In Pod I Trust

I thought for this blog entry I would talk about how I got into podcasting.  Like many things in my career, it started with Kevin Smith.  Yes, that guy that made Clerks 20 years ago.  I originally got into filmmaking because of my love for the horror movie Scream.  I loved that a film could make me scared, curious, or laugh and it was the first film that sparked my interest and made me go, “I want to do that.”  I want people to become completely submersed in the world I created with a camera that they feel what the characters are feeling.  So I began watching more and more film.  Then I stumbled onto Dogma, Kevin Smith’s movie about the possible apocalypse.  I loved it, but for different reasons than Scream.  I loved it because I loved the story Kevin Smith told in Dogma.  He has a different sense of writing.  His characters talked like me and I loved it.  So I began to delve into the writing process of filmmaking.  Smith was a filmmaker I emulated throughout high school and college.  His movies reminded me of myself and my friends.  

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Like Kevin Smith’s characters, my friends and I would sit around and talk with each other.  We would discuss pop culture, sports, politics, pretty much anything, but we did it on an internet radio show called Dead Air Radio.  I was not an on air personality until the second season, but I helped behind the scenes by booking guests, coming up with segments, and build our Facebook following.  I loved learning a new craft outside of filmmaking, but I felt like I could apply these skills to filmmaking because the two were so similar.    

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 I was a part of Dead Air Radio for about 6 years, but I was not happy with some of the factors of internet radio.  The facilities we were using were great, but they were on a college campus and we would have to stop doing our shows every summer.  Also since we were internet radio, we had to tell people a specific time and place to listen to us.  In a world that is moving so fast and becoming more and more mobile that model does not work.  I began to listen to more and more podcasts and realized it was our show, but on iTunes and on demand.  I found that very appealing, but buying equipment and getting something like started from the ground up did not interest the other DJs on the show.  I tweeted to my role model, Kevin Smith and asked what to do if your friends don’t want to help you be creative.  To my surprise, he wrote me back with some words of wisdom. 

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I left Dead Air Radio and  I started DJing at another college radio station.  I started The @BrandoCash Show.  Each show was two hours long, featuring music around a certain theme, and three sports segments.  Those three segments were What The Puck, The Caw, and Worked Shoot.  After doing a few shows, I was not happy with some of the restrictions of college radio and I was still very interested in the world of podcasting, so I left that station and was ready to be my own distributor and start podcasting.

I researched, bought equipment, and was about to venture into something I knew nothing about.  My three friends from my old show were all on board to turn their segments into podcasts.  The big difference between podcasting and filmmaking is it is easy to start.  I spent a good amount of money on a mixer and microphones and I use a free program called Audacity to record the shows.  Filmmaking is expensive.  Right now the craze is DSLR cameras.  The body of the cheapest DSLR camera is around $500.  Different lenses can range from $500-$2000.  Audio equipment, lights, actors, and crews puts you into the $20,000 range to tell your story at the cheapest rate.  Then you have to worry about distributing your film to potential buyers and getting it to the public.  The equipment I bought to podcast was around $1000 and I was immediately telling my stories I wanted to tell and getting them out to the public.  I started producing four shows weekly.  I co-hosted, edited, and produced three of the shows that were once segments on The @BrandoCash Show and produced another show called Poe’s Peep Show.  On top of that I co-hosted three other shows as well. 

Since then, podcasting has become so liberating because I get to be creative and talk with my friends for countless hours and listen to them whenever I want.  What The Puck just recorded it’s 61st show over the span of two years.  We've connected with other hockey fans and can be heard on iTunes, Stitcher, The Baltimore Sports Report Network, and Capshill.com.  The Caw has spawned 46 episodes and gave me a chance to talk about football during the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl season and is available on iTunes and Stitcher. 

 Podcasting has slowly become one of my favorite things to do.  I am able to talk to close friends and people I respect, record those conversations, and then stream them on the internet for everyone to hear.  I am very proud of the work because each podcast is unique and so much fun to listen to.  I've learned to be an on air host, talk with talented guests, as well as produce weekly shows and promote them on social media.  Everyone has a story to tell and that is what originally drew into watching movies, especially Kevin Smith’s stories.  Podcasting allows me to tell my stories without having to worry about budgets, what happens afterwards, or distribution.  Podcasting has no limits.  Shows can be long, short, about any topic, and have no censorship.  They have complete freedom and the best part is that podcasts are free to download for the public.  I have had many doors open because of podcasting and I have no reason to stop anytime soon, so with that I always say, In Pod I Trust.

-        @BrandoCash 

Bella becomes a star

 Bella at Fort McHenry in August 2013 celebrating her birthday.

Bella at Fort McHenry in August 2013 celebrating her birthday.

For Christmas, I received the chest mount for the GoPro.  For those who don’t know, the chest mount wraps around your arms and attaches the camera to a plate that sits on your chest.  So when I was finished building this website, I thought it was time to go outside in the snow with the GoPro.  However, getting footage of me shoveling the walk isn’t that exciting.  So I made the chest mount as small as I could and attached it to my dog, Bella.  She is 9 years old and is a bulldog/scottie mix. 

So I hit record and let her do whatever she was going to do in the snow.  After about ten minutes, she was ready to come in and I investigated the footage and uploaded it to YouTube.  Since the snowstorm was a big storm, affecting much of the North East of America, it is being covered nationally.  I tweeted to Ginger Zee from Good Morning America and asked her to look at the footage Bella shot.  It’s not every day you get to see a snow storm from a dog’s perspective!  To my surprise, she not only tweeted me back, but asked if she could use it on GMA.  I said absolutely and set up my DVR to record the show the next day. 

I woke up to find my current job was going in a few hours late and I waited as long as I could on GMA before going out to shovel the walk and dig out my car.  Once shoveling was over, I check my phone and find out that GMA had aired Bella’s footage from a friend who saw it live!  So I went to the DVR and checked the show.  Sure enough, there was my nine year old puppy on a nationwide morning news show shaking and playing in the snow.  I was so happy to see her on TV.  I got countless likes and nice comments on Facebook about Bella’s new found fame. 

 Bella and I at the SPCA walk in 2007

Bella and I at the SPCA walk in 2007

Even though it is a dream to create a video and have it seen nationwide, I am most proud of Bella because she has such a great story.  My family adopted her when she was just a puppy at nine months old.  Before we adopted her, we know little about her past.  We know she was abandoned and left tied to a pole in Baltimore City, eventually picked up, and brought into BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter).  They deemed her a “fear biter” and put her on death row.  A rescue group, Recycled Love, came into BARCS looking for animals to rescue.  They originally wanted to take Bella off death row, but the staff at the time said they could not let animals on death row go out to rescue.  Somehow Recycled Love was able to get Bella out of BARCS.  We found out later, Bella was supposed to be put down an hour before Recycled Loved had arrived at BARCS, but they were running late.  I found Bella on petfinder.com and fell in love when I read her description and it talked about her “nubby tail”.  We met with Recycled Love and we were lucky enough to adopt her. 

Now Bella has had her issues.  She was extremely protective of my family, gets anxiety when my family separates, and she would protect herself.  She was a fear biter.  My family and I took Bella to obedience classes for years, we had her learn socialization with other dogs, and even had a pet psychic come to our house and talk with her.  After all of that, Bella eventually calmed down and trusted that we could take care of her and wouldn’t let anything happen to her.  She has come a long way from that scared abused dog on death row.  She has been on countless picnics, beach vacations, and road trips, but now she can add TV star to her many achievements. 

- @BrandoCash            

Snow Day

Today was an unexpected day off.  I decided instead of binge watching the last season of Dexter, I would try to stay busy and build my new professional website.  I am a podcaster myself and I listen to a lot of different podcasts.  My taste range from SModcast, The Art of Wrestling, The Steve Austin Show, and How Did This Get Made?.  I have a passion for any form of entertainment, so of course I love podcasts about the entertainment industry.  I first heard of Squarespace.com on those podcasts.  So today, I thought it would be a good idea to build my own professional site with squarespace during this snow day.  I originally did not want to put a blog on my page, but I think this is a good way of putting some of my experiences from my professional life out into the world.  I have worked on PBS shows, written for the show MotorWeek, produced the Maryland Lottery Drawings, and podcast about my favorite sports teams.  I have had plenty of events happen during my 6 year career that it is time to start sharing those experiences.  As one of my first video teachers in college would say, Stay Tuned.

 

- @BrandoCash