Earlier this month, audio producer RJ Phoenix received a nomination for this year’s Charles Parker Prize, at the annual event which gives recognition to strong audio production work by students across the UK.
“It’s given me more confidence, that I’m on the right track as an audio producer,” said RJ. “One day, I might be able to earn some money out of it. But it’s the recognition, really, that your work is good, and people think it’s of value.”
So you say you’re a creative type who has always wanted to put together some kind of artistic endeavour that will enthral the masses and make you big bucks at the same time? Well, that’s really quite wonderful, but I’m sorry, you’re reading the wrong article. No, this is for somebody who is desperate to provide a bit of entertainment to anyone who may listen, and to create that entertainment on an absolutely near-invisible shoestring budget.
Actually, this is more of a story about how I did it, and there are some steps here that I don’t recommend for everybody, but you should still know everything. Well, almost everything. I won’t bore you with all the sleepless nights I spent weeping over it like it was my own child. Oh. Looks like I just did. So, why not read on?
1. COME UP WITH A WONDERFUL IDEA.
Audio dramas are stories that are told so well that the listener can see it like a movie in his mind. It’s your job to come up with that story. You can do what I did, which is create an anthology series called Pulp-Pourri Theatre (each episode a standalone story with a beginning, middle and end), or you can go the way of a serial and have several episodes with a longer, drawn-out story. The choice is yours, and you should go ahead and write the outline for your series. No, go ahead. I’ll wait right here until you’re done. Got any magazines?
Hello, Creatives! It’s not often I post about me on here, but today I feel compelled to. I’m honestly thankful for pretty much everything in life right now.
I’ll keep it brief.
So my name’s Jay, for those who don’t know me. I’m the guy who runs 99% Perspiration – the podcasts (both editing and hosting), the Facebook network, the Twitter, and this very blog. It’s a lot of work, and I love it. But it’s a third “job”, and it seldom gets the attention it deserves.
Texas-based audio drama writer & producer Pete Lutz is a self-proclaimed king of “making radio drama on no budget whatsoever”. (Tongue firmly in cheek as he adjusts his crown.)
Considering producing audio drama involves finding a troop of acting talent, recording (ideally together) with quality microphones, sourcing/creating fitting music and sound effects, and hours upon hours of writing, editing and promotion… That’s a pretty noble claim to make.
Nick Wommack, left & Pete Lutz, right. Photo by George Tuley/Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Pete learned a great deal of his craft from listening to the masters: the creators of Old-Time Radio programs aired decades before he was born. Even his stories come from that era, for the most part, or are inspired by them.
“Back before any of you lot wuz born, eh? Well, ‘ere wuz summat called radio, eh?”
[Cue dramatic fanfare music…] Ladies and gentlemen, he’s the man with a face for radio, and more radio than you can face… Mr. Pete Lutz!
Yes, some of it is blindingly obvious, but I thought it needed saying because I see people come in for radio placements/internships/shadowing at Radio 2 a lot. And so often, people get the little things wrong.
Don’t be useless at making phone calls
If you’re asked to pick up the phone and book a guest, take a deep breath and go for it. You need to be charming and persuasive. It can be slightly daunting making this first phone call in an open-plan office but if you come across badly and the guest says “no” that’s not great.
Click here to listen to Tom Campbell on 99% Perspiration
“If you ever have a coaching session, and you leave feeling brow-beaten, and disheveled, and destroyed, then you have had a bad coaching session. You should never leave a coaching session anything less than inspired to get back on the radio.”
“YouTube for me was just a fun little hobby with friends from school. It just turned out that there were people searching for gaming videos, and it’s grown from that initial spark – hey, people are watching my stuff, I should try to make it better.”
Click here to listen to Vik of The Sidemen on 99% Perspiration
One of the seven-strong Sidemen, a group of collaborating YouTubers who post pretty funny content. Your typical video-gaming dude. (Big ups to Niall McGuire for sharing with us.)
With new music, courtesy of the awesome audio producer Jed Stoker.
I love my job. Maybe I don’t find the chance to make audio documentaries & dramas as much as I’d like to (and certainly not as much as I envisioned back when I was a media production student), but being an Academic Tutor of radio & teaching how to create strong audio documentaries is something that fills me with immense joy.
I love helping my students turn their interviews into something so much more.
It’s all very well & good that I can teach people how to edit audio. But then if you Google “how to edit with Adobe Audition”, there’s no shortage of helpful advice. What can I bring to add value? There’s a fine line between being able to edit audio, as in actually use the software, and being able to edit audio effectively.
So, drum roll please. This isn’t a “101” on the basics of Adobe Audition and editing, oh no. This “Top Ten Tips” is all about how to make the most of your speech content.