HOW TO PRODUCE A 1- minute TRAIL

What is a Trail?

A radio advertisement for a play, a feature, or any radio programme. You are to script and produce a radio play trail.

Listen out for radio trails and for radio play trails. You will hear trails all the time on the radio. Observe the techniques and production.

The Concept is that this is a Trail for Radio 4 or 3 or 2 or 1. Preferably for Radio 4 as it is an adaptation.

LENGTH: 1 minute (maximum)

(1) You make your choice of the established piece.

CHOICE: You make your own choice of an adaptation from a novel, or short story, or a stage play (probably not the preferable option).

You cannot invent this piece for yourself, or write your own play. The creative choices you make must derive from an established play, novel, short story.

It is surprising how your creative choices relate to the whole.

Your choice of music, for example.

(2) You write your Trail script.

Decide on the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of this trail piece first. Write about this in your Log.

The Concept is that this is a Trail for B.B.C. Radio 4 or 3 or 2 or 1.

You have to research the appropriate slot and channel.

FORMAT:

MUSIC

Choose music.

Establish music for X seconds. Fade under or cut. Decide how long music is used. Can be all through as a music bed.

(You need not begin with music. You need not necessarily use music.)

VOICE

Title, author, further details. (See examples.)

CLIP no 1 (and Clip no 2, if you decide)

Choose suitable clip. Decide how long.

You record all this yourself. (In professional trails, this is a matter of editing from the production, in post-production, as the Radio Director completes the Trail in the post-production.)

 

VOICE

Title, time and date of broadcast. E.g., tonight, this afternoon, or tomorrow.

 

MUSIC to end (if you so decide)

The benefit of ending with music, or some such FXs, is in the flow of broadcasting, because the next thing the listener hears is the voice of the continuity announcer. So that a close on music or suchlike makes the Trail all the more distinctive. But this is not a rule and it is over to your creativity. Get a creative feel to the whole.

________________________________

ALTERNATIVES

You can begin with the VOICE.

You decide.

INVENTION

Go for interest and impact.

 

POST-PRODUCTION

This is the second post-production for which you are responsible.

Casting and professional production

You are required to use the best actors and to bring in actors into the Studio from outside the course.

 

This is the first production, for which you are responsible, that requires the best standards of radio acting.

You are responsible for casting and rehearsing the best actors you can.

You are marked on the acting quality, and acting in relation to your directing.

Those members of the class you use, if you wish, must be the best actors you can cast, in the circumstances.

PROBLEM:

What if you cast and rehearse an outside actor, and the actor does not turn up to the Studio, or turns up late?

You are responsible for this. Perhaps think of a substitute from the class as back-up.

You have to keep to your Studio allocated slots.

You will learn how to do a Voice Text for an actor.

SCRIPT FOR TRAIL.- example

"THE: KINGDOM BY THE SEA"

1 ) MUSIC - Enya cassette, track 6, from start. Establish music for 4" and fade to continue under 2) onwards

2) VOICE - "The Kingdom by the Sea by Robert Westall. Winner of the 1991 Guardian Fiction Award. Read in 10 parts by Kevin Whateley."

3) CLIP1

JIM Where's our house now? Under the sea?

4) SISTER Don't cry, Jimmie.

5) MUSIC FADE UP

6) CLIP2

JIM Me Mam & Dad ?

7) UNCLE There's no-one up there now son.

8) VOICE - "The Kingdom by the Sea is broadcast tonight at 10.45pm on Radio 4.

9 ) MUSIC - fade to black by 32"

(N.B. lose music before new phrase starts at 32.5")

 

 

Script for 'A Year in Provence' trail

1. MUSIC 'National Flavours' track for 10 seconds then fade underneath

2. CLIP 1

WAITER Ze menu, Monsieur.

3. ANNOUNCER A year in Provence, read by Stuart Smith.

4. CLIP 2

WAITER Ahhh (kiss) An excellent choice.

5. ANNOUNCER Begins tonight at 11.30pm on Radio 4.

6. CLIP 3

WAITER Bon appetit.

7. MUSIC (KEPT UNDER FROM 1. THEN FADE)

 

 

Script for ‘S.T.A.R.S.’ trail

1. MUSIC Dinah Washington track 1 'Mad about the boy'

First 15 seconds then steep fade

2. VOICE Dexter Fletcher stars in S.T.A.R.S.

3. MUSIC Dinah Washington track 1

From 16 seconds in (follows on from 1.

Peak for 4 seconds until

IN: 'I'm mad about the boy'

then fade to continue under 4,

4. VOICE Starts tonight at 6.30. Mmmmmm, keep a cold flannel handy.

5. MUSIC (from 3) Peak until -

OUT .... the sleepless nights I've had about the boy'

then steep fade

 

 

 

Trail for 'Shakers' by Jack Godber

1. VOICE Carol, Adele, Nicki and Mel enjoying a night out in 'Shakers'.

2. MUSIC Bluebangers, 'Shake me' first 16 seconds then fade under

3. FX Flushing of toilet (grams)

4. SPOT Stilettoes on tiles

5. CLIP1

GIRLS Ooohh, nice toilets.

(Girls obviously drunk in a night club)

6. (Straight cut to restaurant acoustic)

7. CLIP2

ADELE We'll have two les-agnes (acting as man)

8. CAROL And I'll have the pate.

9. (Straight cut to toilet acoustic)

10. CLIP3

NICKI And she said, if you don't keep your hands off him I'll smack you.

11. ADELE Never.

12. ANNOUNCER

Shakers at a quarter to eight on Monday evening here on Radio 4.

13. CLIP4

NICKI Oooh, I hate my face.

14. CAROL Oh, stick a bag on your head.

15. ALL (giggles)

 

 

 

 

David Hare, ‘The Secret Rapture’

1. GRAMS: SOUND OF THE WAVES AND THE WIND CRASHING IN THE BACKGROUND, ESTABLISH THIS FOR A FEW SECONDS THEN CROSSFADE IN MUSIC ESTABLISH WHOLE THING FOR TEN SECS, THEN FADE TO CONTINUE UNDER. 2 . ONWARDS

 

3.VOICE: The Secret Rapture, written and adapted for radio four, by David Hare...

 

4.CLIP ONE; VOICE; A story of sisterly love...

MARION; You've tried to humiliate me.

ISOBEL: Marion

5.CLIP TWO; VOICE: A story of political upheaval...

TOM She's in office. She's an absolute cert for cabinet

SPOT FX: LOTS OF LAUGHING, TYPICALLY WHITE, MALE SUPERIOR.

 

6.CLIP THREE: VOICE: A story of love and remorse...

KATHERINE: Noooooooooo...

7. VOICE: Begins tonight at 9.00pm, on Radio Three

8.GRAMS: FADE DOWN THE WAVES ATMOS AND THE MUSIC OVER A FIVE SECOND FADE TO BLACK.

9.CLIP FOUR:

MARION Isobel. We're just beginning. Isobel, where are you...?

10. GRAMS MUSIC WASHING OUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

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