I’ve always hated writing.
That surprises most, especially after having spent two decades publishing thousands and thousands of news stories, features and editorials. I still hate writing, but I love having written. More than that, I love what I learn and experience between idea and execution and the friendships that blossom from the work.
While I was a journalism student and then cub reporter, Clark Deal was concurrently a film student who built 3130 Studios, which remains in the same location it opened 17 years ago. I helped demolish the bingo hall that once stood in its space and carried raw materials, literally, down the road from Lowe’s to its location on May Avenue.
When I announced that Oklahoma Gazette was transitioning from print to a digital medium and that a video podcast should be a cornerstone of content, he reached out and volunteered his space and technical experience. The partnership couldn’t be a more natural fit for an Oklahoma City-based vehicle centered around local culture.
News is a peculiar business with its own set of rules, style and a formula that always felt limiting. It was a longstanding personal objective to publish full interviews that captured the depths and dimensions of a conversation that an edited story was never able to illustrate. While the focus of long-form features has always been on presenting a set of facts accurately and entertainingly, Everyone Has A Story is far closer to the truth of what it means to be a reporter. The conversational exploration, relationship-building, shared experiences and gleaned knowledge are all on display here. The two things that are lost in translation are “off-the-record” asides — for obvious reasons — and (some) of the tangents that make many of my interviews abnormally lengthy (as a general rule, we try to keep each episode focused on our guests and adhere to a roughly hour-long format).
While decades and decades of combined experience precede the series, Everyone Has A Story is the first podcast for everyone involved, which is why the first season (all of which we weren’t certain would be published) is a little rough around the edges. We decided to include every interview we’ve shot as an act of transparency. To that end, the production dates will also be noted in the descriptions because, once we realized we could actually pull this off, it took several weeks and countless hours of product testing, conversations and other technicalities to ensure that we were dialed in before we began shooting the second round and releasing the first.
Oklahoma hasn’t seen a series quite like this, but there isn’t a day that goes by without one of us realizing something we haven’t previously thought about, so please leave all of the criticisms (and praise) in the comments section on YouTube. We’ll discuss every single one. Promise.
A lot of experiments are planned for this series, most of which we are keeping close to the vest. But we do intend on filming at least one episode in the format of a fact-finding interview and publishing a traditional news story alongside so the audience can see how the sausage is made and what I mean by the finished product seeming one-dimensional in contrast to the conversation itself.
Below are links to the first three episodes: Clarissa “Cid” Castillo (Molly’s Tamales), Dustin “Provo” Provenzano (Dabstronauts) and Ty Gay (Redline Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu).
Upcoming (already shot and edited) episodes of the series include Apollo Woods (OKC Black Eats), Carl Wheeler (Highgrade Labs), “Redd” (Blue Note), Mindy Tautfest (MUFON) and Farmtruck & AZN (Street Outlaws).
New episodes will be published Wednesday on YouTube. An audio-only version is also forthcoming.
To discuss booking, sponsorship opportunities or to leave comments you’re too shy to post on YouTube, email [email protected].