Production Week One
The first week of planning involved organising roles and distributing tasks as well constructing the basics of our station sound and aims.
‘Britpop’ does what it says on the tin; exploring and reminiscing over the genre and vibe of the 90s, however it is important that it doesn’t sound like a tribute station. As a presenter I have been considering how my role can make the show sound fresh, smooth, peppy and enthusiastic. Luckily I enjoy and am passionate about this genre and decade of music and I am confident in our ability to show this on air, as well as making sure the show is well paced, content filled and ultimately entertaining and interesting.
One of the main things that we have focused on is that the two presenters, Riya and I, ensure that we increase our on air chemistry as much as possible, having never presented together and admittedly not knowing each other very well. Our first practice together consisted of a mock 90s quiz putting everyone in the studio back into the mindset of cultural events and popular people/artists etc as well as encouraging us both to find out more about each other and begin to discover each other’s conversational strengths and flow. This, along with the planned practices coming up, can and will only help make the show sound more natural and as if the listener is genuinely tuning into a pre existing show that has been on the station longer than the two hours we’re assessed on.
In the coming weeks, more sessions like this are planned as well as practice runs with the imaging and songs interlaced as they are created/confirmed.
Production Week 2
This week involved run throughs of the OB, making sure we knew the possibilities of talkback between the necessary studios and recording a practice run with a live artist. We created a mock up situation where we outlined the structure of the links and knew the way in which Riya and I would throw over to Stuart, our OB presenter. Here we identified the style of Stuart’s chat/interview with Leo, our stand in performer, including a simple and light hearted game involving me, Riya, Stuart and Leo that, I think created a good feel of the links overall avoiding a disjointed approach involving one studio, a pass over to the other and then back again with no conversationalist nature. This in turn created a chance for all of us to inject more personality into the links making them in my opinion, a nicer thing to listen to that shows a chemistry between presenters and performers.
Also this week, we spent a lot of time looking at our show clock and making sure we knew how each hour was going to be structured, the placement of our ads and how as presenters we would be best at presenting it. For example, I personally suggested that we make sure crunch and rolls are included instead of just back to back songs with idents as the genre and our presenting styles can really lend itself to this, making the show seem focussed on the music as well as personality driven. This also encourages a technically smoother sounding show by hitting vocals and using the songs timings and instrumentals to underline links, which is not only a common method of similar radio stations and shows but demonstrates that we as presenters know the music we play, are passionate about it and can make it sound even better on air than if it was just played through automation or the likes.
Production on our ads came into full force this week with myself sitting in on the recording of a U2 album advertisement making sure we got the energy and power from the voiceover artist as much as possible. Helping to source the music and songs included in the ad we ensured that the feeling of the songs underlining the ad were fitting and that they worked alongside the voiceover rather than simply being a song underneath.
Through meetings with members of the team, we discussed the features of the show, finalising the structure and placement of ‘Britpop Master’, a parody of Ken Bruce’s renowned BBC Radio 2 feature. The format and idea I am personally very happy with, as the referencing of radio pillars such as that reinforce the idea of a landscape that this radio station and show is part of, able to mimic and parody features running alongside it. Having heard shows do similar things like this in the past, I have received a feeling of knowing between the presenters and listeners that I think brings out a stronger link and likability to the show overall as well as involving the listeners in a wider sense.
Discussions surrounding our other feature, a game in which the presenters ask ‘Who Tweeted This?’ involved talk around where this would be placed in the show, how we could receive listener response and also how this would appear on our social media.
Next week we finalise any loose ends, update each other on our separate production elements (ie. ad teams and music scheduling) and present our first full run through/pilot of the show, ensuring that we know how everything is going to work and sound on air.
Production Week 3
This week involved a big change in format of the show, as a team realising that the style of radio that we are creating would better suit one presenter. Riya was incredibly understanding in allowing just me to present the show as we believe one person will make the show slicker and faster paced. This meant that I spent some time going through certain links and songs practicing the way in which I would present solo. During this week, we also uploaded all of the songs, idents and beds onto myriad meaning I was able to play around with every element of the show knowing how I would lead into songs and where the production worked best as well as setting all the cue points on the tracks and working with Jay, Gabriel and Joe H on clocks and the running order making sure our timings were correct on all of our songs and the placement of them in the show created a good flow and change of mood throughout.
Many of the features became more clear this week, with a finish the lyric game for a chance to win tickets to a Liam Gallagher gig in Manchester confirmed, Rhys is currently organising an interview, and Stuart is prepping a vox pops style piece of people’s memories of the 90s.
I recorded some faux on air lines for Rhys to add to his promo video this week leading into Wonderwall, the song our listeners were singing on their commute.
After our pilot, we had a lot of feedback that we needed to work on in terms of making the show sound even more immersed in the 90s, increasing the amount of content and ensuring that our music and concept was more specific on the prime period of Britpop. This meant that I worked with Joe H and Jay to refine the playlist, ditching songs that didn’t fall between the prime Britpop period of 93-97 and ensuring that we included more female lead bands. This eventually lead to us creating a whole link dedicated to showcasing the female artists of Britpop, in a jovial attempt at disproving the myth that the genre is purely male dominated.
Once Joe H had updated the playlist fully I worked with him on updating the clocks and running order alongside this ensuring that our timings still worked out and that we were able to fit all the songs and all of our new content into it. (Britpop Master, Matt Pugh Interview, Ticket giveaway, TV Themes, final song vote & O.B.) After this I went through everything on Myriad for a final time, updating the songs, editing the top of the hour segues and ‘out of ads’ imagery with the songs to make sure that it was the smoothest and most punctuated it could be. I also spent a lot of time ordering everything on Myriad so it was easily accessible and organised to make it as easy as possible in a live situation. (colour coding and placement etc.)
In order to reinforce the 90s feel of the show, I made sure that I had information that I could lead into and come out of songs with to show that we as a show and me as a presenter know and enjoy the music as well being able to give interesting information about the songs and artists that even a No 1 fan of Britpop may not know. The TV themes link was also very good at bringing the whole listenership back to what they would have been doing and watching at the time, increasing the cultural referencing and feeling of the show. This should work well alongside Stuarts 90s ‘either or’ with the live performers during the O.B.
On Air Week
Me, Joe, Gabriel and Riya spent a lot of time the day before the show finalising everything. Song changes, clock and running order updates as well as pre recording ‘Britpop Master’.
Before the show, I made sure that everything was in place, taking time in the studio by myself to run through the main elements of the show and ensuring that everything was technically ready for the live run.
I also edited our pre recorded Britpop Master feature needing to bring the levels up of our callers and editing the gaps out of the conversation in order to make it a fast paced segment and smoother on air, hopefully not being able to tell it was a pre rec.
Making sure that Rhys had all the cues he needed for the social media when it came to mirroring the on air content with the online content was important so that the show made sense to the listeners being able to get involved with the poll and respond to our links on social media.
Overall, I am happy with how the show went with everyone pulling together on show day to produce a show that was much improved from our pilot. It fitted a lot of content into a fast paced show that did well at producing a good vibe throughout as well as reminiscing with and immersing the listeners in the 90s.