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.

Mark Yount

My name is Mark. I am a software developer and film student. I decided to go to film school because I had a documentary that was set to go twice and the production company flaked on me both times. The story is so close to my heart that I decided to learn how to do the doc my self. That was in 2008 and I have just finished preproduction. Production to start in March.

Doug Block

Welcome, Mark. You may find the story of D-Word member Jon Foy inspiring. He was in the same boat as you, now heading off to Sundance with his first doc.

Nancy Shaw

Hello, I'm Nancy, communications coordinator for the British Columbia chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada. I'm gonna be in here every week or so looking for news and stuff to share with the DOC BC membership and I'm curious to hear what other people are up to in terms of financing and developing their own films.

Ben Kempas

Welcome to The D-Word, Nancy! (Blame it on the holidays that nobody has greeted you yet...)

You should also apply for Professional status here ...

Errol Webber

Hello folks, and Happy New Year!

My name is Errol, and I'm a documentary cinematographer based in Baltimore, Maryland. Last year turned out to be a particularly good year for me with the film that I shot, 'Music by Prudence', winning an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short – most easily remembered as the film behind the "Oscar Kanye moment." lol. Since then, I've worked on projects in various African countries and along America's eastern seaboard.

In Summer 2010 Elinor Burkett & I finished another documentary, 'iThemba,' which went on to premiere at IDFA this past November as well as showing at various other festivals in Europe and Africa. iThemba is now in the distribution stage.

In Brooklyn NY, I'm working with director, Michele Stephenson on 'An American Promise' – a coming-of-age documentary that's 11 years in the making, about 2 African-American boys and explores the dynamics that surround them as they matriculate a private High School in Manhattan.

Additionally, in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, we've begun shooting a nature-doc in the fall with director, Mike Mathis, on the life of Naturalist & Essayist, John Burroughs, who grew in notoriety for his research and activism in the early 1900s. For this shoot, all the footage (sans the interviews) was shot solely on the, now popular, Canon HDSLRs. There are many pros and cons to this new technology, but while working with the camera for the entire shoot, I was able to find ways to combat the issues that normally plague video shot on the any Canon HDSLR.

My forte is shooting – it's what I love doing and have been doing since 2003. Every day I try to learn something new, whether it be from other docs or from simply watching a TV Show and picking scenes apart. I'm a stickler for good sound and lighting and am maniacal about shooting things right, even if it means agonizing over a shot for another minute or two til it's just right, time permitting, of course.

Now where editing is concerned, I gained about 40,000 hours of my editing experience with Final Cut Pro while still in college, which helped greatly post-college when I started my documentary career in 2008. I do documentary editing but not nearly as much as I shoot. I find myself spending many hours now soaking up all I can about video and various technology because the more I know, the better I am able to become creatively. Plus I'll be prepared when it comes to video troubleshooting which I do a lot of for people when they're stuck in say, a Final Cut Pro problem...right upon a deadline, or making suggestions for their next camera/equipment purchase. So I hope I'll be of some help on some of the threads on the D-Word.

With this new year, my goal is to create more great work with great people, make new contacts and build friendships in this close-knit weave which is the documentary film world. I wish you all a very productive and successful 2011!

Doug Block

Welcome, Errol. Great to have you here with us. There's a lot of collective knowledge in the various discussion topics for you to soak up. And I'm sure we'll be learning a lot from you, too.

Adams Wood

Hi Everyone – I'm a Director/Producer/ Camera-person from Asheville, North Carolina. Last year I finished a film called ON COAL RIVER with my wife/co-director and we're starting another project now. I signed up for D-Word a few months ago, but I'm just now starting to poke around the threads and appreciating the resource this is! I'm looking forward to learning a lot :)

Doug Block

Good to have you come out of the darkness at last, Adams.

Jill Woodward

Hi Adams, saw On Coal River at STF last year. Great job, good luck with your new film.

Steve Deline

Hello everyone – Thanks to a tip from another doc maker I've been lurking about the forums for months now, trying to soak up as much wisdom as possible, but as 2011 dawns I figure it's time to wave hello.

I'm a writer/director currently stationed in Los Angeles and am in post on my first documentary project: a series about five starkly disparate elementary and high schools in New Orleans and Baltimore, the unusual historical origin they all share, and the stories of what it's like to educate inside their respective walls today. Thanks, all of you, for creating such a great collective resource and community, and Happy New Year!

Doug Block

Welcome, Steve. Feel free to register as a professional member. You'll gain access to all 50 discussion topics.

Doug Block

Good to have you joining us, Steve. Say goodbye to all your free time ;-)

Stephen Grynberg

Hi D-Word. Happy to be here. I just finished my first feature doc this past year and its been on the festival circuit having a pretty good time. The film is called A Life Ascending. You can find a trailer at Im starting to enter the world of hybrid distribution and anxious to learn from others and share what Im learning along the way. Im also looking for some interns to share some of the experience with and to help with some of the research and marketing work. cheers, Stephen

John Burgan

Congratulations on completing your film, Stephen and welcome as a full D-Word Member too – feel free to explore the place. You may also wish to re-post your request for interns (perhaps with some more details) in the Public Classifieds Topic

Mandy Rose

I’ve just joined the D-Word, thanks to John Burgan for the connection. It seems like a terrific space/collective resource. I hope to make a useful contribution. Here are some headlines re my background.
These days I work at the intersection of documentary and participatory media. I was co-founder and producer of BBC2’s award winning Video Nation project, for which people across the UK recorded everyday life in the 90s, which we edited, with their approval, into over twenty hours of diverse TV output. I was Executive Producer of the BBC Capture Wales digital storytelling project, the first major initiative of its kind in the UK, which was informed by the work of The Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, and resulted in a wealth of autobiographical stories made in workshops around Wales, and contributed to a storytelling culture here.
I still live in South Wales though I’m now a Research Fellow at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, at the University of the West of England in Bristol. My research explores the emergence of collaborative online documentary. I’m interested in how a collaborative approach and the online network might enhance documentary’s role in the public sphere.
I blog at
In the 90s I was a producer/director of documentary and arts TV. My work pursued themes of culture and identity – in Hilda at Darjeeling for Channel Four British women looked back on their role in India under the Raj, in Meeting the Masai Mob for BBC2, Aboriginal Australians met with Masai people to share experiences over land rights. I’ve also made work about culture and media – Pictures in the Post (BBC2) was a history of the 20th century told through postcards and their messages. Verite Today (BBC2) looked at ideas of truth in British documentary and included interviews with Jean Rouch Nick Broomfield and Richard Leacock. How the West was Lost (Channel 4) looked at Native American representations in Hollywood, and in Navajo Media.
Right now I’m looking for participants for a web based collaborative project. Within my practice based research I’m revisiting Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s seminal 1960 documentary, Chronicle of a Summer, in particular the question which opens the film, in the classic vox pops sequence, Are you happy? You can see a clip on the site homepage –
I’m seeking collaborators who are interested in getting involved by asking that question on video in their locality. This could be an interesting brief for media studies or documentary students. 
If that interests any teachers here I could offer a briefing via Skype, and could put the call to action into context, both of the original film and of the growing field of collaborative online documentary. (I should mention that I have some teaching experience. ) 
Thanks for reading. 
My email –

Doug Block

What a fascinating background, Mandy. We did a bunch of collaborative projects here at The D-Word in our first few years, but sadly none since then. A shame since such great potential exists for it within a strong and supportive worldwide community like this. So certainly hope your presence helps inspire some more collaborations.

John Burgan

Great to have you here, Mandy. I will definitely be encouraging colleagues and students to participate in the Are you happy? project

Mandy Rose

Thanks Doug, John. I look forward to D-Wording. Have a good weekend.

Jeff Girard

Hi D-Word community,

My name is Jeff Girard. I’ve been an activist since 2000 primarily in the area of bettering the LGBT community. I started the first visible LGBT group in my hometown in 2003, led it through the end of 2007, and then became employed as a volunteer recruiter and trainer with the NO on 8 campaign in San Francisco and Sacramento. Since 2009, I’ve been in the east bay.

In late 2009, I bought a program to hook up my VCR to my computer to transfer my home movies to digital format. It came with a simple video editing program and once I started using it my creative side was reinvigorated after having been set aside while I focused on activism. It started to occur to me that I could merge my creativity and activism by making viral videos and films.

My areas of interests regarding activism and documentary filmmaking include:

-initiating sustainable gay groups in rural/isolated areas, which is needed in many places in CA

-LGBT equality

-preventing the destruction of the human food supply

-voter empowerment: required open debates; instant runoff voting; repealing Prop. 14; the advancement of alternative parties and independents

-access to affordable genuinely-healthy food for all

-healthy sexual education inclusive to LGBT teens; opposition to the glorification of un-protected sex

-freedom from the big-brother/nanny state


I am here seeking collaborators and mentors. Please email me at if you would like to collaborate with me or offer a mentorship opportunity in the Sacramento, east bay, or southern CA areas. (Note: I apologize if sharing email is against TOS but I am unable to find whether or not it is)

We’ve heard a lot about “it gets better” for LGBT folks recently. I hope that promise is not just for teens but for the LGBT folks who endure adversities in their adulthood. I’ve found it to be a challenge to find mentors in the LGBT community. Maybe I just don’t know the right people. To be clear, I am open to working with people of all walks of life – not just LGBT folks.

I want to continue to do good works as an activist – I just need to make enough to pay for my vehicle and food. My hope is that I can find a mentor who sees the record of good works I’ve done as an activist to mentor me and help me become even more equipped to do good in the world while being able to take care of myself too.

With all humility, I was the only person in my family to graduate high school and not get into drugs or become an alcoholic. I come from a tough background with no examples of successful people in my family. When I became an adult I had to start working to survive and since then I have avoided student loan debt. I may not be a college educated person, but I’m certainly an intelligent and creative person. Well, I did take one public speaking class. I got an “A.”

I became unemployed last November and am trying to do all I can to find a place for me to utilize my passion for activism and creativity. I’m hoping to work on projects and partner with or create a nonprofit to fund my projects. I’m living in my vehicle by choice and I could not be happier about it. It’s equipped me to push myself harder to move forward. In case you're wondering, I shower utilizing couch surfing. I'm quite clean and organized considering I live in a vehicle.

Because I am living in my vehicle, for now, I can go anyway. For now, I’m still in the east bay near San Francisco.

Thank you for your consideration.

-Jeff Girard

PS: At you can see an example of my work. I directed, wrote, edited, and appeared in the project.

Doug Block

Welcome, Jeff. Feel free to take one more step and register for professional membership here. It'll give you access to all 50 of our discussion topics.

And keep up the good work.

David Pelcyger

Hello. I've been reading the constructive and generous posts here for a few months- it's time to introduce myself. I work for a weekly documentary show named World Report. The segments aired are a mix of traditional news (with correspondents) and more impressionistic pieces. My specialty is the latter. Here are a few samples:

Look forward to adding whatever I can to the discussions.
Thanks, David