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Interview with the Producer Richmond Trew

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 3:15 AM

How did you get involved with producing and started your career?

I work in the performance industry as an actor and performer. My acting career started in the early eighties when I was invited to play a small part in a play called Apocalyptic Uprising. The director was someone I knew and maybe my story telling technique was admired. After that I did go to the Southbank to do a drama course. Music was always in the family, my senior brothers were doing music. It is more of a hobby for me basically but again in the eighties I bought a saxophone and enrolled in the Lewisham Academy of Music, doing jazz improvisation courses. In terms of production, I produced an Abstract Word single an LP CD. Abstract Word is a collective of artists, musicians, poets, rappers, dancers who work at Map Recording Studios. I have a production deal with them. I signed a publishing deal with Rodrigeuz Music in 1992 and so I ‘ve been basically producing music up until now. In terms of drama I do a lot of devising for various companies, much of what I do is to address social issues. I ‘ve also done a lot of work in criminal justice system devising workshops and theatre pieces that are designed to help break the offending behavior cycle. As far as drama goes I have directed sketches and a couple of plays but this is the first radio drama series I ‘ve been involved in and hopefully it’s not too much different from producing music, it’s just layers of sounds. My observations from being on film sets and being involved with professionals gives me enough experience to be able to do this. I ‘ve worked with Tony Cealy the director and creator of Noh Budget films in many occasions and when he invited me to do this I was very happy to help.

Can you summarise the tasks that your role as a producer includes?

Basically my understanding is for me, to bring the recorded text up to a radio standard with the required background sounds and the music to accompany it. Ideally I would like to put an original stamp on this production and use a degree of creativity to make it stand out different from other radio productions. Initially I have to produce up to a standard that would be comprehensible to a listening audience and again put some music in and around it to enhance the scenes and intervening issues that may or may not be in each episode and other creative sounds to help the listener enjoy.

How difficult do you find that you have to deal with every member of the cast and crew especially during recordings?

It is difficult indeed dealing with multiple personalities. In the arts, there can be a lot of superficiality and some people might think that they are more important than what they really are but this particular cast is very good and it ‘s a pleasure interacting with them. I believe that they recognise the difficulty of my role and actually lend themselves to the situation and been as helpful and cooperative as they can. Usually coordinating X amount of people with different time schedules can prove very tiring but I have a lot of experience with this; dealing with musicians and performers in general so it’s not an alien thing to me. I am not uncomfortable in the role. I think I am a people person and I think I can communicate well with most people. It’s my forte I believe so I don’t think it‘s been too much of a difficulty.

Could you tell me what is the worst and most stressful thing that has happened in this production so far?

One of the lead actors ,the leading female actress playing Dorothy, a beautiful sister called Claudette was taken seriously ill all of the sudden and it affected the cast and crew tremendously. I questioned whether it was right or wrong to carry on or if I had the will to want to carry on. Sister Claudette is still ill and so we have decided maybe we should dedicate this production to her. But at the time when she was taken ill, I was shocked and saddened and I really questioned whether the production should go on.

That’s very sad and shocking indeed but she looks like a very strong woman so I hope she will get over this soon.

Yes I ‘ve got feedback from her family that she is obviously a fighter and she is making progress which gives us a lot of hope for her. I am sure that she will pull through this. So in respect to her I believe we should do our best to honor her as a part of this production and in a way she is motivating us to do the best that we can.

What do you love most about your role in this project?

I love to see this project come from blank piece of paper to something that is been received by the public, which is part of the beauty of the arts. Something that’s in your head, can be put on a particular medium and be received by other people who hopefully will enjoy and understand what you are trying to say and do. Also Tony has assembled a nice and varied cast with a lot of talent and creativity. Some professionals in the field, some starting out and some have not done this sort of stuff before. For that reason, it’s been a pleasure to work in this project. I’ve met some very nice, skilled and professional people. It’s another experience that I am glad to have had. So basically I love the interaction with artists, I love creative people, I love all art forms, all artistic expression and I am comfortable and at ease in this environment and it’s where I need to be. If I didn’t had art in my life, I think I would be mad by now.

What do you think you have gained from this experience since you have not produced a radio drama before?

In plays I ‘ve produced on stage because it’s a visual thing, much of what has been said, can be done with body language but obviously with audio radio play you don’t have that advantage. So what I ‘ve learned is that you have to put a lot of emphasis, intonation in your voice and also background music as it can help create the tension and the feel of what you are trying to put across. So far I ‘ve learned a lot about radio production and I ‘ve listened to other radio productions so it’s been a massive learning curve for me in which I am still on. I am always happy to take on knowledge and further educate myself so I ‘m just happy to be here.

What are your hopes and dreams for this project?

My hope is to connect and interact with the community and for them to give feedback and contribute towards some of the storylines or some of the issues that individuals are facing. I can see this happening, the radio station Galaxy FM is a community station and has a good degree of interaction from the listeners. I do believe that the public has a lot to say about issues that we will bring to their attention via the radio play. So I do hope and do believe that it will be a success and we ‘ll grow. Tony has struck upon a good idea and I believe that this format will be copied by many others.

What is the best advice you could give to someone interested in becoming a producer?

Firstly, find out if it is really something that you like and love and also listen to a lot of other productions to get an understanding of the required standard. Also honestly ask yourself if you are up for the task. And if you are I would say go for it because you should always do something you love.



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