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Plan a Podcast: Good Ideas to Great Episodes

Lesson 1 of 8

Class Introduction

 

Plan a Podcast: Good Ideas to Great Episodes

Lesson 1 of 8

Class Introduction

 

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

We're going to be talking about podcast pre-production today, just really quick, a little bit about me, this is me. I spent the last six years making this show, it's about stuff like this, and this, and this, and this, and that's what I do. Okay, moving on, now, we're going to be talking about pre-production today, which is kind of a sometimes hard to understand term, but essentially what I'm defining that is, is anything between when you have an idea for something and until your first interview, right. So, my context, I'm going to be talking about this through is mostly through audio documentary, but I think that a lot of the stuff that we're going to be talking about is still applicable if you're producing work that's just like straight interviews, or personal diaries, or reporting, or maybe even like audio drama if that's what you work in. Because a lot of this stuff is really cross-applicable, but over the course of this presentation, I wanna talk about six different objectives, si...

x different things that we can take away from this. First is how to take an idea from nothing and like zoom in on it, right, like zoom in, cut out all the fluff. We're also gonna be talking about conceptualizing your stories, what I call dream tape, and we'll get into that in a minute. We're gonna be talking about visualizing and describing sound, we'll be talking about how to become a better listener, how to become a better recorder, we'll talk about interview prep, how to turn your ideas into questions for a source, and perhaps most importantly, we'll talk about how to compartmentalize and benefit from the existential dread that you are necessarily going to feel along this process.

Class Description

There’s a big difference between a great idea and a great podcast. Just ask Jeff Emtman, who founded the successful documentary podcast “Here Be Monsters.” Before he ever picks up the microphone, Jeff has an elaborate preparation ritual, a process involving bathtubs, strategic forgetfulness, and good old-fashioned journaling.

Jeff will show you how to zoom in on the important parts of a story and forget the fluff, conceptualize sound and a story’s “dream tape,” and use self-doubt and existential dread as a creative tool. You’ll come away with real-world techniques for preparing for your podcast so that you can make your best work.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Get over your fears of actually starting work on an episode and take the first leap.
  • Compartmentalize and benefit from pre-production jitters.
  • Focus on research at the beginning, not story structure.
  • Prepare for the interview, both practically and conceptually.
  • Use sound to deepen the impact of an episode.
  • Doubt your story so you can find its flaws and improve it.
  • Experiment with and subvert conventional structures.

Reviews

Timothy
 

This class has a lot of really interesting insights and ideas. It is definitely focused more on narrative/interview/experimental style podcasts, but I think anyone interested in any aspect of podcasting would enjoy listening to Jeff speak on the subject. He's a really unique person with a really neat perspective on the medium, and sound in general.