BLOG 1 | PRODUCTION WEEK 1 – 5
It was one of my slightly impulsive decision to switch up all of my modules and make room for Music Radio. I was just simply feeding my curiosity and trying to do something a bit more experimental with my love for music. So far, it has been quite a good call. Music Radio has been both very familiar to me in the commercial aspect but also very new in every other regard.
I took the first week just to get to know the British radio, and also, try to actually listen to the radio for the first time ever. It was a little bit of a struggle to focus on listening but it has been an interesting experience. I found it quite magical to learn about the complications in the operating process in class but then come home to listen to the radio sounding so smooth and easy.
After that, when it came to finalising the music format, I was really pleased that we ended up on the 80s which I know a little bit about, hence, I was able to contribute to the making of our playlist. On that same week, we tried to assign the role. I originally had my mind set on being the Head of Advertising only because it is something I am most comfortable with and actually have a lot of experience in. However, I ended up as Head of O.B. The role unsurprisingly stressed me out because it was way out of my comfort zone but now that I am actually on it, I am actually quite glad I took my (possibly only) chance to try this out. Thus, I am enjoying it so far with the support of the whole team.
I was happy that my first task was helping Andrea make a target audience profile. I have done quite a number of these profiles before considering my background in Advertising so I sent her some of my previous work and we followed my format. After our attempt, we brought the draft profiles into the discussion with the team and complete the whole thing there. But now is the time for me to actually get on with my role in O.B. Here’s my game plan coming up:
- Set up an email for O.B
- Make a poster to find musicians for the live act
- Follow up with contacts that other members have
- Try to contact the Commercial Music Department
- Plus, I still have to make a creative brief for my assigned Specsavers advertisement and help Andrea find voice actors to record our ads.
BLOG 2 | PRODUCTION WEEK 6-7
According to the previous plan, I did set up an email and made a poster for O.B. However, as the weeks went by, I supposed we don’t really need those fancy things after all. When I got in touch with a friend from Commercial Music, she was already excited enough to bring in her friends and if it all goes well, we will have a group performance (a duet and a guitarist). In combination with other connections of Chalie and Andrea, I should get to work with organising the dates and time (who will come up or be the backup for which shows). With that in mind, the performer aspect of the O.B is going well.
On the other side, I should begin to work with Hannah and Paola to strengthen the branding of the actual O.B space. I want to ensure that it’ll all appear in synergy with the online media and the sound of our station and show.
I’ve also spent the engagement week to watch a handful of BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge videos. I was actually stressing out about interviewing live, not only because of my English but also creating spontaneous conversations was honestly not my strongest suit. Plus, I was also in a blur about the whole technical side of it. However, after the scratch show on week 7, I’m starting to think that I can somehow actually do this.
I completed the creative brief for my assigned advertisement. After the individual tutorial, I got some takeaways to improve on the script and that’s what I’m going to do. Hence, I’ll have to find a voice actor and actually produce it.
Besides that, I’m also helping Andrea to give feedback to others’ creative briefs and help her write the script as well.
Last week, we spent the whole day during class time to listen to music and create the playlist. It might still need a lot of adjustments but it was a good start. I very much enjoyed it and I believe that was what I initially expected when I came to Music Radio.
BLOG 3 | PRODUCTION WEEK 8
Last Friday, we did a scratch show. We did not have an O.B on so I just ran around to help everybody. I was mainly helping Charlie with the schedule. It was quite hectic, especially when it got close to the showtime. Nonetheless, it was a good chance for us all to practice and better understand the flow of the show.
After that, we had a meeting to check up on everybody. It looked like we’re all pretty up to speed with our own tasks. We were also able to finalise the branding for the O.B. The space is now branded as ‘The Ballroom’. We plan to decorate it with streamers, a balloon arch with simple lighting to give out an 80s Prom vibe. I’m now on my mission to find out how can we actually going to create that.
About the performers, the group that confirmed with me to perform on both pilots pulled out from the first pilot. Luckily, I was able to find a replacement. I’m very pleased to confirm now that we have performers line up for all three shows.
- First Pilot: Gabriel (singer & guitarist)
- Second Pilot: Natalie, Anita, Nathan and Csilla (singers & guitarist)
- Final: Josh (singer & guitarist)
In the next week coming, I’d like to conduct more research on all of them and actually prepare scripts and questions for my O.B interviews. Besides, I also have to complete my Specsavers advertisement.
BLOG 4 | PRODUCTION WEEK 9
Our works over the past weeks had been leading up to the first pilot. I finished my Specsavers advertisement right on time before the first pilot so that wrapped up my work with Andrea. I have been helping her with the creative process and giving feedback for ads whenever she needed me. Now that was done, I had my full attention on the O.B.
For the first pilot, I was able to get in touch with Gabriel Finn. It was an on and off decision from his side so that made it all a little bit more difficult for me. It took him until the very last minute to finalise the songs because he initially wanted to perform one of his originals. All those delays resulted in a mistake in our running order because I did not get in touch with Marlyse on time to update her about song choices, hence, we made a repetition in the playlist.
Putting that aside, I spent a good amount of time to research on Gabriel and wrote interview questions (and back-up questions) for the show. I have learnt that the pre-show pressure is always going to be there no matter how much time I spend preparing. Despite talking to Gabriel online over the past weeks, when he actually came in person, we still had a massive ice-breaking moment to overcome and we only had that one hour before we went on air. His performance went well and hopefully, our interactions during the interview came across nicely and naturally. It was very overwhelming at that moment because I had to keep track of the time, pay attention to signals from Charlie across the glass, but at the same time, actually pay attention to what Gabriel was saying to maintain the flow of the interview. That, I think, just need a lot of practice to get used to.
I did get a lot of takeaways from that first pilot and note down a long to-do list for the upcoming final week:
- Finalise everything with the O.B. early and keep everyone up to date with the decisions (Charlie, Lauren, Marlyse and Nyara)
- Research and place orders for decoration and actually make them
- Work on a new set of questions that somehow connect my young performer(s) to our older target audience and the 80s theme
- Make sure that everything is well set-up for the O.B. (food, water, decoration, attire and soundcheck)
Basically, lining everything up for the most critical week of our semester.
BLOG 5 | FINAL PRODUCTION WEEK
As the second pilot and final show approached, I jotted down a checklist to prepare for everything. I finished assisting Andrea with advertising and had my full attention on the O.B.
Over the weekend, I tried to look for materials for our little DIY session to decorate the O.B. space (now known as ‘The Ballroom’). However, due to my lack of knowledge on the pricing here, Charlie eventually took over and helped me order everything. From there, with the help of Simone, Hannah and Andrea, we took the whole afternoon on Wednesday to make a balloon arch. On the next morning, everyone else came in to hang everything up and finished decorating our classroom into a full ballroom.
As opposed to my initial concern, I managed to get into contact with quite a number of people interested in performing and brought them into our shows. Turned out, the hard part was not finding the contacts but keeping the contacts. I had to be really organised with the way I communicate because I was supposedly the bridge between our team, the O.B. and also Naiara. Learning from the mistake of repeating songs in the first pilot, I had to make a schedule of when to contact the O.B., got the update from them, then updated to the team and Naiara. When one thing that communication stream changed, I had to keep everyone else informed and made changes accordingly.
When all things are set with the running order and soundcheck schedule, I also had to frequently check-in on the O.B. to make sure everything was well in order, also sending them questions to prepare for the interview. Whilst I physically and mentally set myself up for the shows, I also had to take care of the physical appearance and well-being of the O.B.
When the actual shows came around the corner, everything for the O.B. under my watch was all well-prepared. From there it was just the mental pressure that I had to manage, both for myself and the O.B. Luckily, everything went smoothly with the performance, the interview, thanks to my extra steps in prepping and the help of every team member.
Now that everything is wrapped up and done, looking back it was a wild experience. I took an impulsive and experimental decision to join this module out of interest in music and it ended up being a lot more than I expected. The pressure was there but it was a good kind. I’m glad that it was the first time I did all of this but I gave it all that I can and really did enjoy my job as the Head of O.B.
This full package of Music Radio experience was overwhelming, eye-opening and nonetheless, very delightful.