Author: Chris

International Travel

Wow.  What an experience.  I have traveled more this year for Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary than I have ever traveled.  I went to Australia and Japan.  And I have to say, it was an experience of a lifetime.  Loved them both, but Tokyo was absolutely amazing.  In Australia we met fans, fellow podcasters, and even drove at night into the outback in an off road vehicle in the middle of nowhere.  We didn’t want to, we were looking for a shot of a mine and never found it. And then the sun went down.  Hey, the perils of indie film.  But we had enough gas to get back. Australia’s out back really feels like you are in the middle of nowhere, because you are.  When I got back to the hotel, the biggest cockroach I have ever seen was waiting for me in the bathroom.  And it looked at me like I had the wrong room. It was so big it took me a while to plan a strategy.  This wasn’t a tissue vs bug fight. I had to plan.  Two hours later I emerged victorious. But Japan simply blew me away.  We had three great fans for guides.  Sanae, Andrea, and Andy.  It would not been as fun without guides.  And we pretty much couldn’t speak the language or read any signs, so there was that too.  But...

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Ear Buds: The Podcasting Documentary on Kickstarter

OK, if you know me, you’ve heard about the Kickstarter Campaign we are waging (only word that seemed to fit) to get a documentary about podcasting off the ground.  The question is, why?  Why do we need a documentary about podcasting, and if I’m already listening to podcasts, why would I need to see them in a movie? These are all the questions Graham Elwood and I went through to decide whether or not we were going to even attempt this.  So we took some test footage at the last LAPODFEST.  And that’s when we discovered what the documentary will be, and why we had to do it. On the surface, Podcasting is about technology, broadcasting, comedy, and entertainment.  But it really isn’t.  It’s really about the intensely personal connection between the podcaster and the fans.  No other medium has this.  So the documentary will explore this.  Why?  Why is it so important?  Why does it mean so much to so many people? For example, we have gotten emails about how we have gotten people through tough times.  It doesn’t matter that we are talking about movies.  People feel like they know us, and are part of our lives.  And in a way, they are.  We have gotten emails about how we helped them get through addiction, the Tsunami in Japan, and even the death of a loved one.  How we’ve inspired...

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Man, got the second year down.  It almost killed us, yet again.  It really fascinating how a festival lasting three days can take 10 months to put together.  We knew that was the case, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  But ultimately, it was again a blast.  Comedy Film Nerds had a great show with Bonnie McFarlane and Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block, who is hilarious by the way. It was so much work, and also so rewarding that I told one of the other founders, Dave Anthony that I wanted to both thank him and strangle him for involving us in this endeavor that started over 2 years ago.  If year two was any indication, year three will be even bigger. One of the things we were most proud of was the Squarespace Podcast Lab.  We wanted all podcasters to be involved in the festival, even if they weren’t officially programmed.  So ANY podcaster who bought a pass could bring their gear and record from the lab throughout the entire festival.  And celebs like Marc Maron and Aisha Tyler were very generous with their time and went to the lab to do interviews with anyone who was there. But at the end of the day, it felt good to be at the beginning of something.  Podcasting is relatively new, and we are the first Podcast Festival.  And we hope...

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Screening Harmful Media and Having it Backfire

One of the luxuries I have in working in the entertainment industry, and also because I have a large appetite for pop culture, I know what’s out there in movie and television land.  For children and adults.  Whether it’s a movie or a television show, I can usually discern whether or not it’s appropriate for an eight your old or a five year old.  Although often the five year old gets to see things that are borderline, because we’re too exhausted sometimes to put different things on in different rooms of the house.  Now everyone is watching Shake it Up, My Little Pony, or various superhero shows. And the superhero ones are the ones you REALLY have to watch.  Even Batman: Brave and the Bold there were episodes not suitable for kids under 10, in my opinion.  Most were okay, but I previewed the ones I thought were borderline.  Plus, I love watching superhero cartoons, so “preview” may just be an excuse for me to watch them in peace anyway.  But there are a whole slew of animated movies from Marvel and DC that are PG-13 and a HARD PG-13 that are intended for teen and up.  Okay, I think I am the actual demographic for a lot of them and don’t think I don’t know it.  Buying an animated  Superman movie for your kid at Target?  Watch what...

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Religion and Casual Intolerance

This one caught me off guard, and while it was said casually, it highlighted a much deeper problem.  It didn’t sit well. My daughter was getting her first Holy Communion.  Personally, I am pretty much over with the Catholic religion.  I was raised Catholic, married in the Catholic Church, and went to Catholic school for two horrible years.  So my theory is that anyone who is actually raised Catholic, doesn’t really see the point of it.  I will say, I’m not an atheist or agnostic.  I believe in God and a higher power, but it’s when we get to religion is where I have the issues.  Now more than ever. I have a very easy litmus test for religion:  Religion should make you want to be a better person.  If it doesn’t, you’re using it wrong.  That’s it.  It’s not an excuse to be ignorant, intolerant, cruel, or violent.  In fact, that’s the opposite.  That’s using religion as a rationalization for something rotten you were going to do anyway. But getting back to it.  We were at the “rehearsal” for my daughter’s first Holy Communion.  We were told where to sit, what to do, etc.  It’s no mystery that it is setup as a wedding, as children “commune” with God. Everything was going OK until the priest started telling a “humorous” story about how the kids came to church...

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