Ned Alert: INVASION! An Interview with the Hosts of Nerd Alert!

Written by Vanessa Vernick December 06, 2011

Nerd Alert: INVASION! An Interview with the Hosts of Nerd Alert! Plus, check out Nerd Alerts’ raunchy Harry Potter episode!

In early November, We Eat Films and Nerd Alert, a talk radio show at CHRW Radio Western, made the mutual decision to combine their super powers and join forces in order to conquer the world. And talk movies. Nerd Alert, you say? Who is this, Nerd Alert? Well, Nerd Alert is comprised of three charming young men who wittily discuss everything nerdy: movies, comics, video games and technology. I had the privilege of being able to sit down and talk with the show’s host, Brad Bangsboll, and co-hosts, Matt Belford and Nick Workman as well as We Eat Films’ Patrick Barfoot and Josh Litman. I was able to gain some insight into the inner workings of both We Eat Films and Nerd Alert and acquired some perspective on this new and exciting collaboration:

Lets begin!

1. What prompted you to start a movie news website?

Patrick: Two years ago I was creative director at TV Western, which at the time was a very small TV outlet that was on Rogers. So, I wanted to change it all. I wanted to have original programming, I wanted to revamp not only editing but even visuals, for example, how cameras were set up. One of the programs that I started, with the help of Rebecca and a few others, was We Eat Films. However, at the time, TV Western was taken from the budget and after that what we decided as a team was to do We Eat Films separately and to have a lot of fun.

2. What makes We Eat Films different than any other movie site?

Josh: One thing that differentiates us from any other site, like IGN for example, is that our main focus is film and TV. Whereas a site like IGN focuses on entertainment in general and especially video games. They are video games first and we are movies first.

Patrick: It’s also by students and for students. The content we make, video wise, makes us different as well; we still have to release the last season of We Eat Films and we offer other video programming like Drunken Reviews and ‘In Defense of’.

3. What made you decide to bring Nerd Alert on Board?

Patrick: We had mutual friends, firstly. We utilized them to get the word out about our season and when we started to make the website bigger I made Nick Workman, from Nerd Alert, a news editor. He was also involved in radio and I thought that was a great place for us to be. We’d get a few minutes of Nerd Alerts time and of course Nerd Alert could have a few pages of our website.

4. Now onto Nerd Alert, how was the show created?

Nick: Brad and I were discussing over Facebook one day how cool it would be to have our own radio show. This was back in the summer of 2010.

Brad: It started almost as a joke. I was talking to my older brother (who knew a few of the station managers) and I mentioned the idea to him. Before we knew it, we got contacted and within an hour had a meeting set up for the following Monday. We were told to put together an outline and prepare to do a demo.

5. What do each of you bring to the show?

Matt: Nick is our expert on non-mainstream forms of film.

Nick: I’m also the one who is most likely to not like a mainstream film. But Matt, when he first came on, didn’t have as much knowledge as Brad and I did in terms of film. But, he was a huge fan, eager to learn and we actually really liked that. He’d ask a lot of questions and it was basically like having an audience member on the show. Plus he’s damn funny.

Matt: And I have a lot of knowledge about Marvel comics.

Nick: Yah, he is the comic guy.

Matt: Brad is the voice of Nerd Alert. He’s the producer and he steers the conversation.

Josh: Brad’s the Oprah.

6. How would you describe the chemistry between the three of you?

Brad: It’s the fact that we’ve all known each other for so long. You can tell that we’re all friends.

Matt: And, we will all argue our opinion to a certain point but we don’t go overboard.

Nick: We respect each other’s opinions.

7. When one thinks of the stereotypical ‘nerd’ certain images come to mind: Big Bang Theory and Revenge of the Nerds, for example. Why do you think the ‘nerd’ lifestyle has gone from something originally taboo to something mainstream and widely accepted?

Nick: Probably because in the 80s, the people who were playing Dungeons and Dragons and very into Math were probably interested in TV and Media, as well. So, those people made their way into the industry and began to tell stories from their point of view.

Brad: Film, TV, Star Wars; they influenced and touched so many people. Video games have definitely helped a lot. They’ve blown and risen up as that other pillar of past times. You either watch movies or play video games.

Matt: There’s been a shift from the typical “what’s cool” to the stuff that society has deemed “looserish”, “nerdy”, or “uncool”. And people grabbed onto that because they were like “well, I’m going to do what’s not cool because I’m cool.” It’s the new form of rebellion.

8. What episodes would you say you’re most proud of?

Brad, Nick and Matt: Definitely our Harry Potter episode. We put a lot of work into that one.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

WARNING! This episode contains strong subject matter and is uncensored. Jump to the 36 minute mark for the goods.

9. You guys won the Best News & Spoken Word Award at CHRW Western Radio. How did that feel? Did you think your show would get such a big and positive reaction?

Brad: We didn’t even go to the ceremony, to be honest. It was in the thick of when we were all busy with school. Though, for us, it was really gratifying. It was something we started for fun and all of a sudden we had something that recognized us and our passion. I think they recognize our chemistry. We’re comfortable with one another because we’re friends first.

10. What have been some of the coolest interviews you’ve done so far?

Brad: Brahm Wiseman from Heroes was really cool. He runs the biggest comic shop in London and we made a business deal with him where we promote and advertise comics for them.

11. What have been some of the biggest challenges?

Brad: The fact that this was something we wanted to do for fun but wanted to make it a priority even though a lot of the time we couldn’t because, obviously, we’re students. Trying to juggle all of our commitments is hard. Also, just getting our names out there and being heard.

12. You guys recently made the decision to join forces with We Eat Films; how did that happen?

Brad: Well, we also had Patrick on the show about a year ago. But, I’ve known Josh Litman since high school and we’ve had a working relationship since drama class. I’d started doing Nerd Alert and We Eat Films was doing its second season and we realized we had a common passion – film. Josh and I began working on films together and then We Eat Films contacted us.

13.What are you expecting to come from this new relationship?

Nick: Power!!

Brad: Complete and total domination! Slavery!

14. What do We Eat Films and Nerd Alert have to offer one another?

Matt: We can absolutely bring something unique to We Eat Films that will help propel them.

Josh: The one thing that We Eat Films was missing before was news. Through Nick and Nerd Alert, you’ve brought that to the site. News gets the most views.

Brad: For Nerd Alert, I’ve been excited for projects outside of the radio. I know that We Eat Films is a great platform and we’re really excited to work with them for the reviews (video, drunken, commentary, etc) and other ventures. We know that we’re a community and the one thing we have in common is that we love films. We Eat Films helps us because they already have their own community of movie fans and hopefully they’ll want to start listening to Nerd Alert as well.

15. Where do you see Nerd Alert going in the future?

Matt: We’re not sure exactly what the future holds, mainly because… well, I’m not even sure what dimension I’m in at the moment.

16. Any last words…or forever hold your peace?

Nick: Yah, what is this for again?

Brad: Its for We Eat Films!

Matt: See, this is how we role.

Tune in to Nerd Alert every Monday night at 7:00pm on 94.9FM CHRW Radio Western or check out our podcasts at

-Vanessa Vernick

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About Vanessa Vernick

Vanessa is a writer and editor for We Eat Films and, thus, has a love for film (especially classic FIlm Noir) and a passion for writing. She is currently in pursuit of an Honours Double Major in Criminology and Sociology at Western, giving her a unique edge, and tries to incorporate a bit of this into much of what she writes. She is hoping to pursue her Masters in Journalism. When she's not writing, you'll usually find her glued to her TV or enamoured by one of the great, classic Penguin novels.

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