How/why/when did you start You Must Remember This?
The short version of the story is that I started the podcast in April 2014 because a) I wanted an excuse to research stories from Hollywood history more extensively than most of my freelance opportunities would allow but without the commitment of writing a book, b) I wanted to do something exactly the way I wanted to do it, for better or for worse, and c) as a podcast listener I felt like there were never enough podcasts to listen to so I figured there was room for one more. So I wrote a script, borrowed some recording equipment and taught myself how to use GarageBand, and ten days later I had a first episode, which I put on SoundCloud and solicited feedback on. I produced episodes when I could in between freelance commitments and the teaching job I had that semester, and then when the semester ended I decided to try to produce the podcast full-time. More details on this can be found in this interview.
Where is episode #1? I can't find it.
Episode number one, "The Hard Hollywood Life of Kim Novak," is our "lost episode." I didn't know that it was a bad idea to use large swaths of copyright music in a podcast when I made it back in April 2014 -- I didn't think enough people would hear it for it to matter. In fact, I used a lot of pre-recorded copyright music in the first ten episodes, but when the show was invited to join the Infinite Guest network in August 2014, I re-edited nine of those episodes to minimize the use of music that I didn't have the rights to use. But the project file of the first episode got corrupted, so I can't re-edit it, so it can't be part of the iTunes feed or an "official" episode on which advertising is sold. However, it is somewhere on the internet, and if you search for it, you should be able to find it.
What equipment do you use to record/edit?
I use a Rode NT1 mic, plugged into an Avid Mbox, plugged into a MacMini or iMac. I record using GarageBand. I edited episodes 1-55 myself using GarageBand. The more recent episodes have been edited by Henry Molofsky, who works for Panoply/Slate Podcasts.
How long does it take to make a single episode?
The production cycle for each episode is about a week -- meaning from when I sit down to start writing the script to when the finished episode is posted on iTunes -- but in most cases I've been reading about the subject and watching relevant movies for weeks or months before that.
Do you have any plans to do an episode on XYZ celebrity/director/film/etc?
I generally don't announce my episodes in advance, but maybe! If you would like to make sure a topic is on my radar, you can post about it on the YMRT Forum.
Do you need any help with research/are you looking for an intern?
Would you be willing to write for my website/magazine/etc?
I'm just too busy for freelance work right now, but thanks for thinking of me!
I notice you don't have a contact link on this website anymore.
That is true. I am just simply overwhelmed with work right now and have been finding my email box to be a source of stress that I can't deal with, so I'm not publicizing my email address at this time.
Do you have any career advice? How did you get from point A to B to where you are now?
I've put my foot in my mouth in the past answering this question so I'm reticent to say too much; everyone's career path is different and mine has been relatively unique. When I was in graduate school circa 2003 all I wanted was to get a job at a magazine, and I couldn't find an "in," so I worked in restaurants and food stores and took a job writing blog posts for $7 apiece for a startup in my off-time. I'd write before and after going to shifts running the retail business of a ravioli factory, and that became Cinematical -- one of the first multi-contributor film blogs that was taken seriously -- and I became the editor of it. I got lucky; I was also willing to work 7 days a week for about $23,000 a year, with no benefits, in order to build the site. I've had several periods where I wasn't happy with what I was doing and because I can't stand being depressed about work for long, I then either aggressively pursued or created another opportunity. When I was working at AOL post-Cinematical I convinced Spout, a startup that was trying to be a social network for cinephiles, to hire me as a full-time blogger; within a month after Spout folded I found out the LA Weekly, my hometown alternative paper, was looking for a new film editor, and when I didn't hear back after sending in my resume twice, I flew myself out there from New York and called the office and asked for an interview and got the job; when, after three years of working 65 hour weeks there, I became totally burned out on film criticism, I quit and spent the next year-plus trying a number of different things (freelance writing, book commissions, teaching, a novel that didn't go anywhere), until the concept for YMRT became so clear to me that there didn't seem to be any downside to trying to make it.
The only thing I can say that has consistently worked for me is not being afraid to leave a situation that isn't working and to try things that I might fail at. I've had some financially tough times (I had no health insurance for a lot of my 20s, I've bounced rent checks and put off paying my taxes and did not until my final year at the Weekly have anything like savings, and only then because I was afraid I was going to be fired any minute), but I've never been afraid to quit a job or take a chance, because I've always felt like I could go back to working at a cheese counter or a wine bar if I had to. I haven't had to for ten years now, but I got close a couple of times, and never say never.