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Franchise Detours by Robert Yaniz Jr.

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Franchise Detours

with Robert Yaniz Jr.

Introduce yourself.

Hey there, I’m Rob. So I’ve been a professional writer since 2003. During that time, I’ve worked for newspapers, entertainment sites, corporations, and global law firms, and I’ve even gone freelancing full-time. But long before all of that, I was a student of pop culture. I found escape in movies from a young age. And it wasn’t until later in life that I discovered how to incorporate my love of cinema into my career. Most recently, that’s taken the form of Crooked Table Productions.

Hey there, I’m Rob. So I’ve been a professional writer since 2003. During that time, I’ve worked for newspapers, entertainment sites, corporations, and global law firms, and I’ve even gone freelancing full-time. But long before all of that, I was a student of pop culture. I found escape in movies from a young age. And it wasn’t until later in life that I discovered how to incorporate my love of cinema into my career. Most recently, that’s taken the form of Crooked Table Productions.

What I love about being a podcaster is having a venue to share my passion with my listeners as well as my guests. Every time I hit record, I learn something new. I love the discovery of it all and the connections I’ve made as a result. With so much negativity out there, I try to be a positive force in the world, and I want my podcasts to reflect that. It’s a privilege and an honor to be able to connect with others over something we all love. And I appreciate everyone who joins the ride.

“Movies aren’t just entertainment. They’re a mirror reflecting the audience back at themselves and a gateway to seeing the world as others do.”

-Robert Yaniz Jr.

Share an experience that has shaped who you are today.

It’s taken a long time for me to find clarity in my personal and professional life. So many opportunities only came my way because I saw a moment and seized it. But even now, I struggle with uncertainty. Balancing everything in my life can sometimes prove daunting, and I’ve considered closing down my podcast in the past. I found myself at a particularly strong impasse in 2018 and put all things Crooked Table on hold indefinitely. It could have been the end of the site. Less than two months later, I returned refreshed and with plenty of new ideas. That’s when the show became more guest-focused and gained some new direction. The lesson here, I think, is to not be afraid to hit pause on a project for some focused reflection. Today’s landscape can be overwhelming and hectic. And I would encourage people to put self-care first. Without the loving support of my wife and the occasional break, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am.

Tell us about your podcast audience.

It would be flattering to think my audience tunes in because they can’t get enough of me. But that’s only part of the picture. I like to think I bring some insight and my own “fresh angle” to the world of film. However, I consider the biggest asset of my podcast to be the guests. I’ve been fortunate to build a strong and growing network of like-minded podcasters, critics, and friends to come on and geek out with me about movies, often for longer than the allotted recording time. So my ideal podcast audience would be people, of course, who can’t get enough of movies. Whether they see them as just entertainment or something more, my listeners have their finger on the pulse of Hollywood. Particularly for Franchise Detours, they also love to not only revisit movie series of the past but also contextualize them with today’s cinematic landscape. My audience is not only open to new perspectives on their favorite films but eager to hear them.

What makes your podcast unique?

At Crooked Table Productions, we cover “the world of film from a fresh angle.” On Close Watch (formerly the Crooked Table Podcast), we get to know guests through a movie they love. And on my latest show, Franchise Detours, we analyze movie franchises with the belief that no movie series travels in a straight line. Typically, episodes are either standalone discussions of a smaller movie series or entries in an ongoing “mega-series,” where we discuss one film each episode. So far our mega-series have included the ‘Child’s Play,’ ‘Evil Dead,’ and Mad Max’ franchises. And the plan is to continue to bring in top-notch guests to discuss a continually broad range of movie franchises. Later in 2022, Franchise Detours will cover the ‘Sister Act’ movies, the Muppet films, and the Dark Knight trilogy. The goal — as with all my podcasts — is to have a good time, celebrate what we love, and open up discussion among fellow cinephiles everywhere.