Scheduled Dates

This event has ended and is no longer available for new enrollments.

Making It Sing: An Audio Documentary Institute

Dates: 8/6/2012 to 8/11/2012
Mo 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Tu 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM
We 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Th 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Fr 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM
Sa 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM

(View complete list of dates)

Located in : Center for Documentary Studies, CDS Auditorium
Instructor: John Biewen

Regular Student: $845.00

This intensive six-day workshop for producers with some experience—or a lot—gives you a chance to focus on a challenging project or to stretch and try something new. You’ve recorded interviews and gathered sound, and you’re ready to construct a six- to twelve-minute audio piece. You’ll bring your own recordings, logged, transcribed, and ready to go. You’ll get instructive sessions and personal, small-group guidance from seasoned radio producers (and from your peers) as you structure and script your story, record your narration tracks (if any), and mix your piece on CDS’s Hindenburg workstations—or, if you prefer, on your laptop with your own editing software. Saturday morning, we listen! The institute will be led by John Biewen with guest instructor Shea Shackelford. (35 hours)

John Biewen is audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies. Besides teaching summer audio institutes and undergraduate courses, he produces documentaries and features for NPR, PRI, American Public Media, and other public radio audiences. Biewen has been making radio since 1983, including eight years spent producing documentaries for American RadioWorks. His work has won many honors, including two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, and the Third Coast International Audio Festival’s Radio Impact Award.

Shea Shackelford is an audio documentary producer and creator of The Place + Memory Project, a public media project mapping a landscape of remembered places. His work has been heard nationally on such public radio shows as Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, and Snap Judgment. When he isn’t producing his own stories, Shea is busy training producers and helping stations and organizations to design and create their own projects. His awards include a Bronze Award for Best Radio Documentary at the 2010 Third Coast International Audio Festival. Shea has been part of the CDS summer audio institute team since 2005, and he is a founder of Big Shed, a public media shop specializing in audio and multimedia production.

Devon Taylor is an independent producer and editor living in New York City. She currently works for Radiotopia's Millennial and The Allusionist, and is producing a podcast series for the Guardian. Before becoming a producer, she served as the editor in chief of the Timbre, an online journal devoted to podcast criticism and curation, and taught creative writing at The University of Memphis and Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Her writing has been featured in the Atlantic, the Radio Journal, and CutBank, among other publications. She holds a law degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from The University of Memphis, where she was the senior nonfiction editor of the Pinch.

Additional information:
Members of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) can apply for a $100 stipend to attend Making It Sing. More details, and the online application, are here.

Please bring your own recordings to the institute.

Additional information and schedules will be emailed to registered students. The enrollment fee includes dinner the first night and all lunches during the week. Students are responsible for housing and transportation.

Hours for the institute are:
Monday, August 1: 5 p.m.–9 p.m.
Tuesday–Friday, August 2–5: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday, August 6: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

The institute concludes Saturday, with a public presentation of student work ending at 3 p.m.

Additional Information

Please bring your own recordings to the institute.

Additional information and schedules will be emailed to registered students. The enrollment fee includes all lunches during the week and one dinner. Students are responsible for housing and transportation.

Members in-good-standing of the Association for Independents in Radio are eligible for a $100 travel stipend on a first come, first serve basis. Only five stipends are available for each institute, so don't delay! To become eligible, join AIR.


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