podcasts of 2015

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:

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"

 

16. Kirsten Lepore: Start-Stop-Start-Stop by Elaine Sheldon

Animator Kirsten Lepore is the writer and director of an upcoming episode of Cartoon Network’s popular show “Adventure Time.” A majority of her career has been spent in her garage, which is actually her workshop, carefully moving tiny, handmade characters in the worlds she’s built for them. The films she made at Maryland Institute College of Art and CalArts, “Sweet Dreams” and “Bottle,” won countless awards and screened at SXSW, Slamdance, the Vimeo Awards, the Annie Awards, among others. She’s made work for big names like Google, MTV, Whole Foods, Nestlé, and Nickelodeon, upholding her own raw but charming style no matter the project. Kirsten talks about her knack for cooking, the challenges of being a one-woman band, poking a bit at her peculiar side, and stepping into a big director role with “Adventure Time.” She’s a self-proclaimed weirdo and that’s the way she’ll stay.

Name: Kirsten Lepore

Current City: Los Angeles

DOB: March 1985

Current Gig: Working on the Adventure Time episode! Which I think will air sometime this year. Also expect some more Google Doodles out on their homepage throughout the year!

What are you listening to? III, by Badbadnotgood

What piece of media changed you? Oh geez, there are so many things....I know it's cliche, but one of the pivotal moments was watching the original Star Wars Trilogy for the first time in 6th grade - pretty late for my age, actually. From the practical effects/creatures, to the music, to the far off worlds they created, it definitely inspired me to make my own crazy worlds.

Who is your career role model? I feel really fortunate that many of my career role models are also friends or contemporaries. People like Julia Pott, Mikey Please, DANIELS, Allison Schulnik, David OReilly, Adi Goodrich, Jenny Slate and Dean Fleicher-Camp are all making a living creating unique and diverse art in their own amazing, unique styles. I aspire to do the same.

What is a tool you can't live without? A sharp knife, big wooden cutting board, and a stove. If I couldn't cook, I think I'd get really depressed. Also, can I throw some good speakers in there with a sub? I need to dance too.

How do you take your coffee/tea? I'm an uncaffeinated person, actually - but when I do, I take an espresso with one sugar

What's your spirit animal? Hmmm, probably an elephant. An elephant never forgets. Although, people tell me I look and act like a koala and apparently they're very horny.

 

Music Featured in Episode 16 is by Dubb Nubb

Wild Dreamin’ (album)

  • These Whole Spaces
  • Where Does the Time Go?
  • I Dreamt

The Best Game Ever (album)

  • Ahm Nam Nam
  • Soldier

Sunrise Sleepy Eyed (album)

  • Back Roads
  • Kindergarten Wedding

New Bones (album)

  • Geometric Shapes
  • Buttons

Our featured MusicMakers are Hannah, Delia, and Amanda Rainey, or Dubb Nubb. Find out more in our She Does Music episode 16.5!

 

kirsten.jpg
It’s not the thing that looks like everything else that someone hired you to do that’s going to get you work. It’s the really unique thing that you made for yourself that showcases something new that’s going to get you hired.
— Kirsten Lepore
 

 

Related Links:

Kirsten's Website

Kirsten on Twitter

Kirsten on Instagram

Making of "Bottle" (in 1 minute)

 

Clips Featured in This Episode:

"Bottle" animation

"Sweet Dreams" animation

Adventure Time Theme Song

Adventure Time Exclusive Clip from Kirsten’s Episode “Bad Jubies”

 

Credits:

Produced by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

Sound Design by Billy Wirasnik

Illustration by Christine Cover

Production Assistance by Alijah Case

15. Emily Best: You Will Find Your People by Elaine Sheldon

Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding and distribution platform for independent filmmakers. She’s also the publisher of Bright Ideas Magazine. Emily has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in crowdfunding for film, and contributed to over 300 campaigns to date through Seed&Spark. She brings experience from producing live theatre and running restaurants to the film industry, and lets us into the world of investors and film distribution. Emily was named one of the 2013 Indiewire Influencers, 2014 New York Women of Influence and 2015 Upstart 100. She’s a daring individual who encourages us all to create meaningful communities around our work. Furthermore, things get personal when we discuss matters of the heart and how being independent and driven can affect personal relationships.

Name: Emily Best

Current City: Los Angeles, CA

DOB: 8/1980

What are you listening to now? First Aid Kit, both albums

What film/book/show/piece of media changed you?  An Iranian film that came out in 1997 called "Gabbeh." It was the first thing I ever went to see in my local independent theater (The Tower Theater in Sacramento, CA). I was dragged there by a MUCH cooler friend. I couldn't move when the credits started rolling. I didn't know film could be like that!

Who is your career role model?  I have so, so many. Sue Nagel. Jill Soloway. Oprah. I mean, how you know you made an impression, you only go by one name...and Diane von Furstenburg. 

What is a tool you can't live without? The little doggy poop bag dispenser that attaches to my dog's leash. So simple. So convenient.

How do you drink/take your coffee/tea? Little whole milk little sugar

What's your spirit animal?

  1. Exhibit A
  2. Exhibit B
  3. Exhibit C
The thing about being an artist is there’s always room. But now more than ever if you want to make a sustainable living it’s your responsibility to find the people who also want you to have a sustainable living doing what you do. There’s something about being really committed to a set of ideas that are important to you, and continuously articulating that value system to yourself and to your community in a meaningful way. And you will find your people.
— Emily Best
 

Music Featured in Episode 15 is by ZIEMBA 

A Pure Mirror and a Damn Prison (album)

  • Under Clouds
  • El Paso
  • Ugly Ambitious Women

Nearness (album)

  • Phantom See
  • Now Seed
  • White Black Red Yellow

Clips Featured In This Episode

Denny's Commercial

Credits

Produced by Elaine Sheldon & Sarah Ginsburg

Illustration by Christine Cover

Sound Design by Billy Wirasnik

14. Caitlin FitzGerald: A Very Specific Kind of Femininity by Elaine Sheldon

Caitlin FitzGerald, writer and actor, is one of Hollywood’s emerging talents. She may be best known for her role as Libby Masters on Showtime Network’s “Masters of Sex.” The series, which is currently in its third season, is set in the late 1950s and is a drama centered around the true story of the pioneers of the science of human sexuality. You may have also seen Caitlin in feature films “It’s Complicated,” “Damsels in Distress” and “Newlyweds,” and TV shows including, “Gossip Girl,” “How to Make It In America,” and “Law & Order: SVU.” Additionally, Caitlin co-wrote and starred in the feature film, “Like The Water,” which was filmed in her hometown of Camden, Maine. Caitlin talks about the ups and downs of Hollywood and her love of live theatre. She encourages you to choose yourself, remove “weakness” from your vocabulary and live for the journey, rather than the “I made it” moments. She’s a thoughtful soul that is sure to make you appreciate the role of an actor in our society.


Name: Caitlin FitzGerald

Current City: Los Angeles

DOB: 8/1983

Current Gig: "Masters of Sex" on Showtime

What are you listening to? Fink, Alabama Shakes, and Bob Marley. I love the Moth radio hour and and I really appreciated Marc Maron's interview with Obama on his podcast.

What piece of media changed you? So so many. I am currently reading a book by Marion Woodman called 'Conscious Femininity' that's blowing my mind. 

Who is your career role model? I love anyone who seems to be marching to the beat of their own very specific drum. Tilda Swinton comes to mind. 

What is a tool you can't live without? My aeropress coffee maker and Stitcher. 

How do you take your coffee/tea? Coffee with Half-and-Half 

What's your spirit animal? A lot of people have compared me to birds, which may be a slightly unkind comment on the way I look. I like to fancy myself more of a lioness. 

Any news or updates? I shot a film called 'Always Shine' with an amazing couple of filmmakers Sophia Takal and Lawrence Lavine last fall that I'm really excited about. It is just getting completed and will be hitting festivals next year. Another film I'm in called 'Manhattan Romance' will be getting released this fall! 

Related Links:


Historically we’ve always needed actors in the world because we need to see ourselves, and that feels honorable to me. That’s the thing I come back to when I get lost in clothing and red carpets and nonsense.
— Caitlin FitzGerald

Music Featured in Show: 

Our featured musicmaker is Nona Marie Invie, who is part of the bands listed below. Tune in on 7/22 when we release a mini episode featuring Nona and read more about her here.

Dark Dark Dark

  • Who Needs Who (album): Meet In The Dark (song)
  • Wild Go (album): Daydreaming, Something For Myself (songs)
  • Flood Tide (Original Soundtrack): Dragged By The Moon, Building, Bike Ride, Flood, On The Water (songs)

RONiiA 

  • RONiiA (album): Last Words, Bellz (songs)

Anonymous Choir

  • From Album II: This Woman’s Work

Credits

PRODUCED by Sarah Ginsburg & Elaine Sheldon

SOUND DESIGN by Bradford Krieger of Hanging Horse Studio

ILLUSTRATION by Christine Cover

13. Maggie Steber: There Are Worse Places To Die by Elaine Sheldon

Maggie Steber is a prolific documentary photographer who has worked in 65 countries around the world focusing on humanitarian, cultural, and social stories. For over three decades, Maggie has worked in Haiti, an experience that has impacted her emotionally and personally and led to her book “Dancing on Fire.” She has received the Leica Medal of Excellence, and recognition from World Press Photo Foundation, the Overseas Press Club, Pictures of the Year, and the Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri. Her work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, AARP, The Guardian, and Geo Magazine among others, and is featured in the Library of Congress and in private collections. In 2013, Maggie was named as one of eleven Women of Vision by National Geographic Magazine, publishing a book and touring in an exhibition in five American cities. Maggie talks about her love for history, a near-death experience covering conflict and her opposition to making poverty porn.

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW:

Our featured music maker this week is Brooke Singer, of French for Rabbits. PLAYLIST featured from "Spirit" and "Claimed By The Sea."

  • The Other Side
  • Claimed By The Sea
  • Spirits
  • Cold
  • Goat + The Other Side
  • Wisdom
  • Woke Up in a Storm
  • Hard Luck Stories
  • Gone Gone Gone

Listen here.

If you’re just there for a picture, forget it. In fact, please don’t go if that’s all you’re trying to do in a country, is document people who are suffering, just because you’re trying to build a portfolio. Please don’t go. If you really are sincerely interested and beyond ‘getting a great picture,’ people will tell you everything about themselves, and it enriches your own life.
— Maggie Steber


CREDITS
PRODUCED BY: Elaine Sheldon & Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN BY: Billy Wirasnik

PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE: Alijah Case

ILLUSTRATION: Christine Cover

11. Kat Cizek: Making Everything From Scratch by Elaine Sheldon

Kat Cizek is an innovative documentary storyteller who works across many media platforms. She’s currently the director of the National Film Board of Canada’s multi-year project entitled HIGHRISE, which examines life inside residential skyscrapers in suburbs around the world. Since it launched in 2009, HIGHRISE has generated interactive documentaries, mobile productions, live presentations, installations and films that have garnered Emmys, a Peabody, Webby Awards and recognition from the World Press Photo and IDFA Doc Lab, among others. Kat and the NFB just released the latest and final HIGHRISE project, “Universe Within,” that explores people’s digital lives online. We spoke to Kat about her life growing up in Waterloo in the late 60’s  after her parents escaped the Russian invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia. Kat talks about being at the frontlines of the Oka Crisis in Canada, a defining moment in her career and first-nations history in Canada. And her nearly 11 year relationship with the National Film Board of Canada through the Filmmaker in Residence and Highrise projects. Kat encourages us to explore new and meaningful ways to approach technology, and challenges us to evaluate our methods and ethics as storytellers.

I have been preoccupied with the role of the subject for most of my working life. It’s about understanding that a subject isn’t a subject. A subject is an agent in their own world and how can we work together to create interesting media that will contribute positively in this community. Too often we get so enamored with the technology that we forget about that.
— Kat Cizek

Name: Katerina Cizek

Current City: Toronto, Canada

DOB: 10/19/1969

What are you listening to now? Tanya Tagaq Animism

What film changed you? Opened your eyes? Vertov's silent film 'Man With a Movie Camera" (1929) The first great example of the power of the edit. It's documentary plus. About the city, about the camera, about the street. about revolution. I love Cinematic Orchestra's live re-scoring of it too.

Who is your career role model? Alanis Obomsawin. I first saw her behind the barricades in 1990, when the Canadian Army had surrounded the First Nations community of Kanesatake. I was there as a student photojournalist, she was there with her camera crew, shooting her masterpiece documentary series about the crisis. Seeing her there inspired me to become a documentarian. Years later, I made a short digital documentary piece and a short film about her. 

What is a tool you can't live without? Long Johns--I'm Canadian.

How do you take your coffee/tea? Tea. Black.

What's your spirit animal? Owl

CLIPS FEATURED IN SHOW:

Russia Invades Czechoslovakia

Leonard Cohen "Suzanne"

Seeing Is Believing

Challenge for Change NFB (1 & 2)

Filmmaker In Residence NFB

HIGHRISE: Out My Window

HIGHRISE: One Millionth Tower

HIGHRISE: A Short History of the Highrise 

HIGHRISE: Universe Within

Večerníček (Czech Animation)

CREDITS

PRODUCED by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg

SOUND DESIGN by Billy Wirasnik

MUSIC FEATURED IN SHOW: Our featured musicmaker this week is Audrey Ryan. Download her music on Bandcamp. Read our interview with her here.

Let's Go To The Vamp (album)

  • Oh The Ego
  • Snibber
  • Holding Back

Sirens (album)

  • Casiotone
  • Lift Me Up

I Know, I Know (album)

  • Are You Sleeping
  • Alright
  • I know I know
  • So Afraid
  • Maybe

Dishes & Pills (album)

  • People

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 

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

 

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