Walk the Line: How to Make Work Between Genres

This six week workshop will study stories that bend and blend genre and explore how and when to apply these techniques to push our work into deeper, richer waters. 

Students will walk away with an instructor and peer-reviewed story treatment.
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About this class

  • 6 x 2 hr weekly classes 
  • Live instruction
  • 15 student cap
  • Classes meet Tuesdays
    April 6 - May 11 
  • 3 - 5pm PT / 6 - 8pm ET
  • Students walk away with an instructor + peer-reviewed story treatment
The most exciting and innovative work being made in our industry crosses genres (ie; The Shadows, Have You Heard George’s Podcast, Appearances, etc). Rooted first in documentary realism, this work blooms skyward by using the techniques of audio drama to compose a “theater of the mind,” embracing the fact that our work lives in sound — and that sound has the power to transport.

At times this approach serves to augment a documentary or a personal, subjective story by bringing the past (and perhaps the future) to life. Other times blending genres is a political act and obscures in order to better get to the truth; a “based on a true story” piece can open up a safe path for unrepresented voices to speak out and remain in the shadows.
This type of work resides in a beautifully grey space, rich with questions about representation, subjectivity, ethics, and form.

This 6-week course will study the borderland — stories that bend and blend genre — and discuss how and when to apply these techniques to push our work into deeper, richer waters. Halfway through the course, each student will present a short treatment for a hybrid piece and the course will transform into a workshop. 

Some important notes

The structure of this course is designed to provide students with the tools and concepts they'll require to make innovative, genre-bending work of their own. 

The first three classes are foundational. Together we'll study work that "walks the line" and come to understand what makes it tick. We'll dive into the mechanics behind sound-rich storytelling. We'll explore the reasons why a journalist/artist/maker might choose to bend genre and the ethics wrapped up in that creative decision. And we'll discuss how to mix reporting and fiction to arrive, hopefully, at the truth. The first three classes are based in lecture and in class discussion. We'll build community and get to know one another as we explore the concepts and methods that motivate this kind of work. 

After the first three weeks, the class changes. Each student will submit a treatment for a "blended story" to the group. The instructor and the students will prepare individualized feedback on each student's treatment ahead of class. And the final three meetings will be a supportive, collaborative workshop facilitated by the instructor in which each student will get the floor and direct feedback from their peers. This process requires vulnerability and an openness to thoughtful critique from a group of kind strangers who share an interest in making innovative, genre-bending work. It's an exciting opportunity to push yourself. Each student will receive a written evaluation from the instructor to carry with them after the course, as each story treatment hopefully becomes a living, breathing piece of work.

Attendance is important. Life and emergencies happen of course, but please do your best to attend each class. Building a sense of community will be important when it comes time to workshop each others' ideas and dreams. If you have to miss a workshop, you will still be expected to submit written feedback to your peers. 
Meet the instructor

Chloe Prasinos

Chloe Prasinos (she/her) is a shape-shifter — she works across genres and all aspects of audio production. Depending on the project, her title ranges from Director to Reporter, Executive Producer to Sound Designer. She values experimentation and strives to push audio storytelling to new limits. Recently, Chloe served as Editor and Executive Producer of a forthcoming documentary series from First Look Media about phone sex in the 90s. Before that, Chloe reported dozens of queer stories to fill a multimedia museum produced by CNN in commemoration of Stonewall 50. And as Associate Director for Marvel Comics’ first forays into audio drama, Chloe worked in close collaboration with Brendan Baker on all aspects of the shows’ direction and design. Prior to wading into the world of fiction, Chloe was a producer at Reply All. Her work has appeared on Love + Radio, 99% Invisible, NPR, WBEZ’s Curious City, and beyond.
Patrick Jones - Course author