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08 August 2011 @ 07:36 pm
Podfic meme  
In response to paraka 's prompt:

1. When did you first start podficcing?
I posted my first podfic on March 20th, 2010. From that point on, I was hooked.

2. What would you say was your inspiration or motivation to start doing it?
nwhepcat  kept making posts about the podfics she was listening to, so in the autumn of 2009 I caved and downloaded a few based on her recs and some random browsing. I spent the winter of 2009/2010 listening to podfic on my walk to and from work. I fell so in love with the format that when I came out of lurkdom in early 2010 and decided I wanted to become an active participant in fandom, I knew right away that I wanted to make podfic.

3. What fandoms have you podficced in?
Supernatural, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe, Star Trek (reboot & TNG), Battlestar Galactica, Being Human, Dexter, Doctor Who, Firefly, Twin Peaks, Brick, Ginger Snaps, Cyteen, The City & The City, and I guess technically The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock (which was a mash-up with Doctor Who). My current project is in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom.

4. What was your favourite podfic to make or do?
That's really tough. I guess maybe The Long Narrow Rope, which I recorded for multipodicity  last year. It's not my best work by a long shot, but that fic is one of my all-time favorites in SPN fandom, and the original recording by twasadark  is one of my favorite podfics to listen to. Getting the chance to make my own version was really exciting. I have a hard time listening to it now because my voice was still pretty rough (I'd had some surgery on my throat not too long before), but I still like the music I chose for it, and I absolutely loved working on it.

I also really enjoyed taking part in Time and Relative Perspectives in Space with cantarina1  and weimar27  for pod_together recently. Also not my strongest voice work, but so much fun.


5. Where do you draw your inspiration from for podfic?
Fandom. All of it. The creative urge that drives so many of us to participate and create rather than just passively consume. I'm inspired by fanfic & meta writers, podfic readers, icon & other graphics makers, vidders, artists, and the betas who work in every medium. Podfic is what I know how to do - I love doing it, and I think I'm reasonably good at it - but I'm inspired by all the manifold expressions of fandom.

6. What was your least favourite podfic to make or do?
I don't know. I've had frustrating recording sessions, but no real least-favorites. The one I'm doing right now has involved the most start-overs, but that's my fault. It's also more dialogue-heavy than I usually do, which is a challenge for me, but that doesn't make it my least favorite.

7. Which podfic are you most proud of?
Can I pick four? I think Wolf Like Me is probably still the best top-to-bottom recording I've made, but I'm also really proud of The Empty Vessel, It's the Heart in the Latin, and always, division. I finished those recordings feeling like I captured what I wanted to capture, and that my voice in the recording accurately reflected the voice in my head when I read the stories on the page.

8. What's the best feedback or comment you've ever gotten?
Hmm. I don’t get a ton of feedback, but a few nice people have said some nice things. This, from ratherastory  in response to recording her fic The Empty Vessel, might be my favorite, though: “This is the first time I've listened to one of her podfics, and she has a gorgeous voice, all low and sultry. It feels like she's caressing all the words with her voice, and I want to listen to it over and over and over.” I totally did a happy dance after I read that.

9. What's your opinion on music in podfic?
I like it. I think it has to be done carefully - huge differences in volume between the music and the reader's voice aren't good, and I'm not a huge fan of reading over music, but in general I'm all for it. I've listened to some really fantastic podfic that includes music in some really creative, wonderful ways, and I think it's inspiring. Besides, if I'm not into it, I just skip through it. And I like using it myself. Some fics resonate on the same frequency as certain songs for me, and I love getting the opportunity to put them together in a podfic.

10. Favourite genre to podfic to (comedy, angst, romance, drama, AU, etc.)?
I like recording quiet, angsty fics. Those are my favorite to read, too.

I can do comedy, but I work best with dry humor. I've done one comedy from Spock's POV, and another in the voice of the 10th Doctor. I love both characters, but in my opinion, I make a better Spock than I do a Doctor.

Most of what I make is gen, but I've done some het and femslash recently, and I plan to do some slash, too. I like fic with romantic pairings and plots, but I'm not that into romance as a genre. To paraphrase a line from Rumspringa, my approach to romance is: yes, but when can I make it blow up? My favorite romance movie growing up was The Terminator. That should tell you something about me.

11. Favourite fandom(s) and/or pairing(s) to podfic?
I'm not a pairings-oriented person. If it works in the story, I'm for it. I still consider Supernatural my primary fandom, but I've been working more and more with Fringe, and I really like it. I've also been really into recording in very small fandoms recently. I was so over the moon when I found experimental procedure and always, division on AO3 - I like to imagine another fan of Cyteen or The City & The City stumbling across those podfics on the audiofic archive and feeling just as excited as I felt when I found them as fic.

12. What just drives you up the wall when it comes to podfic?
I listened to one a long time ago where the reader rushed through the fic with no particular inflection, and no attention at all given to the rhythm of the language or the tone of the story. She would read a sentence and a half all in one, rushed breath, and then start again mid-sentence in the exact same high-to-low energy way. It was like listening to a fifth grader read from a social studies textbook. I can deal with spit noises, throat clearing, and other editing snafus in a podfic, but I do not understand recording a podfic without taking the time to savor the fic.

13. What’s your podfic recording set up like?
I’m lucky. My husband records music at home, so I’ve got a pretty nice set up. I use an audio technica AT2020 microphone, plugged into an Alesis Firewire mixing board. I also have a pop screen, a desktop mic stand, and a decent set of headphones. I record on a Macbook, using Garageband. We have an accidental third room in our apartment - we were told it was a walk-in-closet, but it’s really more of a small bedroom. It’s hellishly hot in the summer and tends to get a certain amount of street noise, but other than that it works well as a recording room. I usually put the laptop on the floor near the door, and read off of my iPad at the opposite end of the room in order to minimize the sound of the laptop’s fan on the recording. That thing is loud.

14. What is your latest project or idea for your next podfic (if your muse isn't dead)?
I’m working very slowly on a 140k podfic in Buffy fandom, and I always seem to have 6 or 7 shorter fics on my wishlist. There are a couple of Fringe fics I’m dying to record, and a handful of SPN fics, too. I’m also doing multipodicity  again! And I may or may not be starting a new podfic comm in the next month or so...*shifty eyes*

15. Finally, what kind of words of wisdom would you offer someone who wants to podfic/is a newbie?
Dude, just do it. Having “the right” equipment doesn’t matter. I listened to a great podfic awhile back that was recorded in a parked car, using the laptop’s internal microphone. It was awesome. Having “the right” voice or accent doesn’t matter. A good recording has everything to do with the care you put into it, and the rest is just gravy. Listen to other people's podfic for inspiration, and don't be afraid to ask for advice! podfic_tips  is a great resource. The world needs more podfic. Do it.
 
 
 
Parakaparaka on August 9th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
I also really enjoyed taking part in Time and Relative Perspectives in Space with cantarina1 and weimar27 for pod_together recently
It pleases me ever so much to see how many people are listing their pod_together podfic in among their favourite podfics to record. :D

My favorite romance movie growing up was The Terminator. That should tell you something about me.
There is a lot of love in those movies, but yeah, romance isn't the first genre I'd put those movies into :P

I do not understand recording a podfic without taking the time to savor the fic.
That's something I've see the podfic fandom is getting more and more vocal about (and I love it). I think there are some people who honestly just feel that podfic is just a transition to a new medium, and completely ignore that it's possible (and indeed, most podficcers do) to add to the story. Podficcers aren't human screen readers, we give more than that!

I’m working very slowly on a 140k podfic in Buffy fandom
O_O
That is my face, staring at you in awe.

I may or may not be starting a new podfic comm in the next month or so...*shifty eyes*
Oh! What kind of podfic comm?
nickelmountainnickelmountain on August 9th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, pod_together was awesome! I'm so glad that came together the way it did!

If I ever become a human screen reader and sink my time into a recording project without also putting something of myself into it...I at least want to get paid for it, you know? The editing process just isn't worth it without a sense of creative ownership. I'm glad the podfic community is getting more vocal about that!

I'm in the planning stages for a small fandom podfic comm. Maybe a couple rounds a year where the comm nominates & votes on an under-podficced fandom to record for, and a couple more with a theme rather than a specific fandom. I've been wanting to do something like this for a while, but I think I'm finally ready. Would it be all right if I picked your brain now and then for some advice? I know you've got a lot of experience running comms!
Parakaparaka on August 10th, 2011 12:24 am (UTC)
.I at least want to get paid for it, you know? The editing process just isn't worth it without a sense of creative ownership.
*nods* A while back I had looked into jobs where I could put my podficcing skills to work. I ended up only applying to one place and not getting the job but I was actually kind of happy about it in the end because there's just so much time and effort that goes into these podfics that I don't want to do it for a project I don't care about.

The people that are currently acting as human screen readers... I'm not suggesting they're doing so because they feel podfic shouldn't be creative, some people just don't think about it. I know it took me quite a while before I really started to think about it and actively trying to put more emotion and acting into my performances. Also, we can't forget that some people might just be really bad at acting.

Which is why I'm happy we're talking about it. That way those that haven't thought about it will, and it'll encourage and help those who may not be the best at acting right now. :)

I'm in the planning stages for a small fandom podfic comm.
That sounds fun!

Would it be all right if I picked your brain now and then for some advice? I know you've got a lot of experience running comms!
Sure, feel free to ask away. You should have my email address from multipodicity. :)