From the start my aim for the audio project was to capture my talent’s emotions (happiness and surprise) and give my talent’s life experience justice. But how I would go about it would be the challenge. In order to conduct a successful audio piece I needed to understand the importance of good research, interview quotes and audio editing.
This project was a learning experience, it was my first time using a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, Hindenburg and SoundCloud. Before I conducted an in-depth interview with the subject, I thoroughly researched information on Cerebral palsy. “You should never be afraid to show ignorance, but that is not the same as being proud of not knowing,” (Randall 2011, p. 75).
To ensure my audio project would run smoothly, in advance I had a trial recording and had ago editing on Hindenburg. After a successful practice run I was ready to record the interview. I tried my best to make the talent feel comfortable. I made sure I didn’t hold the recorder to close to her face and I gave my full attention to her not the recorder.
In the back of my mind, I feared that the interview with my talent could be a complete disaster. Due to the fact that a “disability” and “family” are a personal topic. Randall (2011, p. 74) states that, “The word ‘interview’ conjures visions of being questioned by the police or formally interrogated for a job. Either way, it’s one that makes them feel uncomfortable.” Thus I avoided using the word “interview” in our discussions to eliminate tension. Instead I went for a laidback approach e.g. “I would like to chat and hear about your experience.”
Throughout the interview I probed for anecdotes and focused on getting as much information rather than too little. E.g. the talent revealed the emotions she felt when she was waiting for family to answer the phone. “Good anecdotes can add a tremendous amount of life to stories. Collect them at every opportunity.” (Randall 2011, p. 77). I’ve learnt that it is essential to listen to the subject and appreciate the significance of what is being said.
Once the interview was completed it was important to plan, organise and digest the material. Sifting through my material was time consuming and frustrating. During the editing process I looked for new ways to add colour, create a mood and entice the audience.
The strengths of my audio project would have to be the ability to entertain and intrigue my reader with the use of ambience and special effects. E.g the use of the speeding up heartbeat, dial tone and phone ringtone.
On the other hand the weaknesses were I felt overwhelmed when doing this project because I couldn’t include all the information in the 2 minute audio limit. I also found it difficult and frustrating when searching for ambience online. Due to the large selection of choices on the net some were off limits because I had to pay for it or was not under a Creative Commons license.
Therefore, I’ve learnt the importance of research, interviewing and editing when undertaking an audio project. I believe these components are critical in capturing and delivering the subject’s emotions, life experience and personality.
Randall, D 2011, The Universal Journalist, Fourth Edition, Pluto Press, London.