Interview with Nathan Hoobler

 
Nathan Hoobler is a writer for Adventures in Odyssey. He has also served as director of some shows.
 

How long have you been a fan of Adventures in Odyssey?

I have been a fan since 1988 when I was eight years old.

 

How did you make your way into working with Odyssey?

It all started with my website, actually (AIOHQ.com). I started the website in early 1999 just for fun. By the fall of 1999, several of the producers of AIO had contacted me via e-mail just to say "nice site," etc. I was looking for a summer internship for 2000 and asked Mark Drury about internships at Focus. Mark said that I should intern in Adventures in Odyssey. I submitted an application and they accepted it.

 

What do you like most about working on AIO?

In general, my favorite thing is just the team interaction... working with brilliant and fun people. Specifically, my favorite things are the read-throughs for the shows. It's great to see how much shows improve through team input.

 

Is there anything that you disagree with when working with them?

Sure, there are lots of little things that we disagree about from time to time, but having different opinions is very helpful in a creative group.

 

Would you ever consider auditioning for a role on AIO?

Actually I did a part in "The Triangle" Can you guess which one? To be honest, I really doubt I have any future on that side of the microphone.

 

What is your favorite episode of all time and why?

My favorite episode is "Waylaid in the Windy City." I just think that it was an incredibly fun and exciting show that nicely brought Blackgaard back to town. And it was filled with memorable performances and excellent lines.

 

What is your favorite AIO website?

Er...well...my website is probably my favorite, just because I've put so much work into it and I've gotten to see it grow from the ground up (proverbially of course).

 

If you could meet one actor or actress on AIO, who would it be and why?

I met most of the major characters when I went to an Odyssey recording session in July, which was an awesome experience. I still wish I could have met Hal Smith. So much of my childhood was spent listening to his voice. And I'd really like to meet the guy who does the Blackgaard boys, as his voices are two of my favorite characters.

 

Which character do you resemble the most?

Hmm...I'm probably the most like Eugene. Not in his vast intellect, mind you, but in his social ineptitude and the way he hides behind things to keep his true feelings hidden. There is a lot in Eugene that I can relate to. Even though I became a Christian when I was five years old, there is a lot of Eugene's spiritual journey that parallels mine (after I got saved).

 

Who is your favorite character?

Eugene, for the reasons mentioned above.

 

What do you think I need to change about my website?

I had seen the website a few times before, but I stopped in today and got a complete look and I must say that I am very impressed. There is a lot of great content on the site. Uh...things to change.... How about if you put the navigation bar on the front page so people don't have to go to another page to get to it?

 

If you had one wish for Odyssey, what would it be?

Let's see. Well, let me divide your question into two parts. Specifically to the "dramatic" end of the show, I would say my one wish would be for Eugene and Katrina to get married. However, my wish for the show in general would be that it continues to be a great and exciting and wonderful show for as long as God wants it to continue. I hope that if a time ever comes where the show should be shut down, then Odyssey will end with dignity and not drag it on for years and years. (I don't think that's anytime soon, though!)

 

How do you imagine Whit's End and the town of Odyssey?

Wow...uh...Whit's End has been very shaped in my mind by the many audio episodes, and a lot of Odyssey is based on hometown of Stoneboro and Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania. It's interesting for me how I model certain places in Odyssey after other places I've seen. For example, whenever I think of the Barclay house, I vaguely see things happening in my grandmother's old house. For the Rathbones, it's in my aunt and uncle's house. For the computer room at Campbell College, I see the computer room at my middle school. I think that when I first heard these locations, my mind went to the place that most closely resembled them. I'm sure other people listening to the show have a similar experience. This is why I love radio so much... because it allows you to bring your own view of what everything looks like to the picture.

 

What is your favorite section of the official site?

Well, I really like the Library because it has a lot of information, and some of the behind the scenes stuff is fun. The games are probably the coolest section. I also enjoy the Odyssey Times because I do them. = )

 

What is your favorite section of my website?

If the virtual Whit's End is half as cool as the pictures I've seen, that will be one spectacular feature. Wow! It will be awesome! What program did you use to make those pictures?

Our Response: My cousin is the one who actually is in the process of designing the rooms and shop. He currently uses Bryce 4 and Poser 4 to do all his interior decorating. :) Let's just hope that he actually finishes the building because it seems to be taking him a long time!

 

What is it like writing AIO episodes? I really liked "The Triangle!"

Thanks... glad you liked "The Triangle." While writing Odyssey shows can be difficult, I thoroughly enjoyed writing all of the ones I've done so far. The process (that I think has been elaborated elsewhere) begins with an idea for a show. Sometimes these come out of a writers meeting and sometimes they come from an individual person. Once they get approval on the idea, they write an outline. The outline gets passed around to the team and everyone gives their notes. From there, the writer composes a first draft, which the whole team reads through and then gives ideas, suggestions, and fixes for the script. Then it's back to revising... then a read-through... then revising... then a read-through... then... etc. Finally, the writer finishes their final draft. Often the producer (Paul McCusker) will write a polish of the script, tweaking a few things and possibly re-writing a few of the lines. In the read-throughs (especially in the one for the first draft), it can sometimes feel your work is being ripped apart. As a writer, it would be easy to get uptight and annoyed by all these suggestions... afterall, you spend all this time and hard work on the script. But then, the value of the read-throughs and the revision process is found when you look back from the final draft at previous drafts of scripts. Especially for me as a very new writer, the read-throughs are incredibly helpful in pointing out flaws in writing, mistakes, and things that need to be tightened up. Trust me, if they would have recorded the first draft of "The Triangle," is would have been pretty scary!
 

Thanks for taking time out of your day to talk to us!

 
 

 

 


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