If you're wondering what I've been up to lately - and that means all 50 of you - well, here's what it is. I've been seriously looking into expanding this weblog into a weekly podcast. I think 2006 was the year when I finally started to examine the whole podcasting scene, and goodness knows there are a million of 'em. There are even a number of animation and anime-themed podcasts.
But, again, there's a large void where Studio Ghibli is concerned. It seems to me that there's an opportunity to address that.
I've done a lot of reading and research, and I happen to have a number of tools on my computer like Audacity. I have another tool which is supposed to record audio from a DVD, and this was a crucial milestone for me. I'd want my podcast to sound as professional and solid as possible, not something that was quickly slapped together with a microphone and the "record" button.
So I'm scouring through ideas for intros and exists. I'm thinking of the segments of Beethoven's Pastorale from Takahata's Gauche the Cellist; partly because I'm a terrific fan of Takahata's film, and partly because Pastorale is on my short list of most-beloved music.
In terms of the format, here's what I'm thinking right now. I think it should run for 30 minutes. The problem I've got with so many podcasts is that they run so doggone long. One hour, two hours - this is really cutting into my day, and all those other concerns for my attention. You already must deal with reading the news, perusing the blogs, listening to Air America, playing music, and then the whole deal of writing and creating your own work. Oh, and you also need to have a job and go outside and interact with others, too. So, to my mind, podcasts need to be shorter to accomodate my time better.
Perhaps I'm just afraid that no one would want to listen to some hour-long lecture on a bunch of foreign animation films they've never seen. So half an hour sounds good for me.
Another thing I'd like to do is offer audio commentaries for DVD's. I was getting this idea after listening to the MST3K alumni work their magic on Rifftrax, and I discovered that this is something that is finally feasable. The technology has finally caught up to the idea. So would audio commentaries be "special episodes" of the podcast, or should they stand on their own? I haven't decided yet, but I'd likely go with the option that's easiest for listeners to follow.
Ideally, I'd like to have one or two collaborators on the Ghibli Podcast project, but once again - and I'm truly, seriously, tired of this refrain - I have no one who can help me. I still have never met any seriously dedicated Ghibli fans in Minneapolis; don't even get me started on that anime club at the University of Minnesota. I must confess that this frustration is a key reason for my absences from this blog.
Of course, I appreciate all of you for coming to visit and take time out of your days to read my words. Even if everybody's scattered across the globe, and these are conversations that really only exist in our minds, it's a valuable endeavor. My deepest thanks and gratitude to each and every one of you. Best wishes for a happy holiday season!!
If anyone has any ideas or insights about podcasting, please please please, let me know. I appreciate all the help I can get.