Radio goNORTH Archive 2013 Producers' Highlights Maria Hall

Radio goNORTH Archive 2013 Producers' Highlights Maria Hall

Having attended this Radio Production course in it’s first year I had thought it could not possibly be topped! In my summary of the 2012 experience I said my only criticism was that it was too short and trying to take in ALL the information in such an intensive two weeks, I found very difficult. I still stand by that, as with the extra two weeks this year everything just fell into place. I now feel I can confidently volunteer to be a runner or serve an apprenticeship with any radio station.

I really felt I knew what I was doing this time with recording on the Zoom, editing on Cubase, planning ‘packages’, researching and contacting people/bands to interview, drawing up running orders, call sheets and scripts. Oooh, I’m getting that rush of nerves and anticipation again just thinking of it.

When we moved on to the live shows I was so happy to manage to ingest my tracks and packs, handle the desk (buttons and faders) and keep track of the time. This sounds deceptively simple, but performing all these tasks in a live situation, seething with adrenaline can be terrifying… and wonderful too! The fact I did so for a famous radio presenter was absolutely amazing!

I tried using a script for the first time ever for the show I presented, and I think it improved my links, though I think I still prefer ‘improvising’ on interviews with only a few suggestions noted for questions to avoid ‘brain freeze’. I now just need to keep up practising it to achieve my optimum performance. This is exactly what I had hoped for, so the course filled my greatest expectations.

So what should any future trainees expect? Well firstly possibly the most exciting, exhilarating and exhausting two weeks ever. You are constantly pushed to the edge of your capabilities… this is no easy dawdle! However all the hard work, and I have to admit a measure of stress, is swept away in the excitement of the three days of broadcasting live from a marquee in BBC Scotland gardens. There is a constant stream of visitors from all sides of the creative industries, not just the ever-present bands. The atmosphere is electric and at the same times so full of fun and dancing and cheering! I cannot stress this enough. The thrill of being in a mini Glastonbury presenter’s tent environment, (this year nicknamed Highlandbury or Teuchterbury), meeting, interviewing and working with people like Steve Farris (who first signed Snow Patrol), Jeff Zycinski Head of BBC Radio Scotland, Jim Gellatly famous radio presenter, etc and of course so many great bands, is incredible.

Add to this the fantastic gigs, seminars and events of goNORTH Festival and you have memories to last a lifetime, making all that hard work more than worth it.

Highlights for me were such a mix of presenting live, and feeling I did a really good job on the desk producing for Jim Gellatly, and managing to do all my editing on my own! Everything I wanted to do… and how often do you get that in your life?