About us

Every good story deserves a good origin...

The setting was a table in The Bear, a pub in Wincanton, Somerset, at a Discworld Hogswatch event (like Christmas, but darker and with more hogs).  The subject of conversation started out along the lines of ’exercise sucks, there must be a way to make it fun, right?’ 

 

One of the participants, Ali, was an enthusiastic early adopter of a newly released zombie-related running app, but wanted to be able to enjoy more than just running. 

 

One of the participants, Adele, was a fitness instructor and writer, and was intrigued by the idea of combining storytelling with exercise. 

 

All of the participants were fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel series, and so together they started brain-storming an audio fitness app set in the fictional city of Ankh Morpork. It would have 4 ascending levels of fitness: Wizards, Thieves, Watch and Assassins and would integrate the requisite training for each with story written in classic Pratchett style.

 

Adele worked the idea up into a proposal which, unsurprisingly, never received a response, but couldn’t quite shake the idea and so wrote an experimental audio fitness adventure script called Hardman’s Army. It was essentially one of her bootcamp classes but taught by a ballistic US Drill Sergeant to a group of reluctant recruits who didn’t really want to work out. She leveraged her creative network to cast, record and edit it and proceeded to test it on anyone who would give it a go.

 

The response was overwhelmingly positive, leading to a group of friends pushing Adele to incorporate the company Imaginactive and take the concept to Kickstarter to fund a full audio fitness adventure series. 

 

This series became Apocalypse Survival Training, and it funded for £15,000 through October 2014. Over the next four and half years though, all the preceding momentum faltered under several failed rounds of app development. Throughout those dev cycles, a dedicated creative team worked very hard for very little on making and re-making the first 10 episodes. 

 

The pilot episode was written seven times and recorded three, characters were added and removed, two key actors left the UK and had to be re-cast after their episodes had been completed, test episodes were written and made or written and abandoned, and the Control episodes were re-written, recorded and edited three times in entirety as Adele struggled to find the delicate balance point between story and workout, where each enhanced, instead of obstructed, the other. 

 

Between the fourth and fifth developers, people started to make subtle (and to be fair, some not-so-subtle) murmurs about flogging a dead horse and suggesting it might be time to quit. With 488 Kickstarter backers now waiting more than 3 years for their pledge rewards though, Adele decided to give it one last shot. 

 

That round of development with Tickle Media has finally paid off, with the first 10 episodes of Apocalypse Survival Training launching on 24 May 2019. Now Adele and team are hard at work on the next set of 9 episodes and re-developing Hardman’s Army into a leaner series to put out in between releases of the full cast/composition/sound effect AST series.

 

The team

 

SERIES PRODUCTION

  • Adele Andersen

    Writer, Director, Producer, Editor, Exercise Design, App Development

    Since the beginning of her fitness career in 2010, Adele has been constantly asked whether she could combine her writing and fitness instruction to make exercise entertaining. She created AST to find out.

  • Rasmus Andersen

    Composition, Audio Post Production, Additional Voices

    Ras is a vocalist, vocal coach, composer, music producer, and lead singer of iconic metal band DIAMOND HEAD. He composes the music and is responsible for the high production values and 3D binaural processing of the series.

  • Daniel Baune

    Additional Composition, Audio Post Production

    Dan is a music producer, session musician and guitarist for metal band MONUMENT. He provides additional composition and audio post production support when backup is (often) required.

  • Adam Hay

    Audio Design

    Adam has worked as a video game audio designer for Activision, Disney, Lucasarts, Microsoft, Sony and Warner Bros. He won the 2016 Bata Games Awards Audio Achievement Award for his work on The Chinese Room's 'Everyone's Gone to the Rapture.' He creates all of the series sound effects and ambiences.

App PRoduction

  • John Michael Allison

    UX/UI design, Logo/Graphic Design, Additional Assets

    Initially volunteering to assist with a few graphic design queries, John quickly became involved in the UX/UI concept design and development of AST. He also created various visual assets for the app including the AST and Talon Logos, and associated material including promos and the AST website.

  • Alda Rana

    Artist

    Alda is the incredible artist whose work has become the 'look' and feel of AST. She created all banners (including those featured on this website), and designed the exercise icons and Player exercise artwork.

APP DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Voice Cast

  • Edward James Beesley

    Skyler

    Edward is a voice artist who came to AST as a late re-cast, charged with the difficult task of stepping into a developed role and handful of edited episodes. He brings a wonderful warmth and humour as your guide to the apocalypse

  • Ian Cooke

    Commander Ironside, Flynn

    Way before Kickstarter and AST as we know it, Ian helped out with a few lines of 'this gruff commander guy' for a test episode. The mix of Nixon and Optimus Prime he created was an instant hit and made Ironside a series essential. Generally a one-take wonder, Ian mines the emotion of scripts to give powerful and compelling performances

  • Jan Uzzell

    Beatrice

    Jan had years of am-dram musical experience before deciding to try her hand at voice work. In her performance as Beatrice she immediately nailed the fine balance between calm coach and cheeky old super gran.

  • Neil Wease

    Thomas, Jock, Dramatic VO, Reynard

    Neil works in broadcast media and events by day and in am-dram musicals by night and weekend. His extensive voice and accent range means he keeps getting given more and more roles to play, it feels like he plays everyone!

  • Brendan McCoy

    Drill Sergeant Hardman, Seiger

    Brendan is an actor and voice artist with over 15 years experience in film, TV, Theatre, radio and game industries. His wonderfully ballistic Hardman is considerably more unhinged than planned, and funnier than written, making recording sessions enormously fun.

  • Adele Andersen

    Bay

    Adele came to AST with an about-equal acting, directing, producing and editing experience (ie a bit here, a bit there, ten years ago at uni) but she was cheap for the production, knew her lines and was exceptionally convenient to call in for pick ups.

PRODUCERS

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

David Wild

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS

Chris Jones

Philip Newton

Jennifer DiGacomo

Phil Lowes

488 KICKSTARTER BACKERS

WITHOUT WHOM, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE

In October 2014, Apocalypse survival Training funded for £15,225 on Kickstarter thanks to the faith of 488 backers who have been terribly patient throughout AST's challenging and occasionally apocalyptic development.

AN AUDIO FITNESS ADVENTURE

Available Now! 

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