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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Narrationless pieces

Putting together a piece without narration, and a whole 3 minute one too, is pretty difficult. Especially when your interviewee answers the questions briefly.
Mama Pam was interesting to interview; everyone knows her but no-one knows about her. A lot of the interview was in Xhosa, and bits that were in English - which is what our piece has to be in -were simply answered.

What i found difficult was trying to make my piece flow from focus to focus and making these focuses link with what had been said before. If she, the interviewee, didn't mention thiings specifically then it is hard to make that link.

One example is of Mama Pam's kids. I asked her how many rolls she sells a nightand she just replied: 150 on wednesday, 200 on fridays and saturdays. She answered the question, but when it came down to the package, i couldnt bring that n because at no point did she mention 'wors rolls'. SO people listening would be confused if i just chucked a soundbyte in there with numbers.

I learnt quite a bit on the interviewing side of things, especially having done it wiht someone who isn't fluent in English, or for whom English isn't mother tongue.
Questions had to be asked differently, syntax sentences had to be simplifed and reconsructed. Narration allows the producer to link things to each other and clarify soundbytes for the listener.

It was and is a challenge, but one that i am thouroughly enjoying taking up.

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