If you’re reading these words right now, I’m betting that you’ve listened to a podcast before. I’d double-down on that bet and say that you’ve listened to one of the podcasts right here on this very site! Much of what has been built here, after all, can be traced back to Chris, Jonah, and Matt’s very first episode *cough*five*cough* years ago. Without the meteoric rise of the Nerdist Podcast, there certainly would be no Nerdist Podcast Network. Without the Nerdist Podcast Network, the revamp of this very website would likely not have happened and you would have no Nerdist News or The Dan Cave or Because Science to warmly lull you into a safe haven of nerdy factoids.
With other recent podcasting phenomenons like Serial and Welcome To Nightvale, “podcast” is no longer the latest buzzword your mother is calling to ask you about. (“So it’s like a radio show?”) Especially in the case of Serial–which seemed to explode into water-cooler conversations as if it had the auditory equivalent of an Oprah’s Book Club sticker slapped on its info page–the age of podcast ubiquitousness is upon us. They’ve been around for a while, sure, and lots of people (myself included) have been listening to them for years. But the proliferation of smart phones and interconnected devices have given podcasting a platform in which it can thrive like never before, and the kind of audience engagement unattainable in any other medium.
This peerless audience engagement is what drove Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini (from the Comedy Film Nerds) to tap into their shared comedic backgrounds and Mancini’s filmmaking talents to bring the story of podcasting to life in this documentary. As co-founders, along with Dave Anthony and Andy Wood, of the Los Angeles Podcast Festival they had a chance to bring a wide swath of the podcasting community’s most notable talents together last year for on-screen input into what has made the medium such a personal experience for listeners. The OG Nerdist himself Chris Hardwick is interviewed, as is Girl on Guy‘s Aisha Tyler, Todd Glass and many, many others.
The Ear Buds website makes a very good point as to why the audience connection is so much stronger:
Podcasting breaks down the barriers. There are no filters. No studio notes. No editing unless the podcaster wants to. Artist go directly to the fans, and the fans get to know the podcasters. Often learning intimate details of their lives. And this forms a bond and a connection that other media simply does not come close to.
The lack of editorial filters, coupled with the fact that a very large portion of a podcast’s audience is listening to their favorite episodes on their own time, in their own personal spaces–be it the commute to work, during an exercise routine, etc.–brings this all together in a very personal way. Being untethered to a screen while you receive your intellectually engaging entertainment is a very fine thing indeed. You can head over to the documentary’s website to stay updated from Chris and Graham about when to expect the film, as well as purchase some merch to help support the post-production phase.
Are you excited to see so many of your favorite podcasters together in one feature!? Sound off in the quemments below, and while you’re at it, shout out your favorite Nerdist Network podcast episodes of the last few weeks!