Category Archives: Podcast

Podcast and show notes.

#266 Shooting Video Don’ts

A little advice about shooting better video

Well, it’s been over a year since my last post, but I’m not going to apologize. I’ve been busy with a lot issues I feel are more pressing. One of the more important ones has been a new podcast, The Craft Project, which began in January of this year. I am researching the meaning, purpose and value of being an artist/craftsperson through interviews with practicing artists.

I’m not interested in establishing the boundaries between categories of creative pursuits, but I am interested in what other people have to say about the decisions they have made in order to live a life in the arts. Right now I’ve limited my focus  on the visual arts because it’s the area of art I’m most familiar with. We’ll see how inclusive I can be as this show progresses.

Video/cinematography/filmmaking counts as a visual art, whether it’s experimental, narrative or documentary and since those subjects are the focus of my current job, I continue to have things to say about it as I is the case in this episode.

Essentially this post is a laundry list of ways to approach the  variety of tasks required to tell a story through video. Specifically I’m talking about shooting video. I don’t imagine I have anything new to say – really my motivation was primarily a need to write this information down so I can make room in my head for something new. Still, whether you are a beginner, journeyman or expert I’m confident you’ll find some my points with resonate with experiences you’ve undoubtedly had as you’ve pursued filmmaking.

The topics in this episode a listed in the order the occur in a real work video project, starting with Preproduction, finishing with packing up at the end of the shoot.

I don’t go into editing or distribution, that’s an episode for another day.

I hope it helps. I feel better just getting it off my chest.

Something for nothing

As I’m preparing to launch a new podcast I have been counting the cost of this one. I am paying $15 a month to for the privilege to use their server and bandwidth. Over the almost 8 years I’ve been using this service I’ve spent $2,700 for this service alone. Fifteen dollars a month seems pretty tame for a hobby but in the aggregate it really is astounding how it adds up. I guess it’s like that with most things though right – eating out at your favorite restaurants, family trips, various magazine and paper subscriptions. Over time it adds up big.

And I can’t complain about the product. I’ve been using Libsyn right from the beginning of this show and I’ve never had problems with the bandwidth or server address or file uploads. It deserves its reputation as a premiere podcast hosting site.

All the same, when I started podcasting several years ago I had no idea how long it would last and no thought about its end of life. What do you do with a podcast when you choose to stop? Even when I decide to  stop creating new podcasts for this show I would still have to pay the same monthly fee to keep the old shows available online. If I cancel my Libsyn account all the links to the audio in my blog are dead. I’d have to download all my podcast episodes, just so I could have a record for myself. The blog itself still remains because I’m hosting it on another site, BlueHost so I could transfer my files there, but there’s no point in paying someone else to host my audio, I might as well keep using Libsyn.

Of course there are lots of other reliable podcast host sites and others that offer free hosting, but you have to be careful about the “free” terms. Some offer a fixed amount of recording time per month, others a maximum file upload amount. All of them are going to insert ads into the posts or the audio itself. The reason I went with Libsyn in the first place is because I wanted to control my content and retain 100% ownership. That’s why I passed on providers such as Youtube and SoundCloud.

Also you have to be careful that your host is professional, that they don’t accidentally delete your files or your account, break your feed, or do a crappy job serving your content. Good technical support and help is also important. And you have to have confidence in their solvency. There are a lot of podcast hosting sites out there and a lot that aren’t, anymore. If you’re going to go the cheap route may get cheap service.

You can decide to set up your own server, although there’s a cost associated with it as well. Nowadays with products like Drobo it’s pretty easy to do that, though you have to manage the server software and still pay for the bandwidth through your own internet provider.

And what about DropBox? I’ve read some complaints about bandwidth problems: reviews I’ve read say it can be slow to upload. And once again, if you need to use more than a few gigs of server space you have to pay for it.

A truly free solution

I did find a reliable, truly free hosting source that is definitely going to be around a long time: It’s independently funded and accepts all content. No bandwidth restrictions, no file size limits.

The interface is a little clunky but there’s a way around that: It is also free and it uses’s servers to host media. Again, free means no frills, so it doesn’t have all the niceties that Libsyn or Blubrry have, but from what I’ve seen, it’s sufficient. After all, even free has it’s costs.

There is a problem though when hosting with or through once you upload media, it’s there forever, you can’t take it down. I don’t have a problem with that from an end of life archival standpoint, but if I’m continually adding shows it’s a concern. Even after 8 years I still make occasional errors and find it necessary to remove an audio file and then repost. Not being able to do that would be a frustrating limitation.

Frustrated, but wait!

Just recently I discovered that people are using Google Drive for hosting podcast files. I haven’t tried this yet, but there are lots of tutorials for setting up it up as a server, creating an RSS feed and linking it to iTunes and other Podcast aggregators, so it seems promising.

Google Drive is a simple, familiar interface, easy to administer, uploads are fast and 15gigs is a lot of space when you’re filling it with small audio files. The only thing I’m uncertain about is the bandwidth, so there’s still a little more research to do, but after a lengthy and dispiriting search I feel pretty confident that Google Drive is a way for me to go.

I’ll keep you updated.

P.S. I’ve just run across this very detailed review of podcast hosting sites by Kevin Muldoon. He compares features of 18 different services.

#265 Fork in the road


I decided to take a few months off and in this show I talk about what I’ve been doing and some changes that I’m going to make in this podcast and a new podcast I’ll be starting shortly. This all turns around a return to my art/craft making roots.

Aside from personal home renovation projects I’ve spent a great deal of developing web design skills. It doesn’t come easy to me, not by a long shot, but I’ve made a lot of headway over the past few months and the first result is my own child theme for the new podcast site. The podcast is called The Craft Project and it will be about creativity, process, both of which are covered extensively in this podcast, as well as the nature of art and how to extend your creative imagination into other parts of your life.

As I’ve mentioned in this episode, I’m not abandoning The Video StudentGuy, but I won’t be posting here as often as I was during the past several years. Stay tuned.


#264 Interviewing Techniques for Storytellers – #7 Post Production


Post Production video involves many different processes, from packing up to editing the final cut.

In this episode of Interviewing Techniques for Story telling I want to tell you about ways you can make a clean exist. The three things I want to focus on are:

  • packing away your equipment so they’ll be easily accessible for the next shoot
  • managing your media and keeping it organized
  • creating an annotated transcription of your footage

#263 Interviewing Techniques for Storytellers – #6 Production


Continuing in this series on Interviewing for Storytelling, this episode deals with onsite production concerns. Who is responsible depends on the size of your crew and who’s in charge. The interviewer is up to their neck in handling the Subject and shouldn’t be distracted by mechanical or logistical issues. This job falls to a dedicated production manager, perhaps the DP, or, if there is one, an Assistant DP.

The person in this role is responsible for the operation of the equipment and the crew, making sure everyone knows their job and they’re on top of it. They’re going to be aware of B-roll opportunities, setup and tear down of equipment, framing, lighting and audio issues.

Most of all the Production Manager needs to keep their eyes on everything and anticipate potential problems, always running through a mental checklist of things to do and things to watch out for.

interview, filmmaking, video production, lighting, audio, trust relationship, storytelling

#262 Interviewing Techniques for Storytellers – #5 Subject Point of View


As I may have mentioned in the previous episode about the concerns of interviewer, once he and his crew are on site, the area where there is least control is the interview subject. In this episode I want to consider how the interview experience looks from the subject’s point view. This is vital perspective for everyone involved to understand since, as I just mentioned, you have a limited control and even that is based on how well you’ve developed your relationship with them.

I believe that the subject has certain rights on set that serve the basic needs of any individual Also it’s up to the crew and specifically the interviewer, and/or director to address those needs, if not out of common decency, then at least for the benefit of the production.

Since my goal is to present the perspective of the subject I am presenting this episode as  an advocate on their behalf (keeping the best interests of the production crew in mind of course), speaking to them directly as I detail the progression of events.