Subscribe to a podcast. Scroll through the episodes. Click download. Press play. Magic.
It all seems so simple. Even the stories themselves. There they are, all those people talking and the sounds and the music. A good story told well sounds effortless.
But, one thing that is clear in every episode of HowSound is that it’s not magic. There’s an incredible amount of effort required to produce a story that’s intriguing, surprising, well-narrated, well-produced, and, simply put, satisfying.
Typically, that effort is completely hidden. You might get a sense of it when a podcast episode or a show ends and the host lists a slew of people working on the show. Who the hell are they?
One is Jessica Yung. Her name is included at the end of episodes of Reply All like “Negative Mount Pleasant.” Jessica is a Transom Story Workshop graduate who now works as an Associate Producer (A.P.) at Gimlet Media. On this episode of HowSound, we shine a light on Jessica’s unseen work so she and other A.P.s are no longer hidden.
Extra: Here’s a job description Jessica shared with us.
• pitch stories
• assist producers on all story production tasks
• help with story planning
• track down characters
• prep interviews
• sit in interviews
• log and select tape
• find and identify archive tape
• field report
• create assemblies
• cut tracks
• participate in edits
• fact check