Joe Winston

Joe Winston

Ow Myeye Productions, Inc.
Producer and Editor

Chicago, Illinois

Member Since:
February 2012
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
Invites sent:

About Joe

Joe Winston grew up in Chicago, and earned a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University in 1988.

He was a producer on "Citizen Koch," which was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Joe co-produced, directed and co-edited the documentary feature film, "What's the Matter with Kansas?" Film critic Roger Ebert voted it "one of the Ten Best Documentaries of 2009."

In 1999, Winston was nominated for an Emmy award for his work on the PBS documentary, Lost in Middle America (and what happened next.)

In 1996, Winston produced and directed "The Burning Man Festival," which won rave reviews, festival prizes, and broadcast on DRTV. In 1998, he produced a sequel, "Burning Man: Just Add Couches."

He began his career producing and hosting the TV series "This Week in Joe's Basement." The show quickly transcended its venue on Chicago public access cable to become a critical and popular success.

It won two local cable TV awards and was featured in the Chicago Tribune, Reader, New City, NBC's Today, Jenny Jones, MTV's Day in Rock, BBC's World of Wonder, PBS's Image Union, and The 90s. Joe also has a couple of shoe boxes filled with very strange fan mail.

"Joe's Basement" became so notorious that when Saturday Night Live's "Wayne's World" skit was made into a movie, the Chicago Tribune assigned Joe to interview star Mike Myers to find out whether he drew inspiration from "Joe's Basement" in creating "Wayne's World."

Unique traits: Producer and Shooter, adept at both aspects of documentary and doc-style production.



  • Strange Inheritance

    Strange Inheritance (2015)
    Television by Erin Lutterbach Murphy (Reality-TV) Editor Love, loss, and a legacy left behind. "Strange Inheritance" is a ground-breaking new reality program from the Fox Business Network. From multi-million dollar treasures, to truly bizarre collections and one-of-a- kind artifacts, this series tells the stories of how families decide what to do with their newly acquired possessions. Shocking secrets are discovered, gut-wrenching decisions are made about priceless heirlooms and fascinating histories are uncovered along the way. Written by FBN

  • Underground BBQ Challenge

    Underground BBQ Challenge (2014)
    Television by Erin Lutterbach Murphy (Reality-TV) Editor

  • Fault Lines

    Fault Lines (2014)
    Television (Documentary and News) Editor

  • Citizen Koch

    Citizen Koch (2013)
    Film by Tia Lessin (Documentary and Drama) Producer When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stripped state workers of their union rights in 2011, was it simply a classic face-off between labor and management, or a bold political move designed to weaken his party's political opposition? Set against the rise of the Tea Party and Occupy movements, the US Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United, and the 2012 presidential campaign, Citizen Koch documents the consequences for democracy when private interests determine who is elected to deliver public good. Written by Anonymous

  • Jens Jensen The Living Green

    Jens Jensen The Living Green (2013)
    Film by Carey Lundin (Documentary, Biography and History) Editorial department In 'Jens Jensen The Living Green' follows the career of Danish-born JENS JENSEN (1860 - 1951) from street sweeper, to 'dean of landscape architecture', to pioneering conservationist. Jensen battles corruption and unbridled industrial expansion to make the modern city livable by bringing 'the living green' into the wretched lives of Chicago's workers. Striking cinematography and an evocative soundtrack illuminate colorful witness from Prairie School architect ALFRED CALDWELL and an intensely reflective interview with JENSEN. Today, residents of underserved communities still suffer the effects of 'park deserts' and 'food deserts' - but the healing power of nature is recognized. Jensen leveraged his relationships with FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, HENRY FORD and JULIUS ROSENWALD to stop the steel mills from industrializing the entire shoreline and preserve native Midwestern landscapes. Written by Anonymous

  • @home

    @home (2013)
    Film by Susanne Suffredin (Documentary and Biography) Editorial department Telling the remarkable story of one man's fierce commitment to make the homeless visible. It's why he started InvisiblePeople.TV, a nonprofit that uses social media to document what it's like to be homeless in America, turning common stereotypes of the homeless upside-down. Mark has posted hundreds of raw, unedited video testimonials from the homeless - and these stories have reached millions of people online. He has become the web voice of this cause; his network has given voice to thousands of homeless men and women, and advocacy organizations are taking notice. Few people will share the same dedication Mark shows to eradicating homelessness - because not all of us have been there. But we can learn to step out of our comfort zones and see homeless people for who they really are - our friends, our family, and our neighbors. We can educate ourselves about this issue, and work to end homelessness in our communities. Mark dares us to care as he exposes America's broken safety net, and ... Written by Brigitte Agneray

  • Great Lake Warriors

    Great Lake Warriors (2012)
    Television (Reality-TV) Editor, Editorial department

  • 2012: The Beginning

    2012: The Beginning (2012)
    Film by Shannon Kring (Documentary and History) Editorial department December 21, 2012. This date, identified by the Maya nearly 1,400 years ago, has in recent years become the source of great curiosity and debate. Some believe it will bring catastrophic events. Others, an era of enlightenment. But what did the ancient Maya themselves believe? In 2012: THE BEGINNING, we travel the world to examine what the Sacred Maya texts really say. Throughout, our journey is guided by noted archaeologists, scholars, and the living Maya, who take us into the field--to the very origins of the Maya Long Count Calendar--and into their lives and sacred ceremonies. Together, these people from very different worlds shed light on a date that has long been shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Written by Anonymous

  • Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

    Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance (2012)
    Film by Bob Hercules (Documentary, Biography and History) Editorial department The full story of this groundbreaking dance company, from their founding in 1956 to the present. The Joffrey is considered the first truly 'American' ballet company and was the first to perform at the White House and the first company to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Narrated by Mandy Patinkin, the film shows how the Joffrey transformed American dance by combining modern dance with classical ballet and by working with cutting edge choreographers like Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean and others. Features famed former Joffrey stars Kevin McKenzie, Gary Chryst, Helgi Tomasson, Trinette Singleton and Adam Sklute. Written by Anonymous

  • The First 48: Missing Persons

    The First 48: Missing Persons (2011)
    Television (Reality-TV) Editor With a camera crew embedded in the Chicago Police Department's Special Victums Unit, this show follows missing persons cases from the initial report through the conclusion of the case. There are both happy and tragic endings.

  • Using Agriculture to Spur Achievement: The Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center

    Using Agriculture to Spur Achievement: The Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center (2011)
    Film (short) by Joe Winston (Documentary) Editor, Producer, Director

  • Donn Teske: Go to College, or Take over the Family Farm?

    Donn Teske: Go to College, or Take over the Family Farm? (2011)
    Film (short) by Joe Winston (Documentary) Producer, Director, Cinematographer Kansas farmer Donn Teske recalls the pivotal moment in his life when he had to choose between attending college or taking over his family's farm from his father. He chose to continue farming, and now faces doubts about whether his own children will want to - or be able to - continue to operate the family farm. Written by Joe Winston

  • 9/11: After the Towers Fell

    9/11: After the Towers Fell (2010)
    TV Movie by Ellen Harder (Documentary) Editor 9/11: After The Towers Fell is the definitive look at the aftermath of 9/11. The most devastating terrorist atrocity in the history of the United States bowed and bloodied the nation. But out of that tragedy rose the people of America like an unstoppable tide ready to help in whatever way they could, leading to hundreds of tales of heroism. Written by Discovery UK

  • Behind Bars

    Behind Bars (2010)
    Television Editor

  • What's the Matter with Kansas?

    What's the Matter with Kansas? (2009)
    Film by Joe Winston (Documentary) Editor, Producer, Director, Camera and Electrical Department In 'What's the Matter with Kansas?' a politically active Kansas megachurch splinters, moves to an amusement park, and when that fails, a Best Western motel. Meanwhile, an idealistic farmer revives Kansas' progressive tradition, taking his message all the way to Washington, D.C. Written by Laura Cohen

  • Escaped

    Escaped (2009)
    Television (Crime) Editor

  • When Weather Changed History

    When Weather Changed History (2009)
    Television (History) Editor A look at defining historical moments in early and modern history in which weather greatly played a factor in certain events.

  • Green Towns USA: A New Deal

    Green Towns USA: A New Deal (2009)
    Video by June Finfer (Documentary) Editorial department Glory, who grew up in Greenhills Ohio, worries that her town is threatened by demolition and unsuitable redevelopment. She travels to the other two "greenbelt towns" built by the Roosevelt Administration as affordable housing for the working poor, to find out how they are surviving into the 21st century. She interviews residents and town leaders, attends festivals, and learns that each one of the New Deal towns faced challenges that it met one way or another. She fears that her town is losing its historic character and humanistic plan. A case study in the history of city planning, architectural preservation, community participation and democratic involvement, and the attachment to home. Written by June Finfer

  • Justice Delayed

    Justice Delayed (2007)
    TV Movie (Documentary) Editor

  • The Final Report

    The Final Report (2006 - 2007)
    Television (Documentary) Editor

  • Senator Obama Goes to Africa

    Senator Obama Goes to Africa (2007)
    Video by Bob Hercules (Documentary) Editorial department n this timely documentary, Barack Obama returns to his family's roots on an emotional journey to Kisumu, Kenya - land of his father. Part personal odyssey and part chronicle of diplomacy in action, Senator Obama Goes to Africa follows Obama from South Africa to Kenya to a Darfur refugee camp in Chad as he explores the vast continent that is gaining increasing importance in this age of globalization. Written by Anonymous

  • Inside Hurricane Katrina Update

    Inside Hurricane Katrina Update (2006)
    TV Movie by Michael Eldridge (Documentary) Editor

  • Triple Cross: Bin Laden's Spy in America

    Triple Cross: Bin Laden's Spy in America (2006)
    TV Movie by Jonathan Towers (Documentary) Editor This is the true story of Egyptian spy Ali Mohamed. He infiltrated U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA and FBI, and joined the U.S. Army. At the same time, he took orders from the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization and later joined forces with al Qaeda. He trained Osama bin Laden's jihadist warriors and helped plan terrorist attacks including the 1998 African embassy bombings. Written by Anonymous

  • There's No Place Like Home

    There's No Place Like Home (2006)
    Television by Peter Gilbert Editorial department

  • National Geographic: Inside 9/11

    National Geographic: Inside 9/11 (2005)
    Television (Documentary) Editor Inside 9/11 provides insight into the events that led up to 9/11 by tracing the timeline from al Qaeda's earliest origins through the aftermath of 9/11 and the ongoing investigation.

  • Investigating History

    Investigating History (2004)
    Television (Documentary and History) Editor, Editorial department

  • Lying

    Lying (2004)
    Film (short) by Joe Winston (Comedy) Editor, Producer, Director, Writer

  • Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election

    Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (2002)
    Film by Joan Sekler (Documentary) Editorial department

  • Love Gun

    Love Gun (2000)
    Film (short) by Joe Winston (Drama) Editor, Producer, Director, Cinematographer A mysterious man, who's face we never see clearly, relates in a chilling monologue his experiences having sex with older women for money to finance his heroin addiction. He presents the scenario in a very matter-of-fact, detailed, straightforward manner, refusing to assign blame or draw conclusions. How does he regard his predicament? Is he proud of his ability to survive? Or simply too numb to have any perspective on how his actions appear to others? Written by Joe Winston

  • Extreme Homes

    Extreme Homes (1999)
    Television (Reality-TV) Editor

  • Lost in Middle America (and What Happened Next)

    Lost in Middle America (and What Happened Next) (1999)
    and What Happened Nex by Scott Craig (Documentary) Editor Lima, Ohio was once a thriving industrial city. Midway between Dayton and Toledo, its factories turned out locomotives, tanks, automobile and airplane parts, even cigars. But in the post-WW II era, as in so many "Rust-Belt" towns, Lima's industries gradually folded or left town. The city, which once boasted of being "little Chicago," was in danger of becoming a mini-Detroit. In the mid-1990's Lima's new mayor, David Berger, embarked on an aggressive plan to reverse the town's seemingly inexorable decline. Did it work? What can other American cities learn from Lima's experience? Narrated by Hal Holbrook, an Ohio native. Nominated for Emmy awards in cinematography, editing, music and writing. Written by Joe Winston

  • Fiona's Fortune

    Fiona's Fortune (1998)
    Film by Vivienne Crowe Editor

  • Burning Man: Just Add Couches

    Burning Man: Just Add Couches (1998)
    Film by Joe Winston (Documentary) Editor, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Self One year after discovering the Burning Man Festival, filmmaker Joe Winston and his pals return to the desert. "What this party really needs is a comfortable living room setting, where people can watch TV and drink beer," they proudly declare. "All we need to bring is a tent, some couches, a satellite dish, and a few other things. Should be pretty easy, right?" Unfortunately, creating the "Couch Potato Camp" over 50 miles from the nearest hardware store turns out to be harder than they thought.... Written by Joe W

  • The Strange Little Man Who Lives in My Father's Lab

    The Strange Little Man Who Lives in My Father's Lab (1997)
    Film (short) by Joe Winston (Reality-TV) Editor, Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Self A mysterious stranger has ingratiated himself with a kind University of Chicago physics professor, who allows him to show up daily at one of his labs. This man, who is not a student or employed by anyone, pounds on his typewriter, checks out books from the library, and uses the copy machine. But no one knows what he is actually doing. Is he a self-taught physics genius? Or is he insane? Years after he started arriving daily at the lab, this documentary short uses hidden-camera video and narration to try to solve the mystery of the Strange Little Man. Written by Joe Winston

  • The Burning Man Festival

    The Burning Man Festival (1997)
    Film by Joe Winston (Documentary) Editor, Producer, Director, Cinematographer Thousands of people gather each summer in the Nevada desert to erect and burn a 40-foot tall human effigy. A temporary city rises from the dust and 100-degree heat, and a sort of anarchist society emerges. Festivalgoers strut naked, dance in the mud, create theatrical "Theme Camps," invent religions, shoot automatic weapons at stuffed animals, or whatever else they don't get enough of at home. Written by Joe Winston

  • The Good Life

    The Good Life (1995)
    Television (Documentary) Editor

  • This Week in Joe's Basement

    This Week in Joe's Basement (1989 - 1993)
    Television (Talk-Show) Editor, Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Self


  • "Citizen Koch," Founders Prize, Traverse City Film Festival

  • "What's the Matter with Kansas?" Roger Ebert's Ten Best Documentaries of the Year

  • "The Burning Man Festival" Best Documentary, NYIFVF

  • "This Week in Joe's Basement" Chicagoland Cable TV Awards

  • "This Week in Joe's Basement" CANFest


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