1st-year Radio Production with Greg smith

Following the success of our 2015 radio spots that our first year Diploma students created, we decided to bring in industry professional Greg Smith to work with the students for their 2016 Radio Production 1 projects. In just six months, our 1st year students have already created radio spots that are of world class standards. Creative mentor and copywriter extraordinaire Greg Smith is amazed, but not at all surprised with the success of RP1 2016.

Greg: I’m astounded by the initiative, talent and ability of this year’s RP1 students. Bear in mind, they are only in their 1st year and had only completed a few months Pro Tools training when I originally briefed them to produce 6 very challenging radio commercial projects.

Every radio script created demanded original music, multiple character voices and the highest possible production values. Students were given the freedom to explore multiple music genres and ‘push the envelope’, as we say in Ad-land.

The proof, is in the pudding! Take a quick listen to the work… and hear the magic for yourself. Listen to the final Pioneer DJ Academy radio spot produced and appreciate that the ‘Amy Winehouse’ vocalist is only a schoolgirl friend of one of the students (and busy completing her Matric!). The rap-talking artists and stunning deep announcer voices are also students at the college… There’s so much T-A-L-E-N-T… to burn!

The Monster Energy Drink ad needs no introduction… It’s an ‘unleashed Beast’ and ‘Monster’ of a production… Pinch yourself, because it’s 100% original – produced by 1st year students – with some valued additional technical input from Rae de Jager, and yours truly.

The ‘Another fa-fa-first for Cape Audio College’ campaign hangs marvellously together and yet the various ads are styled fairly differently. My personal favourite is the off-the-wall Punk-guitar-driven ‘Fa-fa first for LIVE production’ ad. You can hear the guys (and girls) having so much FUN and it simply doesn’t let up! What impressed Rae de Jager (and myself) is that the voices are ‘young’ and ‘authentic’ … Well, they ARE, in the main, the students themselves!

If anything, you ─ as listener ─ can appreciate that Cape Audio College is VERY serious about training and preparing tomorrow’s producers and audio engineers. But, like they say about advertising as a career, it’s still “the most FUN you can have with your clothes on!”

Cape Audio College not only offer students the most practical, real-world training in all aspects of sound engineering and production, they also assist students in finding employment after graduating. In 2016 alone, Cape Audio College has already managed to assist and place 44 of its top graduates last year with top companies.

In closing, I must ask: If this is what the college’s 1st Year students have ALREADY achieved in a little over 6 months, WHAT success will they achieve in their remaining years of study? It has been my privilege and honour to nurture and WORK with such wonderful talent!

Rae de Jager, Head of Institute, has the final word: ”There was a fantastic response by the students and it seems that everyone really benefited from this project. I would like to thank Greg for his professional and creative input. His enthusiasm and energy is infectious and has clearly rubbed off on the first year students. This is reflected in the quality of the work presented. Greg’s incredible creative ability, persistence to strive for perfection, and brilliant ear, will continue to inspire the first years as he has done for the last four years that he’s spearheaded this project. Once again I thank him for the amazing job he has done!”

Greg: Having spent the best part of 2 weeks meticulously listening and assessing each and every piece of work submitted by 81 students in 29 groups, I was overwhelmed and highly impressed with the great effort most, if not all of you, made. Pictured here: the Best Performers – my Dream Team!

With over 30 years’ corporate, financial, FMCG, promotional and retail experience behind him, Greg has won numerous international awards for his work and enjoyed considerable success as a freelance Creative Director, Senior Copywriter, Strategist, Composer, and Producer. He’s also indulged his passion for acting, as a major international voice artist for over 25 years.

Greg’s work has been used and appreciated not only in South Africa, but in the UK, USA, Europe, UAE, Australia and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. He’s also very serious-minded about social issues in South Africa, and has written, performed and produced various pro bono communications for worthy causes such as: St Michael’s ‘New Start HIV Voluntary Testing and Counseling Programme’; ‘Help the Rural Child’ charity; and award-winning commercial work for the Carthorse Protection Association. (Rae de Jager, Head of Institute, won a Vuka for ‘Best Director’ on this TVC!)

Greg has led various advertising-related audio production workshops at Cape Audio College from 2012 to date. Greg can be contacted at: [email protected]

Photography: Tiaree Solis-Peralta 084 640 9231

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