"Trailers from Hell"
"I think every writer has at least 50 specific ways that they procrastinate every day,” Josh Olson told us. “And it's nice that now I have a way to procrastinate that's actually productive."
Josh Olson is an American screenwriter. You might recognize his name from the Academy Awards in 2006, when A History of Violence earned him a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. The procrastination he’s referring to isn’t a movie, however.
This procrastination is his podcast, Movies That Made Me.
In brief, filmmakers and entertainers discuss movies that inspired them. In bold, Movies That Made Me is the tangible version of “I love Bill Hader’s new show...I’d love to have a conversation with him about what movies inspired him most.”
Don’t forget that great banter has two sides. This show’s other half is director/producer Joe Dante. He’s known for films like Gremlins, Gremlins 2, and most importantly, Small Soldiers.”
Joe and Josh started the podcast after finding initial success on their website, TrailersFromHell.com.
“Trailers From Hell started because I had a big 35-millimeter movie collection, and I had a lot of trailers...I always loved trailers. I loved the hyperbole, I loved the editing,” Dante told us. “In the '70s, we used to go out at midnight, and there would be movies that would run of people's prints, and we'd have trailer marathons and stuff. Everybody would get stoned, and it was great.”
As ‘that world’ disappeared, the trailers collected dust. So, Dante had another thought. He thought he should put them online. And in order to incentivize people to watch, he added commentary on the early trailers like Attack of the 50-Foot Woman and From Hell It Came.
“They sat there fairly unmolested for quite a while,” Dante recalled. “But then a few of my friends saw what was going on and said, ‘I have a couple pictures I'd like to talk about.’ And then I got the idea that, actually, maybe we could just bring in more people and more trailers.”
“Any idiot can do a podcast...”
“The mission was basically to try to take some films out of mothballs and get people excited about them again,” Dante told us. “And in doing that, we created a fan-base of people.”
Eventually, Joe convinced Olson that ‘any idiot can do a podcast’ (if you have great content already). Dante called a friend in podcasting to get his thoughts, and just like that, Movies That Made Me grew out of Trailers From Hell pretty naturally.
It fed itself.
By asking filmmakers about movies they wanted to talk about, they avoided the burden of research and overwhelming prep work. They didn't want to do a podcast where people came on and sold themselves and talked about their new book. It was fine if they did. But that wasn’t the point of what they were creating. What they were creating was a way for Hollywood to celebrate its history.
“I just saw Dolemite Is My Name,” Dante segued. “It's made for Netflix, which means that part of the deal is that it's going to be streamed, and it's not going to play many theaters, which is a loss, I think because it's an audience movie. Everybody has a good time. They come out happy, and they're talking about it. They're buzzed. It's a good movie. It will look good on television, but it won't be the same as seeing it in a theater.”
Really, the podcast brings integrity back into the conversation during a time when movies are most prevalent and readily available. By having these conversations with people “you’d never get to have,” Joe Dante and Josh Olson are able to look at movies like kids again.
“I mean, if you're really passionate about things, about movies, finding a soulmate who has the same taste that you do, or at least appreciates your taste — even if they don't share it — it's important,” Dante told us when asked about the duo’s compatibility.
Above the rest — access to premier interview subjects and over 75 years of combined experience in the film — their humbleness is the apparent x-factor in this hilarious equation.
“Yeah, we're still guys who don't have Oscars,” Olson laughed.
You can listen to their podcast here.