Episode 82: The Lost Boy Of The Ozarks by Steve Friedman

When a little boy goes missing in rural Missouri, a low-level newspaper reporter heads to the woods to cover the story. But there’s more going on than he bargained for, and this isn’t the first child to disappear in that area.

Also, Rish and Big talk about fear of the unknown, sound effects, and leaving things to the imagination. Outtakes

Special thanks to Josh Roseman, Julie Hoverson, Lizanne Herd, Juliet Bowler, and Rich Girardi for lending their voices to today’s story.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.


Related Links:
Steve Friedman’s Site
Lizanne Herd’s Site
Josh Roseman’s Site
Julie Hoverson’s 19 Nocturne Boulevard
Juliet Bowler’s Site
Rich Girardi’s Lady Jade’s Lair
Some sound effects were provided by freesound.org.
Music was Wildwood Flower by Deejoke, Omnipresence by Dereleech, and The Kiwi by The Acousticals.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


16 Responses to “Episode 82: The Lost Boy Of The Ozarks by Steve Friedman”

  1. hugh hugh hugh Ho!!! That was a freaky deaky story. Reminds me of all the time I use to spend in the woods believing in big foot and super natural energies leading me to enchanted areas. I had an overactive imagination.

  2. You guys are doing it right. The sound effects are awesome. I find that the more subtle the sound effects, the better, and you do a stand up job.
    All those hours of editing are not wasted.

  3. Also, the artwork for ‘The Lost Boy of the Ozarks’ is both super eerie and realistic. Puts me right back in the wioods of my youth, plus a sound effect or two…..

  4. I totally agree with Mary Laura: you are doing the sound effects right the way you currently work. I have heard some podcasts where everything is both read and sounded: “I banged the door shut — *bang* — and walked down the corridor — *clop*clop*clop*clop*clop*clop*. I heard a car start — *whir*brumbrumbrumbrum*…” and so on. It becomes ridiculous very quickly. The way you do your multibillion dollar CGI audio special effects at least maintains a continuity and flow of the story, instead of interrupting the rhythm every 3.7 seconds.

    (Man, those over-audioded productions remind me of modern animated shorts. Wiley E. Coyote gets hit over the head with a boulder, and the narrator enthuses “Look, now the rock fell on the wily coyote himself! Hehehehe!”)

  5. Hi all, Great story, quite scary with the childs breathing sending chills down my neck in a bad way.

    Please keep up the good work.

  6. I love how the woods made people remember all the nasty, bad, shameful things they did.

    There’s a hole in the wall of our local truckstop restroom that does the same thing.

  7. Loved this one – exactly the sort of story you guys do best! Rish, the gaspy voice was perfect (perfectly creepy).

    You’re never gonna make everyone happy with sound effects and music. Personally, I think a lot of styles sound good, and I’m not sure why people get so hung up about it. The only thing that really doesn’t work is if you say, “There was a knock on the door” *full second pause* *knock, knock, knock* Having the statement precede the sound effect by much of anything sounds hokey and redundant. The sound effect and the statement need to happen almost on top of each other. However, that’s something you guys hardly ever do. It’s a beginner’s mistake. Your sound-scapes are usually sophisticated and fun to hear. :)

    I do think it would be fun to hear the Dunesteef produce a true audio drama sometime. I would think that’s right up Big’s alley.

  8. STORY: I didn’t care for the story at first — there was a buttload of exposition dropped on our heads, and I don’t like the “that’s where I come in” tactic. Fortunately, the story did draw me in after that. I appreciated all the snarky digs against newspeople (having been one) and the newspaper business (I worked for a TV station owned by a newspaper company). It was suitably creepy and weird. Sissy’s explanation over the phone was a little “end of Scooby Doo”, but I can live with that.

    COMMENTARY: Having produced a few Dunesteefs, I’m with Big — there’s a lot of fun in building the background noises, and making sure they don’t overpower the story. In “Artisan’s Heart”, I managed to work in toilets flushing during the sewer scene, but it was so far in the background that I doubt anyone noticed it as anything more than a repeating “clunk-whoosh”. That’s the sort of thing that works best in audio, I think, and this show pulls it off most of the time (although I for one would like some new “space door” and “technological button” sounds).

  9. That story scared the crap out of me. You can expect my therapy bill :P

  10. Gotta second the remark that the opening was not interesting, but once the main character actually got involved, things picked up a bit. The sound effect was way more creepy than reading this would have been, I think. It was quite eerie.

  11. Creeeepy! I didn’t know where it was going at first, but it really sucked me in. I liked the characters–not what you usually see. They kept me guessing!

    I’m someone who likes (and often writes) ambiguous endings. I think that’s because there have been many times when the ending blew a story for me. Stranger in a Strange Land was one. I loved the set up, but was disappointed with where it went at the end. Same with Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series–I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books, but was disappointed with how it ended. When the ending is left up to the reader/listener to interpret, it can go however the reader/listener wants it to.

    I’ve never appreciated how lucky I was to be able to see Star Wars in order, in the theater, until listening to your discussions about it. It’s one good thing about being 40, I guess. I was 7 when Star Wars came out, 10 for Empire Strikes Back, and 13 for Return of the Jedi, (which come to think of it was the perfect age to be swept away by the romance of it–and enjoy the Ewoks!). My kids have been able to see them in order too, because we have them on DVD. But you guys, being young enough to have missed them for the first time in order the theater, but not young enough to get to watch them as kids on video or DVD, missed out! No wonder it’s a subject you return to time and time again.

    One more thing, I was very impressed with the voice acting in this story. All of the characters were extremely well done.

  12. Charmayne Norwood Says:

    …keep the night light on foreal on this one!

  13. I enjoyed the story very much, and thought it was generally well-produced, particularly the sound effects.

    I was HUGELY troubled, however, by the terrible attempts at an Ozark mountain accent. Sorry, guys, but if you can’t get someone who knows what we sound like in Northern Arkansas/Southern Missouri, please don’t settle for some generic east-coast southern pastiche. The waitress was painful to listen to, and had her role been presented in a neutral American accent it would have been a lot less distracting.

    Otherwise, really excited to have subscribed to your cast, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next. Thanks for making this available.

    • “Well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it?”

      While I’m usually loath to get on here and defend the show from typically-valid criticisms, I gotta step in and say something here.

      Big and I are not from the South. We’re not from New York. We’re not from Texas. We’ve never been to Scotland or Australia or Germany or France or Japan or Mars or even Guam. We don’t speak with natural British accents (and our one English friend we might have consulted won’t talk to us after I asked if his son might be the Antichrist).

      But it’s unfair to say, “Well then, you can’t do any stories set in Edinburgh or Perth or Berlin or Paris or Nagoya or Red Rock Capital or whatever they have in Guam.” Half of the good stories we get are set in England (or written by Brits), and Big and I are just going to have to do the best we can with those accents, or try and get people to volunteer to do those accents on their free time with absolutely no pay or compensation.

      I’m sorry you’re not thrilled with us, but we really do try to do the best possible show we can. If you listened to our recording sessions, you’d hear how hard we struggle even doing something as simple as a half-Canadian/half-Australian man-from-a-box accent.

      Please listen with a grain of salt, if that’s at all possible. And thank you for giving us a try.

      • Anonymous Says:

        I appreciate very much your position that when working with unpaid volunteers who do this for the love of the podcast that you won’t have an unlimited supply of authentic regional speech to draw from. My point was if you are going to do a character in a way that detracts from the overall quality of the piece, might it not be a better choice to use a neutral accent for which listeners can more readily suspend their disbelief?

        Since the rest of the episode was stellar, and the production values obviously of great concern to you, it just seemed reasonable that you would appreciate listener feedback on something that really didn’t work in a presentation that was by every other measure impressive.

        I’m sorry if you are not thrilled by my observation. It was offered sincerely, without even a hint of snark or condescension.

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