For 24 straight hours, from noon on December 7th to noon on December 8th, What Are You Doing, Movie? will run a livestream commentary marathon for all eight Harry Potter movies to raise money for the Against Malaria Foundation. The event will be completely free to watch and participate in, with 100% of all donations going directly to the AMF to buy and distribute protective nets for folks in areas populated with carrier mosquitos. Nets that save a lot of lives.
All our dates are posted Pacific time. That’s UTC -8:00, or PST, or you can just do what we tend to do, which is Google “what time is it in Los Angeles?”
The event itself will be a livestream of our marathon recording session - you know, high-quality video/audio telecast with fancy onscreen graphics, that kind of thing - for folks to watch and listen to as they communicate with us from the chatroom. The chat participants will be an active and necessary constituent of the show - what we do is have conversations, and insights are what we’re after. Folks who know their Potter will be an invaluable help.
On the show, we announce an “unpause point” for the movie we’re doing commentary for, so a listener can - if they want - pop in the movie, pause it at the right moment, and “unpause” it with us. The conversation syncs up with the content of the film (though we often end up off on tangents about one thing or another) like a commentary, but also functions as just a discussion about the movie. Watching along with the movie isn’t necessary, especially if you’re familiar with the story.
We were amused to learn that virtually none of our fanbase does the commentary thing with us. So, movie commentary, or movie conversation, whichever. It’s up to the listener.
After we’re done with the livestream, the recordings will be released for free as DVD-quality audio recordings, available through the normal What Are You Doing, Movie? RSS feed and website. And we will sleep. We will so much sleep.
We here at What Are You Doing, Movie? have been doing weekly critical film commentaries for over four years now. It began as an exercise in having a good time around some microphones, just talking movies over a few beers, but soon it grew into something slightly different...
...we started trying to figure movies out.
Though we all work in the film industry, and all of us had written screenplays, none of us were actually screenwriters by trade. (Visual effects artists, editors, fight choreographers and puppeteers, sure. Cinematographers, directors, actors and composers, all welcome additions. But not actually screenwriters!) Despite our universal amateur status as Professional Screenwriters, we were just fascinated by the process of telling a story. How does that work? Specifically?
Along the way, we share anecdotes and insights into the various aspects of filmmaking we actually do for a living, but the central thrust of the show became a simple, curious question; what are you doing, movie?
We’re not a film review show. We don't give a bad movie one less star - we exercise the brain muscles it takes to make a story great. We like to think of movies as machines, working parts, big systems invented to tell a story. If the machine works, how is it doing that? If the machine is broken, let’s locate the cog that started it. Take it out. Pitch better ideas, solve the problems, make it good.
And that all kinda spiraled.
After four years of commentaries, three spin-off shows under the Friends In Your Head banner, the rise of an amazing creative online community - not to mention hundreds and hundreds of hours of film discussion - we’re coming up on our 200th episode of the flagship podcast.
And the way this event will go, we’ll come out of it on the 207th episode, because… you know.
Eight movies. 24 hours.