Every night, every car ride, every long walk, every study session, every bike ride and every relaxation-filled moment has been spent listening to How Did This Get Made?
How Did This Get Made? is a podcast that’s been out for 10 years where the hosts, Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas watch terrible movies and discuss them live on the podcast. I discovered it when I was 15-years-old and going through the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 show phase we all went through as 15-year-olds. I’m kidding, of course, I know we did not all go through this phase, but what can I say? While I was watching the comedians on Mystery Science Theater 3000 make hilarious commentary over some of the worst movies I had ever seen, I thought to myself, “Hm, this show could easily be a podcast too!” How exciting! I had finally thought of a way to fill every moment of my day with bad movie commentary. I picked up my phone and headed to Apple Podcasts to see if this idea I had was a reality, and that’s where I stumbled upon How Did This Get Made?
To know me is to know that there is nothing I love more than talking about movies. Which I’m sure you guessed from my 15-year-old desire to listen to other people talk about movies 24/7. I could, and have, talk about anything from the costumes in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, to the creation of the puppet in Jack Frost for hours. Nothing to me is more interesting than learning about how a movie got made. So, when I found a podcast that quite literally did just that, I also found my people.
Growing up, I never had anyone I could talk about my love of movies and media with. I wasn’t a part of any film communities online or a group of friends that enjoyed chatting about the history of the film industry. But I didn’t realize I was even missing that in my life until I started listening to How Did This Get Made?
The first episode I ever listened to was about the Stephen King masterpiece of a film, Maximum Overdrive. It’s an incredibly wild movie that I love, but I had never had the opportunity to talk about it, nor did I have any idea the drama that was going on behind the camera. Honestly, I had never had the idea to discuss movies I love the kind of way they do on the podcast. Listening to this episode ignited a new-found passion for me: learning about and talking about how movies get made. In their 10-year anniversary episode, Paul, June and Jason discussed how the podcast was started with the intention of capturing the energy and excitement of discussing a movie you just saw with friends at a bar. Paul, June, Jason and all their funny friends became the friends I talk to at the bar about the movie we just saw.
It may seem silly, but this podcast became my community. Each episode’s release was an opportunity for me to learn and share a laugh with “friends” about a movie with an interesting story. Through listening to the show, I discovered a whole new world of people who are passionate about all the same things I am. How Did This Get Made? and its community of comedian-guests and listeners helped me realize that I deserve to explore the things I am passionate about. When I got to college, I started taking film studies classes. I went to lectures on topics like the history of women in film, and screenings/discussions of films I had never heard of. And when the pandemic put all live events online, I got to go to my first live show of How Did This Get Made? where I interacted with the community for the first time as they discussed one of my favorite movies, Cats. I talked with other audience members, asked questions and got into the nitty gritty of the fever dream that is Cats.
How Did This Get Made? helped me find my voice. I’ve expanded my film knowledge and found something I’m passionate about and found people who were passionate about those things too. Not only has it given me a good laugh when I needed it most, but it has also given me a deeper appreciation of film that I have translated into a film minor, and further expansion of my film horizons. The media we engage with becomes part of who we are. It gives us community, passions, opportunities, creative outlets and a host of other possibilities we may not have ever considered for ourselves.
I couldn’t be more glad that How Did This Get Made? got made. When the podcast episode comes out about the movie I made about how I became one of the biggest film history nerds of all time, I will tell Paul, June and Jason that their podcast was my origin story.