Ron Moore on Battlestar Galactica Podcast

Sep 29th, 2006 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Corporate Podcasts, Podcasting Events

Ron MooreAt the second annual Podcast and Portable Media Expo, being held at the Ontario Convention Center (above) Sept 29-30, Ron Moore, head writer and show runner for Battlestar Galactica, and creator of Battlestar Galactica podcast, gave the second keynote speech.

Here are some highlights from his discussion:

Galactica’s podcast pilot project was initially referred to as a “stunt”, and he thought it would eventually go the way of WebTV. (Held up his Sony recorder they sent him to record the commentary, and he said he’d someday donate it to the National Museum of Podcasting, and something about the holy site of Adam Curry’s birthplace….).

Moore was very casual about recording the podcasts, at home, where he was having a tall glass of Scotch and smoking. He had no idea that people could tell that that was going on — dogs barking in the yard, garbage trucks rolling by outside, kids down the hall. Posters on forums complained about the sound quality and the swearing and drinking. Decided that “podcasting isn’t for whiners” – and mocked and ridiculed the detractors.

“I started and stopped a lot at the beginning, even screwed up my own name at one point, trying to figure out how to work the thing,” notes Moore. “Thought it was like a tape recorder, eventually just gave up and did it all live, no stopping and starting. Approached it casually, like DVD commentary, ditched the pr attitude and just gave a real appraisal of how the show went together, what was going on, on the scene. ‘Pull back the curtain and show how the sausage is made.’ I do it on the fly, and don’t do it with any notes, don’t listen to dialogue.”

“One episode, I thought, was really kind of not very good, Black Market. It didn’t turn out like I wanted it to, it was too conventional, and I thought I’d talk about that on the podcast – no point in trying to put a pretty face on it.”

Moore noted that he got some flak about being critical on his podcast, but he thinks he owed it to audience to be honest and open with them. Was shocked to find out, later, that even the president of the network was listening to the podcast!

“Started bringing in guests into the podcast recording (incl his wife, who came in in the middle of one recording, and became a minor celebrity). I’ve recorded writers’ meetings, done them in the car on my commute, threatened to bring one into production meetings.”

“In television there is this great sense of distance from the audience (you don’t see, know, interact with them). The podcast, however, is different.”

The Galactica miniseries, before it aired, did a focus group test somewhere in the south (San Antonio, or New Orleans), people who did and didn’t have knowledge of the old Galactica. Maybe 2 wks beforfe the air date — results came back that it tested worse than any other show ever, don’t air it under any circumstances.

The internet gives a more real, and immediate, kind of feedback (loving and hateful). People who post and interact are people who watch the show.

“Podcasting gives me a direct line to the audience, like inviting them over to the house, talking to them while I sit in my comfortable chair. I set the rules, there’s no middleman, I’m in total control.”

“I don’t know what the broader application of podcasting is for me, but it is a good way to talk about the work I’m doing. I like eliminating the middleman between me and the listener. We’ll see a proliferation of podcasting the future, and it’ll be interesting to see how we separate it out, and find out the really good stuff. It’s been a great experience. I’m glad to be a podcasting pioneer.”

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