We first posted about Terry Ibele from his endearing 2019 short “The Silly Duck Wizard”.
Today we talked to him about his podcast work, now going on his 55 episode:
SMM: What got you interested in making a podcast program about animation?
Terry: In 2018 I quit my marketing job and decided to pursue animation as a career. Being new to the animation scene I didn’t know anyone, so I decided to attend the Toronto Animated Arts Festival International (TAAFI) conference. While there, I was trying to figure out a unique way to network. My former coworker, who runs a business-topic podcast suggested I start a podcast and use it as a way to connect with the conference speakers. One of the speakers was Fred Seibert, owner of Frederator studios. After his talk I asked him if he’d like to be on a podcast. He said yes, and the rest is history.
SMM: Is it all about stop motion or animation in general?
Terry: I try to cover everything. Topics range from how to become a kid’s show director, to a freelance storyboard artist, and everything in between. However, since I’m a stop motion animator at heart, about 1/3 of episodes focus on stop motion. Some guests have included Stephen Chiodo, who animated the stop motion scenes in Elf, Dale Hayward and Sylvie Trouvé who animated Bone Mother and run an online stop motion academy, Sarah de Gaudemar who animated on Coraline, and over a dozen others.
The podcast has been an amazing resource when it comes to stop motion animation, because guests dive into their unique processes, how to get a job, what to include in a portfolio, and even how to budget out things for clients. This is all stuff I had an incredibly hard time finding online otherwise, so picking the brains of some of the top stop motion animators has been invaluable.
SMM: How do you prepare for a topic in a podcast?
Terry: The podcast always starts with a casual pre chat behind the scenes. This let’s us break the ice, answer any questions, and come up with topics we think will be interesting. I do my best to focus the podcast on hard advice for those looking to break into animation, or work their way up in their careers.
SMM: Do you think of the subject matter first and then who to interview about it?
Terry: Sometimes. For instance, when I’m trying to figure out how to do something, like pitch a show, I’ll reach out to people who’ve had success doing that. Other times I’m just scrolling through LinkedIn or Instagram and I’ll reach out to people who are posting interesting projects. I also get suggestions from listeners and sometimes people reach out to me and ask to be on.
SMM: What´s your process when preparing for a podcast?
Terry: Step 1) Find the contact info of someone I want to talk to. 90% of the time I send an Instagram or LinkedIn DM – those ways get the most responses. I’ve found email and Twitter less effective.
Step 2) Message the person about the podcast, mention a few other guests they may know, and ask if they’d be interested. Most people say yes.
Step 3) Set up a short pre chat over Skype.
Step 4) After the pre chat, I go back and write up a bunch of questions that will spark interesting conversation and send them to the guest.
Step 5) Record the actual conversation at a later date.
Step 6) Post to SoundCloud/iTunes/YouTube etc.
Step 7) Share via social. I also post in a few Facebook and LinkedIn groups, plus there’s a great community on Reddit called r/animationcareer that appreciates the podcast. If the guest shares it too, that always helps.
SMM: Who was the guest who surprised you the most and why?
Terry: For me it was John Musker. Knowing he was a big Disney director who influenced a lot of my childhood, I went in stary-eyed and tongue-tied. However, he was very down to earth and personable. He was happy to take the time to chat and hearing how he worked his way to director was really refreshing. He went through struggles just like anyone, but always kept a clear vision. It really made me feel more comfortable about the path I’m on.
SMM: Who was the easiest to reach / the hardest to reach?
Terry: The easiest ones to reach are the ones that reach out to me. This has happened about five times so far. If you’re reading this and you’ve got an interesting story to tell, feel free to get in touch!
The hardest to reach are directors, since they have insanely busy schedules. I usually get their contacts from someone who knows them personally, and they take a few months to set up. The other issue is about half of them end up canceling due to their demanding schedules 🙁
Overall, people are much easier to reach and more willing to chat than people think. I’d say about 70% of the people I reach out to end up becoming guests.
SMM: What software/ tools do you use to make the podcast?
Terry: Skype: make the call and record
Audacity: edit the audio Procreate: create the thumbnails
Adobe Premiere: create the video for YouTube What platform do you use to upload it?
SoundCloud. I find it the easiest and least expensive for what I need.
The RSS feed from there updates all the other major platforms like Spotify, iTunes, Player.Fm, etc.
I also publish the video of the chat to YouTube:
SMM: How long between each podcast?
Terry: A week! I’m talking with anywhere from 3-5 guests at any time in order to publish weekly. It’s quite a lot of work, but I’ve been able to fit it into my schedule.
You can find all the podcast episodes here.