WCC 008 Joe Griffin

WCC 008 Joe Griffin


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Joe Griffin’s work as a recording engineer, sound designer, and composer over the past 25 years encompasses a wide variety of media, including theatre, film, music, and advertising. He’s one of the founders of Toxic Bag Productions, which in 1996 pioneered the field of sound effects specifically designed for use in tabletop roleplaying.

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Show Notes

  • Joe’s company Toxic Bag has been producing audio products for use with tabletop roleplaying games since the 90s. It grew out of their desire to add an audio element to their home Call of Cthulhu campaigns.
  • Initially they intended to produce audio-enhanced scenarios, but chaosium didn’t have the budget for it.
  • They stripped away the scripting and actors and focused on sound effects.
  • They put together their first CD, the 20th century, in 1996.
  • They would sell these physical CDs at GenCon.
  • Back in 1996 mp3 formats were terrible.
  • After a few years doing sound for film and theatre, they got back into RPG sound effects but aren’t doing CDs anymore.
  • Convention sales are difficult to manage when you’re selling digital files, but the modern internet provides more distribution options. Now they sell through DriveThruRPG.
  • Toxic Bag creates their effects through foley and field recording rather than relying on commercial libraries.
  • Their podcast started out as coldly promotional, but they revamped it to provide more content, including sketches, reviews, interviews, and parodies.
  • Joe does the sound design, his partner Steve Baldwin does the writing.
  • I have appeared on the Toxic Bag podcast with my Burning Brigid Media co-producer Kat O’Connor
  • Joe’s day job is in advertising as a recording engineer. His marketing wisdom: People don’t like being sold to. Make it a conversation.
  • Promotion is okay, but if all you’re doing on twitter is marketing yourself, people will tune you out. Reveal who you are. Put yourself into it.
  • You need to have a thick skin to put your work in front of people.
  • Joe composes music for theatre and toxic bag projects.
  • He performs as part of the experimental band Donny Who Loved Bowling
  • Joe is doing sound design for John Klein’s short film Limerence. The kickstarter was successful and they’re moving into post-production.

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