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BBC Academy in Norwich 0 14 May 2015

Behind the Scenes at #R1Academy

 Behind the Scenes at #R1Academy with BBC Researcher Jamie Franklin

Since Saturday, BBC Radio 1 Academy has been treating Norwich to a medley of exciting and unique music/media experiences. Dedicated to 16-19 year olds, the event has inspired our young community, offering face-to-face opportunities to learn from some of the best in the industry. Attendees have rubbed shoulders with stars of the music and entertainment world and taken part in practical workshops and intimate QnA sessions. The BBC Radio Academy hasn’t just been about the live music, glitz and glamour. It has offered an incredible resource for those seeking solid career advice from music, radio, journalism, TV, Video, Gaming and digital professionals.

In short, it has been a HUGE privilege for Epic Studios to take part in #R1Academy!

Now we don’t need to tell you that delivering an event like this takes shedloads of experience, meticulous planning and the stamina of an Olympian! There are many unsung heroes at the Academy working incredibly hard, behind the scenes, to deliver an event that will be remembered in Norwich long after they have left. One of them – BBC researcher Jamie Franklin – took time out for us last night to share the inside track on what it’s really been like working on this event, and possibly the best expert advice we’ve taken away so far…

BBC R1Academy Researcher Jamie Franklin

BBC Radio 1 Academy Researcher Jamie Franklin

Hi Jamie! Could you tell our readers a little about yourself and your role at the BBC Radio 1 Academy in Norwich?
I’m a Researcher and have been producing all the Journalism QnAs and Journalism Workshops at the Academy this year. So if you managed to see the Jake Humphrey & Rick Edwards QnA or are lined up to be in one of the Digital Journalism workshops, then I have basically been coordinating them and making sure they run smoothly!

How did you manage to land a job like that? Could you tell us a bit about your progression into the role?
I went to the University of Sussex down in Brighton to do a course called Media Practice & Theory. It involved loads of practical documentary production and I learnt to use loads of different cameras, sound kit and to script, interview, edit and make my own factual films. I did work experience while at Uni at local production companies and ended up getting a job a runner at one of those companies upon graduation. I worked my way up at this ‘indie’ to a role as a Shooting Researcher on a property series. After taking a year out to do a Masters at the University of Amsterdam, I got offered a Researcher job as part of Entertainment North at BBC Salford on Junior Doctors and have moved around different productions up in Salford since.

What would your role at the Beeb usually involve when you’re not working on the Academy? Could you give us an idea of what a typical day may look like?
I’m a freelance Researcher and generally work in Factual Entertainment television at the BBC. Based at MediaCity in Salford, I have worked on programs including Dragons’ Den, Rip Off Britain, Junior Doctors and Call the Council. The role of a Researcher, which is the next step up from being an entry-level Runner, is so varied and each program you work on requires such a different range of skills. For example, on Junior Doctors I was operating the boom and mixer filming on the wards at Liverpool Royal Hospital while also lining up patients who were happy for us to film them and gain filming consents. On Dragons’ Den I was part of the team that auditions and prepares people who have applied for the chance to pitch to the Dragons .On Call the Council I was actually out filming Council Officers for broadcast with my own assistant. Not any one day is ever the same.

The Academy has been a fantastic event! Has everything gone pretty much to plan this year?
The Academy has been so brilliant and, yes, everything has gone to plan. Every event has had incredible popularity and as this is my first Academy, I’m amazed at how engaged all the attendees have been and it’s great to see that everyone seems to be getting a lot out of it.

2015 Academy highlights so far?
I am running the journalism strand, so as I’ve been busy getting my own events prepared, I unfortunately haven’t had the time to check out everything at the event, though it’s pretty surreal to see Greg James DJ’ing live from our Hangout zone! My highlights so far have included having Leona Lewis and Nothing But Thieves drop in as a surprise for our attendees, to interview at my Music Journalism workshop, and seeing Jake Humphrey and Rick Edwards on Main Stage during the Journalism QnA I produced. We’ve also had Live Lounges all week which have been cool, including Jessie Ware and Lower Than Atlantis. In the Hangout there’s always been something exciting going on such as 3D printing, live DJ’s and even coding and website ‘hacking’!

With just a couple of days left, what are you now looking forward to most?
I cannot wait for our closing Algo Rave party at 17:15 – 19:00 on Friday! For anyone who doesn’t know what this is, the DJ codes the music live on stage along with a guitarist. This paired with Greg James and Danny Howard’s Dance Anthems will make it an amazing end party for this year’s BBC Radio 1’s Academy. Having Port Isla do a live BBC Introducing gig at 18:00 on Thursday shouldn’t be too bad either…

Honestly, after all this hard work, will you be sad when it’s over, or relieved?
The whole team are working long but very fun days! It’s great working together and meeting colleagues from BBC Radio Norwich, also working with local facilitators such as Lizz from Outline Magazine, Elli from Culture Works East and Louise from Epic Studios has been great. Meeting such enthusiastic local young people has been really brilliant, as that’s what this week is all about. So it will be sad for that to all be over but I will definitely be relieved to spend a day recovering on the sofa back in Manchester!

What will your lasting impression of our ‘fine city’ and the people of Norwich be?
My colleagues have said that I should be working for the Tourist Board of Norwich… honestly! It’s my first time in this city and I love it. There are so many super independent coffee shops, pretty cobbled streets and of course bars… I seem to have found a great new area I haven’t explored before pretty much every day so far.

Any tips for budding BBC Researchers out there?
Learn to do everything. As a Researcher you are more employable if you have the basic grounding of great people skills and a really broad general knowledge as well as a great nose to spot an entertaining story or person to be part of a series. However, if you are also able to shoot, operate sound, do basic editing and be able to drive then you will be able to work on a much wider range of programs. Local star Jake Humphrey offered his top tip to the Academy attendees this week and that was to make the best cup of tea!

Are you coming back to Norwich for the Big Weekend? If so, who are you most excited about seeing perform?
Unfortunately I will be away on a trekking holiday in India by the time the Big Weekend comes around! However, looking at the line-up I have to admit a guilty pleasure of loving Taylor Swift and I’m excited to see that Jungle, Circa Waves and Jamie T are on the bill.

Thank you Jamie. Have an amazing time in India!

Don’t forget to use #R1Academy to follow what’s going on at the Academy – right up until the closing party tomorrow night, with Greg James and Danny Howard!

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