I don’t think I’m one of those annoying “the glass is half full”, “when life hands you lemons…”, “when one door closes, another one opens” kind of people. I’m more of a “okay, this is screwed up but maybe we could have some fun with it” guy.
So, remotely broadcasting is going to continue and consequently, maybe we could have some fun with it.
Radio has never done a great job with visuals but between creating videos and social media and our sites, we’re getting better. We’re just not there yet.
We have an image of how the audience views us and then there’s the reality of how the audience views us. A post of you in a nice, laundered, pressed, shirt sitting at a polished desk might be counter to what they would expect. Maybe. Might.
Bel Boschi who does all my digital stuff is a set decorator for TV shows and movies that are shot in Vancouver. They’ll tell her what the scene is, she visualizes it and then goes and shops for the stuff to set it up. One time in 2019 she called and asked, “What would a roadside museum in 1950’s Kansas have had?” I said “a dildo” but it got edited out in post.
That might be your first step on your new adventure: staging your visual. Me? I’d set it up like I was in my basement with lots of survivalist gear. Maybe it’s a dirty couch with dozens of empty fast food bags. If you could borrow 30 cats for the photo? That would be killer.
Think “Simpsons”. When we launched Hot in Norfolk with a fake Chinese format, for 48 hours there was a Kung Pau 100.5 site that was staged with dozens of little jokes. Kevin Carter emailed and said that every time he visited the site, he caught something new.
That’s great. So stage your home studio and have some fun with it. Next?
TV has done all of our research for us. Look at the sitcoms that went the distance. The ones that ran their course and bowed out gracefully. “Seinfeld”. “Friends”. “Cheers”. “Clarissa Explains It All”. They all had elements, almost cliches that they shared or had in common. The episode where the star double booked two dates in one night. The episode where a sibling visits from out of town and one of the cast takes her out, which causes conflict followed by resolution. The one where they got locked in a store overnight.
And they always had great 3rd tier characters. “Wilson” on “Home Improvement”. “Carlton The Door Man” on “Rhoda”. Even “Janice” on “Friends”. So maybe you add in your 3rd tier character.
Maybe it’s the neighbor who once or twice a week yells at you to “Turn that noise down!.” It’s the mailman who shoves your mail through the slot while being attacked by dogs on your front step. It’s your lazy brother-in-law who has been living in your basement since March and pauses “Call Of Duty” long enough to ask if you have any more Monster. Or it’s the religious cult who knocks on your door once a week to try and sell you candles.
It’s a temporary reality to you may as well do something creative with it.