Learning to Podcast

Throughout August, myself, Audra (wife) and Jason (not wife) have had practice recording sessions together, so that tonight we can record the very first episode of our first podcast! None of us were comfortable around a microphone, so we decided to break the podcasting ice together over the course of several weeks.

In our first recording session we just hit record and tried to forget about the microphone. We talked as we usually would, only with the knowledge that it was being recorded for a purpose. In this initial session we learned to reduce our cross-talk and feel at-home around recording equipment — but none of it was suitable for public listening, and not just because we talked graphically about various fetishes.

So in our next session we each chose a topic to talk to the others about, for a minute or so, before opening to a wider discussion with the trio. This resulted in three, fifteen minute conversations about the upcoming Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the Dream Daddy Dating Sim and Youtube’s art-pop project Poppy.

With a bit of amateur editing, controlling of the levels (?) and a recording of an intro/outro for the “mock pilot”, we ended up with a solid podcast episode that contained decent micro-conversations and enough laughs to keep it engaging. We’ve invested in a decent enough microphone, so it doesn’t sound any worse than a lot of amateur podcasts I listen to. I am a little worried about my editing skills, however — hopefully they improve with practice.

So tonight we begin recording our serial podcast, which is both very niche and not at all culturally relevant. In our podcast we’ll be revisiting the 00’s TV show Lost, a show that to this day divides the opinion of the internet. We’ll be aiming to record throughout the rest of the year, before we begin releasing episodes in January 2019 — to coincide with the 15-year anniversary of the show.

lostposter

I was a Lost obsessive growing up, hooked from the very start. The only TV dramas I’d watched before Lost had been episodic, procedural shows. It began in 2004, before the days of streaming-services and binge watching.

Back then, for the most part, network TV channels had to produce shows that viewers could easily drop in and out of. These were shows like CSI, ER or NCIS (I think they all had to be acronyms as well). Procedurals still had a season-arc for their characters, or two-part episodes, but typically you could skip a week and still know what’s going on in that world.

You couldn’t do that with Lost. For the first few seasons (at least) it was appointment viewing, reminiscent of shows like Twin Peaks, where fans would get together to watch the show and then discuss theories with each other. Of course, by the time Lost came around, most of these discussions were taking place online, on fan forums and message boards.

I’m only a little ashamed to admit that as a fourteen year-old I was discussing Lost online with total strangers — but that’s why I’ll be playing the role of “superfan” in our revisit podcast. I’ll be prepared to defend Lost on its more ridiculous twists and turns and attempt to rebut any frustrations over unanswered questions.

Audra will be playing the role of “new fan”. She’s seen the show through once, fairly recently, and while she enjoys many elements of the show, she’s less apologetic over some of the narrative decisions made in later seasons. She’ll be asking if this show is worth watching a second time, and finding out if a second watch (combing over details missed the first time around) makes her a superfan too.

Our friend, Jason, has never seen a single episode of Lost — and that’s exciting. He’ll be playing the role of “first time viewer” and we’ll be recording each podcast episode immediately after he’s seen an episode of Lost. He’ll be the measuring stick for how well the show has held up after fifteen-years, and also an experiment in watching only a single episode of a serialised TV show every week, instead of being able to binge-watch. Old-school, pre-streaming-style.

bingwatch.gif

For us, this podcast isn’t about getting a lot of listeners, it’s about having some fun, acquiring experience and gaining confidence.

We’ll learn how to produce a podcast, hopefully increasing our collective knowledge with every episode we record, edit and release. We have several other ideas for much less specific podcasts that may be more marketable, but we wanted to start with something that A) we knew a lot about and B) would only require a round-table discussion and not any extra writing/interviewing.

For me, I get to expand my creative portfolio. I absolutely love keeping this blog, and I love than around a hundred people are interested in reading these words every day (wow, thanks, wow). I know it’s not exactly a focused blog, and maybe I would find more success if I found a central theme, but for now it’ll continue to be as sporadic as it has been, as I use these words as a warmup to my long-form writing.

My YA dystopian novel is almost finished, I should type the final word of the epilogue this upcoming week. After which I begin the editing and rewriting process, something I’m surprisingly excited for this time around. I can’t wait for the rejection letters on this one, because I finally believe in a story of mine, and for people to even consider it for a moment will mean a lot.

So podcasts will just be another layer, as I continue on the path of increasing my work ethic and productivity. Historically I’ve been a lazy person, who couldn’t work on more than one project at once. I’ve beaten-back that bad habit and now I get frustrated when I’m not working. So, I’m hoping that podcast editing will help with those evenings where I’m burned out from writing all day, but want to be working on something else.

Watch this space for podcast episodes in the future, if that’s the sort of thing you’re interested in. If not, thank you so much for reading this blog. I’d love to be even more connected to all of you, so if you have a Twitter then leave your handle in the comments below and I’ll give you a follow!

Have a great weekend and be bloody excellent to each other.


Today is Saturday, September 1st and I can’t wait to talk about Lost with other humans this evening.

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If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

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