Blog Archives

A ‘Blockbuster’ Podcast Is Playing on a Streaming Service Near You

Podcasts, podcasts and more podcasts. They’re everywhere.

Then, when you’re done listening to all of those podcasts — takes about three lifetimes — there are even more podcasts to discover.

However, like in any industry and field of interest, there are pieces of work that rise above the rest. If the premise, coupled with an exclusive sneak peek is any indication, then the ‘Blockbuster’ podcast is one to be listened to for any movie fan generally and any fan of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and John Williams specifically.

io9 Gizmodo columnist Germain Lussier summarizes the exciting recreation of two cinematic pioneers and game-changers along with their equally dynamic and genius musical composer friend John Williams in their early years in the moviemaking industry beginning in the 1970s.

Created by Emmy winner Matt Schrader, Blockbuster is a six-part docu-narrative podcast dramatizing the friendship of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as they were making their formative films, Star Wars and Jaws, with the help of composer of John Williams. Schrader has basically created a modern radio play, blending meticulous research with strong vocal performances, sound effects, film clips, and an original score, all into a highly entertaining audio experience. The show puts the viewer right there, with Spielberg and Lucas, for the moments when they changed movies forever.

The entertainment value of this kind of creative storytelling is a fitting nostalgic throwback (or flashback, since it’s Friday) that is something special. It reminds one of the Golden Age of Radio in America.

Below is an exclusive two-minute snippet (courtesy of Forbes) of the eight-part podcast involving George Lucas and then-wife Marcia Lucas during a possible a-ha moment for the listener (and perhaps George and Marcia at the time) that popular culture was about to change forever in some way with a far-out film that takes place in space. Interestingly, Marcia worked on the original ‘Stars Wars’ in 1977 — famously written and directed by her husband George — for which she won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

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(Marcia and George Lucas)

‘Blockbuster,’ in just a couple of minutes, is intriguing (recreated) eavesdropping that is refreshingly simple and streamlined in its delivery. Ironically, it’s a must-see listen experience for movie fans.

Season 1 of the ‘Blockbuster’ podcast is available on iTunes and Spotify.

An Elevator Pitch Lifted the Co-Creator of the ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Continuing this week’s dedicated blog posts leading up to the series finale of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ this Thursday night on CBS, it’s time to learn about the man behind the outcast science nerds.

Chuck Lorre, TV’s 66-year-old mega-producer of popular sitcoms half-hour comedies, including ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ did not have a traditional route to his current position. In actuality, his long and winding path to the executive producer, show creator and showrunner that everyone wants today pivoted on the spur of the moment with a succinct determination that translated into one of the best elevator pitches.

It was an elevator pitch that, unlike a broken elevator in a certain Pasadena apartment complex, worked to help him move on up to the successful side of life.

Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Melissa Rauch, and Mayim Bialik will be missed as a cast. Together, they delivered in so many ways — comedically as well as with those rare sweet moments like the napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy — that made them and ‘The Big Bang Theory’ must-see TV for 12 years. But we must also give credit to the men and women behind the scenes and cameras on set for creating the fictional world within Pasadena’s science community that millions of people around the world relate to and enjoy.

Chuck Lorre is one of these people.

And his personal story from a struggling musician to a prime time storyteller is not theoretical. It evolved his way, according to the script he was unknowingly writing for himself more than three decades ago.

Steven Spielberg’s Theatrical (Ad)mission

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Steven Spielberg has received criticism for comments he made related to Netflix and how films on the popular streaming service should not being eligible for an Academy Award. While the legendary director did not need to clarify because he is correct (this writer’s opinion), the Academy Award winner just added some clarity on the ever-relevant issue for films in this technologically evolving era through the New York Times.

“I want people to find their entertainment in any form or fashion that suits them,” Spielberg said in a written statement sent by email to The New York Times. “Big screen, small screen — what really matters to me is a great story and everyone should have access to great stories.” He added, “However, I feel people need to have the opportunity to leave the safe and familiar of their lives and go to a place where they can sit in the company of others and have a shared experience — cry together, laugh together, be afraid together — so that when it’s over they might feel a little less like strangers. I want to see the survival of movie theaters. I want the theatrical experience to remain relevant in our culture.”

–Steven Spielberg

As covered on Jimmy’s Daily Planet, Mr. Spielberg recently embraced the future of Apple via Apple TV+ as a directorial partner and storyteller. The more movies by Spielberg, the better. What’s equally important is that he has stated in the past how impressed he is with the quality of TV these days. And what’s most important for movie fans to hear — with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video — are the last three sentences of Mr. Spielberg’s statement above, with particular emphasis on the final two sentences.

“However, I feel people need to have the opportunity to leave the safe and familiar of their lives and go to a place where they can sit in the company of others and have a shared experience — cry together, laugh together, be afraid together — so that when it’s over they might feel a little less like strangers. I want to see the survival of movie theaters. I want the theatrical experience to remain relevant in our culture.”  

–Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg — the man who brought the late Michael Crichton’s dino DNA to the big screen in innovative, entertaining fashion like the world had never seen before — is pragmatically nostalgic for the days when seeing a movie in a dark theater was a major public event on Friday and Saturday nights. There are a time and a place for watching TV shows and movies at home. And there are a time and a place for watching a summer blockbuster in a movie theater near you.

44 years after Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ became the first summer blockbuster and the movie theater in 2019 is still the only place where a film is projected larger than life.

When Dancing With Wolves Isn’t Dancing With Wolves

Communication is not held at the same level of prestige as other areas of occupation. I say this as someone who majored in communications, specifically journalism. It’s a very frustrating perception but a perception nonetheless. However, those who can communicate effectively have the golden opportunity to change a stranger’s life forever.

In a comedic way or an equally memorable and impactful non-comedic way.

And now we know:

If you turn around when you hear your name called, you can turn around someone’s life–and yours.

P.S. Always keep a Sharpie pen on you at all times.