Monday, 12 September 2016

Caster's first stand

I’ve listened to other people’s for years, but finally had my own first (and near-disastrous) attempt at podcasting.

37 years, 500 issues, untold amounts of pocket money...
There’s an incredible world of entertainment available on the internet, where people pour their knowledge and enthusiasm of almost any topic into an audio file which others can download and listen to for free.

My own podcast listening unsurprisingly spreads across a range of fantastical film and TV, from the slick, professional Empire film podcast, to the meticulous research of avuncular Jim Moon's Hypnogoria, to the riotous and irreverent Hammered Horror. I’ve caught up on decades of comics lore thanks to the expertise and generosity of others, and followed up films and books recommended by podcasters who know what they’re talking about.

I’ve also occasionally strayed into 'bad podcast land', where people on the other side of the microphone eventually seem more interested in themselves, or their lady partners (TM), than the subjects they discuss, and unchecked enthusiasm turns to alienating immaturity.
I might swiftly delete them from my playlist, but at least these people were making the effort, which is more than I was doing.

So when my friend Peter finally convinced me to download skype and a sound editing programme and join him in a recorded conversation, I really had no excuse not to.

He and another friend Dave, launched Beyond the Sofa, a Doctor Who podcast, last year. It's a sharply-observant sideways look into unexplored corners off the programme, disguised as an amicable chat between two friends and an occasional guest.

However, in a perfect example of bad timing, 2016 became the year of no new Doctor Who on TV. Along with many other similarly-themed podcasts worldwide, the availability of previously unexplored subject matter for BTS to discuss suddenly diminished alarmingly.
Fortunately 2016 also marked a record breaking landmark - the 500th issue of Doctor Who Magazine, a publication which Peter and I have both collected for most of our lives - around three and a half decades worth of reading.

Where it all began for me - issue 50 and that free poster.
Now faded and wrinkled with age, but aren't we all...
So the topic and time was set, and after 20 minutes of technical difficulties we were underway at last.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, the itinerary was all but abandoned as we meandered all over the topic. Floundering experience in phone interviewing meant that I failed to be a passive guest and often hosted Peter on his own podcast, which results in a nice two-handed sort of approach with neither of us leading the conversation.  I still sound like a stammering fop, but we all work with what we’re born with, I guess.

Clockwise: The previously unseen Hartnell image, which I used
as reference for this rough visual (top right), and final scraperboard artwork
(bottom right) which  finally appeared in the 1995 Yearbook (bottom left).
But much worse was the fact that I almost unwittingly sabotaged the entire operation, and only the heroic and no doubt lengthy sound-editing surgery of Dave saved the session. As we chatted, I was unaware that both of us were being recorded, so instead of my clean track, a tinny, skyped Peter also featured.

Bad masthead logo and better masthead logo, seen here on the cover of Peter's favourite issue.
Poor Dave had to edit this out and stitch the the resulting tracks together, but has done a brilliant job with only the occasional overlap still apparent.
I’ve learned my lesson, and will hopefully be asked back one day!

1 comment:

  1. As a fellow guest I agree with they do a good job to save us from ourselves. ;)