Live At The Gilded Balloon Podcasts 2011
Sat 27 Aug 2011
At goNorth 2011 ScreenHI announced an exciting job opportunity to work with Dabster Productions during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in delivering their unique Live from the Gilded Balloon 45 minute daily chat show and BBC Scotland commission Live at the Stand Thiis was an exciting opportunity for two aspiring radio producers from the Highlands and Islands - Roddy Cairns and Freyja Harris Our intrepid trainees worked hard for the month of August during the madness of the Fringe, read about their experiences in this blog.
Hi, Freyja here, bringing you the last blog…. We’ve now finished 15 out of 18 of our “Live at the Gilded Balloon” podcasts and it has gone by in a flash. The tasks needing to be done for them are becoming more and more effortless, but I’m surprised by how much can change in such a short period of time I’m having to learn to think on my feet! I’ve also been enjoying taking the photographs for the website of the guests, although sometimes the comedians are a bit reluctant to pose for a photo so early in the morning.
Recently I’ve started to help out on the BBC “Live at the Stand” project for Radio Scotland and Radio 4extra. This involves listening through recordings of comedians and selecting suitable material to be broadcast. It’s really enjoyable to find out what makes a BBC show.
I have also recorded voxpops (comments from the crowds) for the Pleasance podcast, which takes more than you’d think when you have to be watching sound levels with excited people screaming into the microphone. I enjoyed doing it and over the next couple of days I will be mastering the art of audio editing using a type of software called Cubase My highlight so far? Probably getting to meet Rich Fulcher from the Mighty Boosh. – and being part of two of the most popular podcasts in the UK.
Freyja Harris, 28 August 2011
Having passed the halfway mark in my Dabster experience, I’ve had to dig into my reserves of energy a few times The late nights seeing shows and meeting people lead to some awful moments when the alarm goes off in the morning It’s a strange situation because on the face of it getting a press ticket to see a great comedian doesn’t sound like work, but then you spend the whole show taking notes on how good a guest they’d be for the podcast, and what stories they tell that we can work into any potential interview.
Last week we had the most stressful day of the festival so far As I’ve mentioned before, the bread and butter of my job here is researching acts and writing briefs. However, when the acts for the next day’s show are changing on a minute by minute basis, a lot of that goes to waste! So it was, that I would be nigh on finished a brief before Richard (the boss) fielded a call from an agent or PR rep and announced “Person X can’t make it any more. We’ll get Person Y” Cue Person X’s beautifully written and insightful brief being discarded and Person Y’s being commenced This isn’t a regular occurrence but on this particular day fate stacked up against us and I ended up with about 8 partially written briefs.
Roddy Cairns, 21 August 2011
A week into my Fringe experience and I’m really starting to settle into the job. My brief writing technique is getting much quicker (although some of the less well known guests still involve some seriously long internet trawling time), my MacBook skills have increased an awful lot, and I’m getting a real knack for being objective when I’m out watching a show. This can be difficult at times as, rather than just enjoy the great comedy on offer, you need to take notes and consider the act as a potential guest for the podcast. Still, it’s not every job that allows you to be paid to watch the kind of world class comedy on offer at the Fringe, so I’m certainly not complaining!
On that note, I saw a group last night called Anyone for Tennis. They’re a sort of Flight of the Conchords-esque antipodean musical parody duo who had some really good material on subjects as diverse as cloning and pizza. Well worth a wee visit if you’re down at the festival
I got a glimpse of the changeable nature of broadcast media the other day. The podcast is recorded live, edited and released for download after a few days delay. However, Richard (the boss and presenter) realised our second show, featuring Tom Green and Michael Winslow (of Police Academy fame) had more big name pull than our first, and switched them around. Cue some rearranging of voiceovers before the second show to be recorded was released on iTunes as the first of the series.
Roddy Cairns, 13 August 2011
Hi, my name’s Roddy and I’m one of ScreenHI’s Radio Production interns at Dabster Productions this August We’re predominantly involved in creating a comedy podcast, Live at the Gilded Balloon, as well as working on other parts of the Dabster slate.
Ever since I arrived from Argyll it’s been pretty much non-stop After meeting the team (Richard, Gordon, Freyja, Sean, Al, and Michelle) and being shown to my accommodation, I caught some sleep and got ready for day one The morning was spent in the Dabster office, being taught how to write briefs and accurately research acts After making heavy weather of the first few briefs (not helped by my lack of MacBook experience), I started to get in the swing of things just in time to be told we had to stop The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent attending Press Launch showcases (guest lists and passes at the ready), and going to see Canadian actor/comedian Tom Green, one of our podcast guests, at the Udderbelly venue.
Despite only really stopping work briefly to sleep, I’ve really enjoyed myself so far The guest list for the podcast is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to really getting stuck into Fringe life over the next few weeks.
Roddy Cairns, 5 August 2011