BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme recently aired a feature on how Cornwall looks set to deal with Brexit, focussing on the logistics regarding business and the implications involved with EU funding, which has had a huge impact in shaping the county.
Matthew Price spent two days in Falmouth speaking to people from across Cornwall and collecting sound for the radio package. Truthfal’s Hannah Corfield helped with the production side of things, organising interviews and attending with Matthew as he went about recording audio.
Here’s an account of the experience and what was learnt from the BBC chief correspondent;
I was informed of Matthew Price’s planned visit to Cornwall to record a feature piece for the Today Programme. The angle was explained as being how businesses in the region would fair in the light of Brexit, with the emphasis centred on the practicalities of leaving the EU, as opposed to the politics.
In order to get a good mix of opinions, he wanted spokespeople from a variety of specific sectors. I was tasked with finding a brewery and a daffodil farm. Cold calling people and attempting to explain the project and what was required proved fairly time consuming and, at times, stressful. In the end, I managed to secure an interview with Harbour Brewing Company, but the daffodil farmer was less successful. After a string of dead leads, I got in touch with Truro Sawmill’s after hearing that it employed a number of Polish people and so embodied the same issues that was intended with the farm.
I then joined Matthew on the road as he travelled to the various Cornish locations in which the interviews were to take place. The first stop was Penryn, Jubilee Wharf and Warehouse, which is a part EU funded project housing local businesses. It was interesting to see the way Matthew worked around the available sound; it was a constant consideration and really directed the project. In his words: “It doesn’t work to just have someone’s voice, you need to build layers of interesting sound.”
The next place we went was the Brewery, which lent itself perfectly to the world of audio. The bottling machine produced beautifully evocative sounds and the general hubbub of background noise served to create atmosphere. A good tip came when we were driving away from the place and Matthew recorded some extra audio of driving through a ford and describing his arrival to the location; this demonstrated that you can always record extra material, be it sound or video, which can be edited in at an earlier stage of a sequence.
The following day we went into Truro, to the Cornwall Council HQ, where Matthew conducted an interview with leader, John Pollard. Again, he engineered the interview to be outside where birds were singing and there was a low level of background noise present.
In the car, on route to do an interview with the founder of Hertzian, an IT business recently set-up as a result of EU funding, Matthew explained that he had enough audio to put together the package, but would make a quick stop at Hertzian out of courtesy. Interestingly, Gary who we spoke to turned out to be radio dynamite and straight away the interview had elevated beyond what Matthew had expected. As soon as we left he indicated how pleased he was with what had just been recorded, which served to highlight how things can turn out very differently to what you expect, so to be flexible and prepared for surprise encounters.
On the third and final day, Matthew did a live broadcast from Truro Waitrose carpark. The reason for the location was that there was a satellite dish, which could be used to connect to the portable satellite equipment Matthew had with him. Watching him set up the equipment on top of his hire car and the apprehensive wait to see if it would work in time (which it did by a matter of a minute or so) was exciting to witness and illustrated the exhilarating nature of live broadcasting.
Click here to listen to an audio clip of the radio package.