Chris Wood – Station Sound Producer
Chris works as a Trails and Station Sound Producer for BBC Oxford. Previous to this he worked at commercial radio station CFM in Carlisle. He has a HNC in radio, and was involved with student station Fresh Air in Edinburgh.
Why did you want to be a Station Sound Producer?
After doing a Geography degree and working in unfulfilling jobs, I went travelling for a year and on returning - went to college to study radio broadcasting as its something i was actually interested in.
I mostly liked working with sound and after lots of applying and trying (and I can't emphasise LOTS enough here) I got a job as a creative copywriter and commercial producer at CFM in Carlisile.
After that I wanted to try working for the BBC to see what its like - my current job at BBC Oxford came up, and I got it.
Did you do any formal training?
Apart from the HNC in Radio, not really no. The main skill you can have as a station sound producer is experience of using sound editing tools. We make it up as we go along mostly...
Were you involved with hospital/student/community radio?
Yes - all 3 to build up the CV and have examples to talk about in interviews.
What was your big break?
Creative writer and producer for CFM in Carlisle.
What was the interview process like?
Creative writer - very long winded! (1: apply with script examples; 2: interview with manager; 3: interview with sales manager)
Trails producer - quite straight forward (1: apply with production demo; 2: Interview plus a written test - as the demo proved I could produce sound)
What is your career high-point to date?
Being a voice on the BBC 6 Music Edinburgh Festival trails was interesting. Also, I got half a Gregs pasty once at CFM.
What’s day-to-day life like as a Trails and Station Sound Producer?
Not as repetative as most jobs... but, trails need scheduled and updated all the time, so there is a lot of that in between making new ones, which can be tedious. And having to listen back to the show recordings for good bits is awful. But when you have good bits and a nice trail campaign going, it sounds good.
What would you being doing if you weren’t doing this?
I've absolutely no idea. Probably still trying to do this while working in a job I hate no doubt.
What 3 pieces of advice would you offer to someone just starting out?
- When you think you reach the point where you're going to give up, don't give up
- Always ask for feedback on interviews,and importantly - learn what they want to hear from you in the interview, rather than what you think you should say
- Get experience where you can - it might be pointless busywork, but give it a bit of spin and its on your cv as something better
Also, focus on what it is you want to do. Never ever ever ever say "I want to work in radio", or "media" (even worse) - thats like saying "I want to work in money" when you'd actually like to do something really specific in the intermediary commercial finance department of a bank. Radio is a business, treat it as such. Use work experience and volunteering to establish exactly what it is you'd like to do.