BRITTANY: We’re Robyn and Brittany, and we’re called the Afictionados! We review and recap television shows, including CW’s The 100, Riverdale, and ABC’s LOST. We’re two feminist nerds with a lot to say about TV. We talk about everything from the technical aspects of the episodes (we’re both film school graduates), to each show’s social impact (we’re both in the LGBTQIA+ community), to our favourite characters and how great their hair looks (good hair is important). We’re diverse women.
Our listeners are all fans of the shows. We have a great group of core listeners that we love dearly. On our LOST podcast, we have our listeners on as guest co-hosts to cover their favourite episodes of the show.
ROBYN: Our first podcast together was with a different podcast network called The Giantist. We covered Season 3 of The 100 and after the season ended, our producer shut down the network. We weren’t done, though. So we founded The Afictionados on November 16th, 2016.
The main thing that we were excited for was to talk about more than one show. We had expressed to our producer how much we’d love to do a LOST podcast and it had never come to fruition. We were also very excited to have guests and let the episodes be as long as we wanted, which were limitations when we were with The Giantist. We really love sharing our thoughts and feelings with our friends and listeners, and getting their thoughts and feedback as well!
We love listening to podcasts ourselves, so it’s a lot of fun to get to do it ourselves. Any podcasts that are about, or tell stories, are our favorites! Brittany’s favorites include What’s The Tee with RuPaul and Meta Station, another The 100 podcast run by our good friends, Claire and Erin! My favorites are Dear Hank and John from the Vlogbrothers, Someone Knows Something from CBC and Welcome to Night Vale. Our first episode as a network was about the Riverdale pilot episode. Since two thirds of our podcasts are based on weekly television shows, we try and release our podcasts many days before the new episodes. It usually takes three to four days.
BRITTANY: Since we cover current-running shows for a good portion of our programming, we release weekly. With the LOST podcast, we have more leeway — but that usually comes with more content, since recording LOST usually takes us twice as long as any other show. We both work around each other’s schedules, so we’ll set aside 2 hours (usually in the evenings) to record for each show.
We self-fund, and we have a Patreon! A lot of hidden costs come up with podcasting, which we didn’t anticipate at the get-go. For instance, Soundcloud charges extra if you want to upload more than a few hours of content a month, so we have to pay for premium memberships for all three of our channels. There’s also things like our website, our equipment, and any marketing we do. We recently attended a convention that we chose to sponsor, and that all came out of our Patreon funds. We couldn’t have spread our name out there and gotten the kind of exposure we did without our Patrons helping us every step of the way.
ROBYN: The main thing that we gain from podcasting is pride. For myself, making something that I’m proud of and releasing it, hearing that other people enjoy it as well, is really wonderful. If we can make a television experience more enjoyable for anyone, we will!
Our downloads vary from podcast to podcast, but our most successful one, as of now, is for The 100, with around 400 listens per episode. We currently do not have any sponsors, but would be interested in sponsorship, for sure!
We get all of our funding from Patreon and all of that money goes back into the podcast. It’s expensive to run unlimited soundclouds for three separate podcasts and we are so grateful to anyone who chooses to help us. If we can begin bringing in a bit more, we would like to branch out into even more shows! Because of podcasting, we’ve been invited to multiple conventions to do press and speak on a panel about thinking about shows critically. It’s incredibly inspiring to know that you inspire others. However, my very favorite thing about podcasting is getting to chat with my best friend for a few hours every week about the things that we love.
BRITTANY: We each work on different systems, so it’s different for each of us. We both use Yeti mics and record using Zencastr, but that’s where the similarities end. Since I’m on a Mac, I use Skype’s call recorder as a Zencastr backup. Robyn uses Audacity and edits on Adobe Premiere, which is exactly for video editing and which she adapted to work with audio, since it was what she was used to. I edit in Adobe Audition. Audition was probably the most difficult thing to learn in the entire podcasting process, but it really helped that both of us had experience editing video with Final Cut. Once I got into the groove of treating the Audition files like I would an audio track in Final Cut, things got a lot easier.
For guests, we use a combination of things! Our biggest tool is Twitter — we’ve landed two interviews from the cast of The 100 and one from LOST just using Twitter. We recently just recorded an interview with one of the props artists on the show, too, which I set up at a convention. We handed out business cards to everyone we wanted to interview!
We prepare by taking notes on all the story beats we want to cover. Robyn then separates them by storyline, which she then puts into a shared Google Doc. We couldn’t Podcast without Google Docs — our podcast doc is like our Bible. We also have specific show segments that we repeat every podcast. For example, we’ll both pick a favourite quote from the episode before we start, and then we’ll add in a sound clip of that quote in the editing process. Being organized on the front end helps us edit faster in post.
ROBYN: Our main marketing tool is Twitter. We were both discovered and put together because of it and it’s the method that we know the best. Twitter is where you can find our updates, but our website has all of our links. We’re on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and more. We also have a Facebook page, Instagram, Tumblr and Redbubble. The internet brought us together, so we like to span the internet. Twitter will always be our #1 and has been the most helpful to us in our journey so far.
1 - Be organized. Some people can get along fine winging it, but it makes editing a nightmare. Know what you want to talk about, and make sure you have some kind of structure going into recording. Always have one person in charge of making sure you get back on topic — otherwise, you’ll find yourself twenty minutes into a tangent about Hogwarts Houses (this has happened to us a shocking number of times). If I get too off course with one of our guests, Robyn will push us back on topic. She is the queen of time management.
2 - Have the right partner. I couldn’t do any of this without Robyn, and I wouldn’t want to. She keeps us going and makes sure we’re where we need to be. The right partner also will have great chemistry with you — make sure you’re friends! A natural back and forth is more enjoyable to listen to than two people who don’t know each other as well. She’s my best friend and my partner, and that’s the best combo in the world.
ROBYN: Our website is theafictionados.com - it has all of our links to every podcast and episode. and our Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and Redbubble are @theafictionados. Our email is [email protected] and you can search “The Afictionados” on Google, iTunes Podcasts and Soundcloud to find all three of our current podcasts! Our personal Twitters are @RobynEJeffrey and @brittania_ and you can find all of our socials and such in the descriptions of any of our podcast episodes.
You can donate to our Patreon at patreon.com/theafictionados and one-time donations can be made via paypal if you send us an email or direct message on twitter! Thank you very much for the opportunity to tell our story!