Translating A Script Into Production

I’ve been listening to one of the newest Hardcore History podcasts. It’s titled “The Destroyer of Worlds” and covers the beginning of the atomic age just as one would be expected from such a title. The sheer destructive terror that Dan Carlin can call upon through words alone is terrifying, especially if one views the new U.S. atomic bomb testing footage that’s has been declassified for the public.  It’s an extremely long podcast episode so I’m going through it bit by bit it’s as always I’m enjoying it.

As for the script-writing, it has been a very informative process. I have honestly struggled in finding a sweet spot between relaying information and telling a story. The ideal podcast should do both of these simultaneously but I fear I have fallen into the role of storyteller rather than historian in the script we turned in. I had thought that perhaps sticking to a thematic narrative would have been the better option for the podcast, rather than say, me reading off endless data for twenty minutes. Perhaps it’s the lack of confidence in myself that pushed me towards this decision as it is ultimately the easiest method. I now find myself planning on how to better weave actual data into the podcast.

Something else I learned was in the actual production of the first minute of the podcast itself. In my transition from my hook into my opening statement I completely and utterly failed to take into account the perspective of the listener; who would have little to no context of the setting and reasoning behind my particular hook without me personally telling them. It was a surreal realization and a humbling one.  This happened once more with me reading my own script as well. Words, even phrases that I nonchalantly use in my writing translated rather poorly when I spoke them out loud. It wasn’t just the manner of my voice but in how I actually pronounced the words. I seriously began to understand how off-putting the mode of the podcast could be when I struggled to pronounce a word clearly in the microphone. This more or less forced my hand into using simpler words that I wouldn’t have to so awkwardly navigate over in my future script recording.

One Reply to “Translating A Script Into Production”

  1. Drew, I think your last paragraph is a valuable reckoning with the auditory nature of the podcast. Someone who is a great writer on paper may have to revise and develop new skills for a podcast — we’re all going to have to deal with this.

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