ExEd Media

The Mission of ExEd Media

We believe that filmmaking and digital storytelling are more than art forms. They are tools for empowering people to create social change and for organizations to communicate core values in highly effective ways. ExEd Media advances the use of new media for a globally connected world.

We offer customized training services to empower you and your students with the arts digital storytelling, while addressing the many challenges of equipment, editing, program operations, and budget. These have all been identified in our 2015 survey, “Media Making in Experiential Education”.

How about this for experiential learning: a bike tour as a “performance journey,” not a destination journey. It’s a composition of music, endurance, and the thrill of being. Produced by ExEd Media’s Chris Jonas (see bio below).

Who We Are

Our team is a rare combination: superb teachers of multicultural backgrounds; social activists; and, artists in the forefront of filmmaking, digital storytelling, and journalism. We include winners of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a United States Artist award, an Online News “Best Small Multimedia Award,” a National Geographic Explorer award, and a Klingenstein Fellow. Our work has premiered at Sundance, Tribeca and Venice.

Nicole Opper
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Nicole Opper

Documentarian / Teaches Young Media Makers
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Nicole is another member of the team who connects well with kids, is a fantastic artist, and knows how to put together funding for bold ideas. She directed the Emmy‐nominated documentary Off and Running, a poetic treatment of the complexities of adoption and the modern American family. It’s simply an amazing story of race and identity and was an Audience Favorite at Tribeca. The film won ten festival awards and aired on P.O.V. Her second documentary, Búscame, is inspired by her high school service project at a school for boys in Mexico. The project was supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, NYSCA, and Chicken & Egg Pictures. She’s produced films for The Discovery Channel and Here TV, and was selected for Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. She teaches young media makers at SFSU, Bay Area Video Coalition, Brooklyn Reel Works and Tribeca Film Fellows.
Jason Jaacks
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Jason Jaacks

Media for Sustainability / National Geographic Explorer
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When not floating rivers or working with students, Jason produces video and interactive projects for National Geographic, Discovery Digital, and Tribeca Film Institute. Moccasins and Microphones: Modern Native Storytelling is a feature documentary about all-Native American youth performance poetry team. Jason was named a National Geographic Explorer for Return to Elwha, an interactive web documentary about the largest dam removals and ecosystem restorations in U.S. history. The project was developed with Tribeca Film Institute and PBS POV. It won the Online News Association’s Best Small Multimedia Award. His most recent film, Silent River, about restoration of one of the most polluted rivers in Mexico, won the 2015 Eric Moe Sustainability. He is a lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley.
Chris Jonas
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Chris Jonas

Filmmaker/ Composer / Visionary Teacher
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Chris is one of our master storytellers whose specialty is participatory filmmaking, music making, and multimedia exhibitions. Like most of our team, he invents projects he’d love to do and finds the grants and funds needed to energize them. He teaches filmmaking with teens, and then joins with them in the production of highly original pieces that express a shared vision. One project resulted in a PBS feature documentary called Our Time is Now, broadcast to millions of American homes. It was about teen attitudes toward school among a diverse group of Anglo, Hispanic, and Native youth. He recently directed Acoustic Bike Tour about the 2,000-mile bike odyssey of a jazz cornet player. He was associate producer and composer for Sembene! about the Senegalese filmmaking revolutionary Ousmane Sembene. The film premiered at Sundance 2015. Jonas has taught media arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts, won the 2009 United States Artists Award and is a Rockwood Arts and Social Engagement fellow.
Ed Radtke
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Ed Radtke

Storyteller / Filmmaker / Captain of Sailing Vessel Kaz
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Ed is our senior craftsman, whose work with youth has inspired feature length films about coming of age and identity. He is a director, screenwriter, producer, and professor of filmmaking at University of Texas in Austin. His work includes three award-winning features, Bottom Land, The Dream Catcher, and The Speed of Life. He co-wrote the feature script Aime Ton Pere that won Best Foreign Film consideration at the 2001 Academy Awards® It was produced by Gerard Depardieu and starred Depardieu and his real life son, Guillame. He also directed and produced the marketing video for Global Youth Leadership Institute (GYLI).
Ed is the recipient of two NEA production grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. He has guest lectured at Columbia and NYU, and also teaches filmmaking with at-risk youth, Native Americans, incarcerated men and women, and Vietnam Veterans. He lives part-time on a sailboat in the Yucatan, developing feature film projects and awaiting his next ExEd Media assignment.
Justice Whitaker
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Justice Whitaker

Media as Healing Art / Documentarian / Teacher
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Justice is another one of our up and coming artists, active on many fronts of new media and music making. He’s a DJ, composer, and teaches film production at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where he recently wrote and directed Trauma Cycle.33,. This is an experimental narrative about veterans with PTSD. Before moving to New Mexico, he worked in New York City high schools as a film teacher, media coach, and soccer coach. He is currently the girl’s soccer coach at Desert Academy. His work includes What to the American Slave is the 4th of July, an interpretation of the Frederick Douglass speech. He directed Aqui en Cuba, which profiles Cuban artists and activists, produced with a grant from the Fund for Teachers. His commitments are focused on bringing voice to under-represented communities through film and media. Be sure to see his reel!
John Braman
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John Braman

Project Director / Teacher / Youth Media Making
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John is a life-long experiential educator and EdEx Media’s director. He designs customized training and production services to match your specific learning and marketing goals. His experience includes projects in Africa, Mexico, Central America, Australia, India, China, and Europe. He is past president of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), where he founded Global Youth Leadership Institute (GYLI). John is an advocate for the skillful use of new media for transformative learning, with a specialty in experiential education. Our Call to Copenhagen is an example, made by youth at the Parliament for the World’s Religions in Australia. It’s about the views of spiritual leaders on global warming. The Raven is an example of a spoken word poem by international youth at United World College. It fulfilled the digital storytelling requirement for Global Leadership Forum. In 2014, John wrote and directed The Crossing, a short contemplative piece about his 1,000-mile crossing of the Gulf of Mexico on a 40-foot sailing sloop.
Michael Lorenzo Lopez
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Michael Lorenzo Lopez

Multimedia Artist / Teacher / Off the Grid Projects
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Michael is one of ExEd Media’s teaching stars and up and coming artists. He crafted his skills in participatory media making while studying popular education in Nicaragua. His work incorporates video, soundscapes, animations, and public interaction. A current project is transforming an iconic Route 66 highway sign into interactive, multimedia experience. Like all our artists, he knows how to pull together funds for ideas he’s passionate about. This effort is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Albuquerque. Michael was the lead videographer for the web documentary Inside/Outside. It’s the story of inmates transitioning from incarceration to the outside world. They use filmmaking, yoga and meditation as tools for empowerment. Short, low-tech projects include Semillas de Accion., a one-minute piece about community gardening in Mexico. His portfolio includes the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project; immigrant rights organizations; and, educational settings worldwide. He is currently in Vietnam on an assignment relating to peacemaking with Vietnam veterans.
Brittany Washington
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Brittany Washington

Media for Social Justice / Video Journalist
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Brittany is a member of the team we’d assign to any project involving community service learning, diversity education, social action, and civic engagement. She’s a Los Angeles-based video journalist and works with Brave New Films, reporting on a wide range of social justice issues. She works collaboration with nonprofits like the ACLU, the NAACP and MoveOn.org. Her work as been featured on “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver, the Huffington Post, The Nation, The Young Turks, Daily Kos, Alternet, and Truth-out. She is the recipient of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency's “Media for a Just Society Award” in 2014. Her work has also been honored at the Social Justice Film Festival, Chicago LGBT International Film Festival, The San Francisco Black Film Festival and The LA Webfest.

Services We Provide

ExEd Media will help you distill your goals and customize solutions, whether you are planning a global exchange, a service learning program, an expedition, or a weekend retreat. We specialize in media making that harmonizes with learning and unleashes creative storytelling about life-changing experiences. Technology doesn’t have to distract.

Faculty and Staff Training

Our workshops blend face-to-face, hands-on learning in an intensive, 3-to-5-day residency, supported by pre-residency long distance sessions and, in some cases, post-residency coaching and support. Because we believe one size doesn’t fit all, no workshop is alike. Each program is tailored to the needs of staff operating a field-based program or classroom teachers at the school and college level. Depending on the nature of your work, your media trainer might be an expert in service learning, experimental media, youth leadership, global exchange or environmental sustainability.

Workshops can be designed for a whole faculty or school, the entire staff of a global education organization, or for teachers from a variety of institutions. These are productive, fun sessions, taught by our lively and diverse team of leading artists and facilitators.

Workshop content might include:

  • Theory and practice of media making in experiential programs
  • Safety and privacy issues
  • Case studies of successful program implementations
  • How to support youth media making in your program
  • The vocabulary of media
  • Pre-production planning
  • Multi-media approaches to storytelling
  • Logistics and equipment for various field conditions
  • Introduction to editing software and online tutorials
  • Audio and lighting know-how
  • Scriptwriting
  • Making sense of material collected
  • The crafting of short digital pieces on topics of personal interest
  • Peer feedback on your work
  • How to budget time and funding for your project
  • Distribution of media across platforms
  • Media making as youth leadership

Student Training Programs

Our facilitators conduct stand-alone media workshops for learners of all ages, customized according to goals and budget. We also incorporate hands-on training with existing expeditions, exchanges, or service learning programs, travelling with the group for all of part of the experience.

Some core elements of our work with youth include the following:

  • How to enter into cross-cultural contexts with sensitivity
  • The vocabulary of media
  • Issues of ethics, privacy and bias
  • Interviewing for stories
  • Scriptwriting
  • Multi-media approaches to storytelling
  • Logistics and equipment for various field conditions
  • Introduction to editing software
  • Audio and lighting know-how
  • Making sense of material collected
  • The crafting of short digital pieces on topics relating to goals
  • Peer feedback and collaboration

Documentation of Expeditions

We provide wraparound media making services anywhere, with a team that includes award-winning feature length filmmakers, who are skillful in cross-cultural environments and expeditionary living.

Documentation services include:

  • Pre-production planning and budgeting
  • Media capture in any environment
  • Post-production services
  • Coordination of broadcast media integration
  • Innovative distribution methods
  • Design and implementation of web and social media strategies

Organizational Development

ExEd Media includes professional artists, educators, and program developers who have started up and funded large and small projects worldwide. We work with schools, colleges and other organizations to create sustainable initiatives to match your unique mission.

Consulting services address these areas:

  • Educational program development for 21st Century media making across the campus and worldwide
  • Comprehensive plans for the use of new media to enhance organizational identity
  • Blueprints for program implementation at any level of the organization
  • Design of community and global engagement strategies
  • Strategic planning for professional development of staff
  • Fund development, including grant writing and donor cultivation