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UNIT 42: RADIO DRAMA LO1 (CODES, CONVENTIONS

STYLES & STRUCTURES

CODES
Word

Voices
Speech
Music
Ambience
Sounds
Silence

WORDS & VOICES


Due to the lack of no visual in radio, there is no other way for the attention of the
audience to be maintained throughout. Radio has to evoke a response from the
listener so there is a heavy reliance on the words and voices, and the voice speaking
those words, to communicate to the listener.
By using a different number of voices you make it clearer to your audience whom all
the different characters are. It also lets the listener know who is talking, the voices
definitely help you to determine who is who, so this leads to no confusion when
listening. Also the tone that the narrator speaks in lets the listener know how he/she is
feeling.
Voices are key to any Radio Drama, voices can explain so much, due to the tone,
speed, and sound of the speaker. The use of language is key too, you can really
determine a person by the way they speak, so the use of words really opens up a
Radio Drama

SPEECH
This is the way in which the words are spoken, which can be anything from the pitch
and volume of a voice to the accent of a voice. Speech is key to a Radio Drama,
speech can really determine a storyline and get your imagination flowing better. For
example if somebody speaks in a higher pitch than normal it could suggest fear or
anger. If somebody speaks at a higher volume it could suggest anger or an
argument taking place.
Speech also defines characterisation, if you have a teenage character you may
expect them to talk in slang. The audience can also recognize different social classes
due to speech, stereotypically a upper class person will speak using proper gammar
and pronounce their words better.

MUSIC & AMBIENCE


As in visual media, this can help in setting the mood, tone and setting of a scene. With
radio this becomes more essential due to the lack of visual cues for the audience.
Music in Radio Drama can define a lot, music can be used for the change of scenes
these are called (jingles) and by using them it makes it a lot clearer for the audience
to show there location. Music is often used in different situations, it can determine the
serious of an event, or whats happening.
Ambience means you are able to use music to determine how the characters feeling.
You can also use the tone of the characters voice. For example if there is classical
music it can make the atmosphere more uplifting or depressing depending on the
type of classical music. This allows the listener to become more observant of how the
character feeling.

SOUNDS & SILENCE


With no sound, the listener has only silence to listen too. Which is useful for dramatic
effect if well used. But should it go on for too long then the listener will simply switch
off and loose interest. Silence is also used to mark the ending of a scene and as a
break in all the dialogue. As with having too much silence, a listener may only be
able to listen to so much constant dialogue before switching off. Silence is key to a
good Radio Drama it can be used in so many different forms, it can be used to
create tension. For example if you hear running footsteps and then silence, that can
create tension.
Sounds can set a scene for a Radio Drama, for example if you hear a train coming to
a holt, it suggests a train stopping at the train station.

CONVENTIONS
Aural Sign-Posting
Cliff Hanger endings
Flashback
Use of Fades

Use of Silence
Characterisation
Chronological Development
Narration
Direct Speech
Titles
Credits

Music

AURAL SIGN POSTING


This is where the setting of the scene is established through audio cues
(accents, vehicle sounds, background noises) in place of visual (and sometimes
literal) signposts.
Most of the time these effects are introduced at the top of the scene, before the
dialogue begins.

CLIFF HANGER ENDINGS


Used in both audio and visual dramas as a way of keeping the interest of the listener.
By not giving them everything, the writer keeps them interested while allowing the
listener to have their own experience.
Cliff - Hangers are commonly used within TV series,
they are a great way to capture and audience and
Keep them listening. Cliff Hangers can be placed at
the end of the scene or at the end of an episode
leading onto the next.

FLASHBACK
Flashbacks are used in dramas, to give an effect to the audience and also to help
them catch up on the storyline. Its a great technique to keep the audience up to
date on whats going on.

USE OF FADES & SILENCE


Used to signify an end of a scene or a change of scenery. Can even be used to note
passage of time or simply for dramatic effect, the tool for keeping the listener as
captivated by what they hear as possible. Fading is a brilliant way to lead

NARRATION & DIRECT SPEECH


With no visual, the audience is effectively blind. A narrator, breaking the Fourth Wall
and talking directly to the listener, is the guide. They can quickly relay any vital
information that would otherwise slow down the pace of the story.

TITLES & CREDITS


Can be used to bookend the story. Simple audio list of key figures in the production
(writer/director/primary and secondary cast members)

MUSIC
Music is key in a Radio drama, the reason for this being as you are only listening, so
sounds and music make a massive impact on what you think is going on. Music can
be used to set a scene or used to create tension. Without the music the drama would
be considered boring or unimaginative.

STYLES
Appropriateness of Target Audience
Dramatic Reconstruction
Radio Drama Styles
Creation of Mood & Location

CMP YR2 (UNIT 42 RADIO DRAMA LO1)


BY
CAMERON GIBSON