This week we looked at radio features, this meaning the characteristics behind making a feature or drama. We then had to write a drama and a feature of own for radio. We also looked at what makes the two different.
Before we wrote the two pieces we researched to gather ideas of how radio is written and the structure of it. I first found a script written for a radio drama on the BBC:
As you can see the structure is quite simple with it being very similar to a theatre script but with one of main difference being the use of sound effects (SFX) and not imagery because radio only relies on the use of sound and the listener’s imagination. However, when it came to placing the script into a structure we did so by following the way they would do if it included everything needed, meaning sound effects. That way is like so:
|Time||Sound effect SFX||Script|
|Piano music plays||Hi John.|
You can see that it very clearly set out in terms of what comes first. doing this means that when the play is performed the actor can clearly understand what comes first and how long the SFX are going to be for or when the next one starts. But what I really liked about this play was how the writers wrote it as if weren’t a play, more so a typical day which would then build into something else. Such as at the start, a letter is read out and so grips the reader because they aren’t really sure what direction the play is taking, but when it suddenly changes to the main character going through his day, it grips the listener because they want to find out what the letter has to do with the story.
Once learning this we wrote our own radio drama based on a list of subjects we were giving, I chose to write about ‘addiction’ as I had an idea of what it could be. I ended up writing a scene rather than the entire play, but if I were to choose it as one of the final 3 products I would make it into a full-length play.
|Time||Sound effects / SFX||Script|
|Mum: Where were you?|
|Piano music plays||No answer
Mum: Levi, tell me. (sad) It’s 4 in the morning, you have school in 4 hours and you’ve only just come through the door. Now tell me, where were you?
|Serious music plays||Mum: (Shouting) Levi! Tell me where you were! I spend all day and night worrying about you the least you could do is tell me where you go!
Levi: (Annoyed) I was out with a few mates, nothing serious.
|Piano music plays||Mum: (Curious) And what were you doing with them?
Mum: So what, you just sat there and did nothing, didn’t even speak?
Levi: No, we, (sinkers) I mean, you know (humorous tone to it)
Mum: Are, are you on drugs?
Mum: Tell me the truth, Levi
Levi: I’m not lying. Mum trust, I’m not.
Mum: Empty your pockets.
Levi: Okay fine. Calm down.
|Emptying pockets||Levi: See nothing, just some old receipts and chewing gum.
Mum: Come here.
|Walking||Levi: why does this even matter.
|Shuffling of clothes||Mum: Because I don’t trust you.
|Serious/dramatic music||Mum: I knew it. You are doing drugs!|
You can see that I followed the same structure, this being because it suited this format the best and also means that I get more practice out of it. The idea of the play was for the mother and the son to be able to rekindle their relationship whilst the son also gets over his drug addiction. As you can see this is only the start, but I do think I was able to make the relationship between the two clear. I think the dialogue is able to show this as the two are very blunt when they talk to each other and neither have much patience, you can tell such with the use of short sentences and certain grammar.
We also wrote a radio article based on a selection of topics we were given, I choose obsession because I wanted something that created interest and also wasn’t a well-known article. After doing some research about real-life people’s obsession I found one based on a man’s obsession with Barbie.
Before I wrote the article I did some further research to see how a radio article is written, so I looked at BBC’s Newsbeat to gather an idea of how a radio article differs from a typical news article. You can see that radio articles are a lot shorter and they focus on only the main facts and tend to use a lot of direct quotes as the counter for sound effects.
I chose this article because I could imagine it being on Newsbeat because it’s a quite interesting story but also at the same time is something different and rather random at the same time. After doing all of the needed research I began to write my own radio article:
Meet Stanley Colorite from Florida, 19 years ago he brought his first Barbie, 19 years later he now has over 2000 Barbie’s and over 1000 Ken dolls.
The collection takes up 4 bedrooms out of his 7 bedroom house, spending at least $30,000 a year on his obsession. He even refers to himself as the ‘Barbie Man’.
(Quote from Colorite): “I can’t stop collecting – it’s like a drug habit, I just can’t quit.”
Stanley’ partner Dennis Schlicker started collecting Ken dolls when the two first meet and now even helps Stanley with his own obsession.
(Quote from Schlicker) ‘Then I started collecting Kens and helping Stanley with his collection and it’s just got bigger and bigger.’
The two travel around America to find some of the Barbie’s along with attending Barbie conventions.
The most expensive Barbie Stanley owns, is the Pink Splendor worth $1000
(Quote from Colorite) ‘If I see a Barbie or anything with the Barbie name on it I have to buy it ‘I’ve got everything from the toothpaste to a watch with her face on it.’
And Stanley doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.
(Quote / SFX)’The Barbies take up four rooms of the house but I won’t stop collecting until I run out of rooms. ‘I’ll glue them to the ceiling or make chandeliers out of them if I have to – but I wouldn’t move home. ‘I don’t need a mansion for my museum. My house is my mansion, it’s my own Barbie Dream House.’
As you can see its short but still has all of the main facts, including the 5w’s, 25 opening words and the use of the inverted pyramid. Using these skills meant I was able to write an article that was short but still included all the main aspects, doing this means it’s subtle for radio. You can see that I also used quotes, these quotes can be used as sound effects and so will make it more entertaining for the listener.
Overall, I enjoyed written radio pieces because we had the chance to write in two different formats, this allowed me to practice writing in the different formats and to also gather a better understand of how to do so.
- Bbc.co.uk. (2017). JAY Z sells $6 tickets to US gigs to cut out touts and resale rip-offs. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/41898434/jay-z-sells-6-tickets-to-us-gigs-to-cut-out-touts-and-resale-rip-offs [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].
- Downloads.bbc.co.uk. (2017). Breaking up with Bradford. [online] Available at: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/BREAKING-UP-WITH-BRADFORD-Kamal-Kaan.pdf [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].
- YouTube. (2017). I’m Addicted To Barbie. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV6ENrtXjuA [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].