Bob Barrineau, one of our amazing instructors here at Portfolio Center, gives us a sneak “behind the scenes” look our into our radio classes that form an integral part of our exciting copywriting program…
Somebody once said, “Death is hard. Radio is harder.” And that’s so true.
But I’ve always loved radio. It’s my favorite medium to write in and I never
understood why so many copywriters hated radio or were afraid of it. I guess I was young and too naïve to know I was supposed to be intimidated by it.
Starting out in my career, any time a radio assignment came along, I jumped at it. I immediately started having some success with radio, so other writers happily passed on their radio assignments to me. They felt like they were dumping their broccoli onto their little brother; I felt like I was getting their dessert!
At Portfolio Center (PC) I wanted to pass my love of radio on to my students and show them how being good at radio can really set them apart from other writers coming out of ad schools. Everyone will have strong print work in their books…but having great radio in their book will make them stand out — and get hired. Being a strong radio writer will also give them more job security once they’re working in the real world.
The radio production class really came about from my students wanting to
take more radio classes from me. I was already teaching them Radio I and
Radio II — and they were developing terrific scripts. Now they wanted to
take the next step in the process and learn how to produce those scripts
into finished spots. So I begged my friends at Company 3 (formerly Riot
Studios) to give us blocks of studio time working with their audio
engineers. Amazingly, they said yes! Then I reached out to all my voiceover friends asking for volunteers to help perform our scripts. Again, their generosity blew me away. (Side note: as crazy as our industry can be, it really is filled with amazing people who will bend over backwards to help one another.)
After our first quarter of classes, we entered the finished spots in the
Radio Mercury Awards competition and won 1st Place. The following year, we won 1st Place at the Mercurys again. Suddenly, word was spreading throughout the voice talent community about the amazing radio we were creating at PC — and my inbox started getting flooded with voice actors volunteering to work with us. How cool is that! We’ve now won the Mercurys 4 times, and have been nominated as a finalist countless other times. The best part is now PC students look forward to working on radio assignments and can’t wait to take the classes. They know radio is hard as hell, but they’re not intimidated by it.