Three SAE Liverpool Film students’ podcast, ‘The Big Picture’, has recently secured a weekly slot on EGM Radio UK. Airing every Sunday at 9pm, the show is an informal exploration of the film industry, including movie reviews and debates on topical issues such as the #MeToo movement.
With a shared passion for film and all studying the Digital Film Production degree at SAE Liverpool, Francesca Tomlinson, Joel Punchard and James McDougall often found themselves in conversation about various movies and topics relating to the film industry. To simply add a microphone and some structure to their informal chats seemed a natural progression for the trio, so they launched their very own podcast.
Joel explained: “The three of us would talk about the movies we had watched and topics within the industry, and one day James suggested we start a podcast.”
“We all attend the cinema usually like twice a week so it made sense to take it to the next level,” James tells us.
“I’d spent some time writing film reviews previously too but hadn’t continued while at SAE so was excited to get back into it,” Francesca added.
Starting at the beginning of June, ‘The Big Picture’ was on Soundcloud after just two weeks and has since gone from strength to strength. “Months on we are about to go on the radio and in all honesty is a bit crazy,” Joel says.
The show has a broad target audience; from avid film fanatics to simple cinema-goers, the content of ‘The Big Picture’ is aimed to cover all aspects of film and give people the chance to engage in an informal conversation that will hopefully spark interest and debate.
So what can listeners expect when they tune in?
“It’s all about film. Kind of as simplistic as that,” Francesca tells us. “It’s not too tied down to a certain aspect, it just depends on what’s happening that week. Usually we start with a movie review, new out that week. We then pick a subject or topic from the movie and discuss it in further detail. However, it’s been interesting to see how constantly the film industry is changing and how controversial it is specifically right now. So sometimes we can have our movie review planned but then suddenly there’s a new movement in Hollywood and we’ll push it back to discuss what is most relevant.”
Informal, insightful and informative - Francesca, Joel and James’ radio show has a simple format but far-reaching appeal. Aiming to connect with people all over the world on the airwaves, the small time podcast has come a long way in very short space of time. But with a much larger audience, comes a lot more pressure.
“It’s definitely more pressure,” Francesca explains. Before, if we were busy and missed a week releasing a podcast it was fine, however now we’ve got a schedule in place to ensure we’re prepared every week.”
The students have worked together on plenty of professional film projects prior to ‘The Big Picture’, so despite there being no cameras involved (at present), they have been able to rise to the challenge and establish a high quality format and schedule to ensure that listeners are engaged. The organic nature of the show works to their advantage too.
“I love how it feels like a conversation - nothing is forced and it doesn’t feel like I’m doing anything I wouldn’t be doing when walking home from the cinema anyways,” Joel says.
Commenting further, James said: “What I love about ‘The Big Picture’ is that’s it’s more than a film review podcast. We dive into bigger issues in today’s culture and how the industry is ran.”
From a modest student podcast to a weekly radio show in just four months, ‘The Big Picture’ has been a source of excitement for everyone in the Liverpool campus and across SAE overall.
Commenting on how far ‘The Big Picture’ has come, Joel says: “I’m blown away, personally it’s something which I never thought I’d do so being given this opportunity is crazy.”
“At this early stage of the radio show there’s no future plans, but over time we hope for it to get bigger and better. I see a great future for it with its new home at EGM Radio,” James concludes