Recently, there have been a few podcasts which have evolved from their audio format into TV Shows. Podcasts like Lore, which was adapted into an Amazon series and Dirty John, which was picked up by Netflix. Even rarer than this, however, is a podcast spawning it’s very own movie. Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds have spent the last few years creating The ParaPod Movie, based on the original podcast series. We love their show here at Pod Bible, and were delighted when Ian got in touch to tell us all about the making of the film!
In 2015, Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds decided to start recording their arguments about the existence of ghosts. Lifelong believer in the paranormal Dodds, and hardwired skeptic Boldsworth went head to head in The ParaPod Podcast, and the results were staggering. With Dodds making claims about cursed elevators, flaming monks, and floating children, Boldsworth countered ruthlessly with stoic logic and disbelief. Aided by Boldsworth’s existing podcast audience, the show hit the ground running and garnered a huge interactive fan base immediately. Three series’ later, with millions of downloads, sold out live shows and specials, Boldsworth decided to make this the first podcast to be turned into a feature length film, and in 2020 The ParaPod Movie will be unleashed.
Taking to the roads of the UK in the PARA-1 (a modified Hearse), under Dodds’ instruction they visit the most haunted village in the world, the home of the world’s most violent poltergeist, the underground labyrinths of Edinburgh, and everywhere in between, as Barry tries with increasing desperation to find some proof to convince his cynical friend that ghosts are real. What follows is a journey of true discovery, of shocks and emotional turmoil, peppered with The ParaPod’s trademark conflict and hilarity, leading to a bewildering climax that’s sure to spark debate and discussion in all who take the ridiculous journey with them. You won’t believe it… but he will.
Documentary-filmed completely on location over a three-year period, The ParaPod Movie is produced by Bil Bungay (Moon, Diego Maradona, When The Lights Went Out) and directed by award-winning podcast pioneer Ian Boldsworth (Peacock & Gamble Podcast, The ParaPod, The Mental Podcast). Initially funded with a campaign on the original podcast where listeners paid for a movie credit, against all odds this truly unique independent movie came to fruition, the first podcast to become a feature film.
The first ever advance screening will be held in London on Tue 7th Jan and sold out the Prince Charles cinema within three hours, the movie will subsequently be on a UK tour (TBA), where the 1hr 45min film will be shown followed by a Q&A.
Ian Boldsworth statement
“I fluked being at the start of podcasts when I launched The Ray Peacock Podcast in 2006. I’d really love to be able to claim that I saw it all coming, that I knew this would all be as huge as it is, but I didn’t so much take the elevator by choice. I more bundled myself into it to escape the floor I was on. All these years later, I’m going to claim that I did see that podcasts would become movies, and that would be the new trend. Then I’ll get my kudos as a pioneer finally. As it stands, The ParaPod is the first podcast to directly translate the format to the big screen, and it’s a format that lends itself perfectly to that. The movie is very much about a podcast, and the podcast remains present and integrated into the story.
The idea came about when we were filming a speculative TV pilot in a haunted house. I’d been setting stuff up, and pretending things were moving and that I could feel ghosts and Barry (Dodds) was utterly terrified. The most frightened I’d ever seen him up to that point. I was actually panicking about how to bring him out of it, so far gone was he. At the end of the evening, stood outside that house, I had the realisation that we weren’t making a TV show. It would have been impossible to carry on that way across episodes, as the game would all be given away in the first one.
I decided we should make a film instead. Like with podcasts, back when I taught myself Audacity editing and took a punt on a couple of mics that plugged into a laptop, I knew nothing of what it would entail. I just knew we would be able to raise some sort of budget from the fan base. They’d already donated for incentives on each series, so I figured if they could buy a credit on the film, that would give us a chunk of money to get started. On the back of this we got a producer who has further financed the shooting, and it’s all – miraculously – come in on budget. Now it’s a 105min Documentary tale of myself and Barry touring haunted locations in the UK, with him trying to prove to me that ghosts exists. It’s funny, stupid, melancholic, spooky, tense, depressing and inspiring. I think it’s also rather unpredictable, given the lay of the land the audience are used to on the podcast, but that’s in line with the journey overall. Dodds is as daft as ever in his beliefs, and as half-arsed as always on the research and application front, and I continue to take no prisoners in the face of all this idiocy. This is far from an open and shut case though… but folk can make their own minds up. The ParaPod Movie is a hugely unlikely project, that on paper was impossible, but aren’t they just the best ones?”
About The ParaPod
The ParaPod consists of three original series of ten episodes. Series One was subtitled “Ghosts”, with Series 2 & 3 “Mysteries” and “Conspiracies” respectively. Additionally, there have been three sold out live events every year at the Nottingham Comedy Festival, a live recording at the QED Skeptics convention, and one-off special episodes released (including a two-part location recording at 30 East Drive, Pontefract, which claims to be home to the world’s most violent poltergeist).
About Ian Boldsworth
Former Stand-Up comedian Ian began “The Ray Peacock Podcast” at the dawn of podcasting, and followed it up with “The Peacock & Gamble Podcast” which spawned the first ever podcast residency at Kings Place, London, and three years of Edinburgh Fringe shows. Both shows were nominated for Chortle awards in every year of their existence. “The ParaPod” was his next podcast project, also Chortle award nominated, nominated for the Ockham Award for excellence in skepticism, and winner of best podcast at the Midlands Comedy Awards. In 2020 the big screen version is released. Additionally he wrote and narrated “4000 Words”, a short series of short stories, and curated and presented “The Mental Podcast”, a mental health podcast that won the Mind Media Award in 2017. He does a weekly patreon-exclusive podcast called “Cabin Fever”, as well as two series of “What The Movies Didn’t See” (also patreon exclusive).
The ParaPod is a registered trademark to Infinite Hermit
The complete original podcast series is on iTunes (or whatever that’s called now) and Soundcloud, with more episodes to follow in conjunction with the movie in 2020.