Owen Blackhurst is the writer and host of GIANT, and Head of Business at Mundial Studio. He’s been writing and creating long and short-form content across a variety of mediums for over 15 years and took that storytelling experience into making football (or soccer) audio documentaries.
In this edition of Content POV, Owen takes us to step by step through the development of this Gold and Silver trophy-winning podcast series.
“We’d been in discussions with Spotify for 18 months before we started making GIANT. For a long time, people had been telling us that we “should make a podcast”, but due to the proliferation of sports chat casts in the UK, we wanted to wait until we could make something that was documentary standard - we saw ESPN 30 for 30 as the high watermark in sports audio, and wanted to aim for those levels of production and storytelling, with our own twist.
Once Spotify’s Alex Adey had commissioned us to produce the series, we had a long list of 25 episodes which we boiled down to six, and then we set off to make them. The majority of the work was done by a team of three - me, executive producer Tayo Popoola, and producer Seb White. We had tight deadlines, but the budget allowed us to travel, source killer archives, and commission original music. We let each story develop its own wings - we didn’t go into any with an established narrative that we needed to fit interviews to, instead, we let the story develop and reacted to developments. Having the trust and belief of Alex and all at Spotify - who showed a lightness of touch editorially - was huge.
Being nominated in the narrative/ documentary and sports categories was a big thing for GIANT. So to receive gold and silver medals alongside some incredible audio productions was genuinely mind-blowing. We’d had a fantastic response from consumers, but getting professional validation from such a respected panel meant the world. I’ll never forget the WhatsApp call when we found out.”
–Owen Blackhurst, Writer/Host, GIANT