Advanced Radio Production

Radio Production & Directing
TV&R Course #25.2; Section FV, Code #1390
Spring 2002
Tuesday 1:15 - 5:55
302A Whitehead Hall

Professor: Martin Spinelli
Office: 406 Whitehead
Office hours: Tuesday 12:05 - 1:15
Wednesday by appointment
Thursday 12:05 - 1:15


This course is a unique and significant opportunity for students at the start of radio careers. Through it students will score their first professional radio production credit; consequently it will require a serious commitment in terms of time and energy. If your job at KFC, your fraternity/sorority or your Pokemon collection are more important to you than this course think twice before signing on; if you do not do what is asked of you, not only will you fail this course but your negligence will have a negative impact on the work of the entire group. If you are committed however, this course offers an excellent opportunity to expand on the creative possibilities of the basic audio production techniques you've already mastered. (For a prerequisite you must have any one of the following: Television & Radio 25.1, Music 26.1, Film 28 or permission from the Chair of Television Radio.)

In this course we will produce a 15-part AIDS-educational soap opera that will be broadcast on Radio Africa International this summer; the soap opera, along with other examples of student radio work will also be broadcast at the end of this semester through the Brooklyn College Radio Festival on which every student in this class will have a slot. In addition to production work, you will also be exposed to a variety of radio professionals throughout the semester courtesy of the Brooklyn College Radio Studies Speaker Series.

By the end of this course students should:

Assignments and Grades:

There are few traditional "assignments" in this class, as we are here to collaboratively produce a radio series. But there will be a system of evaluation as follows:

Quizzes: Periodically I will surprise you with quizzes about pieces of technology that we have covered, material from assigned readings or material from listening sessions. These will be short, easy and designed to insure that you've paid attention, done the required reading or learned the necessary technical skills. Quizzes will be worth 5% of your final grade.

Class Contributions: Because classes will typically take the form of production meetings, and because this project is fundamentally collaborative, thoughtful contributions to discussions are essential. You are required to pay careful attention to everything discussed even if it does not pertain to you directly and you are strongly encouraged to add whatever insight might come to mind. Given the seriousness of this project and the rigidly tight time-frame it goes without saying that attendance is crucial. WE CANNOT PRODUCE THIS SERIES IF PEOPLE ARE AWOL. IF YOU MISS THREE (3) CLASSES YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO DROP THIS COURSE IMMEDIATELY. IF YOU DO NOT DROP THIS COURSE YOU WILL RECEIVE AND "F". THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS AND NO EXCUSES. I will take attendance at the beginning of every class. If you are not present during attendance you will be marked absent. If you do miss a class you are responsible for seeing that someone else covers your tasks and is prepared to present on them. Your class contributions will account for 10% of your final grade.

Production Tasks: Depending on your jobs you will have productions tasks each week. For example, the casting director might be required to schedule auditions, an editor might be required to have all the raw material for a given episode loaded on to a digital audio editor, etc. BECAUSE EACH PERSON'S TASKS ARE INTEGRATED INTO THE OVERALL PROJECT IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THAT YOU DO WHAT IS REQUIRED OF YOU WHEN IT IS REQUIRED. IF YOU DO NOT, YOU WILL NOT ONLY DO SEVERE DAMAGE YOUR OWN GRADE BUT ALSO TO THE QUALITY OF THE SERIES. I will keep a production task sheet on each student on which I will record and evaluate work. Production tasks are worth 75% of your final grade.

Radio Festival: Every student will have a slot or "show" in the Radio Festival in which s/he will act as presenter/DJ. Each student will also serve as the producer on someone else's show. Preparation for and performance during these shows will account for the final 10% of your grade.

Extra Credit: Everyone is encouraged to undertake small side projects for extra credit. These might include the creation of jingles, idents or PSAs for the Radio Festival, or the creation of short features. All extra credit must be approved by the instructor in advance and must in no way interfere with the production of the series.

Class Schedule:

Week 1: Introduction
Weeks 2-4: Technical preparation and equipment training
Week 5: Auditions
Week 6: Recording preparation and scheduling
Weeks 7-11: Recording and editing
Weeks 12-13: Editing and mixing
Week 14: Radio Festival preparation