Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thinking Broader than Radio

Enjoyed reading James Cridland's blog from a gig he attended last week in Leipzig. James always has interesting things to say about radio, usually from an original angle. 

Having recently done a couple of radio documentaries which delved into some other documentaries I made in the 80's and 90's, I reckon we now have the tools to make creative work about 3 times as fast as the days of two track, razor blade editing and the UHER tape machine. At the same time budgets in radio features are a fraction of what they used to be. A few companies, like ARTE are the exception, but they don't have to worry about audience figures (yet). There are still some delightful radio soundscapes being made. 

The biggest challenge I see is that they are not being archived in very clever ways, so often the context is missing. Those making radio features need to look at the publishing world and developments like Flipboard and the new iBook Authoring Tool (I mean the way the tool works - I'm rather less enthusiastic about Apple's walled garden approach to authorship rights). If you can compose truly multimedia productions, then imagine what could happen if a great radio feature maker teamed up with someone from Fotopedia? TV stations have catalogues of programmes they sell at MIp-TV in Cannes. But radio is poor at putting together catalogues of its works, so a lot of brilliant stuff is lost after it disappears from the podcast window. Perhaps we need to acknowledge that some of the best sound-scaping these days is done in promotions department of UK radio stations. Brilliant storytelling - at least on the examples I hear in the Earshot Creative Review.
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