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An Interview with Kristina Rocco, Writer and Director of Hall of Shadows

by Mike Haberfelner

June 2019

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Your new radio show Hall of Shadows - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Hall of Shadows is a new radio drama series released by New Frame Media featuring stories of horror and suspense.

 

Basic question, why radio drama, what makes this medium perfect for your stories?

 

Technology has done some wonderful things for society, however, I believe it has weakened our ability to think creatively. Between instantaneous access to information via the internet and the way in which we are glued to our televisions and cellphones, data is given to use so freely and effortlessly, that we do not use our imagination like we used to. Kids today are playing games on tablets instead of pretending to play pirate ship in their swimming pools. That makes me sad. Unlike TV shows, radio dramas present opportunities to awaken our listenerís dormant imaginations; they actually participate in visualizing the story (instead of just being spoon fed the images). No oneís mental picture of episode will be exactly the same; I think thatís really neat.

 

Now how did the show fall together in the first place?

 

My husband, Michael J. Rocco (our producer and sound engineer) [Michael J. Rocco interview - click here] is the one who introduced me to radio dramas. We are Halloween fanatics and listening to radio dramas like Lights Out, Suspense, Inner Sanctum and Hermitís Cave in the weeks leading up to that holiday became one of our favorite traditions. We also directed the musicals at the high school where I used to work for a few years. We thought it would be really cool to use our experience and create radio dramas of our own.

 

Where do you find inspiration for the stories told on your show?

 

Inspiration comes from all sorts of places. Sometimes the ideas pop up out of nowhere, sometimes they start by taking a real life event and turning it inside out. I can go days on end without a single idea and then, all of a sudden, two or three will creep into my brain. That usually happens at night, of course. Sleeping doesnít usually work out for me, haha. Sometimes I run my ideas by my students (I am a public school teacher by day). They are brutally honest in their assessments; so if they like it, I know Iíve got something good.

 

With Hall of Shadows being a horror show, is that a genre especially dear to you?

 

Yes! Michael and I are HUGE horror fans! We are always looking for horror movies to watch. In fact, he  has a large collection of horror movie figures and memorabilia. Heís a big kid - I love him for thatÖ at least most of the time. But I canít just blame him. Even as a kid, I was always drawn to scary stories. My favorite books were Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, the Goosebumps series by R.L Stein, etc. I never went to a girls sleepover without them!!

 

Do talk about your show's overall approach to horror!

 

Our show is a resurrection of the 1940s radio drama, but using modern technology to do so. We try to create stories that elicit a multitude of emotions from our listeners - our goal is to make you feel invested in our characters, cry, laugh and hopefully sh$# your pantsÖ all within a 20 minute period.

 

Some of your favourite episodes?

 

Itís hard to pickÖ but I would have to say that Emma is among my top favorites.

 

What can you tell us about about the team and talent behind Hall of Shadows?

 

This is actually an amazing story. Michael and I met in 2002, while acting in a play that was written and directed by his friend at the time - our current casting director, Carl J. Grasso (yes, you read that correctly) [Carl J. Grasso interview - click here]. Michael and I actually played husband and wife in his show at Stony Brook University. We lost contact with Carl for many years until we recently reconnected on social media. We told him about the idea and hired him as our casting director. If you would have told us 17 years ago we would be working together like this again, we would have been so shocked! Itís been a very happy reunion.

 

What's a recording session for Hall of Shadows usually like?

 

Once a script is written and cast, the actors record their lines in their home studios and then send to us via email. Michael then has to splice all of the lines together. He has the patience of a saint! Itís tedious work, but we love having a product that is created by people from hundreds, if not thousands of miles apart. Iím sure EG Marshall would have thought that was super cool.

 

The $64 question, where can your show be heard?

 

The show can be heard on all major platforms including Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, Google Play, SoundCloud, 24-7, 8tracks, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Napster, Shazma, InProdicon, KKBox, Line Music, SoundExchange, Tidal, Yandex, 7Digital, Slacker Radio, Akazoo, Anghami, AWA, iMusica, KDigital, Kuack, MediaNet, NetEase Cloud Music, Saavn, United Media Agency (UMA).

 

Any future plans for the show you'd like to share? And other future projects, in whatever medium?

 

We love Hall of Shadows and will continue to create stories for as long as we can. Down the line, we may also put out additional radio shows through New Frame MediaÖ not just horror themed. In addition, to the radio drama project, Michael and I are musicians. Weíve been writing and performing music together for almost 15 years now. Weíve toured all over the country and have dozens of albums out so Iím sure more tour dates and records are in our future.

 

What got you into writing in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

Iíve always loved writing. I took several creative writing classes, but nothing more than that.

 

How would you describe yourself as a writer?

 

Itís interesting. Iíve always used a lot of imagery in my work. Iíve tried to bring that ability to this project as well. Writing for a radio drama series has really improved my skills as a writer because it has forced me to convey my stories without the use of any narration or visual aids. That can be tricky sometimes! But I love the challenge.

 

Writers who inspire you?

 

Iím very much inspired by classic horror writers such as HP Lovecraft, Steven King etc. But I am also a hardcore Twilight Zone fan so I am highly influenced by Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson.

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
search
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Kristina Rocco
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Kristina Rocco here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

Your/your show's website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

www.hallofshadowsradio.com

www.newframemedia.com

www.facebook.com/hallofshadowsradio/

www.hallofshadows.bandcamp.com

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Nope, that pretty much covers everything. Thank you so much for your interest in our project!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD