Ok, so it’s apparent that I listened to the “Kid Politics” episode of This American Life but I’ll get to that in a moment.
I felt the 4 part you-tube video series in addition to the book RADIO: An illustrate guide served as a good primer for examining the structure and presentation of an episode from This American Life. The you-tube video series featuring the interview with Ira Glass builds upon the introduction from RADIO and further emphasizes the techniques of good story telling. The biggest points that I can derive from the interview are the two keys in successfully delivering a story and hooking an audience and those are: 1. Tell your story with an intriguing and engaging sequence. 2. Provide points where the viewer/listener/reader can perform their own self-analysis of what is taking place. These evaluations truly make a story better and can be great when constructed and timed just right. Personally speaking I feel like from the creation side this process is the same for music. You know better than anyone what you are trying to achieve and what your tastes are so it can be difficult when you don’t meet your own expectations at first. I think keeping a relative perspective on quality is, although difficult, necessary.
I was kind of curious about This American Life because I saw the app or podcast on iTunes a while back and I was immediately drawn in by the name. Glass’ vision of storytelling methods play out almost to a ‘T’ unsurprisingly. His explanations greatly parallel the patterns used by the different speakers in each story. From a technical standpoint I could hear ambient noises in the background that I believe were not a part of the original audio tracks. I don’t know for sure though whether this was intentional or not. I think the absence of music and noise (other than the actual students/kids and their environment) during each story helps present things in a more authentic and believable manner. Frankly I prefer information to be presented in this way because it leaves out the unnecessary dramatic effect and leaves the listener with just the facts/story. I don’t think there was really anything that didn’t work per say. An old me would have said the message itself throughout but the new me likes the subtlety so I’d say no. The message was subtle and very poignant. It effectively and smoothly brought together differnet points of view in a non-provoking way.