Dan Freeman

Blog Post #1 (10/10/2017)

The past individual pieces I have created were somewhat heavy pieces, life under a flight and the correlation between sociable teenagers and binge drinking, with this I mind I hope to make something light-hearted for my final individual audio piece. Brainstorming within a group led me to the idea of finding the origins of classic British dishes.

The initial idea was to make a mini series – potentially a podcast series –  consisting of three parts, each looking at one dish. Below is potential topics (dishes) for the series and findings from background research in to their origins.

Fish & Chips Two Claims; Northerner in 1863, Lancashire. Jewish immigrant in 1860, East London.(Source)
Sunday Roast w/ Y Pudding & Gravy  No reliable source for roast or gravy. Most articles regurgitated. A lot of info on Yorkshire Puddings. (Source)
Toad in the Hole  First mentioned in 1747, although appeared in Oxford Dictionary in 1787; no recorded origin. Old wives’ tale about where the name came from. (Source) Popular with ‘penny-pinching middle classes’. (Source)
Full English  Origin dates middle ages – when only two meals a day were eaten. Originally ale, bread and cold meat. (Source) Idea made by the Gentry. (Source)
Bangers & Mash  Term bangers originates from World War (discrepancy between WW1 and WW2). (Source) No information on the pairing.
Mince Pies  Dates back to the 17th century, used to contain meat. Was square prior to stigmatisation by Puritans. (Source)

Reflecting on the background research and a brief listen to BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet and The Food Programme, it is clear that three 7-minute pieces isn’t the appropriate format for the proposed idea. Sticking the three pieces together to make a longer piece, one that would be more suitable for podcasting, wouldn’t have a good flow. Potentially, each ‘episode’ could have a theme to create a good flow, for example Christmas.

During a tutorial with Aasiya, it was discussed that a traditional independent production company would unlike commission a piece like this as they would struggle to find a place to broadcast it or publish it off their own backs. A discussion was had about who might commission a piece like this, for example The British Museum of Food.

Going forward, I intend to secure a commission within the next week, whether that be from the BMOF or a similar association/organisation.

Blog Post #2 (24/10/2017)

Having failed to obtain a commission from the British Museum of Food and Historic UK, and becoming somewhat bored of the original idea, I decided to scrap it in favour of a new one. A fellow student, Simon, informed the group that the director of communications at National Student Pride was looking for episode idea for the Student Pride Podcast. After contemplating the idea of making a piece about exploring why the press out celebrities, I decided the idea needed to be more student focused. After watching a series of films over the weekend, it occurred to me that Ryan Evans (a character from the High School Musical Franchise) was overly gay but it was never explicitly mentioned. This led me to the ‘coded gay’ phenomenon, whereby the codes and conventions of a character make them come across as gay but is never directly mentioned or acknowledged due to culture at the time. With this in mind, I sent the Director of Communications at National Student Pride and Young Voices Editor at Gay Star News, Jamie, a pitch of an episode idea for their collaborative podcast, which will explore whether the use of ‘coded gay’ characters in children’s media has any effect on the LGBT community.

Blog Post #3 (07/11/2017)

Over the last two weeks, I finally managed to secure a commission for my Digital Entrepreneurship piece. I visited Jamie at GSN HQ to have an in-depth discussion about the podcast episode including potential contributors. The following day I set out contacting contributors, first on my list was a former University of Westminster professor Jeanette Steemers who researches children’s media. She was unfortunately unable to help as her research is in the business and economics side however she gave me the contact details of two people who she believe could help. Unfortunately, her first suggestion is currently on research leave this semester but her second suggestion Cindy Carter, who researches gender in children’s media, is able to help and I will be interviewing her in due course. I also got in touch with the UWSU LGBTI society as I think this will be the best way to obtain appropriate and relevant vox pops. The secretary of the society got back in touch and informed me that she will pass along the information to society members in the next meeting.

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