It was so popular last year that we decided to do it again! Join us this holiday season as we introduce you to twelve of our favourite podcasts in the 12 Days of Podmas.
Although most long-running podcasts demonstrate growth and change across their run, many of them arrive in a format that undergoes only slight change with experience and repetition. Some podcasters take time to find their format, switching between different types of show until they find a niche. Occasionally, however, you get the pleasure of watching a performer develop in public. Such was the case with Alex Shaw, co-presenter of School of Movies.
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Alex first surfaced in 2007 on a gaming show named The Digital Cowboys. After 219 episodes, including an interview with Dominik Diamond, he took some time in 2010 to go in-depth breaking down the Star Wars prequels. Using a mixture of essay, group discussion and humorous clips from such shows as Robot Chicken, Alex was transformed by having completely free reign – by finding his own voice, without the need to compromise with other presenters.
After covering series on video games such as Mass Effect, and films series such as Batman, Alex first partnered up with his wife, Sharon, as Digital Gonzo transitioned to Digital Drift (its name taken from the concept of drifting in the Pacific Rim series).
Finally settling on School of Movies, the show now concentrates on deep dives into series such as Indiana Jones, as well as one-off shows and listener commissions on films such as Good Will Hunting. Games, books and cultural matters still feature, though they tend to be grouped under the title “School of Everything Else”; reflecting that this is a show concerned chiefly with film.
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School of Movies still retains the personal voice and insight that made Alex Shaw such a compelling podcaster in the first place; but it is rounded out with the greater maturity a man having now reached 40 brings to proceedings. Where the 20-something Alex was a lone voice constrained somewhat by working with others, he is now listening rather than just waiting to speak.
As such, we have lost none of his insight, but gained from a more seamless integration with the contributions of his guests. Alex and Sharon have worked together to produce a truly inclusive two (plus)-hander that gets the best from all its contributors, while striving to be both thought-provoking and funny.