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Codes and Conventions of By Kieran Dunbar

Radio Drama
Difference of Post-Modern and Traditional

Post-Modern Traditional
A post-modern radio drama is a A traditional radio drama is where it
complicated way of telling a story follows a classic structure of a
within a radio drama. They tend to drama, where it contains a detailed
create questions rather than answer story and a handful of various
them and they rely on the audience characters, one of them could
to solve and answer them. possibly be a narrator.
CODES
Words, Voices & Speech

Words Explanation Voices & Speech Explanation Example


Voices and Speech are an
Words in a radio drama effective way to express the way An example for words in a post modern
radio drama (The Blind Mans Confession,
are the only way the a character behaves, what kind 1:02) is how the main character explained,
audience will know what of personality he/she has and how he drove the car before the accident.
how they can be specifically It gives the audience more information of
is happening, literally recognized in a radio drama. the way he drove, so they can understand
everything is explained Voices are usually found out by it more.
in words. The emotions, how old characters voices are An example for voices & speech in a
and if they have accents to them traditional radio drama (The Archers, 1:06),
expressions and even as well. People being feel is the way both characters talk to each
the descriptions are sympathetic towards others, are other in a serious and argumentative. It
explained in words. a good way tospeech.
know their tone of makes the audience curious of how the
situation will come out.
Music and Sound

Music and Sound Example


Music and Sound are of great value for a An example of music and sound in a
radio drama. The sound are a good way post modern radio drama (The Blind
to express to the audience the feel of Mans Confession, 3:00) is how the
the area around the characters and environment around the main character
maybe predict the actions that will is heard and felt like. With the sound of
come later in the drama. lighting, raining and the rustling against
The music is also a good way to enhance rocks, the scene can be acknowledged
the atmosphere to the audience, of how within a dark and dank place.
the characters feel.
Ambience and Silence

Ambience and Silence Example


Ambience helps to set the mood of a An example of ambience and silence
certain scene in a radio drama. It in a traditional radio drama (The
requires a lot of details, due to the lack Archers, 1:32 and 2:13) is how both
of visuals for the audience. characters talk loudly to eachother to
Silence is a nice way to produce probably predict when they will take
suspense and dramatic effects in the a pause in talking, using long breaks
drama, making the audience question near the end of their conversations.
what will happen next. It is also used to
signal the end of a certain scene.
CONVENTIONS
Aural Signposting

Aural Signposting Example


Aural signposting is where the setting of An example aural signposting in a post
a specific scene is heard through audio modern radio drama (The Blind Mans
cues, like for example: vehicle sounds Confession, 1:33) is where the crash is
and nature, instead of visual signposts. explained in audio cues for example:
It could also mean when characters in lightning, car crash, water and raining.
the radio drama include the thing or This gives the audience more
action that they are interacting with, so information to know what happened in
the audience knows what's happening. the radio drama and keeps them
listening.
Cliff-hanger Endings

Cliff-hanger Endings Example


A cliff-hanger is basically a serious and An example of cliff-hanger ending in a
dramatic event that happens at the end of radio drama (Altaban the Magnificent,
a programme or radio drama, because the 41:20 - 43:11), is where the dramatic
characters have been building it up for the reveal of one of the characters gets said
end of it, to have a big effect on the at the end of the drama.
audience. That will make the audience listening,
This makes them eager to know what want to come back to find out more of
comes next in the next one, because they what happens to the characters in the
are curious and wanting to know more. radio drama.
Flashback

Flashback
A flashback is essentially a short re-explanation of an
important event that happened in a characters past, to
inform the audience that they might have missed
something big and serious for the storyline.
Use of Fades

Use of Fades Example


Using fades in a radio drama, is a good An example of the use of fades in a
way to let the audience know that traditional radio drama (The Archers,
there will be a transition at the start, 2:13) is how the scene ends with fading,
in-between scenes or at the end of it. because the characters slowly end the
conversation with a detailed final
It is mostly used in music, with it sentence and the next scene is
fading in and out, to make sure the completely different from the last
audience doesnt lose track of the scene, because of the new sound effects
story in the radio drama. heard in it.
Characterisation

Characterisation Example
Characterisation is a way to describe a An example of characterisation in a post
character or characters in a radio drama. modern radio drama (The Blind Mans
This is heard through speeches and Confession, 6:50) is how both characters
descriptions of actions that the characters talk in such different ways.
do.
The main character has got a deep voice,
This can also be heard through the
explaining he is a young male adult and
characters voices. When they speak, you
will be able to identify how they feel, when he was confronted with the killer,
because of their gender, personality and his personality is scared and worried.
behaviour.
Chronological Development

Chronological Development
Chronological Development is the way the events that happen in
a radio drama are arranged. They are mostly told in order of
time.
This is important because the radio drama needs to be
completed in a specific timeslot, because it will be live.
Narration

Example
Narration An example of narration in a post modern
Narration is an effective way of radio drama (The Blind Mans Confession,
telling the story from a different 8:22) is how the main character explains and
describes his experience he had with the
point of view. A narrator tells the killer.
story, in certain points while it plays.
The main character uses strong words and
This is extremely important for radio deep thoughts to tell the audience that his
drama as the narrator explain parts experience was just horrible and that will
probably make them want to listen more,
the characters cant and it helps the
because they feel for his character in the
audience understand it better. radio drama.
Direct Speech

Direct Speech
Direct Speech is where the narrator talks directly to the
audience, therefore breaking the fourth wall.
The audience then can relay on important information that the
stuff the narrator has told them.
Titles and Credits

Titles and Credits Example


Titles are where the narrator says at An example of titles and credits in a
the beginning of the radio drama, the post modern radio drama (The Blind
characters that will be introduced and Mans Confession, 11:48) is how the
possibly what the drama will be about. narrator explains all the people that
Credits are where a list of people that worked on the radio drama.
were in the drama and people who He credits all the important people
were involved with the production of that helped and even the websites
the radio drama. This can be used to where he got his sound effects.
bookend the production.
STRUCTURES
Duration

Example
Duration
An example of duration in a post
Duration is basically the length of a modern radio drama (The Blind Mans
radio drama, how long it is in time. Confession, 11:48) at the end in the
The duration is also important in credits, the creator of the radio
radio dramas, because there are drama explains that the production
time limits for it to be finished, was recorded live and that the sound
because there might be other effects were taken from a website.
dramas the audience might want to
listen to.
Narrative Structure

Narrative Structure
The narrative structure is where it consists of traditional parts of
a story and the order in which the audience hears them.
They provide a framework for the unfolding of the storyline in
the radio drama.
Development of Plot

Development of Plot
The plot is probably the most important part of a radio drama,
because it is the amount of events that happen to make a story.
The development of the plot, is where the events happen in
order, to move onto the next one to keep the story going and
keep the audience entertained into watching more.
STYLES
Appropriateness to TA

Example
Appropriateness to TA
An example of appropriateness to
Appropriateness to Target Audience Target Audience would be, that if you
is important when developing your have you have a serious crime
radio drama, because once you have fighting script that was aimed at
chosen your target audience, you youngsters (7 12), then the target
have to keep your script aimed and audience wouldnt be correct for the
relaivent to that specific age group. script.
Dramatic Reconstruction

Example
Dramatic Reconstruction
An example of Dramatic
Dramatic Reconstruction is where you Reconstruction would be, that you
begin a process to re-assess the might have to re-assess the script,
whole radio drama and make changes because there might be grammatical
to anything that might be tied to it, or punctuational errors and it could
before the drama gets aired. end up confusing the audience a bit,
It solves big problems and is quite if it gets aired.
important in the finishing of your
radio drama.
Drama Styles

Drama Styles Example


Drama Styles are the basic types of An example of Drama Styles, could be
genres that your radio drama could that one style is: Traditional. That
be based off of, when in production. style of drama is where is consists a
There are a variety of styles, that are big storyline and many characters,
all completely different from each including a narrator and has a simple
other, that you drama could be storyline structure.
stylised in.
Creation of Mood

Creation of Mood Example


Creation of Mood is where elements An example of Creation of Mood,
that provide specific vibes, emotions would be that if an argument was
or feelings in listeners, that get going down in the radio drama, the
heard through words or descriptions, audience would feel a bit unnerving
so the audience will know exactly and maybe even scared, of what is
what mood to put on while listening going on and what will possibly
to the radio drama. happen between the amount of
characters.