Everyone has a podcast these days. They’re fun, free to
listen to, easy to make, and can be about anything. It’s democratic for sure,
but surely we’ve hit peak podcast by now? I mean I wouldn’t be surprised if my
three-week-old nephew is reviewing toys and cartoons on SoundCloud somewhere.
I’m not helping the world. My girlfriend and I have our own
podcast, I Only Like You. Nobody
really listens to it but we don’t care. We had listened to some podcasts
together over the years but we were hardly avid listeners. I would never have
dreamed we would do one ourselves. But here we are, 28 episodes in and it’s the
highlight of our week.
Looking back though, I’d always wanted to do something like
this. I loved Ricky Gervais’s various podcasts (even the old XFM stuff that’s
on YouTube) and always thought I could do something similar to that. I even
began volunteering at a local community radio station but study and moving town
and all sorts of things got in the way.
But I hadn’t considered podcasting until earlier this year. I
had to make a podcast as part of a university assignment, and even though it
was about a relatively dry topic, I loved the process.
So a few months ago, my girlfriend and I started our own
podcast. I can’t remember when the idea first came to us, or the first
conversation we had about it, but soon it was all we talked about. It seemed
like something we could do. It seemed fun. Even if nobody listened to it, we
would have a good time and flex our creative muscles.
We threw around some ideas and quickly realised we’d love to
review films because essentially that’s all we do anyway. We go to the movies
and talk about them – very exciting people. Why not put that into a podcast?
We’re lucky we found each other really – nobody else we know loves talking
about movies just as much. It’s basically why we’re together.
But we did want something more than films. And, like all the
best ideas, it came to me while I was out on a walk. Apart from a shared love
of movies, Senaai and I are together mainly because we don’t like anybody else.
We often joke about how we hate the world and being around other people, how we
only like each other. So the other half of the podcast was born – a generally
tongue-in-cheek complaints segment.
We did all the research and found a USB microphone that fit
our budget. It’s not the best but it does the job. We practiced a few times in
different parts of the house, both to find the best acoustic spot and to get
comfortable talking ‘on air’.
It took some time. At first I treated Senaai more like a
guest on a radio show I was hosting. “Hi Senaai, how have you been, what’s been
going on this week?” But it felt so forced and false. I already knew how she
was and I’d spent all week with her. It felt like a performance and a bad one
at that. We wanted the show to feel natural – more like you’re just overhearing
a conversation we’re having. We weren’t good at sounding like other people, and
if you wanted to listen to them, they’d be doing a better job anyway.
We also originally had other segment ideas, but they didn’t
quite work. They felt forced, and they didn’t feel like us.
Now we had the format and felt confident enough to do the
damn thing, we had to figure out how to get it up online. There are a few
different podcast hosting sites but we ended up on SoundCloud for no real
reason other than we had to pick one eventually. They all seem pretty similar
to be honest and SoundCloud had a nice player and name recognition and Senaai
had already used it for streaming. Why not?
We record in Garage Band, which is fine and easy to use. I
tried using it for editing but didn’t like it, then tried Audacity, which I
liked even less. They’re okay programs and I would have worked them out
eventually, but all the time using them I kept wishing they were more like
Final Cut Pro, which I’ve used for video editing for ages now. Then I realised
I could just use Final Cut to edit the podcast and everything would be so much
easier. And it is. I don’t think it’s the most widespread option but it works
for us. We even found a nice track for the intro and outro music sitting in the
default Final Cut package.
The first few episodes we did were a bit dusty but I think
they’ve improved each week. We’ve tinkered with the audio settings and worked
out how to edit them better and developed a rhythm in our discussions. We try
to include a short cold open and any bloopers after the main show, again not
for any other reason than our own amusement. We’re not as smooth as radio DJs
but that’s part of the charm. I think we’re making something worthwhile.
We only get a handful of listeners each week at the moment
but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It’s just fun to do something
creative. I don’t care if we never get any listeners. I’ll do it as long as I
have the time and still enjoy it.
My parents don’t listen but Senaai’s have been big
supporters. Our number one fan, though, is our friend Ben. He gives us weekly
reviews and encouragement, even when he disagrees with our film reviews. If
he’s the only one who listens, then at least we’re making somebody happy.
It’s interesting listening to yourself back. You sound like
an idiot a lot of the time. Senaai is very funny and clever of course, and it’s
fascinating to try to understand her opinion on certain issues and films.
Usually we’re on the same page but sometimes we couldn’t be further apart. Her
thoughts on the representation of women (namely Harley in Suicide Squad) have added
something to the show which is missing in a lot of film criticism. If anything,
I just want people to see (hear) her the way I always do.
Some episodes have been better than others. Sometimes we have
more to talk about, either with our topic or with the movie. A few times, (Tickled, La La Land) the film has been so great we don’t want to say
anything at all, we just want people to see it. La La Land actually received its own emergency podcast recorded and uploaded the morning after we saw it because we loved it so much. Other times we can’t shut up
about how much we enjoyed it. Sometimes the annoying topic really gets our
blood up, but usually it’s just something silly like consuming choc tops in the
cinema or the old woman in our unit complex who takes our bins out without
asking. We usually have the most to say when the film is particularly awful or
the topic especially irritating.
Of course we’re very lucky to be able to complain about such
trivial matters on a podcast while we live in the safest country in the world.
Even in our most serious episodes, with topics like Brexit and Trump, we’ve
been at least a step or two removed from the fallout. Hell, we’re actually
lucky to go to the movies so much.
Some things have been strange. For some reason, our review of
Swiss Army Man has received many more
listens than any other episode. I’m not really sure why, but it was a pretty
good movie. SoundCloud tells me we get listens from all over the world, but I’m
not sure how legitimate some of them are. We’ve got a good product, but we
haven’t been able to really take off yet. We hooked up with the Byron Bay Film
Festival to review some of their films but nothing really came of it. We’ll see
what happens. The aim isn’t to be famous, but it would be nice if more people
heard the show.
It’s been tough sometimes getting an episode up every week,
but we haven’t missed one yet. I’m proud of that. We stay on top of things by
recording a few shows at a time, stockpiling them in case we can’t see a movie
every week. It means sometimes we review a movie a few weeks after it comes
out, but you know, Ben doesn’t seem to mind and he’s our only regular listener.
We have ideas for spin off podcasts, if we ever get the time.
We’ve already expanded the I Only Like You ‘brand’ to a YouTube channel, where
we’re making short film style vlogs.
Maybe it’ll lead somewhere to a bit of cash, maybe one day it’ll be self-sustaining.
But until then, it’ll probably just be something fun for us to do. Maybe a
couple people like it. And that’s all that matters.