Podcasts have been around since iPods had click wheels, but the platform has exploded into a renaissance over the past few years. From politics to art, it seems like there’s a podcast for just about every topic you could think of.
“Epic Film Guys” is a podcast about movies, run by Nick Haskins and Justin Esquivel, two Binghamton area natives, who discuss the latest films, award shows and actors every Monday and Thursday.
Before starting their podcast, Haskins and Esquivel published on a different popular platform: YouTube. Like the podcast, their channel was also focused on movies, and their connections in the Binghamton area helped them build a following and lay the groundwork for what would later become their podcast. One of their most popular videos on the channel features the pair at the annual Zombie Walk in Downtown Binghamton in 2014, where they talked to attendees dressed as the undead about the zombies in film and TV.
“Justin probably knows everyone in the Southern Tier, which started us off on a really good foot,” Haskins wrote in an email. “If you can think of some business or some creative/artistic type in the area, odds are Justin has had direct contact with them or collaborated directly with them. At least one of us popped up at various locations whenever someone famous descended upon the area. We collaborated with a local filmmaker and started doing higher-production-value pieces like the Zombie Walk 2014 video or the Halloween video.”
The YouTube channel came to an end after Esquivel moved from the Binghamton area to Washington, D.C., in 2015 and the distance made it nearly impossible to continue creating content for the channel. Starting the “Epic Film Guys” podcast served as the perfect way for Haskins and Esquivel to continue to share their takes with their movie-loving audience because they could connect remotely.
Not only did the podcast serve as a solution to the distance, it introduced the men to a community of other like-minded creators.
“Once we got the podcast moving in the right direction, I took to Twitter — back then we had like, 85 followers or so — and started searching for other podcasts,” Haskins wrote. “#PodernFamily was something I kind of just got swept up in back in December of 2015. I wasn’t there when it first started, but the core group of shows basically came together and decided that we’d be stronger together as a community working for a common goal, and that we could achieve better exposure this way.”
Last May, the “Epic Film Guys” used their following to spearhead an event called “Livestream for the Cure.” The 12-hour livestreamed show raised money for the Cancer Research Institute and included interactive games for listeners, collaboration with other creators and the hosts’ usual banter about movies.
“Cancer has affected my life a number of times, from losing a good friend who was only in his early twenties, to losing my mother-in-law last year,” Haskins wrote. “This year, I wanted to go for double the goal, but decided to make the event span the entire weekend! So, this year we’re doing 30 hours from May 18 to the 20 to raise money for cancer research and I want to top $5,000.”
The podcast has come a long way since 2015. Today, the pair boasts over 14,000 followers on their Twitter account and the podcast is approaching its 150th episode. Despite their show’s growth, Haskins said that its roots are in the Binghamton area.
“I’d also love to do live episode recordings at a local bar or brewery as well and get the crowd involved in the fun,” Haskins wrote. “Binghamton always be our ‘PodHome,’ as it were. I’d love to grow our local footprint even more, so please: come check out the show! Listener discretion is advised; we are not safe-for-work.”