I had the idea of doing a movie review style podcast when I was discussing movies with a good friend of mine and film school graduate. I noticed in our conversations that I would always use the word “movie” when discussing a motion picture, and he would always use the word “film.”
Our discussions were always interesting (to me at least), and I thought putting us behind a microphone and recording those conversations would make a good show. While driving home from the movie theater one night, I was thinking about how to format such a show. Reflecting on my conversations with my friend, I thought, why don’t I be “Mr. Movie” and he can be “Mr. Film” and we’ll call it The Mr. Movie and Mr Film Show? He’ll never say the word “movie” unless addressing me as Mr. Movie, and I’ll never say the word “film” unless addressing him as Mr. Film.
So the idea was born. I soon shortened the title to The Movie Film Show and, luckily, the domain was available, and I bought it.
My friend did not live in Los Angeles, so doing a show with him would prove difficult. I didn’t really have my Mr. Film. The idea was tabled until, a few months ago, I reconnected with a former colleague, Chris Wolski, a film school grad, movie reviewer and freelance writer that I had hired at one point during my days at Box Office Mojo.
I knew I had found a good candidate for the Mr. Film role. I pitched him the idea and he liked it. We agreed to give it a shot.
The basic idea was to just have fun reviewing movies from our distinct perspectives—two unique takes on the same thing, a movie or film. The show would sometimes cheesy, sometimes funny and sometimes serious. But most of all it would be two guys having fun and illuminating conversations about a topic they loved.
This conversational tone is what worked best in other podcasts I’d listened to, like Leo Laporte’s This Week In Tech show on the TWiT Network, and I wanted to emulate the quality and production value of such shows.
Also, the vast array of podcasts I had sampled on the topic of movies was too long, boring, and too often digressed into the personal lives of the people on the show. Listening to a 60 minute or more podcast about a two hour movie just wasn’t practical for most people. In short, there was too much chit-chat and not enough content.
For my show, we would cut to the chase, and let our personalities come out over time and, most importantly, in the process of reviewing the movies themselves. People don’t care what kind of jeans we wear, or what restaurant we visited lately, or what celebrity we ran into at the supermarket. No, this would be a straight, tell-the-audience-like-it-is kind of show, explaining what the movie is about, what is interesting about it, and whether it was good or bad. Then, we would move on to the next review or topic, enjoying it all the while with a smile on our faces and sometimes with a tongue in our cheeks.
The idea of playing the Mr. Movie and Mr. Film characters was not just a gimmick; it would help us keep focused on the content, and avoid the pitfalls and rat holes so many other shows fall into.
And so that is the philosophy by which I am producing The Movie Film Show. The show’s basic structure is this: we start out with a fun and a little cheesy Bob Barker, The Price is Right kind of theme song (and a Saturday Night Live style of announcer), dive into the reviews, maybe do a feature or DVD pick, and then end with over the top but serious, wide sweeping epic film music. It would be only as long as absolutely necessary, and as short as possible.
This is the kind of tone and progression you get from any good romantic comedy, one that delivers laughs but also leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart, and a smile on your face. That is the kind of tone we are aiming for.
A final concept I wanted to include—and too often neglected in movies today—is the idea of the “curtain call.” Over the end music, we would play clips or outtakes from the show. This is done to highlight a point discussed on the show, to replay an interesting or insightful sound bite or just for plain goofy comedic fun (and can be easily skipped by those who aren’t interested or don’t have time to listen to it).
So that’s The Movie Film Show, and the genesis behind it. I invite you to listen and hope we achieve the goal of giving insightful reviews—regardless of whether the movies or films we review are worth seeing or not—that leave you with that warm fuzzy feeling and a smile on your face.