Production Blog

Weeks 1 – 3

The first weeks for pop up have been productive yet stressful. The frustrations of working online have definitely become a problem as this project is relying on group work and this can become difficult if someone’s wifi dies, laptop crashes or if blackboard refuses to cooperate. However, throughout all of this, we have a really good start to our Y2K station!

Week One:

After deciding which station theme we were going to go for, everything fell into place quite smoothly. Roles were distributed and everyone got on with building our brand. My role is a content manager which means I oversee all the admin work to do with the station and help wherever I can! I also helped Andrea build the website as we had a meeting showing off two designs and then Charlie decided to merge both designs together, getting the best of both.

Week Two:

This week became the most stressful and difficult week within hours as I had to suddenly deal with a family emergency. I tried to not let this affect my work with the station however unfortunately my tasks that were set for this week fell behind. However, the running order for the magazine show I am presenting was completed and looked over and agreed upon. Clocks were shortly made for this show after some discussion and re-organising the show.

Week Three:

The third week, personally things had settled down and movement was happening across the board! The website is almost finished, quizzes have been made and music is being gathered. I looked over a load of my old CDs, as did Marlyse and Charlie and I believe that together we have a great selection of music! This week also became very tech orientated as I learned how to use the platform Radio.co with Simon and I can’t wait to use it with the new piece of tech I was received. The rodecaster is so snazzy I love it! And hopefully, after a play around we can actually get the pilot as live as it can be!

 

To-Do:

  • Set up an interview for feature ‘then and now’
  • Write rough script for the magazine show
  • Record top 5 feature with Andrea
  • Gather more music for the station’s core sound
  • Edit interview with Charlie

 

Week Four – Pilot

After spending seven hours on Zoom and one tube trip later, the rodecaster has finally been set up! Simon and I tried so many different ways of plugging in two MacBooks, an iPad and a phone to finally get the set up we settled on which works and more importantly sounds great on air! This week I also almost finished my checklist from last week, finishing the script and recording of the magazine show links, recording and editing for top-five and finishing the segment for then and now after re-working how it’s going to work. The interview with Aicha has also been edited solely by Charlie as I couldn’t make the meeting as the tech set up took forever.

The pilot went better then I expected for the live segment. Charlie and Marlyse absolutely killed it and I had help from Paola for the social media check-ins. The Podcast has some hiccups however that was due to the file being shorter than the time slot given on radio.co which means this is an easy fix. The magazine however was a hot mess. After starting late due to human error of not loading up the file to radio.co, the first two songs heavily swore. I was cringing while listening in and realised that the levels of everything were all over the place. This is what a pilot is for but still was frustrating to realise as it was live on air and I couldn’t apologise or fix the faders.

 

To-D0:

  • Rework Egirl v Itgirl and find a contributor
  • Gather and upload tracks for station sound
  • Edit and refine Chatz
  • Censor music

 

Week Five – Fashion Week!

“Well yikes” was my first thought after we came off the air from our first show. From the tech side, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. We started late due to a radio.co misstep that no one even knew about until three minutes into the show when I realised once you had updated the playlist, you also then had to update the schedule. Unfortunately realising this while the show was airing meant that the podcast would be going out three minutes late and would be cut off at the end. I accepted the fact that the podcast would be cut off three minutes early. What I didn’t anticipate was that the podcast would be cut off and then restart itself. This came as a total shock to myself and Simon when we didn’t know what exactly had gone wrong.

Then it was my show, Chatz. Started well, as if nothing had ever happened which was nice after the stress of the first half an hour. The .mp3 file went out perfectly, even radio.co didn’t go wrong and behind the scenes we shared a sigh of relief. This however turned out to be the calm before the storm. Not much else can be said about Chatz apart from the feedback I had received:

  • Include fun facts about the songs
  • Name check myself more
  • Do more URL shoutouts
  • Throw forward to the next week

All this feedback will be put in place for next weeks show.

Then 5v5 happened. Charlie and Marlyse did an amazing job at presenting and the friendly rivalry between them shines through every link. Funny and engaging! Technically though, oh boy, the gremlin from the podcast had returned and with a vengeance. Somehow – and myself and Simon still don’t know how or why – the show was being broadcasted through my macs microphone and not the rodecastr setup even though the set up has not been changed since the two pilots we did last week. This stumped us entirely and are just going to have to double and triple-check everything is working as it should for next week.

Building up to the show was stressful and hectic as I had to rip more CDs and then upload them to the shared drive, record and edit my links again and also then had to build the show while on a zoom meeting while having a stressful work environment at my parents. Luckily as Marlyse has access to all the music now, I will be staying in London for the rest of the production weeks.

To-Do:

  • Record and edit interview with Luke Farrell for then and now feature
  • Record and edit top 5 with Paola
  • Write script for entertainment week
  • Complete running order
  • Finish tagging tracks on radio.co

 

Week Six – Entertainment Week!

This week has been one of the most intensive weeks I’ve had for pop up so far. I spent all week in Adobe Audition editing Top 5 and Then v Now interviews, then my own links, to all be ready for Saturday when we had our group meeting to put everything together. After the show on Monday, I had a quick chat with Charlie expressing my concerns as she also doesn’t want to be spending the entire weekend editing therefore I have requested for the team to have the deadline for everything to be with me by Fridays now as it gives us as a team more wiggle room and us as individuals more free time to relax. Personally, I had to stay off my laptop from after the show until now writing this blog (which is late) because I had really bad headaches and eye strain from doing so much last week.

The shows actually went out really well and smoothly! The transition from the podcast to chatz to 5v5 was so smooth on radio.co as we now know to refresh the schedule before we go live. Chatz as a show, I felt went so much smoother than last week as the transitions between links and items and songs felt easier and less forced but the feedback was focused more on the items such as Y2K2DAY, Top 5, Then v Now and the interview. While editing, I need to focus on the purpose of the features and why we’ve picked the topics and contributors we have. It’s frustrating that what was left on the editing floor was actually the content we needed to air. Definitely, something to think about for music week and culture week.

Finally, 5v5! So much easier and it felt more real this week as we hadn’t piloted this show before. Charlie and Marlyse changed the format slightly to add more structure and purpose to the show overall and the slight changed they made really made a difference. From the technical side of it, it went as smoothly as expected. No weird gremlins found their way into the system and the output sounded golden! So pleased that nothing went wrong this week and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that for the next two shows it stays this way but the only way to do this is to double and triple check everything is set up the way its supposed to be.

To-do:

  • Edit Britney impersonator interview
  • Record/edit top 5 music videos feature
  • Edit website promo

 

Week Seven – Music Week!

This week I had a mini-break as music week was the music take over with Charlie and Marlyse so this meant that Chatz was handed over to them for the mega edit and links. I was still involved as I edited two features and the web promo to be included in Chatz and again was still tech-opping for 5v5. On the day, the shows went out perfectly! No tech gremlins in sight!

During the week, however, things were very stressful. Over the last month, I’ve been getting really bad eye strain and headaches so I have been trying to spend the weekends not editing as much as possible to give myself a break however that almost wasn’t possible when by Friday I was missing certain pieces for the edits I had to make. What didn’t help is that the recording of the interview with the Britney impersonator was all in one file instead of each caller having their own file which made editing painful instead of easy. On the upside, only having to edit a few things really allowed me to breathe and take some time out of pop-up which was very much needed.

To-do:

  • Edit interview with Yael Shahar
  • Edit top 5 feature
  • edit web promo
  • Write script for culture week
  • Complete running order

 

Week Eight – Culture Week!

The final show at last! I am sad to see our pop-up station go but I’m also so glad the stress has been lifted. Each show was absolutely jam-packed with amazing content and I do believe that it was our best show, such a high to end on! Unfortunately, the tech gremlins were back and radio.co, virtual DJ and even the Rodecastr had been infected by them as the junctions between each show were just dead air instead of the smooth transitions we’ve had in previous weeks. Apart from that, everything else went smoothly and we ended on a high which after the week of production, was all I wanted to happen.

This week was so stressful and chaotic as we had a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the topic for the top 5 feature and eventually, we landed on Millenial must-haves. We also had a separate scriptwriting meeting with myself, Charlie and Marlyse on Thursday to go over my links, write and research everything and it was a very full script. On Tuesday, we had set a hard deadline for Friday 5pm so I could build the show before the meeting on Saturday at 12pm. This didn’t happen. This meant that I again had to wait around for other team members to get their recordings to me and I again had to spend four days straight in Audition over the weekend editing for pop-up.

The communication between the team broke down and that caused some serious stress for myself and another team member. Over the last four weeks of production, it seems to be the same people not getting their stuff done on time and by week four this really made me cranky. On top of this, not only has my mental health suffered during this module, my physical health has also deteriorated too and apparently, the workload between the six of us is even?

While editing, I realised that the show was going to be very tight and asked if people could cut down the interviews they had already sent me just so the editing didn’t sound rushed and I was met with a resounding no so other elements of the show had to be cut down instead and listening back again, I was upset that the editing still sounded slack and the final pieces could have been a lot shorter or cut from the show altogether. The factor of teamwork has been preached about a lot this final week however the workload became even more uneven as it felt like only me and one other team member picked up the slack that had been dropped.

The highlight however for culture week and the entire module was the interview I got to do with Yael Shahar, one of the most interesting people I have ever interviewed. The interview was over an hour long and it was so hard to cut it down to fit the ten-minute slot of the show. I will definitely be editing together a longer version and putting it up on my own personal website and up for an SRA as Yael is just an incredible speaker and storyteller and I loved how light-hearted she was about serious topics such as 9/11 as it gave the interview some light and air instead of being all doom and gloom and a sad listen.

To-do:

  • Relax
  • Have some wine
  • Sleep
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