I’ve come to the end of my time as a student at RMIT. It’s a bit sad, really. Luckily there are heaps of projects that I’ll be able to work on after finishing uni to keep my creative juices flowing and hone my radio production skills.
I’ll continue to work on All The Best, and hopefully submit stories to the program on a more regular basis. I also want to continue to post short pieces on ABC Pool – this has proved to be a really great avenue to get my work seen and heard. A couple of my short autobiographical audio pieces are being used as part of The Night Air on Radio National this coming Sunday night, which is pretty exciting.
Global audio production group In The Dark are currently accepting pitches for radio documentaries, awarding grants through the ‘Sound Bank’ to help them get made. This is a really exciting opportunity and myself and Erin are working on getting a pitch together at the moment. The radio course has given me the confidence to work towards creating quality audio packages, and I’m really excited about being able to work on new pieces over the coming months.
Well, Room With A View is over for the year. Just when I’d gotten comfortable in front of the microphone as well! Monday’s show went really well, and Elizabeth was very pleased with our work. Her feedback included
- Smart questions and good interview topics, presenters were obviously interested in what they were speaking about
- Mature treatment of touchy issues brought up by interview subjects (ie. Jill Meagher), no comment made
- Audio on blood interview was not up to scratch
- Smooth panel work
It was nice to end Room With A View on a high note! I have always struggled with presenting live on air, but towards the end of Monday’s show I was feeling so much better about it. The funny thing was that this week’s show was all over the place in the studio – we were ahead of time and then couldn’t get on to one interview subject, and we had to swap songs around and nothing was going according to the run sheet! Our panellist Sonia and producer Line were extremely cool under pressure, and Sonia handled all the changes with songs, sponsorship announcements, etc. so well.
I feel that I made some good contributions as a member of our production group and working with 3RRR has taught me so much, (including some lessons I may have been a little reluctant to learn!) The experience of producing a program like RWAV was invaluable. It was stressful, but the feeling of having interviews go off without a hitch and the program move smoothly along was exhilarating. I’d have to say that my favourite roles were producing and presenting, as I was fully engaged with the show.
I hope I can do some more work in community radio like 3RRR in the near future, as it’s such a great community, and the people are generally really supportive and happy to give feedback or a helping hand. I’m really proud of the work we produced this year and it’s given me the skills and confidence to pursue more work/volunteer work in radio.
According to my self-assessment matrix for this semester, I’m grading myself as follows:
Engagement: Distinction. (75)
While my blogging was not up to my personal standard of a distinction, I did not account in the self-assessment criteria for my engagement in the participatory project, which was at a very high level. I also posted one blog post every week and attended class to participate in class discussions and feedback sessions.
Online Professional Profile: High Distinction (90)
I have worked hard over this semester to establish myself as a professional online and have gained many more interested and engaged followers on Twitter. I have established myself as a serious radio producer on ABC Pool, where my work has gained exposure and some great feedback from other users. I have also worked to set up a LinkedIn profile, and to maintain my online portfolio to a standard where I’m happy to show it to prospective employers.
Reflection: Distinction (70)
I have tried to reflect frequently and critically on my personal work and the development of our participatory project. I believe my personal reflection has helped me in the way I approach my work, and has helped me iron out any issues with my coursework.
Blogging: Distinction (72)
I have maintained my blog throughout the semester through a variety of posts dealing with course readings, project work and reflection. I have also used my blog as a central hub for my activity online, linking to things I’ve been working on and elaborating on my professional identity.
Overall grade: Distinction (76%)
It’s done and dusted: The Swim Team, the audio arts piece we’ve been working on for the past month or so, is finished. And I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with it. While we got off to a bit of a rocky start – mainly not being able to decide which story, or which format, to go with – it ended up sounding pretty good.
It’s an intense story – there’s a lot of emotion between the lines, and while we did our best I think it could have been improved by hiring actors. That wasn’t possible for us, but under the circumstances I think the variety of voices add great texture to the piece, and having the story told from four different perspectives keeps things interesting.
We played with texture and layered sound a lot – obviously while we had some obvious sound effects, like water and bubbles, we used different sounds to create a soundscape that both represented and complimented the spoken piece. Some of these effects were recorded ourselves, and some were taken from the university’s bank of effects. Either way, working on this piece has given me more confidence in creating soundscape and I think the balance of soundscape and silence/solo vocal in this work adds an intensity and a suspense that mightn’t otherwise be there.
So overall I’m happy – I probably wouldn’t be doing more creative audio pieces if it wasn’t for this assignment. Over the course of the semester I’ve posted a couple of pieces on ABC Pool which have drawn influence from the soundscape/storytelling technique we used for our piece, and hopefully I might be able to expand on those in the future.
Reviewing for Buzzcuts this year was a great experience. In 2010 and 2011 I wrote reviews for Melbourne Fringe, but putting an audio package together in the short turnaround time was a lot more interesting, and required more thought in terms of really evoking the tone of the Festival show.
I saw a comedy show, which was a bit all over the place but very funny at times. It was also different for me, as in the past I’ve reviewed mainly dramatic theatre or musical performances which have a bit more structure. I liked the show and referred to that in my review, but in all honesty it doesn’t take a lot to make me laugh, and I know that there’d be people who would find the show perhaps too over the top or silly.
Given the short length of the review, I aimed to mention mainly positive aspects of the show. Having worked on a Fringe Festival show before, I have seen the enthusiasm and dedication with which the actors and producers approach their shows, and I think it’s important to be supportive. That said, obviously if a show is offensively bad, it needs to be mentioned in the review. But if the performers are giving it their all, and the show is overall enjoyable, I see no harm in giving a mainly positive review. It’s possible to mention minor flaws in the production without bringing the tone of the review down as well, and I think I achieved that in my piece.
I used music to lift the tone of my review – light, energetic music that would also appeal to SYN’s youthful demographic. My voice is generally pretty monotonous when I read so I also made an effort to vary it a lot and sound more engaged with what I was saying. I did script the piece but tried not to read, and I think it sounded more energetic and more casual this way.
I think with a format like a review package, the quick deadline gives an air of honesty and excitement to the piece. Because you don’t have time to over think or over-script your piece, it can be a great exercise in getting right down to the point and trying to convey a lot of information in an entertaining way, and in a short amount of time.
There have been some interesting developments at Radio National this week - is the death of the radio play upon us? Sad to hear that the Night Air is going as well, as they give some great opportunities for exposure to users of ABC Pool. The introduction of the Creative Audio Unit seems really exciting though – looks like they’ll leaning towards the more modern, casual forms of storytelling we’re seeing in podcasts these days.
I’ve struggled from the start with the audio arts piece. I find it harder to construct a narrative than to find one in a real-life story, as we do with documentary. I consider myself a creative person but it’s really taken some effort for me to become invested in this assignment.
We’re on our way, at least – our story is based on a short fiction piece by the wonderful Miranda July and we’re piecing it together little by little. We are relying heavily on the verbal storytelling as well as voice texture and soundscape to carry the meaning of this piece – I’d liken it to one of the stories aired on Paper Radio, which focuses on the actual telling of the written piece and supports it with music and soundscape.
The recording of the narration was done last week and now we’re just getting our other talent together and recording soundscape. Then all that’s left is to put it all together.
As someone who will (hopefully) soon be going into a career in the media industry, social media communities and the ideas/theories surrounding them is something I’m very interested in. Obviously we’ve seen the ways that social media platforms can work and what happens when they don’t (everyone leaves for the next big thing and your company gets bought out by Justin Timberlake). But as the internet increasingly becomes a commodified space, what impact will that have on the way we use it to interact?
I think we’ve seen the implications of this as people become more accustomed to being ‘friends’ with a brand on Facebook, or following them on Twitter. Today it feels as though consumerism is the driving force behind Facebook and many of their choices concerning everything from privacy settings to making ‘unfriending’ someone a very difficult process. Privacy is still obviously an issue when it comes to social media, but as Barber writes (quoted in The Institutional Landscape):
“The threat the internet poses is no longer akin to an Orwellian fear of Big Brother but rather a fear of the ‘soft new totalitarianism of consumerism’ (Barber 1997)”.
The key to a collaborative campaign such as the ones we are currently organising is that there must be incentive to participate, and incentive for the producer’s to see the project through. With so much of the online space being controlled and motivated by commercial interest – blog sponsorship, youtube ads, and the like, a project which is not motivated by money or publicity can seem out of place.
The motivation and incentive that we are offering through My Morning Story is similar (albeit on a smaller scale) to what is offered by ABC Pool. A close and engaged community, and a low-pressure environment to have your work seen and heard by other members of that community who may gain enjoyment from it.
So what is our incentive, as producers?
This project for us is about more than just getting a good grade. We’re genuinely interested in and inspired by the work that is being done by our contributors. We are contributing to the project ourselves and feeling it gain momentum is exciting. Seeing the completed collage of works for us will be a reward, as the project was something we felt passionate about and have enjoyed putting together. Watching the twitter followers rise and the instagram submissions roll in is a very cool thing – we even had a very proud moment this week as one of our project submissions was featured on ABC Pool. Without the stresses of sponsorships or advertising it’s been nice to watch our My Morning Story community grow organically.
My Morning Story seems to be chugging along quite nicely. All members of the group have been active across their respective platforms and the project is gaining a bit of momentum, mainly through image submissions. Twitter and Tumblr seem to have been the most receptive, the format and idea of the project appealing to those who don’t have a lot of time or are prone to reblogging pictures and frequently using Instagram while on the go.
An instagram submission from @meegsc
Group members are also actively participating in the project so that we’re constantly keeping material coming in. By doing this I think we’re helping to set the tone of the project and give other participants some inspiration.
In the tutes last week, Nadia suggested that we find a way to organise our submissions that perhaps goes deeper into what we’re actually trying to achieve. She suggested grouping the submissions by time of day, representing peoples’ varying ideas of ‘morning’ and exploring the way different groups relate to the time of day. We also have discussed grouping the submissions by their focus – breakfast is a popular one, as is surroundings (the walk to work, for example). We need to discuss this further as a group. I feel as though one of the benefits of our idea is that it’s easily accessible to anyone, really – although I do think it would be good to explore some ways that we could make our project really stand out.