Here are some podcasts I’ve listened to recently and found interesting. A lot this got listened to either going to or coming from Dragon*Con.
There are a pair of shows done by webcomic artist Scott Kurtz. The first is a format breaking episode of the podcast Webcomics Weekly. Usually it is a round table with the four cartoonists but this one was just a conversation between Scott and Merlin Mann. In general I’ve burned out on Merlin and his shtick but this conversation with a very specific scope was just right. It’s one of the very very rare podcast episodes that I went back and listened to again. It covered creativity, community, the inner critic and the outer critics and a lot of the issues that are specific to those living a creative life. In a later blog post I’ll cover an idea that they gave me from a stray comment about how to handle hateful commentors.
The second Kurtz episode is his kickoff off a new show he’s doing with Brad Guigar called Surviving Creativity. This first episode is a continuation of an argument the two were having at Webcomics.com about whether or not writers block actually exists. I liked this episode very much and am looking forward to more in the series.
Skepticality #109 had a really good interview with Dave Cullen about his book Columbine and how many of the facts that people generally think they know not only aren’t true but were actually reported correctly shortly after the shooting and eventually replaced by received wisdom. I’d like to read the book now.
One of the last shows I listened to as I was pulling into Dragon*Con was this episode of The Treatment with Elivs Mitchell interviewing Bobcat Goldthwait. Bobcat reduced me to hysterics by referring to a Grover muppet lying on the ground “with its legs akimbo – it looked like a Weegee photo.” Funny stuff.
The other day I listened to the podcast version of Elvis Mitchell’s show The Treatment . It featured a great interview with a guy I met last year, Lloyd Kaufman. During this interview I thought he made an enormous amount of sense about the movie business and how it works and should work. At last year’s Dragon*Con he ad libbed a great ID for Good Clean Fun, and signed my copy of his DVD set on filmmaking Make Your Own Damn Movie. He was a lot of fun to be around and just in the few minutes I spent in his presence I enjoyed the hell out of it.
A few months ago on Good Clean Fun they showed Tromeo and Juliet. It was ridiculous and so bad it was enjoyable. The thing I truly admired about it was the sense of fun. Even when the effects were cheezy and the story insane, I got the feeling of everyone having fun. I find that inspirational. I have the DVD set I bought from his stand at Dragon*Con last year and I also bought the book All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger. I might also get the book of Make Your Own Damn Movie!: Secrets of a Renegade Director and possibly also Direct Your Own Damn Movie! as a companion piece. For only ever seeing one of his films and that fairly, recentlyll Lloyd Kaufman may end up with a fair bit of my money, none of it for his narrative fiction films. He’s an inspiriation to me for film-making and I’m trying to channel some of his spirit to get off my ass and get to work on my side project. I’m burning summer here! Lloyd says to you me and everyone, get to work!
The other day listening to The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell, I heard his interview with the director of the independent movie Ballast. Between the interview and seeing the trailer, I am sold. This seems exactly like the kind of movie I like. One of the downsides of living in Myrtle Beach is that even last week when the town was having a film festival, it’s highly unlikely that a film like Ballast will be shown here.
Listening to the interview with director Lance Hammer, he talked about how they chose to distribute the movie themselves. He said the deals that indie movies are getting nowadays are so bad that it is effectively free on the front end. His statement was “We decided that if we were going to be working for free, we can do that ourselves and then not have to pay out a percentage of the back end.” OK, fair enough.
However if they are distributing this thing themselves and control all aspects of that, what reason is there to not make a day and date DVD release available? I’m enthused enough about the thing that I might be willing to drop the cash on the DVD right now if I could. Hammer is doing publicity for the film and I heard it and it worked on me. However right now if I’m not in Omaha or Portland this week I can’t see the movie. There just aren’t that many screenings of it. However if they had the DVD ready to go concurrently, they could be selling it at the screenings for those people who really loved it, they could be getting people adding this to their Netflix queues from the Treatment interview, etc. It seems a risky play to bank on people in this busy world to remember to look for this movie in 6 or 12 or 18 months when it is available outside of the screening areas.
It seems like they are doing about 85% of what needs to be done and missing the last 15% that might actually get it into people’s hands and get their money. I am at this moment enthused about this movie and it is top of mind. I can guarantee that in a few months that won’t be the case. Strike while the iron is hot, kids. There is no reason not to get your DVD and maybe even iTunes/Apple TV/whatever other online movie services versions ready to coincide with your national release. Particularly when you are only ever screening in a handful of cities at a time, put yourself in a position to capitalize on whatever buzz comes your way. Otherwise you are just squandering it.
PS – for a movie set and filmed in the Mississippi delta region, why is the closest screening to where it was shot in Shreveport? How about showing a little love for the people of Mississippi and have a screening near there?
On Elvis Mitchell’s The Treatment from a few weeks ago, he interviewed Clark Gregg. He’s one of those character actors that I like every single time I see him on screen. I like him almost enough to watch “The New Adventures of Old Christine.” Almost. I did not know until hearing this that he wrote and directed the film adaption of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Choke . Wow, I should try to see that in the theater before it disappears.
I spent many years as a Java developer but at this point I have not touched the language in several years. An episode of the Java Posse came down my prediction feed from AmigoFish. I listened today and quite liked it. I might just subscribe to this one permanently. They spent a lot of time talking about the Android G1 phone, and I’ll have to say that it really sounds good to me. Keeping up to date on Java may not be a bad thing. What the hell, I just subscribed.
Here’s some things I have listened to lately that I really liked:
Actually I’m still listening to this one and am really liking it – Chuck Tomasi has an interview with Leo Laporte.
My brother has a podcast and he’s done a great variety of stuff. For some reason, the show that has tickled me the most has been his odd/bad music show. I listened to it in O’Hare airport on my last Chicago trip and was giggling all the way to the gate.
Elvis Mitchell, my newest interview hero, interviews Christopher Nolan about the new Batman movie. I loved this interview especially, and I love every episode of this show so this is good even above that baseline.
DVDTalkRadio did an interview with John Waters. Waters makes me laugh in everything he ever does, be it interview or book or movie or Simpson apperance. This interview rocked and although I didn’t really need selling, it has definitely sold me a copy of the Dirty Shame DVD.