The Cinematography Podcast Episode 224: Katharine Coldiron

Author Katharine Coldiron wrote her book, Junk Film: Why Bad Movies Matter around thirteen essays exploring movies from the 1940’s to the 2010’s. Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Staying Alive, and the musical television show Cop Rock are just some of the disastrous projects explored in the book. Katharine feels that bad movies can be unintentional teaching tools for film students and movie aficionados- but you have to watch a ton of bad movies before you can learn anything from them.

There are specific elements that all bad movies share: insufficient resources, incompetence in the basics of filmmaking, and bad acting or screenwriting that create unintentional comedy. Bad movies are actually records of ATTEMPTS at making a movie, and you can see the broken mechanics of each project discussed in Junk Film. In writing the book, Katharine chose to focus on movies she was interested in exploring. She didn’t want to write about movies that have been well-covered. For example, she chose not to write about Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, but instead focused on his follow-up, another stinker called Best Friends.

Katharine feels that the problem with most junk films is not the cinematography, which is at least usually competent. Where these films fail is in the directing and editing process, with the director incompetently stringing along narrative logic from one scene to another. After watching so many bad movies, Katharine has a pointer for creating a good movie: if the director, editor and crew is cohesive, competent, and cares about the film’s final quality, then your movie will at least be watchable.

Junk Film is available on Amazon and at Barnes &

Find Katharine Coldiron: Twitter: @ferrifrigida

WIN an autographed copy of Junk Film: Why Bad Movies Matter. Follow us on Instagram @thecinepod, Threads @thecinepod Facebook @cinepod or Twitter @ShortEndz and comment on our post about the book giveaway for this episode!

Close Focus: SAG has joined the WGA in the strike against the AMPTP. The Emmy nominations also came out.

Ben’s short end: The Solway Firth Spaceman Mystery by Very Nearly Interesting on YouTube does a solid photographic deconstruction of the mystery. It’s a photo taken in a park in 1964, where it appears that there is a person in a space suit behind the girl in the photo.

Illya’s short end: Command Z is a new 8 episode sci-fi web series by Steven Soderbergh, released on his website.

Listen to Ben’s new horror series Catchersavailable NOW only on Audible!

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Podcast Credits:

Producer: Alana Kode

All web and social media content written by Alana Kode

Host and editor in Chief:  Illya Friedman

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Host: Ben Rock

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Editor: Ben Katz

Composer: Kays Al-Atrakchi

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