Producer. Director. Writer. Journalist.
DOCUMENTARIES and DIGITAL STORIES
ROOTED IN JOURNALISM
STORIES THAT MATTER
An award-winning documentary producer and journalist for more than 20 years,
I produce, write and direct documentaries from start to finish.
I bring to life important stories that need to be told.
I take complex information through the journalistic process and distill it into compelling, comprehensible stories. I research, data-mine, sift through archives, pre-interview sources and characters and and, when called for, shoot work sample material to prepare for the pitch. I write proposals and treatments, obtain legal contracts - and create budgets and production schedules that reflect the needs of each project so they can be told accurately, fairly and powerfully.
I hire production managers for major projects, and for smaller scale projects, I manage budgets and accounting in Excel and Quickbooks.
With more than 20 years of producing and directing character-driven stories across America and around the world, I am skilled in finding the right people to convey key insights and information to tell powerful, informative and inspiring stories in a wide spectrum that includes investigative, historical, social and political supjects.
I conduct interviews, direct shoots and manage complicated production logistics.
I hire experienced camera, lighting and audio crew for major projects, and for smaller scale projects, I shoot with my own Sony FS5 package complete with lighting and audio.
I organize original footage, acquired media and transcripts - and write scripts with solid story structure and interesting content that reveals compelling scenes and visuals that advance the narrative and dramatic arc. I have a keen sensibility for pace and emotion for telling powerful stories.
I hire talented editors on major projects, and for smaller scale projects, I edit in my own Premiere Pro suite.
Producer / Director / Writer / Journalist
Kate McMahon is an award-winning producer, writer and director of documentary and non-fiction video who has received several awards and nominations for her work and has contributed to more than 40 hours of national documentary and long-format news programming, primarily for PBS, since she began her career in 1998 as an Associate Producer for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Kate recently wrapped up as series producer on a 4-part documentary about behavioral science called, Hacking Your Mind (PBS, 2019). She directs and co-produces documentaries for the PBS series FRONTLINE; independent films, digital channels and PBS stations. Her recent work includes, The Doctor Fix: A New Era of Modern Medicine (PBS stations 2017); FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War (updated, 2015); Oregon Field Guide; Oregon Art Beat (2015); and, The Programmers – a trilogy of documentary shorts about pioneering women in computing (2015.) Documentaries include FRONTLINE: Life and Death in Assisted Living (2013); FRONTLINE: Nuclear Aftershocks (2012); FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War (original broadcast in 2010); FRONTLINE: Sick Around America (2009) and FRONTLINE: Sick Around the World (2008). In 2008, Kate’s co-produced a two-hour historical documentary, Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency for PBS. In 2004 Kate associate produced the Oscar-nominated film ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room and in 2005 she co-produced FRONTLINE: The Meth Epidemic. In 2001, while working at ABC-NEWS Nightline producing the PBS series Life 360, Kate covered the tragic events of 9/11 for Peter Jennings in New York City. She went on to work for NOW with Bill Moyers covering the nexus of business and politics in Washington, D.C. Her on-going production of Inside the Psychologist’s Studio is a popular web series for the Association for Psychological Science. Outside of producing documentaries, Kate has produced and reported public radio programs, and written articles in Metro Parent Magazine.
Kate is a visiting lecturer at Portland State University, Portland Community College, Clackamas Community College and Linfield College. Her second language is Spanish, and she participates as a panelist for journalism and documentary conferences, mentors aspiring journalism professionals and is former Vice President of the Women in Film-Portland board of directors.
Producer/Reporter - "Reveal" public radio episode and podcast Catch a Killer with your DNA aired nationally 10/05/2019
Producer, Blue Chalk Media
Producer, Boys & Girls Aid
Producer - Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Lee Ross – a web series for Association for Psychological Science.
Producer, Writer & Director - documentaries currently in development.
Series Producer – Hacking Your Mind – a four-hour PBS documentary series, 3 years in the making, funded by NSF about breakthroughs in the field of behavioral science (releases summer, 2020 nationally on PBS)
Producer - Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Walter Mischel – a web series for Association for Psychological Science.
Producer - Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Lila Gleitman - a web series for Association for Psychological Science.
Producer, Writer & Director – The Doctor Fix – an hour documentary about the changing business of being a doctor, distributed for public media by NETA, presented by OPB in 2017.
Producer– Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Jennifer Richeson – a web series for Association for Psychological Science
Producer – FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War (update to the original broadcast) an investigation into the science and safety of America’s vaccine program.
Producer – A Christmas Invitation, a live-to-tape special performance of Pacific Lutheran University’s Choir of the West presented by OPB and distributed nationally.
Producer – Portland Civil Rights a live panel discussion about present-day civil rights issues in Portland, Oregon for OPB
Producer – Gravity Sports an Oregon Field Guide episode about extreme downhill skateboarding for OPB.
Producer - Class of 2025 a CPB funded mini-documentary about an Oregon story that reflects challenges in American education, presented by OPB.
Producer– Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Steven Pinker, Michael Posner and Alan Kraut, Association for Psychological Science
Co-producer – Daughters of the Forest the story of a school for girls in Paraguay that is saving the environment one girl at a time. (ITVS) for public broadcasting.
Producer – Endurance Riding an Oregon Field Guide episode about 100-mile races on horseback for OPB.
Producer– Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Paul Ekman, Claude Steele and Annette Karmiloff-Smith – a web series for Association for Psychological Science
Producer/Director – The Computers - the untold stories of women in computing history beginning with the six ENIAC programmers. Premiered at Seattle International Film Festival.
Co-producer – FRONTLINE: Life and Death in Assisted Living an investigation into corrupt practices in America’s assisted living industry for PBS.
Producer – Stan Peterson an Oregon ArtBeat episode about a wood carver for OPB.
Producer– Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Jerome Bruner, Al Bandura and Eleanor Maccoby, Association for Psychological Science
Co-producer – FRONTLINE: Nuclear Aftershocks an investigation into the future of nuclear energy after the Fukushima meltdown.
Producer– Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Brenda Milner, - a web series for Association for Psychological Science
Co-producer – FRONTLINE: The Meth Epidemic (update to original broadcast), PBS – national investigative documentary for PBS.
Producer– Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Elizabeth Loftus, Association for Psychological Science, April 2011
Producer – Think Out Loud, Oregon Public Broadcasting. Worked with the executive producer, host and production team to produce a daily news/talk radio program.
Co-producer – FRONTLINE: The Vaccine War, an investigation into the science and safety of America’s vaccine program.
Producer– Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Janet Taylor Spence; Linda Bartoshuk, Association for Psychological Science.
Archival Research & Licensing Manager – When Worlds Collide, PBS/ KCET September 2010. A history of the Americas, post-Columbus.
Co-producer – FRONTLINE: Sick Around America; PBS March 2009. An investigation into the failures of America’s health care system.
Producer – Financial Aid for College, Oregon Public Broadcasting, live studio panel, January 2009
Co-producer – FRONTLINE: Sick Around the World; PBS April 2008. An examination of five foreign models of health care.
Co-producer – Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency 2-hour historical film for PBS, January 2008 about America’s 7th president Andrew Jackson.
Producer/Editor – Inside the Psychologist’s Studio with Elliot Aronson, Association for Psychological Science.
Producer – 20th Anniversary Tribute, Oregon Public Broadcasting, May 2008
Producer – Financial Aid for College, Oregon Public Broadcasting, live studio panel, February 2008
Writer/Researcher – PBS – new series research and development, May 2007Co-producer, Skoll Foundation Films: International Bridges to Justice (Cambodia); Ceres (New York and San Francisco); premiered at Oxford University, March 25, 2007
Producer – Financial Aid for College, Oregon Public Broadcasting, live studio panel, December 2007
Co-producer – FRONTLINE: The Meth Epidemic, PBS – national investigative documentary about the people and power involved in America’s meth epidemic, February 2006
Producer – Meth: The Oregon Front, Oregon Public Broadcasting – studio panel discussion following FRONTLINE about Oregon’s meth epidemic.
Producer – Financial Aid for College, Oregon Public Broadcasting – live studio panel discussion, Dec. 2006
Co-author/Researcher – “The Healthy Skeptic” - Book about disease prevention by Wall Street Journal columnist Robert Davis; University of California Press
Associate Producer – Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Sundance Film Festival world premiere - Theatrical and DVD-released film documenting the corporation Enron’s rise and fall. Produced by HDNET Films.
Producer – Financial Aid for College, Oregon Public Broadcasting – live studio panel discussion, Dec. 2005
Producer – The High Five Challenge, Oregon Public Broadcasting – studio-taped quiz show for students.
Associate Producer – The Three Rabbis, Oregon Public Broadcasting – 1-hour historical documentary.
Associate Producer – Volunteer Town, Oregon Public Broadcasting – 1-hour human-interest documentary.
Producer – By the People, Oregon Public Broadcasting – Public affairs debate of the 2004 presidential election focused on rural and urban issues, for OPB
Associate Producer - Group Inc. - An independent multi-media production company in Washington, D.C.
Associate Producer – NOW with Bill Moyers, PBS - Investigative unit reporting on the nexus of business and politics in Washington, D.C.
Production Manager/Associate Producer – Life 360, A human-interest documentary series chronicling Americans’ daily lives. Co-produced by ABC News Nightline and Oregon Public Broadcasting for PBS
Associate Producer – The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS - News reports on politics and issues that drive American society.
Associate Producer – Oregon Public Broadcasting:
The Oregon Story: Migrant Workers, Oregon Public Broadcasting - 2001
The Sixties: Summer of Love, Days of Rage, PBS – 2005
Warnings From a Small Town, Discovery Channel – 2000
Sinking the Lusitania, PBS – 2000
The Oregon Story: Tribal Economy, Oregon Public Broadcasting - 2000
Oregon Artbeat: Left Behind, Oregon Public Broadcasting - 2000
2011 NIHCM Foundation Health Care Journalism Award winner
2006 NETA (National Educational Television Association) winner, Meth: The Oregon Front
2006 Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award winner, Frontline: The Meth Epidemic
2007 Prism Award nomination, Frontline: The Meth Epidemic
2005 Oscar nomination, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
2005 Silver Telly Award winner, The Three Rabbis
2001 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmy award winner for ABC News coverage of the events on and immediately after September 11, 2001 in New York City