One of my favourite podcasts is Nerd Lunch. I’ve listened to it for over 6 years. It’s a part of my regular routine. CT, Pax and Jeeg talk about things nerdy, lunchy and everything in between. I’ve blogged about the Nerd Lunch podcast before. I do urge you to go and have a listen, if you haven’t before. One of the things I like most about the podcast is that they have a guest on each week. Their ‘fourth chair’ is always filled with someone else from the world of internet / podcast geekery. And to better connect this ‘fourth chair army’ they have something they call the ‘fourth chair carryover question’ where the guest each week leaves a question for the guest the following week. Just a kind of conversation starter for the next week’s episode. These questions can range greatly in terms of content and complexity.

CT from the Nerd Lunch podcast has recently uploaded all of the carryover questions to the Nerd Lunch website. You can see who asked which question and on what episode. And there is even a random carryover question selector where it displays one of the (so far) circa 300 questions for us to answer if we want to play along.

I’ve often listened along to these questions being answered at the start of each show and wanted to chip in with my own ideas, so I thought it might be good fun to answer some of the questions on my blog. Here I go with the first…

“Due to your favorable review of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, Spielberg has opened the vault and will give you one prop from a Spielberg directed movie. What do you choose and why?” ~ Evan Hanson
Source: Episode 160

Evan Hanson is a regular on the Nerd Lunch podcast and a friend to many of the Atomic Geek network podcasters. You can find Evan at @bizarrojimmyols

Firstly, for the record, this is a hypothetical question. I did not give Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull a favourable review. Just wanted to make that clear.

Obviously Spielberg has an incredible back catalogue, so I first went through his films and narrowed it down to the main contenders. The question here focusses on movies he actually directed. He was involved in producing a lot of massive 80s films too, which I think is partly how we consider him an evergreen presence throughout Hollywood in the 80s and 90s. In my mind I think of him a bit like John Williams, touching nearly every big 80s and 90s franchise, but when you look at his list, he is involved in producing or executive producing several big films such as Gremlins, The Goonies and Back to the Future, all of which were probably billed as ‘from Steven Spielberg’ even though he didn’t actually direct them (I know the BTTF poster certainly used Spielberg’s name, and *Batteries Not Included leans heavily on the Spielberg connection). Obviously these films would have some great props (the Gizmo and Stripe puppets or the Bathroom Buddy from Gremlins, the map or the skull key from The Goonies, or the DeLorean, flux capacitor, family photo or Almanac from Back to the Future). But unfortunately I can’t choose these. Some of them are already available as replicas anyway, but obviously I’d really love to own the originals.

I then looked purely at the films that Spielberg directed that I think would be good contenders for props, and I narrowed it down to four main ones.

Perhaps a big shark jaw? Or even Roy Scheider’s sunglasses maybe? I can’t really think of anything else from this one.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
I wonder if they still have the mash potato. Don’t think that would be a prop I would want 40 years later though. The actual model of Devil’s Tower would be pretty cool, albeit quite large. And the model of the spaceship would be very cool to have, although I do know that they used it as the roof of one building in Blade Runner, so I wonder if it is still intact.

Obviously it would be quite cool having the E.T. puppet itself, but I was wondering what else would be fun to have. Perhaps the actual Speak & Spell used in the film? I obviously love 70s/80s toys and gadgets like that, so having the actual one used in the film would be pretty cool.

Indiana Jones
My head was always gravitating towards the Indy films. There are so many options to choose from here. The whip, the sankara stones, the holy grail notebook, the jacket, the hat! Right from the start I thought that I wanted a prop that I could display easily in a room somewhere, so not a DeLorean or an E.T. puppet that would be hard to display, or even a jacket or hat that I wouldn’t ever wear. So I settled on choosing the idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I can just imagine having this on a shelf or mantelpiece and having it dramatically lit, perhaps even on a set of scales with a bag of sand on the other side. I think that would be pretty cool.

But who knows, after seeing Ready Player One, with all of its retro goodness, I wonder if I will have a new Spielberg prop to covet, come March. Watch this space.