Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Dec 12, 2016 at 3:00 am – Dec 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive Winter 2016

December 12 – 16 2016 co-presented by AIR

From broadcast journalism to branded podcasts to live radio events, audio is hot. Now, more than ever before, independent radio producers are in demand. But in order to succeed in a quickly evolving and growing audio space, you need to master more than just audio recording and editing techniques. Yesterday’s radio producer is today’s multimedia producer.

Today, independent radio producers need to do everything from audio editing and scoring to branding and design, live event planning to contract management, fact-checking to sound design, in order to produce something new — that proverbial “boundary-pushing” piece of media. Over the course of this week, you’ll learn skills from an interdisciplinary group of specialists that will help make you a better generalist, to position you for the bright and exciting future of radio. Leaders Isaac Kestenbaum and Josie Holtzman will draw from lessons learned through their recent multiproject public media project, Frontier of Change, which required them to wear many hats, sometimes all at once: oral historians, radio producers, event planners, designers, composers, audio tour producers — and more.

Throughout the week, producers will have the opportunity to create a multimedia audio project culminating in a final event at Union Docs.


All classes take place at UnionDocs in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. There will be an evening excursion, a happy hour, and a lunch on Monday. Participation is encouraged, but optional.

December 12 – 16 2016

+++Full attendance is mandatory. If you are unable to attend each day of the intensive, please do not apply. Class meets from 10AM – 5:30PM, Monday through Friday. Lunch is on your own except for Monday. Snacks provided.+++

Full Spectrum has a competitive application process. We are looking for mid-career producers and story-first technologists from all walks of the media industry and beyond who have demonstrable skills in digital sound gathering, editing and mixing.

Filmmakers and those whose primary focus has been print, visual or moving image are strongly encouraged to attend, as well.

AIR membership is not required, though AIR members are eligible for a small travel stipend. A work sample is required with your application.

Please note: Participants *will not* be producing a piece during the week. Focus is on listening and discussion.

In order to keep costs down, this workshop is a BYOL, i.e. bring your own laptop. Students must be fully proficient using and operating their computers.

Application Deadline: 5 p.m. PT Friday, November 4, 2016.
NOTE: Only complete applications can be considered.
Winter Session Deposit Deadline/Rates:
Deposit: $75
Tuition: $850
If accepted, total payment is due: November 25, 2016

Apply here!

Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

2016 Class Overview


First things first: good storytelling — beginning with oral history and folk history practices, the magic questions and the recorded conversation. From Terkel to Isay’s StoryCorps, what does this technique offer today’s journalists? Quite a bit. From ethical issues of treating your subjects with respect, to the best way to ask the tough and awkward questions, these oral history foundations will create a foundation of interviewing best practices, for any situation or subject. Former StoryCorps facilitator turned reporter Adriana Gallardo will speak about best practices that span oral history and investigative journalism. And why good listening is an art in itself.

Instructors: Isaac Kestenbaum, Adriana Gallardo (ProPublica)


Can you judge a podcast by its cover? We all do, whether we realize it or not. This unit will serve as a design boot camp for audio producers, covering the basics of logo design, branding and user experience — from the ubiquitous podcast cover images to personal websites and business cards. Jen Ng, designer behind award-winning podcast “The Heart,” will share best practices from the show’s recent redesign and lead us through some of the best podcast logos and radio websites to learn how to visually stand out in the growing crowd. Jen will help you brand your podcast, or rebrand an existing one, and go through the basics of designing for iTunes and the growing number of podcast apps and platforms.

Instructor: Jen Ng (UX/UI Designer, “The Heart”)


Everyone has a podcast these days. Even Isaac’s dad has a podcast (no joke). But how do you make your podcast stand out — how do you develop the concept to establish a unique style and voice, and find your audience? As Executive Producer of Show Development, Gretta Cohn has led the development of numerous shows on Midroll/Earwolf’s expanding podcast roster. She has launched podcasts, including “Beautiful/Anonymous,” “Katie Couric” and “Fake the Nation.” She will talk about what catches her ear and why, pull back the curtain on the development process, and give you the opportunity to pitch your own podcast idea.

Instructor: Gretta Cohn (Executive Producer, Midroll/Earwolf Media)


The quality of radio and podcasting is going up and up, and with it, producers are required to be expert sound designers, editors and engineers. Andrew Chugg, director of Panoply Custom (audio arm of the podcast network at The Slate Group) and owner of the creative audio studio Gilded Audio Design, will lead an audio boot camp that will cover scoring, sound design and mastering for beautifully sound-rich audio pieces. We’ll also cover how to set up a home studio on the cheap, the basics of music mixing, how to record 3-D (binaural) sound, and a few other tips that make all the difference.

Instructors: Anthony Mattana (Hooke Audio) Andrew Chugg (Gilded Audio Design, Panoply Custom)


There is no box — this unit will delve into some of the strangest corners of audio and media production, using multimedia and multisensory experience to create stuff that is out there, just plain weird, but always forward thinking. We’ll go beyond the latest tech to explore timeless multimedia platforms — including letterpress, crayon rubbings and food. Yes, food. We’ll explore how low-budget and lo-fi can be harnessed to create cutting-edge audio projects. And we’ll take audio to the streets — to explore experimental ways of reaching new audiences. Award-winning producer, sound-artist and poet Pejk Malinovski will explore the “soundwalk” and other forms of site-specific audio that combine place, story, sound and serendipity to make something totally special.

Instructors: Josie Holtzman, Pejk Malinovski (formerly WNYC)


We live in an age of spectacle and live interaction, and audio is getting on board — from live storytelling events, to staged radio shows, to dance performances (Ira Glass is touring with a dance company). Throwing a successful live event requires a little bit of everything, and you don’t have to be a seasoned event planner or Excel wiz to create an engaging experience. Learn from the best how it’s done, and then plan a live event that we’ll premiere at UnionDocs at the end of the class.
Instructor: Sophia Paliza-Carre (WNYC, formerly “The Moth” and Localore: Finding America)



Warm up, inspiring references, case study, eye training.


Presentation by guest speaker + individual work-in-progress critique




Share / Discussion / Exercise


Lunch (on your own)


Seminar Presentation*

* On Tuesday and Thursday, the afternoon will be dedicated to student workshopping.




Workshop Exercise + Critique


Wrap Up


Josephine Holtzman, co-creator of “Frontier of Change” part of AIR’s Localore: Finding America initiative, is a Brooklyn-based multimedia storyteller, with a focus in audio documentary and interactive soundwalks. A graduate of Vassar College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, she is currently a producer for the NPR Music’s first multi-platform program “Jazz Night in America”.  Podcast production includes The Trip, 54Below, and Make Time.  Her reporting has aired on Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, Studio 360, and on the ReSound podcast.  She is co-founder of the climate change audio project, Winters Past.

Isaac Kestenbaum is a writer and multimedia producer.  He is the former Production Manager at StoryCorps, where he won a George Foster Peabody Award and an Alfred I. duPont award for work commemorating the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.  He is currently the general manager at Cowbird, an online library of human experience and storytelling platform founded by the visionary artist Jonathan Harris.  Isaac’s writing has appeared in Mental Floss, Maine Magazine, Down East magazine, the Portland Press Herald, Underwater New York, among others.  He holds a degree in sociology and English from Vassar College, and is also a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Andrew Chugg is podcast producer, sound designer, record producer and music supervisor. He has produced and scored podcasts for Panoply, WNYC, Anthology and Dublab. His record production discography includes titles with Sacred Bones Records and Mexican Summer. He is owner of the creative audio studio, Gilded Audio Design as well as Director of Panoply Custom, an audio arm of the podcast network at The Slate Group specializing in custom podcasts for clients. The New York Times claimed that in some recent music supervision work he “Enforc[es] a consistently mellow tone with inspired musical choices”

Gretta Cohn is Executive Producer for Show Development at Earwolf/Midroll Media, home to top comedy and pop culture podcasts including Comedy Bang Bang, How Did This Get Made, Longest Shortest Time and Beautiful/Anonymous. She works with hosts, talent, storytellers and producers to generate ideas, create engaging work and grow audience. She was previously a producer for Freakomonics Radio as well as WNYC’s Soundcheck, where she created the Tough Critics video series. She’s also a cellist and former member of the band Cursive.  

Sophia Paliza-Carre currently produces an affordability series at WNYC, a multi-platform line of reporting aiming to answer the question “Who can afford to live in New York?” Her work over the next nine months will focus on mounting a series of “residencies” for WNYC in transitioning neighborhoods around the city.  Previously she developed and led a 9-month public art and radio storytelling project about identity and community in Tucson, Arizona as part of AIR’s Localore: Finding America initiative. Before undertaking that project, she was a producer for The Moth in New York City. For the next few months, you can find her in the South Bronx!

Jen Ng is a user experience designer in the agency world who also creates visuals for Radiotopia’s The Heart — making the show look the way it sounds. Past work includes We the People’s web design (hosted by Josh Zepps of HuffPost Live). Her latest project explores listeners’ relationships with audio content to help her design intuitive and branded touchpoints for podcasts.

Pejk Malinovski went to a Marxist kindergarten in his hometown of Copenhagen. He is a poet, translator and radio producer. His radio dramas, conceptual documentaries and sound art pieces have aired on radio stations around the world (including New York’s own WNYC and the BBC) and been shown in museums and galleries. In 2012 he launched Passing Stranger  an audio walking tour of the East Village’s poetry history. He was also the co-creator and host of Thirdear an online audio magazine and he continues to edit and translate books for Forlaget Basilisk a poet-run publishing house in Copenhagen. In 2014 he won the Prix Europa for his work “Everything, Nothing, Harvey Keitel.”

Adriana Gallardo is an engagement reporter at ProPublica based in New York City. As the network manager for AIR’s Localore: Finding America, she oversaw a national series of 15 multimedia and community projects with NPR affiliate stations. Before joining AIR, she travelled the country as a facilitator with the StoryCorps mobile booth, collecting more than 400 local stories. In her hometown Chicago, she spent over a decade working in journalism as a print writer, online editor and radio producer.

Presented With



Dec 12, 2016 at 3:00 am
Dec 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Support UnionDocs’ next phase and new building by becoming a member

Peek in the window of our bustling building in NYC and tune into the ideas and energy bubbling up from the UNDO Center.

Tune into cutting-edge, powerful and poetic documentary programs and connect to conversations with the artists and thinkers passing through.

Now available at the Apple Store and on Roku.



Unlimited access to all of our monthly offerings for the price of two espressos.



Keep it simple and save. Unlimited access to our sweet offerings for a reduced, annual fee and receive some added benefits.



In the neighborhood, a working artist, student or senior? This membership is for you. Fill out a quick form for a discount code to an annual membership.



Get all of the benefits of the Annual UNDO Membership plus an annual subscription to UnionDocs Editions, a set of publications, merchandise or special objects.

UnionDocs is grateful for support from:

We have two new limited editions out now that have grown out of our UNDO FELLOWSHIP

FORMS OF ERRANTRY delves into the mesmerizing and haunting films of Miryam Charles and is edited by Lakshmi Padmanabhan. GEOLOGIC LISTENING centers the monumental and expansive work of filmmaker Deborah Stratman and is edited by Sukhdev Sandhu.

Summer Documentary Labs

Join a select group of emerging filmmakers to think through every aspect of your work-in-progress in this tightly structured program.