Posts Tagged ‘this just in’
Many of you are familiar with This Just In…From Gen Con, which is doing its crowdfunding campaign at the moment. For those who aren’t:
This Just In…From Gen Con! is a special podcast produced live at Gen Con Indy. Hosted in 2012 by Rich Rogers and Alex, Steph and Ed from the Yellow-Menace Podcast, they work hard to capture the excitement and mania that is Gen Con — both for listeners who can’t make it and for those who sync their MP3 players at the show!
But that’s just the beginning of the story. This Just In was an idea that Paul Tevis has back in 2008, and over IM, he asked me if I’d like to be the producer on it. His plan was to get corporate sponsorship, which he did by talking with the folks at DriveThruRPG. And the first year of This Just In…From Gen Con was born.
I worked my ass off that year. We did shows at 11am and 5pm, Gen Con Thursday through Sunday. (These days, we don’t do the 5pm show because of hall logistics, and that’s what a wrap-up show’s for anyway.)
Here was my daily life at Gen Con 2008:
10am: (When the Exhibit Hall opens) Look around for something to talk about in an hour. Possibly also wrangle a guest.
11am: Get to the conference room that was our makeshift studio. Hook up our equipment (in the first year, my Zoom H4; in later years, my Zoom H4N) by connecting one of the mixer board XLR outputs that normally went into one of the speakers in the room into my device instead. Explain the format to my guests, including the in unison “This Just In…From Gen Con!” bit and how they shouldn’t feel obligated to chime in. I showed the hand signals for things like “you’re too close to your mic” “you’re too far away from your mic” “you speak next” and “dear god please stop touching the table I can hear that in my headphones.” Then we’d prep the guests by making sure they had something to talk about, and asking if there was something for them to plug.
11:15: Typically by now, we’d start recording. Sometimes we’d have an audience as as many as six people! But, of course, the live audience wasn’t the point. We’d record for 15-20 minutes. (We used to shoot for 10-15, but didn’t work well having two guests and two hosts.)
11:45: By now, the recording’s in the can. Paul’s free to go off to do stuff, and my job was to go do the audio production. Unlike Master Plan and my other shows, I didn’t edit this one for content or flow. No time to. But processing it still too time, to take a live-ish recording and make it not suck. This is where SoundSoap was handy for any recorded hum, and Adobe Audition was great for doing hard limiting. (I really dislike Levelator. It makes crap audio. But it’s free, so I can see the appeal to other podcasters.) Then I stick the pre-recorded intros and outros on, mix down to an MP3, add the ID3 tags & artwork, and then…
12:05: Struggle to find a place to upload it. The press room’s Internet access was okay, sometimes. In later years, I would sometimes just pay for Internet in my hotel room, but we didn’t make enough off of TJI in those years to warrant throwing away $10.
12:30: If I was lucky, the show was up and announced by now. Time for lunch!
1pm: Socialize with people, maybe get a convention demo in, something that was actually me-time.
4pm: Everything I did at 10am, starting all over again. Sometimes I would have already seen something be now, and sometimes I was just spending a couple hours hanging out with friends I rarely see.
5pm: The second show of the day! See everything from 11am on.
6:30: If I was lucky, my TJI shifts for the day were over, and I was a free man. (Though, that didn’t mean much on Friday night, when I went and did the ENnies, so I could talk about it the next day.)
So…between 10am and 6:30pm, I got around three hours to myself. And that’s if everything went well. Sometimes I had to scramble to find a replacement guest. And the last year I did the show, I also worked the IPR booth at the same time, so I didn’t have any real free time that year (and that lead to a couple shows that were late, because Kevin had problems doing the audio production on my laptop.)
That’s why I believe that This Just In is worth funding. They’ve hit their goal, and are working on a stretch goal: at $2500, they’ll bring on my former arch-nemesis, Clyde Rhoer:
…we will be adding a new team member, and additional coverage of Gen Con 2012! Clyde Rhoer, host of the awesome Theory From the Closet podcast, and one of the best interviewers in the RPG podcasting scene will join our team at Gen Con 2012, and will record a series of four long-form, Theory From the Closet-style interviews at the con, one for each day of the show!
Speaking of Money
The first two years, we got $350 (if memory serves). Paul & I split that on the first year, and I kept it on the second as the only showrunner that year. The third year, I entertained the idea of doing crowdfunding, but then Sandstorm offered my $500 for the show (split with Kevin Weiser that year, as my co-host). Still, it never felt like it was really worth it, because Gen Con is so expensive and I was running around working during half the event rather than actually enjoying it, which is why I handed it to Rich Rogers and Daniel Perez last year.
And that’s when I had really decent equipment and software for the gig, and accepted the pre-Gen Con and post-Gen Con shows as unpaid work. So when I see the $1500 and the four people involved, I see Rich and company as being far smarter about it that I was in years past, especially when I was doing all the production on my own. (Which caused said burn-out.) After IndieGoGo’s cut, after any equipment or software expenses, they have enough to split amongst them to make the hell of making TJI happen worthwhile.
After all, going to Gen Con can easily cost you a grand…if you’re doing it on the cheap. So TJI isn’t a money-making enterprise — it never will be — but it’s a damned good thing to support.
I’m not involved this year, both because I’ll be pretty busy with my guest of honor duties and because, honestly, I’m really happy to have turned the show over to Rich Rogers. It’s really great to just enjoy Gen Con without spending four hours a day doing audio work — four hours during the best time of the show, while the hall’s open.
(That’s why TJI has always been a funded project — I worked around 15 hours while the hall was open each year the three years I was the main producer, and that kills time to sit and game.)
I hope you’ll consider funding it. Check out their rewards; they have some neat stuff you can get as a benefit of funding: a Bulldogs story, Mortal Coil campaign frame, Lamentations of the Flame Princess monsters, and more!
This Just In…From Gen Con!, the podcast that Paul Tevis and I started back in 2008, is about to do its fourth season. I’ve given the show to the esteemed Daniel Perez and Rich Rogers, both fine podcasters and gentlemen of note.
I’ve mentioned that the show takes a lot of work to do, which is why I’ve happily stepped away. Daniel & Rich are well aware of the work — they’ve seen what I’ve had to do over the years. So they’re doing something smart: looking to crowdfund the show. I’ll let them tell you about it:
It’s pretty exciting what they’re doing — they’re going farther than I did, using Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr to connect with fans and broadcast news and highlights from the show even when they’re not podcasting. And they’re going to do short early-morning segments for the at-GenCon crowd that listen to the show on the wait to the hall. Seriously, they’ve blown me away with their plans for this year.
I hope you’ll consider funding them. Let’s keep the show alive. Check out the IndieGoGo campaign here.
For someone who has supposedly retired from podcasting, I have been a bit prolific lately. But first, some congratulations:
The guys over at CP are pretty awesome, and watching them grow into the show they’ve become over the years has been really neat. I wish them the best of luck in enacting their master plans!
I already announced this earlier, but since we just put up the second episode, I’ll announce again!
Chris Hanrahan and Brian Isikoff were foolish enough to have me crash the most recent episode of 2d6 Feet in a Random Direction. We talk about the Dresden Files mini-con at Endgame, the Go Play SF Bay kick-off, ICONs, and #ShitRyanMacklinSays.
But, that’s all old news…
Today, August 2nd, 2010, Master Plan has returned from podfading. I give you: Master Plan #54, wherein I’ve interviewed Ken Hite about Setting Creation and Day After Ragnarok. (Right now, I’m having some DNS issues, so you can find it at http://masterplan.libsyn.com/master_plan_54_kenneth_hite_setting_creation_day_after_ragnarok)
This is the first in a series I’m doing where I’m publishing interviews from 2009 that I’ve been sitting on for months. Those who follow me in other spaces know how busy I’ve been and know how long it takes me to produce an episode that I’m happy with, so it’s been something I’ve pushed off again and again. But it felt really good to kick this out, so expect it to continue for a little bit. Whether I keep doing it after I’m out of my old material or not is up in the air.
 Which, by the way, Karen has asked that other people take part in — since she can’t be at Gen Con to chronicle me putting my foot in my mouth.
Hey! This Just In…From GenCon, the live podcast show that Paul Tevis & I did twice daily at GenCon last year, has just launched the first pre-GenCon episode for 2009!
Check it out at: http://thisjustinfromgencon.com/
Ryan kicks off this second year of This Just In with his co-host from last year, Paul Tevis. But this year, we’re changing it up! Since Paul will be working at the IPR booth this year, Ryan will be grabbing co-hosts from all across gaming podcasting for each show. A bevy of hosts indeed!
They talk a bit about this year’s show and about some plans they have, from Ryan’s yearly pilgrimage to the Fantasy Flight Games booth to the podcasting & media track set up by Don Dehm of Pulp Gamer (including the Podcaster Meet & Greet and Inside the Game Designer’s Studio). They’re also going to be at The ENnie Awards this year, as another show of theirs, The Voice of the Revolution, was nominated for Best Podcast!
Ryan will be back in a couple weeks alongside another guest host to bring you a second GenCon preview episode.