Monday, September 24, 2012

This (Last) Week in Podcasting September 16-22

Animation AddictsEpisode 21: In what appears to be an attempt to improve the branding of the podcast the name of this show has changed from, “The Rotoscopers” to “Animation Addicts Podcast.” Presumably this is done so people searching for an animation themed podcast on iTunes or online can easily find the show. A bold move that comes with a few risk, but if done right, more listeners. On this weeks show the crew has an in person interview with former Disney animator and creator of films like Anastasia and All Dogs go to Heaven, Don Bluth. The hosts have not bee shy in the past about their unabashed love for Bluth. When I saw that this show was going to be an interview with Bluth, I was instantly a bit cautious and nervous. Too many times, someones love for a person or product can water down and dilute what would be an otherwise good interview. And that is almost exactly what happened here. Bluth is normally not an easy guy to get an interview with so I was hoping the hosts would use this chance to get some great stories and information out of him, but unfortunately, most of the interview was the hosts gushing and giggling their way through the entire interview. It’s ok to be starstruck, but the hosts constant giggling and giddiness throughout the entire interview was nothing short of annoying and distracting. Don’t get me wrong, if I got the chance to interview someone like Bluth or even Walt Disney in person, I would barely be able to get two words out of my mouth without drooling all over myself. That being said, it was very nerve racking to hear the girls laugh after every sentence Bluth uttered. I mean, literally, listen to the show, almost every thing he said got a laugh out of them. And I don’t think he was trying to be that funny. In addition, it seemed like every time there was even a second of dead air pre editing, who ever edited the show cut it out. So it was almost like listening to a cd skipping after each word. Very annoying and not a good way to set the mood and build the kind of organic tension that is there with normal everyday story telling. Bluth is a smart guy, with some really great stories and I hope the next time they interview him they take a step back and let Don Bluth tell the stories and not make the interview about how much they like him. Take a step back and get out of the way of the story telling.

Of Mouse and Man Episode16: Ok, I will admit, it has been a long, long time since I have listened to this show. After a little bit of time off from listening, I was faced with a long road trip and decided to give it another try. This week’s show is about the recent decision from Disney to serve alcohol at the Magic Kingdom. The show has basically stayed the same from when I last listened to it. That is both good and bad. Scarlett is still brutally honest and funny as hell. And unfortunately, one of the co hosts continues to “play” a different character each episode. Its, again, a forced attempt to be funny and, for me at least, it’s not funny or entertaining at all. The other hosts seem to put up with it, but at times you can tell that this sort of character role play was getting on their nerves. I believe that, while it is ok to be sarcastic and snarky, it is important that an audience can somewhat trust what a host is saying and that the host is genuine and honest when they share their opinions with the audience. When you enter this realm of role play, you could find the host giving a not so genuine opinion or thought just to fit what their “character” thinks or believes. This role play works on a fiction TV show or movie, but in podcasting people are only going to listen to you for an occasionally funny line; the rest of the time they are going to ignore you, and eventually get tired of you. And as such, I soon found myself tuning out the role playing host and what he said. Other than that, the show was simply brilliant! Strong opinions backed up by even stronger words. A good show and I really think I need to catch up on some of the older episodes. The entire crew adds a good dynamic to the show, except for one, and that makes for a strong episode each time, no matter what the topic is. In short, just play it straight with your audience. Sure its fun to play a different character each episode, but in the long run its going to wear the listener out trying to keep up. Your opinions and thoughts will carry more weight, and that’s the whole reason you are on a podcast; to share your thoughts and opinions with listeners.

Show of the Week: Disney Parks Podcast Episode 21: I am not a veteran listener of this show, but if what I heard on this weeks show is a consistent thing, then I will be definitely downloading the show again in the future. This week’s show is simple, smart, and very informative. On the show this week the hosts are joined by writer and founder Deb Wills. When I first saw that the show was going to be an interview with Deb, I began to get horrid flashbacks of the mushy love fest with watered down useful information of an interview I had heard a couple of days earlier on a different show. So needless to say, my expectations we set low. But even if my hope were set high, this show still delivered. A treat for a history buff, touring junkie, or information addict, this interview with Deb was great. The hosts did a great job at letting Deb tell her story. Deb is quick, smart, and did a great job at telling stories and really pulling the listener in to her story and life. It was neat to hear how she started from a simple Disney fan message board poster to running one of the leading Disney information sites today. Even more, the conversation with her and the hosts about Food and Wine only enhanced the show. A smart and brilliant interview and a great listen. Im glad I gave this show the time to listen!

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