Jon Carlson

Jon Carlson


Jonathan Carlson is an American filmmaker and journalist whose career spans more than 40 years. His body of work addresses such themes as the natural sciences, agriculture, history, politics, and social justice. Mr. Carlson spent two decades as a manager, producer, writer, and project coordinator at WCCO Television (Minneapolis CBS affiliate) and went on to become founder and CEO of Epic Media, and MGEpic (Media Group Epic) which has produced several award-winning documentary films. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Harvard and an M.A. in Journalism-Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Carlson resides in Minneapolis.

Epic Media

Epic Media is an independent video production company, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We provide complete video production services for clients. We specialize in environmental, and natural science programs for online, broadcast, cable, government, industrial and entertainment.

Our producer credits include Harvard & Radcliffe (H/R Admissions), Underwater World, Wonder in Winterland, Electric Weather, and Rain in the Forecast (KARE11), Water 4 Ever, Forest 4 Ever, Energy 4 Everyone (WCCO TV), How’s the Ol’ Man, a half-hour special on the Upper Mississippi River, and Wild Turkey World, a pilot for national cable distribution.

Our documentary photography has won numerous national and international awards, including the Emmy (1987), Dupont-Columbia (1986), UPI International (1986), NATPE IRIS (1982, 1984), and Telly Awards (1988, 1998). Our natural science programs won national awards from the NEA (1990) and the EPA (1993).

Root River Field to Stream Partnership (2012)

A collaborative 10-year research project with farmers in the Root River watershed to determine what, when, and how much nutrient and sediment is leaving their fields. The project is organized by the MN Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the MN Agricultural Water Resource Center, Fillmore County SWCD, Mower County SWCD, The Nature Conservancy, and Monsanto.


September 2013

Jonathan Paul Carlson

Sole Proprietor EPIC Media 6/73–present

An independent video and film production company, EPIC Media provides complete production services for clients. We are recognized for our educational and natural science programs for broadcast, cable, government and industry. The company creates work in all video formats for broadcast/cable/consumer markets.

Our recent productions include a prime-time (KARE11, NBC) feature documentary titled River Revival: working together to save the Minnesota River (2011), a feature-length independent documentary, STOP the ReRoute: taking a stand on sacred land (2009). Other productions include Harvard College (2003), the admissions video for Harvard College (17m); Deris Cusub-New Neighbors-a place to live (2003), Somali tenant/landlord training (29m); and The Urban Teacher (2000) and The Nursing Program (2000), documentaries for Minneapolis Community & Technical College.
Recent natural science programs include Wild and Forever Free (2001) and An Urban Family Outdoor Skills Weekend (1997) for the Wisconsin DNR; Rain in the Forecast (1998), Electric Weather (1998), Wonder in Winterland (1998), Behind the Scenes at Underwater World (1997), and How’s the Ol’ Man (1997) for KARE TV (NBC); and Wild Turkey World (1997) for national cable distribution via Ron Schara Productions.
EPIC Media has also created annual TV and radio commercials for Home Shows in 18 U.S. markets.

Adjunct Faculty 8/99—6/07 (part-time) taught Visual Communications, Digital Arts, Univ. of Minnesota; video production at The College of Visual Arts (StP) and Mpls Community & Technical College, and acting for the camera at Augsburg College.

Manager/Producer-Writer/Project Coordinator, WCCO Television (CBS, Channel 4)
7/88–7/96 Weather, Community Relations Departments
• managed and produced station projects that maintained and expanded its unique franchise, notably a series of Feedback 4 meetings that resulted in a nationally recognized ‘family-sensitive’ newscast.
• wrote and produced Watch 4 Storms, a natural science series about severe weather (1994),
and wrote and photographed a CD-ROM with the Minnesota Zoo for the CBS Foundation (1996).
• managed WCCO’s long-standing current events education efforts, maintained the FCC public file, coordinated special events, and produced public service announcements and promotion spots.
• managed six staff meteorologists; wrote and produced feature material for daily weathercasts. • created a series of natural science stories that reached as many as 40,000 schoolchildren when broadcast, and won an Environmental Education Award from the U.S. EPA (1993). Water 4 Ever received a Nat’l Education Assoc. Award for the Advancement of Learning through Broadcasting (1990). Shows (2,500 copies) from that series have been distributed to schools in 24 states.
• advocated, designed and managed the construction of a 4,500 sq. ft. rooftop garden used to produce daily gardening features that led to Rebecca’s Garden, a nationally-syndicated gardening show.

Photographer/Editor WCCO Television (CBS, Channel 4)
7/77–7/88 Public Affairs, Local Programming Departments

• photographed and edited cinema verite documentaries, and feature material for local and national broadcast; worked on The Moore Report, PM Magazine, Incredible Kids and numerous specials. • received national and international recognition, including an Emmy (1987), a Dupont-Columbia Award (1986), and a UPI International Award (1986) for Best Documentary.


B.A. in Philosophy, 1972 (cum laude in General Studies) Harvard College, Cambridge, MA

M.A. in Journalism-Mass Communication, 2007 Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


MERIT AWARD Soil & Water Conservation Society (International) 2001
NEWS/MEDIA AWARD Soil & Water Conservation Society (MN Chapter)
1999 Winner, for Rain in the Forecast, 24 min.
1998 Finalist, Education Category, for Harvard & Radcliffe, 16 min.
1998 Finalist, 35mm Film (Animation) Commercial Category, for Charades, 30 sec.
1988 Winner, Broadcast Photography/Editing Category, for Americans on Purpose, 26 min.

Honorable Mention, 1993 Environmental Education Award, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Watch 4 Storms severe weather 30 min. aired 4/94
Energy 4 Everyone physics/renewable energy 34 min. aired 12/92
Go 4 Rocks geology and mining 33 min. aired 3/92
Go 4 Parks ecology/natural history 32 min. aired 12/91
Our 4 Cast weather & climate 30 min. aired 2/91
Soil 4 Ever soil conservation 30 min. aired 11/90
Winner, 1990 Education Award, MN Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society
Runner-up, 1991 Best Broadcast Feature, Soil and Water Conservation Society
Winner, ‘Friend of Conservation’ Award, MN Assoc. of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Forests 4 Ever forest conservation 30 min. aired 2/90
Second Place, 1990 School Bell Award, Minnesota Education Association
Water 4 Ever water conservation 30 min. aired 11/89
Winner, 1990 Nat’l Educ. Assoc. Award for the Advancement of Learning through Broadcasting
First Place, 1990 School Bell Award, Minnesota Education Association
Land 4 Living geography 28 min. aired 2/89
Weather 4 Wildlife zoology 24 min. aired 11/88


Saint Paul Central 60 Min. aired 5/88
The Number of My Days 60 min. aired 12/87
Honorable Mention, 1988 Page One Awards, Documentary Category.
Americans on Purpose 23 min. aired 9/87
Winner, 1988 Telly Awards, Documentary Category.
Inside the Latimer Campaign 90 min. aired 1/87
First Place, 1988 Page One Awards, Documentary Category.
First Place, 1988 NBNA Awards, Documentary Category.
Silver Plaque, 1988 Chicago International Film Festival.
A Matter of the Mind 60 min. aired 5/86, PBS Frontline
Submitted by Frontline for a national Emmy.
Media Award, Best Network Program, National Mental Health Association.
Suffer the Children 90 min. aired 2/86
Blue Ribbon, 1987 American Film and Video Festival.
Central Manor 90 min. aired 4/85
Winner, 1986 Dupont-Columbia Award.
Winner, 1986 UPI International Award, Documentary Category.
Finalist, 1986 American Film and Video Festival, Documentary Category.


Project Lifesaver 1987 Emmy Award (National)
High School Yearbook Special: Dating 1985 ACT Outstanding Achievement
One Who Stole at Christmas 1984 NATPE Iris Award Best Dramatic Program
Sixth Assembly of the WCC 1984 Religion in Media, Outstanding Achievement
Prairie Home Companion 1983 Page One Awards, Second Best Feature
Incredible Kids 1982 NATPE Iris Award, Best Children’s Program
School Closings 1982 School Bell Award, Best Educational Program
Flight of Freedom 1980 Film Advisory Board, Award of Excellence
Looking Good (CBS) 1979 The Show, Best Promotional Campaign


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