Stephen Savage in his home studio. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

I sat in Stephen Savage’s home studio on a beautiful fall afternoon. It’s comfortable warm tones of light, a dark leather couch, coffee table, and music equipment was meticulously placed throughout the studio. The light from multiple computer monitors cuts through the room with piercing cold tones as Savage tells me about his newest podcast “Idyllwild on the Air” that he started in September 2019. 

The podcast was created in an effort to get more locals interested in coming to the Idyllwild International Film Festival of Cinema (IIFC), which Savage founded in 2009. In this process, many have also learned about their fellow community members as Savage interviews locals about their hobbies, professions and life stories.

“Idyllwild on the Air” has already had over 4,000 listeners from the 13 episodes it has aired. 
Photo by Jenny Kirchner

“The first year, half of our attendees were locals, now it’s down to about a third,” Savage said about the IIFC. “The idea is that I’m here to promote people with interesting stories through this podcast while also promoting IIFC to get more locals to attend.”

Savage has been interviewing people who have either been in the community for a long time or may have just moved here, but all of them are doing interesting and exciting things. He is trying to bring light to what’s going on in town, while helping listeners get to know previously unknown and unique things about his interviewees in hopes of breaking the misconceptions that listeners may have from personal experience or rumors.

Savage plans to expand the podcast outside of the studio to different events and areas of the mountain. “I want to do some interviews remotely in town at the tree lighting ceremony and on Halloween,” he said. “I also want to do interviews with people in the desert, Anza, Pinyon Pines and other surrounding areas that have connections to Idyllwild. I’m excited about it.”

While the list of future interviewees is practically endless, and many people are already scheduled to come into the studio in the near future, some of the people Savage has already interviewed are Ernesto Alé, Doug Austin, Brian Parnell, Riverside County Sheriff’s Captain Leonard Purvis, Idyllwild Library Branch Manager Shannon Ng and Idyllwild Community Center Board President Stephanie Yost.

“It’s my job to keep this podcast interesting all the time,” replied Savage when asked what he sees for the future of his podcast. “We already have over 4,000 listeners from the 13 episodes we’ve done so far. I want to keep it going with people from our local music scene, people who know the history of Idyllwild, and artists from our healthy art scene. There’s no end of cool people to interview. I think the podcast will go on for a long time.”

“Idyllwild on the Air” can be found on Facebook and YouTube, as well as other streaming sites like Spotify, iTunes, and Podbean.

IIFC will be March 9 through March 15, 2020. Idyllwild local passes will be $25 and will cover the entire week with over 100 films.