unearthing this vinyl brings crawling out of the shadows. The first draft was written over 29 years old by freshly minted high school graduate Neal Hallford and with only minor edits (I have writer’s envy) was ready for production.
If the name of the episode brings to mind Ella Fitzgerald singing, Someone to Watch Over Me, then you’d be on the right track.

Unlike many of the current incarnations of the audio drama, Uncharted Regions tells one short story per episode; telling the tale in full. This format choice opens the door the Hallford’s to not only showcase more their own writing but to bring the work of other writers to the series as well.

After listening to the first episode, Someday, Over You, in a darkened theater during HIFF – held at the Museum of Photographic Arts – for its world premiere; I think it’s more than fair to say, they’ve cleared the high bar they set for themselves.

Don’t take my word for it, give it a listen: Someday, Over You

The second episode, Haven, about a doomed astronaut hoping to spend his last days on a distant world only to discover he’s not alone on his journey is in currently in production. Casting is set Randy Davison as Jacobson, Fedra Ramirez as Ship’s Computer and  Patrick Gates as Thorpe. And, as of October 9th, the casting hunt for the third episode Trail of Fears by Haris Orkin is underway.

Keep an eye out for the second episode to possibly make an appearance at a convention where you find the Hallford duo and that they decide to bless the masses by choosing an online distribution method where we can all subscribe.

The inaugural season of Uncharted Regions will include 13 episodes. If all goes well, you’ll be able to hear it first on KPBS (the studio where the cast and crew recorded the first episode) and wherever it settles for online distribution.

This is definitely a series to keep on your watch list.

Grade: A +

If the rest of the stories in the works are anywhere near as well done as Someday, Over You we should all be rooting for Uncharted Regions to be picked up by PBS national for distribution.

I miss having a show I’m dying to tune into on the radio.

✱✱

You can check out the short film by the Hallford duo called, The Case for Evil starring Merrick McCartha as Deke Williams and Rebecca Sausedo as Louisa Sampson on Amazon Prime. if you want to see what happens when they add visuals to their audio skills.

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