If you’ve ever been on this site before, visited my Twitter, or you just know me, then you’ll obviously know I like film a wee bit. I’m the guy that will perk up whenever someone merely utters a cinema trip, or the newest Netflix show they’re watching. I’m likely as incessantly annoying when regarding film to some as continual football chatter is to me. So, to my thinking, there was no better person to start a podcast.
To go all the way back, starting a podcast was always an idea I had flirted with. A weekly session where I get all my filmy thoughts out in an extended, uninterrupted sit down. Yet whether it be for indecisiveness, laziness, a lack of confidence, or even just a lack of knowledge on the intricacies, it never came to fruition.
However, things changed during my brief stint in a master journalism course, as I began to familiarise myself with recording equipment and presenting, whether it was in front of a camera or into a mic. Despite studying film for the previous four years, I had managed to avoid the camera, excluding a few terribly acted performances in my first year of college – which are most definitely not lurking around on YouTube – and I spent most of my time in dark rooms with a pair of holey joggers on and my eyes wired to the greys, purples and greens of Adobe Premiere Pro.
As I was being pushed to present, putting myself out there suddenly didn’t feel like something entirely alien. My confidence grew and the idea of a podcast started to creep up on me once again. But I couldn’t do it alone.
Thinking of the right person to start a podcast with was a more delicate issue than you would imagine. I’m sure there were a few that would have been more than happy to join me. Those who had as many thoughts about film as I. But I needed someone that was somewhat misaligned with my film taste. Someone that hated the kind of films I liked, and vice versa, with room for some intersections. Two people on the same page isn’t always entertaining, so we needed conflict, back and forth, points to be made, and arguments to be won. And I couldn’t think of a better person than Bryan Davidson.
Going back some years, I first met Bryan while I was working at an Odeon cinema. Being the only two “film guys” in the place, I was in my second year or so of Uni, and Bryan was writing, producing and directing his own short films. Whenever on shift together we would spend the majority of our time arguing over the best directors, film politics and favourite movies. Every shift would have a guaranteed extensive talk about film.
After I left Odeon, we went a few years only really seeing each other in passing, whether that be at a pub or during the one day a week our paths crossed at Uni. However, when I started my master’s course my classes became more frequent, and I began to run into Bryan a whole lot more. We would chat in the halls of the uni, and quickly reverted back to the ways of old, arguing about film once more – this time only a few metres away from empty recording studios.
When I asked Bryan if he wanted to start a podcast with me it was quite a daunting process. What kind of show did we want to be? We both had the know-how to be academic about it, but then you are ostracising a large part of your audience. Eventually however the answer became clear. To produce a podcast to its best form for us, was to be as natural as possible. To have the conversations we were already having, only this time they were recorded. Approaching the podcast this way meant that conversations naturally ebbed and flowed from those more casual chats to the lighter deconstructions of film.
Our first few recording sessions will always ominously remain unaired, but on our third go around we finally bit the bullet and released our first episode of “The Film Aspect”, on UWS Radio on a beautiful Friday night. It was nerve-wracking. I didn’t think many people would listen to it, and who’s to say they even did, but knowing that my voice was “out there” for people to listen to and judge gives an odd feeling of anxiousness.
I nervously excused myself from a friend’s gig on the night of our grand premiere, to sit in the pub toilet with my phone pressed to my ear, listening to the first few minutes of the episode as it went live. Hearing myself was the oddest sensation despite the fact that I had edited the episode myself. It was entirely thrilling. Through all my years of Uni there was a lot of talk of grand projects, things that never came to be. Then after a couple of chats with Bryan, a few emails to the Uni radio station, here was something entirely tangible. Something I could show, even it was just me talking rubbish about film for an hour.
At the time of writing we are on the cusp of releasing our thirteenth episode, and it’s been an exciting thirteen weeks. We have had our issues. We’ve faced online recordings after the Coronavirus pushed out of the UWS recording studios, but each episode I settle into it a little more. Each week we begin to find our *ahem* voices for the kind of show we want it to be. I’ve almost entirely fallen in love with podcasting to the point that if I could do more than one episode a week I would.
So, I suppose what I’m trying to say is; give The Film Aspect a listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts and SoundCloud, leave us a review, share with your friends, and follow us @TheFilmAspect over on Twitter. We have a brilliantly designed logo by Bryan Davidson himself, which you’ll find as the pic for this very article, so keep an eye out for that on your streaming app of choice.
I am incredibly excited for the future of the show as I continue to grow and learn with it, and whether two or two hundred people give any episodes a listen, just know that’ll I’ll be having fun regardless.