Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Brief Discussion of "Myopia: Defend Your Childhood"

A man from Marietta has joined the ranks of podcasters with his new podcast Myopia: Defend Your Childhood.

"It's because I consume a lot of podcasts and I'm part of a group of people who watch a lot of movies," Nick said when asked where Myopia came from. "We talk about a lot of movies."

He credits his wife Candice and his friend Scott Miller with keeping him focused and helping develop the idea. He and Scott started developing the idea in the spring of 2014. They'd been hitting around the idea of a movie podcast and didn't know a formula, although The Flop House and How Did This Get Made? inspired him, as did We Hate Movies. However, he wasn't sure how he'd put his own spin on the topic. Then he listened to Pop Culture Happy Hour, in particular their discussion of myopias. This they defined as something one is so familiar with that one is short-sighted. That's what made the idea for Myopia work and what makes it different from other movie podcasts. Rather than watch new movies like a review show or watch bad movies on purpose, instead Nick and his merry band will challenge blind spots people have.

With Scott's help, Nick devised a formula. A select group of participants--full disclosure, I'm one of them--would use a survey to list movies from their childhoods that they wanted to see how they held up. When a movie was selected, the person who suggested the movie must defend it before the group watches it. The movie must be at least ten years old and the defendant can't have seen it in at least five years.

The first episode, recorded in late June, covered the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

"We were thinking to capitalize on the assumption that the Michael Bay Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be a trainwreck," he said. "Frankly it looks like we were right."

The podcast has attracted a following already--as of last count, 976 unique downloads, with the feed being checked over 6,000 times. Since Podbean bases its count on devices, this means nobody is gaming the system by downloading it multiple times. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been downloaded over 200 times. Nine episodes are available online, with new episodes premiering every Wednesday. A rough schedule has been established that will take the podcast through early spring. October, for example, is slated to feature scary movies, while November will be devoted to film series like Batman and December will be Christmas movies.

Nick's favorite movie to discuss was Hook, chosen in honor of the late Robin Williams. He was particularly impressed with the Hook discussion because it got into film study. He and regular participant Daniel both studied film in college, so they both prize deep discussion.

"It was satisfying to rewatch Space Jam and Hook and the Mighty Ducks movies because they were my favorites as a kid," he said.

He said it's important to do what one enjoys. Due to his busy work schedule, he can't always record regularly, so he sometimes records three movies in a weekend.

"If it becomes a job, it's no longer worth doing," he said.

One must also be comfortable with the sound of one's own voice, since one will be hearing it a lot.

Participation in the podcast keeps growing. Every time he talks about it, more people like to talk about it. The first episode only featured three participants, but now an average movie night features 8-12 participants. His favorite part is that people come to watch him and the other participants discuss the films. The early movies discussed were films he'd seen before, but with so many new participants, people are suggesting movies he's never seen before.

"It's giving me an excuse to see movies I should have seen years ago," he said. "Or perhaps that should never have existed."

Case in mind: The 1997 film Spawn,which was so bad that Daniel devoted an entire blog post to calling it the worst move he'd ever seen, even worse than Scooby-Doo.

Nick's future plans include his family. One episode that has already been recorded features him and his brothers discussing A Goofy Movie and a planned episode will feature The Muppet Christmas Carol. A special Mother's Day episode will feature his mother discussing The Breakfast Club.Meanwhile, Candice and her mother will have their own Mother's Day feature--Airplane!

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