Stay Relevant: A Podcast by Mike Sobola

Wandering conversations with interesting people in TV production and beyond.
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Sep 5, 2017

After his IT career got bogged down in management details, Jim Pennington decided to forge a new path on his own terms.  Now, he runs a family production company whose offshoot made a film that went to Cannes.  What's his secret to success?  Does he regret his past?  And what's the next few years have in store for him and the industry? 

Stay Relevant-This Episode: Producer/Director Jim Pennington.

Feb 28, 2017

He started his professional life as a diver then talked his way onto one of the world's premier natural  filmmaking teams at the time.  There, Yehuda Goldman honed his documentary skills while learning the underwater filmmaking craft from Jacques Cousteau.  Later, he formed Hydrosphere, to educate and inform about the importance and beauty of sharks and the undersea world.

Today, he's a Creative Professional, lending his years of expertise to help others succeed.  He talks with us about the early years underwater, and how it's kept him afloat all this time.

Jan 21, 2017
Linda Maslow Bares her Soul and a Little Bit More.

Linda Maslow started a successful DC Media business that continues to contribute to the local media community in a number of ways.  Now, Linda talks about her humble beginnings in Aspen Grassroots TV, the time she and her co-host nearly got naked on TV, and what led her back to DC and the Maslow Media Group.

Jan 2, 2017
Tim Lorenz, Jimmy Buffet & Starwood in Aspen

Early in his career, Tim Lorenz left DC with a Psych degree and moved 2000 miles to the Rocky Mountains where he worked in a lumber store.  But that didn't last long.  Soon, he was flying by the seat of his pants as he helped start and run one of the nation's first grassroots TV stations.  

Eventually forging a path in the new area of corporate TV, Tim moved back to DC and made his name as the consumate dealmaker, ultimately finding his way into sales.  Today, he works in New Business Development with Interface Media Group.  

In this episode, Tim talks about the early days of community access TV, meeting Jimmy Buffet, and working down the road from The Eagles.

Dec 31, 2016
Jason Nicholls on Producing Reality TV

As a busy DC Freelancer, Jason Nicholls sees most of his action Producing and Directing Unscripted  "Reality" TV.  His credits include series and shows for HGTV, Discovery, Travel Channel and others with shows like Big Time RV, Diggers, and the extremely popular A&E Series Hoarders.

On this episode, Jason talks about the importance of industry friends and just what it takes to Produce Reality TV on a national level.

Sep 29, 2016
Producer/Cameraman Mikael Manoukian

As a Freelancer in the DC Area, Producer/Cameraman Mikael Manoukian has had to be creative to stay relevant in the industry.  At the same time, he's been able to concentrate on live performances, his first love.  This is his story.

Aug 23, 2016
Joke and Biagio on Pitching Your Ideas to Hollywood.

Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina run Joke Productions-from a fitting location in view of LA's Universal Studios.  Between them, the two have produced hundreds of hours of programming for many well-known networks.  This from a duo who once found that simply getting a pitch meeting was next to impossible.  Now, Joke and Biagio want to help you get your big project sold-and they've created a podcast and e-Book dedicated to doing just that.  "Producing Unscripted" gives specific advice on how to create a reality show and pitch it successfully to the networks-all based on their experience as Hollywood insiders.   On this episode, they talk about their shows, the podcast, and why they want everyone else to succeed.


"Stay Relevant" Episode 22: Hollywood Producers Joke and Biago.

(For their podcast and ebook, go to


Jun 18, 2016
Special Effects Artist & Actor Eric Supensky

He made his name in special effects and was once commissioned to recreate the corpse of Edgar Allen Poe.  Now, Artist Eric Supensky wants to be an Actor.  In this episode, Eric talks about his reasons why, his 5-year plan, and how he's taken a methodical approach to his midlife career change.

This episode: Artist/Actor Eric Supensky

May 18, 2016
 J. J. Madden: The Durable Human

From ABC News Producer to Author. It's been a long road for Author and Multimedia Producer Jenifer Joy (JJ) Madden.  She penned an Internet "Manifesto" on "Living and Parenting in the Digital World" and recently followed it up with "The Durable Human" book.

JJ talks about the book, her life and how she's managed to stay relevant in her rapidly-changing digital profession.

"Stay Relevant" episode 20: Jenifer Joy "JJ" Madden.

May 3, 2016
Travel and Discovery Channel Development Exec. Doug Bailey
If you've ever pitched to Discovery or Travel Channel, chances are, he was on the other end. In his various development roles, he's been personally responsible for hundreds of hours of programming and had his hand in thousands more.
On this episode, Doug Bailey talks about his path to the networks, who to get your big idea in front of, and why your pitch probably needs a sizzle reel to get the green light.
This episode: former Discovery Director of Development and Travel Channel Development Executive Doug Bailey.
Apr 8, 2016
Rob Henninger

Playwright? Actor?  Gaffer?  His early career went through a number of iterations before he settled on “Film Editor”.  From all current indications, it seems Rob Henninger made a good choice.  After starting Henninger Video in the 80's, the business grew exponentially with political spots and network contracts as the catalyst.  On this chat, Rob talks about the new facility in Arlington, VA, what it took to get there, and how he manages to stay relevant in the ever-changing world of Post-Production.  

Stay Relevant: Wandering Conversations with Interesting People.  This Episode: Rob Henninger

Mar 21, 2016
Staying Relevant with Gia Mora: Actor-Singer-Writer and

Maybe former DC Actor-Singer-Writer Gia Mora will celebrate the anniversary of her third year in Los Angeles by booking another appearance on "True Detective". Or perhaps it's another guest spot on "Castle" or even another commercial.  Whatever the celebration, you can bet this one-person dynamo won't sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.  In her "spare time", she's busy with another performance of her original stage act, "Einstein's Girl".  The one-prerson show compares modern-day romance to Theoretical Physics in a well-crafted combination of stand-up comedy and original music.  

Gia talks about "making it" in L.A., what the transition's been like and gives actors three tips on how to succeed no matter where you call home.


Jan 17, 2016
Don Lampasone: From US Army to Freelance & Beyond

The Army sent him from Sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to the deep freeze of Alaska, bought him some gear and told him to make video.  Don Lampasone talks about his early video career in the Army and how he survived a move from DC to Austin and back, still managing to be successful.

This episode: Shooter, Editor and Media Content Creator Don Lampasone on Staying Relevant.

Dec 1, 2015
Stefan Monica's Hail to the Redskins

Stefan Monica joined the Washington Redskins Band in 1969.  His tenure has spanned coaches from Vince Lombardi to Jay Gruden, included legends George Allen and Joe Gibbs, and three Super Bowls.  The Redskins Marching Band is one of only two active bands in the NFL and plays at all home games throughout the season.  In this episode, Stefan talks about the band, his recent promotion to Sax Section Director and what it's like to be part of a DC institution for nearly half a century.

Nov 3, 2015
Drone Pilot & Producer Brian J. Kelly

Brian J Kelly started his career working with Discovery Networks, eventually leaving to form his own production company.  An early adopter of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) for use in video and TV work, Brian is well-versed in the hands-on operation of UAVs, having logged more than 1,000 hours as Pilot-In-Command last year alone.  He is also an authority on the regulations pertaining to the use of drones for commercial work in TV, video, and cinematography.  His company, Single Malt Media TV, LLC, has provided aerial cinematography for many high-profile TV shows and networks including Discovery, HGTV, Travel Channel and others.  He counts the DJI S-900 six-bladed platform among his arsenal of aircraft with a DSLR mounted for aerial video and still image capture.  He will be a featured panelist at the National Drone Show (part of the Government Video Expo) December 1-3 in Washington. DC.

Oct 20, 2015
Brian J. Kelly Discovers His Passion-PART 1

He started at Discovery when the network was new; moved on to develop shows for the major cable networks with a couple of local production companies then on his own.  As VP at Discovery digital networks, he's had a hand in major shows and series and experienced change first hand.  Today, his move into Unmanned Aerial Platforms for cameras ("Drones") has him hop-scotching across the globe logging more than a thousand hours flight time behind the controls last year alone.  

In the first of a multi-part episode, Brian talks about his early days at Discovery, and how the industry's changed over the years.  Brian J. Kelly on Staying Relevant.

Oct 6, 2015
Adam Hurst talks about evolving in the DC Market

Interface Media Group's Adam Hurst talks about 20 years at IMG, how the company's adapted to change and why it's the key to IMG staying relevant.

Sep 23, 2015
Mark Ruppert on the 48 Hr Film Project.

The year was 2001.  A couple of friends had a far-fetched idea to make a complete short film in only 48 hours.  For some, it became a weekend of fun. For others, a piece for their reel.  But for Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston, it marked the start of a filmmaking odyssey.   Today, more than 30 thousand films later, the 48 Hour Film Project is a respected competition sending its yearly grand prize winners to Cannes.  

Listen in as Co-Creator and Executive Producer Mark Ruppert chats about the competition's history, it's exciting future and how it manages to maintain a sense of fun that's an integral part of what it is today.

Sep 10, 2015
Wayne Barbin: From DC to New York & Holding On

For years he was a busy Producer/Director for Discovery Communications, then a successful freelancer.  When things started slowing down in the DC market, Wayne Barbin picked up stakes and moved to New York.  Here's how and why he did it and how it's working out for him in The Big Apple.

Aug 26, 2015
Aimee Schlectman: Art Director

Art Director/Wardrobe & Prop Stylist Aimee Schlectman talks about her move from New York to DC and how she's made the transition a successful one.  Her latest work on two episodes of Discovery Studios' "American Titans" can be seen Tuesday August 25 and September 1 at 10/9 Central time.

Aug 20, 2015
Jay Schlossberg talks about his new documentary

Jay Schlossberg of Media Central, LLC and the new Media Central Films, chats about his journey from salesman to crewing and post provider to directing his new film, "Feast You Ears, the Story of WHFS, 102.3 FM".


Aug 4, 2015
Lisa Horan on Staying Relevant in Video, Music & Life.

Writer-Producer-Musician Lisa Horan on cracking the Nashville songwriting market, and what it takes to stay relevant in a constantly-evolving DC TV & Video Market.

Jul 10, 2015
Lola Lombard on Staying Relevant

Lola Lombard--author, artist, designer and creative talent behind "Lola's Lab" talks about her art, her process, and the time she worked at Disney. 

Jul 10, 2015
Stay Relevant: Richard Harrington on keeping it real.

Richard Harrington: Digital graphics expert, Producer, CEO of RHED Pixel talks about his work, his philospohy and how he manages to stay relevant.  Episode 5 of my "Wandering Conversations with Interesting People in TV and Beyond".

Jun 9, 2015
Stay Relevant: Filmmaker Jeff Krulik on Heavy Metal Parking Lot & More

In 1986, Jeff Krulik & John Heyn set out with a camera and no real goal in mind.  They ended up Outside the Capitol Center-a local music "super venue" during a Judas Priest Concert.  What followed was the cult sensation "Heavy Metal Parking Lot".  Jeff talks about making the film, how he got started plus his reality foray with "Ernest Borgnine on the Bus" and more.  Stay Relevant: Interviews with Interesting People in TV and Beyond.  A podcast by Mike Sobola.

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