Posted on Tuesday, August 29, 2023
“The Adam Carolla Show,” the five day a week comedy and talk show podcast hosted by comedian, radio personality and podcaster Adam Carolla, set the record for the most downloaded podcast in the world and is one of a number of popular podcasts created by the Carolla Digital podcast network. The network’s other shows, including the award winning “The Dr. Drew Podcast,” “Reasonable Doubt” and “The Watercooler,” have been downloaded and watched billions of times.
Executive Producer and Co host Chris Laxamana was faced with the challenge of creating high quality weekly programming that included live streaming, multiple hosts, remote guests and live comedy events. He also had to build a workflow that could support an ever increasing number of social media videos in different formats.
PH: How did you become involved with The Adam Carolla Show?
Chris Laxamana: In 2010, I was a sound engineer and a friend asked if I could come by one day and help dial in their studio for a podcast he was working on with Adam Carolla. I didn’t listen to podcasts back then and wasn’t very familiar with Adam, but I agreed to stop by. I remember going in that day and realizing this podcast was something special: long-form discussions sharing original stories and thoughtful ideas – all while being hilarious and captivating. I just started stopping by every day after that until they eventually hired me.
PH: When the podcast initially started, what did the workflow look like? How were you managing production?
Chris Laxamana: In the early days, we would record straight to Quicktime on a laptop. We filmed with a camcorder. We used wireless lavalier mics. We just wanted to get it out to an audience. Back then there wasn’t a template on how to record a podcast so we experimented with a lot of things in the first year: different DAWs, mic configurations, export settings, etc. It’s funny that we were one of the pioneers in that medium because other shows were starting to look to us for guidance and in reality, we were just trying to figure it out too!
PH: When it quickly gained momentum, how did you navigate the influx of popularity and demand?
Chris Laxamana: Luckily, Adam already had a large fanbase and a history of successful projects. He’s excellent at making decisions. It was his mind and his instincts that got us there, so we trusted him the whole way.
PH: You had a really difficult task at hand to create high quality weekly programming that included live streaming, multiple hosts, remote guests and live comedy events. Where did you start looking for solutions to help you achieve all of this without losing your mind?!
Chris Laxamana: We got into live streaming early and at the beginning it wasn’t popular. But because Adam has a live radio background, he was one of the few hosts that could actually do it well. So we leaned into it. Then we got the idea of trying it live at a comedy club. We quickly found out there’s an audience for that too! In 2010, we would even project remote guests at live shows onto a screen to interact with Adam. And thank goodness we figured that out early because once the pandemic hit, we were already prepared for the remote stuff.
PH: Why was Blackmagic Design the clear winner when it came to workflow?
Chris Laxamana: It’s just super reliable and high quality. The Blackmagic Design ecosystem was the answer to all of the issues we’ve come across over the last 13 years. Everything works seamlessly together, which allows us to focus on the content of the show and not worry about the technical stuff. We already know it’s going to work and look great. It’s a nice peace-of-mind to have in the midst of our daily shuffle.
PH: How important is being able to go back and edit live cuts more precisely within Resolve? How has that been a game-changer?
Chris Laxamana: I still can’t believe comedies don’t get nominated for Best Editing at awards shows. Comedy is all about timing. So being able to go back into Resolve and tweak a cut that we may have missed live is huge. Back in the day, if you missed a moment in the recording- it was gone forever. Game. Changer.
PH: Can you talk about some of the benefits of the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pros?
Chris Laxamana: I still can’t get past the look of the cameras – they have this old school TV studio design with the big tally lights. My favorite part is the huge LCD screen on the back. They’re vibrant and crystal clear. Also with these cameras there’s almost no learning curve. You just turn them on, dial in a few things and know the picture is going to be stunning.
PH: How has overall quality improved?
Chris Laxamana: Workflow has changed for the better in that there are less steps to go through for exporting, editing, and archiving. Everything just works in the best way possible. I swear- even our moods have improved!
PH: If you had to guess, how much time would you say the Blackmagic workflow has awarded to you for you to be able to focus on other things?
Chris Laxamana: Troubleshooting technical issues is no longer a part of my day. Whether it saved me 10 minutes or 3 hours today, I’m so grateful. We can focus our minds on the show and connecting with our audience. There’s no going back for us anymore.
Chris Laxamana is a versatile media personality and producer known for his work in podcasting, music, and entertainment. He currently is the showrunner and co-host of The Adam Carolla Show - which holds the Guinness World Record for "most downloaded podcast." He has also developed and produced over a dozen top-rated shows for comedians and personalities, accumulating hundreds of millions of downloads and topping Billboard and Apple Podcast charts.
Chris has also been featured as a host and speaker for Adobe, Blackmagic Design and Fender Guitars.
Outside of his producing and podcasting work, Laxamana is also an accomplished musician. His original music has been featured on Netflix, The Tony Kornheiser Show, and The Dr. Drew Podcast. His band, Laxi, has shared the stage and directly supported acts including The Offspring, Blues Traveler, and Lit.
With his extensive experience in the media industry and his boundless creativity, Chris Laxamana continues to be a driving force in entertainment.
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