The Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive


DECEMBER 10-14, 2018

At UnionDocs, Brooklyn, NY


Please keep the program bookmarked for next season.


AIR’s Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensives started with Localore and Makers Quest 2.0, two experiments in public media that challenged a handful of talented, creative producers to come up with new ways of finding and telling stories.

The Full Spectrum curriculum emerged from our findings. The result: An audio-forward week of intense training with workshops covering experiments in writing and interviewing, sound in space, community stories, and the future of audio.

Where: UnionDocs in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York
When: December 10-14, 2018

The Full Spectrum Storytelling Intensive is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Meet our instructors or look at our Winter 2018 Curriculum!


Winter 2018 Preview

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, independent radio producers need to do everything from editing to branding, live event planning to contract management, and fact-checking to sound design. 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. Lead instructor and 2014 New Voice Scholar Emanuele Berry will draw from her work with various shows at Gimlet Media. She will head an interdisciplinary group of accomplished specialists to take you on a journey from storytelling to interactive design to composing. Our instructors come from RadioLab, This American Life, Serial, Gimlet Media, independent backgrounds, 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 and 2014 New Voice Scholar Emanuele Berry will draw from lessons learned from her work with various shows at Gimlet Media.


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


December 10-14, 2018

Full attendance is mandatory. If you are unable to attend each day of the intensive, please do not apply. Class meets from 10 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Lunch will be provided on Monday and light snacks will be provided throughout the week.


Who is eligible?

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 new projects during the week.

Full Tuition Scholarship

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.


Application Period: October 1 – October 12, 2018
Tuition: $850

Additional Travel Reimbursement for AIRsters

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.

Refund Policy

Full payment from those accepted to Full Spectrum is due October 24, 2018. After October 24, tuition is non-refundable.

To learn more:

Questions? Contact Program Director Tran Vu at

Winter 2018 Curriculum Overview

Nadia Reiman, This American Life
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.

Chiquita Paschal, independent editor and podcast consultant
Nobody knows what producers do because they tend to do a bit of everything, with a different strengths in editorial and technical production depending on the project. We’ll map out the different types of producer roles, with examples, and help you figure out where your strengths lie.

Tobin Low, Nancy, WNYC
Getting personal tape—the kind where your interviewee opens up about the nitty gritty, vulnerable stuff—can be difficult. And then once you have it, how do you shape it into a compelling narrative? Tobin Low will take students through the process of getting personal tape, and shaping it into a story.

Alex Overington, Radiolab, WNYC
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.

Emanuele Berry, Gimlet Media
A child’s response to ‘how was your day today?’, a Chinese non-profit’s marketing video, an episode of Jane The Virgin — each of these things has its own unique structure. As storytellers and radio producers, we are constantly consuming story formats. In this session, we will stop to analyze, reflect and find inspiration in these daily doses of structures. We’ll unpack soda commercials, Korean drama previews and subway announcements as a way to open you and your stories up to new possibilities.

Christopher Allen, Founder, UnionDocs
Alison Kobayashi, Multimedia Artist
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’s expansive documentary production Living Los Sures.

Putting Down Roots: How to Embed in a New Town
Emmanuel Dzotsi, Serial

Sometimes, when you’re reporting a story that takes place out of town, you don’t have the luxury of making a couple trips and calling it a day. For some stories, you need to be there all the time, for however long it takes. You might even have to move there. In this session, we’ll talk about how to embed in a new town while avoiding the pitfalls of so-called “parachute journalism.” You’ll learn how to build a beat from scratch, and connect with the community you’re reporting on to create stories that feel lived-in, and true to a place.

Breaking Down The Pitch 
Annie Brown, The Daily
Nearly every narrative journalist agrees that finding and pitching stories are some of the hardest, most discouraging parts of the story making process. Through concrete examples from seasoned storytellers, this workshop will discuss how to look for stories, how to know when you’ve got one, and how to convince an outlet to let you make it.


Winter 2018 Instructors and Guest Speakers

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Emanuele Berry, lead instructor

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 currently works as an editor on The Nod and StartUp at Gimlet Media. In the past, she worked as a producer/reporter at Gimlet on The Nod, Undone and StartUp. Before joining Gimlet, she told stories as a public radio reporter, covering everything from the World Dwarf Games to protest in Ferguson, Missouri. 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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Christopher Allen

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.

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Annie Brown

Annie Brown is a narrative producer on The Daily at The New York Times. Before The Daily, she reported and produced an audio series at the Times called Change Agent and has made stories for California Sunday Magazine, the Center for Investigative Reporting, 99% Invisible, Pop Up Magazine, among others.

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Emmanuel Dzotsi

Emmanuel Dzotsi is a producer at Serial. Before that, he was a fellow at This American Life, and reported and produced stories as an intern at NPR member stations WBEZ and WOSU.

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Alison S. M. Kobayashi

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.
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Tobin Low

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.

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Alex Overington

Alex Overington is the composer and Technical Director of Radiolab Presents: More Perfect. Before joining More Perfect, he produced and co-created Peabody Award-winning Meet the Composer for WQXR. He also served as in-house composer for WNYC Studios, helping to launch several shows including Nancy and 2 Dope Queens. After graduating from Oberlin Conservatory, Alex apprenticed under Valgeir Sigurðsson and Ben Frost at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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Chiquita Paschal

Chiquita Paschal is an independent editor and podcast consultant. She is currently the editor of Malcolm Gladwell’s new music history podcast, Broken Record, which debuts in November. Before flying solo, she was a producer for Gimlet Media’s Peabody Award-winning history show Uncivil and a member of BuzzFeed’s illustrious Pod Squad where she helped produce Another Round. Chiquita also served as editor of the most recent seasons of Bad With Money with Gaby Dunn, Democracy in Color with Aimee Allison, and Essence Magazine’s celebrity pop-culture podcast Yes Girl. Before podcasting, she worked at public radio stations in New Mexico and Boston, as well as PRX, NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Nadia Reiman

Nadia Reiman has been making radio since 2005, when she started covering Capitol Hill with a minidisc recorder and no journalism experience for a small Spanish-language politics show. She then worked for many years at StoryCorps, where she and other team members won a Peabody Award for their 9/11 coverage. Nadia was also the Senior Editor at NPR’s Latino USA, where her work received the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Ñ Award among others. She’s also written about music for online publications and has translated both fiction and nonfiction.


UnionDocs (UnDo) is a Center for Documentary Art that generates and shares big ideas. We bring together a diverse community of experimental media-makers, dedicated journalists, critical thinkers, and local partners on a search for urgent expressions of the human experience, practical perspectives on the world today, and compelling visions for the future.

AIR is a vibrant talent network of more than 1,200 makers powering public media, audio, and podcasting. Founded in 1988, AIR identifies, cultivates and deploys storymakers who create innovative work, challenge and inspire other media makers, and find resources in digital, broadcasting, and podcasting. AIR’s programs activate talent to accelerate public media innovation and expand service to more citizens across the U.S.

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Major funding for Full Spectrum is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.