From Soup to Nuts: Documentary Audio Production


Through lectures, group discussions, student presentations, written handouts, and lots of audio demos, this course will explore the ins and outs of creating a long-form documentary for radio or podcast. Designed to meet the needs of mid-level producers, this seminar is also accessible to individuals who have little or no experience in radio production.

Compelling audio documentary incorporates a creative weave of narration, interviews, music, vérité scenes, character portraits, dramatizations, performances, archival tape, and ambience beds. Students will learn how to paint a picture in sound, with emphasis on the production process. We will examine the steps of concept development, research, pre-production, recording techniques, interviewing, writing, organizing tape, scripting, editing, and mixing. Most importantly, we will focus on the art of storytelling—we will discuss dramatic structure, taking the listener through the introduction, development, and resolution of a story. We will also explore how character development brings the listener to the heart of the story.

Claire Schoen has worked as an independent media producer for over 25 years, with a special focus on documentary radio. As a producer/director, she has created over 20 long-form radio documentaries and several documentary films, as well as numerous short works. As a sound designer she has recorded, edited, and mixed sound for film, video, radio, websites, museums, and theater productions. Her radio documentaries have garnered such awards as NFCB Golden and Silver Reels, two Gracies, two Clarion Awards, a PASS award, and a New York International Festival Silver, and she has also shared in both a Peabody and a DuPont-Columbia. Along with teaching at CDS, Claire has taught media production for UC-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, AIR’s mentorship program, and the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Additional Information


Add Section Location Ages Grades Instructor Dates Days Times Fees Details Open