This year, for the second year running, I was lucky enough to be able to cover the Edinburgh International Film Festival as a journalist, partly freelancing for the Edinburgh Evening News and partly for my own blog, itsonitsgone.com.
While the paper asked me to write a daily blog, I also decided to toy with the rather nifty AudioBoo iPhone app, which I decided I would use to record reviews straight after screenings before I could get to the nearest wi-fi spot with my laptop.
Anyone who’s ever tried to see a large number of films at a film festival (I managed around 26 over the course of 11 days) will know that great plans can be ruined by a lack of time and tiredness.
My Booing (yes, that sounds ridiculous to me as well) didn’t go quite as planned – in total I recorded four reviews.
Still, undeterred, I’ve recently tried to get back into the swing of audio reviews/features. Recently, after uncovering some strange goings on with the new DVD release of a classic Scottish film That Sinking Feeling, I recorded some Boos – Bill Forsyth blethers and That Syncing Feeling – to show how the soundtracks differed between the Scottish and American versions.
I’ve already had a few comments about these via Twitter and I can see the power they might have compared to a blog post of a few hundred words. Like any audio review, the point can be made quickly and simply in just a few minutes, with reviews of plays and films available almost instantly.
It’s probably too early to say how PR companies feel about audio reviews compared to written ones. I’ve not yet tried to review a film, play or DVD only via AudioBoo but I’m tempted to try it soon.
One of the main problems is where the Boos are located. My Boos are instantly uploaded as a tweet on my Twitter account where my 400+ followers can see it.
I can also embed it to my blog in a post and should be able to see who clicks through to the review on there.
If I choose to I can have the Boo automatically uploaded to Facebook, Posterous, Tumblr and FriendFeed, but I haven’t yet.
One of the most interesting features of AudioBoo is that it automatically creates a feed in iTunes, meaning I’m now effectively recording a podcast. As I’ve never had the time to record anything for iTunes this is a nifty little feature and I’m going to spend time in the next few weeks looking at how I can exploit it further.
The question remains however: would a series of AudioBoos be as well regarded as a 500 word review? Radio has been doing it for years, and my own monthly slot on Leith FM seems to be good enough for PR companies, though that’s a “proper” radio station, not some fly-by-night web application thingy.
Are there any PR folk or writers/reviewers reading this who see audio-only reviews as being just as valid as written ones? Your thoughts are welcome.