WATCH – Embrace your Inner Storyteller Workshop


Our 3rd Meet the Board Workshop

When:  Saturday, May 1, 11 am – 1 pm (Central Time)

Most successful documentarians use storytelling to make their projects come alive and compelling. How can a documentary move beyond the talking head format and find the story in captured footage? How can you continue to be storyteller with commercial and industrial work? What exercises can novices do to develop their storytelling skills?  Learn from the professionals on our Board about their backgrounds and how they find the right balance between story and argument in their non-fiction work.

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John Owens is an award-winning multimedia journalist, who now works as a writer and producer at Weigel Productions. At Weigel, he is responsible for producing programming on the Decades Network and Me-TV. Previously, he worked for almost 25 years at the Chicago Tribune, where he led many of the video integration efforts there. His diverse background also includes working as an assignment editor at Fox32 and as a reporter at the City News Bureau. His documentaries and multimedia work have won numerous regional and national awards.


Jamie Ceaser is an award-winning producer and writer. Her subjects range from pre-eminent Chicagoans like the late baseball Hall of Famer Bill Veeck, the soul and gospel group, the Staple Singers and the late painter Ed Paschke. She’s also profiled teachers, politicians and everyday Chicagoans.  Over the years, she has garnered 10 regional Emmy Awards, a CPB Award,  and the NATAS Silver Circle Award.

Nicolas DeGrazia is the co-owner and Creative Director of Chicago’s Bitter Jester Studios and an Emmy® winning Writer/Producer/Director. He has nearly 25 years of professional experience producing offbeat comedies, dramatic documentaries, and everything in-between.  In addition to creating content for film, TV, and the web, he also writes, directs, and performs live in Chicago’s 20-year-old “Comic Thread sketch comedy troupe” (Best Group: LA Comedy Fest; Audience Choice: Chicago Fringe Fest).

Kristin Pichaske is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Television Arts at Columbia College Chicago and has produced several documentary features, series’ and digital shorts, including Legal Lens, an Emmy®-nominated series for The Boston Globe about how the law shapes human experience; Veterans Coming Home, an innovative cross-platform storytelling initiative created in collaboration with Public Television stations across the U.S.; and Pulling the Thread, an ITVS Digital series about the science behind conspiracy thinking.

Chris Cangilla is a multiple, Emmy® Award winning producer and editor with 26 years of experience.  Cangilla is currently the Director of Commercial and Program Production at Weigel Broadcasting.  He manages a production team responsible for the creation of client commercials as well as live and taped programs for the multi-platforms of the company: CW26, WCIU, The U, MeTV and MeTVFM. Chris’ other responsibilities at Weigel comprise of acting as a commercial production Creative Director and Executive Producing full length special programs.

Ryan Koscielniak is an established video producer/editor in the Chicagoland area. His multi-award winning work has appeared on variety of national television networks including the History, Biography, and Discovery channels. With over 25 years of experience, Ryan provides a creative approach and versatility that adds a fresh perspective to communicating in a powerful visual manner. His creativity has helped further the success of his full service production company, Clyde Media, which was formed in 2006.