So I'd like to start with the "why" of this movie. Why make a movie about podcasts? Let's start with the fact that it is an original idea. There have obviously been a few movies about podcasts (more than a few if you take the stance that the failed Seeso featured many live action/video versions of existing podcast. However, that would start us down the road of all sorts of spinoffs of podcasts like Homecoming etc.). WOAH! See, this is the issue with the discussion of podcasts; read the parenthetical in that last sentence. Really read it. Like what am I even saying? Why has the conversation about podcasts turned so quickly into very specific productions. The issue is that people knowledgable about podcasts know so much; some would say too much. We are very into the state of podcasting. Most new media creators are very up on their field because of how much it updates.
So again, let's consider the question: Why make a movie about podcasting? Because nobody really knows what podcasting is. All of our experts told us that people don't know how to download and people don't know what they are. The public considers podcasts this odd sort of ethereal thing.
They are aware they exist but they are not really aware of what they can do with them. Some of them just think it's "Internet radio." Even then if you ask someone "What is Internet radio?" they don't really know. Is it YouTube? Is it something that you can get on your phone? Is it an app? They're not really sure.
For example, unexpectedly, one element of the movie ended up being that I met a podcast at an anime convention I was giving a sort of minimal press access to. Despite the fact that most of the people there were creative (they were photographers, they were video creators, they were cosplayers, they were artists), I still ended up getting people saying they really don't understand how to upload podcast and they have no interest in creating podcast or even listening to them. They don't know anyone who listens to them. Mind you, this is the bleeding edge of tech users.
At the moment, nerds seem to be divided as to how they interact with podcasts. About half of them, and by the way this isn't really a great stat and is just from my one sample from this convention and my general knowledge of nerds, love podcasts. They listen to podcasts about anime, they listen to podcasts about games, and are even podcast nerds. The other half seem to be into alternative, or new media as we call it, but anything but podcasts. They watch Twitch, they listen to YouTube and they even might consider a podcast as something just on YouTube, and don't even know about podcast apps. In the end, one of the interesting things about the anime convention and shooting this documentary there was to remember why nerds are nerds. They like what they like. We take for granted nowadays the idea that not everyone is into the same thing; there used to be an era where the thing we were all watching was the thing we were all watching, and if you didn't watch it, you were odd. The classic example (even if you don't understand the history of media) can be seen in the That 70s Show episode of Roots coming out. There was immense pressure for the mainstream thing being what you're supposed to love. I mean even the word "mainstream, that wasn't even a word until nerds really had their comeuppance.
So lastly, let's conclude with the actual question that I ask and presented in the first clip of this movie: Why make a movie about podcasting? Well, because it is a bunch of nerds. Podcasting seems to be divided into all these little tiny communities. Fans of really popular podcasts are unaware of other podcast fans of another show that's also really popular. The goal here was to make something which would show the fact that all of these little worlds and all of these little productions were nothing like the Hollywood system. They were nothing like the independent film system of New York. They were nothing like the radio system. They were their own little productions happening without anyone else knowing; and in some cases, not even knowing about other people in their field.
Being made possible by micro-podcasting giant soundBYTE.
Referrenced in full film