Audio Visual III: Developing a Story Idea

July 4, 2010

Developing a concept for an audio story is very much like developing a magazine or newspaper feature. First, it is important to think of the 5 W’s: What is the problem? Who are the main characters? Where and When does this take place? Why is there an issue? Of course also ask yourself, How was the conflict resolved? Secondly, just as someone is skimming the paper, it is likely that your listener is skimming through the radio or various photo essays. You will need to draw in the listener’s interest early so develop an attention grabbing title, blurb & if you’re preparing a photo essay, visual presentation. To prevent boredom, rather than giving the general idea make sure that you’re focusing in on one topic. Also, be as concise as possible. Usually, stories span from 3-5 minutes long which is about 750 words. Although interesting interviews and narratives takes up the majority of a story, supplemental audio can also make or break your concept. A story that showcases a spectrum of music and sound effects draws in a listener’s interest more easily than one that drags on monotonously. In the photo above, you could record kids laughing, the swish of the net, and maybe, the instructor’s directions to the kids; always remember to have an idea of what audio elements you can incorporate.

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