The blasphemous, tabbo, science minded film podcast you all know and love as “Double Feature” may be on it’s last episode of all time.
We created a Kickstarter to save it.
As you might imagine, fans of a free internet podcast aren’t the ideal candidates for pledge drive. That’s ok though; they’ve actually pitched in a ton of money! The thing is, those resources alone are not enough. If this Kickstarter makes it, it’s going to be because of my friends. So if you’re reading this…help me out!
If we can’t fund this Kickstarter, it’s over for us. Yikes. I explain a bit on the page:
When this show began, there was only one goal – to put out a show every single week, even if we didn’t quite know what we were doing. We figured we’d learn. It was content creation through brute force. We started planning for the show almost half a year before even publishing an episode. It seemed like an easy goal at the time. We were self employed, barely twenty years old, and lived maybe a mile apart. We saw each other every day and we never stopped scheming.
Over the years, an afternoon of slasher films went from a recurring activity to something that required strategic planning. Time went from our most abundant resource to our most scarce. We eventually started mapping out the show like a war game. Every year, our real world responsibilities made planning more difficult. In recent years it’s been a near impossible task. The show’s been hard, but we’re thankful for it. We stopped having time to hang out. Working on the show together became the excuse to stay in one another’s lives.
Jobs and responsibilities are what usually end podcasts, and we were determined not to let that bury ours. We found a place to record at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, and it started to look like things were going to be alright. Not a month later, work unexpectedly pulled us to opposite sides of the country. We started scrambling for shows anywhere we could fit them. We were deciding next week’s movies just minutes before we hit record, it became impossible to plan. When we began, time was our most abundant resource…now it’s the one thing we’re without.
With less than a week left, I really don’t know what’s going to happen to the show. It’s such an important part of my life, but it’s become really hard to do. We’re so fucking close now. I really hope we can make it through.
Butcher and special guest Eric Thirteen, from the Double Feature podcast, team up to discuss this years Best and Worst Horror Films of 2009. Other discussions include Hatchet 2 news, the upcoming DVD release of Cabin Fever 2 : Spring Fever and James Cameron’s Avatar. Hosts also give site announcements and dig through mail casket. It’s all hear and it’s only one click away!
I often talk on Double Feature about how we don’t do a review show. We’re strive to make our show less about us and more about the films we’re talking about. We’ve trained ourselves to suppress our opinions when they aren’t directly relevant to the notability of a film. Even after each show, I painstakingly edit out the terrible review jargon like that snuck it’s way into our conversation. Reviews just aren’t the niche we’re going for.
This week some friends of ours over at KillerReviews needed a last second co-host, so I have to admit that I was actually really excited to indulge. It was great to have a really opinionated conversation in that kind of forum. It’s a much different kind of show, it’s all about the personality of the hosts. They’re listens love to know what they think, and that works really well in the context of their overall site. After years of bottling up all these review-type-feels I dove head first into the most icon form of review – the top ten list.
We had a very last minute interview with David Stieve from Behind the Mask on Double Feature. It’s for our primer on slasher films, Black Christmas + Behind the Mask. David was a lot of fun to talk to – he knew his stuff, he had some great stories, and he wasn’t afraid to go on the offensive. I’ve always been a fan of cruel dark humor, and David wasn’t on our show five seconds before he started making fun of us. Well, me, more specially.
Listen to the Interview with David Stieve.
If you never watched a slasher film (or don’t get why people like them) I think this episode is a great place to start. We also have a reoccurring slasher feature called Killapalooza where we talk about a particular series (Freddy, Jason, etc) so you can figure out what those are all about too. These films may appear cheap and simple on the surface, but there are strong elements of mythology and cannon that make them really satisfying. It’s like a good graphic novel or serialized TV drama. Most of them have a strong feministic bent to them as well, which I’m a huge fan of.
In an effort to get search engines promoting our show for us, I’ve redesigned the Double Feature Website!
The first thing you’ll notice is that you feel personally cheated by the term “redesigned”. In fact, you probably just feel like I’m flat out lying to you. I mean, look at it! It’s practically the same thing, right? The important differences are subtle. Before I get to those, here’s the new surface features:
That’s cute and everything, but here’s the real power: The entire site is now hosted on Blogger (the same place this project blog is hosted). The old site was something I made from scratch. It used php to pull information out of a WordPress database and throw it up on the site. The code was messy and confused search engines. The new website is actually a blogger theme, designed to look just like the old site. It took a lot of work, but it now manages the feat of being on Blogger while looking like a real website (and not a typical shitty blog). Why move to Blogger? Under the surface, the blog infrastructure helps accomplish something amazing.
The basic function of the new site is to use search engine optimization as a promotional tool. Google will now evangelize our podcast in the same way they would for…say…a marketing blog. For example – someone searches for The Attic Expeditions, and that episode’s page on our website pops right up. Given that we covered over 125 films on the show last year, this will give search engines that many movies to say “Were you interested in film x? Check out this show!” to. I think this is where the future of advertising is. No bullshit legwork for us. We make a show, search engines helps people find it. It’s not only easier, but it brings in more traffic than we ever could the old way. Hundreds of hours of handing out flyers is now accomplished in a fraction of a second. Literally.
The latest Double Feature episode, Hard Rock Zombies + Loose Change, is the first to feature a guest co-host rather than an interview. This time we talked to Rebecca Watson, pictured here in the Skepchick nude pin-up calendar. You can listen to the show at the Double Feature website
It’s strange, of all the people we talked to on the show I was the most nervous to talk to Rebecca. Her show (along with others like Skeptically) provided the original inspiration to start podcasting in the first place. Now our tiny little show was featuring one of the most successful hosts out there, and something about that freaked me out. It tuned out to be a fantastic time though. I think it’s one of the best shows we’ve done. It’s entertaining, the sound quality is way better than any of our usual guests, and we tore Loose Change apart.
I’ve been getting emails from people who just found Double Feature and are really into it. That’s always great to hear. On the surface it’s a simple movie podcast, but I’ve always tried to inject more important things into it. The documentaries are the most obvious examples, but even just in analysis of two given films.
Because Michael and I are both atheists and skeptics, everything we do has that kind of bent to some degree. For me it’s the need to call out all the nonsense in a film. Michael on the other hand…look at his film selections. For a show with so many horror films, you’ll notice that the supernatural ones are really absent. Instead, movies like Hatchet, Hostel – even most of the slasher films – they’re are about the human element. They’re about building a scare upon something unlikely but plausible in real life. I think in that way the show not only promotes skepticism but kind of celebrates what’s real.
The other part of the feedback is that everyone wants to hear Rebecca on the show again. We’re going to finish out this year/season/52 shows and see about the next 52, so you’ll have to wait and see.
Lately Double Features has been having directors come on the show to talk about their films (and all sorts of other stuff, apparently!)
Interview with Joel David Moore
Spiral + Bad Santa
Interview with Jeremy Kasten
Joy Ride + The Attic Expeditions
Interview with Mike Wilson
The Thing + Michaem Moore Hates America
We’re returning to our regular format for a while, but we’ll be having more guests on soon. You can see a list of all our interviews at the link.
I’ll be getting up early tomorrow (10/25) to attend Music Box Massacre IV at noon. 24 hours of back-to-back horror films! This will be the most films I’ve ever seen in one sitting, beating out the first Killapalloza by three movies. Here’s the schedule:
12:00pm The Haunted House
12:30pm Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
01:45pm The Old Dark House
03:15pm Eyes Without A Face
05:00pm May (with director Lucky McKee in person)
07:30pm Midnight Meat Train (with Clive Barker in person)
10:15pm Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (with director Joseph Zito in person)
12:30pm Dead Alive
02:15am Phantom of the Paradise
04:00am Black Sabbath
07:45am Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer
Unfortunately we aren’t going to be able to cover it on Double Feature because of some weird scheduling stuff. Maybe we’ll record it and save it for this time next year? You’ll be getting your regularly scheduled show (The People vs Larry Flint + Jesus Camp) Thursday at 12:01am.
Should be a great time. Seems like the usual theatre rules will be pretty loose, and it’s the Chicago premiere of Midnight Meat Train! Also free energy drinks. Can you tell I’m excited? If you’re going, be sure to say hi.
While this episode includes the usual discussion of two films (and really good ones this week!), we also talked about the opening music you hear every episode.
Included in this show:
A bit about the intro, Michael’s own double feature, and three sentence dream theory. We also cover japanese horror, zombie films (totally unrelated), and strong female leads. I mean, with these two movies, how could you not cover strong female leads? Download the Show: The Descent + Feast
It’s cool to hear this and remember that night. It was a lot of fun.
This is an account of my two month perfectionistic drive to write our 45 second intro music.
Download: Double Feature Theme
The show has been out for a few days now (you can get it for free on the Double Feature site), and after listening to it you’ve probably noticed that strange little mix of theme music. Writing and recording the theme is actually what held up the podcast for the last few months.
My original intention was to capitalize on the formula perfected by Rob Zombie. I knew the theme would only be about 30 seconds of music, so I listened to a lot of his stuff all day and wrote something that fit in when I got back home. Trying really hard not to strive for perfection, I threw it together quickly and after a few hours the basic idea was recorded. Easy. Done.
But it sucked.
I was about ready to scrap it, but then I started working some samples into it. I keep a lot of movie and tv samples on my computer so I can pop them in and out of stuff I’m working on to get a feel for how a piece of dialogue might fit. The early versions of the theme had a sample from Carnivale – brother Justin talking about signs of the apocalypse. That seemed to be just what the theme needed. It toned down the ridiculous nu-metal sound and made it feel like it was about film again.
We didn’t want to use that particular sample for a few reasons. To start with we didn’t have rights to it…I think the bigger concern was that we wanted something all our own. We didn’t want people to trace back the source of our sample. A clip from Carnival at the beginning of every episode might be appropriate for a Carnivale podcast, but that isn’t the case here. We considered using samples from the different films we talk about in each episode, but that could have created an opportunity for spoilers and would have make the production of each show several hours longer. In the end I came up with this idea of having a made up sample that sounded like it was from a film.
I asked Michael to write a few lines and we’d pick one we liked to use. I really wanted to do the music myself (as I need all the practice I can get writing, recording and producing) but it’s his show too and this seemed like a great place for that collaboration. He came up with these fantastic lines. The only real idea I had there is that maybe they could sound like lines from exploitation films. As we were coming up with the look for the site and promo artwork, we always went back to exploitation cinema for inspiration. Doing so again with the music only seemed natural. He wrote the lines to sound somewhat sexual, somewhat sinister, and a few to sound like out of context they could even be referring to the podcast.
Rather than one long line, he also had this idea of doing a bunch of smaller samples. I was hesitant at first because I knew it would be a lot more work for me, but when he started showing them to me it seemed perfect. When there was a good selection to choose from, I brought in some friends of ours to record. I wrote a bit more about that whole process here. None of our friends are actors, voice or otherwise, so I just had a number of people record a multitude of takes for each line and then used that best from each session. In the end I used Melanie Boyna, Tia Battenberg, Samantha Gordon, Sarah Strand and Laura Angel – and I love every single sound they contributed.
After that it was a matter of rerecording and mixing over and over to center the focus around the girls rather than the trashy instrumentation. I played around with some production plugins to degrade the recordings and make them sound more like movies. Michael thinks the end product really gets back to my Rob Zombie template. When I listen to it, I hear a spot light on five different movies that don’t actually exist. Either way, I think it fits perfectly.
I released the recording under a Creative Commons license so people can take anything they want from it and use it in their own stuff. As I describe on the site, “content can be copied, distributed, adapted, tastelessly brutalized, and otherwise used without any permission – under the condition that it’s credited appropriately and linked to DoubleFeature.fm. This lone condition can be waived if absolutely necessary.” You can hear the full theme above, on our myspace, or at Last.fm.