What does it take to build a blockbuster? Well, first of all: when “Jaws” came out in 1975, the term “blockbuster” was already used to define a huge theatrical success. What that movie did was to redefine the boundaries of what a blockbuster is: from its release the new limit begun to be 100 millions worth of tickets sold. That movie was also the one that revealed a couple of soon to be very famous and revolutionary directors: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
This podcast, described by the authors themselves as a “biopod”, is based on a peculiar narrative structure: instead of using original materials and a narrator, it switches on a different level, that’s a sort of acoustic biopic.
The main characters of the story such as Spielberg, Lucas, Scorsese, the composer John Williams and many others are played by actors (or rather voices) that mimic the real ones. Therefore some focal points of the plot turn to be played like theatrical pieces, even if only spoken.
The result is kind of weird at the beginning: not because of how it’s made (it’s actually very well crafted and the whole sound design is astonishingly curated) but simply because we haven’t yet been used to listen to anything like that. At least I am not. I actually believe this to be the first kind of biopod ever made, at least to my knowledge.
The whole series is made of six half-hour episodes and tells many interesting and sometimes funny stories about the conception and making of these masterpieces, along with a focus on the creative process of the great musician John Williams, to whom both the directors payed tribute for the soundtracks he composed for their works.
Blockbuster paves the way for a new kind of narrative process in the podcast world and sets also a new and very high standard in terms of sound curation (by Peter Baviec) and original music (composed by Ryan Taubert and Benjamin Botkin).