The MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop: Finding Balance

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We are proud to present Finding Balance from the first storytelling workshop our new home, the Santa Cruz mountains in California.

From December 1-8, 2023, four workshop participants worked directly with the MediaStorm team to create an intimate, character-driven documentary.

About the film:

Tim Obert has been hooked on fishing since landing his first fish as a young boy with his father off the Santa Cruz Wharf on California’s Central Coast.

By the time he was 12, he was working and sleeping on charter boats in the town’s harbor.

It was an early start to the dream he’s been living for the nearly two decades since, as a captain and commercial fisherman.

The sea has provided Obert a stable life, allowing him to raise a family and invest in his business. But in fishing, there is always a risk.

Sometimes the fish are biting, sometimes they aren’t. There are good days and bad days. Sometimes those bad days turn into bad years.

It’s a salty old truth that long-time fishermen know how to plan for a rainy day.

Recent state regulations aimed at saving whales and increasing the salmon population have kept fishing boats like the Stacey Jo, which Obert captains, stuck at the dock.

Obert has stepped up to help his fishing buddies, running the Santa Cruz Commercial Fishermen’s Association and serving as a member of the Dungeness Crab Task Force to work with California’s environmental agencies on behalf of his fleet.

But it’s a role that comes at a cost, and not just financial. The most important trade off for Obert is time spent away from his family.

“I’m on like ten boards right now. Not a dollar am I making for it,” Obert said. “Being on a six-hour call is excruciating sometimes. The time away is horrible.”

In Finding Balance, Obert speaks candidly about the struggles of being a good husband and father while also working to succeed as a commercial fisherman, and how that’s been further complicated by the leadership roles he shoulders while stuck on land.

Obert and the other fishermen who have braved such regulatory storms before believe it will pass and they’ll again be pulling their catch from the ocean.

Obert believes both sides must work together to consider conservation interests alongside those of the fishing industry, just as he works to find the right centerpoint between his family’s needs and those of the industry he loves during his fleet’s long, rainy day.

It’s all just a matter of finding the right balance.


The MediaStorm Storytelling Workshop in the Santa Cruz Mountains is an intensive, hands-on experience in documentary filmmaking and interactive storytelling.

The primary goal of the workshop is to create an intimate, character-driven documentary with supporting interactive experiences powered by the MediaStorm Platform.

Participants work directly with the MediaStorm team in the field, in the editing suite and via online sessions in a collaborative, educational environment.

The storytelling workshop is one of MediaStorm’s several training options.

Visit our MediaStorm Training page for current schedules, to learn more and apply.