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.

Rachel Shuman

Hi Everyone,
I've known about D-Word for so long that I can't believe I am only now joining. For the past couple of years I've been attending the Stranger than Fiction series at IFC in NY and have loved the little community that has formed around that event so I am hoping to broaden that now on the D-Word. In the past 7 or 8 years I've worked primarily as an editor, but do occasionally direct my own work as well. I look forward to learning from everyone here as well as sharing some of my own experiences from the field. Samples of my work can be found here:
Thanks for taking a look!

Doug Block

Banner day at The D-Word! Finally. We. Get. Rachel. To. Join. Us.

(Sorry, folks, but we go way back. And it's taken years.)

Welcome, Rachel, and feel free to leap right into the discussions.

Rachel Shuman

Thanks, Doug, for the warm welcome! I know...I can't believe how long it's been, but just glad to be here now. It's impressive how much the site has grown; what a wonderful resource and place for community. I hope to see you soon.

Dean Lenoir

Hey Everyone,

I'm completely new to documentary film-making, and was recommended to the D-word as a place to connect with others in the field. Here is a little bit about my background:

I'm currently a M.A. student at The New School studying Political Science. The issues that drive my studies include: economic inequality, poverty, and human rights to name but a few. My plan for about 5 years now was to pursue a career as an academic, addressing these issues through classroom teaching, research, and political activism. Teaching and research are exciting for me, so being a professor seemed like the most logical route for me.

About a year ago however, I began to think about film (specifically documentary) as a medium for researching and communicating the ideas that drive me. Documentary film-making seemed exciting; it provided a new, and seemingly broader, medium to research and communicate with people about my areas of concern. The type of research I have been working on in graduate school has been geared more towards academic crowds – indeed this is the norm, and necessary for career advancement. I've always been interested in communicating with broad audiences though, and above all, that is why I am now turning to documentary film-making. Putting together a real-life account of the lives and experiences of others is REALLY EXCITING for me. I admire those documentary filmmakers who have pulled this feat off with success, and I hope that I can one day do the same.

I should mention that despite my enthusiasm for documentary film-making, I did not pursue it initially. There are several reasons for this. First, I was already so invested in academia. Second, I knew very little about film-making, and did not know anyone personally that was in the film-making profession. Finally, I don't have the funds for film school, and wasn't interested in taking out more student loans to do so.

Despite these obstacles, my desire to pursue documentary has only grown during the past year, to the point where I needed to address it!. About a month ago I finally did, when I set out on my first documentary on subway musicians, which I am currently working on. I'm learning a lot from being on the ground, and have came across some interesting people and resources along the way that have really helped my development. I'm hoping that the D-Word will be another great resource where I can share my experiences, and gather knowledge from other filmmakers. Additionally, I am interested in finding work with documentary film crews, so that I can learn more about the art and draft of documentary film-making (I will post an ad in the classifieds stating that I am looking to find work with documentary crews).

Okay, I'm going to stop now because this introduction is probably entirely too wrong, but thanks for having me here, and I look forward to getting to know all of you!


Tim de la Torre

Hi everyone,

It's great to join this amazing resource and on-line community. There's not a lot to tell about myself. I studied Television and Film Production for undergrad but took several years off in between and after serving with a non-profit Christian education and development organization in the Philippines. I was able to do some filming while there but my work kept me too busy to do much filmmaking. I've actually travelled to quite a few countries in South America and Asia putting together short videos on the work various church organizations are doing but it's always felt unfulfilling... there was a specific agenda and target audience that I didn't want to be stuck with.

I came back to the states and got married in 2008 and now my wife & I are a traveling production crew. It's been great to work together as a team on various corporate/volunteer projects and we're hoping to branch out into more independent type work that can actually pay the bills... and if not, hopefully the stock footage I sell from some of these projects will help at least!

I kinda took a gamble and used all my money to buy a used Sony EX1 on craigslist and jobs just started coming. I'm still using that EX1 but I've kept reinvesting in equipment as much as possible, learning from my own mistakes, and doing the best I can for each job. I'd love to move towards a DSLR at some point but I'm so heavily invested in my Sony setup that I'm going to work on honing my skills, saving my money, and be comfortable with the equipment I have for a while.

Right now, my wife & I are working on a story of a friend that was a bush pilot in Venezuela that went missing with a plane load of people in a Cessna 182 about 2 years ago. There's an incredible local and international grass roots movement to find the wreckage and get closure for the family. I'm hoping to use the search effort(from scientists at NASA to a private unmanned drone company, satellite images, ground searches through the jungle) as a platform for also examining the kind of person this pilot was: a volunteer pilot with no stipend or salary 100% sustained on donations who saved hundreds of lives flying into ~900 foot runways in remote jungle villages. Ya, it's probably going to have a Christian theme to it because that's who he was and part of the reason he did what he did, but I still believe the human interest aspect of this story could hold someone's attention regardless of their faith or lack of it... I don't want to make another "... and this is why you should be a Christian" film... I want a "do something that matters and die in the saddle" angle... but who knows at this point. If you're interested, has some info on the whole search effort.

Well, that's a bit of an introduction. Thanks for having me on The D-Word. I look forward to getting to be a part of this community.

Doug Block

We like long intros, Tim. Welcome to The D-Word.

Niki Bhattacharya

Hello Everyone –

I have heard about this list for a while, but just jump on board. This seems like a great online community resource.

Previously I worked on staff at Show of Force, a NY based non fiction production company and currently I work as the Director of Operations at the new MFA in Social Documentary Film Department at the School of VISUAL ARTS in NY. We have a great group of students and amazing faculty. I look forward to using this site to glean industry knowledge, faculty, guest lecturers and potential students.


Niki Bhattacharya

Adam Hodgkins


My name is Adam Hodgkins. I'm a lecturer in film and visual media at the University of Westminster, London, England where I've been teaching for about 12 years. Previously I've taught at Goldsmiths, Southbank, TVU, Cardiff and Wimbledon Art School (all in the UK). The British Film Institute brought me to London, to study an MA in Cinema Studies, and that city has been my base ever since.

I'm mostly a film theorist/historian, though I do teach on practice-based courses. My areas of specialism are independent and experimental film, distribution and exhibition, and gender, though I teach more broadly. I have no specific specialisation in documentary – though I do spend a substantial proportion of my viewing time seeking them out.

I used to programme an art house cinema in a far flung outpost of progress in the south west of England. This involved organising festivals and events too, something I continued for a while when I got to London.

I am generally frustrated by the lack of serious online discussion around moving image and have spent most forum time on New Music sites since they seem to attract a more thoughtful and thought-provoking enthusiast (fewer casual fans – more committed artists and academics). I've been reliably informed this forum hosts such rigorous debate! So I'm eager, when time allows, to get involved and hopefully stimulate some discussion.

I look forward to getting to know you...

Mika Kiburz

Hello all! My Name is Mika Kiburz. I am a non fiction film and video artist, with a degree in cinema from the University of Iowa. I am currently working on environmental and social issue documentaries, and I just found out about this site from another documentary filmmaker at Sundance Film Festival, this week. Im excited to be a part of this network! I have a great interest in avant garde filmmaking, film theory, and new ways of experiencing cinema. Im looking forward to meeting other film enthusiasts!

Ashley Hillis

I'm thrilled to be a part of the D-Word community. Thank you for having me!
A little bit about me... I'm a northern California native, living in Manhattan and I'm attempting to make my first feature documentary. It's been a labor of love (and sometimes rage and hate and frustration) that I started about 3 years ago and I've made my way to the editing room at last. Every day brings new challenges and learning opportunities and I'm eager to be part of a network of others who may be going through/have gone through something similar.
If you have any wisdom to impart, lay it on me :)
I would love to tell you more, but I must get back to editing.

Doug Block

Welcome, Adam, Mika and Ashley. Great that you've found us.

Becky Hire

Good evening
I am Becky Hire and I live in the metro Atlanta, GA area. For years I have worked with others on documentary film projects while working in corporate video for my day job. Now I am looking to my own documentary project(s) and hope to gain invaluable insight from the good people of the d-word.

Emily Mode

Hello All,

My name is Emily Mode, I live in NYC, and I just learned about The D-Word. A brief background: I did my undergrad work in sociology and fine arts, then I got an MFA in painting. While in grad school I began working for a documentary maker as a PA and second camera person, which then led me to use video in my artwork. After college I continued working on documentaries as well as for visual artists. In 2007/08 I realized I prefer working in moving images, so by 2009 I completed my first single channel experimental documentary. It showed at a number of festivals and internationally, and I realized I have the bug. I hope to work on many more of my own and others projects. With my own work I like to play with the boundaries and form of documentary, but I love working on interesting topics no matter the form.

Doug Block

Great hanging out with you and Sally in Helsinki, Emily. And equally great having you part of our online community. Hope you'll post often.

Lily Keber

Hi everyone-
My name is Lily Keber and I live way down in the swamp city of New Orleans. I've worked freelance camera/editing down here for 5 years; interned at the community media center Appalshop before that. I'm wrapping up production on what (knock on wood) will be my first feature-length documentary, a portrait of James Booker, the "best black, gay, one-eyed, junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever seen". There's a 4 minute trailer for it on
D-Word in an invaluable resource. I'm glad I'm finally getting around to introducing myself on here...

Doug Block

We are, too, Lily. Hope you'll continue to post away on the other topics. And best of luck on the Booker film.

Jill Woodward

Lily, sounds fun! good luck, look forward to hearing about the film.

David Herman

Lily, love the trailer. Saving the memories of the forgotten greats is blessed business!

Myrthe Mosterman

Hello everybody,

My name is Myrthe Mosterman and I live and study in Amsterdam, Holland, at the Dutch Film and Television Academy. I am 27 years old and I am studying cinematography. I am in my third year now and I will graduate next year.
In a few weeks I am starting to film a small documentary about hiphop in Skopje, Macedonia, and I am thinking of hiring a camera (video hd) over there. Does anybody have experience filming in Macedonia, or knows a good camera rental company?

Thank you

John Burgan

Welcome to The D-Word, Myrthe. There is a D-Word member in Macedonia who runs Asterfest – Goran Trenchovski – who might be able to advise you.

Rob Buscher

Hi all,

My name is Rob Buscher and I work at the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. Before living in Philly I spent the last 5 1/2 years between the UK and Japan working in film production, curation, and distribution. My expertise is Japanese Cinema.

I joined this forum to see what kinds of opportunities are out there for local documentary filmmakers in the Greater Philadelphia region. Anyone local please get in touch!