Half 4: Paperwork | So You Need to Make a Fiction (or Any) Podcast?

Photograph courtesy of Brandi Redd.

Observe: Multitude is a podcast collective and manufacturing studio. This piece is a part of a ten half collection by them that can assist you create a fiction (or any) podcast. Did you see Half Three? Be sure to verify that out and are available again subsequent Tuesday for Half 5.

Along with your solid finalized, it’s time to get your geese in a row. And by geese, we imply paperwork.

Let’s begin by speaking about how necessary it’s to rent union actors. In an evolving trade like podcasting, taking cues from artist advocacy teams is an excellent factor; from actions and budgets to the way in which you deal with freelancers, each determination your audio firm makes is a vote in the direction of making the truthful therapy of artists and creators a foundational precept of the podcast trade.

When it got here to the manufacturing of Multitude’s newest podcast, Subsequent Cease, that meant adhering to the requirements for brand new media productions set by SAG-AFTRA (The Display screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Tv and Radio Artists).

A fast PSA: hiring union actors and complying with union requirements will not be grossly costly, impossibly complicated, or a stumbling block for scrappy productions. As an example, hiring one SAG actor doesn’t imply your whole actors should even be SAG; you’ll be able to rent non-union actors which might be working towards turning into members. It simply requires you to register your manufacturing with SAG, and to just be sure you’re paying truthful charges based mostly on their minimums. Based mostly on the entire price range for Subsequent Cease, that was $205 per recording session for actors and $105 for background actors. There isn’t at the moment a definition of what a background actor means in podcasting, so we outlined it as anybody with just some strains in complete.

On a scale from sending an e-mail (1) to making use of for citizenship (10), the problem stage of registering your manufacturing with SAG is a few 2.5. A number of types, a couple of emails, and one contribution to their pension and well being fund, and also you’re able to go!

Contracts, Or Get a Lawyer, They’re Very Good Really

It’s additionally necessary to signal a contract with anybody you rent. This isn’t simply in case of a disagreement, both. A contract should reassure all events concerned by spelling out precisely what every particular person is accountable for, when to ship it, and what to do within the occasion of questions or delays. SAG and different unions present contracts for producers to make use of with their members, so we used the SAG contract for our union actors. For our different actors, we used an settlement that our unbelievable lawyer, Hannah Samendinger, drew up.

Actually, Hannah gave us permission to share our Actor Settlement as a template so that you can use. Please learn it totally — she explains what every part is for, why sure components are required, and what choices you may make to tailor your contract to your manufacturing’s wants.


Identical to the pre-production analysis and planning we mentioned in Half 1, making ready prematurely on your manufacturing week (or day or month) will make your job simpler, your price range stretch additional, and your closing product higher.

First, begin by making some schedules. Gather blackout dates for every particular person in your manufacturing, after which determine the perfect time to get everybody within the studio to report. For our podcast, Subsequent Cease, we deliberate to report two episodes per day, giving us 4 hours for every 30-page script, which is a fairly common tempo for fiction podcasting. This schedule would give us sufficient time to account for modifications in mic setup, scene takes (no less than three takes for each), pickups of particular person strains, and breaks for the solid and crew.

Make sure that to create your manufacturing schedules with practical timelines, but in addition with effectivity in thoughts. You wish to price range loads of time to get by your scripts with out dashing. You may all the time wrap early! Whenever you mark out the times and scenes in your manufacturing calendar, embrace particulars about who must be the place on what days; it will assist anchor your workforce and hold your manufacturing on monitor.

The Scene Breakdown

Right here’s your secret weapon for environment friendly scheduling: a Scene Breakdown. Somebody in your manufacturing workforce will learn every script carefully and take notes on the characters, props, and technical components required to make every scene work. Utilizing a format like it will provide help to seize the entire knowledge it’s worthwhile to plan your manufacturing week and make it circulation easily:

Your secret weapon to protecting your manufacturing on monitor: an intensive and detailed Scene Breakdown.

From there, check out what characters are wanted when.

Remember that actors shouldn’t be ready round all day to report one scene. If somebody is just wanted for a scene or two in a single episode, make sure that to schedule them within the first slot of the day or the primary one after lunch. Or, if an actor is required for a number of episodes, however just for a couple of strains every time, take into account condensing their scenes right into a single taking pictures block. That approach, they will get their work carried out with out having to do any pointless ready.

When you’ve found out who is required on what day, and in contrast that along with your actors’ availability, it’s time to place collectively your Manufacturing Calendar. This will probably be your information to your whole manufacturing, from script improvement to launch and advertising.

All hail the almighty Manufacturing Calendar, the information to your whole manufacturing.

Subsequent up is the Shot Listing. That is what your manufacturing workforce will use every day to verify every thing it’s worthwhile to report will get recorded.

In terms of capturing each factor you want throughout manufacturing, an in depth Shot Listing goes a good distance.

Setting Up Your Manufacturing Crew for Success

Since you have got your whole scheduling carried out, it is a nice time to get in contact along with your Sound Engineer, the one that is accountable for working the precise audio session. Begin by speaking them by your manufacturing schedule; as an illustration, how lengthy will it taket them to change between mic setups? Does your schedule give them sufficient time for change-overs between scenes, if wanted?

Lastly, be sure you present them your Script Breakdown, and work collectively to create a listing of the sound design & foley (sound results) that must be captured throughout every scene. This step is essential to creating your manufacturing week go easily. As a substitute of leaving it to your Sound Designer to fill in an impact throughout post-production, work with them prematurely to determine what must be captured throughout manufacturing, and what could be bought or licensed from on-line libraries afterward. You may in all probability make a variety of sounds in actual life, however which means you’ll have to supply your Sound Engineer with the suitable props prematurely.

Earlier than manufacturing week began for Subsequent Cease, we additionally requested every actor for the pronouns we must always use for them, any meals allergy symptoms or preferences for the catering, and if they’d arduous cease instances on any given day.

Now that each one our paperwork is completed, it’s lastly time to report!

You’ve made an hermetic schedule on your manufacturing. Now’s the time to speak about these gifted, expressive individuals who will deliver your podcast to life — the actors. Extra on that subsequent week, however within the meantime, be sure you learn half three, “Assembling the Crew.”

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