As Hollywood has brought nerd culture to the mainstream with close to a decade’s worth of superhero blockbusters, it’s become slightly harder to spot the difference between a real nerd and the casual viewer. But trust me when I say that Matt Campagna and Anastasia Tubanos, the hosts of Your Geek News, are genuine nerdcore.
Individually, Matt and Nat, as they’re known on the show, are savvy web video professionals — Tubanos produces a number of web series, including BSGcast, Your Greek News, and Naked Wine Show, while Campagna is a digital filmmaker who’s made two indie features. (He appeared along with Galacticast‘s Rudy Jahchan and Indy Mogul‘s Erik Beck on the SXSW 2009 panel Soapbox Spielbergs.) But paired together for a news-desk-style debate show on upcoming films, the pair can sling some fast and furious nerd talk that betrays their roots. Campagna comes from a comics and action-figures-loving background, while Tubanos’ loves include Battlestar Galactica and the Twilight novels. I mean, Campagna grew mutton chops in support of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. They’re not kidding around.
Your Geek News isn’t just two fans in a basement, though — the show sports a slick CGI set and solid production values, and today launched a partnership with Babelgum for web and mobile distribution. According to Tubanos, not only will they be receiving ad revenue as part of their branded channel agreement, but they’ll be collaborating on customized sponsorship agreements. “We have a close relationship with a bunch of the studios where we get the [electronic press kits],” Tubanos said via chat, “so getting sponsorship from an upcoming geeky-genre film is something we’re considering. But we’re more focused on seeking sponsorship from a brand that is relevant to our audience.”
The most-watched Geek News episodes tend to be their previews of upcoming films, which consist mostly of clips from the movie’s electronic press kits. But the debates are definitely fun to watch, as Matt and Nat are funny, engaging, and unafraid to interrupt each other to make a point. And they’re careful to maintain a separation between editorial and any potential sponsorship — according to Tubanos, “We’re careful to discuss that upfront with any company we end up partnering with. And Matt or I aren’t bartering those deals.”
Of course, Tubanos and Campagna are possibly the most forgiving nerds I’ve ever seen, recently giving almost positive reviews to both Terminator: Salvation and Transformers 2, which weren’t exactly fan favorites and scored 32 percent and 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.
Matt and Nat are the kind of fans who clutch action figures while reviewing adaptations of childhood favorites, not always agreeing but clearly loving the debate. And overall, I like their method of discussing this particular genre of films, approaching them first as films before delving into the film’s relationship with the source material. And with Hollywood’s overreliance on nerd-friendly material for summer blockbusters (this summer alone, we still have Harry Potter and G.I. Joe films ahead of us), meaning it’s a glorious time to be a nerd, Matt and Nat should have plenty of fodder for future shows.