NCU Podcast #005: Jeff Heimbuch on Producing a Comedy Horror Podcast and the Most Important Lesson from a Disney Imagineer Rebel

There are a lot of podcasts out there—hundreds of thousands, in numerous genres. It can be difficult to decide which to give a try on your many commutes to and from the office or nights away from Netflix. If you’re a horror fan, I’ll save you a little time: Jeff Heimbuch’s serialized comedy horror podcast, Return Home, is not to be missed.

Return Home follows a man who comes back to his hometown to unravel its mysteries after an unknown entity calls to him. Done in the style of radio shows of ages past, Return Home has won several audio drama awards, including Best Actor in an Original Leading Role, Best Theme Music, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

A creative jack-of-all-trades, Jeff Heimbuch is also a filmmaker and writer whose work you can find on

In this episode, we discuss Jeff’s process for producing Return Home, as well as his book about the Disney Imagineer rebel Rolly Crump, the pioneer behind such iconic attractions such as “It’s a Small World,” “The Enchanted Tiki Room,” and “The Haunted Mansion.”

Episode Highlights

2:18 Jeff discusses why he always juggles multiple projects at once

5:37 How Jeff’s serliazed comedy horror podcast Return Home came to be and why he decided against writing this story as a novel or short story

7:42 The toughest decision Jeff has had to make with his podcast

10:00 Jeff walks us through the writing and recording process for his podcast Return Homeand discusses the hardest episode to produce thus far

15:09 Jeff’s first scare, and what he finds enjoyable about horror

17:36 Why Jeff became a Disney superfan and ultimately launched a Disney podcast

19:30 Jeff discusses his book It’s Kind of a Cute Story; Rolly Crump,“the bad boy of the original Disney Imagineers,” and what he’s learned from Rolly about the creative process

25:23 Jeff shares what’s influenced him creatively and the benefits of podcasting over filmmaking

27:28 Jeff’s advice for anyone who wants to be a narrative podcast producer

28:14 Jeff’s highly shareables

31:22 The lightning round! The questions aired in this episode:

  • What’s the most important part of your creative routine?
  • How do you know when an idea is the right idea?
  • What’s something you do to ignite your creativity?
  • When the going gets tough, I…
  • I get my best ideas when…
  • I’m inspired by…
  • When I’m hard on myself about my work, I remind myself…
  • I needed to learn _______ to be where I am today
  • Do you believe in being creatively blocked

Jeff Heimbuch Quotes Worth Remembering

“I think that’s a very good way to live your life—learn the things that you are interested in and do it, even if not for anyone else, even for yourself, just learn it and do it.”

“Don’t get discouraged by anything that may pop up. Don’t get discouraged by any of the hardships there are. Just go out and try to create the thing that you want to create because there’s no wrong way to create it. You’re the storyteller, you’re the person behind it, and whatever it is, it’s going to be your vision, so don’t get discouraged by anything or anyone else telling you otherwise.”

“The more I sit and stare at something and I hate it, I almost will myself to make it better and I wind up changing a million different things before I sit down and start the creation process.”

“When you’re three years into it, it still might not be the right idea, but you’re enjoying yourself, so who cares if it’s right or wrong?”

Mentioned in This Episode

Connect with Jeff

Bamfer Productions

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