When I first read about this assignment in the subject outline I was quite excited to be able to create an audio piece. I have had a keen interest in the audio medium ever since I listened to my first podcast in 2007. It was a podcast released by the Triple M radio station in Melbourne, consisting of the best of the week of the radio show “Get This”. I recall listening to the podcast and enjoying the intimacy of the conversation. Furthermore, how the presenters were able to conjure up an image and take me on a journey with the use of ambience, music, and linguistics. So, as I approached this task I tried my best to emulate that ability.
My emotional history was centred around a recent news event regarding a Wollongong man who won an international raffle with the prize being a multimillion dollar island resort. Moreover, the man happened to be a very close family friend who I’ve known for most my life, so I jumped at the chance to interview him and tell his story my way. I say that because Nicolas had conducted a number of interviews with major media publications before my interview. So my main goal leading into this task was , I wanted to tell Nicolas’s unbelievable story in a more intimate and creative way than the legacy media. By using the audio medium I felt that I succeed in achieving the goal.
I conducted the interview at Nicolas’s home on a Sunday afternoon. I ensured that we talked in an enclosed room as not to pick up any unwanted noises. However, even though I closed the door I neglected to close a small window in the corner of the room. In retrospect, I should have scanned the room before I started to record. I crafted over 10 questions for the interview and ended with about 5 minutes of usable content. While interviewing, I deviated off the questions to try and probe more into Nicholas’s thought process. I did this because as Ira Glass stated in his podcast Ideas at the House ““Great quotes just don’t occur in nature you have to make them come to exist”(Glass,2016). In the case of my interview, that statement rings true, without me pushing the issue in some regards. I wouldn’t have got some of the better quotes from Nicholas.
As I began the editing process I wasn’t very sure of my abilities, as I had never edited any audio piece in my life. However, as I began listening to the audio and playing around with Hindenburg I started getting more confident. Even though the stories emotion is, surprise, I wanted to create a mellow and calming ambience. I found some rather simple music on freemusic.com and used a number of ambient sounds such as mouse clicking, office sounds, bar chatter, airplane take off and a raffle spin. John Biewen had stated in his essay that “The question we face as producers are not what comes next, but also when”(Biewen, 2013). This statement was in regards to the use of pause and silence. In future audio pieces, I will certainly incorporate more pauses in my work, as I feel my piece may have lacked pauses in some sections.
Mia Lindgren of Monash University wrote of audio storytelling “By listening to personal experiences of ‘other’, listeners become connected to the people whose stories they share”(Lindgren,2016). This statement was my motivation in crafting this piece. Nicolas’s story is a public one and people would have heard about some bloke who won an island. Some people may of be spiteful and jealous of his luck. However, by putting his voice out there in this emotional setting I would hope listeners can identify with Nic.
John Biewen. 2011. Be Quiet: In Praise of the Pause. [ONLINE] Available at http://transom.org/2011/john-biewen-be-quiet/. [Accessed 1 September 2016].
M, Lindgren 2016, ‘Personal narrative journalism and podcasting., Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, vol.14, no.1, p./pp. 23-41
Glass, I 2016,Ira Glass On Journalism l, Podcast, 8th August, Itunes, viewed 31 August 2016, https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/sydney-opera-house-talks-ideas/id640445035?mt=2