Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Davinci Code

So for our essay question, we were thinking along the lines of exploring the implications behind having a specific audience in podcasting.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The World of Knitting

Our Wonderful World of Knitting:
Tim gets highly confused by yarn
I believe Tim scared me.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Episode 3: Back to the Future show notes

Hello and welcome to another episode of Geeks on Drama!

:00 We are starting with fabulous quote from Back To The Future one of the geekiest movie you could find to put you in the mood on this great episode we have planned for you. We are going back in time to the future of podcasts.
:30 Culture is a process which has a creation, an establishment, a crisis and innovation. In the same way we believe that the Fringe Festival and podcasting have become cultural phenomenons. We therefore looked at podcasting as such. As a cultural process. An so we begin with 

Its creation...
1:20 We begin with the the beginning of the Edmonton Fringe. The Edmonton Fringe began with the lack of budget of the Edmonton government. This lack of budget for one big production inspired them to make a festival where smaller troupes could perform their art. It was the experimentation which led to having all kinds of shows. In reverse Podcasts came out of a surplus of technology. The amount of new technology that people were able to wrap their hands around led to the same kind of experimentation and innovation that the fringe festivals saw. Ben Hammersley not only talks about this in his article "Audible Revolution". In this article he coined the word Podcast after offering us with some other terms such as Guerrilla Media. 
4:45 The easy and cheap barrier of entry in the podcasting world and that of the fringe has been one of the key aspects of the spread of the fringe and of podcasting. This allows for the democratization of radio.  The fact that everyone can go and put their ideas and voice forward for the world to listen to makes it varied and different. Not two podcast are the same in the same way that not to plays are the same.
6:09  I know we sound like a broken record but it is true. There are so so much out there. maybe not Australian samba although there is a funny video of it in You Tube.
6:35  Ben Hammersley in the same article talks about the low barrier of entry and also about how journalist no longer need an editor. In much the same way the Patron- Artist relationship is broken. In the past the artist worked for a patron Leonardo Da Vinci's "La Gioconda" is said to be the wife of his patron. It is a well known that the artists life is not one of riches which usually means you need someone to pay for costumes, set design, so on and so forth. even back in the time of Greek dramas you had one of the aristocrats be the one to pay. with this lower barrier of entry you no longer need a patron. 
6:56 If you want to find a modern day patron you could say that today's TV networks and big production companies are patrons with the writers and the actors as... well... the artists. This is not a hard jump to make. The writers can write what they want but in reality only the things the networks executive wants will get made. Podcast enjoy the freedom of being able to produce a show they like. Podcasters don't thrive on ratings we thrive on community. Whether the listeners are ten or 1000 it doesn't matter things will get done regardless. Podcasters don't need patrons because we have something much better Muses. Our audience, and the community that is created around those podcast is all we need.

Its establishment...
8:35 Freedom to innovate and the ability to do so cheaply allows you to do so. Ask a Ninja   is the epitome of what this freedom creates. A ninja in character answering questions as a ninja, from a ninjas perspective. Trying to put this on in as TV show would never fly but as 2min segments in the Internet it is incredibly successful. 
9:47 "The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web's infancy, the Webbys are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities." From the Webby Awards about page.
10:23 In the Wikipedia page of Canadian Theatre Festivals they list them all. Out of 22 eight are fringes and to put it into perspective out of the 22 only 4 are Shakespearean. It seems silly and I am sure there are more festivals not on wikipedia but it does give a an interesting picture. 
10:53 Since June, 2008 iTunes has had a built in podcast section which facilitates getting the podcasts. Since this the Podcast downloads have doubled and in some cases, tripled. This not all. It also signifies that it is here to stay. A big company such as Apple especially one that has always been on the forefront of revolutionizing technology is willing to put this in their store and put so much effort in it means that they saw something that could be great. 
11:59 By this point Tim and I are starting to be mean to each other cause we have been stuck together for too long. 
12: 41 MY PRECIOUS MINE MINE... this part reminded me of Gollum.
14:00 Word to word and mouth to mouth. The show and tell aspect of podcasting. This gets delved into much more in Episode 4.

Its crisis and innovation...
15:34 Oprah actually has four podcasts. There are around 20 different lost podcasts not all are official, some are made by the fans. Harry Potter has 30 podcasts. Drama has 30 as well as you can see the amount of podcasts and of the different varieties are immense. 
16:06 iTunes the mecca. I know we have said this over and over again but you could really never get bored of looking into all that iTunes has to offer. The reality of things is that your podcast is there in the same "store" as TV show, Movies and CD.
17:30 iTunes U, I can't stress how cool this is. Here are just a few of the universities that are involved, UC Berkley, Stanford, Harvard, Texas A&M, MIT. 
18:16 Duke not only has iTunes U  but it gave iPods in order for first year students to use the Podcasts you can read the article here.
18:41 The UBC podcast, What a disappointment. From seeing all of these universities and what they have done with the technology available to the sad reality of our life. It does exist here. Not sure why you would want to subscribe to it as it is not what I would call interesting. Just sad.
20:53 Video Podcasts what to do with them. Tim believes they will take over I think there is space for them both to coexist. The truth of the matter is that video is much harder and expensive to do. It is also trickier to make. You have to have a setting a set, wardrobe, props, it is not as simple as just having a sort of guideline of what you want to talk about and then talking about it in-front of a computer. So Video killed the Podcaster star?  
21:53 Anonymity of podcasts? Why do we believe that it is so personal? Video podcasts also eliminates the ability to be anonymous because it is you on the screen. In much of the same way audio podcasts it is your voice and this creates a bigger ownership, and makes it harder for it to be anonymous. There are effects that you can put on the recording for it to be unrecognizable but they can be removed by someone very skilled. You can alter you voice as I did in 23:41 but I don't think it gives the person enough sense of security.
24:30 Is Ask a Ninja anonymous? Maybe you can be the break dealer. I still think it is sorta anonymous but Tim says otherwise. 
24:50 The Future is Yours! Yeah it is trite but it is true. You are the listener and the provider of ideas. You can create what ever you want. It is for you to decide where this technology is going and what to do with it.
25: 46 The Knitting Podcast of this Podcast: Knitters Uncensored

See you next time!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Episode 3: Back to the Future


show notes to follow. (on friday it appears. apologizes, as per usual)

Episode 2: The Importance of Being Earnest


The sequel begins with what’s known as a mindfuck, I’ve been assured that it’s a very technical and widely accepted literary term. I’ve been assured many such things in my lifetime. While listeners may be dismayed to find before them a “Podcast about Podcast” as opposed to an aforementioned “World of Knitting” rest confident in the quality of what has been offered. It means well. And while success, relative though it may be, has yet to go to our heads, we have learned of fame, and its discontents. An unfortunate and unwanted fan had encroached upon our chitchat around the 7-minute mark. Like a creative child in an orphanage, please pay it no attention. We apologize for the inconvenience.

0:00 – The World of Knitting!...for another time alas. Greeting and Salutations from the Namu, a fortress of solitude if there ever was one.

0:22 – My cohort and I wish to explore, “Where Podcasts fit in the sphere of drama.” Come along for the ride will ya?

1:27 – The intro music, a mainstay among many an episode, be it Podcast or not. Here our chosen anthem presents what I’d refer to as audible “sleight of hand”, though others may coin “bait and switch”. Nevertheless, it’s evident how the chosen tune establishes some expectations for the audience. Our initial entrance was christened with the triumphant score of a nerd classic, quite fitting for the subject at hand. Though its successor cannot lay claim to the same rabid fanbase, we had hoped that it would echo the same “tongue in cheek” style of commentary we dish out by the bowlful. Surely if the episode were to being with a decidedly more somber ditty, the conversation would start off on the wrong foot.

The ebb and flow of the conversation too lends a hand in establishing a frame of mind for the performance. What interesting is that even when constrained by the necessities of a working interview, some podcasts maintain that loose structure. John Siuntres of popular “Comic Book Interview Show” wordballoon, sits down with different prominent authors from the medium. Though it takes on an admittedly question and answer vibe, the atmosphere of two friends geeking out is surely in full force. A few listens to an episode or two, and its easy to see how the form of podcasting keeps the conversation at a relaxed pace, shirking off any restrictive formality found in other such interviews.

5:35 - Our often cited Diggnation enjoys the benefits of being a video Podcast. With this they still share podcasting’s gift and curse of limited funding. Said lemons, when properly utilized, create a lemonade of decidedly sparse arrangements. The Diggnation crew opt for a relaxed social environment resembling a basement, or restaurant, or whichever. These pedestrian settings we believe only strengthen the conversational tone they seek to achieve. Making the best of what little you have, a tenant surely shared within other dramatic mediums.

The social atmosphere created by these sparse sets facilitates a sort of dialogue between the performance and the audience. A peer to peer conversation is had, and I suppose is thus appreciated more by the audience. You’d believe a friend’s opinion more than some guy in a suit a thousand miles away, or I should hope so. If not then I’m in need of a suit…

6:40 – The audience beings to learn the show, and understand what exact role they play in the performance. Not only does this serve to improve the show, but it succeeds in making the audience care more about it, as they are after all a part of it. For instance the 1up Yours, podcast is named as such because its intention to be defined by the audience. 1up Yours. A similar dynamic can of course be seen in performances such as the thoroughly discussed, Dionysis 69.

8:24 – I feel I should clarify what was meant by “performing to” and “performing for”. It’s a tough distinction to make, but the motivation spurring it is as follows. The audience is readily acknowledge and spoken to, where as in other mediums are aware of their audience and the content is aimed at them, but they are rarely, if ever, explicitly refer to. The back and forth provided by the former style brings the audience directly into it, and thus they are complicit in its quality.

10:15 – This dialogue between the audience and the performance is enabled, in some way, because of the lack of a true script. If we define the playwright and by extension the script, as an authority, the general lack of script in podcasting can be construed as a general absence of authority. With this comes many implications, most evident is the conversational dynamic it allows. In a group of peers no one stands as an authority, there is no set dictation for the dialogue. Thus a looser, freer discussion is had.

In the spirit of namedropping, I reference popular movie producer Judd Apatow. He’s known for leaving the cameras running after a scene, and letting the actors take it from there, improvising many jokes, a habit that has seen his movies reaching of a million feet of film. Seth Rogen, the star of many an Apatow production, shares his views on why improvisational dialogue is important.

15:58 – We briefly mention the nature of podcasting recording, the intensified manner of discussion, serving as a catalyst for character (persona) creation. A topic we hope to explore further. Upon dark clouds?

16:48 – Being Earnest, and the Importance thereof…or however it goes…

18:11 – Where exact podcasting fits within the aptly coined “Dram-o-sphere” is a question we may not have explicitly determined. What ever the location may be, our discussion, and further reflection upon it, has led us to see it in these broad terms.

Regardless of its particular form, and in truth large distinctions lie within this, podcasting can be seen as a window into the Social and Culture mindset of a particular group, performed to be greater understood. …phew!

18:34 – Knitting Norah’s Knitting Natter, said 3 times fast, for your tongue-twisting pleasure.

And there you have it, the sequel, in all its glory. Stay tuned for the History of Podcasting, and don’t touch that dial.

who knows what that’ll do…