Behind the Scenes: Q&A with Dave Jackson

Dave Jackson

School of Podcasting, Creator of The Messengers Making-of Podcast

What was the most interesting thing about making the podcast about the movie?

In doing a storytelling podcast, step one is to know the beginning, middle, and end of the story. We had two out of three, so we waded through hours of audio to find a complete story to tell (as the actual story was still unfolding). Some of the audio was recorded on a phone, or in a hallway, and the actual quality of the audio was not great in some cases. However, I’ve not heard anyone complain as they were wrapped up in the story and listening to what is being said. When they are engaged in the story, they don’t worry about how it sounded. It was also interesting to see the way the podcast community supported the IndieGoGo campaign. The podcasting community is full of egos (you need one to get behind a mic) and yet they are some of the most compassionate people you will ever meet. 

What was your perception about the crew at the start and what is it now?

I didn’t know any of the crew before Podfest 2016, but I was super impressed with Chris after attending. When he asked me to podcast about the movie, I had the utmost confidence that Chris would create a great movie. After working with them for a year, I discovered they are the most dedicated, selfless people I know and would fall on their swords to make sure their work has maximum impact. Niel’s sleep deprivation; Willie’s all-night drive and his stepping up to help edit so the movie would be ready for the screening; Chris steering the ship while putting on a major conference at the same time; Ralph coming in to make everything sound great after we had to fire the original editor – it is a very special team. 

What did you learn about movie-making as compared to podcasting?

Attention to detail is everything. Chris would listen to their voice, notice eye movements, to know if their answers were hitting a nerve. He understands that the best interview begins with listening. I was confused when Willie was shooting footage of the mixer in my office, but those “B-Roll” shots are icing on the cake. When I got to sit next to Niel and hear him think out loud as he was editing, I was blown away at the way he thinks – truly amazing. As someone who works in audio, to hear the hours it takes to create a DVD to play at a viewing was enlightening (especially when your back is up against the wall). It’s also more expensive than you think.  Lastly, make sure to get all job descriptions in writing and make sure everyone signs off on their expectations. It was a project that was a lot of hours, a lot of tears, a lot of laughs, and I’m glad I was lucky enough to be a part of it. 

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