Do you work with a producer on both series?
Yeah yeah I do and you know and that’s an important part of the relationship I think
and having somebody to help you shape the story and you know push you in certain directions
or take you away from certain directions you know I think that’s great.
But I am I’m very hands-on I think that’s something I’ve enjoyed about podcasting as
well because I think in radio before sometimes I have worked with producers where they would
effectively shape the story – they’d do the Edit – they’d sort of tell me how it’s gonna
be. And then I’ve sort of had to write a script
around the bits I’d cut together. Whereas you know this I… it’s very authored
indeed you know and I’m choosing all the material I use and then I’m choosing when to use certain
effects and music and stuff like that. So it is very authored.
Any… anything you do whether it’s kind of writing a sitcom, writing a play, making your
podcast, it’s always the product of several people like you know.
If you try and tell the story by yourself it will not be as good as if you get input
from different people you know. When I’m writing a play I found like you know
the director the actors you know if you have it like a dramaturg you know the script editor
in theatre-land you know, all those people help you shape it.
And then sometimes the things they say to you, you don’t totally agree with, but it
takes you to a certain place you know that does you know open something.
Sometimes you don’t agree with it at first but then actually you realize they were right
all along you know and sometimes they’re like you know they just unlock a door you get like
yeah why didn’t I think of that?! Collaboration and being open to different
ideas is a really important part the process. And clearly as I said before with podcasts
with something where you’re maybe producing on a week-by-week basis – that collaboration
can extend to your audience you know and you know…
In radio and television you’re generally producing something that’s finite at least in the instance
of it like a first series it’s finite – you produce it then you put it out into the world
you say “what you think of it?” Podcasting isn’t quite like that you know.
It gives you that ability to react you know and to to change what you’re doing and…
or just respond. So I think with “Haunted” like we saw
what people were enjoying and we could respond to it you know and you know…
That’s nice and it and it will obviously make an audience engage more if they feel they’re
being listened to. When you are interviewing your guests, is
it on a Zoom with a handheld microphone? I tend to prefer not… I mean are we getting
quite specific and technical? I tend to prefer not setting up on a table
and making people really aware of the mic. I tend to prefer having the mic quite low
and sort of handheld and sort of going between people where they kind of forget the mic – because
I do think you get quite powerful audio out of people forgetting the mic is there.
And I mean that might sound crazy that if you’re waving mic in people’s faces they forget
but if you can keep it quite low if the recording levels are set right and and it makes people
talk to you more as well I think like… If it’s on the table there’s a tendency
to sometimes kind of you know you want the person sort of chatting to you and having
that conversational kind of thing. I mean if we’re getting really kind of nerdy
specific, I always record in mono. I try and always record in mono.
We were talking about this before but a lot of kind of new podcast things like the Zooms
seem to be set up to only record in stereo. Some people probably now probably kind of
come in and tell me about how to undo that. But it does seem to be like from Zooms you’re
kind of locked into recording stereo which yeah I don’t know it gives your podcast a
different sound… like you get every sort of like rustle of the headphone lead and and
stuff like that… which makes it feel to me it’s more setup for a sort of a very static
conversation. I like to be able to move things about.
I love the kind of walk and talk. I love you know to have action in my scenes.
I love to think of interviews less as an interview and more as a scene sometimes I think you
know like… …if I’ve got an interesting person like
on the Folsom story you know like we had a prison guard. A Folsom prison guard who was
a great character and so instead of just sitting and talking to him I wanted to get it on its
feet and sort of move her around so we walk down to the gates of Folsom and we took a
photograph there and it just feels like then if you’re spending the money on going to America
you’re getting a lot for your money because you then have the sound of Folsom Prison as
well as the sound of a room you know. So I always favour a kind of recording technique
and a recorder that allows you to kind of be very reactive and be moving and out and
about yeah I’ve always liked that a sense of movement yeah.
That’s really helpful and it’s funny when you’re speaking I’m obviously putting it through
this entire prism of where I’m going next with this podcast.
There’s so many different ways of going about it that there is no one right way.
No definitely and I think you know this is the thing like you know we’re sitting here
talking and you know loads of podcasts are set up with that with just two people sitting
at a table talking it’s really easy to do and edit wise it’s really easy as well because
you could edit this in any way you want at any point there’s no sounds in the background
that are going to sort of affect your edit. But you know another way to do it would be
like you know me pottering around making a cup of coffee and tea and toast for you while
this is going on and that instantly does give you a sense of character and it plunges you
into you know a sort of sense of how the person lives.
And I think it’s horses for courses because sometimes you want your interview totally
unadulterated then you know you just want to hear what the person is saying and other
times it’s really nice to get a little glimpse into their life.
You know I love that, those sort of the sound of a a kettle in the background and sort of
cups of tea being made I think you know that can get distracting at points but I think
sometimes it’s a really nice way to set up an interview.
Sometimes I find myself using that kind of you know arriving at someone’s house.
I always try and record when I’m arriving at someone’s house.
Being even recording in the car as we get out the car and you know like… in Folsom
Untold, we seem to be constantly greeted by people with dogs barking you know so almost
every interview there seems to begin with me getting out of a car and dogs barking at
me. But you know yeah like puttering about and
sometimes you get those kind of little funny eccentricities of like the way someone lives
you know like you know that they um I interviewed the 83 year old former drummer of Johnny Cash
and you know he was very deaf and he was like you know “come and sit here I’ve got to
get my best ear and you know I think it’s like “my best-no-good-ear on on the case”
and hearing all that stuff you know just instantly paints a picture you know even though you
can’t see this guy you kind of you kind of can in a way you know so yeah again we go
back to that thing that in podcasting you find yourself including stuff that you probably
at the beginning didn’t think was ever going to be relevant or necessary but by the time
you get to that stage at the end when you’re doing the Edit you realize that those little
extras those little kind of seeming kind of irrelevances paint a brilliant picture of
this person and bring him to life. That’s Danny Robins and this is the Podcast
Producers Podcast with me Neil Mossey. It’s a place where podcast producers share their
tips and experiences so that everyone can start the podcast and keep going. There’s
details of how to subscribe in the description – thanks so much for getting to this point
in the podcast and thanks again to Danny the links to him and his podcasts are in the description.
And if you’ve got this far into the podcast it’s really good to have you here.
Why not give me a thumbs up, or a comment, or tweet me. It’d be lovely to hear from
you. And there’s also details in the description for where you can find the next episode.
Can you please help my daddy get 1000 subscribers just click on his face thanks bye! [Music]