Episode 1 - Home At Last
Hey everyone, Jeff Heimbuch here, creator and writer of Return Home.
After each episode wraps, I will write up a little bit about the genesis of the episode, hopefully giving you a little more insight into what we had in mind when doing it.
But first off, all of us here just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Return Home started as fun passion project that I wanted to do with my friends. We were making something that we wanted to hear, and based on the response we’ve received, it seems like it’s something that you guys and gals wanted to hear as well.
We never imagined that so many people would be interested in it. We are so thankful that so many of you have decided to take the journey to Melancholy Falls with us, and we’re blown away by the kind words we’re received about the show so far. So on behalf of myself, Andrew, Kori, and the rest of the cast and crew of Return Home, we just wanted to thank you all so, so much for your support. Really. We appreciate it.
As for a little more about Episode 1 – Home At Last…
I’ve always loved the genre of audio dramas. I’ve listened to tons growing up, and it was sad that they went by the way side over the years. Hell, the first audio book I ever remember hearing (and scaring the crap out of me) was Stephen King’s THE MIST. I wanted to do that.
Over the last few years, audio dramas have been making a come back, so I thought it might be time to try exploring an area I didn’t have much experience in but was always interested in. So, I recruited my good friends Andrew Taylor (whom I knew would be a good choice when he told me how much he loved THE MIST without my ever mentioning it to him) and Kori Celeste (whom is a wonderfully talented musician) to help me out.
The story for this one was pretty cemented in my head from the first time I thought of it. However, I kept peppering in little bits and pieces that we could come back to explore later (the car crash, the missing mom, the Society of Shadows, the whispers), and make one big overarching story. Again, as a fan of serials, I wanted to create a sandbox for us to play in.
Growing up in NJ, it was the natural choice as to the setting of the show. Years of reading Weird NJ made it clear what a strange place my home state is, so there never really was any other option, despite currently living in California.
So, Jonathan’s journey exploring the strangeness of his hometown really begins now. Was it always like this? Or did it happen after he left? What else is waiting for him around the next bend? These are all things we’re going to look into throughout the course of the show.
And I will say right off the bat that, yes, we do have an ending in mind already. But what really matters is the journey we take to get there. We have a lot of stories we want to tell, characters we want you to meet, and places we want to explore. We literally have a series bible written with all that stuff.
Does that mean everything is set in stone? Absolutely not. Not even the ending! Things may just evolve naturally over time. Even the character of Buddy changed drastically after we cast Forrest, so things are constantly changing.
We are just excited to take this journey, and see where it goes. We may be guiding you, the listeners, but it’s up to the whispers to tell us where to go next.
We have gotten some comments about the length of each part we release, so we’d like to take a moment to explain our decision to make them bite-sized. There are a lot of podcasts out there volleying for your attention, many of them an hour plus long.
We’ve always been a big fan of “commute” podcasts; something you can listen to in its entirety on your way to work. With the theme park history podcast that I co-host, we always keep them under 30 minutes for that same reason. So, in an effort to reach more listeners in today’s social media, short snippet world, we thought with a choice between a 10 minute show or a 45 minute show, people may be more likely to go for the shorter one.
We also really like the story-telling device of releasing “parts” of each episode a little bit at a time, allowing the tension to build with each one. The cliff-hanger endings keep you coming back, don’t they? On top of that, it is a lot of work to produce each episode, so it makes it a little easier on us all around.
Though Episode 1 over, Episode 2 will begin next week, and we hope you like it just as much as this one. Things get a little surreal in it, but we will contain to maintain the tension and quirky humor we have strived for since we started.
Some episodes will be really funny. Some will be really strange. Some will be really scary. Basically, you never know what you are going to get from us, but whatever it is, we hope you like it.
Though we may take a break here or there between episodes in the future (apparently running a serialized audio drama takes up a lot of time!), we’re committed to unraveling more of the mysteries of Return Home every week. So, keep an eye out every Tuesday morning for something from us.
Again, thank you guys for taking a chance and listening to this new show. We know there is a lot of content out there, and we thank you for taking the time to listen to Return Home.
We’d love to hear from you guys, so please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your comments mean a lot!
We’ll see you back here again in a few weeks for the show notes for Episode 2 – Whatever Lies Behind The Door!