“We come across this a lot,” says Hilton, who works as a librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
She and George have been hosting the podcast for the better part of four years after moving to Pittsburgh in 2015. The couple met while attending college at Edinboro University, and are now engaged.
“We were having a conversation one night about a book she had read, and she has always been more of the reader of the two us, and I’m more of the movie fan,” says George, a professional graphic designer.
With nearly 100 episodes under their belt, the co-hosts and real-life partners have covered everything from heavy-hitters like the Harry Potter book and film series, to more obscure titles like the off-beat Western The Sisters Brothers. The selections range from straight adaptations, where the movie matches closely with the book, to more experimental takes like Clueless, a modern-day twist based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma.
“We’re pretty loose with it because sometimes the book and movie are very similar and there’s not a lot to discuss in terms of why things were changed,” says George, adding that they cover how the book’s themes, characters, and other aspects are translated cinematically. “It’s really on a case by case basis.”
Regardless, Hilton believes the pursuit enriches the experience of consuming media.
“I always get so much more out of what I’m reading and watching when I get to discuss it,” she says.
The podcast has also made them realize that the cliché joke “The book is better” doesn’t always hold true. Hilton cites Jaws as one example.
“It’s not a good book,” she laughs.
In terms of books being regarded as less than award-worthy, George relates how he struggled through one of his fiancée’s teenage favorites – the Twilight series.
“The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I would get to complain about it,” George says of reading the books.
Despite this, the two now enjoy the film series together.
“Anytime they’re on TV we end up watching them,” says Hilton. “There’s something about them that’s so watchable.”
With the pandemic preventing people from being able to do most social activities, or leave their homes in general, George says the podcast has given them something fun to work and focus on, all while giving fellow book and film lovers something to enjoy. In addition to the regular episodes, listeners can access bonus content on the Cover to Credits Patreon account. Hilton says they also take recommendations for works they have not yet covered.
They have also gone off-script a little to tackle movies like the 1985 cult comedy Clue, which is actually based on a board game, or ones based on cartoon series.
While pop culture criticism can get a little heated, especially with fandoms, George doesn’t’ seem worried about any backlash from hardcore Twilight fans or Potter-heads.
“We jokingly say that we’re giving the definitive decision on which is better, the book or the movie,” he says. “But obviously that’s more tongue-in-cheek and we’re really just enjoying our conversation.”
Hilton puts it more succinctly. “You might not agree with us, but that’s okay,” she says.