Our first movie podcast! Recently, I got a chance to meet Matt and Shahir, hosts of the aptly named, The Only Podcast About Movies. Though their title (self-admittedly) might not be 100% accurate, they are the only podcast about movies on Discover Pods, which should count for something, right?
Both Matt and Shahir embody the yin and yang model of podcast hosts. They disagree, a lot. Matt describes himself as loving “anything Marvel related or big ‘splosions”, while Shahir is “a self-identifying art house snob.” Needless to say, their opinions on movie don’t exactly line up. Their banter is only half of the equation though. They both work “in the business,” so they bring unique insights, guests, and perspective on the film industry.
As they approach their 100th episode (editor’s note: congrats!), I got a chance to speak with Shahir about the podcast, how it got started, and where they aim to go from here.
Discover Pods: How did the podcast get started?
Shahir: A rambling dare to see if I could get Matt to agree on a movie. As it turns out, that movie was “Mad Max: Fury Road”
DP: Why did we choose podcast over other mediums?
Shahir: We both enjoyed the detailed discussions we could have via a podcast conversation over a visual medium like YouTube. Our conversations get heated, so even though it’s audio, you might be able to hear Matt and I yelling at each other over the virtues of Spotlight, or why the ending of The Lobster was by design.
DP: It seems like having natural rapport and bantering is the secret sauce for co-hosted pods, how much of yours is organic versus scripted?
Shahir: Entirely organic. We try to avoid talking about movies before our reviews and genuinely have really different opinions about many of the films we review (Matt tends to think that the overall design of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a work of genius, whereas I gets bored of the films “sameness”). What has been great about doing the podcast is learning what each other wants from films in general and appreciating entirely differing points of view.
DP: What’s unique about our podcast and why do listeners keep coming back?
Shahir: Obviously as the title suggests, we’re the only* ones doing this (at least we think we are). Our listeners tell us they love hearing us face off on genre films and often request movies they know we’re going to disagree on. We also have on a lot of fun interesting guests including Andrew Schulz (Brilliant Idiots) and Jerah Milligan (Black Men Can’t Jump in Hollywood).
In addition because of our industry connections, we’ll occasionally have very technical episodes like our panel discussion with the post production team from Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk”
DP: What are some of the marquee movies you know you’ll never agree on?
Shahir: Our biggest disagreements came from “Spotlight”, a film I absolutely loved, and one that Matt genuinely thinks is a bad film. Matt also included Warcraft as one of his favorite films of 2016, which would not have made my top 50.
DP: Have you received any feedback from people “in the business”?
Shahir: We’re both in the business ourselves, so we’ve received praise from colleagues and co-workers. We love receiving praise from our listeners who will always correct and guide us on films we should be looking at or schooling us on topics we are entirely misinformed about (a listener taught us about Gravitational fields after our “Rogue One” Episode. We also got a lesson in the use of coolant in space following our “Life” review.
DP: Is it difficult booking guests or has it become easier over time with more credibility?
Shahir: We haven’t had too much difficulty booking guests from the pool of talent we already work with (directors, cinematographers, comedians, film critics), but there have definitely been some guests we would have loved to have contact with for certain films.
We’re also trying to broaden the pool of guests outside of people in the film industry. We’re doing a very long episode about “OJ: Made in America” which will have a lawyer on it to discuss the legal parameters of the case.
DP: Whats Next?
Shahir: We’ve been featured on a number of industry panels and spoken about a variety of different topics (Video Game adaptations, the legal ramifications of Ezra Edelmans “OJ Simpson: Made in America”). Our goal is to build our audience and expand our guest pool.
DP: What are your top 5 favorite podcasts?
- Comedy Bang Bang
- Reply All
- This American Life
DP: Anything else you want to add?
Shahir: We love recording the show and have made a concerted effort to release one or more episodes a week. We hope our audience enjoys it and is really willing to engage with us.
Our goal isn’t necessarily to “review” movies, but instead, engage in the conversation the film has started, meaning that our reviews can be fairly untraditional (ie. is “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage” a chicken McNugget of a movie? or why Netflix’s “Barry” could be retitled “Code Switch: the movie”
DP: Where can listeners find you?
Listeners can find us on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-only-podcast-about-movies/id998473390?mt=2)