Time for an audio project blog. I aim to keep this short ‘n’ sweet by getting straight to things without beating it around the bush as I have done in times before. So we’re producing a programme of fifteen minutes. Most are a little fearful of what to produce because we have a free rein as it were, however, I am beyond excited by this as I love being creative putting together something a little different. Before we crack on just one thing to note. This blog will be twinned with our Professional Practice module too, therefore, I will be discussing how my work will be impacting on my future radio career at the same time and visa versa as well.

Within these first couple of weeks of our Audio Projects we have been refreshing our skill set as well as working on idea. Understanding how to edit audio and edit audio well is a priceless skill in our industry, therefore, having a chance to play around on Adobe Audition making things was a great chance. This means when I pop these skills down on my CV they are far more than a couple of words on a page. Following on from a training session on industry standard software we went on to try pinpoint our traits we live by day to day then we could work out how best to achieve things we want to. From doing so I have worked out I have worked out I value honesty going forward, remaining as productive as possible as well as guaranteeing I build valuable trustworthy relationships in all forms of that word. I even worked out what I would consider to be my dream job or long term goal. That would be becoming an assistant producer of a music radio programme on ideally a BBC radio station. This is something I will be working on then coming back to at a later stage in this blog. To finish off discussing our professional practice work I will mention that we were tasked with updating our CV’s then going from there.

This is now that bit when we discuss ideas. For our audio project within this module, we will be producing a twelve to fifteen minute audio programme. Whilst typically before we have been given a subject matter loosely to focus on somehow or another however with this project we haven’t had any sort of instruction like that. This is a good thing. I love the idea that we are given free reins to produce something we are excited to bring to life. We have an opportunity to try out all our production skills, unleash our creativity as well as put together a piece of audio programming we can be proud of. I have had a lot of ideas as to what to produce however narrowing things down to a final one or at least path to follow was difficult. I wanted to do a documentary. I enjoy listening to lots of audio programmes however when it comes down to speech content I like documentaries best. Don’t get me wrong I am fond of arty out there programmes though to me there is nothing better than straightforward educational eye-opening documentary programmes. Working out what I fancied producing a documentary on wasn’t as simple as choosing to do a doc. There is something though I have wanted to do for a while. See I have an irrational fear of ink on skin. I haven’t ever worked out why but now I feel it is time with the power of audio. I would love to produce an audio guinea pig presenter-led documentary featuring expert opinion. I am aiming to produce this doc in partnership with some form of fear clinic then have it commissioned as a creative piece of advertising content for their own purposes. I am planning on working with The Nightingale Clinic in Marylebone as have already been speaking with their lead press officer Esther Porter however there is always a chance things will fall through. I have put many feelers out for back up plans too though should this happen to be the case. I have contacted a handful of businesses as well as attractions based locally to see what can come from that. In these next couple of weeks I will follow up with The Nightingale Clinic as well as place a further load of back up correspondences with different fear clinics.

Plans change. All too often when you’ve got something you love or can’t wait to make happen things change or don’t quite go to plan. That’s what happened here. I would’ve loved to produce a documentary programme all about my irrational fears however due to slow responses or things just not being completed when I would’ve liked them to have been done I was made to come up with some back up plans. Back up plans, I am very happy with I must add. When I was thinking all about these documentary ideas waiting for responses from people to do with If You Wrote On Me I was sat on a bus. Now it might’ve been the wrong bus going the wrong way but it helped me come up with an idea. See I love buses to bits because my Grandad (as well as me too to be honest) is a bit of a bus spotter. I grew up loving buses wanted to know more of how it all worked all the time. To put it in context I even spent many months volunteering at a local bus company called Salisbury Reds for my Duke of Edinburgh Award to grasp how it all worked. Anyway back to the point, I loved buses and thought it would be fantastic to do a documentary on them. Whilst stepping behind the scenes at a bus company sounds like a ball to me I can understand that not everyone’s ideal day out is so. That’s why I wanted to produce a short audio documentary that would explore how it all worked explaining how buses come to be to someone who isn’t interested but uses them a lot. This is why The Wheels on the London Bus came to be a thing.
Thankfully The Wheels on the London Bus did not only become a thing but it hit production as well. By that I mean I have managed to get a lot of the production documents put together namely the running order then start recording the project too. Week one of recording didn’t have an awful lot of recording within it sadly as all the recording dates were set for the week afterwards. This meant that by the first week I only had a chance to speak with my Grandad on the phone. I was shook my Grandad spoke with me because generally, he wouldn’t go near a project of mine with a barge pole nevertheless he was all too keen to be a part of this programme because he is quite the big bus fan. We spoke for ten minutes or so which was fantastic. He told me about his Grandad driving buses, my Great Grandad, then tried to open up about why he loves buses, however, struggled at this because it is such a difficult question to answer. Ask me this question and I took will wonder why the heck I am so interested in buses as after all they are just a means of transport. Speaking with my Grandad was a great way of showing me that The Wheels on the Bus is just the documentary I need to be producing or in other words is just the ticket. I mean that little pun made sense in my head but it was time to move on.
Time for some details on The Wheels on the Bus. We already know that it will eventually be an audio documentary lasting fifteen minutes but time for some other bits to note down now. It will and has been commissioned by Stagecoach London. It will be produced as well as presented by myself, Stephen Bailey, This will be a presenter-lead behind-the-scenes documentary with an aim to open up the work of a bus company to someone listening. It will be recorded at Stagecoach’s West Ham garage in East London.
Now from discussing recording at Stagecoach’s garage to actually recording at the garage itself. To record The Wheels on the London Bus initially two recording dates were set up. (This is as writing this on Wednesday 6th November following recording day number one, of course after day two and after looking through the footage itself then I will decide whether another day will be necessary or not.) The two recording days set up were for Wednesday 6th November and Friday 8th November. These two days will be two full-on days spent at the garage to see what goes on behind the scenes. On the Wednesday, I turned up early at eight o’clock to then spend a day on a tour from David (communications manager and the person helping out a great deal with this project too) as well as speaking with different members of staff. After all this, I managed to spend a good half an hour behind the wheel of a double-decker bus. Yes, that’s right. I got to drive a bus. This was something I have dreamed of doing, both to do as a part of this project plus a bit of a personal nerdy dream of mine too. Driving was fantastic as well as, of course, this goes without saying, a brilliant bit of content. Visual content too as my driving session was filmed too. On top of the driving content, I got a great deal of good content from this days’ worth of recording including at least four good interviews with members of staff lasting ten minutes or more.
More to come.

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