You may recall that I attended the Florida Film Festival this year to review some movies such as Revenge. As I was searching through the program the first movie that caught my eye was called A Mediocre Documentary with Tom and Dan.
I immediately knew what the subject was, because Tom Vann and Daniel Dennis are the hosts of a radio show I listen to ironically titled A Corporate Time with Tom and Dan.
I was a fan, so I’ll just get my ticket – what the! The screening for this movie sold out within an hour of them being available. It is a Documentary about two guys who host a podcast (or three), how could that be so interesting you ask?
This movie details how these men gave all they had to be radio personalities at a radio station, only to get pressured out of the job because they started a podcast on the side. With their backs to the wall, they had to fully commit to their podcast to keep a roof over their family’s heads.
You can now buy the digital version of the documentary on their website https://tomanddan.com/ or you can be an old school purist like me and buy the DVD.
In a way I am glad I could not see this at the fest, because I am happy to own this DVD and here is why. This documentary is a raw, raunchy romp into the radio world which has evolved into something else because of podcasting.
Thanks to interviews with not just Tom and Dan, but also their wives Andrea Dennis and Crystal Vann and co-workers, we get the full story and it will surprise you how interesting it is.
Tom Vann started working at Real Radio 104.1 as Dan’s intern when he was just 21. By that time Tom earned that by doing crazy stunts as his character Drunky the Bear since he was 19. Many of these stunts can be seen in the documentary, such as his motorcycle jump over a bunch of hummers while wearing his trademark bear suit.
Real Radio is a large, corporate owned terrestrial radio station that spreads across the airwaves of Central Florida, where I call home. While serving their time at the radio station the two became friends for life, and then business partners when they started their own podcast A Mediocre Time with Tom and Dan in 2009.
This was the ground floor, podcasting was at its infancy then. To put it into perspective, the first I-Phone came out in the middle of 2007. Things were going great and the radio station did not mind this side project…. until they uploaded episode 159.
That was the show that prompted an anonymous email that was sent to the management of the radio station shaming it for its vulgarity and wrongly associating it with the radio station.
Tom and Dan were told they had to cease the podcast and take all their episodes down immediately. Tom used some connections to uncover a scandal behind that email, he claims that it was traced back to someone who has close ties with the radio industry.
This inside job could have been because of money, or wanting to stop their own employees from creating more competition for the public’s ears, who knows. What is certain is that this was the catalyst for them to go all in and work on their podcasting full time. Well, that and their wives threatening to divorce them if they didn’t man up and follow their hearts. Hearts that this Documentary clearly shows these guys have.
They are very grateful and give their time in return to their die hard subscribers called BDM’s. The meaning of that acronym is shrouded in secrecy, the doc reveals what it means. Dan edits the shows and is the creative side, he is an only child. Tom Vann was not an only child, which leads to a very heavy part of their story.