What does it mean to produce a podcast? The Pod Bible gang wanted to bring podcast producers out from their editing bays and research caves to tell you why they’re passionate about creating podcasts and what a producer actually does. Without further ado, we’d like you to Meet the Producer – Cassandra Denton, Episode 4, “P.P. Arnold” of The Last Bohemians’ second series.
POD BIBLE: What appealed to you about the project?
CASSANDRA DENTON: I liked the idea of working on something that not only highlighted incredible women, but was specific in its aim to shine a light upon the kinds of women we don’t see much of in the spotlight. I loved that TLB was all about showcasing how you can be fearless, bold, radical, sexual, and everything in between, at a time of life when everyone thinks you should just sit down and be quiet. I also love that Kate chose women to produce these stories, as I think it is important for women in creative industries (and in general) to see different representations of what getting older can be like.
PB: What does a producer need to consider when tasked with a single episode of a larger series, versus an entire series?
CD: This was my first time working on a single episode for a series. I think it is important to find the balance between making something that has your own stamp on it, whilst making sure it fits within the bigger picture of the series’ vision. It’s good to work to some kind of brief, but also not be afraid to use a bit of individual flair. Ask questions, experiment and have fun with it. With a whole series, you have a lot more control over the overall creative direction, but I think the other points are still valid.
PB: How do you strike a balance between the right amount of preparation and allowing for “happy accidents” in an episode?
CD: Having some kind of plan is important, because you just feel better going into the situation well prepared. But I think projects like these also need some kind of flexibility. There were a few things we had planned that didn’t pan out because of the weather, so we had to adapt. We also made sure we had some key reference points down, but were not too rigid. It became clear once we started that it was going to be one of those conversations that could just go anywhere! I think it is important to leave room for that, especially as our aim is to capture a personality as well as a story.
PB: Were there any aspects of what you heard in Series 1 that you kept in mind for your episode, or did you try to avoid letting what previous producers did influence your work?
CD: I think the S1 producers did an amazing job at capturing the magic of the women’s stories. It was good to have an idea of the overall feel of the series, but what made it great was the fact that the episodes captured each woman so brilliantly in different ways. My aim was to let the subject, the amazing PP Arnold, have the most influence on what I would eventually create. So I suppose in that respect, there was some influence from previous producers, who did a great job of this.