Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Film Podcast Review III: The /Filmcast

/Filmcast is a production of the blogsite, /Film. This podcast has an interesting twist over the others that I have reviewed thus far--it is streamed live over the internet so that listeners can join in a chat room and post questions and reactions in 'reel' time. I also liked some of their topics--interesting and insightful comments about the Lost season finale, the mid-season Battlestar Galactica finale and Recount, the HBO film. However, these nice nuggets were interspersed with not-so-interesting or insightful comments on other topics and droning movie reviews. Strange that the more insightful comments were about TV topics rather than film.

Additionally, the production quality is atrocious. Some hosts are clearly calling in, while it sounds like others that are perhaps in the same studio do not even have the same quality of microphone. So, technically, it sounded bad.

All that being said, my biggest problem with the podcast is that it was all over the map. Each episode, there are numerous hosts--4? 5? 6? 7? It was hard to keep track because sometimes 10 minutes would go by without a comment from one or more participants. Often, the participants spoke over one another, making everything they said unintelligible. The "What We Watched This Week" segment, though a clever idea, is indicative of the problem. The idea of this segment is that each person can talk about what they watched the prior week. That does come with some interesting benefits, like having interesting discussions with the benefit of years of thought about a film that may have been released a decade or more prior. However, what it ends up happening is a completely unstructured conversation that drags on for two hours. Other examples of the scattered nature of this podcast:
  1. When the show was announced on the /Film blog, one of the hosts of the show posted in the comments, "Heh, I guess I’m gonna be on the show tonight… and what a great way to find out. This is gonna be really fun!"
  2. During the podcasts, the participants seem unprepared for the topics. In one case, one participant asked another his opinion on a rejected script for the latest Indiana Jones film. The response was '"Well, to be honest, I didn't get a chance to read the script, but I have read other people's reviews of the script..." He then proceeded to comment on it.
I also had an issue with the fanboy nature of this podcast. Make no mistake--this is a podcast hosted by Comic-con frequent attendees with very little film-related content outside of the world of superhero/action/scifi genre. If that's your primary area of interest, you might possibly enjoy this podcast.

Perhaps the issues that I raised are a side effect of the live broadcast, an issue that the other movie-centric podcasts that I have reviewed have post-production efforts to clean. /Filmcast is in its infancy, just having gotten a handful of episodes under its belt. Maybe I'll tune in again in a few months if they reduce their number of hosts and broaden their focus beyond the comic-con topics. For now, I'm unsubscribing from this one.

Content: 4/10
Production: 2/10

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