'We make podcasts for one of the North’s most enigmatic cinemas.'

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'We make podcasts for one of the North’s most enigmatic cinemas.'

Five Sheffield Hallam students developed a podcast for Sheffield’s iconic Showroom Cinema. Amongst them, film studies student Josh Pretorius took a lead role.

“I love talking about films, especially independent, character-based films—the kind that usually go under the radar,” said Josh. “So being able to explore these productions and develop a podcast was an opportunity I couldn’t miss up. But just before it began, the first lockdown was introduced. That changed everything.” 

The podcast studio was now out of commission. Instead, the team opted to use Zoom. Overseeing the audio, Josh recorded each presenter on a separate channel before bringing it all together in post-production for a crisp finish.

“It was far from straightforward. We were trying to get the audio seamless like a live conversation, but there were constant challenges. This one time, I had to edit someone out for a minute because an ambulance went by their window. Thankfully, the final output sounded great.”

The podcast’s theme was also adapted. Instead of reviewing new film releases (there weren’t any), they followed the Showroom’s challenges (not being able to screen films) and the innovative solutions they came up with (online releases in partnership with studios like Dogwoof).

A highlight was interviewing Mikaela Smith, the Showroom’s brilliant Programme Manager. “It was great to find out how the film community was evolving. We also discussed the Glasgow Film Festival which – for the first time in history – was taking place online.

“Whilst finding out about these institutions, I was also learning how to present and have open conversations in a podcast format. It’s been an incredible experience and one that will give me an edge over other film studies graduates going forward. Who knows where it will take me.” 

As for other aspiring podcasters, Josh has some simple advice. “Just plan everything—right from the basic structure, to key segments and pull-out clips. If you don’t, your podcast will soon fall apart.”

The Showroom Spotlight Podcast is currently available on the Showroom Cinema's website, alongside other platforms like Spotify. 

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