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Focus Features | TV + Film

About the Podcast

ZOOM is a new podcast from Focus Features for movie lovers who want to know everything. Fueled by the inquisitive mind of film critic and host Amy Nicholson (“Unspooled,” "Halloween Unmasked"), each episode uses a modern-day movie as a launch pad to discover mind-bending facts about science, technology, and history. What kind of planet might E.T. come from? Do superstar horses “act”? Which Edwardian rules of etiquette could trip up Downton Abbey’s Lord Grantham? Featuring interviews with an eclectic mix of experts and filmmakers, ZOOM explores Hollywood's uncharted questions.

The Royals in Film ft. Downton Abbey


Blimey! In the new "Downton Abbey" movie, King George and Queen Mary have invited themselves to Downton, panicking everyone upstairs *and* downstairs. But no one would be more terrified to appear in a movie than King George himself, who in real life banned all fictional portrayals of himself and his family. Today, of course, movies and TV shows about the Royals are practically a genre unto themselves. Let's trace the long, surprising history of the love affair between mass media and the British monarchy, and ask why audiences are so eager for a peek into the palace (and why we should be glad there's no Smell-O-Vision). Special guest: "Downton Abbey" creator/producer Julian Fellowes and show/film historical advisor Alastair Bruce of Crionaich.

Zombie Dearest


Three cheers -- or er, braaaaains -- for the movie zombie, which turns 100 this year. How did the zombie get a death grip on our culture? Let's track the monster back to World War I, where it first crawled out of the grave, before it took a bite out of everything from shopping malls to armageddon preppers. Want to learn how to survive a zombie apocalypse? Hear from experts like "World War Z" author Max Brooks and the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Special guest: actress Chloë Sevigny ("The Dead Don't Die").


A Star is Barned: Making the Horse Movie Star


What are the perks of being a celebrity horse actor? Famous Hollywood horses haven't just been pampered and groomed—they've been forgiven for murder and forgiven for being Bryan Adams' #1 fan. It's a great job. But how do you get it? Special guest: writer/director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, The Mustang.

E.T., Phone Hollywood: Aliens Invade the Movies


In 1902, audiences went crazy for a moon man with lobster hands. Since then, aliens have conquered our imagination – and our planet, and our bodies, and our politics. (And even convinced a president he saw a UFO.) What do movie extraterrestrials really want from us? Special guest: writer/director Rupert Wyatt, Captive State.