Audiovisual Cultures episode 78 – Audio Production with Jack Bowman automated transcript

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hello and welcome to audiovisual cultures podcast with me paula blair i’m really delighted this time to be joined by audio drama and podcast producer jack bowman and he’s going to tell us all about his pretty extensive career in all things audio production so i’m really really looking forward to this one thank you so much to all our amazing patrons all our lovely lovely members on forward slash av cultures your support is so very valued if you would like to join the membership if you’d like to join the pod you can check that page out and look around our tiers the different things that are on offer for each tier what benefits you get and have a think for as little as a pound a month you can access loads of extra stuff so please do check it out because it really helps the podcast keep going and keep improving and all that sort of stuff so um as well as that just before we talk to jack uh just thanks as well for everybody who’s been engaging on social media and even if you’re not following but you find us and you’re engaging somehow hello and welcome please give us a follow you can check us out on uh on facebook and twitter as av cultures or instagram as av cultures pod and i’ll be back at the end with some other ways of being part of the conversation getting in touch always looking for guests really happy to hear from from people and a big thanks to jack as well because he reached out using which is a website where podcasters and podcast guests can find each other it’s a bit like a dating site but for nerdy like being on podcasts so if you’re one of those people uh please do get in touch it’d be lovely to hear from you i’m really open to all sorts of ideas anything that could be vaguely in the ballpark of audio and or visual culture i would love to hear from you so i really do hope to hear from you soon okay so i’ll be back at the end with a few more bits and pieces but for now please do enjoy this chat with jack i’d really love to welcome audio drama and podcast producer jack vogman hello jack how are you doing this evening i’m really well thank you how are you doing i’m fine thanks yeah so jack you have got a really extensive career in audio production in many different roles and hopefully we’ll we’ll unpack quite a lot of that as we chat tonight but um i was wondering if you would be able to just give us a bit of an overview of your career and anything you want to highlight any specialisms you want to focus on okay so i graduated um from university in 2000 and i started a career as an actor um 20 years ago now and from there um i had i actually had two three good years working um as work began to dry up someone recommended to me i was a stage actor primarily and someone said uh you know if things aren’t going your you know things aren’t going your own way make your own work so okay cool we thought all right i’ll do that and i went off to write my uh writer stage play uh for me a little two-hander called frozen which ended up being performed at the et cetera theater in north london in camden and at the same time the day job was working at the london dungeon which had a phenomenal actors company at the time a lot of really talented people in there like matt berry was there and ben whitehead and also in that company at the time was um mario ranika temple who was a massive massive fan of voice acting and audio plays um and she came to see the play and she had had this idea about us you know as a little collective just kind of getting together creating our own content and just putting it on the internet through a website for people to download through mp3 and this was the exciting new medium as it was then known at the time as online radio yeah that’s how far back it goes and and and then in the year or two basically we were creating scripted podcast content uh which people could come to the wireless theater was the company still is and people could come to that website pull down his plays and walk away and that was my first foray basically falling into writing so i ended up doing adapting that first stage play for them uh a few months later we got a call from timothy west of pinellas scales they were looking to do something with the company so i was asked to pitch and write a bespoke piece for two of the biggest theatrical actors in the land no pressure second second play second play as a writer um and then from there um it just fell into a groove of uh writing little bits of pieces for them 3d horrify and that’s when we uh got we pulled an old idea of mine at the draw which was uh spring hill saga which i’ve actually written back in 2000 so i’ve been sitting there for a few years along the way um because my acting career had a little bit of a jump start again didn’t last long and the answer would be obvious in a second was uh i was doing a play and we were all having such a terrible time i literally just turned around and said you know what i think i could direct better than we’ve been directed right now uh three weeks later he popped a script and we in box to direct spook squad with uh david benson in it so literally it was like okay challenge accepted there’s your script off so i had to learn how to cast schedule um find the time to you know learn on a job and how to direct play and then that was my first foray into learning how to work with engineers editors post-production sound design um at which point uh spring hill started became a thing and that’s where then was effectively a joint producer so i it seems like i kept getting moved sideways and up a little bit along the way um so that started basically yeah i went from actor who just wrote on the side to audio producer in about three and a half years and every every step of the way learning on the job because i hadn’t gone through any formal training or any sort of media courses or anything like that no broadcast training and that was ten years uh at wireless and then we got to 2017 when they asked me to move over to work audible uk which was studio managing and producing some of the long-form multicast dramas like murder on the orion express and the darkwater bride and arabian arabian nights and towards the end of 2018 this is where um this kind of probably gets relevant for anyone interested in podcasting um i got a phone call from uh dagas media fred greenhouse and the uh late great bill dufrese and they like started telling me about how the podcast market in the us has started to explode and there was a massive upswing of interest in scripted podcast uh drama and fred fred had been doing it as long as i had he actually started at the same time and bill dufrese was a veteran working with like people with dirt mags right back to the you know like i think the early 1990s of bbc radio 4. so they they all they had a kind of understanding of the culture of audio storytelling here in the uk and originally we were looking at an idea about how we could team up and do something together but what eventually ended up happening was that i joined daggers for two years and we were developing um and we still are we would have had a series uh in production this year and not the dreaded bug got in the way um but uh yeah there was a case of actually then moving into kind of international uh production and how to coordinate projects between two continents and different time zones so we produced a pilot there um and that led on they were impressed enough with the the draft uh fred and i had worked together on this pilot called wholesale solution and they were impressed enough to say look uh you’ve actually been off this rather exciting gig to create a trans media storytelling experience called uh expeditionary force home front uh which was actually gonna be uh it’s a book series and the books are narrated by the great rc bray um but what they wanted to do was insert an audio drama between two of the books so we spent about a year working on that um and that did incredibly incredibly well and that’s roughly the point where then um bbc studios then approached me and i became a production consultant for them uh for nine months as a joke i did nine months and four months contract and just uh just somehow i’ve ended up you know going from just not just like a me a producer but um someone who’s been thrust into the heart of all these different networks and platforms and the scripted podcast space and you know the advances and changes that are going on so it’s it it’s you know not quite sure how but i kind of ended up in this very blessed position where um you know i get called on by a lot of companies to help their scripted audio content do a lot of matchmaking between content creators and platforms now as well so um i’ve sort of ended up uh being a consultant and particularly for the us as well so you know no no it believes me the future historians this is recorded in the year 2020 and for the record i got to the us twice this year so um so yeah that’s that’s kind of like you know every everything i’ve kind of done along the way and just just to say it’s it’s pretty much in the last 15 years uh in america let’s say oh you’re a podcasting veteran it’s like i’ve just been doing it a long time and learning as i go and just just watching how the the market is changing and particularly how scripted podcast fiction is now becoming its own thing which is the most exciting thing thank you for that overview that’s brilliant jack um yeah there’s a lot there to try and try to get into but yeah i was really wondering about that media landscape and there’s a lot of scholarship now trying to figure out where does podcasting belong is it something with radio is it between radio and tv and film or those kinds of things but it was really interesting about you mentioning transmedia projects and you know um i was watching a lot of the trailers almost for the audio plays that you’ve been doing and then there’s something slightly cinematic about those but it’s really just for the the teaser trailer you know and yeah so i was wondering if you had any observations about because you’ve been with podcasting before it was even called that you know really from the start you know what what observations you had about the media itself is that the polite way of saying i’m old not at all not at all so um yeah so i think one of the things that we we worked out quite early on and i was quite passionate about was uh because we initially had this label of online radio and a lot of our media tradition in the uk in particular was because of bbc content you know that has carried on whereas in the us kind of scripted uh dramatized radio fell away the end of the 1970s um because of you know that association that this kind of form of storytelling is the kind of thing you would hear on radio 4. i think it has taken an awful long time for people to realize that um podcasting is a different form of storytelling it’s not just a different form of delivery for the audio content so um i use uh an example that um if you if you were to put out a radio plate as a producer you were desperate for one letter to come in to the bbc or um cbc or wherever and it’s the listener who says i was in a hurry i drove to the supermarket and uh i had to be in that store by eight o’clock i turned on the radio and i listened to that play and i couldn’t get out of the car until it was finished we all know this story right now with podcasting you know that means that basically what that listener is saying is that whether it be music or scripted uh dramatization or radio plays um they’re effectively got a bias to treat the sound they’re listening to as um as potentially as wallpaper is noise rather than something to engage with the big difference with what uh scripted audio podcasting is that the second any listener picture podcast 99 of the time they’re going to use a pair of headphones they are challenging you to get into their ears and into that uh that imagination of this and that is where i think the last year or two you start to see people wake up and realize that it’s not just a different delivery method it’s a different form of storytelling and in my book yes you could say is it is it radio well i say some of the traditions for the storytelling yes come from radio is it between pog is it you know between audio and television i don’t think so and there’s a i think i’ve got a a good business argument why it’s not okay if you look at what’s happening in the us i think what it is is it’s a complete inverse of the old radio play it’s something that demands to be intimate listen to immersive um and you know with with some some radio and you know some radio plays and some audio performances it’s pushing the story out at you but i think a brilliant podcast story is actually saying come here it’s it it i think it goes back to sort of our campfire tradition that makes sense of like i’m going to tell you a little story now and i think that’s starting to make people realize that they need to you know rethink things like sound design the way the story is structured um because you know it’s taken a long time for people to realize that you know particularly they come from a radio background that an episode doesn’t have to be say for example 22 minutes and 14 seconds long because that’s a radio four slot and it can be as immersive and as expansive as you need it to be but it’s hard the story the storytelling has to put you in the middle of it so that’s that’s why i would argue podcasting has and you know someone is listening to this uh podcast now even though this is uh you know conversational podcast it’s not scripted in any way they are demanding that we engage them enough yeah to be to be pulled in um and that that’s what i think it is and i tell you why i don’t think it sits between podcasts uh sits between being something that’s almost television or almost film at the minute there’s a lot of experiments going on in the american market where people are going oh we’ve got this tv show we can’t quite get it off the ground or we don’t want to spend three four million dollars developing it so we’ll turn it into a podcast we’ll just put some sound effects on it and push it out and that doesn’t work so that tells you that the language uh of television cannot easily convert to audio if you just like dramatize the scripts and put some bells and whistles on top so it is its own unique its own unique art form in that way so yes there’s plenty of crossover and i think the one the one point where that is valid is there i certainly think because of the way podcast storytelling works you’ve got to remember it’s in its infancy as well there are things we can draw from film production which are valid there are things we can draw from television production which are valid because it’s all very very experimental right now but in terms of what it is it’s absolutely 100 its own form of storytelling

that’s a fantastic answer thanks yes um that’s because i’m old um not at all um no i was just thinking because we’ve we’ve had oral forms of storytelling for longer than we’ve had written language so it makes sense that we would keep circling back to those forms in some way and now that we can make them in this way and circulate them and it can be pretty instant you know we can they can just be released as soon as they’re ready pretty much and almost anybody can hear them you know there’s something really special about that i think yes i mean that’s the thing i always this is another thing as well like um with television or film or theater you know you always wanted to play to the crowd or play to the gallery or play to the largest possible audience or demographic with podcasting what you’re actually doing is you are after a listener a single listener who connects with your material what hopefully will happen is that you’ll have one million a listeners if that makes sense that you know there’s there’s a million individuals out there who are individually connected with the storytelling and um that that’s a really lovely thing when it happens but you know as a you know it literally just does demand focus on one person to listen and be engaged rather than say this is this is something you know six people could listen to at the same time or something like that in a in a room i think one thing i like about audio whether it’s radio or podcasting is i can do something you know i can i can be doing something else you know so i’m listening and i’m concentrating and i’m engaged but i can be doing something else that doesn’t take much concentration you know so i can do embroidery or something like that because that’s what i’m into um but do you know what i mean so it’s something you can be doing actively something else with your hands while you’re going what’s gonna happen next you know and and that’s the other thing to say as well it’s the headphones that i think are are that link i mean um there’s you know there’s a few podcasts that i have sort of played over over my speaker just because i couldn’t find my headphones and i’m desperate to listen to them uh i was like that with uh the missing crypto queen sounds which uh non-fiction if you haven’t listened to that one do it’s just like a stun a stunning uh piece of uh journalism and the dropout actually as well which again is a non-fiction but when i when it comes to my scripted content i need to put these headphones on and direct just you know i’ve been listening to sam at my dirt mags recently and it’s just like headphones on in the dark take me into this story because you can almost see it the the the signs and the design design of it i was listening to quite a few samples of of you of work that you’ve been involved with on your website today and i was listening to i listened to the first episode of the spring heal saga and you know and yeah i could it was the signs of 1837 london were just making me see in my mind those things you know and almost smell it you know and it transports you and your imagination actually opens up from just that one sense all your other senses start kicking into action which is really fascinating it is because like when we started spring here you know we were having a conversation just in the cafe before the first recording session and this is where like um my tradition as a kid was like my dad played me the jeff wayward worlds um and he played me journey into space which is a old bbc classic it was the last radio program in the uk to get higher uh higher audience figures than television

and i had kind of been turned on to that kind of audio storytelling as a kid anyway but uh along the way uh you know i started to absorb the work of dirk mags who basically has he’s been making you know podcast level drama since the 1990s so he was you know he was you know years and years ahead of curve in terms of the way he did sound design and telling stories and audio movies um and i remember just sitting there saying um i think i think we should try dirk mags this and we just went hell forever but what i find fascinating about your comment is that you know something like an audio movie like spring hill is incredibly laid so there’s les you know it’s not just one level of atmos sometimes it can be six or seven then we have the dialogue and how that is all treated and edited and tightened and paced up to remove what i call um you know sort of traditional radio rhythm which they don’t normally pace up the actors words or dialogue in a radio play because it’s kind of recorded you know as it is it’s always recorded live and then treated afterwards um and that leads to what i call radio rhythm where there’s a line and then the next line and then the next one there’s always a second delay because that’s the actors working through the cans and that’s the brain receiving what they’re listening to um yeah so spring here we did all that type but you know and then we had layers of spot effects and like you know scrapes and you know whatever it whatever it takes you know it’s just all that you know in the real world that would be that but what i find fascinating is that by giving you more i think you’re kind of implying it’s actually freeing up your imagination rather than us quite as as loading that with more owl more arrow whimper it’s kind of letting your brain go to places that um you know you see what i’m trying to say it’s like you’re trying to get you know you’re saying you could almost smell it you know all we did was you know break various sound designers along the way by adding 600 more layers to each scene

but i i find it fascinating that um you know that you know we kind of just we really made a beeline to sort of homage that great work and um and that’s kind of the response from a listener point of view that’s that’s that’s fascinating for me okay um yeah and i i i thought it might be interesting to ask you about genre as well because you seem to a lot of your projects seem to go for mystery and possibly murder mystery and with an element of the supernatural would that be fair to say yes uh well i mean i always joke it’s like uh you know where where’s the explosions where’s the monsters and uh where’s the running around uh but i mean that that’s that’s part of i think the tradition of the kind of stuff i absorbed when growing up so like um you know you know a typical british kid growing up of course you know it was a lawyer you had to watch doctor who yeah um you know i was introduced to things like jerry anderson even even before you know way before jerry anderson became cool again in the 90s i knew jerry anderson well uh star trek um you know all these kind of generous stuff x-files not actually weirdly masses of horror um but now you got me wondering where the murder mystery started i mean my mom was a little colombo okay so maybe maybe that’s where the the mystery stuff comes from um but you know it’s at the end yeah i’d say it’s fair that i do gravitate towards a lot of a lot of genre-based um content simply because it’s it’s what i love doing and it’s the kind of stuff i enjoy yeah and and as i say write what you know and uh to be fair after frozen i didn’t have many more domestic kitchen sink dramas left for me so um you know and also strangely enough i mean some of the horror commissions that um i did things like intruder and autopsy i was actually asked to write rather than being my own idea so uh i mean what i mean by that is that a company called 3d horrify said writing some scripts that have got to be scary but just pitch ideas and um i think that’s probably what gave me the reputation for being a horror person is doing those autopsies become quite cold i found out i didn’t know this but because i wrote it under a pen name um i was speaking to another podcast a couple of weeks ago and they said oh you wrote the autopsy and i said yes is that a thing do people like it oh yeah it’s good all right okay um so yeah i think that’s where the like the the association of me doing horror comes from is that spell where i was churning out a lot of those but the thing is you need you need stakes you need jeopardy in any storytelling so you know and you know in genre the stakes tend to be higher therefore more frightening so there’s always going to be shades of the mysteries are going to be incredibly mysterious the horrors are going to be potentially incredibly horrifying but hopefully that means that hopefully that means that the thrills are particularly thrilling so yeah fingers crossed yeah and i think as well um because because you’re not seeing anything and you’re left with your imagination of what people characters might be saying or not saying or what shadows are falling it’s it might be even scarier than what a horror film say doesn’t show you for example because it’s your own imagination and that can be a very scary place absolutely i mean like i i i keep meaning to write a blog and i’ve probably got to do it this sunday yeah before the last episode of circles comes out but i i was massively blown away by a film by scott derrickson and uh cargill robert c robert cargill called sinister with ethan hawke and that is like uh i i’ve got to know cargill since he’s such a cool dude he’s like bill and ted in one person it just just is so bodaciously wonderful and yeah so like he did they did this film called sinister and what blew me away was the fact that it was absolutely terrifying it was all about what wasn’t seen and the use of sound and the use of jump scares is so restrained in that and it’s terrifying for it and uh it was like i i said to him i was like you know you know you why were you pulling your punches and it came out this big r rated movie it was like horror horror horror and he said well we kind of got screwed by the mpaa because what we were going for was a pg-13 horror like poltergeist so we removed all the gore all the violence and we just relied on you know cutting away in jumps and uh cutting away in sounds you know to scare you and the mpa just went this is terrifying and slapped an and i just went something there isn’t there there’s more about the the horror of what your imagination can do if you’re just pulling pulling those levers um you know things like patterns repetition um we play with this recently in uh with circles where um some some of the listeners have started to clock some think we’ve left in the soundscape okay um and i’m not going to spoil it because we haven’t seen last night yet but someone someone’s like going what’s that because we were just sitting there and i was doing like the the final tweaks on it and we’re listening no we just need you know you just need to put something in there that puts put your your brain just a little bit off

so but um yeah i mean it’s it’s it’s sound does a lot more for your imagination you know you sit in bed one night and you hear a tap in your bedroom see it started already yeah you know you know people don’t like creaky houses that’s just science that’s just the house cooling down at the end of the day yeah yeah but it’s creepy can you hear a creak or a thud or a scrape or you know what i mean i think i think one of the thing is it’s someone said something cool which is uh technically we all live uh we all live in the past because it the time it takes for our brain to process what we see but sound is almost instant yeah yeah and i think i think that’s another thing as well that when there’s a creepy sound it’s just ahead of your eye and then you’re looking for that threat yeah and your body’s reacting before you’ve identified what’s gone on yeah interesting yes and there’s another sorry just following on there’s another great example from the commentary on the you see what i’m talking about so you can learn things from film and i think it’s when tom skerritt gets killed by spoilers for a 40 year old movie uh tom skerritt gets killed by the alien and he he looks up and he’s terrified yeah as it leaps down and kills him and he says oh i played that wrong because the first thing that happens when you see something terrifying is not to be scared is that you’re bored because or is your brain’s default moment of i’ve got no idea because you can you can have a winning lottery ticket but you’re not going to jump out you know or is this this zone you go into so one of the things i’m always like particularly when doing horror or you know looking at those big big scary moments is don’t go straight into the fear because you you’ve got your brain is working out fight or flight or freeze the script is going to tell you what that reaction is for the character but you need that moment because then you know otherwise it’s gonna you know that note of using or in times of extreme fear and stress has probably been the most invaluable thing when approaching horror work which is just get that moment where your brain is locked and if you get that then i think you can take you can take your listener anywhere right gosh yeah i’m just thinking because i listened to the first episode of circles today as well and um it’s really fascinating how it’s done because you’re left wondering all the time what’s going on what are they scared of what is this thing and it’s revealed to you quite slowly and it just unfolds gradually through this series of phone calls and um so i mean would you would you like to just outline circles because that’s what you’ve got oh you re you know that’s that’s current it’s happening right now sure so circles is um a project we took during the global lockdown it’s a four-part mini horror series podcast event for halloween spooky and it’s about a group of friends who have to take refuge in chalk circles because they they took on uh when they were kids they took on a demon 15 years ago and due to circumstances beyond the control that demon is back so their their only line of defense is to all sit in chalk circles and talk to each other over their cell phones and their mobiles and uh from there there’s a classic game of cat and mouse because if they’re in if they’re inside the safe space how how does that demon get them and that that that’s what’s unfolding it’s uh it’s it’s a great mystery in like who who you can trust where the threat is coming from how it’s going to get to them and uh you know first clues unfold probably at the end of part one with the cliffhanger uh which you know i i when i heard that the post-production i got chills as long as yeah but i thought is it just me but um like a lot of people literally lost over uh cliffhanger sort of thing okay all right i think i think we’re okay now we’re on good grounds here yeah it definitely had that effect on me as well today because i’ve i listened to it and i thought i don’t don’t know about this i’ll do i’ll give it away i’ll give it a go share and then got just more and more oh this is quite creepy and then yes by the end of the episode i thought okay that’s yeah okay that’s that’s the thing because we we’re not going for uh we’re not going like that it’s just all about you know we’re saying come inside inside come inside the circle come listen to this podcast in your ears but what it’s a you know what it’s actually doing it’s not betraying that trust it’s yeah the the script that uh brendan put together with his writer’s room um i’ve been working with brendan for a year now on another pilot he’s got and he pitched me this idea and just within seconds of when we’ve got to do this yeah i i can hit this is the thing i can i could see and i could see how it was going to sound it’s paradoxical that’s kind of how my brain works i kind of see sound it’s my weird superpower what good that is for saving the world i do not know but i could instantly see the podcast and it was like yeah i said yes because the next challenge was with no studios or no setup or anything like that it was like i i while they were busy writing the script and i said yes let’s do it i was literally running around calling up colleagues saying how do we do this so there was about three weeks of research going back and forth between two colleagues in the us and peers and all over the shop um and yeah i ended up working out okay production wise um because we we actually did that across two continents and three time zones life with the actors wow uh and the uk actors were working in the dark whereas one of our cast was working in the california sunshine so it’s like how do you invite cora with that around um no it’s like we we never betray through you know because all the actors work together live yeah you get that you get that spontaneity and that was actually very good for controlling that creepiness because we can control the pace we can just oscillate things and that i think shows that we we don’t you know do anything cheap with it we don’t make it go all quiet and do a a big jump scare or anything like that we’re absolutely relying on the performances and the realism which the cars give to to unnerve you and there was a lot of notes about or as well so particularly the end of episode one um yeah yeah brilliant great stuff and um yeah so uh and i mean it is it is maybe it’s pretty on the nose just how relevant it is this year because the i mean the strap line is stay safe stay inside and of course there’s um a very big parallel with the messaging we’ve had in the uk about coronavirus of um stay home stay safe and that kind of thing so just this idea that if you stay in a particular confined space it won’t get you so um but it might get you though it’s a scary thing yeah that’s that’s that’s the thing because like uh this was like brendan’s artistic response to what was going on it’s really good yeah and uh yeah though i care there’s a lot of you know stay and say uh stop stay inside stay safe or stay in your circle um you know we’re now using the phrase bubbles stay in your bubble um like brenda was like why can’t i said circle but you know point taken is that that you know it’s like this whole uh you know you’re right it’s all about characters locking themselves in for safety but they’re not safe you know so you know where does it go from there that’s it yeah that’s it great um yeah and so it’d be if you’re happy to be nice to then uh think about the spring heel saga as well because i’ve got really into that now too and um so just for listeners are you happy to just outline that story as well because that was when you co-wrote wasn’t it under your yes we yeah yeah with robert valentine uh so we still so originally i had that idea in 2000 um this is a fun fact i was given one of those great big books of the unexplained okay you know where um uh you know like what are grey aliens and what’s what’s well um and my dad bought that for me and i i was devouring that and going through and there were two entries that really really fascinated me one was about the uh the one talk project in the us which is a huge urban legend in itself and i was going around saying what about this montauk thing and i said everyone said no there’s there’s no creative mileage in that at all hashtag stranger things and the second one was i found um spring hill saga uh sorry i found spring hill jack and that’s uh they said because i was a i’m a south london south london lad uh and uh in london through and through and what fascinated me about this was this was an entry about a mysterious entity known as spring hill jack who stalked the streets of london he had a 70-year reign of terror from 1837 right really up until his last proper selecting which was 1901 and i never heard of him so i delved down and i wrote this idea and i sketched out what i thought would be sort of a very exciting itv 9 p.m um show kind of x-file you know x-files meets the predator kind of thing and i quickly realized that i was insane and no one was going to give that kind of show to a 21 year old so i put it in the drawer and uh a few years later i was having a meal with uh with rob and he’d read the treatment back in 2001 and he said uh why don’t we just stick that out and see if wireless would take a look at it so we went back and we we re re-jigged the whole thing from top to bottom but kept the core idea which is basically um spring hill jack is on the loose and a police officer is out to capture him so it literally becomes a man and his monster trying to it literally becomes a man and a monster who then their dynamic and uh it’s a nine part we turned it into a nine part um podcast series uh which spans the entire victorian era and beyond just uh telling uh using some of the key events from uh from the spring hill jack legend but fictionalizing them to allow this character jonah smith played by christopher finney to go on the journey of trying to capture this monster and yeah we spent oh gosh i think two years on and off in production and you know we made it quite difficult for ourselves with the sound design um you know it took six years to make nine episodes which uh it was all for a long time um like you know we maybe we could have made things easier for ourselves but um you know we we wanted to stand by making it sort of bells and whistles kind of uh audio audio movie experience and um yeah so we did that for six years on and off and um strangely enough it actually broke into america which was um amazing but the problem was the podcast market just wasn’t as like it’s not the beast that it is right now okay um i always joke that basically if you can imagine there were 10 podcast listeners in the world spring hill got to eight of them but the problem is that you’re still only talking about you know it being a relatively small number of people but i mean it was reaching 50 countries worldwide and uh you know people really actually latched on to enjoy it and they they were very very tolerant of us taking a long time with the episodes bless them and yeah um you know it was like a massive education in you know teaching me how to all the things i’ve talked about that was the one that i think taught me you know the writing the editing the studio managing the casting the producing the post-production file delivery you know some really exciting and glamorous things and some really dull and tedious things and some really pointless obvious things that people sometimes miss and yeah that when we came out of that that sort of completed my journey from uh struggling actor to audio producer yeah okay great um yeah because the the nice thing about that actually i suppose both of those dramas that we’ve been talking about is the range of accents in them but particularly in spring hill saga because you’ve got a range across the london accents and it’s just a and again you can almost see what kind of clothes people were would have been wearing because of how their voices sound you know whether they’re very high class or they’re working class and on all sorts of stuff and are those things going to have to be decided in advance because um people people like even their jaws drop or they cry for me when we say by the time we got to the end of series three i think we’ve used 65 actors across the nine episodes um they’re never doing that again um that said he was in the studio doing the 74 actor piece today um it’s 11 episodes so that’s okay um no so like what you have to be very very clear and very particular and making sure it’s keeping within period and you know there are obviously certain characters like lord wayland played by julian glover who are very you know he hit game of thrones just well we’re not saying we helped get cast in game of thrones but um it was just before he did game of thrones but you know he plays that high status aloofness so well and it’s not necessarily just uh about accent it’s also about the attitude you’re bringing so you’ve got uh uh smith our hero and uh his uh police his police partner hooks is also cockney but they have very different attitudes and that’s reflected so they’re not just two companies bouncing off each other so like um sadly like a east end gangster movie they’ve all got individual uh you know quirks and and mannerisms within that their personalities which uh help the voice and the second thing i think we learned very early on which was really useful was you have lots of um supporting roles there are literally one or two lines that come on and they come off and it’s one of the best pieces of advice i think going to pass on if there are any actors listening if you get a line that’s two three parts long just work out what their job is work out an archetype and go with that have you listened to episode three no yes no okay that’s right so this is this is not a spoiler but they run into um a farmer and the actor who plays him said oh yeah how do you want to do this and we just went west country because that is an accent associated with farming and that actually literally has four lines so play at west country we establish he’s got a horse he’s got a car he’s a farmer they’re in farmland he does west country does it does it make any sense that there’s a west country farmer in south london before it was a metropolis probably not but the thing is it’s that shortcut just to get through yeah through that moment so it’s about sometimes making some clever choices um that you’re you’re going for the type of character rather than the accent is for differentiation if that makes sense when i when i talk to drama students i always say um like you when you put your reels together i’ll go through a big long list of things i want and at the end of it i’ll say and what’s the one thing i haven’t mentioned and they go accents because these types of stories are not accent showcases they’re not um they’re not there to put as many different voices so you know oh you know this character’s scottish so i know who so i know who john is and therefore we’ll have to have someone who plays irish because that will differentiate it from no it’s um it’s it’s about making really sound dramatic choices for your casting and your performance and the attitude um and you know the human brain is very sophisticated we can tell you know sound is the first sense that we’re born with um so you know it’s the first one we use and it’s the last one we use um so our areas are actually pretty fine-tuned that you know if you if you can’t fight you’ve got different swagger different attitudes and the actors are directed in a way that helps break it just just differentiate and oscillate it the human is going to get it and you’ve got to trust that your listener has you know really you know we trust that they’ve got good ears yeah no they do have very nuanced soundscapes the all the shows i’ve listened to so far and it is it can just be very slight differences between two actors that are using a very similar accent you know a very working class uh cockney accent and that just the different ways the two actors are using their voice you can tell who’s who you know i find and it’s just that nuance is really important so that’s really um fascinating to hear about i was wondering as well because uh they’re so layered uh if you had any insider or anything about the technical side of these things you know so the actual recording and editing processes or even just some of the basics you know just a little bit of behind the scenes for us for sure so uh yes i i don’t do any engineering to my shame and i i should learn um i don’t do any engineering and i don’t uh really do i do have my own equipment for recording and i’ve got portable equipment but um yes uh i have done some um i mean i’ve done a fair chunk of post-production so you know when you’re the basics you’re looking to build up in any scene are starting with your dialogue once that is cut then do they require because remember you have to remember if you’re treating like three dimensional sounds because it’s not binaural but if you know what i mean for it to be a scripted podcast it’s then about voice placement so how is the eq you know first of all are they in a big room small room uh then it’s about distance so it’s a character walking into a room if so how do you make it sound like their voice is carried because most actors uh i i don’t go with the bbs the bbc approach is to use uh basically one stereo pair mic in the middle of a room and the actors move around it okay and that’s what creates say the the room sound which is where people pull away from the microphones whereas i like to keep my actors on where i can create that artificially because then that’s another thing you can help control the pace of say say if you wanted actor to come into the room faster um so you’ll be looking at all your placements and speed about how close they come into the year um then after that you’re going to be once you’ve got the eqs right on the voice and the placement and the pace you’ll then be looking to add the atmos so you know on the outside inside um hopefully what should have happened was that if uh your script has said like for example they’re in the middle of a disco show in the middle or like a nightclub do you remember nightclubs um or a pub if you remember those um that you know they would have noticed that okay so is it a quite public pub all right loud pub so the actors should have pitched their voices up okay so if that work has been done in the um in the recording by the actors vocal performance then you can start to look at in the atmos so that’ll be a basic track where say it’s your pub setting you might have some uh wild track of a pub uh if you’re listening to this and you want to start an experiment with it there’s a great uh website called free sound okay which literally gives away sounds up they’ve got tens of thousands if not more sound samples and atlases and stuff like that um which you can you know you can pull down you pull down your tracks and have a little play with them so you mix in your atmos which is your general general layer of sound and then next thing is do you require spot effects um so we’re in a pub so maybe we have a pint or a wine glass and the wine glass is going up and down and we’re drinking it again the the drinking side of the performance the slurping because everything everything is enhanced in audio isn’t it

um you know the actors will have taken care of that but do you actually need the sound of the glass being put down on the table because uh you might you might not have done foley at the time foliage sound effects will work live with the actors and again that’s a very very bbc thing but you might be you know if you’re listening to this and you want to experiment you just might start with a couple of actors recording their dialogue on a mic and you have to build all this up artificially so um and then it’s like uh is the character going to leave the room so to do you know and start thinking about the physicality of it it’s like uh does a chair scrape as they stand up and a big one that always gets debated i know it drives me into my head is it do you then start to layer on things like uh footprints uh footsteps uh actors walking in actors walking out i know there’s it’s a love hate relationship with certain audio uh drama producers about whether you include them or not um so so you’re looking there atmos dialogue spots being spot spot effects being your basics when it comes to podcast storytelling it’s there about i think enhancing those layers so um there’s a good example i think in uh season three of the spring hill saga and i won’t say who those characters are uh but there’s a scene where two characters are having a standoff or one is really angry at the other he’s really mad but he’s cool as a cucumber to the surface you can tear in the performance that he’s mad not letting the rage get to him um and the atmosphere does its job and you know the wind is blowing and it sounds ominous ominous wind um but in the distance in the the final polish i mixed in an alley cat in the background and that alley cat is uh just doing that cat thing and crying out in pain and it’s just push right right the subtle layer of the sound design but what that’s cat is reflecting is the inner anguish of the character so this is where i talk about it start with podcast storytelling it’s about finding sound that can sort of emotionally and immersively reflect what is going on both inside and outside of a scene um and then you might like with the uh like say with the atmosphere in the pub for example you’ve got your general chatter going into the background but if things gets uh like a little bit tense between your two characters we’re following another thing i might do is actually go back and i might find some uh you know lower baritone pop muttering which is obviously a sort series and you blend that into the scene so you just add a little bit of bass quite organically as if the the atmos is organically responding to the emotions within the scene or it could be that things it’s like things are getting quite heated and maybe just subtly there’s a broken glass behind the bar someone drops a glass and you’re using that i mean it’s like um finding ways to do that but not say like oh this is an ominous alone oh there’s a thunderstorm in the back yeah yeah yeah you can find little this is where i say like little paint strokes like this and that’s what makes podcast storytelling it’s where you thought about the fact that uh to reflect that a moment emotionally they’re in the scout soundscape i had uh this touch which is almost imperceptible um particularly after everything gets squished down to mp3 format from web but um you know something like those little touches there where you’re building a living organic universe around your characters that is serving the story and it’s serving the needs of the wants of the characters and the needs of the wants of the listener at the same time um and that’s where the path to my handless lies because then when you get to that though it’s like okay so uh right what if that character was playing with the beer mat and you’re adding the tapping of the beer oh okay maybe they have a packet of peanuts now um

what will start to happen is once you uh avoid anyone if you’re going down this part of this um you start to immerse yourself and the better the sound design gets and the more specific the more inspiration begins to open up that hang on you know do i need uh um someone calling time in the background or do i need someone getting angry with the jig box and giving it a slap you know something

it can get insane but you know when you’re looking at that you’re probably potentially looking at something that’s going to have around 30 to 35 layers of sound um which you know you’ll be probably running through you know if you can’t afford something like pro tools or say that you might be doing on audacity or or reaper and that’s that’s all purely valid the choice of a daw is always personal it’s what people like and with what they can get on with as long as you’re always bouncing to what at the end most most eaws are fine some of them if you bounce that file straight to mp3 like audacity can go a bit squiffy it’s always about to have and it’s the format you want as well um so you you know you’ll be building these layers and then you know get a decent pair of headphones like a sennheiser or something like that that you’re listening in you know um for you know you’re listening to things like artifacts on the track those little clicks uh little those little dots you suddenly see that can uh you know just destroy your sound quality in a split second you know that artifacts are as bad as a dodgy accent uh they they instantly throw you out so trying to keep that sound as clean as possible and then you put it all together and you end up with like 35 50 tracks of your uh of your audio movie masterpiece and then bounce it down to wav um always be editing in mono as well um unless you have a particular reason and this is another thing to do as well with the immersiveness of it is that you can always be playing with stereo but i think a mistake we made very early on was we got carried away so there was a lot of hard panning so some sound being left here something you’re right completely um and that’s that’s not a valid way to go because someone might have if you have apple headphones for example one side is always going to carve out before the other um so you potentially end up with sometimes uh half of your information getting lost if you do hard panning so i always recommend you know do use left or right but sit on the you know you know sit some of it in the center just in case and then before you bounce it down because you’ve listened to your really super posh headphones

the last thing i always do uh is i always then go and find i have a pair of headphones from the pound shop um or you know and i i plug it in and i listening on that because because you’ve got to remember not everyone is going to own a pair of sennheisers they’re going to probably own a pair of white apple headphones or they’re going to you know or they’ve lost those are broken they’ve gone to the pound shop so you’ve always got to be uh technically conscious of what you’re listening or how your listener is going to hear it um so you bounce that down and you’ve got a beautiful wave and then once it’s in wave you can then bounce the wave down into mp3 but where possible um you know stick with at least 48 000 megahertz this year this year bitrate sample um we have moved in the last 10 years from 44 100 up to 48 so i can assume it’s only going to be a matter of time before we start sliding up the scale um because spring hill is done in 44 100. um whereas circles is now done in 48 and i think you can probably hear the difference in this in the sound you know we talked a lot about kind of future proofing that show back then right and the conclusion we quite correctly came to was um this is something worth bearing in mind if you’re gonna make audio drama or any podcast it’s like the conclusion we came to is well that that that bit rate is okay because the human ear is never gonna get any better and the human ear says that’s fine here we go that makes sense all right we’ll go with that logic um what of course we overlooked and is that it’s not the human ear that gets better it’s the playback devices yeah the speakers are getting better the headphones are getting better etc so um there’s a series i’m currently producing at the minute in la and i believe they’re mixing it in 128 right just to try and keep that um that potential future proofing moving forward uh that means masses of issue with storage for sure yes it’s a lot of space um but you know uh you know just just being aware of you know what was acceptable was a bit great because you can accidentally through the aw do something beautiful and mix it down 22 000. it’s very easy to do um actually if you do want a quick shortcut if you’re not sure how to use uh like say a telephone filter um and you have a scene on a telephone uh any any professional is gonna kill me but for someone who wants to learn how to hear what they’re looking for record some dialogue clean mix it down in uh 11 500 i think it’s exactly mix it down export it as that then play it back and you get telephone quality without even trying quick money saving tip for you there if you learn how to do telephone without playing with eq um yeah so uh you know and again a lot of it is experimenting because it’s subjective artistic and creative choices like you know what sounds what sounds right to you in terms of um you know you want something to be over the phone um you know does it sound too phony or is it is it a phony phone or is it say you know do you listen to that goal it sounds a bit like radio and i think what you have to do is absolutely on the one hand first of all absolutely trust that if it sounds doesn’t sound right for you it’s not going to sound right for your listener that’s but on the other hand

here i am quoting tv tropes there’s also an aspect where reality is unrealistic and that’s where again what we have to acknowledge is the um work that’s come before us in sound design which is where you know uh in real life uh a gun sounds like a firecracker yeah not like you hear on television or um for example um

rats don’t squeak all right they they don’t squeak um so rat squeaks generally tend to be uh bat noises that are used or you know uh so you know a punch doesn’t sound you know noise so there is there is an aspect where you have to um you do have to cheat and you do kind of have to respect the sounds we’re conditioned to accept but at the same time you know hopefully you blend these in so a punch that doesn’t sound like a punch but it sounds like what you expect to punch the sound like works which is literally a rubber mallet a rubber mallet in the cabbage versus getting something right which can be infamousable like just it’s just the sound of a telephone filter and you listen to the way the voice sounds through the eq or the way it’s been bouncing and go it doesn’t sound telephony enough

so yeah i mean that’s that’s that’s kind of a you know a little little insight into what goes on in post-production and i mean i could do two three hours on that it’s you know at the end of the day you’re always trying to search you’re trying to serve the story so story is designed for the ears yeah so you’ve got to respect what your ear is liking and disliking and you’ve got to respect what your ear is telling you it’s engaging with and what’s throwing you out because the odds are the best advice i can give is when you’re in post-production and you’re playing around if your ear throws you out it’s going to throw your listener’s ear out so again this is where madness lies but it’s just about getting it right so it’s serious yeah that’s so informative jack thank you so much um i think just i don’t want to take up too much more of your time i think um just on the back of that i was wondering if you had any um advice quite generally for people who might be maybe starting out but also maybe who have been trying for a while and maybe struggling and because you’ve got so much industry experience if you had any just tips or pointers for people who might hear this who think i’m i’m really trying hard but i feel like i’m not getting anywhere or i’m really keen to start out on this but it sounds really overwhelming and hard you know what kind of thing would you say okay uh first of all is um like the joke i make is i’ve been doing this for 15 years and it’s pretty much been 14 years of muddling along and getting by and now it’s been 14 months of absolute insanity um because it’s now starting to be taken seriously so that’s that’s the first point is like if you’ve been here for a while don’t give up hope people are starting to notice we are an amazing form of storytelling if you’re just starting out welcome to the club but for everyone everyone in all this i’ll let you into a little secret from the very very top previous spotifiers all the way down to uh like the smallest indie who started yesterday good for you enjoy the journey come visit me on my website i’m happy to help um the thing is right now we’re so new the one thing is we are we have never been and we’re not yet is monetized we’re not because we are we’re independent audio we’re not publicly publicly funded we’re independent creators there’s no commercial model for there to be us making a piece of drama that makes a piece of money for example because of that i’ll tell you right now from the top to the bottom nobody knows what they’re doing they’re all trying to figure it out yeah and in that chaos a lot of like in america and uh someone said this is the world west and i went no this is the second world west the first wild west was 2006 where we started out and nobody was taking it seriously for a long long time enjoying the work but not taking it seriously as a medium so hang in there because things are starting to happen from us what you need to be doing is if you like if you if you’re starting tomorrow you know okay all right do you have a professional studio set up no okay well grab your smartphones record voice memos um get a free piece of editing software like audacity or reaper go to the free sound project maybe script yourself a three minute podcast a microcast uh maybe it’s seven minutes long but start start small just give yourself seven minutes to because the thing is there isn’t at the minute any sort of training course to teach you how to do these things yes there are so several unique um unique elements that get taught in isolation um at various various colleges and universities but a lot of the people in the field are self-taught um so you know right right settle in the script find uh you can probably find one on uh you know at least 10 podcasts in your favorite genre with your favorite topic uh to have a listen to and start breaking down you know when you’re listening to it what you like about it what you don’t like about it um one thing i i love and again it’s a hate thing for me recommended this is a book uh by blake snyder called save the cat okay and basically what he did is simplified um storytelling um because so you’ve got the uh

the seven basic the seven basic plots which is like considered the the the the holy grail of uh story and plotting and uh and writing um but uh uh save the cat just condenses it down and makes it a really light read and changes the changes there the tropes around to make them uh they get modernize them and make them more relatable so um i i always recommend that book for anyone who wants to be writing just have a look at that and it will just teach you a few of the bare bones basics for just zeroing in on what story is stuff like that if you’re doing that alongside listening to the podcast you like you should be able to begin to identify the storytelling and then from there um you know when you’re getting getting your actors together or they’re sending you voice memos which you probably will be in this current climate i mean good good bit of advice if you can’t be with your actors ask them to do their lines sort of uh five or six different ways okay so these five or six different takes you do five or six different takes and they’ll start that will help uh start to teach you uh like take selection howard’s put together if we go from um wide light is like this next lens like that next slides like this doesn’t sound again it’s throwing your ear out so you know you start to you can start to um learn how to take select how you know is it you know looking looking to find the naturalism in performance so when you’re not getting it what you should end up doing is kind of teaching yourself how to direct going oh i wish why didn’t if they’d only done it that way and that that’s actually switching on your brain to like if you were working with that to say i like that could you do it like this okay if that makes sense yeah uh and that will start to train you to to learn to work with with uh with the with the actors and then you’ve got the performances that will teach you post-production and you’ll find a daw digital audio workspace that you’re happy with and stuff like that so that’s that’s what to do if you’re starting out if if if uh you’ve been in this game a while it’s getting a bit dispiriting don’t worry trust me um 15 years and like i said it’s only been the last 14 months where things have uh started starting to change quite dramatically and yes you’re probably seeing these big things like uh like blackouts and and the homecoming happen and leaked television and the limetown but um just remember those the creators of those shows they all started in the same place and the best thing you can do is just keep building not only do you uh do great work the one thing i will take away from working at wireless was that um uh you know mary always said you live or die by the quality of your work so make sure you are doing good work you know and if that means you’ve got to keep learning and practicing and experimenting to find your style and your voice it’s like being the author of a book you will find your voice if you keep working at it

aside from living you know just just making sure that the quality of your work is good the uh the next important thing is i think to cultivate your fan base um work on you know there’s a big generation uh generational difference between those of us who started in podcasting in 2006 and those who sort of came a little bit later like uh the the things like the wooden overcoats um and the orphans like david and uh wk barnes and uh zachary’s shows where they were we didn’t have social media we started broadcasting it it was my space yeah yeah do you remember um but they uh you know they were very they came they those podcasts were born into a very social media savvy world and they are absolutely brilliant at building fan bases and um cultivating fan support because we do live in this is the thing to remember if like you’re getting two three thousand listeners podcast series don’t be dispirited we do have an industry-wide problem with the medium which is discoverability because nobody knows how to discover your podcast nobody knows that you mean a lot of the time it’s an uphill battle because like uh heard a phrase of the radio today pushing water uphill that’s what it’s like to get a podcast out there particularly in the independent sector because there’s there’s no magic algorithm there’s no like netflix in code for like saying oh you like the wooden overcoats come and try this podcast um so that that’s the second thing and so don’t be dispirited because it’s it’s not your fault that people may have discovered your podcast it’s the thought of the podcast ecosystem um that hasn’t been fixed yet so i i will make a prediction that two to three years from now because you know i’ve had some conversations with uh people in america and europe etc they all now agree that the scripted podcast fiction space is the next thing that needs to happen it has to happen but the two fundamental challenges are discoverability and monetization now best friend in the world if uh you know if i was good at monetization i would have made money on my podcast right now and you know a lot of independent creators of uh they just want to tell good stories that’s what drives them we we don’t know how to fix that problem i have a feeling given what’s going on the top end of the us right now one of those big three players will find a way to fix it the other side is discoverability and i’ve got feeling one of those three players will fix it because there’s now too much going on in the us market for this just to still be random if that makes sense if they want you uh to sit down and watch the next big television show they go out their way to make sure you know that television show exists so there’s no way that they’re going to have this market where it’s like a gold mine for new ideas new ip you know especially since locked down more celebrities have wanted to get involved casting on the scripted and unscripted so you know now now that turning point has been reached where big to is talent all want their own podcast series it’s only going to be a matter of time before the pressure is there is fix that problem

so i can see two to three years from now that um we’re going to be at a point where one of those two problems gets solved and if you’re making content just hang in there because once it’s cracked for one per once it’s cracked for one podcast it’s going to crack it for the entire ecosystem i hope so me too because it’s like people people say have you heard this podcast i didn’t even know it existed do you know what i mean exactly it’s it’s really infuriating that um i know a lot of good content goes by and sometimes i catch up with i mean this is a really good example but i love cinemasins okay uh a fascinating thing again if you’re interested in storytelling watching them nitpick everything apart yeah even something like citizen kane yeah okay you know i now actually want to write that’s a cinema scene delete um but you know they turned around last year and said oh did you know we’ve got a podcast you have a podcast okay and it started in 2016. right now so it’s three years that one of my favorite youtube channels and i didn’t know um so you know it’s it’s it’s a strange old time but i mean the best thing you can be doing right now despite these problems as i said is just make really good quality work yeah um because that is the thing you know there’s you know if you were like um an indie film director and you made a hit low budget movie then let’s take scott derrickson for example with sinister he’s in like he makes a really great with uh with cargo and makes a really great low budget horror indeed and then he’s moved up and given a big studio movie and eventually he’s there then directing doctor strange and then working on that as a team doing doctor strange for marvel um so you can see there’s a logical progression there the thing with scripted podcast and storytelling is all you can do at this stage is literally just make sure your last podcast series is high quality work because it’s not necessarily about being a commercial here mass audience etc like that it’s got to be quality storytelling and to use that terrible phrase that’s what you’ve got to leverage moving forward so um just just make sure you’re doing great work good storytelling using the medium um you know pushing yourself to to tell that story to immerse and entertain and you know get as in you know make it as uh as an engaging and internal process between fred greenham should say the the the theatre of your mind you know um and that that is what will help you step up because if you just keep making series after series which is good and a great listener experience in the podcast space you don’t necessarily need to worry about something being a huge hit because people understand that kind of model doesn’t exist yet two three years from now it might but just just be really focusing on telling great stories yeah oh that’s brilliant advice um is there anything else that you would like to say that you feel we haven’t covered yet um well good question uh because i talk a lot as you can tell so um no i mean like i could say just just remember this this is a it’s 20 20 right now and i genuinely think this decade ahead particularly for scripted audio fiction is is going to be the game changer okay um another thing to bear in mind is that the i i’ve done a couple of talks uh for podfest this year and the last one i did was the fact that uh there’s all this terribleness going around the whole world right now you know with all this distress and worry and fear so a couple of things come out of that which is one um you know it film television theater is all you know at standstill groundswell hall and a bottleneck right now so audio drama is now becoming a very very good place to find the entertainment um but my i think the best advice you can give if you’re looking to create audio content from this point here on in i’m going to say one word and it might seem counterproductive to where we’re all at right now fun make it enjoyable because um we hadn’t like said we had a series fred and i we did the pilot on wholesale solution and we built the writer’s room on the 15th of march lockdown start i then flew back from florida lockdown started in the uk nine days later um and then after that we had a regroup and we went we think the world is just too depressing for a dystopian science fiction horror series and that was a big moment we were sitting again yeah i think it’s time for uh it’s time you know for some fun because it’s got to the point i think where this experience is

right now in the world it you know people

you know they don’t want more misery yeah piled on top of misery with their entertainment so um i’ve done a complete pivot on what i’m putting forward to make okay make it fun i think i think people will come out this year and people will start enjoying comedies and wanting things that are a bit more i’ll be actually you know as rob used to say a great barometer of culture uh how culture is feeling is about how in tune a bond movie is right with its audience at a time so to die another day for example came out i was in production during 9 11. okay so when that came out it was all about super villains and windsurfing and it fell out and then that’s the same year that uh 24 came out yeah and i’ll be very curious to see how um no time to die lands with audiences now because it’s probably going to be a little bit gritty very serious daniel craig one movie yeah because that’s where they are the grittiness serious and just just just watch that one see how that one’s received when they finally release that film next year and they can’t current climate i think i think you’ll see that basically the next bond will actually be closer to roger moore that’s like this one that’s my top prediction there a bit more spike who love me rather than the living daylights so fun keep that in mind yeah i i really hope you’re right yes we need more joy i think it will come because i think this year is like it’s just accelerated the the the pain and the misery a little bit and uh you know i’m not saying we’re out of the woods yet with where we’re at uh as a planet or individual societies uh wherever we are but um i i do think there’s going to be a a swing towards um needing lighter entertainment so and i don’t mean that as in variety what i mean is it’s you know we will steer away from dystopia which we’ve had years of we’ll stay away from grim end of the world kind of stuff uh because you know we we’ve had a dress rehearsal for once yeah you know um yeah somehow where we’re at a year from now which we shall see yeah yeah well it’s been an absolute pleasure jack thank you so very much no worries it’s been it’s been lovely to talk and um just just one last thing to say if anyone is interested in following up uh you can go to my website yeah contact form i’m always happy to give advice to anyone who’s looking at their scripted podcast uh sector um and that’s and go to the contact form and that goes straight to me ignore the thing about um agents it does come to me it’s just if someone says to me work i send it on um but yes if anyone’s looking for advice or guidance or any help uh more than happy to to just have a conversation and the more people we get into audio fiction in the podcasting space the better so hey let’s make that happen yeah and it is a friendly bunch as well i think we all like to try and help each other because we’re all struggling a bit no matter where in the strata you are we’re all trying to i i feel like we’re all trying to pull each other up so absolutely because like um as a friend a friend of uh bill dufrese came over to the uk uh joe dooley and he said to me uh rising tide lifts all boats yes that is absolutely true and that plays into the fact if you look at the work say that ella watts has been doing for the last two years and like getting the community sort of mobilized and that’s that’s a nice thing to remember as well that uh yes people are you know we we’re we’re in industry but we’re still quite at that community level and i you know i’ve been talking to various networks and commissioners and quite a few of them as i’ve said on the qt it’s like um you know what we’ve got to figure this out because we love it and i don’t care if we’re arrival to that network but you know we can actually just sort of softly alive for five or six years and then you know once it’s all fixed then we can be bloodthirsty

and you’ve got to think about it if the networks are thinking about it at that level yeah then we absolutely should be reflecting that as a as a community that’s it of a podcast creatives um yeah we’ve got to look we do have to look out for each other because like say it can feel trust me i know that for many many years you’d throw podcasts out you wouldn’t even know if you connected with an audience we didn’t we didn’t know if spring hill was connecting for people for a long uh with people for a long long time so you know um just you know that’s that’s the other thing it can feel quite lonely but you know we we’re fast becoming a community we’re fast you know organized you know and that community is now becoming global which is lovely um so the get-togethers that oh i i missed it there was a monthly get-together ella used to organize uh in south london um you know we i i miss that physical community but we’re all still there we’re all still at touch of a button so um you know stick together keep keep an eye on each other’s backs and and do great work and help each other by the end that’s so lovely it’s the perfect place to leave it

so you mentioned your website do you have any socials or anything you want to just point out yeah yeah sure um i’m i’m on i’m on linkedin you can find me there on twitter at real jack bowman and if you’re interested in listening to circles you can find that on twitter uh which is here circles it’s on instagram as well that’s where social media left behind instant right now uh instagram it’s here circles twitter it’s here circles and if you want to find that on facebook it’s circle’s podcast okay and it’s highly recommended thank you thanks very much yeah serious finale this sunday yes yes brilliant okay thank you jack that’s great no worries thank you very much

this has been a cozy pea pod production with me paula blair and my very special guest jack bowman the music has been common ground by airton licensed under a 3.0 non-commercial attribution and it’s available for download from do check out that website it’s got loads of cool stuff and all of the other stuff has been done by me i’ve been editing and we’re doing the recordings and all of that stuff and if you would like to support the podcast but you’re not too sure about a membership you can drop me a fiver at buy me a coffee dot com forward slash bea blair because that just goes towards all of the work that i’m doing with the podcasts and writing and other bits and pieces as well and it’s hugely hugely appreciated all your support and as well as the social media that i gave out earlier in the episode you can get in touch by emailing audiovisualcultures if you want to chat about being a guest on the show or if you’ve got an idea for a show that you’d like to run past me something you’d like to hear us do we’re really grateful if you don’t want to give money but if you want to gift something so if you want to send me a dvd to watch or you want to um send me a link to a film that you want me to see or whatever it happens to be uh just just just give me a shout that way or you can find us on the socials uh so yes huge thanks for listening huge thanks for engaging do keep it up it just means so much and i hope these episodes have been really really useful it’s been amazing hearing about people’s experiences with their lockdown creativity as well so if you have a story you don’t have to be a professional just get in touch because it’s all part of that fabric that network of just cultural production and that’s what i’m really really interested in and that we can all learn from together okay so take care of yourselves be excellent to each other as always and i will catch you next time you


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