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The definitive host: "It's like the sound of chewing a mouthful of chicken bones!"

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Friday, February 6, 2009

"It's like the sound of chewing a mouthful of chicken bones!"

I thought, ladies and gentlemen, that my life would improve after I survived the a fore mentioned "Hell week" in my previous post Radio and Xanadu.

Little did I know the wonders that were in store for me this week.

While I did not have nearly as many assignments as last week, my role in radio was kicked up a notch.

As one of the editors, we had to create a current affairs style show, and I was delegated the task of creating a four to five minute documentary. The documentary HAD to be recorded Thursday night. Not too difficult, right?


Firstly, the subject of the documentary changed immensely from Saturday to Tuesday. It changed from a story about cold energy to winter events to unique winter activities to other winter activities.

Basically, after class on Tuesday, my co-producer and I spent an enormous amount of time making calls about different winter activities. Everything from curling to snowshoeing to Quinzhee's (an igloo-like structure made only out of snow).

We set up interviews for all of them for Wednesday.

On Wednesday, after something which will be the topic of my NEXT blog entry (Teaser: It involves one of the girls from my blog post: Two girls, a guy and a shot in the arm), we got told that the subject of the doc was going to be narrowed to ONLY snowshoeing.

It was not a good few moments when we realized that most of our work was all for not.

However, our saving grace came in the form of three of the other editors involved in the project. They know who they are.

Without them, the documentary never would have been finished.

Two of the editors went out in the freezing cold on Wednesday to get snowshoer interviews, but got nothing.

On Thursday, two of the three editors went out and got interviews with snowshoers AND a museum curator at the Museum of Civilization, as well as some kick-ass sound.

While the other editor helped out with the other components of the show.

Meanwhile, I procured an interview with a real-life, honest to goodness, snowshoe scientist ... seriously.

And my co-producer interview a manager of a store that sold snowshoes.

After that, we spent hours editing the clips, transcribing interviews and writing the documentary script.

When we investigated the sound during editing, the sound of snowshoeing was amazingly vivid. When I first heard the *CRUNCH, CRUNCH, SNAP, CRUNCH* of the snowshoes, I blurted out the title of this blog.

I got to record the script, and the following conversations occurred during a conference in how it should be read:

Senior Editor - SMILE when you read!
Me - I do smile

Other Senior Editor - Tell it like you are telling a friend the story!
Me - I thought I was

Audio Editor - Sound more enthusiastic!
Me - I'm trying, but I've been living and breathing this documentary for almost an entire week. The only thing I am enthusiastic about now is to go home and eat some non-fast food.
Audio Editor - (LAUGHS) Then FAKE IT!
Me - Well, I did used to act ....

I recorded it and it sounded really good. It's quite a cool (pun intended) feeling to hear yourself on the radio.

That being said, I am quite confident that I have learned almost everything there is possible to know about snowshoes and snowshoeing. However, I now really want to do it again, as the last time I did was many, many years ago.

It was an nerve wracking experience that consumed my life for many days, but, we did an excellent job.

As my co-producer put it, "If there were short student radio documentary Oscars ... we'd so win."

To those who helped piece it together, I raise my glass to you. You have my thanks and appreciation.

Even with all the stress that radio has done to me, I gotta admit ... I liked some of it.

It seems that I have a knack for copy editing. I can type fairly quickly, read at an incredibly fast rate and be organized in my head of all the things that need to be done.

I liked being the person in charge of all the scripts, the layouts, the format, editing them, re-working them, working with the reporters on them and having my say be the final one.

It made me passively consider that maybe this could be an avenue for me ... a copy editor. Good thing about those, is that they are needed in print, radio AND television. Horray for a slightly increased job market!

To end this post, I cannot put it better than another one of the bloggers from our J-school class, Take Your Blazer and Get Out, when she titled one of her entries, "You win, radio."

So: You win, radio.

By the way, THIS is my new J-School theme song.

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