Latest

The Doc Mentorship Program

A professional development initiative for Canadian audio freelancers and CBC employees.

The Current's Advanced Doc Maker Program

A new development opportunity for experienced audio journalists.

Emerging Indigenous Doc Maker Program

A new program that aims to develop Canada's next generation of Indigenous audio producers.
Video

Land your next doc pitch by making focus your friend

So, you have an idea for a story. You pitch the idea and your feedback is: "What’s the focus?" It’s something even the most veteran of producers get asked. So let’s get to the bottom of this, and turn focus from foe to friend, with Iris Yudai, Doc Project mentor and executive producer of DNTO.

Doc structures: how to create tension, action and a narrative arc in your story

Making a documentary can be an overwhelming experience. So much tape ... so many scenes ... how do I put this together?! It's structure my friend, structure. Effective structure will help you produce a cohesive item that contains tension, action and a narrative arc.

How to talk to strangers: 5 tips on nailing impromptu, in-the-field interviews

As a doc maker, a lot of the interviews you do are with people you've already talked to before showing up, mic in hand. But there's another kind of interview that doesn't involve any of these things: on-the-fly interviews in the field with strangers (aka, basically winging it).
Video

Storytelling through sound: making radio sound 'real'

When you talk about blurring the lines between the real and the fake, people tend to get a little uptight. But there can also be great pleasure in walking along that tightrope between fact and fiction. Mira Burt-Wintonick, producer of CBC's long-running show WireTap, explains how fiction and documentary can learn a lot from each other.

The hidden character is you: Dick Miller on the role of the narrator

We don't often think about the narrator in our documentaries as a character. But the narrator, usually the producer of the doc, has already made editing, structure, sound, music and script decisions. Veteran host and producer Dick Miller takes us through the role of the narrator in documentary storytelling.

12 habits from a highly effective freelance audio producer

The freelance life is not an easy life — it's a constant hustle with no guarantees, but if you are self-motivated, obsessed with sound & stories and have an insatiable curiosity, then maybe this is the life for you too! Freelancer Veronica Simmonds shares some of her hard-earned tips and advice.
Video

Turning investigative reporting into artful radio, with NPR's Laura Sullivan

Dense information, data and details can make investigative stories seem like the least radio-friendly content on the planet. Three-time Peabody-winning journalist Laura Sullivan shares her lessons on breathing life into hard news radio.
Video

Audio vs. radio: Paolo Pietropaolo explains the difference

What's the difference between radio and audio? For Paolo Pietropaolo it's "elemental." Like gold, audio is something you can mold and craft. Radio is different: it's ephemeral, it's there and then gone. Watch and learn the power of knowing where you fall on this spectrum.

The craft of writing for radio: 16 tips from a veteran script-writer

Writing is the bones and the sinew of the radio we make. And yet we spend little time talking about the craft of writing for radio — it's just the thing you do once everything else is done. Veteran producer and script-writer Chris Wodskou shares his tips and experience.
Video

Over 40 years, more than 50 countries: a lifetime of lessons from docmaker Karin Wells

Karin Wells is an unrelenting reporter, ready to pack her bags to follow a story to its root. We sat down with Karin as she shares memories from some of her stories, and advice for those who will follow in her footsteps.

To script or not to script: that is the [audio storyteller's] question

It can feel like we all have our own personal systems for how we approach a script. How do other people go about it? We decided to ask three incredible radio producers about their scripting process.

'He made me kill my darlings': inside the dark art of the documentary editor

When you edit someone's documentary there are two crucial phases: The first is when you listen critically to a draft of the work for the first time, and the second is when you give the doc maker your feedback. Veteran radio producer Neil Sandell takes us through the role of the editor.

'Your doc is great! Now shorten it by two minutes'

In radio, the material has to fit the time-slot so documentary and show producers often need to find a way to lose a few minutes. But the process of figuring out how to shorten a piece that feels like it's finished isn't easy. Kalli Anderson asked 3 doc producers for their best tips and tricks for shortening docs.

Four smartphone tricks that every audio producer should know

There's one tool that everybody has that can make doc making easier — and sound better. So grab your smartphone and veteran radio producer Cesil Fernandes will share four tricks that can save your audio life.

14 things every audio producer needs in a go bag

Whether interviewing someone in a foreign country or recording streeters close to home, there are some things you should never leave the office without. Veteran producer Cesil Fernandes shares what you need to have in your kit to guarantee a great sounding doc.

What do you do when the story you pitched isn't the one that's unfolding?

As documentarians, we know we can't control what we'll discover when we're in the field. Sometimes the story we find diverges from the story we anticipated. And since making a doc is a negotiation between recording life accurately and rendering it artfully, it's dangerously easy to put up blinders to the reality of what's occurring in front of the microphone.