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AFTRS Graduate Diploma in Radio Students Launch Audio Drama Series, ‘Viral Games’

Graduate Diploma in Radio students Lachlan Perry, Nicola Sitch and Jay Gasser

AFTRS Graduate Diploma in Radio students have just launched the narrative audio drama series, Viral Games.

Inspired by current events, Viral Games imagines an Australia on the brink of defederation after years of pandemic-era border closures. In a last-ditch effort to unite the country behind a common cause, the federal government launches an intranational, socially distanced and hyper sanitary sporting series. The events that follow are unlike anything Canberra could imagine – a games rife with boycotts, conspiracies, supplement sagas and PPE bungles. Maybe everyone should have stayed at home.

Benefiting from the wisdom and instruction of Dr Pieter Aquilia, Marty Murphy, Fyona Smith, Tony Rasmussen and Alumnus Karla Arnall, the cohort worked collaboratively to develop and script the series. The comedy-drama stars Brooke Sheehan and Sam Glissan, two students with extensive screen credits. The entire class contributed to the voicing of minor characters, employing techniques and strategies learnt throughout the course.

Mentored by Karla Arnall, students Jay Gasser, Lachlan Perry and Nicola Sitch have collaborated on the post-production of Viral Games. The team were fortunate to benefit from Arnall’s expertise in the genre, a resource they drew upon often as they directed voice-overs, amended scripts and curated convincing soundscapes.

Karla says of the series, “Viral Games was built on the passion and perseverance of these talented students who used their audio smarts to create a compelling – and alarmingly familiar – fictionalised world. They brought the dedication of a Sydney 2000 Olympics volunteer to the project and the results show.”

“I found the experience of working on Viral Games incredibly rewarding, having a hand in bringing to life the hard work of my fellow students in post-production was an experience that will bring me great benefit in a future career,” says Jay Gasser.

Nicola concurs, “Audio dramas are a rapidly evolving area with potential for high growth. Working on Viral Games has allowed me to realise a passion for the format. The experience of producing the series has endowed me with a plethora of important new skills, from directing voice overs to developing punchy episode descriptions. I look forward to pursuing more audio fiction projects in the future.”

Head of Radio Fyona Smith says, “AFTRS is in the unique position of being able to tap into a wealth of knowledge across our Screenwriting and Radio staff, of writing fiction, audio storytelling and audio production. We have increased the audio fiction content in our courses this year and are proud to have alumni working in this space for Audible, ACAST and the ABC.”

The six-part series is available to stream now on ACAST.