Assignment 3 – Open Journalism Pre-production

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Pre-production

For my pre production project, I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone and do something I have never done before.

The idea was to take an old story or nursery rhyme and give it a number of points of view, in the same style of how the Guardian took the story about the Three Little Pigs and turned it on it’s head.

I took the story of Robin Hood and brought it into modern day Britain – How would the people of Britain react to him? How would the government react to him? These were the questions that came to mind.

 First of all, I drawn up a mind map, relating the story and characters of Robin Hood to modern day Britain and possible real life things that have been in the news which could be related to the story:

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I then took the different points of view and turned them into character that could be involved in the story, and investigated real life incidents which could be referred in the form of those characters – For example, I could refer to the Abu Hamza fiasco if I made the Robin Hood character a immigrant.

Once I had sorted out the characters and the real life references sorted, it was at this point I was able to truly choose which type of media to create, and a phone in radio show seemed the best way to cover a subject which could have such a wide range of opinions.

Secondary Research

 Because I was making a fictional radio show, I thought it would be best to write a script which I would get my fellow student’s help with when it came to producing it, but before I started writing it I thought it would be best to look at ways that scripts based around radio shows/radio show were written.

With such a heavy subject, I thought it would be best to do it in a fairly comical way with a hint of darkness behind it, so I watched television shows like “I’m Alan Partridge!” and “Fraiser”, the writer of the former television show, Armando Iannucci was a particular influence when it came to writing the script, as was Charlie Brooker, writer of dark satirical shows like “Black Mirror” – A style I was going for.

Script

When I finally had a good idea of how properly deliver the type of show I wanted I began writing the script, which took me the good part of the week to finish and perfect – On reflection though, I wish I spent a bit more time on it, which a few obvious mistakes coming to light while recording it.

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People/Cast list 

Once I had completed the script, I thought about who in our class would have suited each role perfectly, for instance, due to the fact Phil was the only one in the class with a slightly posh voice, he was perfect for the role of the prime minister.

The following people were given the roles:

  • Tony Armadillo/Radio Presenter – Myself
  • Cameron Murdoch/Prime Minister – Phil Pierce
  • Jeff – Daniel Linford-Downes
  • Cheryl – Jess Scholes-Rothery
  • Nigel Floda/UKIP Leader – Daniel Hughes
  • EDL Eddy – Josh Warrenger
  • Dan Mangan – Andrew Sherpard

Once I had my cast I emailed them each a copy of the script so they could learn their lines and maybe add their own spin on it.

Time

I selected the Wednesday before deadline day as the best time to record it, due to the professional practice, meaning that everybody would be free at once:

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It would also mean that I had the Thursday free to completely edit the recording to a close to professional standard, but due to the fact that I had never used Garageband or iMovie before, it also allowed me time to get use to the programs and learn how to use them.

Location

I record the show, we would have needed a place with a lot of recording equipment, space due to the amount of people who would have to be in the same room, and that was quiet so that we didn’t have any interference while recording.

The editing studio rooms in the college provided the perfect place to do this, and although we had to wait a while to use them due to the fact they were being used by others who needed to get work done, it was worth it as there was no where else which ticked all of the essential boxes.

Equipment

After using Google Mail to send the script to the cast, I planned to use two main types of equipment to complete this project; the first type was recording equipment.

To record the show I planned to use a dictaphone while the cast go through the lines. This would be the simpler part of the production.

I knew it would get difficult as soon as I had to start using the editing software.

As soon as the recording was completed, I planned to use the editing software that I have on my Macbook Pro. The software I have is Garageband and iMovie – two programs that I have never used in my life.

To combat the fact that I don’t know what I am doing with them, I plan to use Youtube to find videos with tutorials, which will show me how to use the software to help me create a near professional standard piece of work.

There are tutorials that include how to cut pieces of recording out, as well as how to insert sound effects.

With it being a radio show, there will of course be music at the start and at the end, so I plan to use music from my own personal collection on iTunes.

Knowing that the dictaphones only create WMA files, one that isn’t compatible with most programs on Macbooks, I will have to download an app from the iTunes App Store which will convert the file into a MP3. The SmartConverter app has very good ratings and reviews so this would be the best app to use.

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