Time flies. These past two and a half months have gone by so fast. It seems like it was only yesterday that I received my first email from my new supervisor Bob Foster, director of 1650 The Fan, radio station at Cedar Valley Broadcasting, asking me if I could start my internship a few weeks early. Since then, I have been involved in (and in most cases, in charge of) the pre-production, production and post production of four videos. While four videos may not seem like a lot, each phase actually took about one week, meaning an average of three weeks per video.
During my internship, I learned many things. One thing that I learned fairly quickly is that radio isn’t dying. It is a common misconception that “No one listens to the radio” and I have to admit that I had this misconception before my internship. It is true that it’s not growing quickly, however there is still a loyal audience. Over the summer I saw active listeners of Bob Foster’s morning show “Foster on the Fan” recognize him with comments such as “I listen to you every morning man!”
Today’s loyal radio audience listens, “In their car on their way to work,” says Foster. Radio has shifted from being used by families in the home to a form of entertainment and/or information gathering tool in the car.
Being selfish is human nature. We all think at some point in our lives that the world revolves around us. A good way to catch someone’s attention when it comes to advertising is to personalize what you are saying. Most commercials are only about the company and service, but the real trick is to make it about them instead of you, then your audience will be even more interested. What can your product or service do for them? How can it benefit them? That is what potential clients really care about. Even simply using the word “you” or giving an implied order such as “get maximum sports” makes the listener feel more active and interested in what you have to tell them.
Plan ahead: Pre-production is important. That is something that of course as a digital media double major I already knew, but was greatly highlighted during my internship. My most challenging shoot was my first one, mostly from lack of planning and pre-production. For almost all my shoots, we had about a week of pre-production in which we went location scouting, created a storyboard, and discussed what the client (Cedar Valley Broadcasting) wanted and needed from each project. It’s not always about the what and how: the why is the most important. Why was I creating these videos?
I hadn’t realized before how much location scouting is very important and helpful. It’s even better if it can be done at least one day before the shoot, which gives you time to envision some of the shots. If you cannot go to the location prior to the shoot, ask for layout of the place from someone who has already been there. For my first shoot of the ISU Tailgate Tour, I asked Foster for a layout of the location and he drew me a map which was very helpful, especially considering I didn’t even know this was an inside shoot until the day before!
Bob Foster and I creating the storyboard for the Cedar Valley Broadcasting Promotion video.
Always have a plan B! If there’s anything my supervisor Bob Foster wanted me to leave having learned, it’s “always have a plan B!” This important tip within the media field has been told to me since day one. What if your tripod doesn’t work? What if your camera runs out of battery? Both of these things actually happened to me on the ISU Waterloo Tailgate Tour shoot. Luckily I had a plan B. For the tripod, I ended up using a tall table and stacked my camera in a stable position on top of its bag for the interviews. The rest were handheld shots. For the battery, I had brought an extra battery, and a battery charger, so I managed to find a plug and alternate between batteries. At our Sturgis Falls shoot, we had difficulties picking up the mic line audio. Our solution? Simply use plan B. This was a two-camera shoot, so we switched cameras and used the second camera to pick up the audio. Foster has also taught me that you can never be too safe and it is always a smart move to go even beyond and have a plan C, D and even E ready. Just in case.