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Vulture published an expansive piece on podcast producers called “16 Podcast Producers on the Hardest Episodes They Have Ever Produced.” The writer, Becca James, wanted the audience to “better understand what a podcast producer actually does.”
These 16 stories represent the producer’s worst nightmares, and how they got through them, and each shows the difficulty of trying to do your best work versus what to present to the audience.
Here’s a short summary of each from an article very much worth reading:
Brendan McDonald - from WTF with Marc Maron - They had a conversation with Fionna Apple that they enjoyed and Brendan presents the balancing act of what to leave in while representing what the guest talked about.
Alex Young - from The Daily - This is a nightmare of a story that describes the moment just before a 6am deadline of release of the podcast when they discovered the RAW audio sounded fuzzy just before they were supposed to release it and they had no idea what to do.
Henry Molofsky - from Wind of Change - They were traveling to a foreign country to interview the lead singer of the band the Scorpions about a conspiracy theory about the song Wind of Change, but they didn’t want him to know why they were talking to him so they were very paranoid.
Ashley Ray-Harris - from TV, I Say with Ashley Ray - About the difficulties of trying to book Seth Rogan and Roxane Gay through a non-verified Twitter account.
Misha Euceph - Tell Them, I Am - About the difficulties with making an older guest sound best represented without overproducing the sound around him.
Benjamin Frisch - Decoder Ring - On the problems of making an episode about a con-man story a cultural story.
CC Paschal - Louder Than a Riot - On the difficulties of making a story about her incarcerated sister without further traumatizing her.
Alix Spiegel - This American Life - Alix comes from a secular Jewish background and was reporting on a Christian community praying for a city and she couldn’t understand their religious language.
Shima Oliaee - Radiolab - About a confederate flag in a city coming back much sooner than was expected which might have ruined her story.
Anna Foley - Reply All - On the difficulty of reporting on a story about Snapchat because of how reclusive the online identities were of the users.
Heather Schröering - Joe Exotic: Tiger King - About the difficulties of staying in Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin’s world separately.
Sharon Mashihi - Appearances - About changing the perspective on who to focus on in an episode midway through reporting.
Cher Vincent - Beyond the Last Dance - About technical difficulties and always having a backup plan of a backup plan for recording
Julia Lowrie Henderson - Bikram - About getting food poisoning on a reporting trip
Jody Avirgan - FiveThirtyEight - About the problems with being authentic while over-preparing.
Robin Linn - Sound Opinions - On interviewing a rock star and ignoring their young companion who they might have been sleeping with.