Dan Smith

Radio goNORTH Archive 2012 Producers' Highlights Dan Smith

The adventure that was the two week RadiogoNORTH was one that was absolutely brilliant. Looking back at this course after a few months gives me a real chance to reflect on what really happened.

When I first walked into the Ironworks eager to meet the rest of the team I had no idea what to expect. This did mean originally the whole experience was quite alien and I did things quite gingerly but the environment quickly become comfortable and relaxed. Being the youngest of the team it felt as though a lot of pressure had been put on me to be the “mind of tomorrow”, originally I was paranoid about how I was acting and how the others saw me but this all quickly changed through some intuitive challenges set by the instructors. After the first day the room that I had originally felt so shy and insignificant in became an mature environment that I and everyone else could creatively thrive in.

The next few days passed quickly, we prepared our packages for the shows we would be broadcasting in under a week. We got to meet some local radio celebrities and hit the streets armed with microphones to find out what the public thought on just about anything. My package was “where to find the best cup of coffee in Inverness”. It started off just as a backup idea but quickly escalated into my main concern for the rest of the week. I flew threw the streets asking the public where they thought was the best place and broke it down to three places. Breege (the person I had been assigned with to do our packages together) and I went to all three coffee shops and picked a winner. Throughout this we recorded ambient noises and got interviews with the staff that worked in the shops. I worked really hard on the package and eventually had something I was really proud of.

The days had now come. The days where we had to broadcast were here. The tent was all set up in the BBC Radio Scotland gardens and it had an intimidating vibe coming from it for a person who had never broadcasted radio before. After a few coffees and some moral support from the rest of the team me and my co-host Aileen were ready to go. The whole thing (apparently) was a great success! Aileen and I were the two youngest people on the course so we had a youthful, tongue in cheek sense coming from our hour. Once it had finished we would tumble to the ground in relief that the pressure was off us. Just two more shows. We got guests on our next couple of shows who were all interesting and really helped the show come to life. Some live sessions lit up the tent with smiles and applauds. RadiogoNORTH had become something really special and personal by this point. Everyone got along and the whole experience was a delight. I am so thankful that I got to do this course and make many new friends from it. It’s opened doors in my mind about radio and what I want to do with my life. I can’t be more grateful to ScreenHI for organising this, and the mentors, Richard, Al and Sean were all great fun to work with and I thank them dearly for the experience that I hope to be able to re-live again someday.
Dan Smith