I wrote the following twelve points to clarifying the focus of the Breaking Cinema podcast in the project’s Vision Document.

I wrote the twelve points both for reminding myself and for enlightening other members of the project.

As Breaking Cinema was very unusual in that it focused less on film and more so on the multimedia and neurobiological that exist beyond the two-dimensional images on a screen.

The point of the following twelve points was to emphasize that I wanted to deal with a much bigger picture.

To this end, Breaking Cinema was not…


  1. A Film-Centric Comfort Zone

“This podcast is not just about films,” I have said this many times throughout the development of the project.

And do not even get me started on comfort zones!

The project is more cinema-centric, it’s in the name, Breaking Cinema.

Cinema-centric in the sense that cinema refers to something much bigger than just films a.k.a. two-dimensional images on a screen.

Cinema is us.

And I want to break it open.


  1. A Podcast

Let’s be clear.

There is a podcast.

But that podcast is the central element of a larger brand entity that will operate online and actively engage with its audience via…

  • Its website
  • Its YouTube channel
  • Its Facebook page
  • Its twitter account
  • Its Google+ page

This project is not just a podcast; in the same way that your life and identity is not just defined by the attributes of your physical body, this project is something bigger.


  1. Lazy Film Studies

The history, analysis, criticism and appreciation of film and media can largely take of themselves.

I am so sick of dealing with film-centric individuals who can not think critically about their beloved film-centrism precisely because they are so film-centrically biased!

Today almost everyone is media-literate, they understand how those two-dimensional images on a screen are created and can accordingly infer how those two-dimensional images create meaning.

Everyone is capable of indulging in some form of the history, analysis, criticism and appreciation of films and wider concerns of media as a whole.

The knowledge and presence of films have become so widespread, film history, analysis, criticism and appreciation are now just another form of small talk.

I have had many an enthralling discussion with individuals who have no background in the film and media fields. Ironically, I often find there points of view to be vastly more enriching precisely because they do not have a background in film and media studies!

It’s because they are not too biasedly invested in the subject.

Congratulations, Film Studies, your endeavour to educate the masses about cinema has worked… almost completely without you.

But you know the thing about small talk?

It’s the sound of your brain dying!

Unless its creative small talk, that does not involve the weather, your job, your relationship, the weather, how you are not really feeling, the weather, your car, your status, the weather, the latest match, the latest almost always negative headlines or the weather, did I mention the weather?

Pretty much every human being I have ever had a conversation with is subtextually and essentially:

“Did I mention how shit the weather is today? Not that that is not a common occurrence in the UK. But I just want to make sure we talk about the weather, because the weather IS the topic of the day, every day, because everyone else always talks about it, so I am going to tell you all about it, because I don’t want to be the person who never talks about the weather, so let me tell you about it!”

Me: “Why? I can see it, so you don’t need to tell me about it. If you actually want to have a conversation with me then get to the point of what you actually want to say, just because we are in the immediate vicinity of one-another does not mean you have to talk to me about the obvious and what is essentially… nothing. If you want to talk about nothing, then don’t say anything.”

Yeah, I not a huge fan of small talk, I actually find it really irritating, but unfortunately it seems to be the only thing that gets the party started, so I have to tolerate it because of that.

And, accordingly, by no means am I saying that the small talk of Film Studies is not going to be a part of the project.

Where would a discussion of cinema (as being more than just two-dimensional images on a screen) be without it?

It would be just like having a sunny day and lacking the generic ability to tell me about how great the weather was. Oh, what a shame that would be!

But imagine if you had a podcast centred on the daily small talk about the weather. Admittedly, you could actually be quite creative with such a concept, but let’s suppose that it made no effort to be creative and was just small talk about the weather… in every episode. That Podcast would get insanely boring, very quickly, because it would just be repeating itself over and over and over and over again.

Therein lies my problem with a podcast cantered around film history, analysis, criticism and appreciation. From the test episodes that have already been recorded, I keep getting the same nagging thought popping into my mind, “This has all been said somewhere else before.”

Probably because it has been said somewhere else before… in Film Studies, a discipline that absolutely loves to chase its tail.

And, increasingly, I am struggling to move the discussions beyond this, because every time that I do… the discussion goes running back to the comfort zone of film small talk. It is for this reason that I have re-configured the conception and format of the podcast.

Ultimately, Film Studies is just a conceptual starter pack and film small talk is a tool from that starter pack, but that tool is not the point of the podcast.

The podcast is called Breaking Cinema not Lazy Film Studies.

Although, I have to admit, Lazy Film Studies could make for a very quirky podcast!

Breaking Cinema is much more about “Constructive Film Studies” a.k.a. a proactive transdisciplinary approach towards studying and creating cinema in relation to a wider media-centric, holistic humanistic perspective.

It’s about original, speculative and creative thinking!

And I would like to place a clearer emphasis on the concept of being transdiciplinary:

“Transdisciplinarity is defined by Basarab Nicolescu through three methodological postulates: the existence of levels of Reality, the logic of the included middle, and complexity. In the presence of several levels of Reality the space between disciplines and beyond disciplines is full of information. Disciplinary research concerns, at most, one and the same level of Reality; moreover, in most cases, it only concerns fragments of one level of Reality. On the contrary, transdisciplinarity concerns the dynamics engendered by the action of several levels of Reality at once. The discovery of these dynamics necessarily passes through disciplinary knowledge. While not a new discipline or a new superdiscipline, transdisciplinarity is nourished by disciplinary research; in turn, disciplinary research is clarified by transdisciplinary knowledge in a new, fertile way. In this sense, disciplinary and transdisciplinary research are not antagonistic but complementary. As in the case of disciplinarity, transdisciplinary research is not antagonistic but complementary to multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity research.”


Film Studies is not the only discipline Breaking Cinema will be concerned with, far from it and gladly so!

If you are a contributor on the podcast, then I am vastly more interested in your point of view, not someone else’s point of view you are just regurgitating; they may be of use in backing up your perspective, but it’s your perspective that I want.

I do not care for convention, the status quo or generic small talk, I want your honest deep-felt-and-thought original opinion.

Breaking Cinema needs temptuous, not timid; proactive, not passive.

Finally, you are more than welcome to contest my views on Lazy Film Studies, because it is incredibly boring and unstimulating when people just agree with you on everything you say!

Disagreement and discussion?

Now that sounds like the groundwork for a podcast!


  1. A Yes-Fest

If you really do agree me, then agree with me and, from the opinions of your perspective, justify why you do agree with me.

If you do not agree with me, say so and, from the opinions of your perspective, justify why you do not agree with me.

Our greatest opportunities for growth occur from the things we miss.


  1. A Hobby (for me)

I do not like the word ‘hobby,’ to me, if you rearrange the letters it spells – ‘cop out!’

Either do what you love or do not do what you love. You have one life and it is constantly ticking away, doing what you love in the bit where you have life is a simple conclusion.

My original conception for this project was a side-venture, something that I would just knock out with a group of interested individuals.

It always starts by making a noise with whatever it is you want to ultimately be doing and what better way to make a noise than with a podcast

Which is why I have reformulated it into its current form.

Admittedly, transferring a side venture into the main focus of your life or career is something I applaud.

A ‘hobby’ is just a starter pack for doing that and if you start something, you might as well see it through until the end.


  1. An Ego-Centric Trip

I am very ego-centric and it is not something I am particularly proud of!

A big ego can make you incredibly arrogant… and very blind as a result.

Admittedly, the unyielding arrogance a big ego possesses does have its uses; its stubbornness is sometimes necessary in order to keep things moving and to cut through a great deal of mindless bullshit, but it can also create a great deal of baloney of its own.

It is for this reason that I have spent many years nurturing my humility… and a key way in which I have done this is by actively listening to other people.

Remember, ‘silent’ rearranged becomes ‘listen’.

Arrogance and humility in equal measure is the best way to go, never let those two stop battling with other.

I am saying this because my arrogance and my humility have only so much patience for other ego-centrics, it is hugely irritating and unproductive having to deal with a bruised ego.

Ultimately, as much as I am the lead on this project, I want to build an entity that presents a vast array of perspectives; I want to keep it open to different opinions as much as I possibly can, it’s about collaboration and inclusiveness.

It’s not about who does it best.


  1. A People Pleaser


Because pleasing everyone is impossible.

Seek out a people pleaser and you will find a person who is constantly exhausted, insecure, unfulfilled and who, more often than not, possesses a very bad conception of who they actually are.

People pleasers are short-sighted, time wasting, liabilities – they agree with everyone and everything, regardless if there are inevitable contradictions between those agreements.

Unless you are fundamentally swayed otherwise, stick with your point of view and if other people get hurt in the process – tough.

Human beings are more than capable of looking after themselves; they can wipe their own tears away; the act of confrontation is one of the best ways in which we grow, not just through rose-tinted exchanges!

I can be very blunt… if you have not already noted and I do have an ego, as I have already noted.

I also want this project to appeal to its segmented target audience, absolutely.

But I will not shy away from controversy.

And just because this project is not a people pleaser, does not necessarily mean that it can not be a crowd pleaser, more on this in the format of the podcast and target audience.


  1. A Lecture

This project is an experience.

Something you feel and think about.

Not a dusty academic lecture.

We have all sat in a mind-numbingly dull talk in which the lecturer hid behind their podium with absolutely no conception about how to actually engage the audience’s attention beyond a few “relief and run for the exit” questions at the end.

And the problem with sit down discussions in a podcast is they can very easily develop into a flat and un-enthralling audio lecture.

Have the test episodes already recorded for the podcast been guilty of this?

Not necessarily.

But they could still be vastly more engaging creative with the audio podcast format.

It is for this reason that I have decided to reconfigure the podcast from a sit-down discussion symposium into a documentary storytelling format.

That’s how you make your listener a part of an engaging and long-lasting experience.

You tell them an enthralling and memorable story.

Not convinced?

You should check out The Secret History of Hollywood and You Must Remember This – two podcasts that have mastered the audio storytelling format.

Stories are how our brains best processes information.

More on this in The format of the project.


  1. A Closed-Minded Rant

“If we wish to draw philosophical conclusions about own existence, our significance, and the significance of the universe itself, our conclusions should be based on empirical knowledge. A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications.” – Lawrence M. Krauss, A Universe from Nothing, 2012:139.

Ah, reality!


  1. A Gentleman’s Club

“Until eight weeks old, every fetal brain looks female – female is nature’s default gender setting” – Louann Brizendine, The Female Brain, 2006:36

I love that quote, it always reminds me of my place!


  1. Regurgitation Central

“What has already been said is still not enough.” – Eugene Delacroix

And it has probably been re-said countless times over!

The past has its uses, but the past is not the future and neither is the present.

Move on and think constructive… even if that means you have to be deconstructive with what has gone before.

With a name like Breaking Cinema, nothing is sacred – NOTHING!


  1. Set in Stone

Breaking Cinema is now much more so set in stone than it was before.

The foundation is pretty much set, if you like.

But whatever is built on that foundation will keep evolving and changing and breaking new ground… and maybe even break the foundation on which it stands… so even the foundation is not set in stone, but, meh.

That is at the heart of human growth and the point of Breaking Cinema (a.k.a. Breaking Complacent Thinking).

Human beings have such a capacity for curiosity – it’s why we are here today, we got bored with caves.

So validate our ancestors’ curiosity and stop talking about the weather.

The weather has been done to death.

Put your curiosity to some new and far-reaching productive use.

Don’t be set in stone.

Be open-minded.


You can also read the twenty points that I wanted the Breaking Cinema podcast to absolutely be.