There are a lot of submissions for Iron Imager this year! Who is up against Dan Kelly? While being listener to a radio station, you perceive subconsciously things like uniqueness, presentation and originality. In short: creativity – an important criteria, which is essential when creating imaging pieces.
While I was in New York I met Harry Legg. It was very important to him to share his years of experiences in a separate post considering Iron Imager. Are we able to trigger creativity? How do we transfer this creativity to radio imaging and radio stations without focussing too much on production techniques? Enter Harry!
One of the things that strikes me when listening to imaging demos of mostly up and coming imagers is the incredible focus on the tech and wizardry side of the production. It seems every 16 year old kid can crank out awesome beatmatched, flanged, limited, compressed, chorused, stuttered audio insanity. While there’s nothing wrong with having mad production skillz, that is too often all that is offered.
What is missing? Creativity in the writing of what you have just spent precious hours producing. This quick blog post is meant to be a little smack across the face to remind you that production technique is not creativity. Sure, we can argue the semantics and say that your technique was creative – but that misses the point. What is it that will set your imaging apart from every other station’s imaging? Furthermore, if you’re trying to land a gig, what will set you apart? When everyone is sending in the same demos with beatmatched music, artist ID’s and a voiceover talent saying “All The Hits” or some other phrase – you lose – because that is not special, that does not create an emotional bond with the listener.
In today’s radio world where many are still over-reacting to PPM methodology and are scared to let loose a little, it can be a struggle to find ways to incorporate a line in a promo or sweeper that is humorous or that really ties into the local city that you serve. You must find ways to do this – let your PD hear it and then decide for themselves. As the person creating the audio art on your station that ties everything together, do not settle for just the same old stuff… “the station everyone at work can agree on”, “songs you can sing along to”, “the best variety of blah, blah, blah”. I know I may be a little harsh, but dammit, put the heart and soul back into your station. The lines I just made fun of – yes, sure, they may have their place on your station – but if that’s all you do… yuck! The bottom line is: find a way to touch the listener (OK, not that way you perv) If you had to assemble a montage of all your imaging right now – would any of it be entertaining? Would it just be the same old crap? A humorous line in a promo or sweeper or a line that really touches on what is happening in your city is not going to cause tune out – it will do the opposite. That’s just good radio – period. So, beatmatch all you want – but make sure you aren’t just entertaining yourself with your digital skills. Engage and entertain your listeners.
Abstract vs realism