Take a pause to let your mind work | Podcast producer John Cameron Mitchell

Take a pause to let your mind work | Podcast producer John Cameron Mitchell

I’m feeling like a lot of people are feeling
helpless lately with nonstop bad news. And even ADD has reduced our resistance not
our resistance, but our capacity for nuance and for empathy. You know, if you are moving from moment to
moment and avoiding a pause, consider that neurologists tell you that the pause is where
the memory becomes entrenched. And it’s where emotion is synthesized, after
the event, in the pause. If you don’t go down you can’t feel the going
up again. So in this era where every pause is filled
with checking your phone, when porn, when you skip to the cum shot, you know? From cum shot, to cum shot, to cum shot. You know, and if there’s no pause, the orgasm
feels like nothing. And the same with joy, the same with sadness. If you never stop you can never feel, fully. So my goal at times is to create pauses more
than create the actual thing between the pauses, which some would call things, or events, or
words, or just sounds, in this case with the podcast. I was very careful of, like, this needs to
be 24 more frames of pause; I use the film term because there’s 24 frames per second. I said, the audience is not feeling it because
they don’t have enough time to pause. So the art of the pause is what I’m encouraging
now. Anthem is the name of our series. Every season will be a different musical,
in probably 10 episodes. And our first season is called Homunculus. My character, Ceann, is a down and out failed
writer in a trailer park in the Midwest who’s run out of insurance, and he’s got a brain
tumor. And the tumor, one of the names of the kind
of tumor he has is homunculus, which is Latin for little man. And the tumor becomes a character. But my character’s online, he’s doing an app-based
telethon to crowd-fund his treatment. This piece is really more about me. It’s really more of an alternative autobiography. The characters became really me; If I never
left my small town, what would I be like? So I wrote it as a TV series. It was too weird for Hollywood, you know? The resting pitch faces at desks across LA
were saying no. And a company called Topic Studios said yes,
in New York, as a podcast. It was an old form that is being rebooted
for today. You know, audio theater has always been a
traditional part of radio, and it’s sort of been forgotten, and except for some comedy,
let’s say but this, I really wanted something more like cinema of the mind. Obviously, it’s much cheaper. Though, we may be one of the more expensive
podcasts ever made because of the density of it. And it’s really something that we want to
push the podcast form into a more complex, nuance, dense, fictional place. I’m used to theater. I’m used to novels. You know, the words and the music evoke images. You know, sometimes a thousand words is better
than a picture, too. Otherwise we wouldn’t have Dostoevsky and
Nabokov, you know, lasting so long. I’m a word person. You know, I’m a music person. But I love words. You know, when people say films shouldn’t
be too wordy, and, you know? It’s like, why not? You know, Eric Rohmer, so many great filmmakers,
they’re word based. So in our case, when there is an image that’s
important to see, for our listeners to envision, we have characters that describe them in a
poetic way, which is, of course, the ancient form of prose poetry, that evokes images,
and evokes other feelings, and other senses. I think that one of the reasons podcasts are
very popular right now, because it’s a bit counter intuitive in this day and age of peak
sensory overload, is that people are finding one sense is just fine, thank you very much. We’re overloaded. I wrote it all as a theater piece first, and
then wrote it all as a television series, and then adapted it for podcast. So I’ve had a lot of time to parse it, to
do readings, to edit the hell out of it. And it’s that kind of time is really needed
for something this dense. I think one of the reasons you don’t get as
many wunderkinds on YouTube in a narrative way is because it requires a lot of skills. It’s not just music, or just visuals, or just
acting, or just comedy. It’s all of those things, including the talents
of production, which is, oh, my god, how do you get it onto screen or onto a camera. And that requires patience. It’s an ADD world. A lot of young people, patience is not always
the strong suit. In fact, the spontaneous, you know, ‘shoot
myself for Instagram’, is the main format of the moment. And that doesn’t always allow for the complexity
of real narrative storytelling. It can make for something fun, and exciting,
and funny. But the kind of stuff, the literary kind of
stuff that I like, requires a lot of time and patience. And patience is not really something that’s
honored anymore, I find, in pop culture. And certainly not in politics lately. So I’m a tortoise as opposed to a hare. And I like to think it through, and gather
my thoughts, and hammer away, and sculpt it, which is what I’ve been doing for the last
year and a half.

35 thoughts on “Take a pause to let your mind work | Podcast producer John Cameron Mitchell


  2. Sad ! I am 55 years old and I have well developed ADHD/ADD. Frankly, the style of speech that you describe simply forces me to utilize the 2x feature on playback. Too much interesting and worthy material to discover and soak in !!!

  3. I clicked off less then 2 minutes in. This guy seems a little nuts and it just wasn’t interesting.

  4. Ok, this is starting to get annoying. This is a 7 minute 25 second long video. The concept he talks about can be summarized in a few seconds, but I get it, you need to hit a certain length to get ad revenue, or show up in youtube algorithms, or whatever. Fine. But 90% of the video he's talking about his projects which are irrelevant to the topic at hand and he just has to be vulgar with the cumshot and porn crap. I mean FFS guys. Kids watch this channel. You've got serious people who take time out of their day to watch your content, hoping, praying they will actually learn something. That used to be the point of education channels. Today, Big Think and TED are not channels people associate with intelligence, learning or even thinking for that matter, these are channels associated with far left politics, pseudoscience, subjective opinions and feelings.

  5. In an increasingly busy worl, it is important to make some quiet time for self reflection and to absorb

  6. His essential point is valid, but the script he's using is bloated, unfocused, and needs rewriting.

  7. I was misdiagnosed with adhd, now just add I was told, when I was younger and, I had a rough time of it as a result. Turns out I was just bored in class. The fact that it's seen as an easy thing to diagnose piss's me off. Let prescribe amphetamines to children because, their energetic…

  8. There's a great Ted Talk about slow multitasking. Its related to overwhelming stimulation or trying too hard.

  9. 01:01 I love when video's are relevant. Thank god for pornhub cumshot indications though. Sometimes you just only want to see the cumshot. I agree with the man though

  10. Damn this guy is so relaxing to talk about. He really puts his words into practice. Sadly, people don't even have time nowadays to wait out the pauses in speech

  11. do u have to take that pause between every word though? i feel like im watching the sloth from zootopia

  12. Oh my gosh. I nearly played this video in front of my parents. On full volume. Good thing I saw a JunsKitchen video.

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