In early 2012, Third Coast teamed up with the neighborhood-centric website EveryBlock, and issued a wide-open invitation to make radio.
The 2012 Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge invited anyone and everyone to produce three-minute audio stories featuring at least two neighbors, a color in the title, and three consecutive seconds of silence.
In this session, Third Coast's Julie Shapiro and EveryBlock's Sandor Weisz (neighbors, themselves!) present the four winners from the 2012 Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge, selected from 180 submissions from 20 countries. ShortDocs winning producers Luke Eldridge, Adam Kampe, John Musto and Abby Wendle joined the conversation, and shared their experiences in producing their ShortDocs.
Bonus! Weisz, also known in some circles as The Puzzler, closed the session with five public radio puzzles created especially for the occasion. Play along with the crowd in the last minutes of the session, by checking out the puzzles below, and guessing which shows they reference.
Third Coast artistic director Julie Shapiro has been with the Festival since its inaugural year (2000). Before moving to Chicago, she spent years behind record stores counters before landing in North Carolina to work at the the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and gain a little radio experience at WUNC-FM. These days, besides Third Coasting, Shapiro teaches radio documentary in Chicago and beyond, keeps a blog about teeth signs, and can occasionally be heard on the public radio airwaves.
Sandor Weisz is the lead designer at EveryBlock. His secret identity is The Puzzler, the author of a blog of the same name, where he talks about and creates puzzles. Weisz lives in the Lincoln Square neighborhood in Chicago with his wife, son, and daughter.
Luke Eldridge is a first-time producer from the UK who found his calling with the 2012 ShortDocs Challenge. He has spend the past couple of years discovering and listening to the great public radio story-tellers from across the Atlantic and felt compelled to follow their lead. Eldridge works in Financial Services during the day but always has one ear out for the fascinating stories in everyday life that go untold.
Adam Kampe tripped and fell into audioland about 10 years ago as a volunteer at WPFW in Washington, DC. A few years later, he was hooked and later attended Salt in 2005. This experience and a bit of luck landed him a job at the NEA, where, for the past six years, he's been producing audio (and now video) about the arts.
John Musto lives in Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. He makes a living as a Union Electrician and is also a woodworker and furniture enthusiast. He has been lucky to be Don Floyd's upholstery apprentice for the last five years.
Before working for This Land Press, Abby Wendle had only visited Oklahoma once. Raised in Ohio, she’s spent most of the last decade on the east coast working with the BBC, NPR and RadioLab. While such a bold move might seem risky to other journalists, Wendle believes the medium is in a place where brave experimentation is required. Since arriving, Wendle has made herself at home eating more meat than she has in the past decade and acquainting herself with how to handle an AK-47.
ShortDocs session photos by Kate Joyce.
Hear all 180 submissions to the 2012 ShortDocs Challenge.
Check out more than a hundred sessions from previous TC Conferences.
Find out if EveryBlock's covering YOUR neighborhood.
Behold! Here are the five puzzles created especially for the Third Coast Conference by The Puzzler, aka Sandor Weisz from EveryBlock, our 2012 ShortDocs partner. Each image represents a public radio show. The answers are revealed in the last few minutes of the ShortDocs session.