East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

The best thing to come out of this pandemic

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The best thing to come out of this pandemic, for me, has been the opportunity to launch a podcast with my friend Lucy – we decided to do it because we were (and actually still are) in lockdown, with our respective jobs fizzing out, and too much time on our hands.
Why not try something new?

Just imagine, spending about two hours a week chatting with one of your best friends about your favorite – or least favorite – movies.
A lot of those are horror movies – but we have a very broad definition of “horror”.
Basically we do online what we’d normally do going out for a pizza, with one significant difference – I am sitting in the hills of Astigianistan, while my friend Lucy is in Rome, 600 kms away. Hooking up for a bite and a night of movie-talking would be complicated.

But thanks to a decent internet connection and two free softwares (the excellent Zencastr and the old reliable Audacity), and a rough but solid web platform (Mixcloud) we’re now five episodes in our new adventure.
After a shaky start – with a deep loathing for our own voices and no idea of where we were going – now we’ve found our pace and our style of recording. We are even starting to like our own voices.

When we started, we decided this would be our idea of a fun time – we are not trying to sell anything (we are both writers, and our novels were published by the same publisher), we are not trying to set ourselves up as influencers. We are probably not even furthering our careers, for what they are. Our program is too long, we’ve been told, we talk about movies nobody is interested in, we are not media friendly.
We do not care.
It’s our idea of a fun time.

So far we have discussed a British post-apocalypse movie, a BBC ghost story classic, a 1980s teen comedy/thriller, a Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee movie from 1972 (only for my patrons) and we’ve just recorded an episode about an old 1960s drive-in horror flick and its 2001 remake.
Next week? A Hong Kong fantasy film.
Next again? We don’t know.

Really, can you imagine something more fun?

And of course I’d love to do something else using audio and Mixcloud. I’d love to do a sshow about oddball and forgotten music – but that already exists, it’s Martin Newell’s Oddcaste (check it out).
But while ideas abound, for the time being I’ll be happy with this first venture. Further developments can come later.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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