Evaluation of Radio Drama. By Annabelle Snelling. How does your production fit in with the values of radio 4 and its place in British life?.
By Annabelle Snelling
How does your production fit in with the values of radio 4 and its place in British life?
A middle class audience would be able to relate more easily to Jake by imagining being on a beautiful boat or island.
The popularity of post modern films and the concept of what is and what isn’t real, explored in films such as shutter island, inception and black swan, would be more interesting to a middle class audience due to their education and ability to figure out such complicated stories. A more uneducated audience would be less likely to understand and figure them out and therefore more likely to give up on a radio drama of the same genre as it is not backed up with clear images of what is happening. These films allowed me to use intertextualityenticing a similar audience.
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Radio 4 have previously released more sci fi/horror radio dramas. After visiting radio 4’s website and finding a lack of such radio dramas suggests that this genre was successful and rejected by its audience. This may have been due to the high level of technology we now have to create sci fi movies and because of this they are a lot more interesting to watch than listen to as these types of films are mainly about the graphics and images we would never see in real life situations. By creating a radio drama which would be highly unlikely for audience’s to ever see in real life situations would attract the audience. If my radio drama were a film it would not need high graphics to make it appear believable.
Mostly middle class, middle aged adults – Working class would be less likely to listen to radio 4, may feel less appreciated and wanted if they tuned into radio 4. Having Jake, Rosie and Dr Reynolds appear very middle class sticks with the conventions of radio 4 and attracts middle class audience’s to my radio drama.
English and an American accent – this is easy for my audience to understand and relate to. As an English radio station (radio 4) my listeners who were English were able to clearly understand Jake, Dr Reynolds and the Nurse’s accent. Rosie’s American accent was also understand to my listeners due to radio 4’s ‘love affair with all things American’. The high popularity of American TV amongst young English teenager\'s allows my target audience to be familiar and comfortable with the accent.
Rosie (young, beautiful, middle class, American) – I communicated Rosie’s beauty to the audience through Jake’s dialogue and the way he spoke about her e.g. ‘she had the finest brown hair and bright green eyes’. Her American accent was very strong and clear. Putting Rosie in a flowery dress in my advert suggests her innocence and femininity to the audience. The current middle class audience of radio 4 would be able to relate to Rosie as she reflects a typical middle class woman marrying/in love with a man similar financially. This reflects the proposal that the middle class are more likely to marry someone of their own social status. My audience said it was clear how much Jake loved and admired Rosie through the soft tone of voice used when speaking about her. They also said how they expected she was middle class as she was marrying a middle class man.
The Nurse (patronising, flirtatious) – I communicated this through the dialogue and tone of voice e.g. the Nurse says ‘Jake you must take your medication or you’ll have to stay in here all day’ in a very high pitched slow pace. She lowers her pitch when she is with the Doctor e.g. ‘Hi Doctor’ is said in a very sexy and flirtatious tone of voice. This communicates to the audience her lack of interest in Jake and her focus on pleasing the Doctor. I was successful in making her audience find the Nurse over whelming and slightly annoying. One of my class mates said how unlucky someone would be to have a Nurse like that.
The Captain (untrustworthy, lower class, Scottish) – I was successful in communicating and hinting the Captain’s evil plans through his dialogue e.g. ‘You can trust me Jake’ was said in a very sly and patronising tone of voice. The audience said that it was clear something about the Captain was not right.
Dr Reynolds (successful, well educated, middle class, caring) – his profession clearly suggests his ambition to help the mentally ill. I also show this through his dialogue e.g. ‘We’re here to help you Jake’. His posh, clear and deep voice communicates his social class and background to the audience. My audience (my media class and teacher) said that he was clearly a powerful and demanding Doctor who genuinely cared for Jake’s mental health and was sympathetic towards Jake’s situation.
The mental hospital – it was very clear when they were in the mental hospital due to the flashback sound. I effectively used language to communicate the mental hospital and atmosphere inside e.g. ‘Let me out of here’, ‘always the same questions’ and ‘Help me please help me’. The sounds of people laughing, crying and screaming communicated madness in Jake’s surroundings. The Nurse saying ‘medication time’ at the beginning of the extract lets the audience know from the very beginning where he is and his situation. Dr Reynolds saying ‘How\'s the medication? Not too drowsy’ further communicates this to the audience. By this stage the audience have realised Jake’s location in the mental hospital. My class mates said it was very clear that they were in the mental hospital due to the loud echoing noises, dialogue and sound effects such as opening and closing door and the footsteps suggesting they were in a large place.
The boat - I used sounds effects (howling wind and wave crashing) to communicate the boat and storm. I used language to further communicate their location e.g. the Captain saying ‘I’ve been sailing these seas for too long not to know we’ll be fine’ suggests clearly that the Captain is in the middle of steering the boat. My audience said that this was extremely clear due to the sound effects and spoken words as they both communicated Jake’s location clearly to the audience. A member of my class said that at first they were not sure where Jake was, only that he was in the middle of a storm, but after the Captain begins to speak things become clear. This was effective in keeping my audience members engaged as the sudden sounds of the storm effectively confused them, leading them to want to listen more and find out exactly what is going on.
The Island – I used mainly sound effects to communicate when they were on the island (birds sound, ocean waves). The middle class would be able to understand this clearly due to their wealth and popularity and advertisement of summer beach holidays. I used the language to also communicate this this further e.g. ‘I have to get off this bloody island’ was effective in stating where he was. Using the sounds of a slow ocean waves and birds gave a off a calm and relaxing feel. Jake loud and panicking tone of voice creating contrast with the sound effects which successfully reflected the idea that things were not as they seemed. My class mates said that the sounds of birds and ocean waves made it clear that they were on a beach.
The Nurse- Having Sadie play the Nurse was extremely successful as she fully understood the typical patronising Nurse. Playing a slightly flirtatious Nurse was effective in communicating the relationship she has with the Doctor. Paying more attention to the Doctor than Jake gives off the idea of people with mental illnesses being treated as almost non human or unimportant e.g. she played a comic Nurse Rachett in One flew over the cuckoo’s nest. She was confident with her role and successful in communicate the perfect type of Nurse.
Jake – Having Owen Nichols play Jake was very successful as he fully explored the character and understood him. He was able to change from different emotions very quickly when entering a new scene which effectively kept the narrative order flowing and engaging. His voice was very powerful which was effect in communicating Jake’s side of the story.
Cliff hanger - Repeating the beginning of my radio drama at the very end was effective in leaving my audience in a state of tension and suspense. They will want to know what happens next as they will still be thinking, questioning and engaging with my radio drama once it has finished. I was successful in challenging them to figure out what exactly is happening here (what is and what isn’t real). My audience said that my ending was gripping and made them want to keep listening.
Having the Nurse as very over the top/in your face was effect in making the audience feel annoyed by her. This reflects Jakes feelings towards the Nurse. Making her sound unrealistic with an over the top, patronising voice and constant high pitch made her seem like a comic book/cartoon character. Being in the mental hospital has almost driven her slightly mad.
A reflection on the decisions you made to cut words, cast characters, edit the drama, making and use of sound effects, cuts to make scenes to redo and in general the process of creating a complex and subtle media text.
Making sound effects was difficult at first as their was a lot of background noise when recording them on the school grounds. After I took the recorder home and recorded my sound effects in a quiet environment, they were much more effective and clear. Putting sound effects into my radio drama was easy as I was able to create layers. I had all my narrative on one layer and sound effects on top of this layer which made it much simpler and easy to read and understand. I was able to turn up and down the volume of sound effects to fit with the narrative.
I gained trust from my audience through my character Dr Reynolds - demanding voice but makes the audience believe he truly cares about Jake. His profession suggests he knows what he is talking about and therefore the audience believe him and are on his side. For example, ‘we’re here to help you Jake’ suggests he genuinely cares for Jake.
To make the audience feel untrustworthy towards the Captain I used hints to show his evil plan. For example, the crew laugh and he the Captain says ‘You can trust me Jake’. This hints that things are not what they seem and that the crew are making a mockery of Jake as he believes the Captain due to the long term trusting relationship the Captain has had with Jake’s father.
Award winning – shows Annabelle’s success with radio drama. Likely to be good.
Rhetorical question (why is she so perfect) – gets the audience guessing, already engaged with my radio drama
Colum\'s – sticks with the conventions of a listings page
Film – The popularity of film and television in today’s British life will attract readers to this page where they will see the preview of my radio drama
Theatre – very middle class. This will attract middle class listens (contemporary audience of radio 4)
Picture – makes the page look attractive
Pick of the day – fits with the conventions of a listings page.
Large font – eye capturing
Image – young woman. Blazer – middle class, business woman, serious.
Makes the written sound very popular – will make my audience more interested. Naming similar films will make audience members who enjoy these interested in my radio drama.
Sneak peek – audience who are interested will listen to this. Other audience members less interested may listen in to the sneak peak to see if it is something they would enjoy.
How was your advert constructed to sell the product and what was the values and conventions of the arts page of the publication it would be published in?
This title will entice the audience as they will questioning ‘Why not paradise?’ They will already be engaged with my radio drama.
This tells the audience when and where the radio drama is being placed and who it was created by. This gives the audience all their questions after becoming interested in the advert.
The shows the main location of the radio drama (Dr Reynolds room where Jake has his sessions with him. The water hints to the audience the story line (Jake surrounded by water on the island, drowning Rosie in the sea and his fear of water).
This Caption will give the audience a hint into the crime Jake has committed without stating what has happened. By questioning this the audience are already engaged with the radio drama. Having ‘dark days’ in yellow creates contrast with the red. Yellow gives of a light and happy feel which creates contrast against the word said.
This picture symbolises Rosie’s death and how Jake’s memory loss stops him from realising what he has done. The table acts as a barrier between Jake as his memory\'s. The love he had for Rosie is all he can remember. The Rose and bloody hands effectively represents the themes of love and tragedy. Audience would feel a sense of Romeo and Juliet or Titanic through this image. The bloody hands suggests a more horrific and disturbing story line.