Q & A: Rockhurst English teacher Mr. Lawlor discusses his podcast

To view the 250 word front page feature story on Mr. Sean Lawlor and his podcast, pick up the most recent print edition of the Prep News.

Q: Who originally brought up the idea of a podcast?

A: It rose organically in conversation with my friend Matt, a close friend of mine since we attended DeSmet together. We were hanging out in Cincinnati in the summer of 2015 (where he was about to start teaching at Xavier Prep), and we found ourselves laughing hysterically about movie scenes which were not intended to be funnynamely, the part in Jurassic Park when Newman gets killed by a Dilophosaurus. Amid our laughter, we thought it would be funny to make a podcast where we basically did what we w

The official logo of General Snobbery, courtesy of Mr. Sean Lawlor.

ere already doing, with the only difference being our recording of it. We described our type of conversation as “general snobbery,” which we then adopted as our podcast’s name.

Q: How quickly did you follow through on the idea?

A: Two nights later, we were sitting outside on Matt’s deck and said, “Let’s just start recording.” So we busted out an iPhone, hit record and started doing episodes. It took a little bit to get comfortable, as recording changes the dynamic of conversation, but pretty soon, we were able to slip into that “general snobbery” that brought us such laughter. Interestingly enough, the recording somehow seemed to enhance our snobbery. That night set the foundation. It wasn’t for another 10 months, though, that we got the equipment and began recording official episodes.

Q: What sparks the ideas for each episode of General Snobbery?

A: Basically, we just think about where our interests lie. If in doubt, we think of bad movies that are fun to laugh about. Lately, we’ve expanded from films into cultural critiques, so we can address trends in society that we find ridiculous. Usually, it’s just stuff we find really funny in its ridiculousness. We have also begun recording about films that we find truly amazing, such as The Truman Show, our most recent episode at the time of this interview.

Q: How often are episodes released?

A: We put out at least one a week, sometimes two, if we’re being very productive. Typically, new episodes go up on Sundays.

Q: How long does each podcast take to edit?

A: Longer than I’d like. Our episodes are typically a little over an hour, and I’d say the post production on the audio-editing program “Audacity” takes a solid 2 hours between background noise removal, compression, equalization and normalization. Then, add another forty five minutes for recording the intro and outro. After that, there’s the writing of the web content for our site, as well as the uploading/metadata writing of the audio file, which can take a good chunk of time. Basically, I don’t time it, cause then I’d realize how much time it truly takes. I’d rather just experience the joy it brings and not worry about the time.

Q: How well are the podcasts doing (in terms of listens)?

A: Since we started tracking data in mid-August, we’ve been downloaded about 1,400 times, with each number referring to a single download of a single episode, which does not account for streaming. It’s not groundbreaking in the landscape of the podcast world, but it’s way more than we could have ever expected. We recently had our highest download day on October 30, when we had 80 downloads. It’s been downloaded in 20 countries now, including Croatia, Thailand  and Denmark, which we find pretty hilarious.

Q: How many episodes have been released?

A: Our twenty-fourth episode is about to go up (as of this interview).

Q: If you had to recommend one episode of your podcast which one would it be?

A: Good question. That depends on what the listener is seeking. I like our newest one on The Truman Show, which is more serious in its consideration of a film that we both find extremely meaningful. It allowed us to discuss some real, spiritual matters. In terms of laughs, I think the Gladiator episode has some funny things to say about “bros.” The Interstellar episode is the most downloaded one. Mr. Spitz, an avid listener of the show, maintains that our second episode on Jurassic World is still our best. The audio quality is terrible, but there are some good laughs about our favorite actor, Chris Pratt.

Q: What kind of crowd do you try to appeal to?

A: People who enjoy movies, and especially people who enjoy laughing about bad movies. We also try to appeal to people who think often and deeply about life, as we will often digress on philosophical, theological and existential tangents. We both studied philosophy, so we can really get rolling. We also try to appeal to Roland Emmerich, the director of Independence Day and Independence Day: Resurgence, among many other films, so that he will allow us to help him write the screenplay for Independence Day 3. We are confident we can do this better than anyone else, so we regularly speak to him directly in our podcasts.

Q: How long do you plan on doing this?

A: As long as content exists about which to snob!

Q: Do you plan on doing any guest interviews or co-hosts?

A: In our recent Inferno episode, we welcomed Mr. Spitz to the show, who added a lot to our critique of that truly horrible movie. We are in the process of trying to get DeObia Oparei onto the show, who is an actor in Independece Day: Resurgence. He played a character named “Dikembe Umbutu,” an African warlord who destroys aliens with machetes. We found his character hysterical, and thus we tweet at him most days. He has so far liked three of our tweets, so we think it’s only a matter of time before he lets us interview him.

To stay updated with all General Snobbery original content:

Website: generalsnobbery.com

Facebook: facebook.com/generalsnobbery

Twitter/Instagram: @GeneralSnobbery

iTunes Podcast Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/general-snobbery-hollywood/id1120495242?mt=2

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