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Month: July 2017

WCC 012: Robert Cudmore

WCC 012: Robert Cudmore

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Robert Cudmore is a radio lecturer who specialises in audio drama. Formerly one half of the Audio Drama Production Podcast team with Matthew McLean, they recently handed the reins over to Fiona Thraille and Sarah Golding. He’s starred in several Audio Dramas including Edict Zero, Hadron Gospel Hour, The Shadow of Lavenhan, and The Fiona Potts Interview. He’s also the main character, podcaster Lee Powers, in `A Scottish Podcast.`


Show Notes

  • For the first few years he was writing and acting, but for the last few years he’s been mostly acting. Acting is easier, but he missing the writing
  • Robert has a degree in radio, which helps him with the production side. His day job is that of a lecturer.
  • He co-wrote Aftermath with former guest Matthew McLean inspired by their mutual love of the game Fallout 3 and the audiodrama We’re Alive
  • There’s nothing wrong with fanfiction, but it’s not conducive to the growth of the medium.
  • Audiodrama has seen explosive growth in the last 3-4 years. Robert attributes this to the technology
  • The older generation doesn’t really know about podcasting
  • Podcasting and modular content are the future
  • More large companies are getting wise to content marketing and putting out audio drama
  • To succeed monitarily, follow the rules of seriality and familiarity. Build a series, put out episodes regularly, build an audience.
  • The Audio Drama Production Podcast was made to pass along information as Robert and Matthew learned it.
  • Robert is a vocalist in a cover band on the side
  • Professional competency is a pyramid as you grow in skill and opportunities become more limited. Persistence gives a remarkable edge.
  • He attributes his success in part to the support of his wife’s full time career.
  • There are no permanent jobs in commercial radio.
  • Matthew wrote the first season of A Scottish Podcast, and Robert will be more involved with the writing of season 2.
  • People fall in love with characters.
WCC011: James D’Amato

WCC011: James D’Amato

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James D’Amato is the host of the ONE SHOT Podcast, co-founder of the ONE SHOT Network, and half of Paracosm press.


Show Notes:

  • James views his creative work as using tabletop roleplaying as a storytelling medium.
  • It’s harder to build an audience than it was 5 years ago, but the podcasting buy-in is lower. Marketing is one of the primary challenges.
  • James learned about and fell in love with RPGs in college.
  • James practiced stand-up comedy in high-school.
  • Other comedians just seemed like sad tired old men, and that didn’t look like it led to a good place.
  • He took an improv class and saw that the instructors didn’t seem unhappy.
  • He moved to Chicago to improve improv, and was introduced to Earwolf’s “Improv for Humans.”
  • He and his friend Alex decided to create a show of their own
  • Podcasting doesn’t require passing through a rigid system to book gigs, and allowed them to set their own schedule.
  • They created the Overshare, which was picked up by Peaches and Hot Sauce
  • Patrick O’Rourke approached James and asked him to create an Actual Play RPG podcast.
  • James saw that most Actual Play shows were DnD focused, when gaming is so much broader.
  • They came up with a format that allowed them to tour different game systems with a rotating cast of guests.
  • Their focus on a broader game base and high caliber performances helped them take off quickly.
  • Starting now would be more difficult as podcast quality has generally risen over the years.
  • Everyone has their own path into how they do what they do, and directly following someone else’s path isn’t effective, but if you look to the successes of a lot of people, you can figure out how to make “you” work.
  • One of the big factors in One Shot’s success was Pat O’Rourke’s focus on quality equipment.
  • If you’re dong an Actual Play podcast, have a microphone for each player to have a competitive footing. James recommends the Yeti Blue Pro. It offers both USB and XLR line options, and is thus upgradeable.
  • The free software Audacity is a perfectly adequate piece of software for every level of podcasting.
  • James believes that Twitch is the future of entertainment along with Netflix and HBO.
  • The successful production companies cater to narrow niches.
  • Podcasting is radio on demand, Twitch is the equivalent of live television. Twitch is where the money is going to be.
  • Time is their biggest limitation; One Shot Podcast is a full time job, but Twitch is also a full time gig.
  • You will soon see RPGs designed to operate within what opportunities Twitch provides.
  • James’s new project is the Dungeon Dome, his first attempt to really take advantage of the medium. It’s a PvP gladiator game, and he’s running a kickstarter to fund it.
  • The story arises from the procedural stories generated by the interactions between the characters.
  • Spectators will be able to impact the matches.
  • Backers will have greater influence. They can create items and events that are featured in matches.
  • High level donors will be able to co-create characters that will exist within the context of the game space.
  • The key is that they are offering engagement rather than exclusivity.
  • After Dungeon Dome’s first season of 15 episodes, James will focus on game design and new narrative projects.
  • The bulk of One Shot’s income comes through Patreon
  • Patreon is not a place to build an audience, it is a place to monetize the audience you already have. You need to have the actionable audience.
  • This audience is going to be 5-10% of your total fans for podcasts, less than 1% for less engaging art forms.
  • Give yourself the time to grow before deciding if you’re a success or failure.
  • Podcasts are higher engagement than other media. You spend an hour or so a week with the hosts in your ear. This creates an intensely intimate investment.
  • You are acting on this good will. You don’t need to treat it like a product, or a kickstarter. You are giving the people who think of you as a friend the opportunity to contribute to your existence.
  • Don’t let Patreon pressure you to the point where your life suffers.
  • Successful milestones focus on how your life will improve, rather than potential future projects.
  • Have faith in yourself as an artist, and never break yourself on a project. If something requires you to destroy your life, it’s probably not worth it.