Filmmaker has a new podcast and its name is a ‘cool little tip of the cap to Dayton’

Like many filmmakers, Eric Mahoney had to pivot when the world was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. The Dayton native quickly launched the Kon-tiki Podcast, which is available on Spotify, Apple, Stitcher and other platforms.

Mahoney is a one-man crew, producing the interview program in the Brooklyn home he shares with his wife and two young children. Each episode features a quarantine double feature recommendation from a guest such as filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips and actor-comedian-musician Fred Armisen.

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Episode 10, which was posted on Monday, May 18, has an additional local tie with two picks by Academy Award-winning documentarian Steve Bognar.

Mahoney is the director of the 2019 documentary “Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero” and the former frontman for Columbus-based rock band Murder Your Darlings. He recently checked in from Brooklyn to discuss the new Kon-tiki Podcast and adapting to life in the age of COVID-19.

Quarantine living: "We're homeschooling two small kids here, so things wax and wane very frequently. My daughter is going to be 8 next month and my son is 5, so it's wild. We've just been hunkered down here. This is just one man's opinion, but I think everyone is being overly optimistic with this thing. With the inconsistency, the lack of knowledge around it and, uh, history, the fall will be another really challenging time if we're not smart about it. I'm mentally preparing myself for nine months of an abbreviated lifestyle."

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A path forward: "As soon as the city shut down, I found myself in the position of being home for an indeterminate amount of time with no real job. I had to figure out what I could do to keep my chops up and work and do something I like in my field. I could still make phone calls and edit audio, so I could do a podcast. I was actually doing development at a podcast company prior to this happening, so I was working in that space already. It felt familiar so I just thought about what I like to do. I'm like, 'I like to make things and I like to talk to people about movies so maybe I can call up some people and talk about movies.' That's about all the thought I put into it."

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Getting to work: "With everyone home, I figured people would be watching more movies and would want some recommendations and would be interested in hearing people's different takes on film pairings. Week one, I literally put up an Instagram site with the name and had a friend do some artwork. Within a week, I was talking to people and editing and then I started uploading episodes. It happened superfast and it has been really fun. I really enjoy doing it and the feedback has been nice. It's been a really cool experience."

Securing guests: "I've been fortunate to work with a wide variety of interesting people over the years and I was able to reach out to them. I thought it was cool to both check in with them and see what their experiences are like in different parts of the country but also give them an exercise that might be fun. The people I've reached out to all like the arts and film and they all think the podcast is a cool idea. They've had a good time going through old movies and thinking about what would be paired together. It's a fun exercise to do while you're stuck at home."

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Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Kon-tiki Theatre: "I always thought it was a cool, offbeat place on Salem Avenue, near where I lived. It's always had a vibe about it because of the name. Some of the architecture around the place always struck me as a little odd. Going to that movie theater just stuck out to me in my recollections of childhood. I always like to plant a little Dayton seed in whatever I'm doing, even if it's just an inside thing for Dayton people and no one else. When I was thinking of a name for the podcast, that seemed like a cool little tip of the cap to Dayton and remembering going to see movies as a kid."

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Podcast recommendations: "I love this space but I'm not a podcast nerd. I don't have 30 or 40 where I'm just in it but I've been listening to them for years. Malcolm Gladwell's 'Revisionist History' is amazing. I love 'Heavyweight.' I've listened to Marc Maron for many, many years and he's a good interviewer. 'Cocaine & Rhinestones' is really cool and I like 'Dolly Parton's America.' I've listened to 'This American Life' for a million years and that's a radio show but you can listen to it as a podcast. I always hold them to be the gold standard."

Growth from pain: "The pandemic has been devastating for so many people but, hopefully, there are some positive takeaways from this whole experience. On a personal level, it's an opportunity for us all to do some growth. As a country, and globally too, it's an opportunity to stop and rethink a lot of things. I hope some positives come out of it and maybe, with luck, I've been able to launch a new career out of it. If not, it's been a blast to do the podcast. I just like making stuff so it's been super fun to put them together and keep busy."

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