Think Mad Men’s Don Draper pitching the executives at the SyFy channel a movie premise about a tornado of sharks. How about creating something wholly unique using three different things as inspiration? This is the premise for Derek Glascock’s podcast, The Wild Pitch. Each episode Derek and a guest take random objects as inspiration and creatively craft a pitch around a new movie, product, book, restaurant, or anything really.
Their outlandish pitches have turned into some pretty random product ideas. What do you think inspired an idea around Tex-Mex Toothpaste?
Recently, I got a chance to meet and catch up with Derek and discuss The Wild Pitch. We talk about our mutual love over the intentionally-terrible SyFy monster movies, how he got started podcasting, and of course, some of the crazy ideas they’ve come up with so far. See below for our full Q&A.
Discover Pods: How did your podcast get started?
Derek: I am a late comer to the podcast scene. I guess I never really “got” the whole idea for the longest time. I had a friend, probably 12 years ago trying to convince me to listen to and do podcasts. I’ve had other friends do some podcasts here and there, but I honestly didn’t understand what it was. In the last year I started to listen in the car because I was insanely tired of listening to local sports talk radio and I didn’t want to pay the $8 a month for satellite radio. So I started with Comedy Bang! Bang! Then I burned through both seasons of Serial. I was hooked. I was subbing and listening to any podcasts I could get a hold of. So then I started thinking about how I wanted to do a podcast, but most importantly… what would it be?
I knew I wanted some sort of format and I knew I didn’t want to talk about games, movies, or rambling. While I love all of those things, I wanted to try my hand at creating original content. This might sound silly, but at my last job towards the end of the day we would sit around and try to come up with ridiculous SyFy movies or stupid super powers or reminisce over the terrible toys and tv of our childhoods. So I wanted to turn that into a show. I have so much fun with coming up with outlandish stuff and pretending like it isn’t stupid. I also wanted to try to get my old work friends to hang out, but some of them were pretty reluctant.
DP: I’m definitely a fan of the ridiculous SyFy movies (before Sharknado was a thing). What are some of your favorites that keep inspiring you to push the boundaries of ridiculous?
Derek: I grew up with Son of Sven Gooley monster movie Saturdays. In my early 20s I worked projection at a movie theater so I saw TONS of terrible movies that had no business getting made. I remember in SciFi channels infancy, there was a movie about a Frankenstein monster sort of person made out of patches of skin of other people… so he was kind of a quilt, for lack of a better description. I’ve spent time as a person who would keep themselves up at night for no reason other than to be miserable (sigh) and I would watch infomercials… back in David Blaine’s height of popularity, there was an infomercial to learn how to do “street magic” style card tricks. The people in the infomercial were using these tricks on first dates, job interviews, and getting out of speeding tickets. When I was a kid there was a hotdog that had chili inside of it. It was called Frank ‘n Stuff and the commercial was a mad scientist. The food was terrifying! That level of ridiculousness stuck with me.
The original concept of the podcast was to come together and make up stuff that would make cool SNL parody commercials, but what it has become is a little of that, but also a chance to spitball some cool ideas. Yeah it can be outlandish, but some things are actually quite good. The rule of the podcast is creativity first.
DP: Why did you choose a podcast over other mediums?
Derek: I have a face for podcasting! Also, while intimidating, it felt less intimidating than doing a youtube channel. I also felt it would be a good way at improving my conversation skills.
DP: What’s unique about your podcast?
Derek: Every other week I invite some people to come onto the show and we pitch ridiculous and wonderful ideas at one another and those ideas have to be inspired by or incorporate 3 random elements. Everyone has the same random elements that they have to use, and no two ideas have been even close to being the same. We’ve had things like Tex-Mex Toothpaste, Mega Monster Blood Battles, thrill restaurants, and even some sci-fi fantasy. Every ep is unique and quirky and has some amazing ideas.
DP: Any ideas you, or your guests, have come up with that you think could “make it”?
Derek: I think there have been some good ideas so far. The podcast is still very young, but I’m amazed at what is brought to the table each recording. I was originally worried that people would step on one another’s toes with their ideas, but then I quickly realized that because an idea felt “obvious” to me, it was definitely not obvious to anyone else. In episode 1 I think Jaysin had a great idea for a tv show or maybe a graphic novel. In episode 3, I think I came up with a Sci Fi series, that if I had the time I would love to develop into a series of novels. But time is really the thing. I’m hoping we get a collection of killer stuff to make some commercials or trailers for them.
DP: Why do your listeners keep coming back?
Derek: Our listeners come back to see what we come up with. We pick our random elements on a mini-episode. While the podcast is weekly, every other week is a mini-episode (right now between 5 and 10 minutes) and the random elements are selected then. So anyone listening knows what we are working with for the next episode, and hearing the nonsense that comes out is fun. I also like to lead every episode with a fake ad that is based upon previous pitches, and people have responded positively to that.
DP: How are the random things selected? Any thoughts to added a user poll selection process?
Derek: I am a developer by day. So what I did was whip up the quickest, dirtiest little desktop app I could. It has 4 lists in it. I press a button on it, it selects three random things, but keeps them a secret and it says in a very robotic voice “I am ready to go”
Then I try to pretend to have a conversation with it and I press a button and it reads the first one and then I repeat that 2 more times. This all happens during a mini episode. The little app is called Mr. Rando, and he doesn’t have much of a personality yet. He does, however, seem to have a knack for pulling together odd combinations.
The lists I put together from stuff I found on the internet. There isn’t a real science or anything to it. It is full of proper names and places and some very generic stuff. So far it has been pretty generic, but we did get: “The World of Warcraft”, “Sean Connery”, and “Kanye West” for an episode. Mr. Rando always makes me chuckle a little because some stuff is jarringly incompatible, however in an upcoming episode (Ep 5.5) Mr Rando made me laugh so hard I cried.
Users can email random item suggestions or tweet them to me with the hashtag #MrRando. I’ll add them to Mr. Rando’s list and if he pulls them he’ll say the person who suggested its name as well. Once the Patreon launches, the $1 level will be able to suggest items and Mr Rando will give them more weight when randomly selecting. Ultimately, I’d love to have such large lists of listener submitted ideas that I can get rid of my original lists and use only the ones from the listeners.
DP: What’s next?
Derek: I’m trying to get the editing time down. I spend, what feels like, too much time trimming the fat on the episodes. We are each hearing each other’s pitches for the first time and sometimes coming up with questions on the fly is tough… so gotta do some cleaning up. I take pride in the final product, but man… I wish it was easier to do HA
I’m working on a Patreon and trying to determine some content that is worth a $1 or $5 subscription. I’d like to be able to cover the costs of hosting.
DP: Where do you want to take your podcast?
Derek: I want to develop some more content for the mini-episodes so I can push them closer to 1/2 hour. After that, my big time super duper goal would be to end out our first year with fan voting for their favorite pitches and then try to turn those ideas into a Kentucky Friend Movie sort of thing. Produce a bunch of skits and commercials based upon the products.
I would love to get some big name guests. Either entertainment or podcast celebs to come on and goof around and pitch some ideas. I would also love to do a podcast festival, but I’d like to get our sound and show down first.
DP: Anything else you’d like to add?
Derek: Every full episode so far has original artwork done by a friend of mine, Angel Onofre, and he is an insanely talented artist, animator, and getting pretty big in the indie comic scene in Chicago. He’s a great guy with a dark sense of humor. I’ve got links to his stuff on the Wild Pitch website.
I came across a quote recently from a 20th century South African novelist and poet. His name is William Plomer and he said “Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” I couldn’t come up with a more fitting sentence to describe The Wild Pitch… and I’ve spent hours trying.
DP: What are your favorite 5 podcasts?
- Comedy Bang! Bang!
- Hello from the Magic Tavern
- I really love Make Dad Read Comics… more people need to be listening to that
- S-Town is the freshest thing in my head. Might not be my favorite favorite, but it is my favorite right now
DP: Where can listeners find you?
- Website: http://wildpitchpodcast.com
- iTunes: https://itunes.apple.
- Google Play: https://play.google.com/
- Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.
- Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/