Last Saturday we had the pleasure of Amy Redmond, BBC Radio 1 producer extraordinaire, and a gaggle of very excited 11-16 year olds for the Literary Salon’s Podcasting Workshop. Here’s what happened.
Slightly over-awed, I managed to have a good conversation with Amy before the session got underway and realised that I would probably never be so cool by association again in my life. We talked about working in radio, the festival and women in the media industry; my side of the conversation was a little limited to grinning stupidly and agreeing with most of what Amy said. The teenagers filtered in and got chatting - we realised that we had a seriously creative and intelligent bunch on our hands – and Amy introduced them to the world of podcasting.
After a few trial runs with the recording equipment inside, we let them loose on the unsuspecting public in Twickenham and around the river. They practiced recording the sounds of the birds, boys running around the riverbank, the chatter of punters enjoying the pubs in the distance. Confidence was never an issue with this gang, who were mostly more than happy to approach people and ask their opinions on literature, the riverside and pop-up shops. We were surprised by the abilities of all of them, especially at their age, to ask thoughtful questions and engage with people they’d never met before. We trawled for audio all the way down to York House Gardens and back up the high street. The topic shop owners had most to say about was the usefulness of pop-up shops; were they a life line or a nuisance to the high street? Did they engage with abandoned shops in a good way, or were commercial pop-ups not solving the problem? It was a great subject to think about in relation to our own Literary Salon.
After a bite to eat, and a period of keeping everyone entertained while the entire row of shops’ fire alarms went off, we were onto the computers and Amy worked through editing with them. The result has been a seriously professional-standard podcast, and some clear directors/producers of the future. Watch this space!
The podcast will be included here as soon as it becomes available, so check back in a few days to hear their efforts.
Still reading Anna Karenina, *sigh*. But looking to purchase Clare Mulley’s The Spy Who Loved after seeing her last week!