All entries for Sunday 05 February 2006

February 05, 2006

The Big Decision – 8 hours of coverage, 100 hours of work!

Phew! Well that was a restless night's sleep. Dealing with the adrenaline and the Haribo-induced high meant coming down from RaW's coverage of the Big Decision took a while!

Although yesterday began at about 10am, the real work started about three weeks ago, as we began planning and scripting the features we had planned. These included our game show Hackety Hack, interviews with almost every candidate, a Union Review of the Year, a guide to Union Democracy, The Student Union Awards, The Big Decision Radio Play ("RaW News: In-shite"), and of course interviews with the winners of every Sabbatical position!

Our huge production team were involved with every stage of the process – the Radio Play alone took probably 30 man/woman-hours, and starred many of RaW's biggest plonkers.

The Union Review of the Year was a 'big success', and someone from BBC Radio 3 e-mailed the studio to say it was better than many packages he's heard on network radio, which was an enormous complement to Emily, who did all the hard work.

And Martin did a great package on Union Democracy, explaining the almost-unexplainable in a simple, sensible manner that eludes most Union hacks!

So that's most of the pre-recorded material accounted for. But the most stressful part was filling the other 7 hours of live material that we had planned!

It was supposed to include a Freshers' Panel broadcasting live in a Rootes kitchen, but this ended up being scrapped when our team were kicked out by a somewhat-anal Senior Warden or somebody. But it may have been a blessing – it was simpler just to broadcast the same material from Cholo, using our fantastic new radio microphone which is going to make RaW's outside broadcasts sound brilliant for years to come. Just so long as we don't loan it to TSG!

But the Rootes OB wasn't the only problem we had all evening! The Union North computer network went down, meaning no internet, but more importantly, no printers! Just as we wanted to start printing scripts, we realised we had a major problems. Luckily our techies pulled through, and managed to bodge something together. We eventually had enough scripts about 3 hours into the show!

One of the evening's great triumphs was undoubtedly Jack and Ed, hosting the results in the Marketplace. Their decision to award 'prizes' to all of the Sabbatical winners was inspired, and resulted in not just raised eyebrows but a hell of a lot of laughs up in the studio.

The programme certainly wouldn't have worked if it wasn't for the amazing people behind-the-scenes. Our technical team worked wonders, not only in getting us four different feeds into the studio, but also fixing all the disasters that we created throughout the evening!

Also, Laura, Fran and Sarah did an amazing job as runners. Getting guests into the studio was a mammoth feat, not aided by some over-zealous Union Security stooges who didn't realise we were trying to do a job as well. To be fair, they were probably following orders from up on high, but it suggests the left foot has no idea where the right foot is in the Union.

Off-microphone, but still deserving of praise, are people such as Elections Group, who did a brilliant job this year and Chris Carter who kept the crowd happy and accommodated Jack and Ed.

And of course everyone on-microphone did an amazing job, helping form a Big Decision show which is probably the best we've done in ages. It was great to see so many new RaW members getting involved as well, and I'd echo what Adam said: don't even think about a career in the media without having been involved in RaW, WTV or the Boar first.

Hope everyone who listened enjoyed it, and those who didn't can listen to bits of it online later this week!

But what on earth do we do now the Big D's finished! Surely not Uni work!!!


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