Monday, June 30, 2008

{Check: One, Two, Three}

I have been taking Broadcast News Writing
first summer session at ASU, and I'm loving it.
My professor is extremely laid back, which is great
for a five week course like this. (I had the exact
opposite situation last summer, and it was insanely
intense. An awesome class -- but with an incredible
work load.) He gives fantastic lectures. They're
informative, practical and completely thought provoking.

This is an old pic -- his hair is longer
and lighter. And I've never seen him in a tie.
He worked in the industry for a long time. So, he's got
some good stories and insights.

My what-do-I-want-to-do-when-I grow-up-wheels
are in full motion.

We're working on writing in broadcast style for radio.
Simple and direct.
Present tense.
Written for the ear, not the eye --
which are two totally different writing styles.
Telling a story without pictures means
introducing the person who is speaking so as to not
confuse the audience when they hear a new voice,
natural sound, etc.

He had us do several packages --
Come up with a story idea.
Do an interview or two.
Write a script including the best sound bites.
And then edit in the audio booth.

I gotta tell ya - I love being in the edit booth.
That's not a surprise to me. I've always enjoyed
the video editing I've done. Audio is similar, just
with a different program. ProTools.

The broadcast lab has two audio editing bays.

We plug a mic into this handy recorder and
head off to our interviews.

It's got a USB port built right into it.
So, it's easy to plug it into the hard drive
and download the interview file.

Then we convert into an audio file format (aiff) and
drag it into ProTools. There, we can hear and see the audio.
See the selected part above? ProTools lets you highlight
sections for deletion (the ums and ahs). This is where you
move stuff around -- All that happens here. It's a pretty
user friendly program.

We also have to record our own voice,
telling the story as the reporter.
To do that, we just start a new track in ProTools and
talk into the mic (the headphones are hanging on it above).
Then you take the pieces from every track you have and
string them together to make a story.

Where you set your audio levels.
When you're all finished, you save
your master and bounce it to a disk.

This has been a really fun course.
I just wanted to share what I've been learning
and spending my time on.
(It feels so good to be back in school.)

This week, we're doing our own newscast using each
others packages. It should be fun! Thursday is our
last day of class.

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