Unit 4

I watched two clips by Ira Glass’ who offers his definition of storytelling within television and radio. I found it very interesting how Glass simplifies the theory of storytelling into two components. Glass calls these components ‘building blocks’ and states the contributors within these blocks are ‘Anecdotes’ and ‘moments of reflection’. This was something I hadn’t previously considered. As personally I felt it was very difficult to define what makes an effective story, I thought this would be based purely on your audience. However this generic theory that Glass presents I feel can be transferred to all stories. Every effective story has to have a sequence so it can gather momentum. This is what Glass describes as ‘anecdotes’. Glass suggests good stories include ‘bait’. Good stories constantly raise questions and answer them accordingly to keep people watching and interested. This on reflection I definitely agree with. When I think back to my own favourite stories they always keep you guessing what will happen next. The suspense keeps you glued in and interested in the whole story. I feel like this is important whatever the genre of the story, maintaining your audiences attention. Glass then describes the second half of the building blocks, the ‘moment of reaction’. The ‘moment of reacton’ Glass suggests is the point of the story, why is your audience listening to the story. Without this he suggests a story will not be effective. Again I agree with this theory. I can think of many stories that held my attention to begin with, however moved to an ineffective storyline or a disappointing ending, letting the whole film down. Even though previously I felt it was difficult to analyse what makes an effective story I now definitely agree with Glass’ theory. I believe this theory makes the basis of any good story and these are all emotions needed to be felt by your audience if you are to create something successful.

I then watched a video by Jad Abumrad on how radio creates empathy. Abumrad suggests that learning how to kill ideas is very important in the creation process. This was something that I considered greatly and felt like I needed to learn as I create more media. When creating something we form an attachment, I feel like this is natural as it is something that you have put time and effort into to. However as Abumrad suggests by killing off an idea it may lead to something better. This was a sentence I found very inspiring and a great way to think of it. I found Abumrad Discussing the relationship between failure and success very unique and something we don’t tend to hear from professionals. I found this inspiring and I will definitely think back to various quotes when filtering through my own creations in the future. Another topic Abumrad considers is the future of the radio. He definitely made me think differently about the subject. Previously I didn’t personally feel like the radio had much of a future. However this was purely based on my own opinion, from someone who doesn’t listen to the radio. But after listening to Abumrad discusses the connection a reader can have with a listener, a connection with is unique only to radio due to its delivery I started to feel differently. Maybe the radio will always have its listeners as it allows its audience to use their imagination much more than television.

I listened to the audio story “Its Going To Change Your Life’ by Jonathan Mitchell. I considered how Mitchell used various techniques in order to create an effective story. I personally felt Mitchell’s techniques were very effective. He uses a variety of sound effects to convey changes in location throughout. An aeroplane is heard just as a conversation is finishing; this conveys a wide scale change of location and a sense of pace in the storyline. This sound effect has been layered just over the back of a conversation to further demonstrate this quick pace. Reverb has also been used effectively in this audio story. As an audience we can imagine the size of the room that the characters are in. This helps us understand if the characters are holding a private conservation in a small office or talking in a larger room with maybe other speakers present. Another technique Mitchell uses effectively is the volume of the characters voices to represent distance. In this audio story Mitchell shows the leader of a talk moving around the classroom speaking to other members. By fading her voice out and bringing in other characters voices louder we can feel a sense of distance and where we are placed in the room perfectly. Finally Mitchell emphasises noises that we may not perhaps hear as loud in real life. This is evident when a letter is being opened and a phone call is taking place, this is present I believe to convey the importance of the event in the plot. This also makes us to listen to the story as if we are the main character, allowing the audience to relate and sympathise with the character.

I found my first DS106 radio experience a very enjoyable one. After tuning in a second time to the station I heard someone produce a live show. I felt a connection with the producer straight away. I feel like this was perhaps because we had both experienced the DS106 course and ultimately I could be in the same position, producing this radio show if I wanted. I felt an immediate respect for the producer as I personally would feel very uneasy producing a radio show, especially with such a lack of experience so I appreciated the producer’s confidence. I tweeted the producer, letting them know I was listening and offering  feedback.

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I checked the radio status page whilst listening and I was the only listener, however the station had peaked at 4 listeners that day.

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Daily Create – ‘Arty Blur’

'Arty Blur'

Daily Create – ‘ Inspirational Quote’

'Inspirational Quote' - Brent.

Daily Create – ‘Breakfast Selfie’

'Breakfast Selfie'

Surprisingly I have really enjoyed this unit. When first reading the title ‘Unit 4 – Listening to Audio’ I was immediately put off. However on reflection I’m not sure why? Maybe due to a lack of experience and confidence I started this with the wrong mind-set, but after completing the various audio assignments I feel more much positive. I found learning about the theory of storytelling very interesting and I enjoyed considering other theorists opinions. I found analysing an audio story also very interesting and productive. Previously I had never just listened to a piece of audio with no distractions and considered what techniques had been used for effect. This I feel has given me a better understanding of sound techniques and how to use purely sound to tell a story effectively. Overall though, I found completing the ‘Ds106 bumper’ and the ‘sound effect story’ to be most beneficial part of the unit. By experimenting with sound techniques myself, rather than just purely consuming them it has given me a good basic understanding of what techniques are effective.

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