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2.12.04 Radio Days

For the past week I have worked on radio rather than on movies.

While we are lining up the next paid movie project, I decided to do an "indie" to keep my skills developing. And the indies can express a more personal vision -- and are more likely to get us into festivals than work-for-hire.

I started in on something about "what I learned on my trip to Indonesia." But figuring out how to make a 5-minute movie of that odyssey overwhelmed me in no time.

I decided to take a day off from Creativity to go through my periodicals, explore web sights, and do some learning and planning. Where I wound up was the Public Radio Exchange (PRX). It's a very nifty site where independent radio producers can post their work, get reviews, and get their work picked up by radio stations.

The light bulb went off. Radio would let me concentrate on sound and story and give me a break from visual challenges. I registered as an independent producer. I posted "Dangling Woman," which had already been on Transom. Then I took the audio from "The Valentine 1955" and turned it into radio. Got a couple good reviews, so I immediately got stars in my eyes.

I decided to do a new production based on the records my mother's family produced in the 1940s. I like the war angle, then decided to play up the Irish angle and try to pitch the production toward St. Patrick's Day.

As focused as I've tried to be, it is still a major challenge. I wrote and recorded a voiceover narration, pieced a lot together, then decided the first part was all wrong. I am trying to follow the advice of the various radio gurus to create a little drama, with characters and scenes and underlying conflict. In other words, don't just string amusing snippets together -- tell a story.

If all goes well, I'll be done in a day or two and will let you hear how it turns out.

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