About 3 years ago, a friend of mine named Dan Coleman helped me launch The Cutting Room Floor through a site that he operated called My Real Broadcast (hence the MRB in my Twitter handle). Although it’s now been dismantled the site did act as a great hub for indie musicians to both post music and occasionally appear on a talk radio show called “The Future of the Music Business” hosted by renowned entertainment lawyer Steve Gordon.
I approached Dan with the concept of creating an analogous show to promote indie filmmakers. To my surprise, he was receptive to it right away – despite my not having any background in film or radio. What I did have was a genuine love of film and a strong employment history in corporate sales. He also knew how motivated I was and based on that, was willing to give me a shot.
My main goal is to create as much awareness for people’s projects as I can. Half the fun of watching a movie is debating what you’ve just seen with your buddies out in the parking lot after it’s over and I try to bring that kind of a flavor to the show. I’ve even interviewed my 2 oldest friends, Ian Ritchie and Kevin Lecouffe and often use them as a sounding board when I’m trying out a new idea.
After interviewing a few local filmmakers, the show started to gain momentum through referrals and Dan recommended that I move over to Talkshoe so that I could keep my own schedule. The next step was opening up my Twitter account. Slowly but surely, filmmakers outside my immediate circle of friends started to volunteer their time – David Baker being one of the first. What started as a show that I was doing twice a month morphed into one that I was doing twice a week and often times even more.
While my primary focus was, and remains, to showcase filmmakers, I also branched out and started interviewing people in other pop culture arenas. Suddenly I had a steady stream of authors, musicians, performance artists, business people, and in one memorable instance a professional wrestler that were all willing to volunteer their time. Some of the best and most forward moving shows that I’ve done weren’t even with film people at all. I’ll illustrate this point by digging into my “vault” and citing a couple of examples.
L*A*W (hip hop artist): If forced to pick a favorite episode, this would be it. I bumped into the “Lyrical Assault Weapon” one night on Twitter and encouraged him to have a listen to an episode or two. He did and immediately offered to be interviewed himself saying that he had a story that needed to be shared. I know very little about hip hop and had never had a stage musician on before so, I jumped at the chance. He brought a big pile of fans with him to the chat room that night. What followed was stream of free consciousness that included honest accounts of his highs and lows and what it was like to work with greats like George Clinton. L*A*W also gave me a referral to another favorite……
Brimstone (professional wrestler): One of the best things about podcasting is that every now and then, you get to do a show out of sheer greed and fun. I’ve been a huge wrestling fan ever since I was a kid so it was a thrill to get to talk to Brimstone. He had stories about all the legendary performers that I grew up watching – most notably the Iron Sheik and Captain Lou Albano. But Brimstone was also one of the best self-marketers I’d ever met up to that point or even since. I was extremely impressed at how he was able to build up his “Brimstone and the Borderhounds” concept into both a wildly popular comic book and animated TV series. He’s also an accomplished philanthropist and has helped a lot of people through his charity work.
Claude Bouchard (crime novelist): I want to preface this by saying that I’ve had the privilege of dealing with a large number of authors – all of whom have helped me immensely – but, Claude was the guy who triggered it all. Having Claude on was the first real break I’d taken from interviewing filmmakers and was the single smartest move I’ve ever made. Claude is in essence a “writer’s writer”. His “Barry & McCall” crime novels are know all over the indie lit scene and he’s always one of the first to help out a fellow author. It was also a point of pride to showcase a local talent as well. Claude and I occasionally make jokes online about the fact that we live less than a 10 minute drive from each other but, still haven’t met yet.
So, what’s next for the “CRF”?
I’m proud to report that 2 months ago, I started a blog. One of the most consistent pieces of feedback I’ve received is that I should be doing more writing and am finally taking the time to do so. I plan to do a few less shows and a few more articles that will be a combination of critical and creative pieces.
My long term plans aren’t any loftier than that. I have a great “day gig” that I enjoy and a creative outlet that allows me to talk to cool people about fascinating subjects. I still hold to the promise that I made to my wife when I first started podcasting – I’ll keep at it as long as I’m having fun. The show is a labor of love that I take seriously and have a blast doing. In exchange, the indie community has been generous enough to encourage me and sees a value in what I do. Who could ask for more than that?
Casey Ryan is the creator and host of the Cutting Room Floor talk-radio podcast. For the past 3 years, the show has sought to highlight the works of independent entertainers of all types. The half hour segments air live on Sundays at 12 PM EST with recorded copies posted shortly afterward. A self proclaimed pop-culture addict, Casey is always trying to read up on the latest entertainment news stories. His film education consists of a lifetime of watching and studying movies. He holds a BA in Industrial Relations and Economics as well as a diploma in Sciences. For the past 10 years he has enjoyed a prolific career in corporate sales – often using his skills to help his guests market their work on air. Proud of his Irish heritage, Casey sits on the Board of Directors of the Montreal Chapter of the Ireland-Canada Chamber of Commerce – a volunteer group seeking to create greater business ties between the 2 countries. He is also a member of the Montreal Press Club.
Casey was born and raised in Montreal, Canada where he currently lives with his wife of 7 years.