Hello and welcome to the second Casual Friday, an experimental divergence from our usual coverage. The penguin is fine. Thoughts on today’s issue? Hit reply.
PodMov Daily: Friday, July 29
Episode 692: Week Download Complete
Casual Friday: A Podcast Film & Other Treats
Vengeance, B.J. Novak’s “love-hate letter” to podcasts, opens today. The first-time director plays a journalist and podcaster chasing a true-crime story in West Texas – the death of a woman with whom he had a one-night stand.
“Intensely shallow and ruthlessly ambitious,” he initially spends his time chasing dates at Manhattan cocktail parties. (Bless Sean Burns of WBUR: “I suggested that Vengeance might be best appreciated as a cautionary tale about why one shouldn’t under any circumstances hang out with John Mayer.”)
Onscreen podcasty media hasn’t yet hit the mark for me (sorry, “Only Murders”). But this film appears to take our harmful true-crime voyeurism seriously. The podcaster’s biggest flaw is that he sees these small-town people as characters, Novak tells Vince Mancini of Uproxx. That’s the danger.
Vengeance is still a dark comedy, and Novak made a point to pack in the details. A producer hypes “a dead white girl: the holy grail of podcasting,” a Pod Save America shirt makes an appearance, and this: “I got Terry Gross to play the head honcho of the whole podcast network.” Bananas.
Fun facts: Google’s knowledge panel says that ‘101% liked this movie’ (alrighty), and The New York Times calls it “a dish best served with Frito pie.”
Here's what else is going on:
- It’s ok, Vince Mancini, we all have mixed feelings about the mothership: “I’ve been listening to NPR for as long as I can remember and have been compelled to dunk on it ruthlessly for almost as long.” So good.
- Thanks to Skye Pillsbury for highlighting our comments on the cancellation of In the Dark by Minnesota Public Radio. Her deep-dive newsletter The Squeeze is terrific.
- Need to amp up your podcast pitch? Tell them your show “has rendered the human eyeball completely obsolete.” In The Onion’s classic announcement, The Topical eliminates our processing of information via the optic nerve, ending “our subservience to the written word.”
You were warned – Fridays are for absurd stock photos. This collage of headphones on random objects is possibly the dumbest thing you’ll love today. We’ll never know why that melon ended up on that beach, but what matters is that it did.
What’s coming up:
- “Podcast Pitching” from Dustlight Productions is next Friday, August 5. Founder & CEO Misha Euceph (Tell Them, I Am) will lead the class through elevator pitches, pitch decks, and deciding on who you should pitch to. Bring a rough podcast concept. $75 registration; assistance available.
- “How to Create Transformative Storytelling” from The Podcast Academy and The State of Women is August 8. Judy Tsuei (F*ck Saving Face) will lead a Knowledge & Network on how the right storytelling can transform you, your business, and your audience. Free registration.
- “A Primer on Podcast Legal Issues” from Radio Boot Camp is Tuesday, August 16. Media lawyer Jonathan Lyons will discuss and demystify key concepts for podcasters: copyright law, IP protection, contract negotiation, fair use, publicity rights, and more. $100 registration.
- Speaker applications for the Afros & Audio Podcast Festival are due by August 14. On October 22-23 in Philadelphia and virtually, the fourth annual event will gather Black creators and audio professionals to support the community with networking, brand visibility, and skill-building.
- Entries for the third annual Black Podcasting Awards will be open until August 15. Shows across 29 categories will be honored in a live, virtual ceremony on September 25. Submissions must be under five minutes long. Application fees are discounted until this Sunday, July 31.
- The first Black Effect Podcast Festival will be on Sunday, August 28 in Brooklyn, NY. Hosted by comedian Lil Duval, the in-person event brings together some of the network’s top creators for live conversations and podcasting education. Tickets start at $75.