Making Good Radio Great


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Producer Catie Talarski shares tips on making your good radio great. Includes help on interviewing, focus statements, sound, story structure, scene, writing for radio and voicing.

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Making Good Radio Great

  1. 1. Generation PRX Bullying Stories Project Webinar 2 <ul><li>Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Hello! Equipment, Hindenburg, all signs go </li></ul><ul><li>Project updates </li></ul><ul><li>Production workshop </li></ul><ul><li>Wrap ups </li></ul>
  2. 2. Project updates <ul><li>Please tell us about: </li></ul><ul><li>Your story / focus statement </li></ul><ul><li>What you’ve completed so far & what you have left to do </li></ul><ul><li>Any major surprises, challenges, or turning points you’ve encountered </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s up: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HEART in the City, Los Angeles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ZUMIX, Boston </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blunt Youth Radio Project, Portland, Maine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Middletown Youth Radio Project, CT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alaska Teen Media Institute </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Making Good Radio Great
  4. 4. Great stories “compel us to action, illustrate a universal truth, evoke genuine emotion and get us cheering for the characters.” Tod Maffin
  5. 5. Focus Statement! Write it now. Cut it out. Tape it to your wall. Look at it often. <ul><li>Who is the story about? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the person(s) doing? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are they doing it? </li></ul><ul><li>How does it have to do with bullying? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: Why should people </li></ul><ul><li>care? Why is this story important? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is my audience? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Focus Statement! <ul><li>Example: Iris </li></ul><ul><li>It takes a certain person to cause pain to others, to be a bully. ((Unfortunately we hear too often of a victim of bullying committing suicide. Bullying should decrease as people become aware of these stories, but bullying still exists. How can this be?)) What’s going on in the mind of a bully? How does it differ from our own? Let’s dive into the psychology of a bully. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Interviewing… <ul><li>Prepare! </li></ul><ul><li>But don’t be afraid to ask “big, stupid questions” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask open ended questions – get people to tell stories </li></ul><ul><li>Silence is OK! </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat things back to subject: “what I hear you saying is…” </li></ul><ul><li>Listen </li></ul>
  8. 8. Interviewing… a few more tips. <ul><li>TAKE NOTES immediately after interview - what were they wearing? ( a green knit cap ) Describe the room. ( empty pizza box, Justin Bieber poster ) Details that may help tell the story, that you will forget later. </li></ul><ul><li>TRANSCRIBE tape! </li></ul><ul><li>highlight /star***/ BOLD cuts that you </li></ul><ul><li>think should make it into the story </li></ul><ul><li>(not all of them will... </li></ul><ul><li>but it helps you keep track) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Get Good Sound! <ul><li>Mic Placement </li></ul><ul><li>Levels </li></ul><ul><li>Always wear headphones! </li></ul><ul><li>Mic yourself when you’re asking a question </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget to get ambience and “room tone” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Story Structure! <ul><li>ABDC </li></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  11. 11. Creating a “Scene” ! <ul><li>Bring the listener to a place </li></ul><ul><li>Show (don’t tell) what is going on </li></ul><ul><li>Let the characters tell the story through sound and imagery. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Signature Sounds” (sounds you would hear in a school, in a bedroom playing video games, in a housing project…) </li></ul>
  12. 12. More On Scenes! An example… <ul><li>Cassanova’s story - about how he was bullied because he is half Indian and because he plays video games like “Call of Duty” </li></ul><ul><li>potential scenes: ( from Story Planning Guide) Playing “Call of Duty” Group conversations with friends from school At school: talking with guidance counselor </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Radio Rookies, Heroin </li></ul>
  13. 13. Writing for Radio! <ul><ul><li>Be Conversational </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use short, simple sentences </li></ul><ul><li>One idea per sentence – keep moving the story forward </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid clichés “like the plague” </li></ul><ul><li>Use Active (not passive) language: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Police arrested Joe Smith on three counts” v. “Joe Smith was arrested by Police today on three counts” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Voicing! <ul><li>Radio is an intimate medium – you are talking to one person at a time </li></ul><ul><li>The tone of your voice sets the tone of the piece </li></ul><ul><li>Let your personality come through – be conversational </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of Inflection… Volume… Pacing </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Chloe! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Etc. <ul><li>COMPLETE your PRX profile! </li></ul><ul><li>(the means PHOTO, BIO, Radio Stories, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Rough cut to Catie by January 18 </li></ul><ul><li>Final pieces uploaded by January 20 </li></ul><ul><li>Around 5 minutes long </li></ul><ul><li>Include written Host Intro on PRX page </li></ul><ul><li>(I’m happy to help with audio editing questions/problems) </li></ul><ul><li>GOOD LUCK!!!! </li></ul>
  16. 16. Wrapping up <ul><li>Less than two weeks to go! </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Catie if you’re stuck, need help, assistance etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Third (and last, sniff!) webinar on distribution will be in mid-February </li></ul>