Listen Online! Quorum — The Harbor Pilot’s Tale

Quorum — The Harbor Pilot’s TaleBasel, August 2012. Switzerland’s most densely populated metropolis, famed as much for its cultural heritage as for its vital role in the Swiss banking and chemical industries. Situated at the border of Switzerland, Germany, and France, the city serves as a critical transit hub for cargo traffic on the Rhine river, a function that renders those with the skills to navigate the treacherous waterways especially vital… and one that may prove pivotal to the hastily-revised plans of a cabal of enigmatic conspirators.

Near-to-retirement Swiss harbor pilot Klaus Brunner is nearly home after a long day’s work when he is called back to direct an unexpected late-night cargo ship departure. But what seems a routine if inconvenient assignment changes dramatically when he discovers the true nature of the cargo they’re carrying — and must take drastic action if he hopes to escape with his life.

LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

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AD-PG Length: 29:14

Rated AD-PG, so parental guidance is suggested
Contains one use of “damn,” a few instances of “hell,” some “my God” exclamations (in English, German, and French), some fairly rude culture-specific slang, as well as a couple of instance of foreign-language saltiness. Plus assorted forms of sometimes-lethal violence (as well as implied and explicit threats thereof), gunshots, explosions, video game addiction, and cold calculations that adversely affect human lives.

CAST (IN ORDER OF SPEAKING)

Announcer: Marsha Rehns
Klaus Brunner: Tom Kramer
Lynette: Lillian Rachel
Lachlan MacKinnon: Bradley Gareth
Curt Colepaugh: Christopher Walker
Herbie Pitt: Kia Joon
Hans-Rudolf: Andrew Quilpa
Francesca Salazar: Karen V. Lawrence
Baskin: Danilo Lukovic
Simone Laplace: Laura Rocklyn
Mr King: Pete Papageorge
Ms. Rook: Faith Potts
Ms. Knight: Anna Fitzgerald
Mr. Queen: Joel Snyder
Mr. Bishop: Brian Crane
Radio Broadcaster: Andrew Quilpa

CREW

Recorded at Tulgey Wood Studios in Deepest Springfield
Supplemental recording at a variety of independent studios around the world
Dialogue and sound effects editing, mastering and final mixing by William R. Coughlan
Produced by Bjorn Munson
Written and directed by William R. Coughlan

MUSIC SELECTIONS

“Action Suspense Pulsing Trailer”
performed by Media Music Group

“Cinematic Action Suspense Thriller March 30 Sec”
performed by Media Music Group

“The Lucky Few”
performed by Michael Vignola

“No Idea”
performed by Michael Vignola

“Action And Suspense Tension Rise Trailer”
performed by Media Music Group

“Trailer Cinematic Fast Action Percussion 1 Minute”
performed by Media Music Group

“Action Suspense Pulsing Trailer”
performed by Media Music Group

“Cinematic Suspense Action Underscore”
performed by Media Music Group

“Cinematic Dramatic Documentary Action Suspense”
performed by Media Music Group

“Action Suspense Rock Orchestra BD Drums”
performed by Media Music Group

Early in the Morning
composed by Clyde Hunt
performed by Brooks Tegler’s Hot Jazz
from the album And Not Only That!
Amazon | iTunes

Listen Live! Quorum — The Harbor Pilot’s Tale

Tune in just about now (3pm ET) for a special interlude from the world of Quorum!


Want a idea as to what to expect? Check out the trailer!


Quorum — The Harbor Pilot’s TaleBasel, August 2012. Switzerland’s most densely populated metropolis, famed as much for its cultural heritage as for its vital role in the Swiss banking and chemical industries. Situated at the border of Switzerland, Germany, and France, the city serves as a critical transit hub for cargo traffic on the Rhine river, a function that renders those with the skills to navigate the treacherous waterways especially vital… and one that may prove pivotal to the hastily-revised plans of a cabal of enigmatic conspirators.

Near-to-retirement Swiss harbor pilot Klaus Brunner is nearly home after a long day’s work when he is called back to direct an unexpected late-night cargo ship departure. But what seems a routine if inconvenient assignment changes dramatically when he discovers the true nature of the cargo they’re carrying — and must take drastic action if he hopes to escape with his life.

Listen Live (Streaming on WERA 96.7FM)

AD-PG Length: 28:00

Rated AD-PG, so parental guidance is suggested
Contains one use of “damn,” a few instances of “hell,” some “my God” exclamations (in English, German, and French), some fairly rude culture-specific slang, as well as a couple of instance of foreign-language saltiness. Plus assorted forms of sometimes-lethal violence (as well as implied and explicit threats thereof), gunshots, explosions, video game addiction, and cold calculations that adversely affect human lives.

CAST (IN ORDER OF SPEAKING)

Announcer: Marsha Rehns
Klaus Brunner: Tom Kramer
Lynette: Lillian Rachel
Lachlan MacKinnon: Bradley Gareth
Curt Colepaugh: Christopher Walker
Herbie Pitt: Kia Joon
Hans-Rudolf: Andrew Quilpa
Francesca Salazar: Karen V. Lawrence
Baskin: Danilo Lukovic
Simone Laplace: Laura Rocklyn
Mr King: Pete Papageorge
Ms. Rook: Faith Potts
Ms. Knight: Anna Fitzgerald
Mr. Queen: Joel Snyder
Mr. Bishop: Brian Crane
Radio Broadcaster: Andrew Quilpa

CREW

Recorded at Tulgey Wood Studios in Deepest Springfield
Supplemental recording at a variety of independent studios around the world
Dialogue and sound effects editing, mastering and final mixing by William R. Coughlan
Produced by Bjorn Munson
Written and directed by William R. Coughlan

MUSIC SELECTIONS

“Action Suspense Pulsing Trailer”
performed by Media Music Group

“Cinematic Action Suspense Thriller March 30 Sec”
performed by Media Music Group

“The Lucky Few”
performed by Michael Vignola

“No Idea”
performed by Michael Vignola

“Action And Suspense Tension Rise Trailer”
performed by Media Music Group

“Trailer Cinematic Fast Action Percussion 1 Minute”
performed by Media Music Group

“Action Suspense Pulsing Trailer”
performed by Media Music Group

“Cinematic Suspense Action Underscore”
performed by Media Music Group

“Cinematic Dramatic Documentary Action Suspense”
performed by Media Music Group

“Action Suspense Rock Orchestra BD Drums”
performed by Media Music Group

Early in the Morning
composed by Clyde Hunt
performed by Brooks Tegler’s Hot Jazz
from the album And Not Only That!
Amazon | iTunes

Get Ready for Quorum: The Harbor Pilot’s Tale!

We’ve finished editing for what is probably our most ambitious episode of Quorum to date with a fantastic cast from Deepest Springfield and far beyond and we can’t wait for you to hear it!

So if you’re in the broadcast range of 96.7 FM this Sunday at 3pm Eastern, or perhaps just near a device that can stream, tune in!

Our Patreon backers will get to hear it Sunday evening and it will pop up on fine podcatchers everywhere this coming Thursday, January 19th at 9pm Eastern.

This gives you a taste:

Real Secret Societies You May Not Know

What with the casting going on for our show Quorum, we have secret societies on our mind, but what about the actual ones?

As Jackie Mansky writes for Smithsonian magazine, actual secret societies are often centered around good causes (certainly as far as the members are concerned). Not only that, but these days, they’re not too secret. Indeed, their existence is often in plain sight even if their purposes might seem mysterious.

Yeah, a traditional secret society in Quorum would totally be a front organization designed to throw people off track.

Or is that what we want you to believe?

Casting 15 Roles for Three Episodes of Quorum

We’re getting ready to record the next installments of our award-winning, puzzle-laden crime series Quorum, and we’re looking for a more than a dozen voice actors to join our cast.

All roles are paid, recording will be done both in-person and remotely with the director, and we’re looking for audition submissions by Saturday, November 5th.

Details below.

Quorum: The Harbor Pilot’s Tale

The Series and the Episodes

Quorum is a slow-burn mystery where various Hitckcockian protagonists find themselves caught up in the machinations of a global cabal bent on… what? While we aim to keep the twists and turns and connections to real-world events entertaining in and of themselves, curious listeners pick up additional clues with each episode.

“The Harbor Pilot’s Tale” is a standalone installment that starts connecting pieces of the Quorum’s ultimate aim during a particularly action-packed stormy night in Switzerland.

“The Attorneys” and “The Physicists” are ‘found footage’ installments that build out the world and characters of Quorum in anticipation of season 3.

Recording Locations and Dates

We have two recording spaces in the Washington, DC area where the majority of our shows have been recorded for the past few years. Since the pandemic, we’ve also started doing remote recordings with the voice talent’s home recording setup.

All sessions, whether remote or in-person, will be directed live by Quorum writer/director, William R. Coughlan.

If you plan to record remotely, please make sure to record your auditions with the same home recording set-up you plan to use if cast. While we’re asking for auditions in mp3 format, our show recordings are mastered as 48k 24-bit WAVs.

Recording sessions will be scheduled between November 19th and December 20th, 2022.

Compensation

We originate on the non-profit, low-power FM station WERA-LP in Arlington, Virginia, so our pay scale is more in the ‘stipend/honorarium’ range than commercial range. It is not covered by a SAG-AFTRA agreement.

There is a base rate of $75 for each recording session plus an additional rate per line (e.g., you’re the protagonist with more lines, you get paid more). We anticipate all the roles for this casting will require one recording session.

Submission Instructions

For convenience, the character descriptions are listed below and a full PDF of all the character descriptions and their sides may be found at this link.

You may submit for as many characters as you feel you are a good fit for.

Record with your best available recording setup, especially if you plan to record remotely if cast.

You may record up to three takes of a given character’s lines if you want, but we’re also fine with just one take.

Please export the files in mp3 format with the naming convention “CHARACTER_YOURNAME.mp3”

Each character should be a separate mp3 file. If you’ve done more than one take for that character’s lines, please have them in the same mp3 file.

Once you’re ready to submit, send us an email to casting@teamjabberwocky.com with the subject line “Quorum 2022 Casting – YOURNAME”

In the body of the email, please include:

  1. Which character(s) you’re auditioning for.
  2. If you prefer to record in-person or remotely
  3. If you prefer remotely, some details about your recording setup
  4. Attached mp3 files of each character you’re auditioning for with the naming convention “CHARACTER_YOURNAME.mp3”
  5. Attached acting/voice actor resumes, attached demo reels, or links to publicly available demo reels — which are entirely optional, but may be useful for this or future casting.
  6. Anything else you think we should know about you.

Auditions must be submitted by Saturday, November 5th, regardless of time zone (yes, we know procrastinating Hawaiian voice actors have the advantage here).

We plan to make casting decisions by mid-November in order to schedule recording sessions between November 19th and December 20th, 2022.

Everyone who submits will be notified when casting decisions have been made.

We look forward to your submissions.

The Characters

Note: Besides some of the obvious accents, some of the characters have entire lines in German. Sprechen Sie gut Deutsch? Machmal gut? Gar nicht gut? Doch, Erlichkeit ist gut.

Below are the character descriptions only. Full sides may be found at this link.

THE HARBOR PILOT’S TALE

Klaus Brunner (male, early 60s) is the episode’s protagonist, a former merchant marine captain due to retire from his career as a harbor pilot for the Schweizerische Rheinhäfen (the Port of Switzerland) in Basel — and at least somewhat eager to do so after recent health warnings from his doctor. His voice is raspy, weighted with age, and he speaks English with a pronounced Swiss-German accent. As our story begins, he has been called back from his trip home to enable the urgent late-night departure of the river cargo coaster Liparus.

Simone Laplace (female, late 30s) is a French physicist working at the Geneva CERN facilities who finds herself held captive inside a metal cargo container aboard the Liparus. Upon her discovery by Brunner, she struggles to piece together the rationale for her abduction while evading her captors — and worrying about the fates of her missing husband and daughter. (Note: This character will also appear in a bonus sponsor-exclusive episode exploring some of her back story, and may also recur in future seasons of Quorum.)

Lachlan MacKinnon (male, early 50s) is the Scottish captain of the Liparus, and speaks with a pronounced accent peppered liberally with Scottish slang. He is trusting of his core crew, and generally comes across as amiable, but is somewhat thrown by Brunner’s unexpected presence, and is cautious not to reveal too much. Though nominally in command, in reality he must accede to the demands of formidable passenger Francesca Salazar.

Francesca Salazar (female, 40s) is the Spanish representative of multinational corporation Camellirosa Shipping (and possibly another, less overtly acknowledged role), traveling aboard the Liparus and personally supervising a special cargo shipment. She is unashamedly demanding and authoritative, with a voice almost serpentine in its barely-constrained authority. (Note: This character is expected to recur in future seasons of Quorum.)

Herbie Pitt (male, late 30s) is the Australian second mate of the Liparus, largely tasked with ship’s navigation, but easily distracted by his latest mobile-game obsession. Outgoing and gregarious on the surface, his personality can switch on a dime once crossed, unearthing a more sinister, even sociopathic aspect.

Curt Colepaugh (male, early 40s) is the American chief mate of the Liparus, in charge of cargo operations. Experienced and outwardly businesslike, but wary of the ship’s new client, Salazar, and the uncertain lines of authority that her presence introduces.

Lynette Brunner (female, early 50s) is Klaus’s English wife, who left her life in England behind when the pair were married. Though not pushy, she strives to be a voice of reason in the face of Klaus’s obstinacy, and is eager for the pair to reach some level of normality in their lives once he retires.

Hans-Rudolf (male, 50s) is a German-speaking Swiss pilot boat operator and longtime friend and coworker of Klaus’s. This night he is charged with picking Klaus up from the Liparus once the latter has steered the vessel safely out of port.

Baskin (male, 40s) is an intimidating Eastern European enforcer working under Camellirosa executive Francesca Salazar. A man of few words, he is more apt to allow the array of destructive weaponry at his disposal speak for him — without necessarily thinking through the consequences.

The Broadcaster (any gender, any adult age) is a German-speaking navigational radio operator for the Port of Switzerland in Basel, belatedly checking on the whereabouts of pilot boat driver Hans-Rudolf following the departure of the Liparus.

THE ATTORNEYS

Allen Hill (male, 30s) is an ambitious Deputy-in-Charge of the Real Estate Fraud section of the LA County District Attorney’s office. After being tipped off to a series of criminal activities, he is eager to close his case with the help of his key witness.

Abril Ramas (female, 50s) is the lead attorney for Anton Kreitzer, a high-powered capitalist who has recently left the country after being unintentionally caught up in a criminal conspiracy.

Henry Cumberland (male, 50s) is the Fraud and Corruption Prosecutions Director of the LA County District Attorney’s office. Eager (or at least willing) to pursue the truth, but well aware of the political constraints in taking on a high-profile prosecution in Los Angeles.

THE PHYSICISTS

Michelle Andreoli (female, mid-20s) is an American graduate student brought on board Dr. Laplace’s quantum entanglement team at the CERN laboratories. She is eager to take on this challenging work, but may know more about the project than she initially lets on.

Jean-Phillipe (male, 30s) is a French CERN engineer assisting Dr. Laplace in her experiments at CERN.

Again, the full sides are available at this link.

Questions?

If any of your questions have not been answered, feel free to email us at casting@teamjabberwocky.com.

Going Rogue

This article excerpt, part of a series entitled The Quorum Chronicle, appears in full — along with expanded audio content — exclusively for our Patreon backers. See our Patreon page for further details.


The Quorum ChronicleI first heard about entertainer Brian Brushwood when he was interviewed for the Skepticality podcast back in 2009. A sort of cross between magician, comedian, and sideshow performer, Brushwood had an ongoing stage show called Bizarre Magic, appearing regularly at college campuses across the country. He also hosted a YouTube show called Scam School, in which he would good-naturedly perform close-up magic or brain teasers at various San Francisco-area bars and restaurants, soliciting drinks in exchange for explaining the mystifying secret behind the trick or puzzle. His bizarre, spiked hairstyle and gregarious personality made for entertaining viewing, and I learned quite a few tricks from him — even teaching my then-nine-year-old daughter some of them so she could amaze the whole family with her magical talents.

In fact, everything Skitch does in “All That Glitters” is completely factually accurate… Jimmy’s shock at how simple — and inexpensive — this process was definitely mirrored my own.

In 2012, after Discovery Networks purchased Division3, the publisher of Scam School, Brushwood took advantage of the transition to move the show’s base of operations from San Francisco to his home city of Austin, Texas. Once there, Brushwood was more regularly able to bring occasional guests onto the show, frequently other magicians who would demonstrate their close-up magic skills. But in addition to magicians, he brought in experts with skills in other areas — notably picking locks.

Brushwood had discussed lockpicking before, likely a logical outgrowth of the “escape artist” school of magic, during the San Francisco run of Scam School. In fact, I first learned about using the “bump keys” Jimmy makes passing mention of back in a 2010 episode. But it turns out there is an entire community in Austin — the Longhorn Lockpicking Club, led by lockpicking champion JGor — that picks locks competitively. JGor and other members appeared several times on the show, demonstrating how to pick everything from door locks to bicycle locks to padlocks and even handcuffs with simple, everyday items. (One thing that became abundantly clear was just how inaccurately the process of lockpicking is normally depicted in the movies — but for the record, Linda Hamilton gets it pretty close to right in Terminator 2). Brushwood would eventually open an online merchandise shop — called, appropriately enough, Scam Stuff — where he would make available many of the tools of the lockpicking trade, including not just bump keys and lockpick sets, but transparent padlocks and full lockpick-training setups. (I may or may not have availed myself of some of those learning opportunities.)


Be sure to check out the complete article, in both text and enhanced audio formats, along with the rest of The Quorum Chronicle series, at our Patreon page. And thanks so much for your continuing support of Jabberwocky Audio Theater!

— William R. Coughlan, writer/director of Quorum

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: The Characters of “All That Glitters”

This article excerpt, part of a series entitled The Quorum Chronicle, appears in full — along with expanded audio content — exclusively for our Patreon backers. See our Patreon page for further details.


The Quorum ChronicleThe primary character-naming convention of “All That Glitters” started as a kind of inside joke. By way of background, the scene where Jimmy impresses a big-time L.A. venture capitalist — initially named “Bob Lawrence” — appeared in the very first draft of The Gambler’s Tale, way back in early 2011. At the time, the story had Jimmy hastily departing Las Vegas for Los Angeles — with Big Mike, no less — immediately following the car bomb that apparently took Will Archer’s life. At the time, I was envisioning the tale as a single story arc, as opposed to subdividing it into separate “seasons.” But once I opted to keep the action in Las Vegas for the inaugural story arc, now called “Outstanding Debts,” this scene quickly ended up on the cutting room floor. But I knew I’d be bringing the character back in season two.

The decision to make Malone a corrupt police detective came fairly late in the process, but served to add another element of menace — not only would he be physically untouchable, but he would also be, to a large degree, immune from legal consequence.

Even before I finished that initial script, I worked up a “story bible” for the series, a sort of master blueprint to make sure I kept the plot and characters consistent. Not a complete script, or even a full outline, but mapping out the major beats for each season and defining the key characters. So now, I started developing this investor character in greater depth, working out his key personality traits. He had to be engaging and personable, but with a ruthless quality — something lurking beneath the surface that would only come to the fore when he was crossed. Not quite so simple as turning a switch on or off, but still a transition that could happen surprisingly quickly. At the risk of going into some vague spoilers, while we see hints of that transformation in “All That Glitters,” it promises to become more evident in our third-season story arc.

For some reason, an old Cheers episode popped into my head, 1989’s “The Two Faces of Norm,” in which barfly Norm Peterson is taken advantage of by his painting-business staff, who see him as a lovable pushover. To whip his team into shape, he invents a fictional “business partner,” Anton Kreitzer, who can be the hard-nosed taskmaster while Norm remains the affable, good-natured buddy. At one point, Norm even has to adopt the Kreitzer persona in an attempt to keep up the ruse — which naturally falls apart in typical sitcom fashion. Amused, I penciled in the name “Anton Kreitzer” for my venture capitalist and didn’t think much more about it. Later, rewriting his introduction to the story, and having already added Eleanor Wallis to the scene, I realized I needed another character in the mix, to provide an additional point of potential conflict. And if I had one character named for Norm, why not name this new character for Norm’s near-constant barstool companion? So Cliff — short for Clifford — became Ford.

From there, throughout the entire writing process, I started sticking in Cheers character names. MaloneChambersBoydPantusso — that’s Coach’s last name, by the way — and even a bunch of secondary characters, like Tom, Paul, Drake, and Gittes, who’s actually named for Harry Anderson’s flim-flam character rather than for Jack Nicholson’s Chinatown protagonist. None of the Quorum characters are really anything like their Cheers namesakes, but once I got rolling, it just sort of stuck. I even threw in a reference to a “Screaming Viking,” a fictional drink featured in the show.


Be sure to check out the complete article, in both text and enhanced audio formats, along with the rest of The Quorum Chronicle series, at our Patreon page. And thanks so much for your continuing support of Jabberwocky Audio Theater!

— William R. Coughlan, writer/director of Quorum

Building the L.A. of “All That Glitters”: Touring the City of Angels (Virtually)

This article excerpt, part of a series entitled The Quorum Chronicle, appears in full — along with expanded audio content — exclusively for our Patreon backers. See our Patreon page for further details.


The Quorum ChronicleOne critical step in building a story’s environment — at least for those taking place in the real world — is familiarizing yourself with the location as much as possible. The last thing you want is for someone to be taken out of the story because of some obvious detail you’ve overlooked. But for “All That Glitters,” not living in Los Angeles meant that I was left making a fair number of assumptions and relying on more than a little educated guesswork.

All of which led to an unusual source for exploring the City of Angels in detail: video games. Stick with me here.

One big advantage of presenting the city in something like L.A. Noire is that it showcases the city as befits a noir environment… This is L.A. as backdrop for crime and corruption.

I’ve never been a hardcore gamer — honestly, I bought a PlayStation 3 less for its gaming capabilities than because it was the least expensive Blu-Ray player on the market at the time. But one day, I happened to be perusing a Time magazine article on the top 10 video games of 2010, and I was struck by an image for a game called Red Dead Redemption: a lone cowboy astride his horse, framed against a gorgeous desert sunset. Intrigued, I picked up a copy of the game, and was immediately hooked by the stunning western vistas, playing the game through to the end, exploring every nook and cranny of this phenomenally detailed open world in the process. (I’m kind of obsessive that way.)

A short time later — in the spring of 2011 — I was at a local GameStop when the clerk commented that the studio that published Red Dead Redemption had another open-world game due to be released that month: a 1940s-set detective story called L.A. Noire. I preordered it on the spot.

Produced by Australia’s Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, L.A. Noire is set in Los Angeles in 1947, one of the deadliest years on record for violent crime at that point (including the infamous “Black Dahlia” murder, which is referenced heavily within the game). Players take on the role of Marine veteran Cole Phelps, now a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, as he works his way through several different desks — from Traffic to Homicide, Vice and Arson — solving a series of cases inspired both by real-world events and classic film noir stories.


Be sure to check out the complete article, in both text and enhanced audio formats, along with the rest of The Quorum Chronicle series, at our Patreon page. And thanks so much for your continuing support of Jabberwocky Audio Theater!

— William R. Coughlan, writer/director of Quorum

Building the L.A. of “All That Glitters”: Out of the Past

This article excerpt, part of a series entitled The Quorum Chronicle, appears in full — along with expanded audio content — exclusively for our Patreon backers. See our Patreon page for further details.


The Quorum ChronicleThe film influences that went into crafting the Los Angeles of “All That Glitters” are too numerous to mention. (Or at least too numerous to iterate in a single Chronicle entry.) After all, many of the signature characteristics of the city — at least within the crime genre — are common to nearly the entirety of the noir ouvre. Not that The Gambler’s Tale fits definitively in the noir model: I like to think the world we portray isn’t quite as irredeemable as is the case in true noir, which is why I tend to refer to our story as a hardboiled crime drama — a subtle distinction, but distinct nonetheless. I’ve always thought of it as a sort of hybrid with roots in film noir or hardboiled crime fiction in general. With that in mind, it’s only right to at least attempt to highlight a few memorable standouts.

[What] makes Los Angeles unique as a setting is that the omnipresent sunshine and wide-open spaces serve to make the dark alleys and backroom dealings all the more jarring.

Two of Billy Wilder’s classics immediately come to mind. First, 1944’s Double Indemnity, which presents L.A. as a place where otherwise appealing people are willing to do terrible things, executing an intricate, cold-blooded fraud and murder scheme in the service of all-consuming ambition. Second, 1950’s Sunset Blvd. throws into sharp relief the ultimate futility of ignoring reality in favor of a preferred fantasy, as well as the dissonance between the utter corruption and moral bankruptcy of Hollywood and its irresistible appeal. And both of them highlight the sharp divide between the way things work for the rich and powerful and the less well-connected among us.

That same divide comes through in Howard Hawks’s 1946 classic The Big Sleep, which also deserves credit for explicitly portraying an illicit gambling operation — The Cypress Club — that villain Eddie Mars operates without the slightest fear of legal complications. Of course, we can only hope to recapture a fraction of the chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in that film — though I do think we manage to resolve our mysteries a bit more cleanly. The Big Sleep also features a memorable scene where the protagonist, Philip Marlowe, attempts to decode a mysterious cipher, a task Jimmy also tackles in “All That Glitters” (and which may be of particular interest to anyone who listens all the way through Quorum’s end credits).


Be sure to check out the complete article, in both text and enhanced audio formats, along with the rest of The Quorum Chronicle series, at our Patreon page. And thanks so much for your continuing support of Jabberwocky Audio Theater!

— William R. Coughlan, writer/director of Quorum

Building the L.A. of “All That Glitters”: Obsessing Over the Details

This article excerpt, part of a series entitled The Quorum Chronicle, appears in full — along with expanded audio content — exclusively for our Patreon backers. See our Patreon page for further details.


The Quorum ChronicleAs an author, when crafting any new story, it’s important to make sure your environment is fleshed out as much as possible. For one thing, even if much of that background material is never explicitly referenced in the final result, it helps you avoid inconsistencies — which careful readers, viewers, or listeners will notice, no matter how much you might try to convince yourself otherwise. For another, it gives you a foundation on which to make revisions — and rest assured, no matter how confident you are in your initial outlines, there will be revisions. And finally, it ensures that your world has the same kind of tonal consistency as your story and characters.

The Hall of Records is a genuine location, and one I couldn’t readily fictionalize without breaking the illusion of reality… but for the sake of storytelling, I opted to retain the location while dramatizing its contents.

The first season of The Gambler’s Tale, “Outstanding Debts,” was set in and around Las Vegas, and I took great pains to make sure my representation of the city was as thorough as possible. That’s not to say it was completely, factually accurate, but it was based in reality — which meant that any time I deviated from reality, I did so intentionally, and made sure that within the bounds of my tale, everything remained consistent. The casinos and other locations may have been fictional, but I made sure I knew where each of them was situated geographically, even to the point of checking traffic routes and distances between them. Anyone who’s spent any time in Las Vegas — and, admittedly, my time there has been limited — will know there’s a big difference between the classic casinos on Fremont Street and the Strip-based megaresorts.

This season, The Gambler’s Tale heads to Los Angeles with “All That Glitters.” And once again, I wanted to make sure to present the city in as detailed a manner as possible. Again, that’s not to say it’s exactly accurate in the strictest sense, but any alterations to reality are made with deliberate intent. For example, we feature several real-life locations and landmarks — such as the Griffith Park Observatory, the Roosevelt Hotel, the Exposition Park Rose Garden, the L.A. Civic Center, and the viaducts crossing the Los Angeles River — but just as many fictional ones. As a general rule of thumb, in cases where I’d be depicting these locations as they appear in real life — or where they were too iconic to reimagine as fictional alternatives — I would go ahead and reference them directly. But in instances where the location was purely fictional, even if comparable to some real-life location, I’d take the time to give it its own distinct flavor, while still anchoring it alongside its real-world analogue (or analogues).


Be sure to check out the complete article, in both text and enhanced audio formats, along with the rest of The Quorum Chronicle series, at our Patreon page. And thanks so much for your continuing support of Jabberwocky Audio Theater!

— William R. Coughlan, writer/director of Quorum