The world of podcasting is the perfect medium for talking about movies, because podcasts can go on for any length of time. Unlike interviews for tv shows, which have dedicated time slots that interviews have to be cut down to fit into, podcasts can just ramble on. Often they are edited, but they have the luxury of changing the length of the episode to fit the content instead of the other way around. They can be done in 15 minutes or go on for two hours. And that allows for some really great in-depth discussions about the making of movies.
There are hundreds of podcasts out there about movies, from reviews to interviews, but here are our ten favorite ones about the making of movies.
10 Film Riot
The YouTube channel Film Riot puts out a podcast by the same name. YouTube episodes talk about DIY film making - everything from sound editing, to VFX, to writing. The podcast has the same mission. Each episode is a conversation with a different creative about their specialty.
Recent episodes have included interviews with Hannah Ward about acting, Lucas Harger about documentary versus narrative filmmaking, and Avi Youabian on editing and the differences between editing for film or television. Their YouTube channel has over a million followers and their podcast is quite popular too.
9 The Writers Panel
As you might guess from the name, The Writers Panel podcast focuses on the art of writing. Hosted by Ben Blacker, the podcast is an anthology of sorts. Each episode brings on writers to discuss the process and business of writing. One of the best features of the podcast is the many live episodes that come from live panel discussions. Each one features several different writers talking about their writing career. Discussions include how they got started, challenges they've faced, the different projects they've worked on, how they stay inspired, etc. Episodes generally run around an hour, though some do go up to an hour and a half.
8 The Rewatchables
From 30 for 30 creator Bill Simmons comes The Rewatchables, a podcast all about the movies we can't stop watching. The show features a roundtable discussion with different people from within The Ringer podcast network. Recent episodes have included The Notebook, Mean Girls, The Fast and The Furious, Pretty Woman, and The Firm. Discussion normally covers what makes the movie so great, a heat check for an actor they first noticed in the movie, and a peak - whose career peaked with the movie?
Generally, episodes include a look at who was almost cast in certain parts. Simmons and the guests theorize how each "almost" would have changed the movie. While the podcast isn't meant to be specifically about production conversation often veers that way, especially when they talk about iconic scenes. Episodes are generally about 90 minutes long.
7 This Had Oscar Buzz
A relative newcomer to the Podcasts About Movies genre is This Had Oscar Buzz, which started putting out episodes in June 2018. The tagline is "A podcast about movies the awards forgot," and that's a perfect summation. This insightful and often funny show looks at why movies that were predicted to sweep the Oscars actually flopped and were swept under the rug during awards season. It is hosted by Joe Reid and Chris Feil, who examine what exactly made a movie flop. Culprits have included bad acting, poor timing for a release, aimless writing, and changing a director or writer too many times.
There's a lot to learn from this show for filmmaking hopefuls. After all, looking at bad movies is often just as helpful as watching the great ones. Recent episodes have included Stonewall, Rendition, and Sylvia. If you can't even remember what those movies are about, that's the whole point.
6 The Soundtrack Show
On a positive note, The Soundtrack Show looks at the music and sound engineering behind some of the most famous movies. It's another new-ish podcast, hosted by David W. Collins, who is a voice actor, sound designer, writer, mixer, and composer. He enthusiastically shares his knowledge about music to help listeners understand what makes the music we listen to in movies so important. If you don't know much of the technical stuff about music, that's okay! His earliest episodes explain the basics you'll need to understand the show. Later episodes do wonderful mini-series that dive into a specific movie broken into several one-hour episodes, as he did with four episodes on The Empire Strikes Back. Sometimes he talks alone, playing music on a piano to break things down, and other times he brings in musicians to interview them about their scores. If you're interested in music at all, this is an amazing podcast for you.
5 James Bonding
The James Bonding podcast is mostly about James Bond, though other movies get thrown into the mix occasionally as well. In it, hosts Matt Mira and Matt Gourley bond over Bond. They are fans of saying that they are lovers, not experts, but they sure know a lot about the 25 movies that make up the James Bond universe. The Matts often know a lot about the production of each movie and take time to discuss little-known details of how each movie was made. Episodes recently have focused on the new James Bond movie that's currently in production. Past episodes, however, have featured the Matts discussing the movies with a guest or two. Sometimes they simply relive watching the movie and things they loved, other times they sit and discuss a certain topic across the movies: Bond girls, best gadgets, the size of Q's hands, etc. Episodes run anywhere from 45 minutes to nearly 3 hours.
Like The Writers Panel, Scriptnotes focuses on writers and writing. Hosts John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and a buffet of topics that are of interest to writers. Episodes might cover the business of screenwriting, how to get yourself actually writing, or specific issues like writing memorable dialogue. Some episodes include interviews with guests. Recently Rachel Bloom joins August and Mazin to discuss how sex and sexuality can be portrayed on screen, and before that the live episode at the Ace Hotel included comedians like Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone and Kathy Kang. Episodes are generally around an hour, and there's a backlog of over 400 to explore.
3 WTF With Marc Maron
Comedian Marc Maron's weekly podcast often asks "WTF?" with actors, comedians, and others in the entertainment industry. WTF with Marc Maron has been going on for nearly ten years and has a long archive full of really notable names and interviews. It was the podcast that launched a feud between Kevin Smith and Bruce Willis. It was where Todd Glass came out as gay. It was where Mandy Moore revealed that her marriage with Ryan Adams had been abusive. And it was where President Obama discussed racism in America while he was still in office. It's not formally about making movies, but this delves into what makes some of the biggest names in entertainment tick, and that's just as good. The episodes last an hour to two hours. Recent guests have included David Letterman, Eve Ensler, and Stephen Colbert.
2 Indie Film Hustle
Alex Ferrari's project Indie Film Hustle is a really big deal. IFH is all about helping people break into independent film making and offers tons of tutorials, insider tips, and interviews. The podcast of the same name is the number one filmmaking podcast on iTunes. Episodes of the podcast tackle insider tips and tricks on micro-budgeting for an indie film, legal stuff like music optioning and stock footage, or creative issues like tackling fear. There are interviews with successful filmmakers and deep looks at what it takes to succeed in the indie film world. Episodes are generally around an hour long.
If you're interested in writing, Alex Ferrari also puts out a Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast that breaks down how to write a good screenplay.
1 How Did This Get Made?
This extremely popular podcast is hosted by Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas. Like This Had Oscar Buzz, How Did This Get Made? focuses on bad movies. Movies so bad that they're amazing. Each episode features a different guest, usually someone not connected to the movie. They try to untangle the plot, make jokes about what they've watched, and generally mock the whole thing. It's good fun, and can be very affirming if you too have watched a movie and thought, "Seriously, who allowed this?" Sometimes they do have insight into what happened behind the scenes that took an okay--or even good--script and made it a bad movie.
Recent episodes covered such terrible classics as Serenity, Hercules, and The Secret. Each episode that looks at a movie is under 90 minutes. In between those episodes, Paul Scheer reads fan mail, answers questions, and announces the movie for the next episode.