Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

Introduce Yourself

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Welcome to The D-Word! Stop in and sign the guest book - let us know a little (or a lot) about yourself.

Please note that this is one of our Public Topics, so best to enter email addresses with (at) to prevent them being harvested. Spam will be deleted.

Chahid Charbel Akoury
Pro

well if you insist , then i'll throw in a brief introduction of who i am and how i relate to documentary..... here it goes, brace yourselves:
i've always been in love with cinema and film ever since i was a child growing up with my grandmother and uncle who after coming back from his day job as a civil engineer would take me to an arthouse movie theatre ( sadly it's closing now ) to watch a different movie almost every day..... well this passion and love grew up as i grew older and soon enough i found myself landing my first job at the Video/DVD rental store that i frequented alot ....there i have to say i watched my first documentary , the one that made me want to upgrade my passion to becoming a vocation , an occupation , a practice.... no secret that documentary was none other than Chris Marker's "Sans Soleil" , i was 14 at the time .... ( i miss those days of being sourrounded by films me there between them, wondering what worlds and feelings and thoughts those discs retain......let's jump to when i realized i'm not cut to become a mechanical engineer and dropped out to go study filmmaking , but was severely lambasted by my father... so i went into graphic design, and chose to specialize in motion graphics, screen based design....and still wanting to be a filmmaker, it was only when my Danish instructor and friend told me about some folk highschool system in the secluded parts of Denmark.... i naturally applied and found myself in a micro-european community of enthusiats that want to venture in filmmaking.... the first course i took there was documentary ( a rather fundamental course) that broadened my perception ,opened my eyes and gave me certain skills that not only made me visualize , and technically approach filmmaking , but also nurtured my passion for documentaries and my evergrowing intellectual curiosity.... and from there on i tried to take every doc related course given at that institution....no secret that Mr. Burgan was the mastermind behind all those courses and sculpter of my new born documentary intellect.... after the course was over i went back to Lebanon (that peculiar tiny spot of bother in the middle east)... and as with everybody in that part of the world, being a full time filmmaker or any form of artistic occupation is synonymous with being non productive, social parasite , not to mention miserably broke... so i took ona job as an assistant producer for Young and Rubicam advertising (television commercials, radio spots , corporate films,.. what i call film prostitution) but i make ends meet, establish a not so bad network of cast, post production companies, directors, DOP, equipment rental....the full monty of film industry.....
i've been in the writing process of a doc-fiction about "the lebanese current situation" ( political assasinations, religious diversity and it's effect on society, state, and government).....
well that's about it...not so brief i see , then again you asked for it .....
oh just a colsing statement ; to me documentaries are the next level of filmmaking , the elevated intellect if you want ,la creme de la creme .....

John Burgan
Host

If he can combine all that enthusiasm and talent with action, Chahid can achieve great things!

Doug Block
Host

Chahid, we can cetainly use some unbridled enthusiasm among our professional members, so feel free to apply (and get access to all our discussion topics) here

Andrew Buchanan
Pro

Hi everyone

I'm a UK based EP with a long career in wildlife documentary series for international cable and satellite channels. Now working freelance, but also concentrating on trying to make TV and film production sustainable.

So would be keen to hear from anyone who has experience and ideas on how to make documentaries without leaving too big a carbon footprint, and without using heaps of resources.

Stefanie Ritoper
Fan

Hi Everyone!

I live in Los Angeles, CA and have spent the last year doing short documentary style pieces with community organizations. My background is in both community-based research and grassroots media. I currently teach video workshops for high schoolers to learn media in Alhambra and Koreatown, and work as a freelance Assistant Editor.

I am just learning about the feature documentary process, and would love your advice on how to get started!

Timm Kröger
Pro

Good day!

Whoa, Chahid's here as well. Anyway, one of these long, lonely nights in the exciting town of Ludwigsburg finally dragged me here. I am currently a student for cinematography, but very much feeling the pull towards documentary. We all know there are just so many more interesting stories to be told than what we see in fiction cinema, mostly.

I'm also a disciple of the great Burgan, and very happy to know him, not only for the beer-tasting part of it. After growing up in the remote north of Germany I spent nearly two years in Denmark at the European Film College, then moved to Munich to be an intern at ARRI Rental, and now I made it to film school. Besides the obvious interest for film I love listening to music, playing music, reading, writing, science, psychology, riddles, beer; and I can never concentrate on one thing at a time, thus always wanting to do everything myself. I'm sure I must get over that one day.

I (somewhat lazily, but wholeheartedly) second Chahid's statement: "documentaries are the next level of filmmaking , the elevated intellect if you want". Looking forward to reading your posts!

Humbly,
Timm

Chris Northcross
Fan

Hello all,

I spent the last two years of my life as a New Media producer for the Obama For America campaign. Traveled around the country shooting video of the President-Elect at rallies and town halls, events as well as interviewing supporters across the country.

I wasn't much of a documentarian before the campaign; now I'm consumed by it. Hoping to pick up some more tips and hear some stories from the good folks on here.

Doug Block
Host

Welcome, Stefanie, Timm and Chris. Chris, fantastic job and much thanks for your work the past few years!!! You all can sign up as professional members and have access to all the discussion topics here ...

Claudine Pommier
Pro

I spent all my life painting, either on canvas or doing large murals,or being involved in public art projects. Then following several working trips in Africa, I got hit by the documentary bug. An intensely satisfying form of expression....

Martha Daniel
Pro

Consumed by a project I have a true passion for, I have been working on a documentary video project for the past 4 years. I completed the Certificate program at Duke University in Documentary Filmmaking 2 years ago and all of this has been a life changing experience for me. My project has obtained fiscal sponsorship from the Southern Documentary Fund and has been fairly successful in fundraising, obtaining individual, corporate and foundation grants (though exceedingly arduous) Now in the post production stage, our project, Miss Nancy Minds Their Manners is scheduled for completion this year! visit www.missnancymindstheirmanners.com

I am also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and have been head of my own graphic and website design firm for more than 25 years.

Doug Block
Host

My, the newbies are coming fast and furious. Warm greetings to Claudine, Martha and anyone else we may have missed.

Timm Kröger
Pro

Hi Ben!

Yes, it was truly wonderful. A pity I never managed to see your film. I'm sure I will one day, though.

Somehow John seems to be connected with the words "beer" or "pints" a lot. Wonder why?

Linda Blackaby
Pro

Hi all,
I've been meaning to introduce myself for some time now. I met Doug Block long ago on a train from MYC to the Flaherty Film Seminar in Aurora New York. At that time I was working in Philadelphia as director of the Neighborhood Film/Video Project, a media arts center specializing in exhibition, community engagement, and eventually we also became the service organization for local independents. And we initiated the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema in 1992 I think it was. So I'm a programmer/exhibitor/festival person with some experience in funding from peer review panels, being on the board of a community foundation, and the board of the long defunct The Film Fund. I also subsequently got to co-program the Flaherty Seminar. Twice. In 1997 I came to San Francisco to help with the SF Asian American Film Festival and also worked at the Hamptons Film Festival. Now I'm director of programming at the San Francisco Film Society which produces the San Francisco International Film Festival and now so much more: year round exhibition, youth education, and since this summer, filmmaker services including classes, residencies, grants and fiscal sponsorship. I'm really pleased to be working again in an organization that supports filmmakers in so many ways. More on our two websites: sffs.org and sf360.org (a daily trade magazine about media art activities in the SF Bay Area). OK, that's some about me. See some of you in Sundance. Anyone going on to Rotterdam?
Linda Blackaby

Doug Block
Host

Yep, Linda, we go pretty far back – that Flaherty Seminar was during year two of the making of my first film, well before I got funding for it. And at un-air conditioned Wells College in the midst of a horrific heat wave. An unforgettable experience.

Anyway, Linda is one of those longtime, unsung heros of the indie film world and it's great having you here with us at The D-Word. A very warm welcome to you.

Mattie Akers
Pro

Hi all,

I have been making, studying, and working on documentaries since about 2003, though I've been cloistered in grad-school world for the past 2.5 years... As I near the end of my MFA I'm looking beyond the walls at the big bad docu world out there, trying to gain an idea of what paths to take. I look forward to learning from others on this forum and adding to topics when I can contribute something of value.

I heard about D-Word when Doug Block visited one of my classes (Prof. Paul Stekler) back in 2006

Doug Block
Host

Welcome, Madeleine. Wow, 2006, talk about procrastination... ;-) Anyway, glad you finally found your way here.

Ben Kempas
Pro

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please welcome a new addition to the team of Hosts of The D-Word:

Marj Safinia.

Marj Safinia
Host

Thanks, Ben.

For those of you who don't know me I'm a long time member and contributor to The D-Word, although I don't post so often in the Public Topics. That will be changing :)

I'm also a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, having passed through New York, London and Tehran on my way here. I'm all about building community, which is one of the reasons I love documentary work, and so I'm thrilled to be welcomed as a new co-host in my favorite community of all.

I'm currently working on a new project, The Department of Expansion with fellow D-Worder and uber-DP, Nick Higgins and his amazingly talented producer/director wife Kristina.

Finally, I've just joined the Board of Directors of the International Documentary Association, so I'm looking forward to creating stronger ties between this community and the IDA in the months to come.

Big thanks to Doug, Ben and John for inviting me to join them as a co-host, and welcome to all our newer members and enthusiasts!

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