AIRdaily dispatch: The art of weaving two storylines

The AIRdaily is a private community for AIR producers to find tape synchs, post (and read) calls for pitches and discuss the joys and frustrations of life as an independent producer—but the philosophical questions are sometimes where the conversations become most fascinating. Our members, unsurprisingly, are always up to amazing feats and willing to share the knowledge.

Last month, Martina Castro, podcast consultant and independent producer based in Santiago, Chile, posed a question that hits at the heart of many narratives: How to weave in and out of two storylines?

We’re reposting the conversation with permission from all parties:

Martina-wearing-Bose-HeadphonesMartina Castro: Hello AIR Brain trust!

I was recently asked for advice from a producer and for examples of said advice in action, and I was able to hand out the first but not so much the second. So I come to you and your brains for some help.

Basically, the producer wants to tell a love story. But this is no simple love story. It is at the center of a lot of complicated things, including gay rights, social upheaval over immigration, and a legal battle for asylum.

So my suggestion to her was to introduce the main character at the beginning, and tell us the love story in chapters, between which we would weave in and out of the plot surrounding this legal battle and therefore touch on the various issues at play.

So my question to ya’ll is: Have you heard examples of this structure or anything similar that could be useful to this producer?

Thanks so much in advance!

40fc738d17125cefb719b82cd696822eRandy Scott Carroll: The Cohabit does exactly this! There’s a love story at the center, broken up into chapters. In between those chapters is a separate narrative documentary about the changing landscape of relationships, including legal advancements and a segment on gay rights with Ann Friedman (host of Call Your Girlfriend) and comedian Lianna Carrera. Here’s a trailer. Best of luck!

Samuel Greenspan: Hey Martina, not sure if this is what you’re looking for but I remember loving this story from Melissa Allison that weaves together a personal story with principles of game theory.

AnnHeppermann-Headshot2Ann Hepperman: Katharina Smets did a beautiful piece for Falling Tree that aired on BBC 3 that wove together the story of her breakup along with the relationship with her grandmother.



Casey Herman: Thought I’d throw in a good example from the folks at Love + Radio: Greetings from Coney Island.

CatZaidee2013Catherine Stifter: And here’s another story with gay marriage, immigration and migration themes that I did at CapRadio this year. AIR member (and CapRadio reporter) Julia Mitric co-created the piece Out Of The Shadows And Into Marriage.



Mia Lobel: Hi, Martina! Malcolm Gladwell didwes_mia_mic_thumbnail this a lot in Revisionist History.


Martina Castro: These examples are awesome, everyone! Thanks again!

• If you have a technical question, a professional dilemma, or an adventure to share, take it to the AIRdaily. Not an AIR member? Participation in the AIRdaily “brain trust” is just one of the benefits.