Episode Archive

72 episodes of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood since the first episode, which aired on August 5th, 2020.

  • Ray Subers on Polling Moviegoers

    July 29th, 2021  |  34 mins 20 secs

    On this episode of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, Sonny talks to Ray Subers, a vice president at NRG, which has helped Hollywood studios with polling about movies for decades. Currently, NRG’s most interesting and informative efforts have to do with polling audiences on their comfort levels with going back to theaters during the age of COVID and its variants. How are audiences feeling right now as case numbers surge? How nervous is Hollywood? Also: If you’ve ever wondered how movie studios figure out the “tracking” numbers—that is, the awareness levels for upcoming movies—that help them decide on release dates and advertising strategies, Ray’s the guy to listen to. It’s a fascinating science with stakes that involve tens of millions of dollars every single week.

  • John Mass on the Future of Content

    July 22nd, 2021  |  32 mins 15 secs
  • Ryan Faughnder on How Valuable You Are (to Streaming Companies)

    July 15th, 2021  |  33 mins 11 secs

    This week on The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, Sonny talks to the Los Angeles Times’s Ryan Faughnder about arr-poo (that is, RPU, or revenue per user) and how such calculations figure into the value of a subscriber, as well as all sorts of other topics. Make sure to subscribe to Ryan’s newsletter (it’s free!) if you’re into the whole “business of Hollywood” thing, which you are since you’re listening to this show. And if you enjoy this episode, share it with your friends! Everyone loves getting a new podcast to listen to.

  • Richard Rushfield on the Latest Hollywood News

    July 9th, 2021  |  31 mins 42 secs

    On this week’s episode we ask a very important question of The Ankler’s Richard Rushfield: Is Vin Diesel a star? Really, what does it mean to be a star these days anyway? How are the streaming wars shaping up? What’s the deal with Universal’s new pay window? And how beloved is Quentin Tarantino? All this and more on this week’s episode of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood.

  • James White on Restoring Movies for Arrow Films

    July 1st, 2021  |  52 mins 51 secs

    How does your favorite movie from the 1970s, '80s, or '90s make the jump to Blu-ray and 4K? Listen to find out.

  • Summer Reading!

    June 17th, 2021  |  1 hr 1 min

    On this week’s episode, Sonny Bunch is joined by Bulwark contributor Bill Ryan and Turner Classic Movie writer Greg Ferrara to talk about some of their favorite film books. This episode was inspired in part by a recurring question Sonny gets about books that can help people better understand film or become better film writers.

  • James Emanuel Shapiro on Cannes and the Business of Film Festivals

    June 10th, 2021  |  36 mins 5 secs

    On this week’s episode, James Emanuel Shapiro returns to the show to talk about the return of Cannes and what it’s like to be on the business side of a film festival. We all know about the great premieres and the fancy parties, but what about the actual business of these festivals, the markets where films are bought and sold? Plus, we’ll talk about Amazon’s purchase of MGM and, at the end, James shares some interesting data about Prime Video and iTunes’s relative place in the transactional VOD market.

  • Frank Pallotta on the MGM/Amazon Deal, F9 in China, and the Summer Movie Season

    May 27th, 2021  |  31 mins 40 secs

    CNN Media Reporter Frank Pallotta returns to the show to talk about a huge week in movie business news. Amazon has acquired MGM (and half of James Bond) for $8.45 billion. Summer movie season has kicked off in China, with the release of F9 and kicks off this weekend in America with A Quiet Place 2: what do new benchmarks for success look like? All this and more on a news-and-analysis packed episode. If you found the episode interesting and informative, please subscribe to Bulwark+ to help keep the show sustainable and share it with a friend! A recommendation from a friend remains the best way to grow a podcast’s audience.

  • Eddie Muller on TCM, Film Noir, and the HFPA's Charitable Work

    May 20th, 2021  |  34 mins 40 secs

    This week Sonny is joined by Eddie Muller, the host of TCM’s “Noir Alley” and the founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation. We discussed the Foundation’s reliance on the Golden Globes for the funding it procures to help restore long-lost film noirs to something approaching their original condition. We also talked about the world of film restoration more generally and Eddie offered up some picks for those looking to dive into the world of film noir. And make sure to pick up Eddie’s newly revised and expanded edition of Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir. I’ve already ordered my copy!

    And please: If there’s a noir lover in your life—or someone you hope to convert into a noir lover—make sure to share this episode with them. Just click that little button and pass it along; they’ll surely thank you for it.

  • Jon Finkel on 1996's sports movies and athletes on sports cinema

    May 13th, 2021  |  32 mins 19 secs

    This week Sonny is joined by Jon Finkel, author of 1996: A Biography: Reliving the Legend-Packed, Dynasty-Stacked, Most Iconic Sports Year Ever. This is a movie podcast, not a sports podcast, so I understand if you’re confused. But 1996 was also notable for having some great sports movies (Jerry Maguire, Tin Cup) and some … not-so-great sports movies (The Fan, Space Jam). Plus: Happy Gilmore! We also talked about how athletes perceive their portrayals onscreen and had a quick lightning round about which classic sports flicks are better. Some controversial choices in that segment, I guarantee you; Hoosiers fans should feel forewarned.

  • Jesse Nelson of Diabolik DVD Discusses the Boutique Blu-ray Biz

    May 6th, 2021  |  40 mins 24 secs

    This week Sonny is pleased to be joined by Jesse Nelson, the co-owner of Diabolik DVD and Cauldron Films. Diabolik is one of the best places to pick up boutique Blu-ray discs from outlets like Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow, and Shout/Scream Factory, and he had a number of interesting thoughts about the state of the physical media industry. We also talked a bit about his own label, Cauldron Films, which released a wonderful Blu-ray set of the pictured movie: American Rickshaw. If you’re a fan of physical media or have one in your life, make sure to share this episode with them!