Callum Denning

Week One

After deciding on the topic of our pop up station – gaming – we quickly assigned ourselves roles. I will be presenting the music show on the station, Press Play. During production week one, I met with my producer Ellie and assistant producer Ellen. We spent the day going over feature ideas for the show and fleshing them out, as well as building a clock that we’ll be basing our show around, starting from the pilots.

As well as this, we spoke to James and Dan in regards to making some content for the website, with the current idea being to produce a short video clip for each week featuring a top 10 countdown of songs that featured in certain video game series. We also met with the music team to share our ideas on the songs we’d be expecting to hear featured on our show.

The next step really is to start piloting the show and putting our ideas into action and seeing if they work as well as we think they will.

Week Two

I met with Ellie and began writing scripts for online content. The idea is to produce 4x top-1o videos based around video game series. The games that we intend to look at are Guitar Hero, FIFA, Singstar and Saints Row. I also agreed to put together an advert, working closely with Tony. We’ve picked up the commission from the National Video-game Arcade, I’ll be in charge of writing the script and editing the ad.

Week Three

I spent today finalising the scripts for our online content, which we’re filming tomorrow with James. Other than that, Ellie and I fleshed out the details for our features and worked on revising the clocks ahead of our pilot next week. We plan to do a run through on Friday. I also liaised with Tony to sort out the voice actor and recording session for our advert, which he’ll manage.

Week Four

After doing a runthrough on Friday, Ellie and I were fully prepared to broadcast our pilot show. We met in the morning and recorded our ‘rage quit’ feature via the phone in studio 6. Following this, I assisted Andrea and Iona with importing the music in to Myriad, preparing the clocks and scheduling the hours once the clocks were ready. I was then called in to assist with State of Play as they were having issues with the studio, so I was tasked with driving the desk.

Following this, it was time for Press Play. Everything went according to plan although I noticed a few issues with music levels and getting the right “voice” to appeal to our station’s target demographic.

Matthew and Eliza both gave feedback on changes they’d like to see which have been noted and will be worked on during the next week before going on air next Monday.

Week Five

The time had finally arrived. After our pilot and weeks of finessing, it was time to take the show and indeed, the station, live.

Ellie and I were very confident in our preparation after implementing the feedback from the pilot as well as working hard on our clock and show structure for the weeks beforehand.

My first task of the day was to assist State of Play with a runthrough before driving their desk. After that went swimmingly, I recorded my ‘rage quit’ phone call for the week and edited that before loading it to Myriad.

The next job was to actually drive State of Play, a task that went very well to go with the huge improvement of the show that I think their team should be very pleased with.

Following that, it was time for a last prep meeting with Ellie to make sure I had the plan and running order for the show committed to memory. As so often happens, though, preparation can’t prepare you for things that could go wrong as soon as you go live. Our first item in the hour, the news bed, failed to play. I realised as the intro for Kasabian’s Club Foot was playing that it was paramount to keep my head and get to the news as soon as possible without it being horribly noticeable on the show, so I spoke up to the vocals of Club Foot, let the track play out and then brought in Clare with the news. I was quite impressed with how all of us in the studio managed to keep focused so that we could rectify the problem immediately without causing even more chaos.

After finishing the show, we received good feedback on the overall structure and presenting as well as some helpful constructive criticism about the features and how we could make them better for future weeks that we look forward to implementing. As well as this, on a personal note, I received some helpful feedback on my NVA advert that should improve it massively for live week two on Monday.

Week Six

Taking all the feedback in to account, Ellie and I set up our show to feature a much shorter Grand Theft Audio feature that didn’t last the entire broadcast, and included more original gaming music instead of featuring mainly tracks from FIFA and GTA in a very pop-heavy show.

I drove State of Play’s desk again, making sure that everything went according to plan. It’s fair to say that the presenters of the show are growing in confidence each week and the broadcast sounded very professional.

In the hour prior to my show, we sourced a Grand Theft Audio contributor and edited our Rage Quit feature.

I think our show went reasonably well, the only points I noted for myself were to expand my vocabulary when describing tracks as my attempts to relate to the audience resulted in me perhaps overusing the same words, and to feature much heavier production such as beds.

The feedback from Tom & Fiona brought home the point about beds so we shall definitely endeavour to feature more next week, there were also some good points made about signposting and making ‘appointments to listen’ in regards to the feature and the competition that I shall be employing next week.

All in all, a successful week with even more to build on.

Week Seven

This week went very well. We implemented the feedback as per, resulting in a show that sounded a lot slicker and featured a fair bit of sound design. We recorded a caller for Rage Quit in the morning but did have the slight feeling the feature was getting very stale, which was agreed with in the feedback we received.

The show went according to plan, including a final link from studio four which worked quite well despite the technical challenges. I also liked how it tied in to the station as a whole with featuring Nat talking about her Twitch stream.

In terms of things to implement for next week, the Grand Theft Audio feature needs a bit more work to keep people wanting to listen, with a couple of ideas in mind. Rage Quit needs to be replaced by a more wide-ranging phoner topic, for which Ellie already has ideas.

I’m hoping to end the show on a high!

Week Eight

Aaaaand it’s gone. After a couple of months of hard work we’re finally finished! I think, as a whole, we made a radio station that we can all rightfully be proud of. The streaming &  video content in particular were incredible and it was a privilege to be involved with them.

On a personal note, I think our final show went brilliantly. The changes we implemented all worked very well and the production of the show as a whole sounded much slicker. I also think it was the strongest that I’d presented of the five weeks including the pilot.

While there were some issues while driving the desk for State of Play, I think we coped with them well and put out a very good show on that front too.

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