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Interviewing Kris Chaney – Host of REEL Film Reviewed

Kris is a Certified personal trainer and was motivated to start a podcasting after a experiencing a life changing injury. With some training in film and a love for radio shows, this host provides weekly film reviews and talks about what happens on both sides of the camera. After reaching out, I was able to get an interview.

Tell me about your show?

On REEL Film Reviewed, I review films, TV shows, and limited series that I’ve seen.

Each episode, I deliver short, spoiler free reviews first, including my “REEL-view” rating on a scale of 1-10 stars. I give a spoiler alert warning and continue the rest of the episode as a further discussion into the details that made the film/show/series such as cast and crew, production design and other technical aspects.I discuss the impact the film/show/series had on me and compare my rating to Hollywood critics’ overall rating. I also discuss little known facts about the film/show/series.

I typically do one film/show/series per episode, but I also have bonus episodes frequently that: feature guests during the discussion, crossover shows that merge other podcast formats with mine, and special segments into true crime documentaries where I provide my theories. 

What’s the hardest part about creating content for your niche?

I wouldn’t say it is hard creating content because film/show/series provide great topics of discussion for so many, but I would say because there are a lot of film/show/series review shows, it can be hard to find something to make you stand out.

It can be a difficult topic to find something to be creative enough and engage listeners to want to listen to you over others that are delivering similar content on potentially the same subjects. I added things to my format to keep it engaging. Because I went to film school that helps me get into the technical discussion, but I wanted to appeal to moviegoers as well.

While reviewing films on IMDb I would get popups to rate the films I had seen, and they compared my score with the meta score, and I thought that would be a great add to the episodes and I worked that in. 

How did you get into podcasting?

My Dad used to listen to morning radio shows on our morning commutes to school and work so I grew up listening and laughing to radio content and I loved it. I did not get into it until I turned 33, I never even thought about it honestly, even during film school.

I was an athlete turned bodybuilder and then I suffered a major injury that required numerous surgeries and physical therapy to heal, but I ended up having to retire from bodybuilding. I fell into a depressive state and was looking into sports psychology. My cousin had suggested previously, I listen to this podcast, Straight Up with Trent Shelton. He was a former NFL wide receiver who had been through similar struggles with injuries and being cut by multiple NFL teams and the mental struggle he went though during that time.

It was a combination of listening to his podcast every morning to motivate me and give me tools to see a new light and set a new path, along with hearing how his personal journey led him to this podcast and his non-profit organization, RehabTime, that motivated me to research how to start my own podcast. It only took me about two days to start with a platform and recording content for me to realize how much I loved it.

What’s your favorite podcast productivity tip?

It’s two rolled into one.

First being to record as much content as you’re able to, so you always have a little backlog of content for those times when you have things come out and are not able to record, edit, and produce a new episode.

The second part is not recording and editing on the same day. I found the production process and the overall quality of my episodes improved when I had creative days to record great content and edited the following day.

This reduced my strain as far as time and allowed me to focus on my editing and making it the best version it can be before publishing. When I was recording and editing on the same days, I found the editing process was a lot more tedious and tiring. 

If budget was not a problem what would be your next three upgrades for your show?

In this order,

  • Rode RODECaster Pro Podcast Production Studio Bundle (comes with two sets of studio monitor headphones) or the RODECaster Pro Integrated Podcast Production Studio bundle.
  • Shure MV7 XLR/USB Dynamic podcasting microphone.
  • Two SideTrak Swivel 14” attachable portable monitor for laptops. It’s basically a second monitor that attaches to your lap top and can be used for a multiple screen portable setup.

How do you find guests to interview for your show?

I post the requests for what I’m looking for on Twitter, make blog posts, and create cover art for Instagram posts advertising what I am looking for. Most of the time I am looking for someone with a knowledge and opinion of the film/show/series I am doing, but others it can be more specialized where I am looking for someone in a particular field or similar to that request.

I make lists and reach out to each person/show that responds to discuss and then schedule depending on interest and availability. I sometimes will reach out to specific people or shows I want to work with because I get an idea for a fun crossover show with their show’s format and mine.

What’s your audio editing process once you’ve done recording?

Most often I record and then edit the next day. On the rare occasion I record and edit on the same day, I always take a break in between so I am refreshed before editing.

I use Audacity for editing software and I listen in segments, cutting the obvious things like breaths, filler words, and then listen for any stammers or irrelevant trail offs.

I try to keep all content relevant to what I am discussing and cutting any creative tangents I may have gone on. Sometimes I keep them in depending on the value it adds to the content.

Do you have one piece of advice for someone starting a podcast?

Research the basics such as platforms, checklists for starting out, and creative ideas, but don’t let anything stop you. There are many free platforms and many that are free to start. You are able to still make a podcast without tons of equipment.

I started by recording on my phone with Podbean and Anchor and uploading from a sound recording app on my phone. I upgraded my equipment as I went and focused on it in pieces, beginning with improving audio and production.

As you create content you get an idea of what you want to improve and when. You also learn about additional things to help you continue to improve.

What is the most important strength someone would need to have to be a podcast host? 

Patience and willingness to collaborate. I am the only host on my show and when you’re the only person talking on your show, you learn the value in mixing it up by adding others frequently.

I learned three things that helped me:

  • Improve audio to the best it can be and always work on improving it (which means constantly listening to your own stuff.)
  • Listen to other podcasts that are the same and not the same as what you are wanting to do.
  • Be consistent with your recording and publishing.

Once you get listeners, many begin to work your show into their daily routine, and consistency helps build your audience while allowing a balance in your content creativity.

Where to follow Kris

Twitter: @REELfilmpkc
Instagram: @Reel_film_reviewed_podcast
Merch: REEL Merch

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