Sunday, 11 July 2010

"And so it is ..."

Sunday 11th July

After a long period of time devoted to other projects, this last week I have finally been able to settle down and begin work on my MA project. After months of ‘umming’ and ‘aahing’ I have decided to make a documentary, based on nostalgia with listening to and follow the singles charts. From the age of 8 I was hooked on the charts for many years, until a couple of years ago when I realised I no longer cared about them as much. Although I still follow them online, I hardly ever listen to it or devote time towards it, where it used to be a main staple of my weekly life.

I decided to do this documentary as a kind of journey into my past and seek out to discover people like me, either those who still follow it, or those who once did and no longer do. It seeks to look at the trends over the years and what has changed, and whether the charts are still relevant to people today. I felt it best to choose a subject close to my heart, and something I’m both knowledgeable and passionate about. Plus, as an added bonus, it should prove to be fun, but also rewarding by the end.

So this week was all about the teething process of the project. Once I knew what the project was based on, I felt it best to try and contact various people who would be contributors and interviews. I firstly contacted some old friends of mine that I’ve known for years, but only on the Internet. We’re friends because of a music/chart online forum that I was once a member of. The site is still going strong, though I’m not on it anymore. However, I’ve remained friends with some of the guys for a number of years, despite never meeting. I thought they would be perfect to speak to for the programme. As a stroke of luck, a number of them are having a get together already next Saturday in London, and so they’ve kindly let me join them, in order for me to grab some interviews. It will be an interesting experience anyway, as I haven’t met them before yet know them really well, and so to get some decent material will be awesome.

I have also contacted a number of experts in the field, and amazingly I have managed to get some success! I emailed Paul Gambaccini, who was always been a hero of mine, as he’s the guru of all things music and chart related. I didn’t expect to hear anything back, but he has very kindly let me visit him in London on Tuesday to interview him. It’s going to be rather surreal and a little bit scary (as it’s my first proper interview!), but if all goes well it will be really exciting too. I’ve also been in contact with Wes Butters, former chart presenter and a brilliant producer and author, and he too has been brilliant and I should be doing an ISDN phone call with him in the studio sometime next week. So the hope is, by this time next week, I’ll have at least 3, maybe 4 or 5 really decent interviews in the can. I will then have another couple of weeks to get some more completed, before I intend to start fully editing by the end of July, if not before.

I saw my lecturer Jo on Wednesday, and she made me feel a whole lot better about the project, as at that time I hadn’t heard back from anyone and wasn’t sure where it was going. Thankfully she gave me plenty of ideas to work with, as well as some other contacts, so I shall be hoping to utilise them all in the next couple of weeks.

It’s all a bit of a daunting prospect to try and get all this done, plus a 6,000 word essay, in a month’s time. But as I say, by the end of this week, I’ll have most of my important interviews done. The next task is to fully script the show, and plan it fully about how it will sound. However, I feel I can’t do that yet as I need a few interviews done first, as the show may change after having some completed.

Fingers crossed!

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