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Author Topic: Diminishing Returns  (Read 11628 times)
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Urban Legend
« on: 06-20-2016 20:06 »

Hi guys. I thought I'd have a go at whoring out my new podcast here. It's called Diminishing Returns. It's currently sat at #9 in the iTunes TV and Film chart.

It's not strictly Futurama-related, but...

1. I'm part of this Futurama community, so maybe you'll be interested in hearing my voice and listening to me prattle on instead of just reading it in text form.

2. We mention Futurama in episode 4, which will be released this Monday.

3. Though it won't be for a while, I promise you guys that we have every intention of doing an entire episode dedicated to Futurama at some point down the line.

Basically, two friends and I discuss a film and then pitch our own sequel ideas. We try to make it funny and informative. So far, each episode has been better than the last, so I'd recommend starting with number 3, "Independence Day".

We're currently sat at #9 in the iTunes chart (category TV & Film) so it can't be completely crap.


Also, my friend and fellow podcaster, Calvin, also happens to be a YouTuber and he's put together this "Best Bits" video to showcase the series. He introduces about 5 minutes of clips that might be a good starting point.

Thanks, guys!

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #1 on: 06-21-2016 20:22 »
« Last Edit on: 06-21-2016 20:23 »

I listened to #3 on my way to work this morning.  It was fun to listen to, but not being a movie guy I had no clue when it came to a lot of the comparisons to other films, directors, and actors.  The volume levels of the three participants were slightly unbalanced but the audio was pretty good overall and easy for the listener to understand.  The banter and discussion were interesting and entertaining.  Would listen again :)

For the record, I adore Independence Day.  Not because it's a great film, or even a good film, but because it's a well-executed example of exactly the movie it's trying to be: a campy, trope-heavy big-budget disaster/alien invasion movie with the right blend of stereotypical characters, comedy, melodrama, and big explosions.  It's a perfect popcorn movie.

And I disagree with the assertion that it's a direct (as in note-for-note) ripoff of The War of the Worlds, as it diverges from and/or minimizes some key elements of the seminal work.  In my recollection of TWOTW, a fundamental aspect was the buildup of the tension in the beginning -- the mystery and drama of scattered reports of unknown entities running amok and wreaking havoc, as humanity tried to comprehend the scale of what was going on.  In ID1, we knew within the first five minutes that they were aliens from outside the solar system and that the scale was immense.  And we figured out beforehand (through the corny satellite clock countdown) that widespread hostility was going to occur at a precise moment in time.  The deal in TWOTW was that mankind was utterly helpless in the face of overwhelming alien power despite our military prowess and learned scientists, and that it was only a stroke of luck that saved us (the literal virus).  ID1 showed us defeating the aliens through logic, subterfuge, and putting aside our inter-cultural hostility and joining together to defeat a common enemy.  The fact that we used a completely bogus computer "virus" as part of this effort was just a nod to TWOTW, in my view.  Also, Armageddon was complete tripe (apologies to those Peelers who actually like tripe).

IN ANY CASE, I shall be checking out the overview and at least a couple more of the podcasts.  Thanks for sharing! :)


Urban Legend
« Reply #2 on: 06-22-2016 09:45 »

Thanks for the feedback (and being so nice... and listening in the first place)!

The audio levels in our first few are a bit dodgy as we batch-recorded a bunch of them to begin with in the same room and... yeah, it's not great. Allen also had a cold which doesn't help hugely.

We have switched to a three-microphone set-up for future episodes, so the audio quality and levelling does get better.

I agree about Independence Day to an extent. It's not for me, but it's a great example of the sort of film that it is. One of the problems with the look of the new film for me is that, despite it looking to so crazy-huge in the trailers, it's all CGI and it just kind of looks like a load of actors sitting in front of a green-screen. There's something to be said for how much of the first film was built around blowing real-life things to pieces, even if they were just models.

I've always viewed Independence Day was intended as a modern re-telling of The War of the Worlds, the same way that films like Splice or Re-Animator are definitely meant as modern takes on Frankenstein.
That said, I would say that the build-up of tension is very directly mirrored in Independence Day. In The War of the Worlds, everyone gathers in Horsell Common to investigate the strange object that has landed. There's a sense of unease, but from what I remember, it's far from a foregone conclusion that the thing is hostile or dangerous until it actively starts killing people. I'd say it's very close to the build-up with ID's countdown to the first blast. Of course, in Independence Day, we know that the aliens are definitely hostile, but that's only really because we all know what the film is about and we saw the trailers and footage of The White House blowing up before going into it. If books were marketed in the same way, then H.G. Wells would have had the same problem. From what I remember, Jeff Goldblum only figures out the hostility with the countdown right before it occurs - certainly too late to do anything about it.
Anyway, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Like I say, I always assumed it was intended as a modern take (homage, if you will) on the book rather than an outright cash-grab, rip-off.

Anyway, I really hope you enjoy the other offerings and what follows!

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
« Reply #3 on: 08-27-2017 03:44 »

If I listened to podcasts, I'd give it a try.  I'm bumping the thread to generate interest again.

How many episodes do you have thus far, and could you give a synopsis for each?  Also, do you shoot for giving every episode a type of theme?

Space Pope
« Reply #4 on: 08-27-2017 16:00 »

Oh, I actually am glad you bumped this thread, winna. I like to listen to podcasts when I go to the gym (I find that the sound of other people passionately conversing about pop culture and stuff distracts me from the pain and occasional boredom of my daily hour of cardio in a way that music doesn't), and I've been looking for some new stuff--especially stuff that's closer to the 60- to 90-minute range, like most of these episodes seem to be, so I don't have to switch to something new mid-workout. Will definitely give this show a try!
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