“All throughout this, in the background, it's been, for me, a study about the effect of media on human consciousness.”
When it comes to creating a brand and being known as an authority in your field, podcasting truly is the
new frontier. This week's guest is on the forefront of that frontier, particularly audio drama: he's a producer, online media authority, speaker, and radio and TV host who's been creating original productions for network and independent television, broadcast news, and online media for over thirty years.
His career began as a cameraman, editor, and producer in Los Angeles during the 1980s, and in the 1990s he created the first online media research facility and historical news archive for the U.S. State Department's International Bureau of Broadcasting.
He switched to the world of journalism, writing international breaking news for CBS Radio and AOL Time
Warner and today he co-produces a dramatic podcast, "Marilyn: Behind the Icon." His name is Randall Libero, and if you want to learn more about what it takes to have a successful podcast, this is the interview for you!
A Different Kind of Kid
We begin with a look at Randall’s childhood, his heartwarming first encounter with his grandfather’s wire recorder, and how a near-death experience at the age of five changed his perspective and gave him an early sense of maturity and awareness of the future. “I was a different kind of kid,” he explains, and he knew from an early age that he wanted to devote his life to exploring the magic of sound, to sparking the imagination and bringing stories to life.
How Did They Do It?
“I knew King Kong was not real,” Randall explains, remembering the movie monster who first inspired his fascination with sound, “but how did they do it?” We talk about the science-fiction and fantasy shows that influenced him as he grew up, such as The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone and the groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the beginning of mass media and commercial entertainment, a new form of storytelling that emerged quite literally before his eyes.
A Study of Consciousness
Randall and I talk about his wide-ranging career, spanning from broadcast television to international news to online radio and podcast production. Through it all, he says, his focus has remained on human consciousness, the complex relationship between the storyteller and listener's expectations, and how movies have helped transform our very definitions of stories. "You have to think of when did storytelling change and how did it change."
When Storytelling Changed
With the evolution from silent movies to traditional Hollywood films and now podcasts, stories are taking on entirely new forms and being told in new ways. Randall discusses the way both stories and their audience has evolved alongside the ways stories are told, and how the role of sound has changed along with them. "Most movies even today,” he observes, “are seventy or seventy-five percent sound."
Dramatic audio stories like his new podcast Marilyn: Behind the Icon seek to take that further, bringing to life a character’s thoughts and memories using sound and the power of imagination.
Be sure to check back next week for part two as we talk about cinematic audio, the future of mass media and storytelling, and take a sneak peek at some of Randall’s upcoming projects.
Connect with the Guest
Follow Randall Libero on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.libero
Connect with Randall Libero on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/randall-libero-7677364/
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Editing/Production by Humberto Franco