coming together

April 11, 2008

Tough week. Hell, tough month. I’ve been struggling with my first real radio script – it’s been a long process. The scope of this first main project (huge, huge project) is to put together a narrated radio documentary. Go out and find a person, place, thing in Maine and tell a story about it. The specified length is 6 minutes, though we can run a bit under or a bit over. Doesn’t that seem like that shouldn’t be so hard?

6 minutes feels like a long time, but it’s not….it would be easier to tell a 10 minute story, or a 12 minute story. 6 minutes means you’d better tighten things up and keep things moving and come to a point. To put this in perspective, we have all now spent weeks with our subjects. I can’t speak for others, but I have about 12 hours of interview tape, total. So 6 minutes is hard.

In class we’ve all been struggling with the same essential questions – why are we telling this story? Why should people listen to our piece and why should they care? The pressure has been huge. Finding the story wasn’t hard – but crafting the narrative was super tough. I shot a lot of puppies in the last two weeks.

BUT I had a breakthrough in the last few days. I finally feel like it has all come together, and I just feel really….relieved. And happy. And kind of excited about it. It’s like a little baby being born.

This morning in class we did a final line edit – this week we’ve isolated all of our Acts (short for actualities – this is the actual sound clip that is going to be used in a given moment) and put them into Pro Tools. Today we read our scripts (our narration, technically called Tracks) to the class and played the various acts as they came up, and also played the various bits of ambient sound that we are going use. Ambient sound is like background noise, and it sets a stage, tells the listener where they are.

My story right now clocks out at 7:06, so I still have some editing to do…that will be done this weekend.

I also have an hour or so to spend in the voiceover booth, laying down the tracks. Then I will mix the tracks with the acts. Slide in the ambient sound….and keep my fingers crossed. All of this will mean about 12 or so more hours of work I’m guessing.

The finished product is due on Tuesday. Deep breaths.

Then I move on to story number 2. The semester is speeding along…..



  1. You will rock this out. Guaranteed.

    If you can get an over-stressed, generally dis-interested, picky-about-his-media-consumption with little “reading time” guy interested in reading about a person whom he’s never met, and her experiences in a place he’s never been and has never even had even the slightest interest in learning about…


    THAT’S story telling.

    You have the gift.

    Go with it.



  2. Hey TfU! You just made my night, thanks.

    Once the semester is over I’m going to post both of the major pieces that I’ll have completed and also the Vox Pop and Promo that I did earlier in the term….so y’all can see the results of 14 weeks of radio school.

  3. Good luck Anne, Tim is right, you really do have a gift. I love reading your blog and hearing you on Katie Mac. Linda

  4. You sound so incredibly professional – I can hardly believe it! Wonderful!

  5. When do we get to hear it?

  6. You can hear it when you come to visit, and after that I’ll put everything up here for people to listen to once the term is over. I think there is a proprietary issue prior to that.

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