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Creating A Radio Drama

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Callum Alderson

on 9 May 2013

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Transcript of Creating A Radio Drama

Creating a radio drama creating a radio play Evaluation My task is to create a radio drama that lasts around 5mins.
I also have to do a news paper advert for a radio play and a two page spread interviewing the stars of said drama. I don't really know where to start first so I will start with the one i know most about - radio dramas.
I have always had a strong passion for radio as an art form because it relys only on sound to create an atmosphere and makes you use more of your imagination as you do not have visual distractions. research Now i had my radio drama done i had to look at advertising the play in the newspaper. Creating a Newspaper Advert Research Creating a Two Page Spread In what ways does your media product use, develop or challange forms and conventions of real media products? Pre Production For my radio drama The steps of making a radio drama Pre Production Production Post Production Broadcast Pre Production Pre Production is all about planning, in the case of
creating a radio drama this will begin with scripts. Usually there will be a production meeting where the production team will begin discussing how do best make the radio drama.
They will talk about how well the script is adapted to fit the visual constraints of radio (if any).
They will talk about what equipment they will need to use, how they will get it, and how expensive it will be to use. They also need to organize that all actors are available at the same time as each other,aswell as when the equipment is hired out (if hired). They need to make sure that they
have the right actors for the characters First thing i had to find was a script. Although i did attempt writing my own modern day adaptation of Macbeth, i quickly realized that script writing wasn't my strong point and decided to use someone else's script.
When scouring the internet i came across something called 'writers room' which was a bbc service full of tips to help people write, they could send in their scripts and they also had a large library of useable scripts. This is where i found 'Forbidden Fire' which i liked and felt confident about making into a radio play. http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/paperback-hell-forbidden-fire - link working on 15/04/13 From the word go i decided to get together a group of actors and give them a script and get recording. I already had experience with recording as i have done music technology for the last few years so i did not have to research how to do anything technical.
I considered this first recording as a first draft and knew that it would not be perfect but i did come across many unexpected problems. Pre Production Part 2 Follow on to next slide Here is the sound clip of my first draft recording
this was of a different script As this was just a technical recording i knew that the actors would not sound that life like, but when it came to recording in some parts i thought they sounded like robots, clearly reading off the sheets, not knowing how to say certain things.
When i spoke to them about it they said they didn't feel they knew the characters or what the characters were like - so i decided to give them all character profiles for the real thing. Another problem i faced was the microphones i used. Originally i used 4 sm58s
which are industry standard microphones - so i thought they would be ok. what i realized is men and women have different tones to their voices and would need different mics (and EQs). For example there is a big difference in bass between male and female vocals Production The Production side is getting everything done. In the case of radio drama, this means recording
the drama, editing it and mixing it. Production I began my research into newspaper ads by comparing a few, which would also hopefully give me some ideas about what i might do. Newspaper ad research First ad The colour scheme is not very professional and does not strictly go together very well, by using colours that clash it shows the advert could have been made by men with no real sense of colour coordination, for men with no real sense of colour coordination,
The advert uses a variety of fonts but the biggest font is in bold plain clear writing to maybe show the importance of ‘car paint protection’.
A structural feature of the advert is the star which draws our attention to the huge database of templates and is meant to make us believe it is important and it is bursting out of the page. The purpose of this advert is for selling the product. The target audience would be relatively well off men who are into cars as the car shown is an expensive luxury one, and if you need to protect your car it will be something you take pride in and probably spent a lot of money on. Newspaper ad research Second ad The purpose of this advert is to make you feel sorry for the dog in the photo. It starts on a slightly pessimistic note as its says the RSPCA wont save it, suggesting the situation is already bad. It is not asking you directly to help but the image is designed to make you feel sorry for the animal and want to help. The bold colours help the image stand out. Also the red writing on the word ‘won’t’ makes it stand out and the colour has connotations with negativity and general bad things
They have used the image of a dog on a black background, the dog looks scared and shaken up, and in a posture which suggests he may be hiding. He is also very thin and looking unhealthy as you can see its ribs. The dog looks to be generally having a bad time.
They use a black background to make the image of the dog stand out more, so there is no distraction behind the image. Newspaper ad research Third ad In this advert the BNP are trying to attract you to vote for them. They are trying to appeal to middle aged people in jobs (probably low paid or rank) as the advert asks the reader if they feel over taxed, ignored or voiceless?
The advert is only black and white, which could have connotations with old people, this could also be a cost saving precaution. They have used a variety of font sizes. They have put three rhetorical questions in the largest boldest font as that’s their hook which they are using to appeal to the audience.
They have used the image of the union jack in the BNP logo which you would associate with Great Britian, they key word being great. This hints that not only is the country great but the BNP is great and you should vote for them. Further pushing hints about voting the vote logo is designed so the V on vote looks like a tick. This has connotations of positivity which is designed to encourage people to vote for them at the polling station. Ideas for my newspapaer ad I had seen elements from my research
of things i would like to do and some that
i would like to miss out.
when i broadened my search to posters aswell as adverts to base mine on i came across something that inspired me. Ideas for my own newspaper ad When i saw this i thought that this style could really work for me I thought the woman hiding behind the
book could be a very powerful image. Showing even though she is hiding and only half of her is in the picture she is the main character because she is in the foreground. I thought that the woman standing up could be
a powerful image because as it shows her whole
she could be standing in a position of power, but
because she is in the background it is reenforcing
the idea that she is only powerful in her own mind
and ego and the woman at the front is the most
powerful and the main character. Ideas for my newspaper ad I have added the Radio 4 logo to make the poster
seem more realistic and believable. Radio drama research Many people prefer radio as an art form to other types of media for many reasons; firstly it is a lot cheaper because there is no visual side to it. I would argue that it is much more personal because it is usually live and makes you feel the DJ is talking to you.

In terms of radio dramas, the clever use of sound effects transport you to anywhere in the world which makes you use your imagination more and enhances your listening experience. You can close your eyes and pretend you are really there, whereas with television, when it comes down to it, you know your are watching a box and your response is conditioned by what you see. Finding research for radio dramas proves difficult because it these days it is not as popular as it once was, and certainly not as popular as television. However I have managed to find links from the internet which i feel are appropriate and beneficial and show that radio drama is indeed alive and well in the 21st century. radio drama research http://www.wirelesstheatrecompany.co.uk/ The wireless theatre company is a website that collects and organizes radio plays. There are many different genres to choose from but as my radio play was a comedy i will look at comedy.
I listened to three plays which were: Gino Ginelli Lives, Country Life and Open Spots.
The first thing i noticed was that they were all very funny, not just for me but for all types of humor. I got other people of different ages to listen and they agreed that the script writers had put something in there for everyone.
Each of them showed me that the power of words of provoked my imagination and took me away from reality in a way that i wasn't expecting.
I noticed that in the first play i listened to 'Gino Ginelli Lives' they had a great use of sound effects that made you really feel you were there with them. Also at the bottom of the page there was a YouTube link which talked about live recording of radio dramas. In this instance they had a live audience and were recording a horror. They had very low and minimalistic lighting to aid the audiences imagination. This made me consider doing something similar as it would help the actors themselves feel more involved in the play, but as i am not doing a live drama and there would be no way of visually showing how i have preformed it while staying within the boundaries of my task, i have decided against it. Radio Drama research Microphones When recording radio it is imperative that you use high quality condenser microphones.
For my radio play i used 4 microphones; 2x - AKG C1000S 2x - RODE M3 The reason why i used two different microphones is because i was recording males and females. With the RODE M3 it automatically takes out the bottom end so you don't have any unwanted low frequencies, which is good for females as they typically don't have bassy voices. http://soundcloud.com/schoolcallumalderson/first-bounce-of-radio-play Also the levels on the mics were not correct and there was no effects added on to the vocals, this is why it sounds bad. Bethan Hugo Callum Emma Radio Drama research How I would set up the Microphones I have planned out my scenes so there is never more than 4 people at one scene at once so i will only ever need the maximum of 4 microphones at once. Radio Drama research The history of radio plays In the days before television and computers people used to listen to the radio. Rather than today where families would sit around the TV watching eastenders, families in the 1930's and 1940's would sit around the radio and listen to programs such as 'little orphan annie' and other favourites. Radio has been around since the 1800's but as all new art forms it took a while to get the mass popularity that we know today and also took a while to become a big part of peoples lives. This double page spread is about lily Allen found in NME. The article is intended to appeal to fans of lily Allen and the target audience of NME roughly 14-30. The main image is a mid shot of her with a plain back ground, she is also half of the page. They may have done this to back up the headline and show she is not attention seeking by hiding half of her off the page The colour scheme is mostly black white and red which keeps it simple and professional. This also gives her a greby/grungy look which goes along with the magazines genre. The font is stylised and is meant to resemble cut out letters from a newspaper. It gives it a very unique quirky look, you could almost find this style of writing in a ransom note. Creating a Two Page Spread Research This double page spread is about Florence and the machine found in Q Magazine. The article is intended to appeal to fans of Florence and the machine and the target audience of Q Magazine which is quite broad, men and women 18-30 with an interest in music. The main image is of her sitting in a seductive pose sitting on an American flag, in the background with the big letters USA. The reason why they use this image is because it ties in with the subject and shows she is breaking America The colour scheme is simple with the red white, grey and black. This is to keep it simple and professional not crowding it the double page spread with too many colours. The font is italic which id associated with romance, this complements the ideas behind the words ‘got the love’ which is also the title of one of her songs. How ive used sound effects Making a radio drama you have to include sound effects and sound dynamics otherwise it would just sound like an unprofessional recording of people talking. Radio dramas are meant to transport you to a world fuled by your own imagination. In my radio play i have used relatively typical sound effects. In scenes where it is nessessary i have put the sound of traffic quietly behind the vocals to let the listener know that they are outside. Also when a taxi comes i use a convincing sound effect of a car approaching and also two effects or a car door opening and closing from the person getting ins perspective. These all add to the experience of feeling your actually in the radio play. I also added some heavy reverb to Hugos voice when Bethan said she could still here his words ringing in his ears. I used heavy reverb on his voice to make him sound ghostly and omnipresent. Stereo Image Panning Depending on where the actors were ment to be in the drama they were panned in my drama aswell. This is to make the audio sound as realistic as possible so the listener actually can believe that they are in the radio drama. This heightens the listeners experience and enjoyment as they can use much more of their imagination the more believable the audio is. I also made the actors use accents where nessessary to fit the character profiles, but i made sure it was accents that the actors were comfortable with as i wanted to sound as natural as possible.
However i particulary remeber emma doing the accent of a french woman which was bad and clearly not french but it was meant to be bad as the play is that sort of corny, obviously bad one. Microphones Distance and EQ My actors were spaced about 2 inches away from the microphone, and seperated by a pop sheild which stopped any unwanted popping sounds created by saying certain letters. It can also regulate peoples voices on the microphone - e.g. if they spit when they talk.
The EQ that i used was mainly to do with either being male or female. Some was built into the microphone as i mention earlier and takes the bottom end of frequencies out for the female vocals, as stereotypically women dont have voices with heavy bass. During production i had to do many things that i didn't expect.
I started off by printing off the scripts and giving them to the actors. I also gave them all a character profile which i had attached to each of their scripts concerning each of their characters. The character profile which i had created, had a little information about the character, e.g. gender, age, nationality, personality trates and any other noticable features about the character.
The next thing i did was have to set up the microphones in the studio and prepare the mutli track recording software (which in my case was Logic Pro) so that everything was ready to use and record.
We had a run through of the script to make sure everyone was happy but we had also had a practice run through in pre-production with a Zoom recorder to make sure it sounded ok.
When we started recording properly we did encounter some problems which made us have to stop and start again which were; standing to close to the mic so everything became distorted and not using a pop sheild so certain words became distorted. The main problem we found was that due to the humourus nature of the script, people kept laughing at the funny parts so there were a few times that we had to stop and re-record. Post Production Post Prodution is everything you may add to the
audio once it has been recorded. This includes any and all editing, any sound effects and sound dynamics that are added to give it the heavily compressed radio feel. Post Production The first thing i did was add in the sound effects to the radio drama. In scenes where it applied i added sounds of car doors opening and closing, traffic, cars approaching, typing and 70s cheesy music.
During my audience feedback they had told me that in a professional radio drama there would'nt be so many gaps in the audio from where they were speaking. Taking this on board i went back to Logic Pro and edited out the sound that was empty space so there were no gaps.
There was also a part in the radio drama where Hugo's words were said to be ringing in Bethans ears. Instead of just repeating what he said i put reverb and delay on his voice so he sounded ghostly. This is also the effect generally used to show someone thinking about something or someone being in someone elses head. Broadcast Broadcasting radio was originally on
the airwaves on an FM or AM frequency. Nowadays it is slightly different as you can still
broadcast over the air waves but there are many other options of listening to it such as the internet.
Also there are far more stations available, being commercial or non commercial, some very specific and some very broad. Broadcast As i had farily limited options when it came to broadcasting my radio drama.
I uploaded my radio play up onto Soundcloud for about a week to see how it sounded through speakers and also so there was a small amount of time to get audience feedback.
I also played it on the school radio station 'Benedict FM' which i helped set up, which broadcasts throughout the schools intranet. Due to the nature of the play i had to broadcast it outside of school hours, but worked well as a test broadcast. Research Ideas for my newspaper ad I have drawn paralells from the 'ROM COM CON' poster as i liked the person standing up in the background and the more timid person hiding behind a book in the foreground. I also liked the idea of using the a flame from
a lighter as the 'I' of fire. It seems cheesy but as
this is meant to be a cheesy radio drama it
seemed only fitting. By making Patryk stand up in a domanant
postition almost tensing his arm, shows that he
has a big ego. Further backing up this point is
that he has a full body shot, which Bethan
doesn't have. However as he is in the
background he is not the main character. Again Bethan only has a mid shot but as she is in
the foreground she is subconciously the dominant
and the main character. This goes against what
you may perceive of her character at first as she
comes across as an innocent 'publishers dogsbody',
but this hits that all is not what it seems. I have also successfully made the 'I' in fire become
a flame. I have to the best of my ability made Patryk
stand in as manly position as possible without
going over the top. This is to reinforce the idea
that he has a big ego but is not nessessarily in
control. I have also stuck with a black and white theme
for my fonts and included a star rating, this was
again to give it a more realistic feel. Bethan is here seen to be looking quite innocent
by here facial expression and the fact she is
hiding behind her book. However she is also alot
larger than Patryk, this again reinforcing the idea
that she is not as innocent as first may seem. Creating a two page spread Planning Creating a two page spread Challenging the forms and conventions of radio drama My radio drama does challenge the forms and conventions of radio drama. This is because typically the age of people who listen to radio dramas is around 35+. As my drama is alot more raunchy than other types you might find on the archers or other such broadcasters, it will bring in a younger audience. How effective is the combination of your
main product and ancillary texts? The combination of my main product and ancillary text has been very effective in my opinion. Both my newspaper advert and my two page spread feature feature Bethan and Patryk (played by Hugo in the radio play) and there faces will have become recognisable from the coverage. How effective is the combination of your
main product and ancillary texts? As i have included both characters in both print peices, they come across the same in both. In the two page spread it is a little more obvious that Bethan is not scene as the innocent girl anymore. This is partly to again everything is not as it seems in the play but also because its an interview with her, not her character.
In both pictures they both look very professional, keeping up the appearance that they are office workers. The font i have used is minimalistic in both pictures, unsing only black and white to try and bring across the information as clearly as possible. The only exeption to this is where it says 'Fire Starter?' as i wanted to make it stand out and draw the readers attention. What have you learned from your audience feedback? As a test I uploaded my radio drama onto soundcloud and recieved some of the following comments; 'The play is really funny but some of the voices at some parts sound too loud and distorted'. 'There are alot of gaps of talking in the play that would'nt be there in a professional broadcast, nice work though'. 'I like the play but if this is meant to be 5 minutes long then this play is too long'. 'Really good use of sound FX, especially the traffic scene, it does sound very believable'. What have you learned from audience feedback? This feedback helped me alot and i took all of the comments on board. After reading those i corrected the levels which stopped actors sounding too loud at certain parts, I edited all the gaps out of the vocal parts so there wasn't any empty space and i also shortened the play down to fit my quota of 5 minutes. I also did a questionaire asked people what i thought would be useful knowledge better my radio drama. Q: What do you expect from a radio drama?
A: Entertainment, suspense, surprise, good acting and a story that keeps the listener engaged untill the very end.
Q: Would you usually listen to a radio drama?
A: No, but i feel i should - its probably better than TV! I like radio as it gives you more room to use your own imagination, but it is easier at the end of a long day to put on the TV and relax.
Q: What sort of age group do you think is the main audience of radio dramas is?
A: It depends on what station is broadcasting the play, im not aware of any other stations that broadcast radio dramas but i suspect Radio 4 has an older demographic.
Q: What elements do you think contribute to a high quality broadcast?
A: Clear speaking, accurate scheduling, reasonable english (no slang or colloquialism), broadcasters that relate to the audience rather than eachother and a variety of content. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Construction In the construction of my radio drama i used most of the Adobe Suite software and other apple software such as Logic Pro.
I also used Microsoft word to make the character profiles and used the internet alot on how i would do certain things e.g. tricky bits of editing.
I used quite a few micrphones in the recording of my radio drama.
I used an SLR camera to take the pictures that i would need for my newspaper advert and my two page spread. Also i have used green screening technologies. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? In this screenshot of myself using Logic Pro i have colour co-ordinated the tracks into categories: Light Green: Female vocals Dark green: Male voals Black: Sound effects Red: Reverb tracks How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Research The media technologies I used in my research were;
The Internet - this is my main media technology in my research as the internet is a vast space for knowledge of anything and everything. The internet helped me greatly find nearly everything i have found out about radio drama, excluding what i've heard on the radio and through word of mouth.
Through the internet i used many sites like Google and BBC IPlayer which were hugely useful. Google enabled me to search for things related to radio dramas with ease, and BBC IPlayer let me listen to a large archive or BBC 4s radio dramas such as 'The Archers'. Planning During my planning i used an online organiser to help me plan out how i would record my scenes
as i could'nt and didn't ever have more than 4 people recording at once. http://www.onlineorganiser.net I also used a Zoom recorder to record a rough draft of my radio drama so i had an idea of what it was going to sound like. How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages? Evaluation The media technologies i used in my evaluation were;
Prezi - This came in very handy as an alternative to Microsoft Powerpoint and seemed more enkeeping with Media as a subject.
Screenshots - i used many screenshots give examples of what i was doing and to back up a point i may have been making.
Pictures - These may have been pictures of my coursework or pictures included in my coursework.
Audience Feedback - This includes audience feedback which i have recieved over the internet and also through questionaires.
Soundcloud - I have used Soundcloud to exhibit my first attempt at a radio drama. I hadn't seen many two page spreads that i liked and could take ideas from, but after looking at the interview with 'Florence And The Machine' seeing her sit on the american flag, that gave me an idea to have Bethan sitting down as she was a publishers secretary. I developed the idea to have Bethan and Patryk as they were the two main characters, but also i had to hint once again that Bethan was the stronger character. Bethan would be sitting on a office chair looking not only no innocent, but a slightly devilish look on her face. Whereas Patryk would be at the bottom with his arms crossed looking happy but not egotistical.
This is to show that in real life the roles of the characters are reversed. When it came down to making it, i decided that Patryk looked better at the top, but i still kept Bethan where she was, looking like she was meant to be in an office.
I tried to use fonts inkeeping with the newspaper ad, keeping them simple colours so it is clear to read. Again the only exeption being that 'Fire Starter?' is written in red so it stands out and grabs the readers attention. Also going against the veiw that some people may have of Bethan after listening to the radio drama that she is innocent. The catption reads 'I have always played a relatively innocent girl with no sex scenes.' if the reader knew the character, this would immediately draw the readers attention to the interview as that would be contrary to what they know about her.
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