by Jeffrey Hedquist

Here’s the exercise: Record a conversation among a few of your friends, without their knowing it.

Transcribe the recording exactly as it happened. Don’t clean it up, or correct it.

You’ll find it’s not a linear event. One person talks, is interrupted by another, everyone talks simultaneously. A door opens and it answers a question, someone coughs, and it’s the punch line to a joke.

There are few completed sentences. Everyone talks at once. There’s no punctuation...and yet you can understand what’s being said. It’s a matrix of audible events, not a linear sequence.

When you sit to write your spot, listen to the tape, and read your transcription. It will inspire you, remind you of how the fabric of conversation evolves, and your spot will be more believable, interesting, and compelling.

Make your characters react with, respond to, disagree with, interrupt each other. Dialogue is more than two people sharing a mic.

Jeffrey Hedquist has been secretly recording his friends for years. To buy back the tapes, contact Jeffrey at Hedquist Productions, Inc., P.O. Box 1475, Fairfield, IA 52556. Phone (515) 472-6708, fax (515) 472-7400, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On the Soundstage

Sentry Box
Joel Poirier, Kaden Hawkins, Will Halliwell

ICYMI...

October 01, 1995 12139
Jeff Thomas, Production Director, Virgin Radio, London, England A few months ago, we checked in with Steve Martin at BBC Radio Scotland and got a perspective of "public" radio in the U.K.. This month we visit with the Production...