Author

Denzel Walkes

Denzel Walkes has 18 articles published.

Denzel's an independent writer and podcaster from San Diego, CA. In his free time, he dabbles in graphic design, project management, and information technology. Denzel's learning how to run businesses. This site is a testament to the journey.

Gutter Boys, JB Roe and Cam Del Rosario

in Articles/Interviews

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

JB: I’m an artist and writer based out of Chicago. I’ve been making comics a little over 4 years now. I also co-own a small combat sports-themed clothing brand with a focus on Japanese pro wrestling.

Cam: My name is Cam del Rosario and I’m a cartoonist. I’m just another dude. 

What work have you done that you’re most proud of?

JB: Nothing.

Cam: Echoing JB’s sentiment, I also have to go with nothing for this answer. It’s not that i’m not proud of myself for getting books out, but the moment that I have the final printed product in my hand, I immediately find things wrong with it and always want to be better the next time around.

Which artists or writers impacted your work and got you in to the game? Do you have any peers that influence your work?

JB: Aaron Conley, a comic artist that’s also from my hometown, basically taught me how to make comics when I was a kid, and he was very supportive when I started to actually take it seriously much later down the road. Most of that is because of a local toy designer in Chicago, Ben Spencer, who found me on a toy forum and invited me to table with him at C2E2. This ended up being my first convention, and it got me into making comics/zines by proxy. Without either of those two, I probably wouldn’t be doing any of this. There’s a ton of other important people who helped me along the way, but those two specifically had the biggest long-term impact I’d say. In terms of artists that influenced me, they’re pretty standard: Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Jack Kirby, John Romita Sr., David Mazzucchelli, Tony Moore, Goran Parlov, etc. There’s a lot of local talent that have informed my work, like Jeremy Smith aka Onsmith, Paul Nudd, Anya Davidson, Bianca Xunise, Sage Coffey, Brad Rohloff, Chloë Perkis, Enrique Guerra, Nicole del Rio, and Yewon Kwon to name just a few.

Cam: I think all of my peers influence my work. We’re all in this racket together and in addition to making me want to work harder, they make me want to get better so that I can eventually be on the same level as they are. As far as artists that impacted my work, I’d go with your standard answer of the Hernandez brothers, Adrian Tomine, Herge and Ernie Bushmiller. When it comes to getting into the game, I wouldn’t be doing this if a dude named Javier Suarez never showed me how to capitalize on making comics. He’s an artist out of Chicago that found me online and we collaborated on a book. He took me around with him to different shows to table and sell the book and the rest is history.

In a medium that’s increased in mainstream awareness over the last several years, have you noticed any changes during those years that have impacted your work?

JB: Not really to be totally honest. If anything, the mainstream awareness has made the medium even more misunderstood across the board. It’s sort of frustrating. Nowadays, they just use comics to hype and promote movies and TV shows because these companies know that’s where the real money is at.  

Cam: None of the things going on in mainstream comics really affect my work. I hope that doesn’t come off as snobby, but I just don’t make comics that I think would fit into that “mainstream” genre. Not to say that I don’t have my ear to it, I still read Batman and some other stuff from the big two (Marvel & DC) but it’s like stuff that you read when you wanna take your brain out of your head and just be entertained by something dumb.

What are some of the meaningful interactions you’ve had regarding your work?

JB: I don’t know, probably just the moments when people say positive or constructive stuff and just reach out in general. That’s always nice. It’s also really cool getting to become friends with people I never thought I’d meet, let alone be able to call friends.

Cam: I’m appreciative of any and every one that buys a book from me. The fact that my work gets purchased by people blows my mind and it’s meaningful. People will message me and say nice things, which is always cool but I try not to take too much of that into consideration because I still hate my own work for the most part. But it’s healthy, I hate it because I just want it to be better and in some weird way, that makes me work harder. It’s cool to go to shows though and interact with other cartoonists that you considered idols and “celebrities” and it’s always memorable/meaningful when they remember you and stop by your table or say hello at another show down the line. 

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get in to independent comics?

JB: Don’t. Just kidding (sort of). I’d say just keep making your own stuff and make as many mistakes as you can along the way. Don’t be afraid of making something bad (you will). That doesn’t matter. What matters is making comics and racking up a body of work that you’ll learn from. You need to have a sort of tunnel vision with this, like any creative endeavor, and ignore the rest. And don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. There are plenty of people in the community, especially online, that are willing to assist if you’re not a dick about it. What matters the most is just doing the work, because that’s how people will notice you and take you seriously in any way. And whatever you do, do not let others undervalue your work. Time = money, so the more work you put into it, the more your work should be valued.

Cam:  Don’t do it! And if you are gonna do it, don’t ask for advice and just do it.  7. In your years doing the work, what are the important lessons you’ve learned?JB: I wouldn’t call them lessons per se but I’ve definitely figured out that making comics is a fool’s errand. You will make absolutely no money unless you do something in media adjacent to comics, and most people will happily lick a boot if it means getting even the smallest amount of recognition or getting in good favor with certain talking heads and industry types. That being said, it’s been very personally rewarding and I can’t say enough good things about the great people I’ve met and grown to admire and respect from doing this dumb racket.Cam: Talk to everyone and continue to be a student of the game. Also, the inside pages of a comic matter, but you gotta hook em in with a good cover. The old saying goes “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but to be honest, everyone judges a book by it’s cover so make it good. Oh, and don’t sit down at your table when you’re at a show or else you won’t sell anything.

What does your production pipeline look like?

JB: Hard to say to be honest. I’m kind of winging it every single day. Mostly it’s just me trying to stick to timelines and making sure I get past the initial bumps of getting the project going. If it’s clothing stuff, I usually will have some initial ideas that I then build off of and see which one has legs sooner and go from there. With comics, it’s a little more premeditated and I’ll often sit on a story or idea for a while before it germinates.

Cam: My production pipeline is like this: I know what shows that I will be doing/have to be at about 6 months to a year ahead of time. In  my head, I tell myself that I’ll start working on a book 6 months before the show season starts. What actually ends up happening is that I’ll just do everything besides work on comics and before I know it, I have 2 months before the show and 24 to 36 pages to finish and I have an emotional breakdown every day until I send it off to the printer. It rules.

Steven Bonnell II

in Articles/Interviews
Steven Bonnell II is a video game streamer who frequently engages with political topics. He can found at destiny.gg and Twitch.

This interview originally appeared in the March 3rd issue of Out Here.

Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A:
I’m Steven Bonnell, I do online live political commentary alongside gameplay.

What work have you done that you’re most proud of?
I really enjoy the long-form discussions I have with other political commentators online. I feel like I’ve exposed a lot of the fallacious/misleading thought processes that some of these people push others towards.

What do you feel are some of the best ways you can insulate your business from unfavorable changes in the digital landscape?
Being as diversified as possible is important, both in your distribution platforms (broadcasting or uploading content to multiple sources) and in your revenue streams (making money through as many different means/companies as possible).

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned about people and interacting with them in the last few years of doing political content?
Be on good terms with as many people as possible, you have no idea how many opportunities you lose by burning bridges.

How do you go about responsibly platforming people with extreme views, such as white nationalist, etc.?
You need to be experienced with the arguments/topics beforehand so you’re capable of refuting any of the more extreme points brought up. Platforming extremists can be done responsibly as long as you’re able to argue responsibly with them.

Adam Hlavac

in Articles/Interviews
Adam Hlavac is a former VFX Artist who is currently helping build the Hyper RPG brand through his contributions on YouTube. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram

Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Adam Hlavac and I am a content producer at Hyper Rabbit Power Go. Currently, I produce a weekly YouTube series called “Hyper Heroes” where we discuss the latest news in the superhero landscape encompassing film, television, and comics. Along with producing the main show, I also produce various other videos under the “Hyper Heroes” brand, like trailer reactions, film reviews, and other one-off specials. Concurrently, I’m in charge of managing Hyper RPG’s Patreon, where we try to engage with our audience even further by involving them in the creation of our content.

What work have you done that you’re most proud of?
Surprisingly, the work that I’m the proudest of is everything that I’ve contributed to YouTube. When you’re a cog in the visual effects wheel, your contributions are lost on big movies like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “The Avengers.” On YouTube, you can take ownership of what you’ve created and specifically your work can be seen by millions of viewers. While I’ll always be proud of my contributions to the 30 blockbuster films I’ve worked on, nothing beats the freedom of creating what you love.

What are the important lessons you’ve learned in your years of independent content creation?
The most important and valuable thing I’ve learned in my years of independent content creation is that your audience will reward you for consistency. If you promise to put something out every single week, even if it’s just one video, they’ll likely come back week after week to see what new content you have to offer. Also, reward your audience for being so loyal and create new opportunities for them to support you as a creator. It’s easy to assume that your audience won’t support you because the expectation is “free content” but I guarantee that within that pocket of fans, there will be a handful who will be willing to support you outside of just watching your videos. Don’t forget to acknowledge that.

What are the lofty goals you have? How do you plan to accomplish them?
Recently, I had the lofty goal of getting our YouTube channel to 100,000 subscribers. We finally hit it at the beginning of the year. Now, it’s all about expanding and working with brands and sponsors to try and bring more revenue into what we do. The common assumption is that ad revenue on platforms like YouTube is flourishing when that is, in fact, not the case. As a singular creator, you have opportunities you maximize your revenue potential when your overhead is low. But, when you bring in others to help you produce content, so the weight isn’t solely on your shoulders, it comes at a cost. So, I’m really trying to find ways to encourage our audience to help support our content if they want to see it continue while also trying to find ways to work with brands so we don’t have to ask as much of our audience. It’s a really tricky balance and I’m also trying to find content that we can create that’s ad-friendly while not paralyzing us as creators.

What do you think are the important things to be mindful of when working towards a career in content creation?
If you want to become a full-time content creator the most important thing to be mindful of is yourself. Don’t focus on one-upping other creators doing similar things to you. Focus on being true to who you are and what you’re passionate about. Be honest with yourself. If you want to have a lofty goal of producing five videos a week and deploying all of that content across several platforms while also maintaining a full-time job, you’ll quickly realize how unsustainable that is. Do what you know you can do, make realistic goals, work hard, but don’t forget to rest. There’s a false assumption out there that working hard means no sleep, and that’s false. You can grind {X} hours per day and get a good nights rest. I love working on what I love and I’m OK with doing that for 12-16 hours a day, but I don’t skip sleep.

Sean O’Mara

in Articles/Interviews

Sean O’Mara is a writer and Anime historian who runs the site zimmerit.moe.
Aside from his website, you can find Sean on Twitter

Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Sean O’Mara and I run a website called Zimmerit (www.zimmerit.moe). The mission statement has changed a bit over the years, but we primarily focus on digging up lesser known bits of history pertaining to anime, manga, garage kit, and doujinshi fandom of the ’80s and ’90s. Most of the stuff we cover hasn’t been written about in English before.

What work have you done that you’re the most proud of?
In regards to Zimmerit, I recently acquired an early production document for the project later known as Megazone 23 and had it translated into English. That was a lot of fun because not only was it largely unknown in English, but even a few a Japanese fans were eager to see what it included. Beyond that I’m extremely proud of the fact I was able to publish Tom’s investigation into the cancelled Hollywood Gundam movie from the early ’80s. He did all the work on that, though — I mostly just provided a little feedback here and there and hit “publish” once he put it all together.

What were the ways the people got their hands on anime titles prior to its proliferation in the US? How did they find out which ones were worth watching (Magazines, word of mouth, etc.)?
I think that depends a lot on what you consider the point anime proliferated in the US. The breaking point was probably somewhere around the time Cartoon Network started playing a lot of anime via Toonami in the late ’90s and early ’00s, but anime was well known before that. I got into anime in the mid ’90s when the easiest way to watch anime was to rent it, provided you had a rental shop nearby with a decent selection. You could buy it of course, but at the time I was a kid and price tags of $30/tape put that out of my reach. At that time it wasn’t too hard to find information about anime, but you still had fewer sources. Print journalism still existed so you could pick at least a couple of different anime magazines up at your local newsagent or comic book shop (I liked Anime UK a lot, but Animerica and Protoculture Addicts were the two big North American magazines at the time). The internet was also becoming a bit more commonplace as it moved out of academic environments, so in the mid to late ’90s you saw a lot of fan activity on USENET groups, mailing lists, and fansites.

How do you think piracy has shaped the industry as a whole in the last 2 decades? How do you think the careers of talent are being impacted as a result?
I don’t think it’s too controversial to say piracy has had a huge impact. The largest dedicated anime streaming site started off showing fansubs and DVD rips. Lots of former anime fansubbers and manga scanlators have gone pro. The prevalence of “free” anime via the internet no doubt had a huge impact on the number of anime fans today. There’s a lot of obvious downsides of this to the industry (the widespread belief that anime and manga should be “free,” a negative perception of professional translators, etc), but there’s probably some upside, too. Even if only from a consumer position, it’s not hard to look at the recent changes to the foreign versions of Shonen Jump and see them as a response to the power of manga scanlations. I dunno, you could probably write an entire book on that subject and admittedly, with my preference on old stuff, I’m probably not the best person to talk about it. That said, relevant to my own particular interests, fansubs in recent years have done a great job of surfacing and preserving a lot of old anime that never got a DVD release and probably never will because of issues with rights or lost masters. That’s one side of anime “piracy” that doesn’t get enough attention.

Which artist or writer do you think has had the biggest impact on American media?
Oh man, that’s a big one! For a long time I probably would have said someone like Katsuhiro Otomo, since he was so influential on creators in the ’90s and ’00s, but nowadays I’m not so sure. From the perspective of creators it might still be Otomo or even someone like Hideaki Anno because of Envangelion. But from an audience perspective? It’s really hard to ignore how much Dragonball has saturated into American pop culture, particularly with its recent resurgence over the past few years. So maybe Akira Toriyama?

Drew Scanlon of Cloth Map

in Articles/Interviews
Drew Scanlon is a travel journalist that covers games of all sorts on his YouTube channel, Cloth Map. He’s also the man in the above gif.

This interview first appeared in the March 3rd edition of Out Here

Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Drew Scanlon and I run a YouTube channel called Cloth Map with the help of some very generous folks on Patreon. The purpose of Cloth Map is to examine the people and cultures of the world through the lens of games; from video games to board games to sports. After all, everybody plays something! By highlighting the things we have in common, we hope to make the world feel a little smaller and friendlier.

What work have you completed that you’re most proud of?
I’m proud of all the work we’ve done at Cloth Map, but the times when it’s most fun is when I’m completely blindsided by some discovery. Our feature on the “alternate universe” of video games in Brazil was particularly illuminating, since it reminded me so much of growing up in America, except everything was slightly different in some really interesting ways. In Cuba, I was floored by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of video game players in Havana who constructed their own city-wide network to play games on. Pretty impressive in a country without widespread Internet! Most recently, I went to Mongolia to learn about the country’s traditional games festival, which features a 15 km horse race with jockeys as young as five. Being able to share such fascinating things about the world makes me really proud of what our Patrons enable us to do.

Could you you walk me through your project pipeline looks like from start to finish?
For a given trip, we have a general idea of what we want to cover, and reach out to local guides to see if they can accommodate us. Then there’s some back and forth with scheduling (we make sure to build in some leeway because plans inevitably change) before we head out to the location. Because we don’t really know what kind of footage we’ll be able to obtain, it’s difficult to imagine what the videos will be like until we’re actually there. We never quite know what to expect when we land in a foreign country, so we have to be ready for anything. In practice, this means being constantly aware of what’s going on around you and ready to film at any time. The videos start to take shape in my mind while we’re traveling, but it’s not until I review all the footage that I start to figure out how to organize everything into coherent pieces. From there, I write a script, complete with voice over lines and footage notes, then send it and the footage to one of our assistant editors. They assemble the bare bones of the piece and send it back to me, at which point I either make notes and send it back or take over myself and finish the edit.

What tools do you use to help you stay organized throughout a project?
A journal is key. So much happens when we’re on a trip. We go places, meet people, and learn things at a rate much higher than regular life, and it would be impossible to remember everything. Keeping track of footage while traveling is also important, to ensure everything is accounted for. I use a system of “unused” and “used” plastic baggies to keep track of battery and memory card status. I also bring a small external hard drive that I copy footage to each day, just so the files exist in multiple places for safety. When I’m back home, I go through all the footage and take notes of what we have (the journal helps with this). Often, the sheer amount of footage can be overwhelming, so having a Cliff’s Notes version of it all is critical in saving time (and sanity).

After almost two years of Cloth Map, what are the most important lessons you’ve learned about how games impact people and communities?
I’ve learned that common ground, whatever it is, can immediately override trepidations people have about one another. I’ve met many people who have grown up in cultures drastically different than mine, but when we start talking about some game or sport, the differences melt away and we’re just two people talking. As for the role of games and sports within communities, they serve the same functions no matter where you are: to connect with friends and family, to relax and unwind, to unite around something. Despite their reputation as frivolous diversions, games serve much more important roles in our societies than we give them credit for.

What is one of the most awe-inspiring experiences that you had in your travels?
During our trip to Chernobyl, we happened upon a herd of horses that had been brought to the Exclusion Zone as an experiment but have since run free. It was a serene, surreal experience, and really highlighted the fact that nature commands that place now. I highly recommend people visit Chernobyl! It’s like nowhere else on Earth.

Kevin Purjurer of Defunctland

in Articles/Interviews

Defunctland is a webseries and podcast about the amusement industry, parks, rides, and people. Check out Kevin Perjurer’s work on YouTube and Podbean. Follow him on Twitter. He’s also written a guide to Disneyland.

This interview originally appeared in the February 3rd edition of the “Out Here” newsletter. 

Q: Who are you and what do you do?
A: My name is Kevin Perjurer and I am the creator and host of the Defunctland docuseries and podcast.

What thing have you made that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of my book, Defunctland: Guide to the Magic Kingdom. I never thought I would be able to write a book, let alone find an audience for it.

What have been some of the most astounding things you’ve discovered while doing Defunctland?
I think the connection between theme park history and the American story is amazing. Theme parks are so closely related with our culture and society. It is one of the most subtle and authentic reflections of the truth.

What are some weird trends you’ve spotted in the amusement industry?
The progression of the amusement park industry is fascinating, and the trends are always a bit ridiculous. The rise of the “studios” parks in the early 90s, the introduction of simulators, etc. Like any business, there are obvious and endless trends.

Where do you see the amusement industry moving to in the next 10 years?
The theme park industry is going to move to more realistic immersive environments. If Galaxy’s Edge is successful, I could see theme parks where people dress up in era-specific costumes and play in active role in the theming.

Project 001: The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast Part Three!

in Advice/Articles/Projects

The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast Part Three!

I’m finally back! Thanks for all your patience in the part coming out! I’d been putting it off for a while, as you could tell. We’re here with the final installment of the project for The Smoke Show, the part where you make money.

To forewarn you, most podcasts won’t see a penny. These tips I’m offering are platforms that will help you with monetization, building an audience to monetize is up to you.


Crowdfunding Subscriptions!

The top way I’ve found that people attempt to earn money from their audience is by creating a Patreon. Patreon is a crowdsourcing platform that allows your fans to pay what they want to support you. I use this platform to help curate content for my podcast, Real Nerd Hours.

Patreon allows you to gate content behind specific dollar amounts. For example, you could put audio episodes behind a $3 paywall and video episodes behind a $5 threshold.  The price of your content is completely up to you, which is what makes Patreon beautiful. Of course, Patreon gets a cut of what you make – they have to get paid too after all.

The features are pretty sweet as well. The platform allows for automatic billing on a per project or monthly basis. You can offer perks for sites like WordPress and Discord through plugins or native support. There are a lot sites that Patreon can connect to that will all you to extend the content available. Scheduling posts is also an amazing tool. I recommend this to rid yourself of a lot of the headache of managing the subscriptions to your content.

Kickstarter’s Drip and Liberpay are two alternatives to Patreon. They offer similar structure with a few differences. Snowdrift.coop (https://wiki.snowdrift.coop/market-research/other-crowdfunding) offers a pretty thorough look at the different crowdfunding platforms. There are tons of sites out there and it is important to do your research on each of them to find out which is best for your needs. I’ll keep it 1000 with you, I don’t know that there’s a tremendous difference between a lot of these platforms. You might want to go with whatever’s popular or offers you the best rates.  

If you want to take the dive, and you have to really want to, there are ways to run a subscription service with PayPal and MailChimp (or other mailing service). There are instructions on how to do so here: (https://nosaj.io./r/replace-patreon)

As a side note: Kickstarter and Indiegogo are two major platforms for crowdfunding a single project. If you want to do a drive for specific gear or for merchandise for your show, these sites are great to be able to gauge interest in a particular product you’re developing with no upfront risk to you, the creator.


Minor Ways to Fund Your Show

Ads

Unless your show is gigantic hit, selling ads isn’t going to do much for. Few companies inside or outside of your niche are going to be willing to advertise on your show if your reach isn’t large enough. With that said, it might be worth asking small companies in your niche about sponsoring an episode or two. I have only had one experience with having a sponsored episode and in return for one ad, we got free shirts. We managed to land this because our friend’s company was open to providing an ad for the show. The way we worked the deal out was by asking. I can’t promise that this will work every time, but it’s always worth asking, even if the people aren’t your friends.

Affiliate Link Programs

Affiliate programs are a great way to generate “passive” income for your show. Affiliate programs are partnerships with a website to help generate sales through clicks for them.  If you’re doing a BBQ show, writing articles for your show’s site with cookware, clothing, or other recommendations can help generate income through the links.

There’s more than one affiliate program to drive sales for sites, but my only experience is with Amazon’s. The major positive about Amazon’s affiliate program is that you have to sign up and the rest is up to you. I’m confident that a lot of other affiliate programs operate in the same way, but it’ll be up to you to research them. Nichehacks.com (https://nichehacks.com/best-affiliate-programs/) has a list of the 21 best programs to check out.

Merch

There are a few companies that do printing and fulfillment. Among those are Designed By Humans, Red Bubble, Threadless, or others. A random site, knoji (https://designbyhumans1.knoji.com/alternatives/), that has a list of the choices. This is the easiest way to get merchandise done. Most of these sites are direct-to-garment printers so the quality is a little shaky, but it’s an easy process. Not having to worry about anything other than securing the design is a high-key blessing.

When doing merch on your own, you have to keep track of the design, quality control, fulfillment, and post-purchase issues. On top of that, you have to concern yourself with getting a website, setting up the shop, finding a CRM, shipping, and so on.

There are definitely efficient ways to run the merch for your show. I’d recommend doing limited runs as well as pre-orders to get a hang of the process. A limited run allows you to manage a smaller number of orders. It also eliminates the expectation of a restock. Pre-orders allow you to get the bulk of your order information processed for the day of released. These steps allow you to take it as slow as you want to at the start.


The End!

done looney tunes GIF

Thanks for checking out this series on how to create a podcast. The series intends to be a primer for anyone who wants to start their own. I wanted to explain how I would plan an episode. I hope that the tips in this series help you find your way during the process. You don’t have to incorporate any of the ideas presented here. They may help you if you do.

We’ll embark on another project sooner or later! I hope it will be a more advanced topic than this. I hope this helps!


Enjoy what you’ve seen so far? Join our email list at the bottom of the page to ensure that you never miss a post or podcast. 

Lastly, we will never share your information with anyone!!

Justin Whang

in Articles/Interviews
Justin Whang is a YouTuber on the come up. He can be found at these spots: YouTube, Instagram, Twitter

This interview originally appeared in the January 20th edition of “Out Here”

Who are you, what do you do, and why do you do it?
I’m Justin Whang, and I make YouTube videos about (mostly) old Internet and Gaming stories/mysteries. I make them because I enjoy the nostalgia trip, and I think there are very few people out there telling these stories. I also like discovering new details about stories I was around for, but didn’t see the full picture of at the time.

What’s work have you done that you’re most proud of?
Although it’s a departure from my main content, I really like my video making fun of Buzzfeed’s video explaining the Sam Hyde shooter meme/hoax. I think it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever made, and I wish I could get into that headspace more often without requiring the inspiration to just strike me out of nowhere.

What keeps you motivated day to day?
It’s difficult to say, I just have a feeling like I “have to” do it. At the same time, I’m a person who is more productive when outside forces are giving me deadlines, so it’s often a struggle to buckle down and work.

What’s on your required viewing (or listening) list for your industry (this could be either music or youtube)?
To be honest, I watched very little YouTube before getting on the platform myself, so I don’t know if there’s anything I’d call required viewing. The community aspect of the site is really important, though, so you should definitely make an effort to see who is making good content in the genres that interest you.

Do you have a favorite story of something that’s happened to you while you’ve been operating in the space?
My favorite thing that happens from time to time is when someone close to a story I covered reaches out to me and gives me new info that was generally unknown to the public. For example, after my Street Fighter Rainbow edition video, an owner of an arcade sent me a picture of an old business card they found inside of a machine advertising Street Fighter II “upgrades.”

Tip for someone who wants to enter the game?
The best practical advice I can give anyone looking to get into YouTube is to do everything you can to keep a person on the site after watching your video, because as far as I can tell, the algorithm rewards that heavily. Go hard on playlists, use your end screens, link to other videos in your description, and don’t be afraid to even send people to another channel if it fits the topic you’re covering on a particular video.

Project 001: The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast Part Two!

in Articles/Design/Projects

The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast Part Two!

 

When I initially started Real Nerd Hours, I had no clue what I was doing. I think that organizing the episodes with one sheets was immensely helpful to guiding myself through podcasting. I know I’ve used the term before, but that was in a different context, and, shamefully, I’m not that creative. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that there are Show One Sheets and Episode One Sheets… for now.

Organizing the episodes is pretty easy depending on how in depth you want to go. You don’t need to write everything that you’re going to say line for line, which is a huge positive. You just want to have a few topics outlined and their corresponding minute marks. Remember that the times don’t need to be completely consistent across the board either. The intro can be eight minutes one time and three minutes another. It’s really up you. The important part is having the outline.

The outline of the episode is pretty important if you don’t want to just have a show that rambles. There isn’t anything wrong with random tangents, but this is something that should help you stay on track if you don’t want that.  There are a few ways you can go about organizing your episodes and we’ll be going over that in this post.

For the following examples we’ll be going over the first three episodes of our brand new (fake) show, The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast. As you would imagine, episode one will be the introductory episode. Let’s get started.


Episode One

This example will be the strictest of the three. I think it works to our benefit here because it is the very first episode after all. Think of this one sheet as the training wheels for the episode.

Introductory segments
0:00-0:30: Intro Music
0:25-0:45: As the music fades out, come in with the title of the show and the tagline. Introduce myself and my co-host.
0:45-5:00: Give listeners an extended history of myself and my co-host’s history with BBQ and why we love it so much. Utilize the “Vision” statement if necessary. Introduce the following topic as conversation comes to a close.

First Segment
5:00-9:00: 3 Tips for BBQ beginners. List one tip, then explain why it’s important!

Main Segment
9:00-22:00: Which region of the US has our favorite BBQ? Discuss the differences between each region and what they pride themselves on. Discuss why these things are important.

Outro
22:00-23:30: Thank everyone for listening and give out the social media information

Pretty simple, right?? There really is nothing to it. Though, this does assume you have knowledge of the topics you’re speaking about. It would be a weird choice to pick stuff you have no idea about… don’t do that.


Episode Two

This outline will be a little bit simpler. What we’re doing is including far less information. This will represent what it’ll be like after you’ve got 15 or 16 episodes under your belt. You’re a little more experienced but not quite a master!

Introductory Segment
First 3 minutes: Intro music. Host intros and small talk
Following 7 Minutes listener questions

First Segment
Between 4-6 minutes Top 5 Sides for the cookout!

Main Segment
15-18 minutes International BBQ! How’s it compares to US BBQ. Fusion dishes. Favorite Dishes.

Outro
Thank everyone for listening and give out the social media information

It really only gets easier from here.


Episode Three

 

This portion is the meta-outline zone. There is no outline. The only outline that exists is the outline of the mind! This episode would represent when you’re maybe 30-40 episodes into recording your podcast. You’d be pretty seasoned at this point.

Let this serve as a reminder. Once you get to a certain point in podcasting you’ll be able to remember everything that you want to bring up for your topics. The only thing you’ll need to keep track of is the time. It’s always helpful to keep notes of important points that you want to make during your episodes, but it’s not a huge deal. All of it is personal preference.

I’ve been known to go back to the type of outline seen with episode 2 when I have guests on the show. I do this so we don’t spend too much time on a single topic. I often put questions under the headers for each of the sections. Guests are another monster in themselves!

 

I hope this post helps you along with your podcasting journey. Again, none of this is mandatory for creating a podcast. It’s something that has certainly help me and others not get lost in the weeds on the way!


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Project 001: The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast Part One!

in Articles/Design/Projects

The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast Part One!

Here it is! It’s finally here. I’m sorry it took so long. It was definitely a major failing on my part. Without further ado, part one of The Smoke Show Project!

Pre-production is easily the toughest part of the show. This is where all the heavy lifting is done aside from planning out each show. The pre-pro here will hopefully act as a template for your process when you decide to pursue your show!


Tech Specs!!

We’ll start here, this is some basic information that helps with keeping your branding in mind. The length is just a reminder of how long to go, there really isn’t any other reason. The title and tagline are used to concisely express what the show is about without visual aids. The font, colors, cover style, and tone are reminders for any designers making additional art for your show outside of your current cover art. This helps to keep the branding consistent. Also, keep in mind for the colors, it’s best to put the hex codes rather than the names of the colors as I’ve done below (#000000 = black). I’ve put the names down there to communicate the names of the colors rather than leave you scratching your head as to what they were. Also, it helps designers know the EXACT color to target for your work.

Length: 22-25 minutes, without ads
Sample Rate: 44100 Hz
Bit Depth: 16 Bit
Export Settings: MP3, 112 kbps, CBR
Title: The Smoke Show: A BBQ Podcast!
Tagline: The hottest BBQ podcast on the internet!!

Font: Chunk Five, Arial
Colors: Maroon, Red, Gold, Black
Cover Style: Box
Tone: Fun, macho, informational

Tone!!

The tone is just a short reminder on how to treat the show while we’re on it. This is incredibly important if you don’t know which way you want to go with your show and you have a tendency to ramble about things and become increasingly serious as time goes on. It’s fine if that happens, but just not during your show because… you know… that’s not what your show is about! This is something that plagues me from time to time.

The tone of the show with be comedic and educational. Some may call it edutainment, my favorite portmanteau!

History!!

This part isn’t too crazy. This is just basic information about the host and co-host. A little background about you and why you’re going the podcast.

I have 5 years’ experience in barbecue. I was a pitmaster at my fathers’ small restaurant. Don’t worry; I still am! Every day I go to work with a big smile on my face. I wondered how I could improve my craft. After some thought, I found that teaching was a great way to reaffirm my skillset. Not only would it force me to think about why I choose to do things the way I do, but it would give me the opportunity to have the ideas challenged by a community.

Vision!!

The vision serves as the about section of your show. It’s helps because you can just take it a plug it in on your website for your show! The can also serve as the information you send to any potential guests you want to have on the show as a succinct summary of your show. This is incredibly useful! Don’t skip this part!

We love barbecue! Barbecue has had such a tremendous effect on our lives. Every holiday our family would barbecue at least one dish. I’ve continued this tradition with my family. It means more to me than just cooked meats. It means more than tasty meals. It means home. It means family. It means joy.  We hope that with this show, we can share our love of the art with people!

Our show will be a one stop shop for learning about and how to barbecue. Do you know the difference between Texas and Kansas barbecue? Well, how about North Carolina and Memphis? I bet you can’t tell me how Argentinian and Caribbean barbecue compare. That’s right! Barbecue is worldwide!!!

We hope to teach people about the vast world of barbecue as well as the best techniques to get the best out of their grills. Don’t worry; the history of barbecue will be covered too! We’ll also be interview big names in the barbecue game to bring some of the best insights in the game to the barbecue world!

With this show, I hope to build a strong community of barbecue enthusiasts and professionals alike. I hope that my experience with the craft will help people learn to enjoy it, or at the very least, entertain them.

We love barbecue and after a few episodes, you will too!

Cover Art!!

This is easily the most interesting part, thanks for waiting for this portion!!!

As you saw in the thumbnail of this post, here is the cover art for the show! I designed it myself using a combination of free elements from freepik.com. This is one of the steps I recommend deferring to a party that knows more about graphic design. As much as I like the cover art, I think some one else could convey a stronger message with a bit less effort. I’ve included a video in hyper-speed of me designing the cover.

There were a lot of directions that I considered going in for the logo, but I think this one came together really well. A lot better than what I was expecting, to be honest. The point of this was to concisely convey what the show is about when someone looks at it.

The title is present, in the event that someone isn’t familiar with American BBQ. It also includes a grill, spatula, and grill fork to add a visual representation of BBQ. This helps to make it a little more interesting when someone looks at it. The background is made up of food, tools, and bottles to add even more interesting visuals to the cover art. The art does exactly what it needs to: it shows exactly what the show is about in an interesting way!


The only step here that is mandatory is the cover art and you don’t even have to do that yourself! It’s cheaper and a lot of fun if you can, but by no means is it necessary. The ‘vision’ portion is also pretty important because it’s a multi-use part of your show. You write it and it can be applied for so many things! Those two have unlimited upside!

‘Tone’ and ‘Tech Specs’ certainly have their uses, too! The latter serves as a technical guide to help anyone who may or may not come in to record an episode or design specs for someone creating art for you! ‘Tone’ is a reminder to keep on track for the show!

Don’t feel like you need to do any of these steps to be successful (except cover art, of course). Do it how you want!


Enjoy what you’ve seen so far? Join our email list at the bottom of the page to ensure that you never miss a post or podcast. 

Lastly, we will never share your information with anyone!!

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