Sunday, November 19, 2006

Radio Gah Gah (Radio Kills the Video Star.)

What a week! Have been some what out of the normal swirl of things writing and recording a radio play. What a joy and a pleasure, and yet another week of 'doing things that I've never done before'.
In homage to Breakfast at Tiffany's and being paralysed age twelve, 'doing things I've never done before' is quite a favourite past time of mine, but this week was exceptional. (Well taking part in the world Paper Plane Throwing Competion as a result of cheek and a good blag in Prague was close, but that's another story).
Have emerged from the week with a supreme sense of achievement and something verging on love for the group that I worked with. Group writing pushes you to the absolute limits but is such a rewarding experience.
Writing can be a lonely occupation, it takes me so far from my patient son and boyfriend - as I voyage off somewhere to get in touch with the random voices in my head. I do love it for that. But, I also love the process of collaboration and absolute challenge that writing with a group offers. The play we produced from five connected but disparate monologues is testemony to that.
This week has also renewed my interest in radio writing; mainly thanks to Paul, who was an amazing teacher throughout the week. I had somehow placed radio writing as 'lesser' to the God of TV, no reason I guess it (TV) just plays such a dominant role in mass culture. Paul pointed out that when the mix of story/character/music etc is 'right' then radio creates something that can be far more filmic than the screen; no need for elaborate sets or extras. You can create a 'whole theatre in the listeners mind'. How true. How I long to put a lot more time and energy into the quest for getting that 'right'.
I still want to pursue the screen writing, but after this week will put a lot more time and thought into radio writing. In many ways I think it might suit my 'style', such as it is, far better; a good arena in which to send the voices into. (All writers live with them, I'm sure, this is not an alarm call for a section!)
I don't think the memory of the writing process this week will leave me for a while. On Wednesday Bernie, Janice, Besty, Gordon and Camilla took flight and joined forces with five equally stong willed writers behind them. There were moments of such intensity and concentration behind that, not least in the library when all five of us were thinking so hard that we all became totally dehydrated. A strange image, but perhaps you had to be there..
The end result might seem far from professional in years to come, but for now I'm dead chuffed. I do think that we should record it ourselves, just to see what happens. Not that the actors were not great, they were, but I think it would be an interesting experience. Gordon's voice needs Tim's dry comedy genius behind it and it would be an honour to hand Bernie over to David's Glaswegian lilt.

1 comment:

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

>>Tim's dry comedy genius<<

You're too kind :) I said it before, I think, but you are excellent at characterisation - Bernie seemed very real to me - and you were great when it came to pulling together our five monologues into something coherent.

Anyway, it was definitely a pleasure working with you, and the other three. I don't think I'll forget it all either.

It actually feels sort of strange not to still be doing it. As you said, it was just so rewarding - for the reasons you said here; but also, and I only realised this tonight, it was just fantastic to write something and have something actually happen to it, rather than for it to just sit on my hard-drive; to have some kind of end product to show for it. If that makes sense. Writing Derrek's piece last night just hardly seemed worth the bother in comparison.