NYF’s weekly Open Mic Spotlight Interview features prominent award-winner’s from the wonderful world of radio. This week NYF Grand Jury member and 2017 Grand Trophy winner Diego Cannizzaro, owner and director of DMC STUDIO Argentina, spent a few minutes sharing his insights about his award-winning program BLACKOUT and the world of radio.
Diego is a multi-award winning script writer, sound designer, composer and independent radio producer. Since 1995, he has worked at both radio stations and as a radio producer creating an unmistakable style through sound. Keep reading to find out more about how Diego and DMC STUDIO created BLACKOUT, how he and his team utilized technology to solve creative challenges, his opinion as a Grand Jury member on what he’s personally looking for when awarding creative programming, and much more.
NYF Radio: Why did DMC STUDIO create the program “Blackout” and how did you come up with this creative program idea?
Diego Cannizzaro: BLACKOUT was created for several reasons. One of them was to create a space in which we can describe what sounds can transmit on their own, in a simple and natural way…a complete description of the parallel world surrounding us built of sounds.
At DMC STUDIO we wanted to have a unique space, where sensitivity, perception and intuition have a leading role. It was vital then, to find an abstract escape line and at the same time real so that the sound story is also protagonist in the same space abolutely daily day. That is why it was necessary that the sounds build the stage and be the architecture from where the character would narrate the story. As the script was written literally and sonorously the idea was enhanced that the character has an extra sensitivity that is superior and different.
Buenos Aires is not a city prepared 100% for someone blind, that’s why for us, this character is a HERO of everyday life. For his ability to move around the city and his way of telling and enjoying life through sound. Buenos Aires, has a sonorous beauty that not everyone can perceive and except our HERO, of course … yes.
NYF Radio: What creative challenges did you encounter when producing “Blackout” and how did you solve those challenges?
Diego Cannizzaro: There were several challenges. But undoubtedly the most important was the task of adapting literature to the angle of a blind person, although the narrative was more poetic and could be interpreted by a person not necessarily blind. The other challenge was more technical and meant something very important for us: to be able to reflect in audio, different scenarios of Buenos Aires, and record and play them on a radio piece.
While the recording of sounds can be something simple, the real challenge was to include in our sound work, binaural or 360 degree recordings to implore the documentary more realistic moments in the plans and sound scenarios.
NYF Radio: How did technology help this program achieve your creative goals?
Diego Cannizzaro: BLACKOUT is a stereo mix, but in it we can find the binaural recording technology of ALL the sound effects, all the environments, dialogues, that is to say, all the sounds that are the main story of the character, music (in stereo) All natural environments, external sounds, sound effects are 100% real recorded in the epicenter of the city of Buenos Aires. For this we used Tascam recorders and binaural German Soundman microphones. On the other hand, we used an AKAI sampler to generate loops and more complex musical compositions. That is to say, the captured sounds were not only edited but sampled to generate rhythms, synchronizations and combinations that bring more authenticity to the musical background. All this was mastered in Pro-tools at DMC STUDIO.
NYF Radio: In your opinion, what makes “Blackout” such a successful program?
Diego Cannizzaro: I think BLACKOUT, achieved its success because of its originality in the script, in the story and in the way of telling it. The interpretation of Gustavo Bonfigli took it to the right point. Literally it is a new way to narrate a story that only happens to a person, but that if we want, we could happen to all. From writing, we tried to approach listeners and together imagined a parallel story in something as simple as daily life. That is to say…to value the simple and beautiful that we can find within it. From the sound, I think it reaches a very good level of quality Sonora because it was thought out and very the technically approached. The sound proposes a new texture and a cutting-edge sound and a new way to present the audio. I think he does not lose any detail. I think the script and sound in BLACKOUT have been found and fused in a positive way for 1 hour of sound documentary.
NYF Radio: How was the radio program received in Argentina?
Diego Cannizzaro: BLACKOUT in Argentina has been well received and has positioned itself as a cutting-edge documentary/podcast. This work invites and opens the door to a new way of making documentaries or podcasts and perhaps is the one that kicks off and is a pioneer in this space.
NYF Radio: Your program earned the 2017 Grand Award in the Heroes category, what does earning this award mean to you and your staff?
Diego Cannizzaro: It’s a wonderful thing to win. Personally, I take it with much pride and respect. I value it very much since, as I said, it is a WORLD RECOGNITION from all the colleagues in the radio world who love and are passionate about what I do, tell stories built with sounds. My team takes it with great enthusiasm at DMC STUDIO and this certainly encourages us to continue writing stories and working the sound from another angle, with another sense, to generate a new perspective almost visual … with the audio.
NYF Radio: “Blackout” earned an additional 3 Gold Trophies and a Silver Trophy, why do you think the judges resonated so much with this program?
Diego Cannizzaro: BLACKOUT was made with knowledge, dedication, experience of each one in his task, but above all things with much dedication and prescience. An infinite dedication for good sound quality and good stories.
I think this piece has perhaps the ability to touch the exact point and excite you. For the simple that is and at the same time for its extreme complexity. I think the judges have had the right sensitivity to discover every layer that composes it and to feel the true essence of the script and through the sounds.
NYF Radio: As a judge for NYF’s Radio Program Awards, what do you personally look for when awarding creative programming? What are the key components of an award-winning program?
Diego Cannizzaro: As a member of NYF’s Jury, I seek originality. I understand that it is very difficult to generate, but I like the limitless original programs in all aspects, script, sound, editing and live performances.
NYF Radio: What is next for you on the horizon, what new program do you hope to create?
Diego Cannizzaro: The next horizon is to carry out a new program, a new presentation, another sound experience that is already in pre-production, but which I believe will see the light later.
Try to have BLACKOUT heard in other languages, since it is also a documentary/podcast of my city, Buenos Aires and if someone in another country of a language and culture absolutely different from mine is interested in reproducing it, see how to make it possible. On the other hand, I would like to be able to interweave knowledge with other colleagues and talents from other countries, unify the sound world working from Argentina or in different parts of the globe. I think that together we can work and build something huge if we want it, since we have in common the language of sound.
NYF Radio: What are the most important skills you need to be a success in the radio industry?
Diego Cannizzaro: I believe that believing in oneself is fundamental. And also the creativity in doing something original. Beyond the technical knowledge I take for granted, but for me very important to believe that it is possible.
NYF Radio: Do you have any advice for young people wanting to begin a career in radio? What is the best advice you were given when first starting out in the radio industry
Diego Cannizzaro: Let them try it themselves, because the radio, the stories and the sounds are worth since they coexist is a world full of surprises.
For more information on New York Festivals Radio Program Awards, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/