By David Willard
Deyth Banger once made the statement, “Listening to a podcast, reading a book, listening to an audiobook and watching films isn’t waste of time. It’s how somebody becomes wise!” Although there is truth in that comment, it is more a good picture of where we are as a society and where we turn to grow intellectually and to be entertained. Podcasts have become a staple for learning more about the world around us, and it’s an avenue that is only growing. This month in For Your Listening Pleasure, we feature a local podcast that focuses on films and the fans who can’t get enough.
The Wreak Havoc Film Buff’s Broadcast is a bi-weekly podcast produced by Wreak Havoc Productions, LLC., a local film production company. The podcast is hosted by the owners and operators of Wreak Havoc, Dan Sellers and Sammie Cassell. The company has, for the past few years, been responsible for the Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival held in Greensboro annually. With their obvious affection for film, the owners decided to expand their company and add podcasting to their resume.
“It really started with filmmaking. I began making movies about five years ago and created my own production company, Wreak Havoc Productions. My co-host Sammie Cassell acted in my first film, Hank vs. The Undead, and soon after became my producing partner. We were in the middle of production on our second feature film, Sammie the Comic Book Man when we decided to get into podcasting. Sammie and I were spending a lot of time together riding to locations and shooting, and ultimately, being the film buffs we are, we would find ourselves talking in depth about our favorite movies. We’re also both avid podcast consumers and love the medium. The idea to turn our conversations into a podcast sort of seemed like a natural progression,” says Dan Sellers, president of Wreak Havoc Productions.
“The Wreak Havoc Film Buffs Podcast is a show for Sammie and me to talk about the movies that we love. Often, we discuss a film that we’re both fond of, and sometimes we talk about films that only mean something to one of us, challenging the other to broaden their horizons. It’s not a movie review show, and we don’t talk about movies we hate. If we’re discussing a film, at least one of us really likes the film. We frequently have guests on the show as well, and they’re usually other filmmakers, actors, or other local personalities. Our podcast is for any movie lover to listen to every episode or just cherry pick the films they like, too. We really reach out to the NC film community though by featuring guests with whom we’ve collaborated or whose work we admire. It’s also an opportunity for filmmakers to come on and plug their projects, to ask for funds or promote an event,” Sellers continues.
One of the challenges of the podcast market is keeping the product new and original, and Sellers is certainly cognizant of this task. “There’s a million movie-talk podcasts out there. This podcast is hosted by two fledgling filmmakers who run a small production company. So our perspective is that of people who adore movies and make them. Also, we were able to get an interview with the actor Stephen Tobolowsky to talk about the film Memento. He was such a pleasure to talk with and was very generous with his time. More recently we’ve spoken with B horror movie stars Felissa Rose about Sleepaway Camp and Ryan Lambert about The Monster Squad. Having these really cool people talk to us about their films has been a real joy,” Sellers adds.
Another important aspect is its importance to the community and Sellers is quick to point out something else that makes the show unique. “I think it’s relevant to the Triad area because we often talk about upcoming screenings, film festivals, and even film productions in the area that either we’re involved with or other local filmmakers are involved with. If someone in the Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem area is wanting to get involved in filmmaking as a hobby or career, this is certainly the show to listen to,” he concludes.
Wreak Havoc Productions’ podcast is undoubtedly a labor of love, but it is also a unique addition to the local podcast scene. With a thriving arts community, it is a welcoming product that promotes another art form that deserves its place in the Winston-Salem and Triad arts scene: film. Movies have always had the ability to not only entertain us, but also to teach and unite us. It is a powerful medium, and with their production company and podcast, Sellers and Cassell hope to wreak even more havoc on the local film scene.