My digital storytelling piece is a radio feature titled ‘The Hunt Is On’ and it also available to be viewed in 360 ° on YouTube and Facebook. The Hunt Is On is an attempt to understand just why mankind is so fascinated with the idea of the treasure hunting. Focusing on a contemporary form of the activity, geocaching, you are taken on a journey with the award winning geocacher, GeoPaul, in an attempt find hidden containers.
Let’s take a few steps back to the beginning of the project where I first had to come up with a range of ideas that I could narrow down to two that then would be developed and pitched. I have made a number of packages before I have developed my own way of looking for a good topic. I had made many speech packages before and as Starkey (Radio in Context, 2009) highlights, the feature is extended and the number of contributors increases.
After receiving feedback on my ideas, I made the decision that the idea I would take forward would be the geocaching feature with a wider focus on the idea of treasure hunting. I chatted with a number of people including tutors and used geocaching websites to conduct research contributor’s and ideas. I had written a pro former detailing how I wanted the feature to sound and the type of contributors so the research mostly consisted of finding the right people to be part of it. The research was more extensive than when I had made speech packages before as Starkey does note “the extent of the research needed to underpin the documentary is likely to be much greater”.
Something I have not mentioned yet is the digital aspect of my radio feature. Chignell (Key Concepts in Radio Studies, 2009) believes that the days of the radio feature “seem to be numbered.” That may be the radio feature just as audio but what are the radio industry doing to keep the radio feature alive. Just take a look on any radio station website, or YouTube page or Facebook page, they are adding simple digital elements to the production.
Chignell highlights that radio features are relatively cheap and easy to make so why not get the producer to not just capture audio, get them to capture stills and videos of devises as simple as a phone. Then this content can be used to push the content online in a more attractive manner.
I decided that I would take my 360° camera out when I recorded audio and capture a few clips to go with my audio. It is known that radio is best consumed alone and this is why I thought adding 360° video would be the perfect match, because it’s best consumed individual and it hand’s an element of control to the consumer.
I found that radio and 360° video make a great paring though this project. Chignell notes how unobtrusive and portable audio recording equipment is and the same can be said for the 360° camera. They both fit in my pocket so I can arrive and have an open conversation with my contributors but when I take them out to recorded they are so insignificant that the interview which I prefer to call a conversation continues in the most natural manner. I am very pleased to discover this relationship and continue to improve my audio / 360° video workflow to keep the radio feature well and truly alive.