The Return of the Radio Show: A partnership with St. Louis Public Radio

The bygone days of families gathering to listen to the latest installments of their favorite radio shows might be coming back … with a modern update.

It all began with Michael Francis, a Missouri-based producer and the owner of Michael D. Francis Presents, a TV show development and packaging company focused on telling Midwest stories. His work brought him into contact with Andrea Sporcic-Klund, the director of Missouri Film Office and Jade Harrell, the Director of Community Partnerships for St. Louis Public Radio.

When Francis was asked to develop some podcast show ideas for St. Louis Public Radio, he recognized it as an opportunity to provide a platform for Missouri talent.

“I think in the form of TV and movies, so when I was tasked with dreaming up a new podcast/radio show, I immediately started thinking about how to merge the two,” Francis said. “I knew that the Missouri Stories Scriptwriting Fellowship had an abundance of great stories about or from people in Missouri. I wanted to get those stories in front of a large audience.”

As a result, the podcast “Lights, Audio, Action!” was born. Don’t Go There a winning script from the Missouri Stories Scriptwriting Fellowship competition, was selected to be the inaugural story featured on the podcast. Missouri actors, directors and producers worked together to make the audience feel as though they’re listening to a table read. Other Missouri Stories Scripts that are now available for listening include The Gashouse Gang and City of the Blues.

“It is unusual because the average person expects to see a film, not listen to one. However, it is normal for those of us who work in TV and film,” Francis said. “Before the film gets made, many people read and listen to it first to decide if they want to make it. This partnership gives the average listener a behind-the-scenes peek of the process.”

The podcast was so well-received that the shows ran on public radio for a wider audience to enjoy.

“What makes “Lights, Audio, Action!” successful is the love and passion that all the local talent put into it to make it possible,” Francis said. “We have such a wealth of talented people in Missouri, and the podcast gives them a national outlet to showcase their talents to the world. That alone makes it successful.”

The hope is that the featured scripts will gain enough interest and popularity that they will be turned into full-scale film productions.

“I hope that there are listeners out that hear the podcast and decide that they want to get behind one of the scripts being turned into a movie,” Francis said.

There are currently eight episodes of the podcast available, with two espisodes per script, and listeners can expect to see more Missouri stories premiere on the show in the future.

Listen to “Lights, Audio, Action!” here.

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