For our first Creator Corner I figured I would talk about one of the big inspirations for what we do. Small Beans is a podcast… group of podcasts under one podcast label that brings you shows with topics ranging from gaming reviews to deep discussions on depression. I want to make something very clear; while many podcasts review content, the quality, format, and research make their reviews completely unique. I’ll first break down my intro to this team, then what they do, and finish with where to find them. This will be a much bigger CC than our future articles. That’s because if it weren’t for Small Beans, we wouldn’t have tried our own creative endeavors.
The founders of Small Beans are Abe Epperson and Michael Swaim. Abe is a director by trade, and I have grown to watch movies in a more careful manor due to his insights. He is much more than a director, but also an analysis, comedian, writer, and most importantly a strong supportive friend to Michael Swaim. Michael is a writer and can claim similar positions held by Abe. He has been the face in front of the camera while Abe is shooting since the beginning of their partnership in college. Like many of their fans, I discovered the team through ‘the old gig’ Cracked.com. YouTube’s algorithm finally hooked me up with After Hours, a heavily scripted show were four people discuss a pop culture topic in depth. It’s so much more than that but this article needs to return to the beans soon.
From there I consumed all of Cracked any moment I could until the crushing collapse of the Cracked YouTube channel. Swaim and Epperson’s departure was slightly before official layoffs, but the loss felt included them with many others. After some aimlessness I was catching up on Vonneguys where Michael shouted out his new podcast, Small Beans. Quick aside for Vonneguys, this was a Cracked podcast with Michael and Alex Schmidt that went through the Kurt Vonnegut library. It introduced me to an amazing writer and a truer to form Michael Swaim.
Small Beans started small… of course, but after the Cracked collapse it became a respite for those creators needing an outlet and some income. Many joined the team with new shows or for guest spots. All giving the opportunity to keep the community together. Small Beans runs the community off their Patreon page (link below) and uses their funds to keep the lights on and get some funds in the hands of misplaced coworkers. They have a YouTube channel that creates excellent content, albeit not much of it. Videos are not cheap, trust me. Their highlight is in their podcasts. Below I will go over their shows and hope something sounds appealing to you.
1Upsmanship: A video game review show structured with checkpoints and a speed run that gives it a unique voice. If you’re a gamer, this is your stop. I particularly like their focus on how a game feels. The Minecraft episode is the best example of this.
Frame Rate: A movie review show with a director and a writer. They will usually also have a guest that is familiar with the industry. They cover familiar films but frequently introduce me to a movie I have yet to discover.
Coen Brothers Brothers: This might be my favorite; it’s Vonneguys with Cohen Brothers. Before this show I loved Fargo and O Brother Where Art Thou but didn’t know why. Now I appreciate the filmography of this directing duo and watch along with the podcast.
Director Piece Theatre: This is a newer show and is hosted by Adam Ganser. Adam is also a director and participates in much of Small Beans. I find myself relating with Adam the most, making for an easy listen every time.
Rough Stuff: Join Sarah and Bridgett as they talk about all the embarrassing twist and turns of middle school. Feel like only you did that dumb thing in 8th grade, NOPE. This is a support group for those “I was such a dork” memories.
Waveformed: Hosted by Christian, he talks to people about their ten song playlists. They will often have other creators on and discuss what the songs mean to them. This makes for an interesting look into the thinking process of people that you follow.
Pop Culture Petri Dish: Abe and Christian compare SciFi with science. Time travel to space travel. What’s in the movies and how it might look when/if we create it in real life.
What Dinosaur Real Good?: Funniest show hands down! Abe, Bridgett, and Michael take turns bringing a new dino to the table. After some discussions they decide if the dino is real good. That’s it, and it’s amazing.
Tales from the Pit: This started as a discussion about depression and has evolved into other life struggles. This show has me reflecting on how I deal with everyday tasks and generally live my life. An interesting show to say the least.
BOLD: This show looks at deep social issues like Black Lives Matter and Incarceration. They share many voices and offer a call to action.
As you can see, Small Beans offers a wide variety to their podcast feed. You can always find something interesting on their channel! You can find them on all your favorite podcast apps, YouTube, and Patreon. All the links below. Also, below will be a link to Michael and Abe’s twitter accounts. These are their main source of social media outreach. I suggest you follow them where you can. They have inspired us and will at the very least entertain you.
Michael’s Twitter: @swaim_corp
Abe’s Twitter: @AbeTheMighty