Bring back Radio; The Legacy of Orson Welles and the art of Imagination.
What a better way to set one’s legacy in stone by convincing the audience that the story being broadcasted was an actual event unravelling as the world was about to come to an end.
A Legacy that Orson Welles, using his maniacal, dangerously talented mind, created what would be known as the greatest performance that truly shocked the audience.
More famously recognised today for a younger audience would be the Movie Adaptation featuring Tom Cruise throwing a peanut butter sandwich at a glass window that slowly slides down as the world is falling apart; here obviously referencing to the adaptation of the famous H.G. Wells’ novel “The War of the Worlds”.
But the true horror of the novel was made much more exhilarating in an infamous episode that unfolded on the 30th of October, 1938.
A youthful Orson Welles would prepare to shock the audience in a truly awe inspiring episode adapted for the audience to be broadcasted over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network; which would later not only set an example of true dramatics but also a social experiment many consider went too far, or did it?
In an age now, where Social Experiments are nothing but lousy pranks; often scripted, made to fool the audience that is just as gullible as the people that claim to be Performance Artists.
What was truly heroic and daring about Orson Welles’ adaptation was that it wasn’t just a masterpiece in its own right and well and truly beyond what was possible or even attempted over Broadcast Radio; it set the stage for just how far Human Imagination could be tested.
In the events that followed the broadcast that sent the listeners into Mass Hysteria and a state of shock and awe, unable to ascertain whether the broadcast was an act or truly devastating live Alien invasion coverage as it unfolded.
Orson Welles would later go on to give a tongue-in-cheek apology over the broadcast and apologise to whose who he may have unintentionally harmed by his attempt at dramatising the adaptation of “The War of the Worlds”.
The broadcast was so far ahead of its time that no film adaptation could do justice to what I consider the great moment in Media History.
It opened the gates what was truly possible with Audio; left well and truly to the imagination of the listener.
Of how limitless the art of words being spoken could be.
A voice as charismatic as one of Orson Welles; it should come as no surprise that the artist would later go on to make what is now widely regarded as the greatest movie ever made, “Citizen Kane”.
So if you find yourself stuck in time, and wish to test your imagination — I urge you to give the Original Broadcast a listen and realise the true genius that could be achieved with the simplest of tools.
As Technological advancements continue to amaze us; making the audience more accessible to the independent creators, we must use this freedom of expression to test our understanding of art.
Use these tools available to us and truly find it in ourselves to explore and adventure out of our comfort zone.
Take wonderful risks; truly put your knowledge and skills to test.
Adventure into the unknown and make something wonderful of it.