spotify orange

“I almost broke my butt”: starting in the middle of the story

Posted on 6 March 2013


Now that I feel comfortable with my script-writing, I’ve challenged myself to get stronger and collecting and editing tape pieces. My colleague George Baker is excellent at it (for example) and I’ve been listening to a lot of different styles to develop my own.

We’ve been doing a series on the last weeks of winter on Daybreak and I volunteered to go out and find some kids sledding. After checking a couple of places I found a brother and sister who were excellent interviews. I gathered up the sound and headed back to studio to put it together.

Traditionally, I would have edited things this way: first, I would have some ambient noise of them sliding. Then I would have them introduce themselves. Then I would just take the interview in the order it happened, editing chunks out for length and maybe splicing in some more sliding noises for transition. Pretty straightforward.

Instead, I decided to play with things a little bit. In the host introduction, I don’t reveal who I am talking to or what I am talking to them about. It simply says “Forget skiing and snowboarding: when the snow is replaced by ice, it’s time for the ultimate extreme sport. Daybreak’s Andrew Kurjata brings us this installment of our series ‘Last Run.'” Then the tape begins:


If you listen, you’ll notice I don’t have the kids introduce themselves until about one minute in. Instead, we start with me establishing we’re walking up a hill and saying “I notice you don’t have a sled.” At that point we have some sense of where we are. Then we get Isaac’s voice and we have a sense that he is young. But then we launch into my favourite part of the story- when he tells me that the last time he went sledding “I almost broke my butt.” Then we go from there.

It’s still pretty straightforward, but I feel like it makes for better radio by containing a small element of surprise and leading with the most ear-grabbing part of Isaac’s interview. Once you realize what a great talker this kid is, you want to stick around a while longer to see what else he has to say- and there are more highlights.

It’s not perfect or earth-shattering by any means, but it’s a small victory for me. I’m moving a bit beyond basic tape editing and getting closer to the work I admire most.

Oh, and if you would like to see some photos of Eva and Isaac’s daring moves, head to the Daybreak North webpage.

Filed under: CBC, journalism, personal, radio

← Previous post: (Co)Hosting Next post: Letter to the Blogger  →

No more than once a week, promise.

Back to top
Finally used up the summer squashSome good used book finds todayIn case you can't read it, someone has written in the snow the words "No we don't"Meadow ski, finallyWelp.Hey look it's Amy Blanding kicking off a sold-out night of @ColdsnapFest 2018! #CityOfPGWell someone has to eat all the Christmas and New Year's leftovers