by Dennis Daniel
Herein lies my last edition of Tales Of The Tape. Weep not my children, for it has been a long and wonderful ride. For over three years, I have spoken to you, my production brothers and sisters, about the trials and tribulations of being a Production Director here in the latter half of the 20th Century. I have tried to cover as many topics as my feeble mind could conceive -- everything from the emotional to the technical. I hope I have served the cause well. Alas, I no longer have the time to meet my deadline obligations. As a matter of fact, I'm not even a Production Director anymore. I have taken that giant leap of immortality and have become a...uh hmmmm...CREATIVE DIRECTOR. Ta daaaa!
You see, when I started at WDRE, I was hired to help their non-existent production department. The guy who was cutting their commercials was a club disk jockey by trade. He didn't have the muse, so to speak. I, on the other hand, lived and breathed commercials. I immediately took over and in no time flat, WDRE was becoming known for their quality in-house production. Soon, I was being asked by programming to come up with ideas for drops, sweeps and legal IDs. I did hundreds of them, getting better and better as I experimented. I started working for other radio stations around the country doing variations on the same themes I used for WDRE. I found myself enjoying these programming oriented projects MUCH MORE than just cutting commercials (which I still enjoy, by the way). Then, one glorious day, WDRE became two stations. We began a simulcast in Philadelphia and are now called THE WDRE MODERN ROCK NETWORK. Now, more than ever, the programming demands of me were top priority. We hired another full time person in production, and I became Creative Director for the network. I'm still in charge of the production department, but I personally focus most of my attention on creative ways to image the station to our listeners -- the "ear candy," so to speak.
My creativity was unleashed like a wild pitt bull!
No longer would I have to worry about tons of facts, prices, phone numbers and directions that needed to be incorporated into a sixty second commercial. Now, all I had as info was "WDRE." Period. I spend at least two days a week away from the station, working in recording studios with musicians on original music for the station. I am loving life.
Mind you. I'm not saying I'll never write for Radio And Production again. I'm sure there will be many subjects worth covering as I delve into this new and exciting world of creative output.
I'd like to extend my thanks to all of you who have written or called me over the years with questions, answers and feedback, good and bad. Most of all, I'd like to thank everyone at Radio And Production for all their encouragement and support. I believe in RAP and I hope you all will continue to support it. Lastly, if anyone out there would like copies of my three year run of Tales Of The Tape, I'd be happy to oblige. I have to charge $10.00 for the package (there are many pages) to cover my duplication costs and the shipping charges. Write all checks out to Dennis Daniel. As always, I'm here if you ever want to write or talk on the phone.
Maybe I'm putting way to much importance into my overall significance to you all. For all I know, my column has just been good bathroom reading for a great many of you. But I will say this: every word, every idea and every concept I've covered over these past three plus years has been written from the heart with a deep love and appreciation for what we all go through as creative people with a deadline. I believe that we are all touched by God and have been given a fabulous gift -- the gift of communication. Not everyone can do it, gang, and certainly not the way we do -- on demand, immediately. WE ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES OF RADIO! Underappreciated, yet highly in demand. We must stick together and trust in our abilities. Remember, don't let anyone tell you you suck. Let them sit in your shoes and try to pull off the same deal.
After fifteen years, I'm finally going off onto a new creative path. I think I've earned it. HEY...SCRATCH THAT...I KNOW I HAVE!! I love you all and wish you nothing but success. I mean this from the depths of my soul, people. Now go out there...give birth...create...and believe in yourself. (Jeez, what a sappy ending. What else would you expect from me?) I leave you with a quote that I have on the door of my office:
"Do not despise the sensibility of any man. The sensibility of each man is his genius."
-- Charles Baudelaire.
We'd like to thank Dennis for his unique and long running contribution to Radio And Production. His ability to cut through the garbage and get to the core of just about every aspect of the Production Director's task is matched only by his ability to use his insight and talents to write and produce top notch, award winning radio commercials. You can bet we'll look forward to squeezing an article or two out of Dennis' busy schedule whenever we can.