Twenty-four aspiring documentarians from around the country came to the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, NC to attend Hearing Is Believing I: An Audio Documentary Summer Institute. Led by veteran producer John Biewen with the help of Big Shed’s Shea Shackelford, the institute is a week long, morning-til-night immersion in making audio documentaries. The attendees were paired up in teams of two and sent out to interview staff and clients of local non-profits. These interviews were the basis for the 5-minute long audio docs produced by each team within a week’s time. At the end of the week twelve projects were played at a listening event attended by staff and students at CDS as well as many of the people whose stories were recorded.
The Recollective’s own Jeremy Helton was one of those in attendance. He was paired with photographer, radio producer and fellow itinerant soul, Jessie Wright. A native Midwesterner, Jessie has lived in Brazil, Colorado, California, Ghana, and France. While living in New Orleans, she helped produce radio stories on the BP oil spill and ladies’ arm wrestling. This fall Jessie heads north to study radio at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Jessie and Jeremy talked with staff and volunteers from Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) to produce Enjoy Your Tomatoes. All of the stories produced at the institute can be heard here. To hear Jessie’s and Jeremy’s project just click on the link below.