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 – Hannah Fisher, Episode “Maxine” of The Last Bohemians.
Pod Bible: What appealed to you about the project?
Hannah Fisher: The most eye catching aspect of The Last Bohemians to me was the focus on women – and the focus on women who had done something radical and different in their lives. I found out about the podcast on Twitter because Kate did a call out for anyone who had an interest in the topic of magic and the occult. My grandad wrote books about witches and was a magician, so I also had a strong personal interest in the topic. Then, of course, the fact that Series 1 was so good and that it’s produced by so many women is even better. It felt like an exciting new challenge to face and so far it’s been great fun!
PB: What does a producer need to consider when tasked with a single episode of a larger series, as opposed to an entire series?
HF: I think so far I’ve been quite focussed on my episode only. That’s the nice aspect of this way of working as it means you can really do a deep dive into your topic and your interviewee. However there have been some different aspects I’ve had to consider, such as when another theme is highlighted in a different episode or if a similar question is asked. Then it’s a case of seeing if there is a way around it to avoid repetition between episodes, even if they are on different topics, or just whether to avoid that topic all together.
PB: How do you strike a balance between the right amount of preparation and allowing for ‘happy accidents’ in an episode?
HF: I always go to a recording with an idea of questions and a background of the topic of the interview. Whether it’s a person, a news item or a general chat! However, you have to be prepared for anything. I do a lot of reporting, and this means I have to be able to quickly turn up to an unfamiliar environment and be ready to speak to whoever I can. In this case, ‘happy accidents’ are very much my friend! I guess the thing is to be prepared but also to be open. It’s a good thing to have a certain element of chance – it might mean you get to find out something new, or that your conversation goes into detail over an unexpectedly interesting avenue.
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?
HF: I loved Series 1 and listened to it all before starting to edit. Each episode showcased their bohemian women in different ways, yet highlighted their key moments and effect on popular culture. But from then on, I’ve tried to stay away from the series so I can make sure I stay true to my interviewee and follow their individual story. This being said, if I’ve lost sense of what I’m trying to create, as often happens in the midst of the creative process, I have gone back to certain parts of previous episodes that have stuck in mind. What I’ve tried to bear in mind though is the fact that every interview is different – they all focus on different people. Therefore, what works for one episode may not necessarily work for mine!