Sonny Bunch hosts The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, a new podcast featuring interviews with folks who have their finger on the pulse of the entertainment industry during this dynamic—and difficult—time.
Netflix's Big Week
This week on The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, CNN’s Frank Pallotta rejoins Sonny to talk about Netflix’s big week! New subscriber numbers, new data numbers, and a newly controversial gloss to the biggest thing in entertainment. Plus, we talk a bit about Halloween Kills, Dune, and the impact of streaming on box office numbers. If you enjoyed the show, share it with a friend!
The Business of Sports Ads
Ryan Faughnder of the Los Angeles Times’s Wide Shot newsletter rejoins the show this week to discuss the boon—and burden—of sports betting ads. What are some of the rewards, and the risks, of this enormous advertising market? We also discussed Squid Game and Netflix’s efforts to internationalize entertainment as well as the age-old debate: subtitling versus dubbing. Make sure to sign up for Ryan’s newsletter (it’s free!) and if you enjoyed this episode please share it with a friend!
Scott Eyman on Daryl F. Zanuck and 20th Century Fox
On this week’s episode, Sonny talks to Scott Eyman about his new book, 20th Century Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio. Zanuck’s reign as a Hollywood mogul ran through nearly every major technological and business innovation Hollywood saw in the first half of the 20th century and beyond, and Mr. Eyman’s book paints a compelling portrait of a producer as both businessman and artist. You can pick up a copy wherever books are sold (here’s an Amazon link for ease’s sake), and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Scott Tobias on the Business of Film Criticism
On this week’s episode, Sonny talks to Scott Tobias, formerly of The AV Club and The Dissolve, about his new Substack endeavor with Keith Phipps, The Reveal, as well as the evolving world of film criticism. With so many local newspapers cutting back on movie reviewers for budgetary reasons and so many websites merely hitting the most popular of topics to generate clicks, it’s interesting—and, frankly, heartening—to see Substack using their Pro program to help critics like Tobias and Phipps (along with Ty Burr and Jerry Saltz) stand up their own newsletters to chase their own idiosyncratic interests. Can the “Thousand True Fans” theorem save the world of interesting film writing?
Rod Lurie Part 2: 'The Outpost'
Welcome back to the show! Please check out last week’s episode if you missed it; Rod Lurie (The Contender, The Last Castle) had a ton of great stories about transitioning from the Army to the world of film criticism to the world of filmmaking. This week we talked about shooting The Outpost: the difficulty of bringing such a sensitive story to the big screen and trying to decide what to cut and what to keep; shooting the film in Bulgaria; and casting actors like Caleb Landry Jones and Scott Eastwood in key roles. For more on The Outpost, make sure to check out my interview with the author of the source book, Jake Tapper. And please share this episode with a friend if you enjoyed it!
Rod Lurie on Breaking Into the Biz
This week (and next week!) Sonny talks to Rod Lurie, the director of The Contender, The Last Castle, and The Outpost, among other films and television shows. This week’s episode is all about Rod’s early efforts to break into the business, from Army officer to film critic to writer/director. He tells a great story about his first meeting with Bill Paxton, fills us in on the difficulty of getting funding for just about anything (spoiler: you’re always one actor away from a green light), and the difference between being a showrunner and a director-for-hire on a TV series. Make sure to tune in next week when we talk about The Outpost. And if you enjoy this episode, please share it with a friend!