Over this five-week course which takes place on consecutive Mondays participants will gain an understanding of the following:
A brief overview of the radio feature genre, including its history, development and key characteristics (session 1).
How to create a sense of place through sound (session 1).
How to carry out interviews for a radio feature, in the style of a structured conversation (session 2).
Different approaches to structuring a radio feature (session 3).
A range of different editing techniques (session 4).
The key outcome of the course will be the production of a short five-minute radio feature, which participants present to one another during a final listening session in week 5.
Session structure and methodology:
At the beginning of the course, participants will be provided with a programme brief from the BBC Radio 4 series Shortcuts. Over the course of five weeks, participants will have the opportunity to devise, reflect upon revisit and produce an idea for a five-minute radio feature in response to the brief.
Each session will last for two hours. Sessions will involve some explicit teaching on key principles and the opportunity for participants to share material that they have gathered and receive feedback and guidance from the course leaders as well as participants. Participants will be set listening and recording tasks to complete in between each session. The course will emphasise learning through experience and play, and will give participants amply opportunity to try a range of different approaches and techniques as a means of turning an idea into a five-minute radio feature.
Nina Perry is an award-winning composer and radio feature, and an Associate Lecturer at Bournemouth University, leading courses on radio production and features, sound art and composition, audio production and song-writing. Nina has produced numerous ‘composed’ features for BBC Radio, in particular Melting Point, a feature about the sounds of melting ice, and Supermarket Symphony. Nina was also formerly a BBC Composer-in-Residence and will bring a wealth of knowledge about crafted sound design to the course.
Katie Burningham has produced multiple features for BBC Radio 4, including the Sony Gold award-winning feature ‘Heel, Toe, Step Together.’ She completed an MA in radio at Goldsmiths and worked for the renowned radio feature production company Falling Tree, before going freelance to explore parallel interests in teaching and learning, and retraining as a secondary school English teacher. Her radio work tends to explore stories of a personal nature, and Katie has produced programmes both in the montage style and presenter led programmes, at times presenting herself. Katie will combine a wealth of knowledge about crafting stories with her expertise in pedagogical strategies to ensure high quality delivery of the course.
Eleanor McDowell is an award-winning producer working at Falling Tree productions, and currently the series producer of the acclaimed Shortcuts. She is also the founder of Radio Atlas, an online site that presents international features with English subtitles, and which received a Special Commendation for Best European Digital Audio of the Year at the Prix Europa festival in 2016. Eleanor will share her expertise in audio editing during session 4, with particular reference to the BBC Radio 4 programme A Dancer Dies Twice.