In the first Earmovie of Season 3, “Blood from a Stone” by Bill Palmer is both a tribute and a send-up of the blood-spattered heydays of irresponsible 1980’s action films. Sean Sharpstone (Paul Scheer), is a muscle-bound renegade cop wrapped in acid-wash denim and dipped in pure testosterone. It’s 1986 in Los Angeles, and Sharpstone’s loose fists and tight jeans are the only things that can stop a spider-worshipping cult from creating an invisible network that will change the face of the nation – something they’re calling a “Worldwide Web.”The Black List Table ReadsAs podcasting continues to mature as its own art form, and production value increases along with budgets, there’s definitely a trend toward writing and producing fiction podcasts. Some shows, such as Welcome to Night Vale or The Black Tapes (a great podcast that we’ve highlighted previously), are somewhat postmodern in that they’re fiction playing with a non-fiction format.
But there are also some great fiction shows that aren’t trying too hard to be clever with reinventing the format. In fact, there’s a rich history of radio entertainment to draw from: radio dramas of the 1930’s and 1940’s that used the mind’s eye to make stories come to life. Like movies for your ears (before we all had TVs for our eyes).
The Black List Table Reads draws directly from that radio play history, while also tapping into our lust for movies and meta-jokes.
The premise, as the show’s creators describe, is simple: “The Black List Table Reads takes the best and most exciting screenplays Hollywood hasn’t yet made, and turns them into movies, for your ears.”
Each regular episode of The Black List Table Reads features a screenplay (including all the scene headings and descriptions) that’s fully produced for your ears with professional actors and post-production sound design. The producers mix it up, too. Some screenplays are earnest and thought-provoking. Some are full of intrigue and suspense. And some, like “Blood from a Stone,” are self-aware and ridiculous.
And for the film junkies, there are additional episodes in between the “earmovies,” featuring interviews and conversations with the actors and writers. It’s all great stuff worth listening to.
(And, by the way, any movie that references Brian Bosworth’s mullet is a winner in our book.)
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