Let us set the scene: It’s spring of 2006 — Facebook is barely two years old and its users are exclusively college and high school students, Twitter is a text message experiment, and the first widely adopted smartphone (the iPhone) won’t exist for another year. While avoiding grading papers, I stumble across a Craigslist ad seeking writers to help reinvent a classic form of entertainment for this brave new digital age: the idea is to tell a story as captivating as anything on television today (like Lost or The Office) using only dialogue, sound effects, and music, like in old time radio. This show (and future ones like it) will be distributed via “podcast.”
As the reader or viewer, the final product can feel inevitable to you — how else would you end 2012’s The Avengers except with the “A” in Stark tower flickering alone, the other letters all knocked off? But, if the director’s commentary is to be believed, that idea came shockingly late in the process. And have you ever read the first draft of “The Star Wars”...?