UCF fans, faculty try to perfect podcast craft
Whether you're kicking back to watch a football game or trying to learn about UCF's history, UCF-centric podcasts let UCF students, alumni and fans learn about UCF from the comfort of a computer or a smartphone.
Knightline Podcast, completely unaffiliated with UCF, is a series of UCF football podcasts produced and created by Andrew Phegley.
Phegley, an Apopka resident, is an emergency medical technician who produces the podcast in his free time and was inspired to create the podcast from his love for UCF football.
As a musician, Phegley already had almost all of the materials he needed to record the podcasts, and he realized there was no podcast about UCF football.
He asked his friend and co-worker, Troy Ondrizek, to work with him, and so they began.
"We try to do it as professional[ly] as possible," Phegley said.
The podcast takes about 20 hours per week to produce. Each episode consists of pre-game research, going to the game to record sound bites, doing interviews and tailgating to promote the podcast. After the game is over, they finally go to the studio and record.
With a lack of UCF affiliation, love for the team and the game is the duo's driving force.
"I love UCF football; it's awesome, and it's a great sport. And I honestly want more people to come to the games," Phegley said.
He currently has about 200 to 250 listeners each week, and shares his podcast for free on iTunes, YouTube and SoundCloud.
Phegley said he spends about $200 per month on the production of the podcasts, and the team is thinking of possibly expanding its podcast into other sports.
"We're going to do it [during] all of the off-seasons as well, so we may expand into other sports, but football is our primary sport," Phegley said.
Another UCF-centric podcast is RICHES of Central Florida, a project that started two year ago in a Documentary New Media class led by Robert Cassanello of the UCF history department.
Students in the class, along with Cassanello, prepared a production plan for the podcasts and selected 50 objects that could represent the history of Central Florida in different time periods.
"The idea for the project was to create a podcast series that sort of gave a brief overview of the history of Florida through the examination of museum objects," Cassanello said. "Each podcast features a museum object; some of them are multiple museum objects. And what the podcasts do is tell the history of human civilization at the time the object was created, and we use that as a way to give the history of Central Florida, as well as the history of human civilization."
The students who were originally involved are now graduate students who dedicate part of their time to this project.
With this project, Cassanello said they're trying to reach educators and encourage others to go to museums. The podcasts will give a representation of the museum experience on a mobile device, and the idea is for the listener to eventually go to the museum and see the object in person.
Each student is a producer of an episode, and has a very specific skill that can go to any podcast.
"All of us have some role in the process," Cassanello said.
In each of their episodes, which are between nine and 15 minutes long, there are a handful of experts talking about the specific object they're featuring in that episode.
It takes roughly three weeks to produce the first draft of one of these episodes, and from that point on they start doing quality control to the podcast to make sure it's ready to air.
To do this, someone who hasn't worked on or seen the podcast looks at the product to figure out objectively what could be improved visual and audio wise. They spot any potential errors and also make sure that the podcast is compatible with any computer and mobile device.
"In May, we won the 2014 Hampton Dunn Internet Award from the Florida Historical Society, and they received a Florida Humanities Council Grant to show people these podcasts at live events to encourage people to subscribe to the series," Cassanello said.
This project will end when the students finish producing podcast No. 50, which will feature an object from the present.