Group Diary/James Individual Reflection

As producer of the group, James’ “individual reflection” was also able to act as a group diary, as it clearly states what happened week by week, while also reflecting on what happened. It also references how we managed our time, shows how the idea developed and briefly discusses the social media strategy that we took with our project. In terms of the “individual reflection” part, it looks back at the creative process and examines what went well, what didn’t go as well, and how this was overcome.

Week beginning 16th January

This was the first week back after the Christmas holidays, and this was treated as a refresher session in a sense. While we didn’t have any solid ideas to bring to the tutorial with Dylan, we discussed how we wanted to move away from the radio drama aspect, not because we didn’t enjoy it, but mainly because we wanted to explore more areas in what would be our final project before graduation.

Reflection

A good thing that came out of this meeting was some substantial advice from Dylan, who said we should listen to some American podcasts for inspiration, which could feature almost any topic. This was put forward from him because we mentioned that it may be a fun idea to do a piece on something such as an exploration into weird and unusual things that exist in today’s world. Nothing went wrong in this meeting, but we could have made it better by bringing in more ideas to work with.

Week beginning 23rd January

Given that our proposal needed to be done by week 3, we would need to bring in a good, initial, idea into our next tutorial. While me and Jess liked the idea of doing something live, such as an exhibition which was considered in semester 1, Adam thought it would be good to focus on something that would look at how people teach themselves individual skills, such as singing or cooking, and then go onto inspire other people. We then realised we could include a live element in this too, where we could have a sort of workshop where these individuals are available to talk to general members of the public about their talent. This idea felt unique which meant we could meet learning outcome 3 – employ creative, original and innovative strategies in a media production project.

Reflection

While this was a positive part of our meeting, a negative point was that although our grade from semester 1 should have been available by now, the fact that it was being double marked meant that we would have to wait a while, meaning the reflection upon our feedback would be delayed. For the next meeting, we set ourselves the target of discussing our proposal with Dylan.

Week beginning 30th January

For this next tutorial, we managed to get a proposal done, which looked at all the key elements of our upcoming projects, such as how it would sound, who would be contributing, the aims of the piece, and the target audience. This would mean that we could clearly meet learning outcome 4 – produce audience specific work appropriate to chosen forms of presentation.. We discussed this briefly with Dylan, and he said it may be an idea to have separate, shorter podcasts, with each one focusing on a specific individual skill area – such as literature or food.

Reflection

One good thing from this meeting was that we got our feedback for our semester 1 project, which meant that we could look at this feedback, and in turn that would help us produce a better product in this semester. Adam also found a poet to interview this week, and it went very smoothly, which was helped given that the interview took place at a poetry event, which would help give us some very useful background ambiance to use. For the next tutorial, we needed to ensure the blog was set up, more interviews were lined up, while Dylan would need to be emailed the proposal.

Week beginning 6th February

All the previous objectives were met for this week, with the blog outline successfully created, while potential interviews with representatives from Lincoln City FC as well as Dylan’s wife were in the pipeline. One thing Dylan suggested was too look at the area of music, as there is plenty of this going on in Lincoln – so many people learn instruments in one way or another.

Reflection

Although these were very useful, we did encounter some issues – Adam was ill and unable to attend the tutorial, and Dylan also didn’t get enough time to read through our proposal. We could get around this however, by updating Adam with our tutorial notes over Facebook, so he knew what was going on, and Dylan used the meeting to give us some very useful pointers too. For the next tutorial, he wanted us to have a solid outline of each podcast, while we needed to have more interviews recorded. One thing that we could have done better was to have bought the poet interview in for Dylan to here, but due to Adam’s absence this was unable to happen.

Week beginning 13th February

The first thing we did this week was to have a meeting to discuss the outline of our podcasts. We decided to have a creative podcast (focusing on music, poetry, writing etc) and a practical podcast (sport, cooking, family businesses), which would be 15 minutes long each. We then decided that we would need 5 contributors per piece, and started writing down potential people we could use. To start this off, we realised that we could record 4 interviews this week, as I knew 2 people who could contribute to the creative podcast, and there were also 2 lecturers who were available for interviews. On Wednesday, I recorded 2 interviews, one with a creative writer, one with someone who taught themselves English, whilst Jess and Adam recorded the other 2 – a bagpipe player, and a woman who spoke about her family traditions of cooking.  These interviews were done in a way that would allow us to meet learning outcome 2 – demonstrate advanced knowledge of technical processes and procedures using practical technology appropriate to their aims and intentions.

Reflection

These all went very well, and there was more than enough for us to work with, this was because we were all prepared with all the questions ready. One issue that we encountered was that we forgot to get one of the participants to sign a consent form, but that can be resolved by emailing her with one. Whilst we could get a recording of Cassandre playing the bagpipes, Alina speaking English (for the interview), Will to read out part of his book, we were unable to get any sounds of Su preparing some food. Perhaps we could have got the interview in her home, but later we could always record some kitchen sound effects to put in the background of the podcast. As well as this, Dylan gave us some good pointers in the tutorial, such as interviewing our families, and branching outside of Lincoln.

Week beginning 20th February

This week Jess was absent, but me and Adam were still able to meet with Dylan to report our progress to him. At this stage, we alerted him that we had 5 interviews done, with plenty more in the pipeline, which we think was a very positive thing to bring up in the meeting. He also gave us a few more potential interview ideas, such as the idea of maybe looking at even more unique skills including a rally driver who he knew. We also were made aware of Craig Bratley, who helps with Media at the University, but is also a very keen DJ, so this was certainly a potential interview. Dylan also mentioned the idea of fishing, so I immediately contacted someone who I knew that was obsessed with fishing, and lined up an interview with him. Although none of us could get interviews back home, Jess and Adam did manage to record some questions with 2 individuals: Sam – a horse rider, and Graham – a singer-songwriter and guitar player, whilst we’d also be able to get home interviews over Easter.

Reflection

A good point from the Graham interview was the content that Adam managed to gather with it as well – singing 2 songs while playing the guitar, and one recording of a song without the lyrics which highlights how good he is at the guitar. As well as this he got 2 pictures of Graham with the guitar which would go well on the blog. My potential football interview was denied due to EFL regulations, which was a negative point of the week, and next time I should probably look at an alternative, but the fact that we recorded 2 more interviews to bring our total up to 7 meant that we were making progress, and could start to edit soon.

Week beginning 27th February

With Jess back this week we were able to meet with Dylan as normal, and he said that with the horse interview we should look to get some horse sounds, to put in between the interview as it would work quite well to set the scene. This week I also managed to get a fishing interview too, and did it outside, while also asked him about fishing equipment, which he talked me through, so this worked especially well. Adam also recorded an interview with Craig, which was also successful, while Dylan gave us some pointers again, such as a potential interview with a local brewery.

Reflection

A good point from this week was obviously the fact we managed to bring our interview total up to 9, and we also have several weeks left so we are certainly managing are time very well. We also had the potential for many more interviews, such as looking into the fudge industry as well. One negative point was that we didn’t get any editing done this week, even though it was discussed that we could have done some, but we will get over this by having a massive editing session in the coming weeks. The lack of horse sound effects was also something that was disappointing, but me and Adam would be able to get these via our phone thanks to some contacts that we know.

Week beginning 6th March

This week we set the task of starting to edit, and therefore booked out a 3-hour session on Thursday, which would follow on nicely from Dylan’s meeting. At this meeting, we discussed how well the Craig and Matt (fishing) interviews went, while Jess also made us aware that she would be recording a discussion a few hours later, with someone who loved to draw. Adam was also at this stage trying to secure interviews with a fudge company, as well as a local brewery, while Dylan told us to think about how our presenter-style speech would fit into the podcast. Therefore, we booked out a radio studio for next week so we could practice some potential discussion points that would be integrated into our final piece. The final thing from the meeting to note was that we kept up to date with our blog, which would be added to throughout the process.

Reflection

A good point from this week was the interview that Jess got with Tiana, and she also managed to get pictures of her drawings too which would be good for the blog. A negative point was perhaps the editing session on Thursday, where the aim was to cut down our interviews into shorter lengths, but we underestimated how tricky this would be, especially considering the quality of each interview. We would however get over this by booking much more editing time over the coming weeks, to allow us to start putting our final podcasts together.

Week beginning 13th March

This week we wanted to record a draft version of the presenter speech, as well as editing down our 10 interviews so we could start to piece the final podcast together. On Monday, we recorded about an hour of audio, and then went away and scripted it so we could speak more smoothly, with pointers, later. In our meeting with Dylan on Wednesday, he mentioned that we should look at trying a different microphone set up in the future so our podcast sounded more professional. He also recommended that we set up a website, with features such as a Twitter account linked to it, so people all around the world could get involved with their talents. We also started on our press pack this week, so we would be able to submit some of our podcast for the degree show if we wanted. This meant we could meet learning outcome 7 – evaluate their work in terms of marketing and distribution, eg. The LSFM Degree Show.

Reflection

A good point from this week was that on Wednesday and Thursday, we had 3 hours combined in the edit suites, and managed to get all our interviews cut down to a maximum of 5 minutes, this meant that we were at a stage where we could think about putting a final podcast together. Thus, we booked out radio studio time for next week, as well as more edit suite time, where we would hope to finish the first podcast. A negative point was that Jess was absent from Wednesday’s meeting, as well as the two edit suite sessions as she was ill, but me and Adam overcame this by keeping Dylan up to date with our progress, and did a good job editing.

Week beginning 20th March

On the Monday, we had 2 hours in the studio to record the final version for the presenter’s speech part of the podcast, whilst on Tuesday we had a 4-hour editing session in which we put our first podcast together. We also found a tutorial video that would allow Jess to build a simple but effective website, to help promote both our podcasts and any future work that we do related to it. I then booked out the exact same sessions for the following week, where we would focus on getting our second podcast done.

Reflection

A good point from this week was the recording session, where the use of notes helped it flow very well, allowing for a good structure within the final podcast. One issue was the noise of drums from another studio next door, but we discovered that this only put us off, rather than being heard in the recording. We also got our first podcast edited successfully, although a potential issue was the fact that it was an hour long, when we only intended it to be 15-20 minutes long. To get over this we alerted Dylan, and he said it would still be good if we listened to it in full and then cut out any unnecessary bits.

Week beginning 27th March

This week was basically the same as the previous week, we had 2 hours to record our own speech, and then 4 hours to edit this all together on the Tuesday. The only thing we did different was fine tuning our final podcasts, this consisted of Adam making his own music that would be used at various points during the piece, while as lead editor, Jess ensured that any unnecessary dialogue was edited out. We met with Dylan as usual on Wednesday, and he was happy with our progress, and told me to keep on top of the blog and paperwork.

Reflection

A good point from this week was that we managed to get our 2 podcasts completed, although we did encounter some issues. On the Monday while recording, there was some noise coming from another room which could be heard when we listened back to it, but as this was an external factor it was beyond our control, and we edited the podcast to the best of our ability. Another minor issue was that our podcasts were still very long, but Adam said he would work hard to chop them down to shorter lengths.

Week beginning 4th April

This week was much more relaxed, as both draft podcasts had been edited in the previous week. There were just a few odd jobs to complete, so as producer, I took the role of submitting the press pack, organising the blog with all the content, Jess helped me ensure the consent forms were all done, while Adam did a final edit of podcast 1, and managed to reduce the total time slightly, making it less than an hour long. The final podcasts were to be put together in a way that would coincide with learning outcome 1 – structure intellectually rigorous and coherent ideas to an advanced level in order to communicate ideas through the integration of form and content.

Reflection

The fact that with 3 weeks to go we felt relatively comfortable was the most positive thing to come out of this week. Our podcasts were very nearly there, and the paperwork and blog were under control. One thing that went wrong this week was that Dylan was ill so we couldn’t have a group meeting, but we got over this by doing more work in our spare time to contribute to the project.

Week beginning 11th April

This was the first week of the Easter break, meaning we had no meeting with Dylan, and also had more time to focus on our individual pieces of work, such as dissertations. As a group however, we contacted each other over Facebook, and I reminded Jess and Adam of what needed to be done before the deadline, but we were all comfortable that it would be done without any issues.

Reflection

With now only 2 weeks remaining we felt we were in a very good place, which was down to the way that we balanced the work out between us. A negative point may be the fact that this was another week in which we didn’t get to see Dylan, but he had assured us before Easter that we were on track, so we didn’t think this was a major concern.

Week beginning 18th April

This was the second week of the Easter break, and the last full week in which we had to do work, with the deadline being on the 27th April. Jess and Adam spent this week building a simple website, which was able to integrate in social media. The website (https://passiton666.wordpress.com/), Twitter page (https://twitter.com/passitonpodcast) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/passitonpodcasts/) were used to help build a sense of community between us, the listeners, and the contributors. It would allow the contributors to interact with each other, and share their skills, which was the main idea of the live exhibition that was unfortunately unable to happen. This can also lead to more inspiration for the audience, while AJJ Productions will be able to update everyone on potential new content. As producer, I also spent this week finishing off the blog – this included things such as cues, compliance forms and the budget. This meant we could meet learning outcome 5 – apply professional practices in their production work in relation to professional contexts, codes, clearances, ownership, copyright and commissioning. Adam was also able to do a final edit on the 2nd podcast, meaning that all our audio was complete. The one final thing we had to consider was the individual evaluations, which were due on the 4th May, and this would allow us to meet learning outcome 6 – evaluate their work and apply critical and independent analysis to inform practical production.

Reflection

We managed our time well this week, as we felt by the end of it we had achieved everything that we needed to. The only thing left was the individual research and reflections that Adam and Jess had done, and although they hadn’t done it by this stage, they assured me that they were very much in the process of getting it done.

Press Pack

Although we submitted the digital press pack via Blackboard, we have also put a copy on this blog just incase. There are 2 uploads below, one is the information form as a PDF, and the other is a short digital version of the work, as a sound clip. The information form includes the synopsis, rationale, team information, one pr image, staging details and additional information.

Press Pack

Billing

While with a radio drama the actual episode would be advertised on the broadcasters site, such as the BBC, our podcast will need to be promoted in our own way, so the billing for “Pass It On” took the form of a web page, which would also integrate social media. In our proposal blog post it was pointed out that we wanted a live element, where all the contributors to our podcasts would meet up and talk about their skills with each other, as well as demonstrating them. Unfortunately we were unable to arrange this, but by having social media as part of our website, we could allow the people that made up our podcasts, and the audience, to visit this site, and thus navigate through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to find out more about the other individuals. This would allow for a great sense of community, and would really help emphasise the idea of passing on a talent and influencing others.

Website link: https://passiton666.wordpress.com/

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/Pass-It-On-Podcasts-1915549008701560/

Twitter link: https://twitter.com/passitonpodcast

Budget

For this project it is necessary to compare the real budget that we spent, to the theoretical budget. This theoretical budget would allow us to see how much it would have cost to make this product if we were in a professional practice, instead of just a university project. Because podcasts are not usually broadcast by radio stations, and are instead available on websites, where they can also be downloaded, usually for free, meaning that podcast makers often make their money through advertising. This is much different to our radio drama from semester 1, where in the real world we would be seeking a fee from someone such as the BBC, to help fund something that is much more expensive to make than a podcast. Our podcast series is good in this sense, because it doesn’t require any actors who may have to travel, it is simply interviewing local talent, and then doing the editing ourselves. This editing however, amongst other factors such as recording our own voices, would require a budget if it was made outside of University.

For this project we spent a total of £0, this is because the University provide us with Adobe packages, access to media loans and also edit suites. Below is a breakdown of how much we may have to spend if we wanted to move into this area in a more professional capacity.

Real Budget – £0

Theoretical Budget Per Podcast: £373.60

Fixed Costs For 1 Year  – £3816.81

Given that we were able to make 2 podcasts in 12 weeks at University, and probably could’ve made a third, it would be fair to say that we could probably make a podcast every 4 weeks, meaning that would make a total for 13 a year.

With the radio studio hire being £80 per podcast, the fixed costs can be divided by 13, and therefore be added to the studio hire price to create a theoretical budget.

Fixed Costs Per Podcast – £293.60

Recording Presenter Speech

Radio Studio Hire - £80 per podcast

Radio Studio

Source: http://www.radiofacilities.com/voiceover-isdn-studio/

4 Microphones – £2,854

Source: http://www.gear4music.com/PA-DJ-and-Lighting/AKG-C414-XLS-ST-Condenser-Microphone-Stereo-Pair/TIK?origin=product-ads&campaign=PLA+Shop+-+GENERIC&adgroup=GENERIC&medium=vertical_search&network=google&merchant_id=1279443&product_id=38252d1&product_country=GB&product_partition_id=85060090039&gclid=Cj0KEQjwuOHHBRDmvsHs8PukyIQBEiQAlEMW0KwJ0JLhqOwu2Bs7NTQSJ_OYCJFU4k2Ewk-W7T7e30saAnK08P8HAQ

3 Microphone Stands – £37.20

Source: https://www.studiospares.com/Accessories/Stands-Mic/Studiospares-Mic-Stand–Telescopic-Boom_448000.htm?gclid=Cj0KEQjwuOHHBRDmvsHs8PukyIQBEiQAlEMW0CCaPEjRjybu-G0xIvc59vXad1xGDGD0sq-5fNoxnLgaAjY28P8HAQ

3 Headphones – £293.97

Source: http://www.inta-audio.com/monitoring-c109/beyerdynamic-dt100-400-ohm-grey-headphones-p5763/s5769?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=beyerdynamic-dt100-400-ohm-grey-headphones-421022&utm_campaign=product%2Blisting%2Bads&gclid=Cj0KEQjwuOHHBRDmvsHs8PukyIQBEiQAlEMW0OVWdPuDWZISdnJhQbmcXTd_HtrRW3CKLAX0a_–iaoaAg8Q8P8HAQ

Recording Interviews

Zoom Microphone – £152.22

Source: https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/?iid=291991571391&&&adgroupid=13585920426&rlsatarget=pla-142405564386&abcId=&adtype=pla&merchantid=6995734&poi=&googleloc=9041117&device=c&campaignid=207297426&crdt=0&chn=ps

Editing Podcasts

Apple Mac – £188.99

Source: https://secure.wowcher.co.uk/checkout/3246733?product_id=317017&quantity=1&pay_deposit=false

Adobe Audition Package – £241.43 per year

Source: https://commerce.adobe.com/anyware/checkout/?clientId=creative&countryCode=GB&languageCode=en&marketSegment=COM&items%5B0%5D%5BofferId%5D=DED423ADEFF4011001C559872592B8A4&returnUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fcreative.adobe.com%2Fen%2Fstarter%2Fcommon%3ForderId%3D%7B%7BorderId%7D%7D%26workflow%3D%7B%7Bworkflow%7D%7D&landscape=prod

Paperwork

Microsoft Word Package – £49

Source: https://getmsoffice.com/microsoft-office-2016-home-and-student-for-windows-1-pc-install.html?utm_source=google_shopping&m=virtual&gclid=Cj0KEQjwuOHHBRDmvsHs8PukyIQBEiQAlEMW0KsmnnhXQw9IMManmhXiuK22XWpiVukCHWeeLrQU2TsaAh8V8P8HAQ