Episode 13: We Hecked Up

This is a RadioPublic embed for Scoring Magic, “We Hecked Up“.

Date published: 12/21/2019
Written by: Anne Baird, Katie Youmans, Wil Williams
Produced by: Wil Williams

Y’all, we messed up. We promised you a documentary of our highs and lows, so it’s time to talk lows.

Transcript

WIL

[whales are too big voice] Listeners… we messed up. This week on Scoring Magic, we’re going to talk about one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made so far. Happy 13th episode. No, that wasn’t planned.

[INTRO MUSIC]

KATIE

When we first started making Scoring Magic, we said we’d talk about the highs and lows. And this is one of those times where we need to be honest about a major low point in the production of VALENCE.

ANNE

We made up our whole process of deadlines, picking takes, when we were expecting drafts of the episodes, and were focusing on getting the audio recorded. We had spreadsheets out the ass, we had dates in our calendar, but we forgot… one… major thing… that needed to be done to make everything happen.

WIL

Nobody was responsible for making sure all of the episode audio was together and cut to give it to Julia. And without the specific takes we wanted, Julia… couldn’t put together the audio into episode form. And because VALENCE is my baby, and I am very anxious, I just assumed it was all my fault.

ANNE

But we all have a share in the blame of the Fucking Up, because we’re collaborating on this project, and we all did mess up by not giving one person the responsibility to do it.

WIL

This is why collaborators is good, cause they say things like “communal fuckup is not just you fuckup”.

ANNE

It was– I mean it was something I said in the beginning of doing Hug House. That only one person can own each task. And owns making sure it gets done. So that it gets done. And we didn’t do that. Like I SAID IT and then didn’t follow through on making it happen.

ANNE

And then I assumed that since it was Wil’s baby that they were on top of things, but didn’t check back in that they were, and they thought we were on top of things…

KATIE

I was just kinda fumbling along and trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing on my own without checking with y’all because I wouldl probably die on the spot if I disappointed you. Which, like… led to disappointing. So …that’s not ideal. My therapist would probably have a few things to say about how I handled all that. Turns out that being aware of your problems and not fixing them isn’t the goal here!

ANNE

And that’s just a roundabout way to say that we all fucked up. We knew what we SHOULD be doing, and we didn’t do it, and just blazed ahead, and then…. hit a roadblock.

WIL

So, let’s break down what this workflow looked like. We recorded in blocks, as explained in our last episode, to prioritize our actors’ time and availability. From there, our actors put their audio into Google Drive or emailed it to us. Katie would then label and store the audio. Actors who needed to record pickups–retakes of lines–or asynchronous lines for an episode would be contacted. And then, when we started putting the audio together for the first episode for Julia, we figured we’d all listen to all of it together.

WIL

If it sounds like a mess, that’s because it was! Picking takes for lines took forever. Julia kept getting sent weird audio files that hadn’t been trimmed for the correct takes. We were missing big chunks of asynchronous audio. And all of us were confused and anxious and panicked and frustrated.

WIL

Julia, unsurprisingly always our life saver, told us in our Discord that we should probably pick someone to really go over the audio with her and makes notes until we’re happy with a draft. We fixed how we’re storing the audio: now, everything lives in Drive, instead of being split between Drive and our email. We have separate folders for our audio to pick takes from and trim, and the clean and ready audio for Julia to assemble.

WIL

This also meant that we had to designate someone to go over the audio with Julia. Take more control of the workflow. Be more of, you know, a showrunner. “But Wil,” you might be thinking. “You are the showrunner. It’s the show that you wrote the novel of, wrote many scripts of, conceptualized, pitched, and have been running.” Well, listener, you are right, and I am a fool.

WIL

I’d gotten into this weird cycle of guilt where I felt like I was being too bossy and protective, so I’d let Anne and Katie do more. And then I’d feel like I wasn’t a real showrunner, and shouldn’t be expected to act like a showrunner if I wasn’t one. But then taking on more responsibilities because VALENCE is my baby, but then also not wanting to take on more responsibilities, because I wanted Katie and Anne to feel creative agency, and because I wasn’t even a real showrunner, whatever that means.

Yes, listener. I do know how ridiculous this is. I do know that it’s a cycle that I made for myself.

I brought this up, with a lot of worry and embarrassment, to Anne and Katie. I told them I wanted to take more creative and operational ownership over VALENCE. Because in my mind I was already being too bossy, and this would make things worse, and make them hate me, and also make VALENCE bad.

ANNE

And you know what we said? “Yeah Wil that makes sense because it’s your baby” and we were totally cool with it! 

WIL

So, hi, hello! I am Wil Williams, Showrunner of VALENCE.

Duh.

ANNE

[quietly]

Wil, I don’t know if you know that I did this yet, but I changed the website to say you’re the showrunner, like, immediately after this decision was made.

WIL

LISTENERS, PLEASE KNOW THAT I WAS IN OUR SCRIPT DRAFT WATCHING ANNE WRITE THAT, AND I DID NOT KNOW, AND I DID TEAR UP WHILE I WATCHED THEM WRITE THAT LINE.

ANNE

Good.

ANNE

In the end, it always comes back to us actually talking to each other, which you’d think we’d have, you know… gotten fairly good at by now, or understood that we need to do it more, and trust each other. But trust other people… hard. We’re trying. We all really want this to come out well, so we all want a part in every part, but there’s just no way for one person to do everything, or for THREE people to do everything together. We gotta delegate!

ANNE

So in the spirit of Trust Other People and also making our lives easier, especially since it’s the holiday season, we’ve split the responsibilities for choosing episode takes up between us, with each of us owning our own episodes and being responsible for making sure all of the audio is together and in a single location for Julia way before she is going to be looking for the audio.

KATIE

We did this . . . partly by choosing which episodes meant a lot to us, and partly by which episodes we knew we were not going to be able to listen to over and over for take selection without putting us in a really unhealthy headspace. We’ve got all the info for every episode laid out in a google sheet that Julia also has access to, so any one of us can, at any time, go check who’s responsible for what. This helps us not to drop the ball again – or at least, not drop that same ball.

KATIE

For episode two, which I was in charge of picking takes for that one. I followed the guidelines we’d set up and it all seemed to go so, so much smoother. Everything had a consistent naming system, everything was trimmed down to just the lines that Julia needed, and nearly everything was in by the deadline. There were a handful of lines we needed re-recorded because of background sounds I hadn’t noticed, but having everything else as organized as possible has helped make it so those few hiccups are just that. They’re hiccups. They’re not the three of us running around panicking and frustrating Julia, who has been the most patient and understanding and lovely person ever while we were figuring out how to get our heads on straight.

ANNE

While we’re talking about getting our heads on straight, let’s touch on copyright a bit. Y’all know about copyright.. Right? It’s complicated, there are a million different versions for everything, and to make a long story short, just because something is available on a free music or sound effects site, doesn’t mean you can actually use it in your podcast!

WIL

[Whispering]

Psssst that’s also why our theme music for Scoring Magic changed, don’t call the cops!

ANNE

Yeah, the uh… the music we WERE using wasn’t actually available for a commercial copyright. Whoops! So to fix that, Wil, our dear sweet Wil, spent many hours scrolling through free music archives, checking Creative Commons copyrights and listening to songs to find something that worked for the show that had a commercial copyright — or was in the public domain and had essentially no copyright.

WIL

Our new music for Scoring Magic is by Komiku, who uses a Creative Commons 0 license. This means we technically don’t have to credit them at all–but I want you all to know that Komiku has a whole album called The Adventures of Super Poupi, about a nonexistent video game starring a non-gendered puppy named Poupi. Listen to Poupi’s theme song. I–I love. I love.

[my BABY]

WIL

So reminder, folks: just because you find something on Free Music Archive or FreeSound.org doesn’t mean it’s just FREE free. Be smarties about what you use. And if you can, chuck a few dollars the way of the artists you use most.

ANNE

Speaking of chucking artists a few dollars, we finally hit 25 Patrons on the Hug House Patreon, so we’re working on writing blog posts that go even more behind the scenes into our production process than Scoring Magic does. A few of our Patrons requested wanting to know more about the financials and stuff, and can I just say…I am overjoyed and very excited to educate you all on how we did it with pictures of graphs and and excel sheets and accounting. And, y’know, all that fun math stuff. Listen, I know y’all don’t think math is fun, and I get it, but lemme–lemme enjoy my shit. [Laughs]

ANNE

We’ve also… as of the release of this episode, the first part of our bonus blast — oh I hate that phrase, it’s real bad. Fuck it, I’m leaving it! [laughs] The first of our Hug House Media Bonanza will have dropped for Patrons this past week, and we still have six more bonus posts to make before the release of VALENCE on January 11th. And by “make” I mean “release”, because I already made the posts. I just have to give them to you.

KATIE

We’ll also be taking a break over the holidays to get everything squared away for the release of VALENCE, which means there won’t be an episode on January 4th, which would be our next episode release date. That said, you may still want to keep an eye – ear?? – out for a… very exciting bonus audio drop on that day… some very special audio… that maybe if you’re excited for VALENCE you’ll want to hear… and you can get if you support us for $5 an episode on Patreon at Patreon.com/HugHousePods… just putting that out there…

ANNE

Scoring Magic is a Hug House Production. You can find out more about our other projects and information on podcast consultations at HugHouse.Productions.

WIL

Our theme music this week is by KOMIKU, WHO WE DON’T HAVE TO CREDIT BUT WE WANNA ANYWAY. GO CHECK THEM OUT


Credits

Our music is by the wonderful artist Komiku

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