Students record their own BBC radio drama

Journalism students got to record their own radio drama during a tour of the BBC studios in Birmingham.

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DMU meets a dalek

The De Montfort University students also saw The Archers recording studio during their visit on Tuesday.

The tour was offered to up to 15 students as a field trip on Tuesday 1 March during Enhancement Week, and started at 10.30am.

Members of the tour were shown around the foyer, where there was a life size dalek, a lift resembling the tardis and three dresses from Strictly Come Dancing on display.

Some people recorded a horror genre radio play, with a pre-written script. Some were in charge of sound effects while others were the voice actors.

The story was about a group of friends staying at a haunted house, and will be made available to the people involved in a few weeks’ time.

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Just a few Archers props

The Archers recording studio contained a wide variety of props for creating both indoor and outdoor sound effects, including different sinks, a door for opening and closing, a coat for putting on or taking off and stairs with three different types of flooring.

According to the tour guide, intimate scenes are recorded by the actors involved kissing their own hands – although those who know each other have no qualms about kissing properly!

Depending on the sound effects used, some scenes are recorded separately. Sounds that cannot be manually created, such as cows, birds, weather noises, etc are recorded in a room connected to the main studio by a large window.

When the sound quality is particularly important, with no echoes or background noise, the actors are recorded in a soundproof room.

The tour also included the BBC 1 West Midlands studio. The people behind the scenes have a few techniques to make the studio appear much larger than it actually is, such as using particular camera angles and having the scene filmed on a low platform, rather than at floor level.

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Here’s a slideshow of the visit, including a door prop, kitchen sinks and an oven for creating sound effects.

Social Media whizz lands BBC job

By Natalie Whitehouse

Social media is at the forefront of everything nowadays, providing us with instant up to date information at the click of a button and a tap of an app. After graduating from De Montfort in the summer with a 2:1, 22-year-old graduate Hollie Copas also landed herself a job in the booming industry, as Social Media Coordinator for BBC Recruitment – in a slightly different way than usual:

“I saw the role on Twitter. The job required you to send a tweet summarising why you would be good for the role. I then got a direct message from the recruiter and he asked for my CV. I sent over my CV and to my surprise was offered an interview.

“It was an unconventional way of recruiting,” she admits, “they wanted to test a social recruitment strategy, so what better than a social media role? I headed down to London and had to present for 20 minutes and critique their current use of social and add my suggestions, and a few days later I received the call!”

The world of social media has always been home for Hollie, who held the role of Head of Social Media and Online Content for Demon Media whilst at university. She also landed a fantastic work experience placement with GoThinkBig, as Social Media Manager for Nile Rodgers’ and Rudimental’s collaboration in 2014.

The graduate, who also has experience in radio, notes that these roles enabled her to secure her a position with the BBC:

“I was honestly told that my experience with Demon Media stood out most on my application, and I was asked quite in depth about it in my interview. They also found my work experience with O2 GoThinkBig really interesting, and asked me about that too. “

This previous hard work saw the Media and Communication graduate the perfect fit for the role of Social Media Coordinator, a position that she began in July last year – and one she thoroughly enjoys:

“I enjoy the diversity the most. I enjoy how many different people I have had the opportunity to meet. I enjoy how much I get to travel around the country. I enjoy how friendly and encouraging everyone has been, and how willing others are to help. I have made some great friends, and had the chance to work on some amazing projects.”

A day in the life of a Social Media Coordinator includes monitoring the BBC LinkedIn as well as sourcing, creating and editing content for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Periscope. Hollie also liases with colleagues and recruiters to publicise job roles at the BBC, as well as advertising events and providing coverage too – often live tweeting from events.

She has recently created her own project entitled ‘A Day in the Life,’ which she states has been the most exciting part of her job so far:

“The project allows me to document a ‘day in the life’ of BBC employees and bring it to our audience online, who are hopefully job seekers wanting to work for the BBC. So far I have had the amazing opportunity to shadow Naga Munchetty, a BBC Breakfast newsreader, and Mark Chapman, sports broadcaster and host of MOTD and MOTD2.

“Working with BBC Sport and Mark Chapman was definitely the most exciting bit so far. I was so nervous beforehand, but he was the most genuine guy! He made me a cup of tea, sheltered me in the rain with his sports newspapers, and he was genuinely really approachable, allowing me to confidently gather the content I wanted!”

Although she misses the freedom of university life and admits she gets very sleepy working full time hours, Hollie is enjoying a role which she has strived for many years to succeed in:

“This is definitely along the lines of my dream job! Social media is something I wanted to do for a really long time, and it’s fair to say landing my first full time job after university with the BBC was pretty amazing.”