elaine mcmillion sheldon

22. Andrea Sisson: I Feel Purple Today by Elaine Sheldon

Andrea Sisson is a multidisciplinary visual artist who creates films, photos and performance art pieces for the design, art and fashion industries. Her work has been shown online and offline, in places like the São Paulo Museum of Image and Sound and on NOWNESS, where she featured Sia’s choreographer Ryan Heffington. She’s the co-director of “Everything Beautiful is Far Away,” a pop art sci-fi feature currently in post-production, and a feature documentary “I Send You This Place,” which Andrea made as a 2010 Fulbright Design Fellow. In 2013, Andrea and her husband Pete Ohs were selected as a duo for Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Andrea’s work is heavily influenced by the people, the colors, the environment and design that surrounds her. In this episode, we talk about Andrea’s love of travel, what it feels like to rediscover your teenage years, the intensity of falling in love, why we need to reassess mental illness, and how even “This American Life” gets online hate. Oh, and robot head girlfriends of course.

 

 

RELATED LINKS:

 

CLIPS USED IN SHOW:


 

CREDITS:

  • Produced by Sarah Ginsburg & Elaine Sheldon
  • Sound design by Billy Wirasnik
  • Illustration by Christine Cover
  • Production Assistance by Alijah Case
There are so many things we think we’re supposed to be, or society tells us we’re supposed to be, and I’m always trying to not let those things cover me up.
— Andrea Sisson

Name: Andrea Sisson

Current City: New York

What are you listening to now? On Being podcast, No No No Beruit

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? Murakami's "1Q84" and "Wind Up Bird." "33 Artists in 3 Acts," (book), as well as "All Pasolini" (film)

Who is your career role model? Marina Abramovic

What is a tool you can't live without? Mm, my computer. Text message - its like an ongoing journal but not just to yourself to friends and people that also journal back. I love text.

How do you drink your coffee/tea? Americano w/milk

 

MUSIC in this episode is by Stag Hare. Zara is the MusicMaker behind this project and we'll be featuring her story in episode 22.5 on 11/11/2015). Listen to her music on Soundcloud & Bandcamp and visit her website and Facebook.

SONGS you heard: Grays (Doom and Gloom Mantra), T I R E D from Angel Tech // Holy Quinn, Crystal Dust Dream, Oz from Black Medicine Music // y2 Soul Dive, Raga (dream) from Pongdools // To Coyoto to to Hop, Asha Moon Canoes from Spirit Canoes // Pulse Cocoon from Vessel - Part One

 

 

 

 

 

21. Ann Friedman: Successful, Whatever That Means by Elaine Sheldon

Ann Friedman is a freelance journalist who lives in Los Angeles. She writes a weekly column about politics, culture and gender for New York Magazine. She also contributes to the Columbia Journalism Review, ELLE, The Guardian, Los Angeles Magazine, The Gentlewoman, among other publications. She’s the co-host of popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend and reviews books for New Republic and Bookforum. Ann understands the importance of developing your own voice. She understands how our shifting landscape has changed the way people consume media, and how having a personal connection and point of view as an author, allows readers an entry point to trust your voice. Those who trust Ann’s voice look forward to her beloved newsletter, The Ann Friedman Weekly, where she sums up everything she’s written, read, listened to and watched that week. Ann has a broad view of how to tell a story, embracing all sorts of methods from longform, to GIFS, to pie chart, to DIY publishing, she's inventive and knows how to turn it into a paycheck.

In this episode, we talk about the changing role of journalism, getting fired, the importance of building your future network, the perils of aging in the media world, and the importance of self-driven projects. If you’re a freelancer, don’t miss this episode.

If you’re good you never stop building a network. It’s not a thing you do until you are ‘successful’ whatever that means. It’s a thing you do your whole career.
— Ann Friedman

Name: Ann Friedman

Current City: Los Angeles

What are you listening to now? This is going to make me sound so pretentious, but I have been listening to a lot of Ethiopian jazz lately. It's good working music.

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? I read Susan Sontag's journals (the first collection) when I was in a state of both personal and professional transition, and something about reading her unedited thoughts was really inspiring to me. 

Who is your career role model? It's so hard to pick just one! I am a big fan of Rebecca Traister. She is a fantastic writer and original thinker who takes a long view and backs up her opinions with reporting-- without losing her voice. Also, she's kind to both her sources and to other journalists. It's hard to imagine her becoming embroiled in a petty Twitter fight, which is how you know she's really smart.

What is a tool you can't live without? This is so boring, but my iPhone. Of course.

How do you drink your coffee/tea? Coffee. Usually black.

What's your spirit animal? When I'm tired or hung over, I most identify with a baby giraffe that is still learning to walk.


MUSIC BY:

Our musicmaker is HINDS! Find them on Soundcloud, Bandcamp & Facebook.

Photo by  Aarón Serrano    

Photo by Aarón Serrano

 

CREDITS:

  • Produced by Sarah Ginsburg & Elaine Sheldon
  • Sound design by Billy Wirasnik
  • Illustration by Christine Cover
  • Production Assistance by Alijah Case

CLIPS used in show:

19. Stacy Kranitz: I Play A Little With Fire by Elaine Sheldon

Stacy Kranitz is a documentary photographer who explores history, representation and otherness. She has developed her style, one that is full of movement, emotionally raw, gritty and features individuals in their environments. These individuals are sometimes new subjects, and other times her longtime friends; folks she has been documenting since she started her work in Appalachia in 2009. Stacy’s photos are sometimes bloody, many times violent, often sexualized, occasionally drug-induced, and always causing a stir. She has documented people and places all around the world, including snake handlers in Appalachia, cockfighting in Louisiana and black metal bands in Norway. Her work has been featured in VICE, New York Times Magazine, CNN, Mother Jones, TIME and Oxford American, among others. She also just completed her first feature documentary, “From the Study on Post-Pubescent Manhood.” In this episode, Stacy talks about facing criticism, the dishonesty of photojournalism, documenting violent situations, living out of her car, and blurring the lines between photographer and subject.

Related Links:

Stacy's Instagram

Stacy's Work:

 "As It Was Given To Me" (Appalachia work)

"The Crevasse Of The Reich" (Nazi Reenactors)

Skatopia (TIME)

"Life In Appalachia. Regression to the Mean" (CNN)

"Sausage Castle" (VICE)

Black Metal Bands in Norway (Revolver)

Cockfights in Louisiana

Interview with Stacy (ISSUE Magazine)

Trailer for Stacy's feature doc, "From the Study on Post Pubescent Manhood"

I don’t like being yelled at. I don’t like having a subject tell me that I treated them poorly, or I misrepresented them. That is difficult. But I can’t make this work without knowing that that’s going to be part of it. Even if the conversation goes against me and is not in favor of what I’m doing, it’s still part of the greater good of what I want from the project.
— Stacy Kranitz

Name: Stacy Kranitz

Current City: Los Angeles

What are you listening to now? Diana Ross, Reach out I'll Be There

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? 

  • Trihn T Min-Ha's film Reassemblage
  • George Gittoes's film The Miscreants of Taliwood
  • Elizabeth Barret's film Stranger With a Camera
  • Walid Raad's Atlas Project
  • Martha Rosler's writings on Documentary photography
  • Boris Mikhlov's book of photographs, Case History
  • Ed Templeton's Zines Teenagers Kissing and Teenagers Smoking
  • Carrie Mae Weems The Kitchen Table series
  • Peter Matthiessen's novel Shadow Country

Who is your career role model? Leni Riefenstahl. Rather than seek out a simple role model who fits a classic heroine profile, I am intrigued by the complex story of a woman I both love and hate. In Riefenstahl, I find a multidimensional character with a focused vision and a murky set of morals. These grey areas speak to my desire to understand people beyond the constraints of good versus evil. 

What is a tool you can't live without? Dresses with flowers on them

How do you take your coffee/tea? iced coffee, with a little bit of cream

What's your spirit animal? All the alligator's that live in Lake Martin, Louisiana

Updates? I'll be in Central Appalachia this summer working on my project As it Was Give(n) To Me. In October this project will be shown in Wales as part of the Diffusion photography festival. I just finished my first feature length documentary film, From the Study on Post-Pubescent Manhood.


CREDITS:

Produced by Elaine Sheldon & Sarah Ginsburg

Sound design by Billy Wirasnik

Illustration by Christine Cover

 

MUSIC by Dirty Dishes (meet Jenny next week!)

  • Dinner Bell
  • Sugar Plum Fairies
  • Guilty
  • Lackluster
  • Dan Cortez

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Skatopia (trailer)

17. Pamela Ribon: Finding Your Own Fun by Elaine Sheldon

Pamela Ribon is a television writer, screenwriter, best-selling novelist and all around hilarious human. She’s been a writer in comedy rooms for both network and cable television and is the author of four novels. NPR called her new memoir, Notes to Boys, “brain-breakingly funny.” Pamela has developed original series and features for ABC, ABC Family, Warner Bros., Disney Channel and 20th Century Fox Productions. She recently finished working on a feature for Walt Disney Animation Studios and she’s currently writing for Sony Pictures Animation on an upcoming feature. Pamela started writing on the web in 1998, before most people even knew what a blog was. She has been building her audience ever since, breaking the internet with “Barbie F*cks It Up Again,” among other posts. We talk about standup comedy, how to make your work go viral, and why it’s important to mind your our beeswax and find your own fun.

Wanting what other people have will never get you what you want, because you’re not spending time finding your own fun. It’s not fun to be jealous of people and it’s such a waste of time, because nobody has the same story. You can take the craziest route if you just follow what’s interesting to you.
— Pamela Ribon

RELATED LINKS:

Name: Pamela Ribon

Current City: Los Angeles

What are you listening to now? Podcasts: Scriptnotes, The Dinner Party Download, Pop Culture Happy Hour, Extra Hot Great

What film piece of media changed you? The Family Ties episode "A, My Name is Alex." It was an hour-long "very special" episode about Alex going to therapy after the sudden death of a close friend. Shot like a play, Alex moved in and out of the set, talking to an unseen therapist while playing out scenes with his family and friends. Seeing a sitcom tackle something so serious, mixing comedy with drama, letting Michael J Fox "act" so hard, completely blew my young mind. Comedy could help? Comedy could get serious? A sitcom could make me cry? I still remember jokes from it, so it also made me laugh. Because this episode is such a long ago memory, I originally assumed this epiphany happened only to me, but I've met more than one writer who also named this episode as an important moment in their young lives. Wikipedia says it won a shit-ton of awards, so I guess it wasn't just us kids knowing it was a good. 

Who is your career role model? Tina Fey, John Waters, Penn Jillette, Peggy Olson, Bjork, Leslie Knope.

What is a tool you can't live without? Spotify

How do you drink your coffee/tea? Black

What's your spirit animal? Hello Kitty. It used to be Batz Maru. I am evolving.

Any updates since we interviewed you? I'm currently writing a feature for Sony Animation and a comedy pilot for the Disney Channel. Everything else is under various NDAs.


MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW:

Music this week is by Springtime Carnivore

Listen to Episode 17.5 with Greta Morgan of Springtime Carnivore!

TRACKS: Karen Bird’s Themes, Talk To Me Slow, Last One To Know, Foxtrot Freak, Collectors, Western Pink, Name on a Matchbook, Low Clouds, Two Scars

 

CREDITS:

Produced by Elaine Sheldon & Sarah Ginsburg

Sound design by Billy Wirasnik

Illustration by Christine Cover

Production Assistance by Alijah Case

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Good Morning America Barbie Segment 1 & 2

Barbie Commercial "Cut & Style Barbie"

 

12. Mary Coleman: Throw It Away and Start Over by Elaine Sheldon

Mary Coleman is the Senior Development Executive at Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios. For the past 16 years, she has worked with directors and writers to dig into their personal memories and create stories that adults and kids can relate to. Mary got her start in theatre, performing on stage, working behind the scenes and a stint as a director. She talks about time spent with her grandmother who fostered her creative side, how ‘faking it ‘till you make it’ left her dissatisfied, how live performance influences her process at Pixar, and her efforts to make sure Pixar fosters a woman director in the coming years. Pixar's latest film, "Inside Out," will be released in theaters on June 19.

What I took from live performance, that really shaped the way I approach creative work, is being able to make a decision in the moment and go for it. When it’s live you have to be really nimble and responsive. Pixar movies are very masterfully crafted, but the creation of them involves a ton of people being ready to say, ‘Wow, I never thought of it that way. I’m willing to pivot now and try something totally different’.
— Mary Coleman

RELATED LINKS:

Go Into The Story: Interview with Mary Coleman (Part 1 & 2)

Pixar Animation Studio

Disney Pixar on Twitter

Name: Mary Coleman

Current City: Berkeley CA

DOB: 11/1964

What are you listening to right now? Florence and the Machine

What movie changed your perspective? "Amadues," directed by Milos Forman

Who is your career role model? Theatre director Anne Bogart

What is a tool you can't live without? Duct tape

How do you take your tea? Jasmine green iced tea

What is your spirit animal? Otter

Any news/updates? I am beyond excited about our next Pixar film, INSIDE OUT, opening June 19th.

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

"Inside Out" Trailer

South Pacific

"Finding Nemo" clip

Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes” Live

Toy Story “I’m a Picasso”

Toy Story “You’ve Got a Friend in Me"

 

CREDITS

PRODUCED: Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN: Billy Wirasnik

FIXER: Jason Headley

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW:

Learn more about Pearl and the Beard, our featured musicmaker of the week, here

  • Killing the Darlings: Reverend, Sweetness, The Lament of Coronado Brown, Swimming, 40K

  • Beast: Oculus, Yet

  • God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson: Voice in my Throat, Lost in Singapore, Vessel

  • Black Vessel EP: Manek and Ilona

  • 365 Project: Awake Like Me (Improvisation No. 2), Black Hole of Calcutta

10. Bianca Giaever: Always Talk to Strangers by Elaine Sheldon

Bianca Giaever is a radio producer, filmmaker and our youngest guest to-date. You may have heard her on RadioLab or This American Life or seen her short films on NPR, New York Times or featured as Vimeo Staff Picks. She recently won a Webby for "Videos 4 U" a new series she’s heading for This American Life. In this episode, Bianca talks about her inherited curiosity and inclination to talk to strangers as well as how her personal life, questions and struggles influence the themes of her work. We talk about the paralyzing effect of your first successful project, the fogginess of the sophomore slump and how to be patient instead of forcing an idea. She's a delight and full of contagious energy that is sure to make you want to throw yourself out there and make work.


Name: Bianca Giaever

Current City: Brooklyn, NY

Current Gig: This American Life / Videos 4 U

DOB: 4/1990

What are you listening to right now? Reply All

What piece of media inspired you? Joe Frank radio stories

Who is your career role model? Jay Allison

What's one tool you can't live without? Tape recorder

How do you take your coffee? Milk and sugar

What's your spirit animal? Still waiting for their arrival

Any updates since we interviewed you? Finishing up a couple stories at This American Life, then doing some soul searching about what to do next. The first video in the series just won a Webby.

Having a tape recorder is just an excuse to be able to ask these questions that I’m really wondering about and struggling with. I guess what’s served me best is to just share things about myself and that’s always led to great conversations that have been genuinely helpful to me. It’s created deep relationships between me and the person I’m interviewing. It’s a great lesson that when you share something about yourself people are usually grateful and willing to share something back.
— Bianca Giaever

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Holy Cow Lisa

The Scared Is Scared

Wake Up Now (TAL)

Dear Hector (RADIOLAB)

Horrible Day  (Sonic ID)

I Love You: Video Series for TAL

For Sale: by Jay Allison

A Milkshake Experiment (NPR)

Crush

Dinner With Strangers

War InVoice

 

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

 

HELP US BRING YOU SEASON 2:

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW:

Our featured MusicMaker this week is Lira Mondal of Boston-based band, Mini Dresses. Read our interview with Lira here.

Featured from EP FOUR: 

  • Center of a Room, Me and Mine, Are You Real, Bracelets

Featured from EP THREE: 

  • Other Ones, Been Out for Days, In Two, Strangers

Featured from EP TWO:

  • Watching You

Featured from EP HOT SUN:

  • Post Office Girl, Just Go

Featured from EP SUMMER Recordings:

  • Tide Pools, Comfortable

Featured from EP Emmi // Tom and I:

  • Emmi

9. Linda Pan: Our Little Video Store In The Cloud by Elaine Sheldon

Linda Pan’s parents moved from China to Saskatoon, Canada--making Linda a first-generation citizen. They persuaded Linda to follow a path similar to theirs: electrical engineering. So she did. After two engineering degrees and a handful of hard family conversations, Linda talks about how she transitioned from electrical engineering to media business, attended Harvard Business School and climbed the ladder at MRC and Netflix. Today, Linda is the general manager of SundanceNow Doc Club and Vice President of Business Development at AMC Networks. Similar to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, Sundance Now Doc Club offers a place for both longtime documentary lovers and those new to the genre, to stream classics and new releases. Learn how Linda, your video clerk on the Internet, curates and stocks the shelves and makes the business decisions behind what the new streaming service offers.


I have realized in my years of working with all different types of people, that airtime is not equivalent to thinking time. Sometimes you just need to be heard and say something. You don’t need to over think it, over analyze it. It’s just important to tell people how you think. And over time you grow to be comfortable putting your voice out there and developing your own style. The most important thing is to just speak up.
— Linda Pan

RELATED LINKS

Linda Pan on Twitter 

Join SundanceNow Doc Club

SundanceNow Doc Club on Facebook

Ira Glass’ curated documentary list 

Variety: Susan Sarandon and Linda Pan talk about Doc Club 

Name: Linda Pan

Current Gig: General Manager of SundanceNow Doc Club and Vice President of Business Development at AMC Networks

Current City: NYC

DOB: 6/1982

What are you listening to now? StartUp podcast

What books changed you? "The Stranger" by Albert Camus and "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Who is your career role model? Sheryl Sandberg

What is a tool you can't live without? Wunderlist

How do you take your coffee? With a dollop of cream

What's your spirit animal? My dog. He reminds me everyday to take joy in the simple things in life.


MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW: Our featured MusicMaker this week is Casey Dienel, of White Hinterland. Learn more about Casey here.

Songs featured from KAIROS album 

  • Cataract
  • Thunderbird
  • Icarus
  • Moon Jam
  • Bow & Arrow

Songs featured from BABY album 

  • Begin Again
  • Metronome
  • No Devotion
  • Dry Mind
  • Baby
  • Ring The Bell
  • David

Others:

  • Lunirascible
  • Hung On A Thin Thread

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Modern Times: Charlie Chaplin (Eating Machine clip)

1950's Westinghouse TV Commercial 1950

1978 Panasonic VHS Commercial

Cinema Paradiso (trailer)

NEWS: Netflix Splits DVD Mail Service Into Qwikster

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Wildebeests Documentary

Stop Making Sense (Documentary about The Talking Heads)

 

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

8. Hanna Polak: Either You Fall, Or You Ride by Elaine Sheldon

Hanna Polak, a Polish director and producer, has the stamina and guts that most filmmakers would envy. And now audiences at film festivals around the world are experiencing her dedication through “Something Better To Come,” a documentary that Hanna shot over the span of 14 years. The documentary follows the lives of Russians living in a massive garbage dump, located 12 miles from the center of Moscow. Hanna filmed many people living in the garbage dump, but one person in particular stood out: a young girl named Yula. We watch Yula grow up on-screen, experimenting with hair dye and makeup, foraging for food and shelter, as well as witnessing some firsts: trying her chances with alcohol, cigarettes and young love. Hanna previously directed the short film, “The Children of Leningradsky,” which explores the lives of homeless children living in Moscow train stations. The film received an Oscar nomination, an International Documentary Association Award for Best Documentary, two Emmy nominations, and the Gracie Allen Award, given by Women in Radio and Television. But there are many moments when Hanna puts down her camera and serves as an activist. In 1997, as part of her work in Russia, she founded and later collaborated with Active Child Aid to help support the children of Russia and in 2006 she was awarded the prestigious Golden Heart Award. Hanna shares the challenges of shooting and editing a film for 14 years, as well as a special memory with documentary pioneer, Ricky Leacock. Doc fans: this episode is not to be missed.


It’s like having a huge puzzle. Because after 14 years you have hundreds of hours of material, some big some small, and you have no idea where they fit. You don’t have the final picture. You don’t know what you’re building. And out of all of these materials you can make many pictures, but you try to make THE one.
— Hanna Polak on editing "Something Better to Come"

RELATED LINKS

Hanna's Website

"Something Better to Come" Film Website

"Something Better to Come" on Facebook 

NY Times Article on "The Children of Leningradsky"

Unicef Award for "The Children of Leningradsky"

 

Name: Hanna Polak

City: Warsaw, Poland

DOB: 7/21/1967

What are you listening to now? "So Close" by Ólafur Arnalds.

What piece of media changed you? Crime and Punishment

Who is your career role model? Vadim Yusov, Director of Photography of Andrei Tarkovsky

What is a tool you can't live without? Avid editing system

How do you drink/take your coffee/tea? Ginger tea with lemon

What's your spirit animal? Haven't discovered yet


MUSICMAKER FEATURED IN SHOW:

Taryn Blake Miller (Your Friend) from Jekyll / Hyde EP.

Featured Songs:

  • Bangs
  • Pallet
  • Peach
  • Tame One
  • Jekyll / Hyde
  • Expectation / Reality

This interview was conducted at True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. Hanna's feature documentary "Something Better to Come" had it's US Premiere at True/False AND our featured MusicMaker, Taryn Blake Miller of Your Friend was a musical busker. Find more information on films, music, dates, and passes at the True/False website

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Soundbites from “Something Better to Come”

Soundbites from  “The Children of Leningradsky

Isaac Stern Plays Schon Rosmarin at the age of 79

 

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

7. Ingrid Kopp: A Treasure Hunt Around The Web by Elaine Sheldon

Ingrid Kopp has been exploring the highest peaks and lowest valleys of independent film for the past 15 years and for the past 6 years has been island hopping to discover intersections between storytelling, social media and technology. As the Director of Interactive at the Tribeca Film Institute, Ingrid supports interactive and cross-platform projects through the TFI New Media Fund and TAA Interactive Prototype Fund. She is the creator of Tribeca Hacks, TFI Interactive and the curator of Storyscapes at the Tribeca Film Festival. All of these spaces invite story, tech and design into the same room to foster conversations and collaborations. In this episode of She Does, Ingrid talks about growing up in South Africa during apartheid, the balance between offline and online communities, lack of diversity in technology and curation, and her dreams to write a book and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro--at the same time.


In order to get where we want to go, which is creating really amazing pieces of work for audiences everywhere, you need to have diverse production teams and diverse audiences. It makes the work better.
— Ingrid Kopp

RELATED LINKS

Google Hangout with Lina (ep 6) & Ingrid (ep 7) on April 10 at 3 PM (EST) 

Storyscapes lineup (April 16 – 19): 

TFI Interactive day (April 18)

Ingrid on Twitter 

Ingrid on IndieWire 

Ingrid’s Interactive Playlist

Tribeca Sandbox (resources) 

Name: Ingrid Kopp

Current City: Brooklyn, NY

DOB: 1973

What's on your current playlist? 

Podcasts: StartUp, Invisibilia, Desert Island Discs, Start The Week. I love BBC Radio 4 podcasts, a sign of my age perhaps. 

Music: Billy Bragg, Miriam Makeba and Just A Band.

What piece(s) of media changed you?

Films: Divorce Iranian Style by Kim Longinotto; The Leader, The Driver and The Driver's Wife by Nick Broomfield; Moonstruck by Norman Jewison.

Books: All the RE:Search books but especially Angry Women and Angry Women in Rock. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Also, all Shakespeare plays. 

Shows: Every show I went to at Gilman in Berkeley 1995/96. Sonic Boom: The Art of Sound, a show at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2000 got me excited about installations.

Who are your career role models? Debra Zimmerman, from Women Make Movies; Jess Search, from BRITDOC; and Peter Dale from Rare Day. Peter was my first boss in media and an incredible mentor, supporter and all round good person.

What tool(s) can't you live without? My iPhone, a huge bag with a book or two in it, Moleskine notebooks and a good pen.

How do you drink your coffee/tea?  Strong coffee. I have been known to order quad lattes which I think are actually a heart risk!

Spirit animal? Goat. I love goats, and by the way, I loved goats before the Internet loved goats.



MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW:

  • Zebrat - A Childish World, Imagination

  • Podington Bear - Button Mushrooms, Formant, Resonant Ducs, Rainbow Architecture, Infant

  • Ketsa - Shiny Clouds

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

6. Lina Srivastava: Hashtags Don’t Make Change by Elaine Sheldon

Lina Srivastava is an impact strategist who combines media, technology, art and storytelling for social transformation. She has assisted filmmakers (“Born Into Brothels,” “Inocente,” “Who is Dayani Cristal”) in positioning their media to have meaningful impact. She also provides design consultation to social impact organizations, including UNESCO, the World Bank and UNICEF.  She practiced law for four years, before transitioning to the social impact field. She shares how she has helped filmmakers create impact campaigns to make real change, including providing clean water for a community in Honduras. Whether you are plugged into the impact metrics conversation, or feel alienated by it, this episode is for you. Lina breaks down how to catalyze and amplify social impact through creative media and warns of pitfalls she sees in the industry, shattering unrealistic expectations and pressure put on filmmakers to make change. 


Newsworthiness, in terms of documentary, is a really good standard. But a higher standard is ethics and accuracy. And when you’re thinking about social impact documentary, I go that step further in saying, if I’m documenting a particular social issue, I’m going to have to figure out what I can do. Some people think that documentarians are aligned with journalists, and you shouldn’t interfere. I don’t come out of that tradition. I’m an activist, I’m like, ‘We have to do something. We can’t just hijack somebody’s story.’
— Lina Srivastava

RELATED LINKS

Lina on Twitter

Regarding Humanity on Facebook

Lina’s Blog

Lina's Current Projects: Priya’s Shakti, Who Is Dayani Cristal?, Traveling While Black.

Lina curated list on MIT’s Docubase

Lina on Huffington Post

Name: Lina Srivastava

Current City: New York

What are you listening to now? Radio Gladys Palmera, The Avener, and Cassandra Wilson are in rotation right now.

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? This is a hard question to answer because there have been so many. When I was in grade school, we used to be assigned Newbery Award winning books. I especially remember A Wrinkle in Time, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, and The Westing Game. They were mind-expanding, sparking a young and active imagination. As I grew up, Things Fall Apart, 100 Years of Solitude, and Pride and Prejudice did. In the past few years or so, Junot Diaz, Zadie Smith, Nicole Krauss, Hilary Mantel, Nayyirah Waheed, Colum McCann, and Aleksander Hemon have all opened my eyes. So did the film The Act of Killing. And of course Who Is Dayani Cristal?

Who is your career role model? Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design, as well as the Director of R&D at MoMA. A pioneer and innovator who stands above the crowd in a (male-dominated) field of pioneers and innovators.

What is a tool you can't live without? My cell phone. Pure and simple.

How do you drink/take your coffee/tea? Hot, milk and sugar

What's your spirit animal? Butterfly


CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW: 

Learn about our featured MusicMaker, Ana Karina DaCosta, here.

The Derevolutions: 

  • I Feel A Goo World

  • Automate Your Soul

  • Take it to the Hoop

  • Living in the Not World

  • Crazy Janey

28 Degrees Taurus:

  • From Part to Part, All the Stars in Your Eyes, Hearts Were Made

  • Off album Underwater Love Sequences EP: Circle & Cross

  • Off album How Do You Like Your Love: Moments, Phases & Timing

  • Off album Mirrors & Gates: Heart Attack

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:


5. Kara Oehler: Being Really Internetty by Elaine Sheldon

It’s difficult to sum up what Kara Oehler does in a single title. The process quickly turns into a hyphenated chain of words--documentarian-radio producer-tech founder-interactive media producer-entrepreneur-academic. We chatted with the co-founder of Zeega and GoPop--the latter which was recently acquired by Buzzfeed--about her early influences, growing up in the woods of Indiana, starting communities like UnionDocs Collaborative Studio and metaLAB at Harvard, living out of her car to document Main Streets across America, and being a female in the tech and startup world. Come along for the ride, it’s a lot of fun.


To start a genre, and to form a community, you have to make up all the words for it. There are a lot of words like that, interactive documentary is one. There was point where that combination of words had no search results on Google. But then you start writing about it, talking about it at conferences and then it becomes a genre.
— Kara Oehler, co-founder of Zeega & GoPop

RELATED LINKS

Kara on Twitter

Buzzfeed Acquires Go-Pop

Zeega Storytelling Platform

Union Docs Collaborative

Mapping Main Street Interactive Documentary

Kara’s Audio Documentaries: Third Coast Festival 

Matter VC 

Kara as “Woman Celebrates 4th Year Of Weaning Self Off Facebook“ via The Onion

How to Pronounce GIF


Who is your career role model? I've got an incredible group of passionate friends and family who are all doing amazing work. I get inspiration from them every day. And my parents.

What is a tool you can't live without? I love my Sound Devices 722. I've had it since 2005 and it creates the most beautiful recordings. And this winter, my LL Bean duck boots have been clutch.

How do you take your coffee? At home: french press, black. At a fancy coffee shop: latte.

What's your spirit animal? Llamacorn (Llama + Unicorn)

Name: Kara Oehler

Current City: Brooklyn, NY

Date of Birth: 1978

What are you listening to now? I'm loving the Radiotopia podcasts, Gimlet podcasts, and Invisibilia. I find out about new releases from Other Music's email list and listen to a lot of WFMU.

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? I'm a huge admirer of South African artist William Kentridge. The first piece I saw of his was a work called Black Box / Chambre Noir. It was a study for his artistic direction of a staging of the opera The Magic Flute, employing charcoal drawings, mechanical moving puppets and projections within a black box. He used this medium to tell the story of the Herero genocide in Namibia under German colonial rule in the early 1900s. The piece completely took me by surprise. I sat in front of it for a couple hours and wept. In 2010, I interviewed Kentridge and asked him about approaching subjects like genocide or apartheid in this way. Here's what he said:

“To be human at all is to say, we need to forget a huge amount. But hold on to a tiny amount. But there’s some band between remembering and forgetting in which we can survive and exist. And I suppose the drawings in one sense take that narrow band and move within it and say, this is the band within human experience.”

I think it’s often the job of storytelling to try and find that band - that entry point for people to be able to take in information and question their own role as a witness or participant, or to just simply connect with a stranger's story. And this is something that Kentridge does with so much thought, emotion and skill.


CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Suzuki Method 

This American Life #277, Apology 

Korva Coleman (NPR)

“And I Walked” Third Coast

2008 Presidential Debate 

4. Debra Granik: How to Skin a Squirrel by Elaine Sheldon

Debra Granik is the Academy-award nominated director and writer of Winter’s Bone, which features a young Jennifer Lawrence in a gripping story set in the Ozarks. Winter's Bone won several awards including the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It also received four 2011 Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Previously, she wrote and directed Down to the Bone, starring Vera Farmiga. Her narrative work is heavily influenced by real life and real people. So it makes sense that recently Debra has found herself exploring the non-fiction world. She recently released Stray Dog, a contemplative portrait of Ron 'Stray Dog' Hall: biker, Vietnam Vet, and lover of small dogs. It has screened over 60 times around the world and was nominated for a 2015 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary. In this episode, Debra talks about learning her craft from politically-active women in the 1970s, being inspired by real life, where ideas come from, how stories take seed, and the ins and outs of her many productions. Debra reflects on her past, present, and the future of the industry.


Name: Debra Granik

Current City: New York City

What are you listening to? I listen to a lot of soothing nature sounds. I take refuge in a track called 8 hours of rivers and streams. I am enjoying the music of Kelsey Morris and their band Layperson Music.

What piece of media changed you? There have been so many it's hard to pick one. Most recently, the narrative feature, Girlhood, directed by Céline Sciamma. Fergus Bordewich's book, Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America. And We Come as Friends by Hubert Super. Many recent documentaries, especially about the experiences of soldiers and the sprawling topic of mass incarceration and the US prison system.

Who is your career role model? I have a special affection and admiration for essay filmmakers and documentarians, film creators who follow their interests and inspirations, those who try not to define their self worth as artists only through external achievement, but also try to make the making be a worthwhile part of their life.

What is a tool you can't live without? Spongy flip flops, viscous hand cream, luscious 0.7 vicuna ballpoint pens, notebooks.

How do you drink/take your coffee/tea? XXX with a little soy. Branching into hemp.

What's your spirit animal? Tortoise. Slow and steady. 

RELATED LINKS

Debra on Directing Jennifer Lawrence and Her New Documentary (VULTURE)

Debra Granik Archive (INDIE WIRE)

Debra’s Granik Featured In Opinion Sunday (NEW YORK TIMES)

Debra Granik on Finding J. Law and the Plight of the Female Director (DAILY BEAST)

 

There’s no space for that old style of the big barking orders coming from the big man. The big man who gets special treatment and has an entourage and special gear, special food, special limos, special chairs, special megaphones. I think we’re done with that paradigm. It’s okay to thank people. It’s good and right and just to acknowledge the work of others. I think women do a good job saying ‘I am not the king. I am a head coordinator and I’m working really hard with other people who all are contributing something to this effort.’
— Debra Granik

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW:

Peachpit and our featured MusicMaker, Hannah Waxman

Chris Zabriskie

Jahzzar

Gillicuddy

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Women’s rights protests (1 & 2)

High school play (Phantom of the Opera)

Harlan County, USA (full film)

Winter’s Bone (Clips 12, & 3)

Stray Dog (trailer)

3. Anna Sale: Let’s Talk About Death, Sex & Money by Elaine Sheldon

Anna Sale is the creator, host and managing editor of WNYC’s podcast, Death, Sex & Money, a biweekly show featuring intimate interviews with both celebrities and commoners alike, that has risen to the top of the iTunes charts. She’s a public media veteran who covered the 2012 presidential campaign and has contributed to This American Life, NPR, Marketplace, Studio 360, PBS Newshour, and Slate. In this episode, Anna talks about her West Virginian (or Appalachian) roots, being a self-proclaimed “honorable detector of snobs”, coming into journalism as an activist, landing her first job, coping with divorce, the art of the interview and the challenge of telling stories that aren’t often featured on the front page. You’re in for a real treat. Anna has a special gift, a voice made to be heard. You can hear the smile in her voice.


Name: Anna Sale

Current City: NYC 

DOB: 1980

What are you listening to? D'Angelo's Black Messiah

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? There are so many. A recent favorite was the film, "Stories We Tell" by Sarah Polley.

Who is your career role model? Terry, forever.

What is a tool you can't live without? ProTools, Google Docs, My worn-down, audio-in-one-ear tangled earbuds.

How do you take your coffee? Black, mostly. With soy if I'm in a fancy place.

What’s your spirit animal? A mule. I was getting a massage in Tampa in 2012, just after the Republican National Convention, and this sweet masseuse--young guy, bleached hair, pierced face--told me that was the essence he was reading: Wild and free like a horse plus a pleaser/hardworker, like a donkey=mule.

When I was putting together Death, Sexy & Money I wasn’t thinking of it as a women’s show or a show where we talk about women’s stories or the women’s view on things. Because I think no matter what your sexuality or your gender, there’s a lot happening that’s shifting the ways that we think about what the stories of our lives are in the U.S. So, I want to do both. But I think just making the base assumption when you’re doing a story that the details of this woman’s story is important. Given the history of women in this country in the past 100 years, that’s still a radical thing. So it feels good to be a part of that.
— Anna Sale

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

DS&M: How to Be a Man With Bill Withers

DS&M: I Killed Someone. Now I Have 3 Kids.

DS&M: Ellen Burstyn's Lessons on Survival

DS&M: The NFL Made Me Rich. I Won't Watch It Now.

DS&M: Dan Savage Says Cheating Happens. And That's OK.

DS&M: Jane Fonda After Death and Divorce

DS&M: This Senator Saved My Love Life

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW:

Cassie Lopez

Tiny Folk

Hudson

 

2. Lyric Cabral: You Gotta Have a Beat by Elaine Sheldon

Lyric Cabral is a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker based in the Bronx. She, along with her co-director David Felix Sutcliffe, premiered her feature-length film (T)ERROR at Sundance this year in the US Documentary category. (T)ERROR is billed as “the first film to document on camera a covert counterterrorism sting,” but the documentary has been in the works for over a decade. Lyric came across the film’s subject, an FBI informant, when she was only 19, but knew she was too young to tackle the story then. Lyric talks about the uncomfortable situations she’s found herself in as a photojournalist, being inspired by Gordon Parks, spending over a decade covering national security issues, and returning to a story 12 years after discovering it.


Name: Lyric R. Cabral

Current City: New York City

DOB: 1982

What are you listening to? D'angelo and the Vanguard "Black Messiah"

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you? I really appreciate the silent film "Sidewalk Stories" by Charles Lane. I saw the film at a time when I was making the professional transition from still photography to moving images. The film is quite moving for me because each frame is beautifully photographed, and reflects an attention to detail that reveals the sensitivities and struggles of life in New York city.

Who is your career role model? Someone who I admire personally and professionally is filmmaker Shola Lynch. I value that her body of work critically examines the lives of Black women (Shirley Chisholm, Angela Davis) in America, as these stories are typically lesser seen on screen. Shola is a meticulous archivist and historian, who researched "Free Angela" for 8 years. I am inspired by the tremendous commitment that motivates each of her films, and by the engaging narratives that she presents on screen.

What is a tool you can't live without? I really appreciate Twitter. I am able to access the perspectives of citizen journalists around the world, and research stories in a unique way.

How do you take your coffee?  One sugar and a little whole milk

What’s your spirit animal? A calico cat

 

LyricCabral-SheDoesPodcast
 

RELATED LINKS

I am the type of journalist that I’m never done. I don’t drop in and drop out. Whether they get a Christmas card from me, or I try to call, I just really try to stay in touch with people. I really don’t like the feeling of: I come in. I document you. I publish it. And then I just leave you alone with the consequences of whatever happens because you are now public. I’m never quite done.
— Lyric R. Cabral

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

 

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Blank Panther archival, (T)ERROR

1. Katja Blichfeld: I'm A Functional Stoner With A Vimeo Deal by Elaine Sheldon

Katja Blichfeld is the brains behind Vimeo’s popular new web series “High Maintenance," which features New Yorkers in all their strange glory. Katja and her husband write, direct and produce the show and they recently were awarded a 2015 Writers Guild Award for their episode "Rachel." But Katja's first love was casting. In 2014, she won an Emmy for her casting on 30 Rock. But success didn't happen overnight for Katja. In this interview, she shares the ups and downs--and all the delightful moments in between--of her journey. 

UPDATE: High Maintenance has been picked up by HBO!

Me following my intuition and me following my instincts has never not paid off. I feel like I’ve lived four complete lives in my 35 years. It’s been a lot of my major life decisions, but they’ve always been very driven from what’s in my heart, and they’ve always paid off.
— Katja Blichfeld, creator of High Maintenance

RELATED LINKS

HM on Vimeo 

HM Website

HM Episode "Rachel" featuring Katja

Katja’s blog

Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of 2013

Current City: Brooklyn, NY

DOB: 1978

What are you listening to right now? Marc Maron's WTF podcast - the Jenny Slate episode

What piece of media opened your eyes? Thomas Vinterberg's 1998 film "Festen"

Who is your career role model? I'm still kind of looking for one!

What is a tool you can't live without? My Vitamix blender

How do you take your coffee? Black

Who is your spirit animal? RuPaul Charles


Teaser by Elaine Sheldon

Photo by Kerrin Sheldon

Photo by Kerrin Sheldon

 

Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg introduce their new podcast, which launches on January 14th, 2015. Listen to soundbites from the first episodes of the series. Find us on on iTunes and Soundcloud. 

Thanks to our partner, Filmmaker Magazine, who will be running articles about each of our guests and co-hosting our bi-weekly Google Hangouts where YOU get to ask our guests your questions.

GUESTS FEATURED IN TEASER:
Bianca Giaever
Katie McKay
Anna Sale
Kara Oehler
Ingrid Kopp
Lyric Cabral
Lina Srivastava
Katja Blichfeld

MUSIC: 
"Kosmiche Slop" by Anenon 
"Proton Beat" by Gangi 
"Siesta" by Jahzzar
"Ascendant" by K. Laba Music