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MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop

The MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop in New York City is an intensive, hands-on, collaborative experience in advanced multimedia storytelling.


A Unique Approach

The primary goal of the MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop is to create an intimate, character-driven documentary that is ready for publication. Participants will work directly with two MediaStorm producers, in the field and in the editing suite, as part of a crew dedicated to telling a story. Participants will create their stories under the direction of MediaStorm producers in a collaborative, educational and hands-on environment.

Storytelling Workshops
Brooklyn, NY
*Apply by: April 16, 2015
Storytelling Workshops
Brooklyn, NY
*Apply by: May 25, 2015
Workshop Mailing List Sign Up
Admissions and Fees

Tuition for selected participants is $3,500.

Note: Attendees are responsible for their own room and board during the workshop.

All workshop participants receive a free one-year all access subscription to our online training and a license for our Post-production Workflow.

Cancellation Policy: If you need to pull out of the workshop, you may do so up to one week before the workshop and get a full refund. After that date, we are unable to offer refunds, but will guarantee a spot for you in a future workshop.
Apply Now

Interested applicants must fill out the online application. Once you submit the form, you will not be able to edit it. We strongly recommend copying the questions and working offline, and then pasting in your answers so that you don't lose any information.
You can also sign up to be notified as additional workshop dates are added:

If you have any questions, feel free to email info@mediastorm.com
Overview

Who Should Apply
This is a workshop for seasoned storytellers who have professional experience and are looking to further expand their storytelling capabilities. Applicants should have a working knowledge of audio recorders, video and still cameras and non-linear editing software. Applicants must also be able to work with others in a collaborative, team-oriented environment, and be willing to fulfill an assigned role on the crew.

This is not an introductory workshop. Participants will be working at a fast-paced professional level, moving from story concept to a completed multimedia story in a week.

The goal of the workshop is to collaborate with those who have expert skills in specific areas in order to create the best possible project.

Enrollment is very limited. Teams are very small with two or three participants and one or two observers.

Each Team Will Include:

Workshop Participant Roles:

A Field Reporter
A workshop participant who gathers original story elements in the field using still photography, audio and video. The field reporter will work under the guidance of a MediaStorm field producer who will direct coverage for the team. The reporter will also be responsible for, at times, supporting the MediaStorm producer’s own shooting of scenes as an example of our approach.

An Editor
A workshop participant who assists a MediaStorm editor in the post-production of a story. The editor will learn the MediaStorm post-production workflow, from transcription to output, while helping to develop the narrative with the MediaStorm editor.

An Observer
A workshop participant who has access to both the reporting and editing processes, but doesn't engage in hands-on work. The MediaStorm producers will decide where it is best for the observer to be assigned during the week.

MediaStorm Staff Roles:

A MediaStorm Field Producer
A MediaStorm producer who is dedicated to the team for the entire workshop, instructing and directing the field reporters during the story-gathering phase of the project. MediaStorm staff will also, at times, shoot portions of the story, allowing participants an opportunity to learn from experienced shooters.

A MediaStorm Editor
A MediaStorm producer who is dedicated to the team for the entire workshop, that is primarily responsible for the creation and direction of the team’s narrative.

Each participant will focus primarily on either reporting or editing, but will collaborate extensively and learn aspects of each skill during the workshop.

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Program

What You Will Learn
Narrative Storytelling
  • Developing the best approach for creating effective multimedia stories
  • Pre-production planning, finding the story's focus and execution of those ideas and techniques

Reporting Approach
  • Using the best tools to get the story
  • When to use a still camera, when to use audio and/or video
  • How to ask questions and get to the heart of the story

Post-Production
  • Establishing a strong post-production environment
  • Efficient editing techniques
  • Advanced Final Cut techniques including archiving and compression

Teamwork
  • Getting the most out of the reporter/editor relationship
  • Common issues and how to resolve them

This workshop is designed to replicate intense and sometimes difficult daily reporting and editing situations. You will walk out the door at the end of the week prepared to make significant changes in your existing methods, from rethinking and refining your shooting and audio gathering techniques to streamlining your post-production workflow and organization. Along the way, you will learn how to incorporate all of these techniques into finding and crafting well-told, compelling stories.

Story Subject Matter
You will be assigned to a team before the workshop and will collaborate with MediaStorm Producers to work out logistics and finalize a story idea before the workshop begins.

Participants are encouraged to create their own story ideas and discuss them with their MediaStorm Producer prior to the workshop.

Schedule
Out of town participants are expected to arrive in New York City the evening before the workshop begins.

Saturday10am: Overview and technical training
SundayFull team goes into in the field
Monday - TuesdayReporter in the field and Editor in post-production
Wednesday - FridayFull team in post-production
Friday nightFinal screening and party

Workshop Staff
The team assembled to lead the Workshop has extensive multimedia experience both in the field and in post-production. As a group, we've attended, led or taught at the top workshops in the profession.

Multimedia ProducerEric Maierson
Multimedia ProducerRick Gershon
Multimedia ProducerTim McLaughlin
Executive ProducerBrian Storm

Note: There will be one Producer assigned specifically to your team for each workshop. Producers may vary from workshop to workshop.

Biographies of the MediaStorm Workshop team can be found here.
Additional Benefits

Unique to the MediaStorm Workshops
Our goal is to create value for participants in addition to the training experience. To that end, we will create a venue to continue the dialogue with participants and a structure to generate additional financial opportunities for the workshop projects.

Syndication
MediaStorm has an established syndication model for multimedia projects. We have licensed projects to a variety of top-tier clients.

It's possible that some of the projects created during the workshop will have value in the marketplace beyond the educational experience.

If we license a project, the revenue generated will be shared with 50% split between the Reporter and Editor and 50% to MediaStorm.

Copyright to the original media assets created at the workshop will remain with the participants. MediaStorm maintains copyright to the completed multimedia project. The projects will be published in the workshop section of MediaStorm at the conclusion of the workshop.
Testimonials

Deanne Fitzmaurice

The quality of the work MediaStorm is producing sets the bar high for multimedia storytelling so it was great to work side by side with MediaStorm producers Eric Maierson and Brian Storm to understand the thought process and the possibilities that goes into one of these stories.

At MediaStorm, integrity and journalistic ethics are paramount as they let the story reveal itself. It became clear that their guiding principals are that the story is truthful and also fair to the subject.

The workshop has given me the confidence to handle any multimedia assignment that comes my way.


Deanne Fitzmaurice
Video & Photography on Family Kocktail
Mary Beth Meehan

I have not been this inspired about photography and photojournalism in almost ten years.

MediaStorm puts together an unbelievable combination of talented working professionals and experienced multimedia producers, and invites everyone to come together in a spirit of complete collaboration - and fun.

They share all of their cutting-edge awareness of how photography, audio, and video can work together, and you leave them feeling that you can take your work to a whole different level. I'm already thinking of things differently, trying to stretch beyond simply assembling still pictures to tell a story, and wondering how video and audio narrative might breathe some life into projects of my own.

Audio and video aren't just adaptive tools for surviving on the internet; they really can add layers of meaning and power to what we've been doing all these years as still photographers. The workshops are an act of generosity, really, as you get the sense that MediaStorm really wants to elevate all of our work, and take us along with them into the future of photojournalism.


Mary Beth Meehan
Photography and Video on Close to Home
Laurentiu Diaconu-Colintineanu

If you want to have a life-changing experience with the best multimedia professionals in the whole world, if you want to be terrified of going back to your job because you just discovered the most meaningful way to do journalism, if you want to learn more than in a week that you have, probably, in your entire career so far, then you'd better close this window and start completing the application form NOW!!!

I arrived in Dumbo as a journalist and left being a dreamer. I dream of teams of professionals, of uniting each member's skills in order to create profound narratives. I dream of changing my professional life and making people care about human issues and stories. It was such a privilege to work with the entire team at MediaStorm, I still can't find the right words to describe it.

It was magnificent to rediscover that people let you enter their life and share their story with you. It was wonderful to know that you not only documented a story, but helped your subject change her life as well. You become part of that life-changing moment and part of a big family. How awesome is that?!

To sum things up: one week felt like one month because it was so rich with emotions, laughter, ups and downs, mistakes and success. There are so many moments going through my mind right now, that it's hard to find all the words. But I think it doesn't matter anyway, 'cause you guys will probably never get to read this far. By now, surely, you are navigating the application form, right?!


Laurentiu Diaconu-Colintineanu
Photography, audio and video on Exodus
Benjamin Norman

I think the most helpful component of the workshop is that it's a product-focused. Yeah you could sit around their conference room for a week tinkering with gear and going back and forth about multimedia shooting strategies and techniques and you'd still learn a lot, but we all know practice, and learning from your own mistakes, makes perfect. And trust me, you're going to make pretty much every mistake in the book during the workshop week.

But because of that pressure to create a piece in seven days, you'll be amazed how quickly the gear issues fade away and how storytelling becomes the main topic of conversation. And this is what makes the workshop, and MediaStorm, so damn good. It's not the latest HDSLR that sucks you in to their work, its the storytelling, and the knowledge and experience you gain working with the best of the best is what'll make those 3am nights worth it.

I think I summed it up best to my friends when they asked me how the workshop went, "It took a few days out of my life, but it added many years to my career.


Benjamin Norman
Video & Audio, and Additional Interviews on Mr. Blues
Torsten Kjellstrand

I came to MediaStorm thinking that I needed to learn technical stuff - how to use microphones and DSLRs and software and whatever new gizmo just fell from the sky. I did learn a lot about those crucial tools, but the most important thing that happened during the week was that my love, and enthusiasm, for visual storytelling woke up and came out to play. I haven't been as excited about my work for years and years. It's hard to believe until you see it, but the MediaStorm team really does want us all to get better, to tell real stories, thrive, succeed, smile like we’re in love. I think our whole team did just that: fall in love with storytelling all over again.

The MediaStorm folks expected and celebrated going into our complicated world to discover real people with meaningful stories, tenderly gathered and truthfully told. They also expected us to work really hard - and they matched our efforts by working every bit as hard. And that's the other thing about this workshop: you learn how important it is to be an effective, respectful member of a team. It was incredible to work not only with the big heads at MediaStorm, but also with talented storytellers from other parts of our world. It's simply fun to work alongside people whose work is so good it makes the hair on the back of your neck dance with joy.

This workshop is the antidote to the dumb-it-down journalism taking over too much of our profession. MediaStorm convinced me that we have to master our new tools because doing so makes us better, more sophisticated, more robust conduits for stories that matter.


Torsten Kjellstrand
Photography and Video on The Amazing Amy
Gabriela Bulisova

There have been several mentors and photographers who advised me to look into working with video. I considered their advice, tried working with video (once) and quickly (too quickly perhaps) abandoned it as a tool that seemed too foreign to my hands and too inflexible to my eyes. In addition, to compromise my full commitment to still photography seemed a heresy I could not ascribe to. That was my philosophy until I met Brian Storm.

I've been an ardent admirer of MediaStorm and have tremendous respect for their commitment, their dedication, their innovative vision and storytelling. I use projects produced by MediaStorm for my own information and inspiration as well as an educational tool in my photography classes. But it was not until I heard Brian lecture that I decided to revisit my still-photo philosophy. I was greatly inspired by his presentation and I immediately signed up for the advanced multimedia workshop. Brian promised to me that after the week-long experience, my images and my storytelling approaches would never be the same.

When asked what the workshop experience was like, I heard myself saying: "These were the seven days that shook my world." I stand by that statement and truly hope I can carry on the skills and the knowledge I obtained from the remarkable MediaStorm team. I spent many years of my life in classrooms, but having experienced the one-week of working with MediaStorm was perhaps the most poignant and meaningful learning experience I have ever gained. I cannot possibly summarize the value of what I learned in a few words or sentences, but suffice it to say that I would take the workshop again and again. I am deeply indebted to Brian, Jennifer, Tim, Lauren, and all at MediaStorm for their invaluable gift of teaching me how to see and work and think in moving images, how to work in a team, and how to produce a project from the very beginning to the very end. My heartfelt thank you!


Gabriela Bulisova
Photography & Video on Nine Digits
Kristina Budelis

Before the workshop, I was looking forward to hearing the MediaStorm producers talk about multimedia -- about both the nature and strength of the medium, and also their storytelling techniques. And they delivered, often with inspiring clarity, occasionally with thoughtful uncertainty. After the first day, I was able to better understand and articulate the power of multimedia, and how to harness it. But as soon as we began shooting, we were all focused on telling our subject's story. Storytelling, though, was gracefully linked with discussions of technique and process, and that's the best thing about this workshop. During the week, you are product-motivated but with so many MediaStorm producers working alongside the talented participants, you're bound to learn a lot as you (especially with teammates and teachers who will all stay up until 3AM, sipping coffee and arguing about storyline.) Working with such talented and dedicated individuals was without a doubt the best part of the workshop. It was truly a joy to collaborate with Brian, Rick, Eric, Leandro, and my teammates Piotr and Jeff.

In the end, I learned a lot, but, more importantly, I am immensely proud of our story. I can't wait to show it to friends and colleagues, and I am eager to apply the techniques I learned to future visual storytelling endeavors.


Kristina Budelis
Photography & Video, and Interview on A Thousand More
Piotr Malecki

The workshop was so packed with activity and information that towards the end I was surprised that only one week had passed! These long days brought a lot of new ideas to my head that will certainly prove very useful in the future.

Information about building the scene, about storytelling and workflow was invaluable, very practical and hands on.

I also understand that a well shot and well edited story needs time, resources and careful planning. And the power of a finished piece can be huge; short documentary film thanks to its careful editing, good shots and music can be a real beauty, not only conveying the message, but also releasing emotions, provoking thoughts, raising awareness.

This workshop was also a great team experience for me. It was as a good lesson of technical skills as of communication and cooperation within a group. As a photojournalist I was always more happy to work and shoot alone, but during this workshop I have learned to appreciate the power of teamwork; brainstorming, exchanging ideas, the creative kick that it gives. I think that it can really help achieve better results.

And last, but not least, I need to mention great atmosphere and plenty of humour during workshop. It was a good time.


Piotr Malecki
Photography & Video on A Thousand More
Christian Als

I chose this workshop mainly because it is a product oriented workshop. For a guy that usually throw away the manual as the first thing after getting a new gadget, the learning by doing atmosphere of this workshop just seemed right to me. So I arrived in New York with a wish of getting the skills needed to produce short documentary films, and hopefully feel more inspired than ever. I certainly did. Both. But what I couldn’t know was, that I would leave the city with amazing new friendships and the proudest feeling bubbling inside. Proud as hell of the piece we did as a team, and proud of myself for pushing the limits of what I thought possible as a visual storyteller. We created, did we!

I knew that MediaStorm is at the forefront of our business when it comes to narrative storytelling, but nonetheless I was surprised to see just how sharp these guys are on the narrative. Talent was abundant, and dedication was limitless. At MediaStorm the story is always at the center of everything, and they really want to share all their secrets. Any technique applied to the piece, being about sequencing, about workflow or about building the narrative, always happened with explanation and open-minded discussions.

It was intense, hard work and long nights. But also hilarious, mind-blowing and ecstatic. I had a blast!


Lukas Augustin

I loved the fact that this course was made for people who already have experience and who are not starting from zero. I really enjoyed being a team instead of a lone ranger. Working as a collaborative team with so many talented and passionate people is not a one man show but a stretching experience that is rarely seen in our industry and elevates the product to a much higher level.

I loved the first day when Brian gave the introduction on multimedia storytelling and going with us through their previous work. Admiring their quality of work and the depth that their stories provide it was great to hear and see background information that explained why MediaStorm does things others don't.

It was great getting practical the following days and working alongside of an experienced team to produce a multimedia story. I have learned about the importance of the narrative and at the same time to stay true to the subject and putting all energy to portray his character and personality in a true light. The best though was the screening at the last night after getting through the editing. We had heated discussions, got feedback from the other teams and learned where we screwed up and what to do better next time. I love the idea of having the time to develop and fine tune story to its full potential rather than throwing out a piece of crap on a regular basis.



Lukas Augustin
Video and Photography on Luv Shtick
JT Thomas

As a still photographer who has intentionally avoided video over the years, I approached the storytelling workshop with an intention to make the leap into DSLR video in a very deliberate way, alas.

Leap I did and I landed in precisely the right collaborative environment to explore all multimedia storytelling and production.

Prior to the workshop I had explored combining my still images with radio-styled audio interview of my subjects in order to create the narrative spine of my multimedia work. But I had dragged my feet when it came time adopt video into my workflow, largely out of the prejudice that video would encumber my personal process of achieving an intimate relationship with my subject.

But those prejudices were quickly diffused as soon as it became apparent that I had been serving my own objectives as a storyteller and not the needs and voices of my subjects, as Brian so clearly re-framed it for me.

I shot video all week and very few still images and I came out of the experience with an entirely different sensibility of how to build a narrative around the voice of my subject while still being able to move light, fast and attentively along with our subject as they shared their most authentic and personal moments.

Video has now easily become part of my storytelling workflow, and I especially look forward to pursue more collaborative multimedia projects where subjects - and their precious stories - can benefit from the media tools that are now readily available to visual storytellers.


JT Thomas
Video and Photography on Luv Shtick
Markel Redondo

I have been looking at MediaStorm for a long time and been able to see how it actually functions from the inside, choosing the right story, preparing interviews, recording sound and working with a team has been of a great value to me. The first training day was very useful in order to take into account all the aspects that make a good story. We had a challenging story with some frustrating moments but I think that was part of the experience and I have learnt a lot from that too. As a photographer I am used to work on my own and seeing how MediaStorm works has proven me that working together is always successful.



Markel Redondo
Video and Photography on The American-Made Benny
Claire Molloy

I came to the workshop hoping to improve my shooting skills. While I succeeded in this, I ended up coming away with something far more important. My love for visual storytelling was revived. This one week workshop was an incredible jolt to my system and I was reminded why I began a career in this field.

I was in awe by the detail and thought MediaStorm has put into their stories. During the workshop they broke down their methods and process. The team not only discussed their achievements but their failures as well. Showing us you learn a lot from your mistakes. This is a company that truly loves to teach and wants everyone to improve. I learned such a great deal not only from my teachers but from my fellow participants as well. Everyone provided a unique point of view and brought their own skills to the team.

I am excited to apply the techniques and process I learned from the workshop to my future projects. But more importantly, I am excited for the future of visual storytelling as a whole. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Ingrid Styrkestad

I had a great time at the storytelling workshop. Collaborating with so many talented people was very interesting. I learned a lot of new ways of seeing the world and telling a story.


Annemor Larsen

It was a hot and intense week with your stormtroopers. The workshop gave me insight into MediaStorm’s ways of working out The Story in the editing room. To see the story finally starting to evolve after hours and hours of tedious logging, labeling and transcribing was a relief. The importance of knowing your material and where to find it is one of the things I will keep up, back home.

What surprised me was that, even though I participated as an editor, I also learned a lot about shooting because both Tim and Eric showed good examples of what worked and what didn't in the footage.

Thanks again for giving me "flat tire and parachute-memories". Coney Island will never be the same.



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Frequently Asked Questions

What gear will I need to bring? Will anything be provided?
We will be providing high-end Macintosh computers for the post-production workstations. Participants are required to bring their own photography, audio and video equipment. For information about the gear we recommend, see our gear list.

Each participant should also bring an external hard drive with at least 1TB of free space so they can take their individual assets home with them.

How are participants chosen?
Participants will be chosen based on the information provided in their applications. We are looking for people who will benefit the most from the training provided. Existing examples of high caliber multimedia projects are the most important criteria for selection.

How will teams be paired?
Once participants are chosen, we will be in touch with each individual to discuss team structure.

Do I have to apply as a Reporter or an Editor? If I don't get in as one, can I come as the other? If I don't get in as a Reporter or an Editor, can I come as an Observer?
Applicants must select their primary choice of role. If you would consider a second and third choice role, please indicate that on the Application form.

What if I just want to come help?
We are looking for several volunteers to assist with logistics during the Workshop. If you are interested, please send an email to info@mediastorm.com, and tell us a little bit about yourself, your experience with multimedia, and why you are interested in helping.

Where will participants stay?
Participants are responsible for their own room and board. We will provide local hotel and neighborhood information to accepted participants. MediaStorm is easily accessible by subway, so location is flexible.

Do you offer introductory workshops?
No. We feel there are already several terrific workshops offering introductory and intermediate instruction, so we are focusing exclusively on advanced training.

Are there other workshops like this?
We think the MediaStorm Workshops are unique because of the small number of participants and the focus on advanced storytelling. With that said, there are a number of great workshops to consider:


Are you ready to apply?
If so, get started with our online application!

Sign up to learn more about other MediaStorm Workshops.



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