In feature 007 of Creator Behind The Campaign we sat down with Anthony Smith, the Trailer Editor for Europe’s biggest podcast: The Diary Of A CEO.
Anthony shares his career journey from working with some of the biggest brands and film franchises in the world to now, one of the biggest podcasts in the world. He tells us what his role involves, how trailers for podcasts are becoming more popular, the creative and editing processes of a podcast along with the challenges he faces and so much more…
1. Tell us about yourself, what is your current role(s) and what role(s) have you previously done in video editing/ marketing?
I love answering this question because it reminds me of a career that I should be so proud of! I literally get to talk about working with some of the biggest brands and film franchises in the world and now, one of the biggest podcasts in the world… a real pinch me moment.
I thought that my dream was to become a film director and I had a pretty clear route plan from the age of, like, 14. Part of that path was to study Film Production at the University of Central Lancashire, to hone in my skill, before jetting off to LA, get a part time job and acquire an agent for writing and directing roles.
That didn’t quite go to plan.
It was only when I was at university, that I found that many people have dreams, but are often lacking the graft to make the dream a reality, or, like in my case, I wanted to want that career because that’s what I thought you had to do to become an editor. My hope was to find a dream team of students consisting of a producer, cinematographer, writer, editor, sound designer, colour gradient. What I actually found was Joe, an eager cinematographer, and so, we often had to split the other roles between us. I would take on writing, directing and the editing processes whilst Joe would take on producing, shooting and grading.
After receiving a first class honours, we kept that partnership going with Red Pencil Productions, a video production agency specialising in narrative and emotionally driven marketing video assets. As Creative Director, my role was to visualise the asset, direct and edit, giving me an incredible insight into every step of production and learning to work closely with clients and marketing teams.
Fast forward 5 years and I am a Senior Video Editor at Accelerated Intelligence, a social media agency working with some of the World’s biggest film and TV franchises. From Disney, Star Wars and Marvel, to James Bond, Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man and Sky’s Gangs of London, I had an amazing experience creating mini trailers, social assets and featurettes.
And now, I get to work for the largest podcast in Europe, Steven Bartlett’s The Diary of A CEO. My role is Trailer editor and my challenge was to create a refreshing and effective way of showcasing a podcast episode.
2. Can you share with us a typical day in the life of Steven Bartlett’s Trailer Editor for The Diary Of A CEO Podcast?
I do wonder how many answer this with, “no two days are same”… annoyingly, this is also the answer to my question.
In general, the bulk of my day is editing an upcoming trailer, which, with the standards we have created for ourselves, takes time. However the day is broken up spending time with the team, meetings with Jack (Director of the DOAC podcast), team meets, lunch and learns, podcast recordings, trailer reviews/amends and of course, drinks with the team.
3. Trailers for podcasts are becoming more popular. Why do you think there is an increase in them and how do you create a gripping trailer?
Since 1913 trailers have been used to drum up interest and entice viewers. It’s been a key marketing asset for films, tv shows and theatre productions and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work for podcasts.
A perfect trailer uses the power of story and emotion to sell.
If you can make your viewer go on a narrative journey, you entice them in.
If you can make your viewer laugh or cry, you get them emotionally involved.
If you can leave your audience with mystery, suspense and answered questions, then you get them wanting to know the answer.
If you can achieve all that, your trailer becomes one of the most powerful marketing tools!
The Diary Of A CEO is a podcast that wants to set new standards, and how we market the podcast is no different. Our trailers work and I see it as the biggest compliment now we see more and more podcasts following similar styles and patterns with their trailers.
Find your voice, find your tone, and always find the story!
4. Do you have a favourite trailer you have worked on for the podcast? Can you please walk us through the creative and editing process?
Okay, this one is difficult as they are all my babies!!! How can you choose your favourite child?!
Gun to my head? … Chris Kamara… ahhhhhh there’s so many! Lewis Capaldi, Gary Neville, Jessie J!
I’m going for Chris Kamara this time round and this is why…
We receive so many incredible messages from listeners saying how this podcast changes their life but, for me, the Chris Kamara episode really showed me just how much power and influence this podcast can have.
The support Kammy received after this episode was just a beautiful thing to witness. I was constantly holding back tears creating the trailer, and the feedback I received was so touching, that we had played a part in raising awareness of apraxia and Chris’s story. This trailer hit differently from others and I’ll always remember the day that it was released. So that’s my favourite child today!
Now, for the process…
I can’t give too much away but even if I could, it would be a long read! It involves watching the full episode, cutting moments I think would have most impact, and weaving a storyline that I can then compact into a minute and a half.
From there it’s about making the trailer come to life through music, sound design, cutaways, effects, transitions and text, before replicating the trailers in different ratios, creating thumbnails and cheeky teasers… for the teasers (which can be found on Steve’s Tik Tok page).
It certainly keeps me busy!
5. Are there any challenges you face in the podcast industry and how do you overcome them?
Every single trailer offers some sort of personal challenge. Whether it be story, design, tone, style… the goal is to create something people will not only want to watch, but to also convince them to watch further, and that will always be a challenge.
I would say the biggest challenge, broadly, for podcasts is that as the industry’s popularity grows, so does the competition. How you market your podcast, just like any business or product is so vital. You need to find what makes you special and what your listener wants… Remember… Find The Story.
6. If you could share one piece of advice, what would you say to someone looking to start a career in editing/marketing?
“Editing cannot be taught. It can only be learned”
I’m going to be honest here, I’m almost certain I didn’t make that quote up, but I have no idea who said it… anyway, it’s true!
The best way to become an editor, is to edit. It’s to make short films, music videos, wedding videos, company films… anything you can to learn your craft and find your style, even if it’s a side hustle until you build your skill set. If you want it enough, you’ll find time, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll love the time you spend doing it.
Experiment, fail, re-do and get inspired. I’m a trailer editor for Steven Bartlett because of a style I developed over years of experimenting, research and failing. That style then became an exciting addition of The Diary Of A CEO brand.
7. Where can our community follow and engage with Steven Bartlett/ Diary Of A CEO Podcast and yourself on social media?
I’d love to connect with you all so feel free to head over to…
LinkedIn – Anthony Smith: https://www.linkedin.com/in/antsmith93
Instagram – anthonyr.smith
And you can find the trailers on all of Steve’s socials and of course check out the podcast by searching for The Diary Of A CEO.
Have an amazing day everyone! ❤️