What Is Someone Dies In This Elevator?
Someone Dies In This Elevator is an anthology series where there is always an elevator and someone always dies in it – but everything else is different. Season One consists of 11 fully produced episodes, with full cast and sound design. Listen to our trailer to get a taste of what we have in store for you!
The show was founded more or less as a creative writing exercise – a “what if” that turned into “wait, we could do that” (as podcasts so often do). The show name seems to tell you everything you need to know – someone dies in this elevator, but everything the title doesn’t tell you (Who? When? How? Why?) is what draws you into each story, despite thinking you know how it’s going to end. This show was founded to play in this space, to see how far you can go with this limit and enjoy every part of the process.
This show is co-produced by Tal Minear and Colin J. Kelly. We’ve been working on it for over a year now, alongside an incredible cast and crew who deserve to be paid for their hard work. Each episode was written by a different writer, contains new characters, and is brought to life with full sound design and scoring. 67 people came together to create season one: writers, editors, directors, voice actors, sound designers, composers, and more. During the month of our campaign, we’ll be highlighting everyone involved with this show on our Twitter.
Our first season is finished. We’ve already made it – it’s ready to be listened to, and it sounds great. What we haven’t done is pay our cast and crew. Everyone working on this show agreed to be paid via profit share, and whatever amount we raise will be split between then, be it above or below the goal. Our goal is set at what we determined to be a fair rate for everyone involved.
For more information about our show, please visit our website.
What We’re Asking For
$18,000 is a lot of money, so let us explain how we got there.
To start, here’s our budget breakdown by role. It’s important to us to pay everyone involved every step of the way, and there’s a lot of steps.
Time for numbers. Here’s our budget breakdown by episode. Each episode costs between $1,300 and $2,000, and with 11 episodes (and two trailers), things add up.
We’d be here all day if I broke down every role for every episode, but we’ll take a look at our most expensive episode so you can see where these numbers come from and rate that we’ve determined is fair for everyone.
We want to pay writers approximately $15 per page of their script. We asked our writers for an 11 page script, which comes out to $165. (Some writers went over, and that affected the page and line counts for the other roles, but we didn’t want to penalize writers who stuck to the page count, so we ended up with a rate of $165 per script). All of our writers brought their A game, and we ended up with incredibly creative (and at times, incredibly emotional) scripts.
We want to pay our script editors $5 per page. I just mentioned that some scripts ended up longer than 11 pages, and this episode came in at 16 pages, which comes out to $80. We did two levels of edits for each script, a story-level pass and a line-edit pass. Our script editor provided crucial feedback to punch up every single script and bring them to a new level.
We want to pay performers either $2 per line or $0.20 per word, whichever is higher. (This is a mid-tier rate on the Voice Acting Club Indie Rate Guide). That came out to $427.80 on this script. Every single one of our voice actors brought their all and gave stunning performances.
We want to pay directors $125 per episode. Our directors took the scripts and organized/oversaw recording. Every episode had a live read through, and many had synchronous recording. In episodes with asynchronous recording, the director still picked takes. Our directors took the scripts from the writers and worked hand in hand with actors to bring the story to life.
We want to pay dialogue editors $0.50 per line, which came out to $83 on this script. Dialogue editors took what was recorded and timed all the lines, often playing with the tiniest of milliseconds between lines to hit the right story beats. Without them, we’d have a large pile of lines scattered about. With them, we have scenes.
We want to pay sound designers $20 per page, which came out to $320. Our sound designers built the worlds that these stories take place in. Every single elevator sounds different, and when things go wrong with them, that sounds different too. Each episode is incredibly immersive, and we couldn’t have done that without our sound designers.
We want to pay our composers $10 per minute of music. The composer for this episode gave us 5 songs, which came out to $240. The music of this show elevates it, heightening stakes and increasing tension. The emotional impact of music comes across so clearly in this show, and we’d be nowhere without our composers.
We also want to pay $75 per episode for marketing and $50 per episode for show art. Our marketing team has made so many graphics and sent so many emails in service of this show, and they deserve to be paid for their work. Making the show is just the first step – getting it out there is a crucial second one.
The collective we produce this show with, Sound Escape Productions, gets an additional 10% of the total cost of tangibles for each episode, and the showrunner gets an additional 20%. Every step of the way the collective and showrunner have been there to keep things running smoothly, occasionally fronting money, and spending more time than is quantifiable on the production of this show, and they deserve to be compensated accordingly.
We know we might not make our goal – this won’t affect the episode number or quality, only the rate of pay our cast and crew get. Our profit share system is set up such that payment to them is proportional to the money we raise. No matter the amount, everyone is going to get paid something. The money they get will increase with every dollar we raise. We wanted to ask for what our cast and crew deserves. Audio drama, even indie audio drama, isn’t cheap to make, and we felt it important to be up front with what the real cost of making this show is.
What You Can Get For Your Support
In addition to helping us pay our cast and crew for an excellent show, you can get perks for your support!
Ding Dong Ditch The Elevator: Get our first episode today – Three Superheroes Walk Into This Elevator, written by Tal Minear and sound designed by Anna Rodriguez.
Enter the Basement or Set Off the Alarm: Be thanked on our website (or not!). You also get early access to all the episodes and receive select digital goodies, including access to an exclusive discord server with the cast and crew, bloopers, the season one soundtrack, and episode commentaries.
Episode currently available for all supporters who enter the basement:
Lobby: In addition to previous perk, you will also get an elevator button magnet and SDITE sticker mailed to you! Free shipping, even internationally.
1st through 12th Floor: In addition to the previous perk, you will also get one (or more!) watercolor cards with episode art.
13th Floor: In addition to the previous perks, you will get to choose which elevator microfiction becomes a minisode of the show, to be produced between seasons.
Make a Sacrifice to the Elevator: In addition to the previous perks, a character with the name you’ve chosen will die in a future episode.
Make Friends with the Elevator: In addition to the perks of the 13 floors (does not include elevator sacrifice!), you will cameo in a future episode as someone who does not die in the elevator.
Become the Elevator Operator: In addition to the perks of the 13 floors (does not include elevator sacrifice or friendship!), you sponsor an episode of season one. This means you will be listed in the credits (audio, show notes, and website) as associate producer, and will be able to include a two-minute ad or message at the end of your episode (subject to showrunner approval).
Elevator Insurance: Tal will travel to a location of your choice and we will spend a day together, which will definitely include being in an elevator and definitely not include dying.
What People Are Saying About The Show
“Someone Dies in this Elevator is a clever and deceptively simple concept that packs in surprise and subversion at every turn. Featuring an impressive array of writers and actors, this show is an excellent addition to the array of anthology podcasts that keep listeners on the edge of their seats.” – Lauren Shippen, of The Bright Sessions and Atypical Artists
“The show is like a kind of reverse murder mystery, which leaves the audience guessing who dies and why, before they actually do. I loved the variety of stories, in which we see snippets of different people’s lives, from everyday situations in our reality, to futuristic worlds – all revolving around different kinds of elevators. This first season is a rollercoaster of emotions!” – Nerys Howell, of Seren and A Sky Full of Pods
“An absolutely brilliant production. As an anthology series each episode presents a completely self-contained story featuring death and an elevator, but from there the styles, approaches, and themes vary greatly. An episode will feature heartbreak, another will be a revenge story. There are comedic episodes, tragic episodes, even episodes featuring magic. The sound design and score is perfect and well executed for each episode’s style and theme. The talent pool of the contributing writers and voice actors really makes this series shine. This is a highly recommended and unique series which makes it a must-listen!” – David S. Dear, of A Ninth World Journal and Deconstructive Criticism.
Will you die in this elevator? Find out in this interactive fiction with over 30 endings!