Saturday, June 21, 2008

Film Podcast Review II: KCRW's The Business

Content Rating: 6/10
Production Rating: 10/10

Based in Santa Monica, KCRW's The Business program (and podcast) is an inside look into "the business" of film and television. The show's host, Claude Brodesser-Akner is a veteran writer for publications such as Variety, Premiere, The New York Times Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and Us Weekly.

As you would expect from a professionally-produced NPR program, the show is slickly produced and professional. This does not sound like a podcast at all. I considered not including this program in my series of podcast reviews since it was not produced on a level playing field with all of the other podcasts out there. I decided to include it because it is competing for my ear alongside these amateur podcasts. Both are delivered to my iPod via iTunes the same way, after all. Plus, as we all know, budget doesn't necessarily equal quality, and low budget film productions can far outshine its mega-produced bretheren. The final result is still displayed on the same silver screen. But I digress.

As you would expect from a host with such deep credentials as Brodesser-Akner, TB is an insightful look into the world of TV and movie making, if you are into such things. If you are interested in the inside world of show business from the most public (the writer's strike) to the esoteric (nielsen is rating commercials now) to the minutae (the price of popcorn), this is the show for you. All of those topics were interesting to me to a degree, but occasional segments like the interview with the authors of The Hollywood Assistant's Handbook left me snoozing.

Personally, though I like the podcast, I am less interested in how movies and television get made than in the films and shows themselves. I will continue to listen to The Business because it is often interesting, but I expect to have to occasionally skip some segments out of boredom.

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