Glass & Abumrad

For the first assignment for our visual section I watched some videos by Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad. Below I will share some thoughts and what I found to be as important information both men shared in their videos.

To begin my reflection I want to start with Ira Glass. The first point Ira makes in the first video is that we shouldn’t think that the way we learned to write stories in high school won’t work for radio or tv. He went on to explain that there are two main building blocks when creating a story for tv or radio. The first building block is the anecdote. This is where you tell a story in its purest form and by using a sequence of actions to tell the story. In order to do this you want to make sure you’re telling pieces of the story one thing after another, and now matter how boring it might sound, it has momentum, and there’s suspense, and it leaves the listener knowing that something’s going to happen. The second building block is that you want to constantly be raising questions, what Ira refers to as bait. While you’re telling the story, you’re raising questions that you’re going to answer. The whole shape of the story is that you throw out questions to listeners and answering those questions to keep them listening. That last point that Ira made during his videos that stood out to me is that it can be hard to find a decent story. He talks about there are times when the amount of time spent just trying to find a decent story is more than the amount of time it takes to actually produce a story. You can work hard, conduct an interview, and it could end up getting cut because it just doesn’t work, and that’s ok. If the work isn’t good, it should be abandoned to make room for something better. Lastly he said, failure is a big part of success and you need to be ruthless for things to be good.

The next video was conducted by Jad Abumrad. There is one that Jad talked about in his first video that resonated with me and that was that radio is a form of co-authorship. He gave an example that really brought this statement to life. Radio d.j.’s can describe something, but they aren’t the ones painting the picture, we, as listeners are. And this co-authorship has a potential for empathy, and we have to somehow be connected, he liked to call it co-imagining.

Both of these videos provided great thoughts and examples on how to approach audio storytelling that can be useful not only for classes, but for the future as well.

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3 thoughts on “Glass & Abumrad”

  1. Hey Mary! I had a very similar takeaway from these videos. I agree that in High school the way we were taught to tell stories doesn’t exactly translate to this sort of medium. There is more to audio storytelling than a topic sentence, evidence statements, commentary, and a concluding sentence. Great post!

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