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.

Joshka Wessels
Pro

Dear all, my name is Joshka Wessels, I am a eco-documentary maker based in the Netherlands. My background is in visual anthropology and geography (yes, I have a PhD in that...)I have been a member of D-Word since 2007 when I was based in the UK but just didn't get round to properly introduce myself! I have been working a lot on climate change, water and middle east issues lately. Attached is a list of broadcasts and screening in 2009 of 5 different films I made. You can see my showreel on my youtube channel www.youtube.com/joshkawessels

Have fun !

Doug Block
Host

Glad to have you finally posting, Joshka. Though now I can see why, you've been quite a busy boy. Much congrats.

Joshka Wessels
Pro

hi doug, thanks, busy girl you mean...I know confusing hey, Joshka can be both....:)

Ben Kempas
Pro

You know, Doug's eyesight... and he doesn't really read the bios... :-P

[looking for shelter]

Doug Block
Host

Hey, I'm on vicodin and not responsible for anything I do these days (just ask my wife!). But sorry about that, lovely Joshka.

Nick Verbitsky
Pro

Thx for the Welcome Doug, I'm really psyched to be involved w/this group.

Which is a great segue to a question I have as it regards fair use. As I mentioned, I am working on a feature doc on the collapse of Bear Stearns, I've already had a bunch of fantastic interviews and have a bunch more scheduled through April.

However, I also have an absolute trove of internal corp vid from Bear Stearns that was spirited out of the bldg before it could be destroyed. There is much in this trove that will be useful in one way or another, and yes, some of it is pretty sensitive and documents meetings while the company is on its way to oblivion during that fateful last week.

My question is, what, if any guidance does the group have vis a vis the Fair Use claim. Based on the American Univ Best Practices statement, I feel I'm on pretty firm ground in using what I have, and I also plan on obtaining Fair Use insurance; but just wanted to see what some of you thought. I guess the best way to think of what I have is similar to SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM, which was of course, chock full of internal Enron corp vids.....

Look fwd to any/all comments....

John Burgan
Host

Given the sort of material you are thinking of using, it would seem imperative that you speak to a lawyer.

Nick Verbitsky
Pro

Thanks John. In order to get the Fair Use insurance I mentioned, I must have a statement from a lawyer attesting to the veracity of the claim....Was just wondering if there was anyone w/a shared experience who could give me some guidance.

John Burgan
Host

Hopefully you'll get some more feedback from the D-Word.

In the interim, Richard Lee is a longstanding member of our community and well versed in these issues. I haven't used him myself, but many colleagues here can attest to his competence in this area.

Shuibo Wang
Pro

Hello dear documentary colleagues!
I'm Shui-bo Wang, a Montreal based filmmaker and I also teach at the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, as a visiting professor. My animated autobiographical documentary Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square was nominated for an Academy Award in 1999. I made two other documentaries titled Swing in Beijing and They Chose China, and currently working on a couple of documentary feature film projects both in Canada and China.

Simone Francis
Fan

Hi, My name is Simone and I started a project a few years ago- www.nomadichands.com
If anyone is interested in helping out with an upcoming documentary in the Ecuadorian Amazon very soon, I´ve just posted info about it in the public classified section. I´m always open to help with all other areas of the project too ;)
Cheers,
Simone

Ben Kempas
Pro

Welcome to The D-Word, Simone, Shuibo, Nick...

Adam Lichtenstein
Pro

Greetings and Thanks for welcoming me into The D-Word. My name is Adam Lichtenstein and I am an Avid and Final Cut Pro Editor of features, commercials (web, too) and documentaries (TV news docs, reality, and theatrical). My most recent project was for HBO about the late great 70s character actor John Cazale called I KNEW IT WAS YOU. It's making its tour of film festivals, having recently been at Sundance where it was in the Documentary Spotlight program. It's a great little gem and particular favorite of film people. I hope you all enjoy. Again, thanks for inviting me into The Discussion. Warmly, Adam L.

Doug Block
Host

A warm welcome to Simone and Adam. Good to have you both here and leaping in.

Ben Kempas
Pro

I saw I KNEW IT WAS YOU at Sundance and really liked it. Welcome, Adam!

Ruby Yang
Pro

Hi everyone,
This is Ruby Yang from Beijing, my home/work base for the last 5 years. Relocated from San Francisco in 2004, I am still fascinated by Beijing and the rest of China.
Thomas Lennon, my colleague has been telling me about this site. Glad I am now part of this professional community.

Doug Block
Host

Welcome, Ruby! I've known of you through Tom for many years now, so it's great to finally have you joining us here. I guess modesty prevented you from mentioning the documentary short Oscar you and Tom won last year for "The Blood of Yingzhou District", but not me.

Richard Eisenstein
Fan

Hey Documentary community. I am Rick Eisenstein of Los Angeles and I am working on a documentary about the mortgage meltdown leading to the the foreclosure fiasco.

Rob Ferguson
Fan

Hello, all!
I'm very new to the documentary production process. I am helping a friend raise money to realize his dream of making a documentary questioning the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Edgar Allan Poe against the backdrop of the socio-economic and political realities of 19th century Baltimore.
He's been working on this for well over a decade now, and has a very detailed and well-thought plan, in addition to some participation arrangements with successful documentary filmmakers, so I am confident in the "bedrock" of the written materials and accounting data upon which I am building our funding strategy.
I am familiar with fundraising for social service agencies, higher education, and the visual arts, but this is my first foray into documentary film and it looks like there are significant aspects of documentary funding that are unique to the discipline.
I've found some solid information online and even a few leads worth pursuing, but would definitely be grateful for any wisdom and advice I could gain from those more experienced than I.
Most notably-what are good ways to get leads/ideas/contact information for organizations that issue grants for documentary films (particularly those focusing more on the American history and/or literature fields)?
Thanks for any guidance anybody should provide!

Lynn Casper
Fan

Hello!

I am merely an amateur who is just getting into filmmaking. My real passion lies in Social Media. I am the Social Media Strategist for a nonprofit organization called Working Films. We work with a lot of documentary films and help create audience engagement strategies so that their films can really have an impact on the social issues they are about. I am really interested in seeing how filmmakers are using social media to get the word out about their films and to engage their audience.

Are there any filmmakers here who have been using social media tools in their film campaigns?

Doug Block
Host

Welcome Richard, Rob and Lynn.

Lynn, you might want to browse thru the Marketing and Distribution topic, where a number of filmmakers are discussing social media and networking tools (most lately, Angela Alston).

Jody Hassett Sanchez
Pro

Greetings,

I'm a reformed network news producer who has spent the past 2.5 years shooting in India, Pakistan and W. Africa for a broadcast-length doc called SOLD:Fighting the New Global Slave Trade. It's about three courageous people who defy death threats, carry out daring rescues and challenge powerful interests in the battle to end child slavery in the 21st Century. It's not another film about what's wrong with the world, it's a film about a Christian, a Hindu and a Muslim who are kicking butt and making a difference. (I'm still trying out my loglines ... as you can guess).
Mira Nair has just signed on to be our narrator and we are working with several NGO's on our outreach campaign. I'm navigating the foreign broadcast sales world right now and look forward to the wise counsel of those who have already trod this thorny path ....

Jody Hassett Sanchez

Jody Hassett Sanchez
Pro

Okay, I already screwed up. Was trying to insert that odd picture into member slot. Figured I'd let you guess which one is me. – Jody

Thomas Lennon
Pro

far and away the best self-portrait in the dword to date – welcome Jody, and glad to see us spicing things up

Doug Block
Host

Jody, clearly you're the one humping the column, right? Smart undercover disguise, I say. Good luck with your film, sounds kick-ass, for sure. And welcome to The D-Word.

Jody Hassett Sanchez
Pro

Yeah, that's me. Same outfit I wore while filming in central Pakistan. Got several requests for the head cover.

Brian Lio
Pro

Greetings everyone,

My name is Brian Lio, and I am excited to have found a community of so many established documentary filmmakers. I just recently got into this space about a year ago when I founded a small production company with my friends and left a job in marketing to see if we could strike out on our own and make something work. I had not so much as held a camera when this whole thing started, so it has been quite the whirlwind learning process for me along the way.

We have been shooting a weekly documentary reality show called Jet Set Zero that follows the lives of a core cast as they attempt to start from nothing and fund their travels around the world living, working, and interacting locally.

Our goal is to try and tell the stories of what it is like to really live in a culture though personal experiences, and show that it an accessible dream to everyone by having a cast that funds themselves and opening the finances. We have been filming and releasing content for the past 9 months and have been shooting in Seattle, Saigon, Bangkok, Tokyo, and now Seoul. Its been an amazing experience and I am lucky to have a great team to learn from.

I look forward to getting feedback from everyone here and learning about what it takes to make a documentary series really successful. You can check out my work at www.jetsetzero.tv.

-Brian

Doug Block
Host

Hmmm, great content + great promotion = successful series. As long as we don't talk about funding, how's that for a formula, Brian? Anyway, sounds like a great idea and loads of fun (if you're young). Welcome to The D-Word.

Girish Sharma
Fan

Hi Everyone,

I am an aspiring filmmaker (is there a word like "aspiring filmmaker"?). I haven't done any productive work yet. I was looking for some guidance to start and do it. Can someone suggest which camera (new or old) we need to making short movies? Any other suggestions for aspiring filmmakers? :)

James Longley
Pro

about cameras for short films / low budget – I'm a big fan of the Panasonic DVX100A.

Simon de Swardt
Pro

Hi everyone
Just joined following a link from dvinfo.net. I am a very new documentary film-maker who has just jumped into the deepest of deep ends. I have two huge projects going on at the moment: one of which, considering my location, is politically sensitive and so will remain a mystery, but the other one I am keen to get some input on.
Basically over the years I have worked in many different capacities at a big Harare arts festival called HIFA. The festival is a complete miracle considering the economic and political context and I want to capture the sense of wonder and incredible achievement as the directors of the festival battle with the worst inflation in the world (over a sextillion percent), a cholera epidemic, a shattered economy, terrible phones and internet, arrogant foreign artists, indignant local artists, highly demanding corporate sponsors, difficult diplomats, etc. It is an exciting project, and I have just begun it. Started filming on Saturday – I have about 6 weeks before the festival starts. The real good footage will come in the last few days before the festival starts, but in the meantime I am laying the groundwork, trying to get some b-roll, building trust (a huge exercise, even considering my many years successful relationship with the organisers), practising some run and gun handheld shooting, etc.
Any recommendations, ideas, tips?
I am pretty worried about the millions of releases I am going to need. The dance rehearsal I just shot had 30 dancers in it! and that is only day two of shooting. Also, worried about incidental music appearing in shots, and the whole host of problems associated with clearing rights for that kind of thing. Seeing as this is an arts festival there will be a huge amount of artistic copyright issues I imagine.
Also I am trying to get as much observational stuff as possible and not interview people formally if I can avoid it. so what seems like a good shooting ratio in this kind of scenario, 60:1 ? I am trying to make a saleable end product which will have the duration of a tv hour – about 50 minutes. I am hoping to try and sell to tv stations etc, as I believe the topic will at least have some novelty value, and it is theoretically current affairs related as well. Anyways, any thoughts from anyone, any pointers as to possible difficulties I am going to have, warnings, tips?
This is my first post here, so this is almost certainly not the place to ask such detailed stuff, anyway – at least you know who I am and what I am up to!
Oh, I have a Sony EX1 and various mics etc. i don't have enough media or batteries, but maybe you never do?
Simon

Pablo Alvarez-Mesa
Pro

Hi James,

Its awesome to be in a forum with such great filmmakers as yourself. Ok, so Ive had something that ive wanted to tell you for a couple of years now. It all started about 3 years ago when I watched Iraq In Fragments. At that point I was on my 1st year of Film School and although I was learning about the sensitivity in storytelling, I was more impressed with camerawork. When I saw that film I was blown away. At that point I thought it was only the camerawork what was amazing and I managed to find your contact at DVX user and I sent you a note asking you ONLY about the presets you used to achieve these images. You replied in no time with all the numbers and I punched them into my newly purchased DVX 100A as if those numbers alone would aquire those pictures.
Now.. for all of these years i have regretted enormously just having asked you about those presets.. I have grown out of the tech freak school mentality and I can watch your film now without focusing on shutter speeds, or framings or whatever. That film has taught me lots of things. I go back to it once in a while to learn when Im feeling stuck creatively.

Ok so all of this is to say.. sorry for just asking what the numbers in your DVX setting were, when you had made such an amazing, human piece.

pablo

James Longley
Pro

Thank you, Pablo. You're very kind.

But if you're looking for humanity and sensitivity, there are a lot of filmmakers who've been able to capture that better – and a lot of them are on this forum. Take a look at Doug Block's film 51 Birch Street, just for instance.

Preston Hart
Pro

Hi. My name is Preston Hart. I am a Brooklyn based composer and producer of music for films and have scored a couple of documentaries by DC's Eidolon Films. I am looking for new projects so please feel free to contact me.

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