Aims and Objectives for the Documentary – Radio station, target audience, tone, style, pace, aims etc
The aim of my documentary was to tell the listeners about Horror Movie marathons happening around Scotland in a fun and memorable way. My radio station was BBC Scotland with a target audience of 19-35 years of age, mainly appealing to a female audience. The style of BBC Scotland is fairly slow and calm, not like the up beat sound of BBC 1. The station is very informative but also entertaining. The tone of my documentary was meant to be informative but also fun and to remind the audience of a horror film. It was inspired by Bitch Medias Horror Heriones’ series where the narrator sounds like they are in a horror film.
What is your view of your package after it has been completed and finished?
My documentary was successful at appealing to BBC Scotland’s target audience because horror fans are statistically more likely to be female and more likely to be in the age group of 19-35. BBC scotland has also stated that they would like to broaden their appeal with a female audience, so my documentary ticks those boxes. I think my doc was less successful in being in the style of a BBC Scotland because it was a bit to quirky having the presenter sound like she was actually in a horror film, which would be jarring and strange for a lot of BBC Scotland listeners who would be more used to hearing a presenter simply presenting rather than also acting, moving around and being chased.
However my documentary did fit the tone of our selected station in that it remained very informative with all the interviews being relevant, educational and on the topic of the horror genre and these marathon events. The tone of my documentary was also meant to be entertaining which I feel it achieved because the presenter acting like she’s in a movie through the dialogue, outdoor ambience and occasional horror style trope sound effect, it was able to transport the listener to the set of a horror film in an almost tongue and cheek & hammer horroresque manner. The audio clips from the famous horror films which are scattered through out the doc also entertain fans of the genre and because a lot of the clips are so recognisable even listeners that aren’t die hard horror fans would recognise the references, which was exactly what I wanted to achieve. I wanted the audience to know and understand the films the documentary was essentially promoting through these events without having to think about it, they would instantly know what my documentary was telling them about, through and through horror. The documentary was also successful in emulating the inspired podcast series by Bitch Media in that my narrator does sound like she’s in a horror film due to the sound editing, sound effects, recording her outside and recording her running around and giving the illusion of her being chased.
However there were several things about the finished product that bothered me and I didn’t think worked so well. I wasn’t careful enough before I uploaded it to our server, there were some parts of editing that sounded sloppy during our live show that I was kicking myself for. There were several audio clips that cut out too abruptly and some that came in a second or two to late so the full word wasn’t pronounced correctly. I wish I had listened to it out loud on our studio speakers, rather than only on my headphones, before uploading it and thinking it was finished, because of these abrupt starts and stops between the presenter and the interviewees, it detracts from what they are saying and is rather jarring. I really should of had more people listen to it as well. I would make sure in the future that I wouldn’t rush the editing so these mistakes could be avoided and I would listen to it over speakers as well as headphones.
Some of the sound effects I used I wasn’t very pleased with either but I was running out of time and just let them slide which annoys me because they could of sounded a lot better if I’d allocated more time to editing them. There’s a door creek noise that happens twice in my documentary that sounds very out of place, it should of sounded more like tree branches falling and breaking rather than an actual door, but I failed to find appropriate sounds. I meant to tamper with the door creak clip on protools and make it sound more outdoorsy through editing but I just made it sound stupid and more fake and essentially gave up on it and kept the original sound clip, which was still not right, but ultimately better than what I created. I would make sure that in the future all my original sound effects would be more appropriate in the first place and I’d allocate more time to actually editing them.
Other things I was pleased with was my presenters sound and how I recorded her. I recorded her outside to capture the outdoor ambience and I was very careful to make sure we were never recording when other outside noise variables might have been happening. For example when children were playing near by I stopped the recording, when a plane flew over head and a swan started flapping about. I was very careful about all of these things because during the making of my last documentary, Looking For laughs, I did my main interview, with Rick Molland, on location rather than in the studio and accidentally caught a lot of unusable background noise which caused me a lot of trouble when I went to edit it. I definitely learned from that experience which was good. However on listening back to my finished documentary there were a couple of things my presenter said that sounded slightly off. Her tone wasn’t quite right for the line and I wish I had done a few more takes of the script so I could have directed those lines more, since how I had originally directed her to sound didn’t actually work in the finished piece. I was very pleased with my choice and editing of audio clips from famous horror films however, I arranged them so they were in part relevant to whatever audio followed them. For example when my interview with a member of the Edinburgh Zombie Film Club begins, I introduce him with a clip from Night of the Living Dead, arguably the most famous zombie film : “They’re coming to get you Barbara!” which was appropriate and, I thought, quite funny. However I did face some problems with my horror movie clips however during the editing stage. When I first brought them into protools and had them lined up where I wanted them to play between all my other audio they did come on very abruptly and it could be quite shocking hearing the tone and volume change so dramatically. I remedied this by fading them all in and out which made them have a much softer start and finish. This made them less jarring when they played and easier to listen to and enjoy which improved the documentary over all.
I was also very pleased with my own recordings of sound effects. I recorded myself walking across a bridge in heavy boots and I had my presenter actually runs around whilst holding the mic so the sound of her running would sound a lot more natural, rather than recording her faking it. Both of those sound clips came out very realistic and I was glad I decided to create them myself rather than try and make them sound real from a studio recording.
How effective do you think your approach/strategy was through all its stages i.e. the activities chosen, the planning and organisation done?
I gave myself a very specific plan to follow and was very sure of all the interviews I would get, which proved to be a problem when I didn’t get them all. So whilst my plan was detailed and I had set personal dates to achieve specific things by, when that started to fall apart due to not getting interviews with intended people I did begin to panic because I hadn’t planned for that sort of set back. I tried for over a week to find 2 more interviews with people that were relevant, willing and able to give me some of their time, which was a to harder than I thought it would of been. When we did our previous documentaries all the people I interviewed, whilst being very relevant to the topic of that documentary, I knew them all well so arranging the interviews wasn’t very hard at all. This project was a lot harder. All three of my initial interview ideas either didn’t get back to me or told me they were too busy. After contacting my second tier of potential interviews, and I was waiting for a response from them, I started emailing everyone and anyone that was remotely involved in the horror genre that might be interested. People that ran horror clubs, online horror forums, horror writers, horror actors etc. I heard back from 5 members of an online horror community in the USA and they all agreed to give me interviews either via skype or by recording themselves answering the writen questions I would send them. After talking to a few of these people further I realised they were something of a loose cannon and probably not wise to use in my documentary. One of them refused to tell me his real name, demanding to only be called ~Nite Blade~ and another wanted to only go by the name of Lycanthropia. Whilst these people were interesting in their own way and might make fascinating subjects for a different documentary, I decided I didn’t want to waste any time with people that couldn’t even tell me their real names. Luckily, a day after all this, I heard back from one of my main interview ideas, Greg Day from FrightFest, then I got an interview with Scott Lyall who runs a horror movie club in Edinburgh followed by an interview with Alistair Cook who is a huge horror movie fan and has attended a lot of these horror movie marathons. I found Scott Lyall and Alistair Cook from searching local online horror communities and they both got back to me almost immediately, clearly very eager to talk about their passions in horror. What I learned from this experience was that there is nothing wrong with finding people in unexpected places that weren’t your first choice because they can sometimes prove to be even more interesting and reliable. Also from this experience I now know in the future to email a lot more people than I’d ever need for my documentary just to make sure I can get all needed interviews a bit easier. Once I had all three interviews I decided I should still try and get a couple more to be on the safe side, something I learned from our first documentaries when I lost some important audio, and I interviewed William Mitchell who is hoping to set up a horror movie night in Edinburgh and Kieran Gray who is a big fan of the genre. My last two interviews weren’t as good or as relevant so I didn’t include them in the final product but I was glad I got them none the less in case anything went wrong. Ultimately I think the interviews I included in my doc were relevant to my topic as well as articulate and informative which was in keeping with my stations style and tone.
Here is the script for my documentary: Horror Documentary Script
During the making of my groups documentaries my grandfather became very ill and I was told he might not survive so I made a point of telling my group about this and coming up with a plan B incase he did pass away and I couldn’t be present for our hour long show/or finish my documentary. I think this was an important planning stage since I wouldn’t have wanted to leave my team in the lurch without any warning or back up plan. Our plan was that I should get my documentary finished ASAP and the rest of team would take on all the other group responsibilities, like script writing, creating the running order and finding a guest for the live show. This was so if anything did happen to my grandfather to prevent me being there my team could still play my documentary during the live show and then talk about it amongst themselves, rather than having to fill all that extra time on air. I got my documentary finished as quickly as possible, which whilst that made parts of it slightly sloppy and not edited as well I should have liked, it was a weight off my shoulders to know they would at least have that to play. Luckily I was there for the live show but I think our plan to deal with the situation was appropriate and I’m glad we sorted it out just in case something had happened.
Here is a link to our group meeting about the plan B:
How appropriate was the music selected for your programme? Did it successfully achieve what you set out to do?
I think the music I used was very appropriate because it was the iconic John Carpenter Halloween theme that is universally recognised and associated with the horror film Halloween. Using that theme song sets the tone of the documentary even more, it registers with the audience on another level exactly what this documentary is about and essentially promoting. It’s also entertaining for fans of the genre because not only will they recognise it, they will enjoy hearing it and it will peak their interest and keep them captivated. I used the music and the point my narrator is walking down a path she doesn’t recognised and feels like she’s being watched. I did this on purpose because it further references the horror film Halloween when Jamie Curtis’s character thinks, correctly, that she’s being stalked. This was replicated in the out come of my narrators story, since she was being watched and followed also. This trope is again recognisable and entertaining to the listeners that are fans of horror but also to those that wont be because it is still a universally recognised trope. So including the music I used made my documentary more effective at it’s over all purpose of entertaining but also setting the scene and tone for horror fans. In the future I would like to use music in a similar way for any future radio documentaries. Use something that not only sounds appropriate in sound and tone but which also references something relevant so it might connect with the audience on and even deeper level.
How did your editing decisions enhance the whole production?
My editing, as I mentioned above, could have been improved if more careful time had been spent on listening back to it as a whole. Certain clips didn’t mesh well and occasionally cut each other off which was jarring and surprising to anyone listening. It detracted from the actual content and was a real let down on my part. In future, to prevent this, I would make sure I had enough time to edit carefully and properly without feeling like I had to rush it. I would listen to it on speakers rather than only in my headphones. I would ask multiple other people to listen to the finished package to give me their opinions on the editing and transfers between audio clips.
Again I didn’t give myself enough time to properly edit and play with my door creaking sound effect, which was meant to sound more like tree branches falling and breaking. To prevent this happening in the future I would make sure to find an original clip that would be better suited for the job, or even record the sound effect myself, obviously with in reason depending on what it is. But I think making sure that the original clip is ultimately more appropriate would naturally enhance the editing stage of it and make it a lot easier to work with.
On the positive side! me making some of my own sound effects worked out great. I recorded my presenter actually running around to capture all the natural breathyness of the action. I also recorded myself walking across a wooden bridge in heavy boots for the sound effect of my presenter going down a wrong path which happens to be a bridge. This was effective cause it set the scene perfectly with the actual sound of someone doing that. Recording my presenter running around was also effective cause it sounded real, which it was, so it sets the scene more for the listener and sounds more professional. In the future if I was to ever want recording of someone moving or being out doors I would just straight up record them out there and moving around rather than trying to recreate that sound in a studio and potentially wasting a lot of time on something that would still not sound as authentic. The realistic sound I achieved with my own recordings definitely enhanced my documentary cause it sounded more like a horror film and was more accurate to the Bitch Media series I was basing it on.
Describe the team-work involved in the whole production. What aspects of it do you feel helped the programme to be successful, and what aspects of it do you feel can be improved?
I think our team were all fairly good at communicating with each other, for the most part, when we were running into problems and when we needed help. I know when I was concerned about my potential absence, due to my grandfathers health, I made sure there was a back up plan in place should anything go wrong. Andrew warned us all he had been selected for jury duty that he was trying to get out of, but even then we still made a back up plan for if this happened. We still would have played his documentary but then two other members of the group would of discussed it rather than Andrew himself, and we one member of the team would of had to produce and interview another twice, as apposed to one each. Having this plan in place allowed us to not worry so much about what to do should one of us be absent and we were able to focus more clearly on our own documentaries. In the future I would definitely want to keep this mentality in group work where we all keep each other updated on potential set backs so we can come up with alternative plans in advanced rather than panicking closer to a deadline.
There was some bickering and arguing between members of our team in our online group chat, some blaming was taking place for things not being done correctly. Ultimately I stayed completely out of it and didn’t get involved. The situation seemed to resolve itself and everyone in the group appeared to be fine with each other afterwards. I assume it was simply because people were stressed. I think it was good of me to have not gotten involved as it might of just further complicated things, plus I wasn’t actually being accused to addressed of anything. I would definitely continue this mentality into future group work with only very few exceptions; if it was me people were complaining about and/or I was doing any of the complaining. I think keeping group work professional is the most important thing as it allows people to focus on their work and doing a good job, although I do appreciate this can be hard with people are feeling the stress of a deadline.
Papi selected the guest for our live show and I would have liked to of known more about her before she got there so I could of interacted more with her. In future I would definitely ask more about any guests as well as researching them myself. The reason I didn’t research her was because i knew from our previous decided running order that I wouldn’t be interviewing her, however I still should of done this incase anything went wrong and I did have to interview her, or incase she actually asked me something about her own work. Our teams script was created a fair few weeks before we were all completed our documentaries, it was on a word document on google drive that we could all access and update. We were all meant to update it was what questions we wanted to ask and be asked etc. I think we all let that slide and mainly focused on finishing our documentaries which caused there to be a bit of a panic towards the time of the live show. We did manage to write a script together and for all of us in time but in future I would definitely want to get the script done and organised sooner to allow for more full run throughs before the show.
Legalities for my documentary:
The legalities and ethics of making my documentary required me to get permission and audio release forms signed by all the people I was to interview. I got a singed form from Alistair Cook who I interviewed in person:
Scott Lyall emailed me back a filled out release form:AUDIO_release_form (Scott) (1)
As did Greg Day:AUDIO_release_form (Greg)
Making sure everyone signs audio release forms is incredibly important because it means you have their permission to use the audio recorded of them and you can’t get in trouble from them in the future for anything you may broadcast from that audio. I will continue to make sure in the future, whenever getting interviews or recording other people, that I get them to sign an audio release form.
Hour long programme Evaluation:
Our Live show script:
|Intro: Presenter: Dan (Wolf)
Hey Guys, you’re listening to Edinburgh college radio with Daniele we have loads coming up today with our other presenters Andrew,Ida,Kelly and Papi talking about celtic connections, music and horror also a fantastic guest coming in so you want to stay tuned for more and remember you can always contact us, on different social media let us know what you think about the show and about the documentaries that will come up. You can tweet us at at E C R tweets or just go on our facebook page edinburgh college radio for more. We have Andrew wolf here in the studio with us.
Hey Andrew how are you ?
I’m good thanks, Daniele.
What’s your documentary about today?
My documentary is about Celtic Connections and how it’s developed over the years as it will be 25 years old next year.
What inspired you to do it ?
I enjoy Scottish music and was also interested in how the festival has changed over the years and why the BBC gives coverage and what musicians who play at the festival think of it.
Was is hard or was there any behind the scene stories we should know ? lol
|Package 1: Andrew (Celtic connections)||6.39||1.10|
| Presenter: Wolf
You’re listening to Edinburgh College Radio. You just heard the Celtic Connections documentary, but there is more on the way and next up is Daniele Schioppa’s Documentary on the difference between rap and grime.
What’s you’r documentary about today?
Well it’s about the rise of grime music and how it connects with hip hop and rap but also how it’s different from these genres of music
What inspired you to do it ?
I thought Grime is growing so huge and people like it, and people know it’s different but don’t really know the reasons why so i kinda hope this documentary covers it because it’s also part of the scottish culture especially in recent years so I hope people connect with it.
Was is hard or was there any behind the scene stories we should know?
It was really hard hahaha but i believe all of documentaries where and no particular funny story but have to say there was a lot of background voices to edit lol .
|Package 2: Dan (Difference between rap & grime) (Wolf)||7.27||8.53|
|Presenter: Hello my name is Sphephelo Madlala.
Those were interesting documentaries Dan & Andrew thank you, I can’t speak for everyone but I’ve learnt quite a bit.
You can get in touch with us in with any questions or thoughts at ECR TWEET #ECR and your questions.
We have a special guest on the show today, she’ll be joining us after the next two documentaries about females Scottish music scene.
Ida talk to me your documentary is about females creating their own platforms, what inspired the topic
I got inspired from seeing female rappers, djs and producers in Sweden creating collectives and clubs for women by women. I think it’s a good way to break through in a male dominated space.
Of course your documentary is up next but what can we expect?;ll
A lot of inspiration!
|Package 3: Ida (Female Collective Documentary)||7.39||17.01|
|That was my documentary, I hope you guys enjoyed it and got inspired to create your own space!
Next up we have Papi who made a documentary about female djs and producers in the scottish scene. Why did you want to do this documentary Papi?
Was it hard to find people to interview?
After this documentary we have a special guest, keep listening!
|Package 4: Sphephelo (Female DJ/Producers in the Music scene in Scotland)||8.00||25.25|
| Presenter: Sphephelo & Ida (guest)
We have a guest with us today a singer and songwriter dj and producer from Edinburgh. Ramona Muir, Hi Ramona, thanks for coming
Sphephelo: What are your thoughts on the two documentaries?
You have your own club night, why did you want to start that up?
Do you know a lot of other women in the scene/would you like to see more women in the scene?
Are you a part of a collective/would you like to be?
What do you think is the solution to the gender gap in the Scottish music scene?
Sphephelo: So tell me about the Rave On party on Saturday? Do you have other projects you’re currently working on which will be out soon?
We are finishing todays show with Kellys documentary about horror movie marathons.
|Package 5: Ida (Kelly) (Horror)||7.44||43.25|
General discussion involving everyone
|Outro: Close show (Kelly)
So that’s us approaching the end of our show! I want to thank our guest Ramona Muir for coming in and talking to us as well as all our listeners! We’ve had a great time making these documentaries and hopefully you’ve enjoyed them too! Edinburgh college radio has a wide range of other weekly live shows which you can check out at edinburghcollegeradio.com and you can tweet us at ecrtweet Thanks for listening
Our hour long programme managed to go ahead with all present and a live guest who arrived on time. We practiced our script twice before being watched and graded by our tutor. I do think we should of had a lot more practices before this day but everyone was at different stages in finishing their documentaries and outside responsibilities kept getting in the way of this for everyone so unfortunately it never happened. I think this effected us on the day because even though we had all the read script, we hadn’t gone through it with each other as a whole group at all which meant there was more pressure to make sure we got it right and it sounded good. Luckily I think our script was well written, informative, of right calm and slower pace for BBC Scotland, we didn’t have any inappropriate bedding music and we had enough time to play everyones documentaries in full and a ten minute long discussion happened with our live guest. All these things were in keeping with BBC Scotland because they would make sure any live guests got a good long interview for listeners to hear and she was also directly relevant to two of my groups documentaries, and even featured in one of them. BBC Scotland would always aim to have a live guest that relevant to there programmes as well as interviewing them for a solid ten minutes. So I think we did very well in that respect and in the future I would definitely focus on always having relevant live guests and interviewing them for a while.
Problems with our live hour long programme would be when we actually went to do the show, because we’d only practiced it twice before, we occasionally went off script and lost our timings, which affected how the rest of the script played out and keeping timings in check. It meant that by the end of the show we had some extra time to fill which was a problem because it caused us to panic and attempt to try and fill time on the spot which rarely seems to go well. This panic caused a couple members of our team to use inappropriate language whilst they were talking. This could have been prevented with further practice before hand, having a plan for what we might talk about should we have to fill time and making sure everyone was aware of what words you CAN NOT say on air, all of which we had not done. I would make sure in future for any group work that everyone was aware of all the words you can not use on air, regardless of the pressure, that there is always a plan b for making up time and that scripts get practiced MULTIPLE times over several days before any live shows.
Health and Safety for the hour long show:
My group and I made sure that prior to the hour long show we had no liquids in the self drive studio and that no cables were hanging down that would be a tripping hazard. This was important because it kept us all safer from electrical problems with spilt liquid and prevented tripping. I will carry out this practice for future projects to help prevent any accidents.
Link to hour long show :