Thursday, January 25th, 2007
Celina native makes it happen with own production company
By Janie Southard
"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"
Answer: "The Shadow knows."
The joyless laughter that followed on this 1930s radio program bespoke certain doom for some sinister scofflaw.
But for Celina native Alexander Davis, 22, it inspired him to move into the field of audio theatre and to start his own production company, Dreamseed.
"I practically lived a pixilated existence ever since my family got our first computer when I was about 10 years old," said the 2003 Celina High School grad, adding he believes audio theater can be even more engaging than a movie because "it's so immersive." One must be able to imagine.
Audio theater (a.k.a. radio) was built on the traditions of storytelling. In the 1880s performances were heard on the telephone. Ten years later the storytelling was on phonograph. In another 20 or so years sound effects and music were added.
This most popular entertainment of art forms from 1920-1940 made up the Golden Age of Radio.
And it's back - via computer, according to Davis.
He describes audio theatre as a storytelling medium relying only on sound from voice actors, effects and music.
His company, at www.dreamseed.us, allows customers to browse through a selection of programs and then make a purchase.
"You can listen to a 30-second preview. Then you just click and buy and download to your computer," he said.
Episodic shows are $1.99. One-time shows are $3.99 and under; and feature length stories are $6.99.
His latest production, "Soul Rift," is a thriller based on evidence of "recorded voices of ghosts." He just recently put out a casting call for voice actors for the show.
"If (there is) proven to actually be a method of communicating with ghosts, it would drastically revolutionize how both society and individual people view life and death," he wrote in a press release about "Soul Rift."
Davis and his company, Dreamseed, both are based in Muncie, Ind., but, as he told The Daily Standard last week, "In the 21st century, anyone can work with anyone on the planet."
In his sci-fi drama "Buried in the Sand," he worked with artists in Los Angeles and Montreal, hired a composer out of Tokyo and assembled everyone together via computer. In addition, he has used voice actors in Great Britain.
"Our very first sale after we launched our story was a guy in Germany," he said.
As to voice actors, Davis has worked with people from Celina, one was a girl he met at St. Paul's United Methodist Church.
"I talked to her and thought she had a beautiful voice," he said of Tracy Robbins who later worked as a voice actor for Dreamseed.
Growing up in a small town had a certain influence on him but the most impact was growing up in a creative environment at home.
He added a big influence in his life is his dad, professional illustrator Dan Davis of Celina.
The moment when it all came together for Alexander happened as he watched a documentary in 1997 of how the movie "Titanic" was made.
Titanic director James Cameron said on that program that if he ever wrote a book he'd call it Making It Happen, "because that's what you have to do. No one else will do it for you."
"His statement is what taught me to take the initiative," Alexander said.
By his senior year (2003) in high school, he also was a full-time freshman at Wright State University-Lake Campus. Additionally, he began his own Web-design business. Then he became creative director for an Internet media agency in Indianapolis.
He founded Dreamseed in early 2005 and now operates his global business from his home office.