BCfm Blog

Paid Commissions for Sound Artists and Producers

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BCfm Radio is offering paid commissions of £500 to local audio creatives and producers to develop work to celebrate the under-represented history of Bristol and surrounding areas.

In partnership with Bristol Cable, Bristol History Podcast and In The Dark, we seek to commission 5 local-based practitioners working in the areas of sound, radio, and podcasts to produce a short audio piece or documentary on an under-represented aspect of Bristol history.

Each practitioner will be asked to create a 15 minute audio piece or documentary which will be broadcast on BCfm and made available on podcast platforms through The Bristol Cable and Bristol History Podcast, and also to create a 5 minute version for an In The Dark sound event with a live audience.

Content: The audio piece or documentary must inform, educate and entertain listeners on an under-represented aspect of Bristol’s history, such as Women, Working Class, People of Colour, LGBTQ+, Disabled, a distinct Culture, Religion or Language, and Intersectionality.

We are particularly keen on pieces with strong Bristolian and West Country accents.

There is no standard style or format. We expect work that is unique and creative, that feels contemporary rather than historical and that work responds to theme in a modern context.

Practitioners will be paid a commissioning fee of £500. Additionally, up to £30 will be available for expenses. Practitioners will be paid on a freelance self-employed basis and will be responsible for their own tax and National Insurance.

The practitioner – the successful candidates will be:

  • A sound, radio, podcast practitioner
  • Interested in Bristol cultures and history and may have experience of working in this area
  • Interest in diverse and under-represented stories
  • Able to create work which is inclusive and unoffending
  • Good communicators and be happy to talk at events and to the press
  • Able to provide evidence of successfully working to deadlines
  • Happy for their work to be used on-air, on podcast platforms, at events and in related marketing campaigns, including partner websites and social media
  • West of England Based (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath or North Somerset)
  • May have a proven track record of producing research based audio work

Expectations of the commission

  • Actively conduct research relevant to the theme of your piece or documentary
  • Meet all deadlines within the project framework
  • Maintain regular contact with BCfm and Development Lead
  • Work within the project specification, such as 1×15min and 1×5min version
  • Support associated press and marketing campaigns
  • A 200 word description on the content of your piece or documentary with key terms, names and events.
  • Attend a sound event and with a live audience and short Q&A session

We will provide the practitioner with:

  • A single point of contact for day-to-day support
  • Help to identify people, groups and organisations and research sources
  • Support from the BCfm News Team if contact with the press is required

How to apply

Applicants should apply by email, to marcus.smith@bcfmradio.com by Friday 17 March 2023. Please mark the subject line: ‘Your Bristol Life Commission’

Submissions received after this date will be discounted.

You should confirm in your letter of application that you are available if successful to start the commission by late-March/early-April. You should also confirm you are able to

  • Submit the first edit of your work by April 21 2023.
  • Submit the finished work by May 5 2023.

Please do not apply if you cannot work within this timeframe.

There will be no interviews, successful projects will be selected based on the bullet points below.

Applications should consist of:

  • CV – maximum 1 page
  • A max 500 word application explaining your idea and why you think you are right for this project.
  • A selection of your past audio and sound work submitted by email and sent as mp3 or wav files and titled ‘Audio 1’, ‘Audio 2’ etc. An accompanying list should be provided in the following format: [title], [year made], [brief description].
  • The name and email contact details of 1 referee, someone who can comment from first-hand experience of your professional practice.
  • Your own contact details including email address.

Recruitment process

We will assess applications using the following criteria:

  • Evidence of an understanding of commission brief.
  • Quality and relevance of previous artistic work, including the ability to provide a creative response to a brief.
  • Evidence of good communication skills.
  • Ability to manage their time and work within the period of the project.
  • Previous experience and evidence of ability to complete the project in a professional manner.
  • Evidence of a basic understanding of public engagement and an interest in audio and local heritage.