Media Coursework Evaluation Kiran Khan BRIEF: An extract from a radio play - newspaper advertisement feature about the play - a double: page listings magazine feature about the play
Radio Play The radio play addresses real media products through the use of characters. Radio plays tend not to use more than six characters within a scene, as this could get very confusing for the audience, hence limiting the number of characters will allow the audience to follow the story without confusion. Furthermore, radio plays are regarded as going through phases, which my radio drama follows, as one thing leads to another, it is classed as a one story narrative, and is broken up into scenes which are represented through the 3.5 second silence, which indicates the change of scene.
Sound Sound is a crucial form and convention involved in radio dramas. Dialogue and sound is key in engaging the readers and also in illustrating what is happening, as there are no props or anything visible to the audiences eye hence the sound creating verisimilitude. My play consists of sound effects, music, silence and pauses which help build up an appropriate atmosphere which clarifies what is happening in the scene. The silence and pauses allows the audience thinking time to take in what has been said or happened and prepare the audience for the next event/scene. An example I have used within my coursework, is in scene 2, which is set in a hospital room. There is a heart monitoring machine in the background, which is effective as it distinguishes the change of setting and scene, as scene 1, is set outside.
Radio Play Script
It is crucial that the layout of the script is clear in order for it to be read quickly and easily. A script also must follow conventions, in order for it to be successful.
Scripts must be typed out, and printed on one side of an A4 sheet
Names of characters separated from dialogue. Capitalised and in bold to distinguish from dialogue
Sound effects and directions in brackets, also differentiated from dialogue to avoid mistake of being read out. For example put in brackets and in italics.
Given a date that it is to be aired
Broken down into scenes, with setting. 'Everything Happens Twice' consists of five scenes.
Every line is given a number, this is to ensure that if one cast gets confused they can quickly catch up, by someone telling them what line they are on.
Challenging Conventions of Radio Play However it challenges the target audience and the genre of the drama. Majority of radio plays are aimed at the older generation which are shown on radio 4, however 'Everything Happens Twice,' also shown on radio 4, is aimed at a much younger audience. This is unconventional as there is nothing available for the middle aged audience hence we picked up on this gap in the market, and decided to fill it in. The genre for this play is thriller/suspense drama, this is also new, as no institution has shown this before, which was a new challenge for my partner and I.
… The target audience is addressed through the radio play firstly through the use of younger actors. This allows the audience to relate to them more. On the other hand, ‘The Archers’ is aimed at the older generation which is shown through the use of older characters. The beginning of the play is set in a busy city which again reflects to a youngr audience. This aspect is represented through the sound effect of traffic in the opening scene, which demonstrates the younger and more modern approach to life, as the character is travelling to work. Similarly the Archers, set in the countryside, representative of the older traditional life style. The genre itself illustrates the target audience. Thriller/suspense is again modern and interesting for the younger generation who look for excitement as opposed to the older generation, who like peace and quiet. Overall these elements connote the age of which the drama is targeted at.
Double Page Spread
The double page spread tends to have one page as pure image, and the second page mainly text. This has been incorporated within our double page spread for the radio times magazine article. The text is on the right hand side, of the magazine, as this is what tends to catch the reader’s eye first.
The image is also conventional as the focus is on the model thus the image being in the centre to emphasize this.
The text on the page with the image, anchors the image as it is setting the scene, for the article. It’s also explaining the image as it is an actress who has turned her career to radio, so viewers would be shocked to see her in a radio magazine.
Also the caption, is relevant to the text, which is a quote pulled out of the interview. This caption is used to capture viewers into reading this instead of turning over. If this is of any interest to them, then they will be encouraged to read the whole article. Also this is separated from the other text, as it is in different bold colour, this again allows it be more eye-catching and again to pull the viewer in.
Also the text is written in ‘short sets,’ which are another
convention of double page spread text.
Also the double page spread, is numbered with the website before it, which is again
promoting the magazine throughout.
Newspaper Advertisement The newspaper advertisement follows conventions as it uses simple font, and also minimum use of colour. Minimum text is used to show main emphasis being on the image. The image used is representative of the genre of suspense/thriller, which helps in engaging with the target audience. The font of the drama title is representative of the genre through the extended letters. Also the logo of the institution has also been used to highlight what channel the radio will be aired on, along with the date and time. This is crucial essential information, which reader needs in order to tune in for the showing. Furthermore, dark colours have been used, black and red, which highlight the genre of the drama. Black connoting secrets and red connoting murder .
Combination of all three materials All three texts work well together and efficiently in promoting the radio play. The newspaper advertisement and double page spread are found in different types of media aimed at different audiences, however this is an advantage as the play would be advertised to a wider audience, thus pulling in more viewers. Furthermore, the two ancillary texts differ as one is an interview using an image of the actor, and the newspaper advertisement using an image which illustrates the play. However, despite this difference, they both advertise the time and channel the radio play will be aired on. Both media forms use an image as a main focus to promote the play. However the amount of text on each extract differs, due to one being shown in a radio magazine and the other in a newspaper, where people might not especially be interested in radio.
… Both texts are of equal importance, and the focus is on the context. The newspaper ad is small however eye catching, with an image which illustrates the genre and plot at a glance. The double page spread, has much more text on it, with a detailed inside into the play and the experience from an actors point of view. This is beneficial, as the people who read radio magazines will be interested in getting an insight into the characters personal life. Both texts get the message across to the appropriate target audience, through the use of colour and text. Radio magazine readers, interested in radio will be excited about a new radio play coming out thus likely to tune in. The newspaper readers, might not be potential radio fans, however still might become interested via reading their everyday paper.
- Our audience feedback showed that our radio play had met the target audience the play was aimed for .
The genre of the play was also picked up through the use of sound effects and music, which is crucial as this highlights that the target audience which the play was aimed for, is clearly visible.
- One listener indicated how the beginning of the play was good, however got confusing at times, especially in the middle. This is something that I changed through adding a silence or backing music.
In the first scene, it was recommended how the crash, which is an essential part in the first scene, needs more emphasis. This I resolved by making the crash louder, which demonstrates that this is going to have a big impact, on what is to follow, and also allows the reader to acknowledge that this is a crucial part, due to the amplified sound, as there is no visible imagery, everything illustrated and represented through sound.
- In scene 2, I have included a flashback, which was very unclear and confusing. I improved this by making the flashback longer from 3 seconds to 7/8 seconds. This is because it will give the reader more time to acknowledge what is taking place, and then to acknowledge its cause.
Recording Studio Once the research and planning was complete, I had to record the radio play. This I decided to do in the recording studio. This involved recording into carts and then exporting the audio onto my flash drive which I would edit in audacity. Recording was very simple, and the recording equipment was easy to maneuver. Each scene was recorded individually into a cart. I simply pressed ‘record’ and the actors spoke directly into their allocated microphones. When the scene was complete, I would press ‘stop record.’ I had the option of using the computer or the short-hand key pad. I chose to use the short-hand key pad as it was more efficient. We were able to playback the recording and decide whether it needed re-recording or whether it was high-quality to go ahead to edit.
Audacity This is the name of the audio program used to edit the radio play. Using this technology has allowed editing to be more efficient. For example, whilst recording scene 4, a few lines needed re-recording. Instead of having to run through the whole scene again, as it was quite a long scene, I was able to record the necessary lines and then replace them in the original scene. This was quicker to do and was done in less time than it would've taken to record the whole scene. Furthermore, the program, audacity has allowed me to be more creative as it has allowed me to add effects to my final piece. For example, in scene 2, I was able to add an echo effect to highlight how the patient was in a coma and not in conscious or involved with the conversation between her husband and the nurse. As a result, the echo created an effective illusion of how the patient was in her own world/mind, and as a result made it more realistic. This allowed me to be more creative with possible ideas I could include in my play, to show verisimilitude and make it more interesting and dramatic, especially for my young-middle aged target audience.
Adding Echo Firstly, you must highlight the section or dialogue which you want to be echoed. Secondly, you then click on ‘Effect’ on the top toolbar, and scroll down to echo.
Then, a box will appear, asking you after how many seconds you will like the echo to appear. I left mine at 1 second. You can play around with this, and preview them, and once you have chosen which one suits you best, just click on ‘OK.’
Example of Echo used within Radio Play Before; with no echo After; with echo
Amplify; make sound louder Again, you highlight the area you wish to make louder. Then again, click on ‘Effect,’ on the top tool bar, and scroll down to ‘Amplify.’
Then this box will appear. Again you just play around with how loud you want to make it, previewing the sound as you go along. However you have to be careful, to prevent your sound from screeching. Once you are happy with it you click on ‘OK.’
Adding sound effects Click on Project, on the top tool bar, and scroll down to ‘Import Audio.’ You then browse for the sound effect you wish to add, which in this case is the chair scrape.
The sound effect will appear as a separate sound. From this you can copy what you need and paste it where you need the sound, if need be add silence to ensure the sound effect comes in at the specified time. Or if you wish for them to be played at the same time, leave it as it is.
Once you have pasted it, where you need it , you can delete the sound effect as a separate file.
Example In this example, there is a double sound effect being used. You can hear the footsteps and the heart machine running at the same time, then the footsteps stop and the dialogue begins. This is effective as it shows the nurse, coming towards the patient, instead of the nurse talking straight away. The footsteps add an element of realism and create a clear atmosphere for the audience. The footsteps are on tile, this again emphasizing the scene set in a hospital.
Generating Silence You highlight the section where you wish to generate silence. You then click on ‘Generate’ on the top tool bar, and scroll down to silence Then a box will appear, here you decide how many second silence you want, in this case it being 3 seconds and then you click on ‘Generate Silence.’
Backing Music The backing music used within the radio play, is already copyright written therefore I did not have to contact the artist for permission to use. This saved me time as opposed for me creating soundtracks myself.
Media Technology used in Evaluation
For my media evaluation I decided to present it as a slideshow in Microsoft PowerPoint. This program would allow me to be more creative and show of my skills more, compared to writing my evaluation as an essay.
My opening slide, I have used my newspaper radio advertisement as my background and further continued the genre throughout my presentation through the use of colour, I was able to use, within this program.
I have also been able to add imagery, and was able to manipulate the picture by moving it behind text, if need be. Furthermore, I was able to add shapes to my screenshots to point out specific points I was referring to in my writing.
My radio play is an audio file, which would have been difficult to include in Microsoft Word, however in PowerPoint, it was easy to carry out. In my presentation I have included examples from my radio play, which give the viewer a much clearer idea of my explanation.