119 episodes

What really happens when stories about people’s lives are collected, edited, and consumed? Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking,Transformative is a four-part non-fiction series created by Jess Shane, about the nuts and bolts of documentary storytelling, the power dynamics between makers and subjects, and rewriting unwritten rules of the documentary and non-fiction content industry.

Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent.

Support for this project was provided in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson.

For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.

Learn more about Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative Radiotopia

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 879 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

What really happens when stories about people’s lives are collected, edited, and consumed? Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking,Transformative is a four-part non-fiction series created by Jess Shane, about the nuts and bolts of documentary storytelling, the power dynamics between makers and subjects, and rewriting unwritten rules of the documentary and non-fiction content industry.

Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent.

Support for this project was provided in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson.

For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.

Learn more about Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 1 - Just a Girl with a Microphone

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 1 - Just a Girl with a Microphone

    Jess used to think making documentaries was good for her subjects and good for the world. But she’s not so sure anymore. With this series, she's throwing out the old rules of documentary production and trying out some new ones.

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent. Jess’s bibliography is available here.

    Support for this project was provided in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson.

    For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.

    Learn more about Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

    • 37 min
    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 2 - The Grimy Stuff

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 2 - The Grimy Stuff

    Jess begins by documenting Ernesto, a 20-year-old, newly sober fashion model. The plan is to pay Ernesto and let him be in charge of the story he wants to tell in the documentary. Things go sideways when Jess and Ernesto grapple with what will need to be cut out of Ernesto's life to turn it into a viable media product.

    More about Pooja Rangan’s book Immediations HERE.

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent. Jess’s bibliography is available here.

    Support for this project was provided in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation. Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson.

    For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.

    Learn more about Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

    • 37 min
    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 3 - Win-Win

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 3 - Win-Win

    Jess makes a deal with Judy, an unhoused senior. Judy will let Jess document her, and Jess will help Judy resolve some of her ongoing life problems. As Jess gets sucked into Judy's crises, the rest of the series starts to slip and Jess’ relationships with her other subjects get messy. Jess starts to doubt the premise of this entire undertaking.

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent. Jess’s bibliography is available here.

    This reporting was supported in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G.Buffett Fund for Women Journalists.

    Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson.

    For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.

    Learn more about Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

    • 46 min
    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 4 - Feedback

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 4 - Feedback

    With only a few months till launch, Jess plays a draft of the series for her subjects and gives them an opportunity to request major changes.

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent. Jess’s bibliography is available here.

    This reporting was supported in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G.Buffett Fund for Women Journalists.

    Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson.

    For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.

    Learn more about Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

    • 42 min
    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 5 - Release

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative 5 - Release

    After Jess receives feedback that throws a major wrench into her production schedule, she has to make some tough decisions.

    Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is written, hosted and produced by Jess Shane. Sara Nics is the story editor. Sound design, mix/mastering by Michelle Macklem. Production support from Mona Hassan. Cover art is by Justin Broadbent. Jess’s bibliography is available here.

    This reporting was supported in part by the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G.Buffett Fund for Women Journalists.

    Special thanks to Eleanor McDowall and Chioke I’Anson.

    For Radiotopia Presents, Yooree Losordo is the managing producer. Audrey Mardavich is the Executive Producer. It’s a production of PRX’s Radiotopia and part of Radiotopia Presents, a podcast feed that debuts limited-run, artist-owned series from new and original voices.

    Learn more about Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

    We’d like to thank the extended Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative team, without whom you may not have heard about this project. For PRX marketing: Gretchen Borzi, David Cotrone, Sher Delva, Apu Goteh, and Maggie Gourville. For PRX sponsorship: Audrey Davidson, Melissa Garcia-Houle, Carolyn Willander, and Jeanne Yeh.

    This series was possible thanks to Ernesto, Michael, and Judy, whose vibrant souls could never fit into the confines of any series.

    Most of all, thank you for listening.

    • 30 min
    Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative

    Radiotopia Presents: Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative

    Artist and documentarian Jess Shane posts a Craigslist ad: “Does your story need to be told? Tell it in a documentary! Seeking shocking, heartbreaking, and transformative stories for a new series about the documentary industry. Compensation provided.” 

    After days of auditions, Shane casts four participants, each with varied relationships to why they want to share their stories, from Ernesto, a recovering addict and fashion model who dreams of making it big, to Judy, an unhoused senior who wants to get off the street and give voice to the homeless. Through the making of documentaries about the participants, the series asks provocative questions about the story creation process, whether “sharing your story” is really as liberating as our culture imagines it can be, and how “being produced” for a show can shift someone’s relationship to their own experience. The series also explores the business side of the equation, such as how the forces underpinning today’s booming documentary marketplace impact whose stories are told or deemed valuable.

    Shane also turns her mic to subjects to weigh in on standard documentary protocol, from the concept of “access” and the taboo of paying subjects to the logistics of editorial control. Ultimately, “Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative” asks listeners to consider their own relationship to this popular genre of content.

    Learn more about “Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative” at radiotopiapresents.fm and discover more shows from across the Radiotopia network at radiotopia.fm.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
879 Ratings

879 Ratings

berliner1000 ,

shocking, heartbreaking...

Very good podcast. Extremely honest, original idea, thought-provoking. I hope you make many more podcasts like this. Thank you!

salviaivlas ,

Snow globe shaking at its finest

Shocking, Heartbreaking, Transformative is the most interactive podcast I have ever “experienced”. Finished the series with an unease worthy of deep consideration. I feel as if I too, as a wide consumer of the format, turned into a main character. The consumption of others “true stories” is perhaps not as passive as I once thought. Many rabbit holes of reflection for the offering. So.. not the easiest listen, but worth every moment. Fascinating, brilliantly done. So tightly ambiguous it could spin on a dime. Congratulations to all those that contributed!!! This is something to be proud of.

HanDay100 ,

Behind the curtain

Loved this show!

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