‘It’s a kids world’ – Reflection


My attitude towards radio has changed significantly over the past few weeks, in regards to the ability to portray emotion. Through the listening of radio documentaries and pieces, I am astounded at how similar radio can be to visual medias such as cinema- an area I am more comfortable in.
Virginia Madsen discusses this notion in ‘Your ears are a portal to another world’,  and the radical change radio documentary has undergone since its fall in the 1960’s. She writes about how radio documentaries continue to grow in popularity, due to the fact that more and more people (people like myself) are realising the power it has as a non-visual communication form.

John Biewan’s ‘Introduction to reality radio’ really helped my understanding of just how many different styles and approaches you can have when it comes to creating a radio piece. The one point that was really pertinent for me was “radio itself is often seen as obsolete except as a broadcast jukebox”. He explores RadioLab pieces “where simple interviews and recorded sounds are mixed in with effects and simple music to create “intelligent wonder”. That is what I aim to be producing. Simple radio that makes people think and question. Not just entertain.

For this piece, my aim was to explore ‘the park’ through a child’s eyes, and go on this exciting journey with him. I tried to pick up “the mothers” talking and focus on interviews. There was a small moment of scripted studio narration, however the speech from the toddler and his mum was all improvised location narration.

I think I have conveyed the environment and space well, through the sounds of the children in the distance, and the up close narration and i think it has a strong visceral connection, but I think that my whole piece could have been much stronger in terms of concept. I would like to revisit it, and focus primarily on Zac’s world as he has a day at the park- perhaps recording with a lapel mic.

I thought my cuts and transitions were smooth, and show a significant improvement towards my development in the course. I thought I had a succinct and clear vision when it came to what it was I wanted to focus on for my participant voice, and thought I had a simple concept for how I was going to achieve this. My major let down was my expectations, and when the final recordings didn’t give me the depth I hoped it would, I panicked.

I also learnt of the difficulty working with young children can cause due to their fascination with unfamiliar objects i.e the microphone, taking precedence over any type of cooperation. Working with a 3 year old has its ups and downs. The content and comments they make is entertaining which can can really heighten the appeal to your work , however they also do not take instruction well and become distracted easily.

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