Salt Week-long Intensives

Throughout the year, Salt at MECA offers an exciting variety of week-long intensive workshops. These are designed to introduce or help students practice and expand their knowledge of documentary storytelling. Students create one finished piece of work and polish their skills as story-makers.

Upcoming session is the week of March 13–17. Registration will be through MECA Continuing Studies and begins in November. Offerings will include: Radio Storytelling, Short Documentary Film, and Documentary Photography.

Classes, Faculty Biographies

Short Documentary Film with Matt Moyer

This five-day intensive aims to equip students with the skills necessary to shoot and produce powerful, short-form documentaries through compelling video, photography and audio. Students will engage in hands-on training in photography, DSLR video, audio and editing with Premiere. Coursework will be geared toward the beginner to intermediate student and will focus primarily on shooting and production, including interviewing, external sound recording, b-roll, basic lighting and editing. Students will dive headfirst into shooting stories in and around Portland and critiquing colleagues’ work. Once students have registered and been accepted to the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available to them. Expect to be here long days, beginning most days at 8am and working through the dinner hour on most evenings.

Matt Moyer

Matt Moyeris a still photographer and filmmaker committed to documenting the social and cultural issues that affect our world. Known for his intimate and in-depth storytelling, Moyer has photographed multiple feature stories for National Geographic magazine and has directed short documentaries featured by National Geographic Exhibits, Vision Workshops, and The PBS NewsHour online. Moyer covered the Iraq war for The New York Times and National Geographic magazine and has worked on assignment for other prominent publications including The Washington Post, The Guardian, and National Geographic Traveler. Matt’s short documentary, A Drop Of Blood, has been selected for the 2016 Durango Independent Film Festival in Durango, Colorado.

Documentary Photography with Amy Toensing

Amy Toensing is ready to guide photography students through a visual storytelling workshop experience. If you have a passion for photography and you have always wanted to learn how to shoot and edit your work to create engaging visual stories, this is the perfect summer workshop for you. The emphasis in this class will be on storytelling, and the goal is for students to leave the workshop with a completed story narrative. These will be long days of shooting, editing and post-production starting at 8-9am and wrapping up a long day at 8-9pm. This course is for students at any level from beginning to intermediate and beyond. Once students have registered and been accepted to the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available.

Amy Toensing

Amy Toensing is an American photojournalist committed to telling stories with sensitivity and depth, is known for her intimate essays about the lives of ordinary people. Toensing has been a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine for over a decade and recently completed her fourteenth feature story for them. She has covered cultures around the world including the last cave dwelling tribe of Papua New Guinea, the Maori of New Zealand and the Kingdom of Tonga. She has also covered issues such as the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and Muslim women living in Western culture. For the last 3 years she has been documenting Aboriginal Australia which was published in the June, 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine. Toensing’s work has been exhibited throughout the world and recognized with numerous awards, included an exhibit at the 2012 Visa Pour L’image, Festival of the Photograph in Perpignan France. Her work has also appeared in Smithsonian, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler. A photograph she took in the Australian outback was chosen as one of National Geographic magazine’s all time 50 Best Photos. Toensing began her professional career in 1994 as a staff photographer at her hometown paper, The Valley News in New Hampshire. She then worked for The New York Times, Washington D.C. bureau covering the White House and Capitol Hill during the Clinton administration. In 1998, Toensing left D.C. to receive her Master’s Degree from the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. In addition to her photojournalism work, Toensing is committed to teaching photography to kids and young adults in underserved communities. This includes working with the nonprofit organization Vision Workshops on numerous projects including teaching Somali and Sudanese refugees in Maine and Burmese refugees in Baltimore photography. Last year she traveled to Islamabad to teach young Pakistanis photojournalism and cover their own communities. Toensing lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband Matt Moyer who is also a photojournalist.

Radio Storytelling with Annie Avilés

In this hands-on workshop, students will learn the fundamentals of audio storytelling, including how to identify and collect the elements of a compelling story. Students will learn how to report with digital recorders and how to edit using Pro Tools. At the end of the five days, students will have produced a sound-rich audio postcard and will have a greater appreciation for why audio is uniquely suited for storytelling. Once students have registered for the workshop a more detailed course schedule will be made available. Also, students will have the opportunity to vet project ideas with the instructor and TA. Expect to be at MECA for full days, beginning in the morning at either 8am or 9am and working until 5pm (most likely longer) each evening. This course is intended for students at a beginning or intermediate levels of radio experience. Enrollment will be limited to 15 students. For details, please call 207.699.5061.

Annie Avilés

Annie Avilés is a writer and university lecturer whose work focuses on the environment, immigration, and rural life. Her prose and reportage are published by The Atlantic, Harper’s, Smithsonian Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other outlets. A longtime foreign correspondent and regular contributor to National Public Radio, Annie’s audio stories can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and The World. Her work has earned awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the Arthur L. Carter Center at NYU, Middlebury College, Johns Hopkins, and the University of California. She has taught at Boston University, the SALT Institute, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Southern Maine. Annie is also a founding member of the media studio Ruraliste. Her non-fiction essays have been published in The Atlantic, Harper’s, and the Virginia Quarterly Review, and her latest project–a collection of short fiction–recently earned support from the Rona Jaffe Foundation. Whatever the medium, she gravitates toward stories tied to environment, inequality, and sense of place. Born in rural Maine, Annie spent much of her life in the Andes, living in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. She is now based in Maine.

Student Work — Summer 2016