Pro Storytelling: Podcasting Lessons from a Documentary Filmmaker


PodMov Daily: Friday, September 4

Episode 279: Week Download Complete

Pro Storytelling: Podcasting Lessons from a Documentary Filmmaker

Doug Fraser is a podcaster, documentary filmmaker, terrific guest author, and now a featured speaker at PM Virtual. To celebrate this Flashback Friday, we return to his first piece on audio storytelling. Fraser is the creator of several podcasts including What We Do, a series dedicated to intriguing passions, hobbies, and jobs.

“In documentary filmmaking, my crutch was cinematography. Every project I become more and more obsessed with how the film looked and lost the ‘why’ of the project: the story,” Fraser writes. Without a visual element, podcasting opened doors: “Stripping away my crutch refocused my creative lens and helped me grow as a storyteller.”

What We Do shines in its subtle moments. “If you see an interview as two opposing roles — you, the one who asks questions, and the guest, the one who answers — you’re missing out on an opportunity to truly connect,” Fraser says. “Don’t go into the conversation with the aim to respond. Go in with the motive to understand.”

15 Years with Chicago's Longest-Running Music Podcast

“Only a handful of people can claim to bear witness to the rise of artists as sonically diverse as Kanye West, Local H, Flosstradamus and Chance the Rapper,” writes Britt Julious of the Chicago Tribune. Jaime Black, the prolific creator of Dynasty Podcasts, is one of them. Black tells Julious how the story began 15 years ago.

In 2005, he was working in radio, interviewing DJs and rappers in Chicago. “I don’t remember the first time I heard the word podcasting, but once I realized what it was, I thought, ‘Wait, I have all of the ingredients in the pantry. We can totally make this,’” Black recalls. Originally “more like a mixtape,” the podcast now has over 1,000 episodes.

Black has always been tapped into the city's entire music ecosystem, not just big-name artists. That passion has grown Dynasty Podcasts into an institution, Julious writes. “The result is a podcast that is not only a source of enjoyment but an encyclopedia of the machinations of the Chicago music community as a whole.”

We couldn't agree more! PM Virtual has a growing lineup of expert speakers you won't want to miss, like Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, founder and CEO of the Peabody-nominated Lantigua Williams & Co.

Go global with us, and don't forget that notebook.

At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think we can.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Dollar short: The hit podcast Song Exploder is losing some of its archives to “the reality of music licensing.” Multiplying costs are unsustainable, said host Hrishikesh Hirway on Twitter. “As the podcast approaches 200 episodes, it’s just too expensive to keep all of them afloat.”
  • Group chat: The South Africa Media Innovation Program recently hosted a podcasting roundtable featuring experts like Selly Thiam, the host of AfroQueer. The conversation centers on reaching sustainability with podcast products and companies on the African continent.
  • Long game: Following India’s TikTok ban, many of the platform's content creators are giving podcasts a spin. Media executive Ramesh Menon explains, “Audio has the ability to transcend data and access barriers, and it does not have the strict time bounds that TikTok had.”
  • Book fair: Spreaker has released its first podcasting guide specifically for publishers. The free industry report is an “in-depth resource for walking established brands ― who already have a website and audience ― through the best practices of adding a podcast into the mix.”

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