LifeAfter Podcast

When you die in the digital age, pieces of you live on forever. In your emails, your social media posts and uploads, in the texts and videos you’ve messaged, and for some – even in their secret online lives few even know about. But what if that digital existence took on a life of its own?

Ross, a low level FBI employee, faces that very question as he starts spending his days online talking to his wife Charlie, who died 8 months ago…But what feels like an unbelievable gift starts to bring up some very real moral and ethical predicaments, as Ross discovers LifeAfter, the program that brought his wife – and countless others back to life online. But what is “life” if you can be preserved digitally? And if you live online, where do you spend eternity?

The LifeAfter Podcast, brought to you by GE (General Electric) Podcast Theatre, is currently the most exciting and thrilling narrative (audio drama) podcast I’ve tuned in to these past few days. If you liked the thriller documentary style podcast Serial and enjoy suspenseful movies, you’ll definitely appreciate this one.

This is not your typical audiobook form of a play. This is an audio drama that is fully sound designed, well performed and acted out, with score music and all. It feels like a movie. If you pay full attention, which you will, the story will captive you because of how organic and real everything sounds. That’s because this wasn’t recorded in studio. Check out what John Dryden, executive producer and series director of LifeAfter, has to say about the sound recording.

 Recording a drama outside of the studio is less about capturing “authentic” sounds—which can always be added later in post-production—and more about tapping into the physicality of everything we do in life. In a studio the microphones are in fixed positions and it becomes only about the words. Recording outside the studio allows us to block out scenes if it were real life and have the microphone constantly on the move following the action. Doing it in this way is really about getting more authentic and interesting performances from the actors. Audio dramas recorded in studio often have a strange stilted quality. We wanted ours to feel like it is firmly set in the real world, to have an almost documentary feel, especially as the science in the drama is really not so farfetched. – The Observer


Audio drama is nothing new, remember Orson Welle’s 1928 War Of The Worlds? Of course, you do. Did you know, that when it broadcasted, Listeners thought it was real? They actually believed the world was being invaded by Martians.

Well, LifeAfter won’t due such a thing to you. But it will make you think is this kind of technology possible? Where we can simulate a loved-one’s voice, thought patterns, gestures, and expressions by simply collecting the data that exist in their social media entries? Scary, huh? I’ve already thought of this once when I first saw Black Mirror’s Be Right Back (Season 2, Episode 1). I guess we’ll just have to wait a couple of years to see what happens.

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