How Frank O. Pinion made me a better film critic

Frank O. Pinion gave me a shot.

Over two years ago, I first joined Frank in the afternoon on a Tuesday. Being in a studio lives on its own island. Call-ins don’t count or play on the same court. I’ll be honest and say it wasn’t easy being on his show those first few times.

The setup was different, the mood was playful, and no one wanted me to go full-blown movie geek on them. The knowledge needed to be tinkered with and exchanged for something faster yet still potent. Think of getting a well-cooked steak in a fast food environment.

There were days when I left frustrated that I didn’t get enough time to speak, and others where I felt like I just wrote the script for three other shows on one segment. It was a learning experience and a slow-building curve. A much-needed training method.

Over time, I got better at keeping it simple yet informative. It’s not easy. Talking about movies is how most people talk about brunch: I could go on and on. It can run long and I knew that going in. So I worked on it and got better. I want to fit in and you adapt when needed.

These days, I feel like I leave happy with my segment more than I do leaving doubtful. I get around 45 minutes on the segment, and every week is different. Sometimes, I get a couple reviews in; other times, we roll with calls, news, and funny bits and jokes. No segment sounds the same.

You know what … I like it that way. I’ve gone on plenty of radio shows and podcasts to talk movies and it’s always time well spent. Movies are universal and run 365, so it’s easy. But doing The Large Morning Show in The Afternoon is a challenge-but it’s a good challenge.

Many people don’t know this, but I am in the Broadcast Film Critics Group due to being on Frank’s show. I am respected more by Allied and film studios by having a written, radio, and television outlet for my reviews. A lot of people listen to Frank’s show and that only drives up popularity for the movie guy.

I was a guy with a few failed radio shows and skipping around on different airwaves when he gave me a tryout on his show back in November of 2017. He didn’t have to.

We talk movies, television, daytime soap opera death, and a lot of other things. Sometimes, a deep chat about World War II will occur, or John Goodman may call in under the pseudonym of a random listener.

When I wanted to do Mark Reardon’s show on KMOX, a rival AM radio station in St. Louis, Frank gave me the chance to make the choice. I’ll always respect him for that.

Let’s just say a few things down the road here are going to come to my table due to Frank and his show. Loyalty grants you great things in this world. Find it and hold onto it with the right people.

Here’s the funny thing. Frank and I are different kinds of people. We grew up and lived in different eras and times, and we have different ways of operating. We like different things, see others differently, and rarely align. But that’s once again, a very good thing. Different personalities on a radio show makes for an entertaining listen. Here’s an example.

I just went on the show, talking about how great Ben Affleck is in the new film, “The Way Back,” and I knew how it was going to go at first. Frank dislikes Affleck and will reject the film, but I’ll lure him back in with my review. He’ll flatter me at the very least with his sincerity. That’s the script.

Since I adjusted my script over two years ago, good things have come my way. He probably won’t like this post, but it’ll stick with him anyway.

I owe a lot to Frank O. Pinion. He gave me a true shot.

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