wind river

Ep017 - Inland Film Co.'s Mitch Williams & Sam McGhee | Director & Cinematographer

The first blended episode for our respective podcasts!

2019! First blog post and first new episode – not to mention with two guests. We also used another podcast’s recording setup. Once again, met Sam for the first time right before we recorded – but I’m no longer new to that. Mitch and I had crossed paths already but never really got time to chat. How a dual podcast episode came to be is a long story, and this blog is a perfect platform to tell it. I’ve decided that the new year will bring a couple changes for the podcast, and as we’ve already purchased new recording equipment, minor tweaks in a few areas are due. We’ll get to Sam & Mitch’s story shortly, I promise.

Over the course of 2018, I struggled to find a solid purpose to write for. Once I became comfortable with meeting new people and interviewing them on the spot, my focus became better interview questions. That’s improved, but at the expense of the blog – I feel the written component has fallen off slightly. It would help to structure the blog with pre-publishing insights then write the second half once the episode is up and graphics are complete.

Another update is the website homepage. It could stand a little more pep. Videos for header backgrounds are an option – Amalgam themed motion graphics are a good fit, and I’d be curious about the audience’s feedback.

That’s it, my two changes for 2019. Let’s get them done! I mean, I’d also like to buy a iMac… but we gotta walk before we crawl baby! 

As for the guests of the latest episode, we have Mitch & Sam - storyteller/director & cinematographer, respectively. They’re fantastic guys to work with. It doesn’t seem like work in the end, but when first asking potential guests to publish content with you, it’s very formal. I put a lot of focus and energy into my correspondence. We connected through a mutual friend; Josh Jensen founder/master-maker of Jensen Handcrafted was on the podcast and Sam started following Amalgam. Sometime in 2018 Josh and I had coffee where he mentioned Inland Film Co and Cinetherapy, the company and podcast his buddies Sam & Mitch started.

If a friend of mine is involved in a podcast, I listen as much as I can. Aaron, Jonathan and others have their own as well so check it out when you have time, definitely worth a listen. After absorbing a few episodes of Cinetherapy, I really liked the dynamic and delivery. The subject matter and their personalities lent itself to the formation of a great ‘cast. I kept listening and eventually got the courage to reach out via Instagram messenger (of all places) and start dialog.

Sam was great. He hit me back and after starting an email thread like the adults we are, soon him, myself and Mitch were discussing what a dual-podcast episode might look like. Or sound like, I suppose. We all had our own ideas and after very little deliberation, consensus was among us. I couldn’t be happier with the output.

These guys use the same audio editing software, Adobe’s Audition. Their studio was completely ready to roll as I walked in the door. They knocked out portions of the podcast they like to include and we hit the floor running. Again, I got to know people while simultaneously recording, which applies an odd amount of pressure to the conversation. They’ve had some guests before me, so that made for comfortability on my end. 

I was exempt from worrying about mics, recording, or providing them with the audio. But the coolest part was seeing how another podcast produces their content. What mics they use, how they introduce themselves, what software is used, the processing of audio post recording, how they conduct themselves with guests or each other. It gave me plenty of perspective of what it will be like with Trevor. Sports podcast coming soon! 

It was a great experience. I hope as they edit their audio, they find the content as exciting as I do. Not more than a few days later, Mitch let me know of possible motion graphics work around town, so these guys are already lining me up to get paid. That’s the type of guest we’re dealing with here folks, the nicest possible people, with a very cool business and accompanying podcast.

I’m a huge fan of this pair of bro-in-laws. Be sure to check out their Instagram pages too, both for IFC and Cinetherapy. After editing the audio completely, I found myself laughing and smiling because I was reminded of how much fun we had. I hope they don’t mind how much of the organic conversation I left in, but I felt that the audience would benefit from the real deal.

Cheers to you all in your 2019 endeavors!


Cinetherapy Podcast

Inland Film Co.

IFC Instagram

Cinetherapy Podcast Instagram

Ep007 - Darrien Mack, visual designer from Community Minded TV

Darrien joins me at Propaganda HQ for a quick lunchtime podcast

Darrien Mack is a visual designer and works at Community Minded Television, a company of Community Minded Enterprises.  CMTV operates downtown Spokane, WA and provides the space, equipment and consulting for anyone in the community to create visual content.  There are computers complete with industry standard software available for use, just make sure to bring your own hard drive.  Check out CMTV's Instagram as well as CM Enterprises YouTube channel for a complete channel of their content.  Additionally, if you are a Comcast television subscriber, you can check out CMTV's broadcasted content on channel 14.

Darrien also runs a videography tutorial course out of CMTV.  Check out Darrien's Instagram for more information those sessions and their dates/times.

One of the reasons I wanted to have Darrien on the show is because he might be one of the most interesting creatives I follow on Instagram.  I mean, everyone does their thing and does it well.  I have respect for everyone I follow or else I wouldn't follow them.  However...

Darrien's stuff does what every art teacher will tell you to do from the first days of class.  Grab your audience's attention.  His work does this because not only is it borderline abstract, but because the composition is always impressive and incorporates a variety of themes, colors and mediums.  Photography collages with photoshopped gradients and backgrounds or incredibly clean videography are a couple examples of Darrien's versatility as an artist.  There always seems to be a direction or motion to his work and he uses the juxtaposition of his elements in clear, communicative ways.  Often, Darrien includes a song for you to listen to while you consume the content visually.  The degree of how much the song relates to the accompany visual is a question you have to ask him directly. 

Overall this episode was great to record and Darrien and I share a fair amount of our top 5 favorite films.  I learned plenty from this episode, but two major takeaways stick out in my mind.

First off, I noticed I have a tendency to ask a question, explain the question further, and then ask the question again, all while the guest is waiting to answer the question.  They get it, there is no need to explain the question further.  Please stop talking and let them answer the question.  You may have not been thinking that, but I am.

I told myself I wouldn't be negative when promoting this podcast, so thats all I'll say for now. So lesson learned.

The second thing I learned was during the post-production of the episode.  When "Mastering" the podcast audio, I'm simply doing what I think sounds best.  Aaron and Danny will definitely have some things to say about that final product, but all in all, it isn't necessarily offensive to the listener.  I'm definitely not getting any freelance audio engineering work in the near future.

The filter I used in Adobe Audition is from the Filters & EQ section called FFT Filter.  If you want to dive into what that is and why it is used, you may find yourself realizing that I'm using it in the wrong environment.  But it made the background sound amazing to me.  So I'm sticking with it.  Again, only Danny and Aaron are going to notice right now.  Well, and any other potential listener who may be an audio engineer.

Finally, you may have notice data the podcast episode was included as a player widget in the top of the blog post.  That is because our episode 006 guest Aaron Johnson made a point to help me migrate the show's hosting services from YouTube to Omnystudio!  Aaron was invaluable in this transition and I cannot speak highly enough about his help.  This took care of the final step regarding the show's legitimacy as a user experience.  Now when you search for the show on Stitcher, Google Play, iTunes, or other podcast apps, the show is available in audio only.  The episode descriptions are also much clearer and the hyperlinks scenario has been sorted.  

More news to come, particularly surrounding the show's video presence on YouTube.  I don't want to say too much until there is something real to release and accompany the announcement.

- CM