Early on in my podcasting career, I established myself as a post-production-media-creator; a producer who relies heavily on editing and production techniques to present and craft content for strong delivery using storytelling styles. It was unusual. At the time, most podcasters were recording their shows from the hip which gave them an edge and energy that was part of the excitement for podcast creators and their audience. I was taking a more decidedly public radio approach to producing my show and was often reminded that I was “too CBC” (Canada’s public broadcaster).
That’s because of the restrictions I set for myself. I decided that if I couldn’t deliver an entertaining and information message in ten minutes, it wasn’t worth telling, and also that I should maximize the use of the time to deliver as much detail as I could, noting that too many radio shows skim the surface of an issue instead of refining their line of questioning to dig deep into a single issue. I suspect that’s to appeal to a broader audience.
Like many podcasters, I wanted a large audience and decided the best way to attract one was to be completely self-indulgent; if I wasn’t enjoying myself and fulfilling my own passion and selfish curiosity while learning something new from the content and its creation with each episode, why would anyone else want to listen?
That’s worked for the most part. I’ve found that catering to my own interests and letting MY passion drive my media production effort results in something worth listening to. I suppose my informal mission statement is “if it’s something I wouldn’t invest the time to listen to, why would I expect that of others?”.
It’s not an easy approach. It takes time, energy and a lot of creativity to produce the finished result. Most of all, it requires me to make a lot of tough choices; choices that result in internal conflict. It’s quite possible that I’ve aged more as a result.
I’ve presented and blogged about editing techniques (read blog posts on the subject of editing here and here), and I’ve also shared some ideas on how to make editing decisions. However, I find myself thinking a lot more about what I do these days because of a presentation I’m working on at the moment and the fact that I’m immersed in a video production project that’s forcing to think more carefully about the editing decisions I make.
I’ll be talking more about this during my Workflow and Creative Process session at PodCamp Toronto this coming weekend and will blog more about the subject after the conference. In addition to exploring the production approach of another podcaster and a radio production team I’ve interviewed, I’ll be sharing some of the main elements of my own style. In order to help me organize my thoughts (and perhaps build a buzz and dialog about the presentation before it happens), I thought I’d put some of the main headings I’m considering here.
- Be a student
- Production restrictions
- Inform and entertain
- Tough decisions
With all of the different things there are to talk about, thirty minutes will probably fly by very quickly. In fact, I’ll probably have to limit the number of topics I bring up in my session. Following a recent request to conduct a webinar on interviewEE skills, I’m thinking that I may have to create a series of webinars on the art of production.