podcasts I can’t live without

19, April 2009

the guardian’s media talk & tech weekly

Hosted by Matt Wells, The Guardian’s Media Talk audio podcast draws on a regular panel of presenters to discuss what’s important in the media and entertainment that week. Similarly Tech Weekly, hosted by Aleks Krotoski and her team, covers all things digital, gaming and online. Both shows present news of the week, insightful panel discussions, interviews, reviews and insider gossip and are always an informative and entertaining listen.

Essentially Media Talk and Tech Weekly are designed as companion material to The Guardian website, meant to drive you online to find out more information on the stories they’ve discussed. For me though I’ve always found both satisfying enough by themselves. The Guardian website has won various awards over the years and they are all well deserved. When I first got to the UK Media Talk and Tech Weekly became invaluable in terms of getting up to speed with the local media and digital industries and now I can’t live without them.

creative screenwriting

I’ve written about Creative Screenwriting’s podcasts before but it’s worth mentioning them again. A supporting podcast for LA’s Creative Screenwriting magazine, it delivers Q & A’s with screenwriters after a screening of their film with a live audience. Each podcast is at least an hour long so they take a bit of a commitment to get through but are well worth it.

Hosted by Senior Editor Jeff Goldsmith, the podcasts takes you inside the nitty gritty of the writer’s process and their trails and tribulations to get their film down on the page and eventually on screen. My favourite bits are the writer’s breaking-in stories. Hearing them always gives me hope that it’s all about hard work, persistence and doing work you’re passionate about. And getting paid.


One of the US’s top indie web shows, Epic-Fu has just hit its 150 episode. The show’s creators, Zardi and Steve – unashamed “geek culture” nerds, comb the web for the best tech, culture and entertainment news and present it in a fun fast 5-6 minutes video podcast every week.

In the past I’ve seen/heard too many indie podcasts or web shows that are just lazy, poorly produced or incessant rambling with no content. This isn’t the case with Epic-Fu. Zardi and Steve produce a great slick little package with well-produced segments, lots of visuals to keep you engaged and a healthy dose of goofiness. I especially like their segment breakers – grabs of music film clips from unsigned indie bands.

They’ve been running for several years now and have built an impressive community online, which is where Epic-Fu really shines. If you love the show and want more then check out The Mix where you can engage with other like-minded culture vultures and have your say.

kcrw’s the business

A half hour podcast from KCRW radio, The Business is a weekly show about the business side of the TV and film industry in Hollywood. Usually a little irreverent but always informative, The Business is the best podcast I’ve found so far about what’s going on in LA’s entertainment industry.

You get the news of the week, what’s hot and what’s not plus some great interviews and stories from people across a broad spectrum of the industry – agents, actors, directors, lawyers, network excutives, studio heads and even PA’s! I love it because it’s well made by people who know their stuff and know how to keep an audience engaged. One day I plan to live and work in the US and consider The Business my industry primer for when that day comes.


Movie review shows are a dime a dozen, especially online. For me they all start to look the same, no matter if they’re set in a bar with a couple of real Joes or a studio back lot with industry insiders – they’re usually just a couple of guys sitting around giving you their over-indulgent opinion.

What makes The Spillcrew video podcast different is that the panel of four reviewers are all animated. And funny. Damn funny. They record about thirty minutes of review and banter and then cut it down to a slick 4-6 minute episode, with some great visual gags thrown in for good measure. Each reviewer has their own unique point of view and they grade each film on a scale of – Better Than Sex, Full Price, Matinee, Rental and Some Old Bull$#!t.

Like Epic-Fu, they also recognised the value of deepening their audience’s experience with an online community. On their site they offer a great array of tools for their audience to interact with each other, submit their own reviews and get up-to-date movie news and gossip.

sam and jim go to hollywood

They haven’t updated their audio podcast in a while but Sam and Jim Go To Hollywood is great for any aspiring scriptwriter. Sam and Jim are a couple of guys who threw in their jobs as restaurant owners in Minnesota and moved out to LA with their families to make it as a screenwriting duo. To date they’ve worked in TV, film and video games but haven’t really broken through yet and that’s what makes them great.

In each podcast they take you on their journey as they climb the ladder in La La Land. Peppered with personal insights and recommendations for other emerging writers they freely bare all as they develop work, go to meetings, get jobs and lose jobs. They bounce off each other like an old married couple and have a great rapport with their audience that just makes you want to see them succeed.

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3 Responses to “podcasts I can’t live without”

  1. Steve Woolf Says:

    All great choices! Thanks fro including Epic Fu! 🙂

  2. Lesley Says:

    Have you abandoned the blog for Twitter? You gadfly, you.

  3. Just posted something new today – https://drettworlb.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/writing-submissions-finally-done/

    Sorry for such a long delay, it’s been head down bum up for the past month

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