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Jun 25, 2018 at 8:00 am – Jun 29, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive Summer 2018

With Emanuele Berry, Christopher Allen, Alison Kobayashi, Lisa Chow, Caitlin Dickerson, Alex Lewis, Tobin Low, Alex Overington, and Nadia Reiman

From multimedia journalism to branded podcasts to live events, storymaking is pushing the boundaries. Now, more than ever before, independent producers are in demand. But in order to succeed in a quickly evolving and growing media space, you need to master more than just audio recording and editing techniques.

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. Over the course of this week, you’ll learn skills from an interdisciplinary group of specialists that will help to position you for the bright and exciting future of radio.

Full Spectrum will expand your definition of what storytelling can be, while imparting concrete skills to add to your producer tool kit. Multimedia producer Emanuele Berry will lead an interdisciplinary group of accomplished specialists to take you on a journey from storytelling to interactive design to composing—and beyond.

The week will be a combination of hands-on instruction, workshops, lectures, pitch sessions, experiments—and even an excursion or two. We’re looking for producers with the desire to expand their skills and their minds.

Lead instructor Emanuele Berry will draw from lessons learned through her work


We are looking for producers and story-first technologists from all walks of the media industry and beyond who have demonstrable skills in sound gathering, editing and mixing. Filmmakers and those whose primary focus has been visual or moving image are strongly encouraged to attend, as well. AIR membership is not required, though AIR producers outside of the New York area are eligible for a small travel stipend. A work sample is required with your application. Please note: Participants will not be producing projects during the week.

Application Period: Applications close April 27, 2018 Tuition: $850 Applicants must submit a $75 deposit to hold their spot. If selected, that deposit will go toward the full cost of tuition. Deposits will be returned immediately to those who are not selected for the workshop. Please note: There is a 3 percent processing fee for Paypal payments.

Full payment from those accepted to Full Spectrum is due May 18, 2018. After May 18, tuition is non-refundable.

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.

To register for a workshop, students must pay in full via card, check, or cash . Course fees are not refundable or transferable and any withdrawals will result in the full cost of the class being forfeit. There will be no exceptions. To withdraw from a course please email info-at-uniondocs.org. In the event that a workshop does not receive sufficient enrollment, it may be canceled. Students will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the start of a cancelled workshop and will be refunded within 5 business days. If we reschedule a workshop to another date, students are also entitled to a full refund. UnionDocs reserves the right to change instructors without prior notification, and to change class location and meeting times by up to an hour with 48 hours prior notice.

AIR and UnionDocs are proud to offer a scholarship to one Full Spectrum attendee who can demonstrate financial need. Please submit your request for the scholarship, which waives the full tuition for the Intensive, on the Full Spectrum application form.

AIR members living outside of NYC are also eligible to receive a stipend ($100) to help underwrite fees and travel. If you’ve received a stipend or mentorship opportunity in the past two years from AIR, you may not be eligible.
If you’d like to join AIR to become eligible for the travel stipend, visit here. Participants coming from outside NYC are responsible for their own transportation and room and board during the intensive. UnionDocs can provide assistance in locating housing and guidance for getting around town for those not native to New York.

Please note: Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

2018 Summer Curriculum Overview

Short to Long Form: It's All in the Pitch

So you’ve perfected the craft of the four minute story. Maybe you’ve tried your hand at a seven minute feature, but can you keep listeners engaged for 30 minutes? Now more than ever, media outlets are making more space for long-form projects. How do you make the transition from breaking news to long-form? Instructor Emanuele Berry went from covering breaking news in Ferguson, Mo., to creating documentary-style podcasts at Gimlet Media. She discovered that the biggest difference was the stories she pitched and how she pitched them. In this session, you’ll learn how to determine if you have a long-form story or a short feature. We’ll also explore how to hook people using narrative skills, how much prep work you should do, and how to cater your pitch to different outlets.

Instructor: Emanuele Berry, “Gimlet”

Complicated Characters

We like to think of people as being good or bad. But bad guys can do good things. And good guys can do bad things. Lisa Chow will offer guidance on telling stories about problematic central characters, and how to structure a series around an uncooperative subject.

Instructor: Lisa Chow, “StartUp”

Investigative Storytelling

Journalistic investigations have the potential to make significant impact — but only if the work is engaging enough to make people listen. In this class, you’ll learn how to synthesize months of reporting into little morsels of intrigue that will make your audience feel like instant experts, while also making them crave more of what’s inside your notebook. You will learn how to connect your findings with a narrative arc, using characters and scenes to make for richer and more suspenseful stories that will stick with your listeners long after they hear your work.

Instructor: Caitlin Dickerson New York Times

Telling Stories With and For The People

For Localore: Finding America, AIR asked independent producers, like Alex Lewis to collaborate with citizens to help tell a new story about the rich diversity of America today. Alex will share insights to change the way you think about telling stories from your local community. Alex will share insights to help build deeper connections within the community you serve.

Instructor: Alex Lewis, Independent Radio Producer

Composing For the Ear

Learn how to use music and sound design to turn radio pieces into true compositions. Alex Overington will lead this session on how to score your pieces with music—and other sounds. You may never need to resort to the Free Music Archive again.

Instructor: Alex Overington, “RadioLab”

Pitching and Piloting a Show

The piloting process for a new podcast is tricky. It’s a daunting process of pitching a show and then culling down the endless possibilities of what your show could be to find out what it actually is. Tobin Low will use his experience piloting “Nancy” to take you through developing a new show and finding its distinctive voice and sensibility.

Instructor: Tobin Low, “Nancy”

Say Something Bunny

Christopher Allen and Alison Kobayashi will present the first act of Say Something Bunny, an immersive performance based on found audio, followed by a presentation and discussion of UnionDocs’ expansive documentary production Living Los Sures.

Instructors: Christopher Allen, UnionDocs Founder and Alison Kobayashi, Multimedia Artist

What to Keep and What to Cut

You can have the most interesting story in the world and it can come off boring in the telling. Similarly, you can have the simplest narrative in the world and you can make it very compelling. It’s all in the editing–what do you keep, what do you cut, and how do you write in a way that engages (hint: less is more, but only if it’s sharp). In this class we’ll talk about how to edit something–how to listen for those moments that you should keep, how to write around tape to make it pop, and how to shape a story in the first place to make it as engaging as possible. Any story needs this, and you can apply this even to short segments on a news show. We’ll unpack secrets from editors and we’ll talk about what your editors want–and when to know you’ve found a good one.

Instructor: Nadia Reiman, “This American Life”


10:00 am

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

10:30 am

Presentation by guest speaker

1:00 pm

Lunch (bring your own except for MONDAY, when there will be a catered lunch)

2:00 pm

Presentation by guest speaker

5:00 pm

Wrapping up


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Emanuele Berry has told tales from the mitten state, wandered around St. Louis with a microphone, and taught English in the Vegas of Asia. She is currently a producer and reporter for the Gimlet Media’s podcast The Nod. Before joining the The Nod, she worked on Gimlet’s Undone and StartUp. In the past, she told stories as a public radio reporter, covering everything from the World Dwarf Games to protest in Ferguson, Mo. Emanuele is a 2014 AIR New Voices Scholar. She is also the recipient of a 2015 Fulbright award to Macau, China.

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Lisa Chow is host of Gimlet Media’s StartUp, a documentary-style podcast series on entrepreneurial life. Before joining Gimlet, she was a senior editor at FiveThirtyEight and a reporter at NPR’s Planet Money and WNYC. She graduated from Brown with a degree in applied math, and she has an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Composer and producer Alexander Overington was born and raised in New York City. He is responsible for the sonic footprint of Q2 Music’s Meet the Composer podcast, which he co-produces along with host Nadia Sirota. After double-majoring in both acoustic and electronic music composition at Oberlin Conservatory, he apprenticed under composer/producers Valgeir Sigurðsson and Ben Frost at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland. Alex now lives and composes back in New York, where he has opened his own studio and co-founded the record label, Rest Assured. Alex can be found teaching sound design at The New School.


Nadia Reiman is Senior Editor at Latino USA. She has been a radio producer since 2005. Before joining the Latino USA team, Nadia produced for StoryCorps. Her work there on 9/11 stories earned her a Peabody Award. She has also mixed audio for animations, assisted on podcasts for magazines, and program managed translations for Canon Latin America. Nadia has also produced for None on Record, editing and mixing stories of queer Africans, and worked on a Spanish language radio show called Epicentro based out of Washington, DC. She graduated from Kenyon College with a double major in International Studies and Spanish Literature.

Christopher Allen Portrait

Christopher Allen is a founder of UnionDocs and is currently the Artistic Director. After graduating from Columbia University and studying at Trinity College Dublin, Allen worked as a social entrepreneur, documentary director, and new media artist. His individual works and collaborative projects have been exhibited at the MoMA, Harvard’s Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the Volksbühne Theatre, DirektorenHaus in Berlin, Independent Film Week, Sonár, DIVA, and Conflux Festivals, among many other venues. He directed the interactive documentary Capitol of Punk, which was part of “Design and the Elastic Mind” at the Museum of Modern Art, and he is currently in post-production on the feature Diamond Vehicle, shot in Tibet, China, Nepal, and India. Christopher was founding-partner of Counts Media, and played a leading role in the invention and execution of many art & entertainment concepts there, such as The Ride NY, a live theatrical and cinematic experience on the streets of the city, and Yellow Arrow, a place-based storytelling project exhibited online and in galleries and museums internationally.

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Caitlin Dickerson is a national immigration reporter based in New York. Since joining The Times in 2016, she has broken news about changes in deportation and detention policy, and profiled the lives of immigrants, including those without legal status. She frequently appears as a guest on “The Daily” podcast, and has filled in as its host.

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Alex Lewis is an independent radio producer and musician based in Philadelphia, PA.  He’s currently the Senior Producer of Saturday Night & Sunday Morning: The Gospel Roots of Rock & Soul – an audio documentary project with WXPN and The Dig, a podcast from Jacobin Magazine. For the past decade, he’s made radio features and audio documentaries for public radio programs and podcasts. Recently, he was the Lead Producer of Every ZIP Philadelphia, a Localore: Finding America collaboration with AIR and WHYY.

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Tobin Low is the co-host and co-managing editor of Nancy. He also served as a producer on the first season of More Perfect. His work has appeared on Marketplace, Studio 360, and the Codebreaker podcast. Tobin is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, and was selected by the Association of Independents in Radio to be a New Voices Scholar in 2014. Special skills include moderate circus tricks and a truly awful British accent.


Alison S. M. Kobayashi is a visual artist working in video, performance, installation and drawing. She has exhibited and screened work widely in North America and overseas at venues such as Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Jakarta International Film Festival, The Power Plant Contemporary, Anthology Film Archives, Bilbao International Film Festival, and The Flaherty International Film Seminar. In 2012 she was commissioned by Les Subsistances (Lyon, France) to develop and stage her first live performance. Her most recent project is the extremely popular performance Say Something Bunny!, based on two audio spools hidden inside an obsolete wire recorder purchased at an estate sale. She was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario and is currently based in Brooklyn.

Presented With



Jun 25, 2018 at 8:00 am
Jun 29, 2018 at 5:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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