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.

Amita Talwar
I do read the posts on and off. So that makes it 'fifty plus"
Deleted User
Michael Moore RULES!

Listen up all you Dword enthuseists.

Go out on a limb and change the world. You can do it like american
hero Michael Moore a Michigander to boot!
Shazia Malik
Hey guys,

Im Shazia Malik, a third year film student originally from India but
majoring in Directing and Writing at the Unitec School of Performing
and Screen Arts, Auckland, New Zealand.

The reason I joined d-word was because early this year we kick off
with a doco project and I need some advice... i'll post my question
in the mentoring room...
Doug Block
Welcome, Shazia. Glad you're jumping right in with questions. We'll
try and help ya out.
Krystian Jones
Hello every one. Im Krys, and im a student film maker in London.
I'm only 18 but have a passion for the films i watch and make, iv made only a few
documentarys to date, the best of which was about fans of cult tv & film. I traveled up
to Milton Keaynes to the collectomainia4 convention where i interviewed a host of
celebreties including many stars of the Lord Of The Rings (Elijah Wood and Andy
Serkis giving particuarly interesting interviews), Star Treck, Buffy, and many more. the
final program ran to 19 minutes and came out very well, for my first serious
documentry i was very proud. I've also shot many short films both in my private time
and for college.
Im currently doing a preproduction assignment on documentary technique so i
thought id better do some in depth resurch to see how i can imporve my ideas.
If any of you have any links to good webs site detailing popular docomentry
techniques please please please drop me reply with the address.
thank you very much... im sure ill find this place very useful!
Doug Block
welcom, krys. hope we can help imporve your doc skills.
Deleted User
Hi everyone,

I'm currently filming my first documentary. My subject matter is
changing over a 12 - 14 month period of filming, and therefore I
don't have the ability to go back and reshoot something that didn't
work (creatively - not technically - that is a different challenge).

I have tried to conceive each and every possible shot I
could/should/would need at the end of 12 months, without letting the
potential of this overwhelm or dilute my focus. I'm finding this
very challenging.

When I came online today, and discovered this website, it was coming
across a road sign in a language I could read. Although the journey
will ultimately be my own, it is very cool to know that others who
have walked this same path are just a discussion forum away.
Ben Kempas
Shazia, Krystian, and Mona - welcome to The D-Word Forum!
Barbara Hesselgrave
Hello, coming to you from snowbound western Virginia, (100
miles west of Washington DC,) I am a author/writer with
specialty in health, sciences, and have produced 4 pieces in
video format for various clients and government on healthcare,
animal health surveillance in Africa, HIV/AIDS and other pieces. I
Started as a still photographer years ago, and continue to use
film equipment (am resisting digital sorry) with now using old
16mm Bolex which is understandable for my non digital brain!
Newest project takes me to Africa again, in a few weeks , am
very interested to learn from you experts/enthusiasts here since
this is my first project of my own (read- independent, unfunded at
this point) . Applaud everyone for their pursuits, sorry this is so
Ben Kempas
Welcome, Barbera. Congratulations on your decision to stick to film.
After all, life is not digital, is it?
Deleted User
I would like to pitch a project and am also seeking finishing funds
for a project I am currently working on. Is there an appropriate way
to do this?
Doug Block
Not really, Rosalyn. You can join The D-Word Community - www.d- - and get feedback and advice, but we don't pitch here.
I suggest you read the current CE conference for info on how they wish
to be approached.
Jerry O'callaghan
I worked for twenty-two years as a current affairs journalist with
Irish Television,RTE, and, since leaving in 1999, I have been
making international documentaries, most of them broadcast on
RTE. Please see my website, for further

My most recent production is 'Congo, Heart of Africa' made from
material accumulated during ten weeks travelling alone in the
Democratic Rebpubic of Congo (DRC). It tells the story of the
forgotten war in DRC where 4 million have died over the past five
years, more than in any other conflict since WW2. Seven
neighbouring African countries have been involved in a vicious
scramble for Congo's wealth - gold, diamonds, copper, cobalt,
coltan, tea, coffee, timber, tobacco, oil - with US,EU and
international companies in close attendance.

This 34 min documentary was broadcast on RTE on 18 Dec
Johanna Kloot
Hi there, another new film maker on the big block. Educating via
entertainment is my thing. Currently working on an Irish project I
shot in August last year. Looking for funding to polish the
project. So glad to have found film to express the passion!
Doug Block
Delighted that you found us, Johanna. Welcome.

For funding tips, be sure to read last week's conference with
commissioning editors in Europe, as well as the one we had last year
with Jan Rofekamp.
Sarah Richards
So this is what you d-word people do all day...!

Having come to filmmaking through the back door - bet you've never
heard a law degree being referred to as that before! - it would be
great to hear from anyone with experience of pitching and producing
their first project - oh and tips of getting funded would be great

cheers, s.
Doug Block
Welcome, Sarah. I suggest you read some of the conferences that are
archived here. Start with The International Pitching Forum {LINK NOT IMPORTED} for
pitching advice, then proceed to the recent Meet Commissioning Editors
in Europe {LINK NOT IMPORTED} for funding advice. And read Jan Rofekamp's
conference, after that... if you dare.
Ben Kempas
Welcome Sarah!

Everyone - when you introduce yourselves, please tell us where you
are based. (Sarah is in London.)
Joe Mondello
Hi D-Worders!

I'm Joe Mondello a former Cinema Studies Student from NYU
circa the late 60s and early 70s getting back to what turns
me on (groovy huh? ;) )

Just signed up for a Documentary pre-production course
at NYU and our prof recommended this website.

I look forward to participating here.

Joe Mondello
Thanks, Ben.

Are there any geographical "sub-groups" here?
I'd love to meet more folks in the NYC area.
Doug Block
Not in this forum, Joe. I suggest you join two great organizations,
AIVF - - and DocuClub - They hold lots
of events where you can meet other NY doc makers.

But welcome to our groovy little virtual shindig.
Steve Olpin
I'm new--- Steve Olpin. I have been doing this for about 15 years. Now I mostly
do action sports with a documentary style rather than most in my world that do
it with action and music. I have had a docmentary short at Sundance about 10
years ago but have not been back(i've tired--no luck) i'm kind of loosing
interest in film festivals ----but that's is another story---they are sometimes like
high school parties it cool if you invited but now worries if not. ---I not sure how
to do this group i would love to chit chat with peers. I have finally found peers
in Action sports in surf skat snow and moto but never really found a
community in documentary---hope this works out. I shoot video and film and
cut on final cut pro. I own all my own gear and share a edit suite with a brilliant
filmmaker Tim Irwin---I could go on but I will stop and try to figure how to work
inside this group.
thank you,
Steve Olpin
Doug Block
Actually, the chit chat is in the community area, which you've
already applied for, Steve. Instructions will soon be arriving via
Deleted User
hi, my name's matt osborne, i'm 22 and currently living in Perth, Western Australia,
originally from tasmania, australia. I've recently completed an action sports video and
am about to start a university degree in film and television, specializing in
documentary. I write, shoot, edit and produce and am eager to learn from some
seasoned professionals and maybe even share a bit of young inexperienced
knowledge. My only problem is i might have one to many ideas floating around in my

matt osborne
neige productions and unrest media
Anthony Sweeney
Wow, there's a lot of documentary filmmakers out there!

My name is Anthony. New to the outreach side of documentary work and
beginning to learn video editing for future projects tucked away in
my head. Based out of Waltham, MA (right outside Boston).
Doug Block
And you haven't even seen how many folks we have behind the gated
walls of the community, Anthony. This forum is just the tip of the
iceburg! Anyway, glad you found us.
Deleted User
Greetings to all,

Like many here, I am a novice. It's a career change for me.
I had a big corporate job, and after having a "what am I doing?"
moment, walked away. I've started at the bottom and have
worked successfully on productions of other peoples projects:
I'm lucky to have connected with some very talented filmmakers.
It's kind of like a modestly paid film school for me. While I am
enjoying learning technical skills, I have yet to help craft content.
I know the best way to do this is to make a film. I have some
ideas about this, and I'm looking for a community that I can
contribute to, and learn from along the way.

So here I am.

Doug Block
And we're glad you found us, Kevin. Welcome. The Albert
Maysles/Susan Froemke conference {LINK NOT IMPORTED} is one in particular you might
want to read.
Nanako Kurihara
Hi, Doug and everybody!

I am currently based in Kyoto, Japan. My interest is in socio-
cultural issues. I am editing what I shot in Mexico initially and
figure out what I will need to shoot when I go there this year.

Kyoto is beautiful and has lots of interesing things. But documentary
filmmaking is not its strongest point. It's really great that Doug
created such a supportive environment for documentary filmmakers. Now
I can be connected to people with whom I used to hung out, while I am
in this ancient city. Thank you.
Doug Block
Hey, glad to hear from you, Nanako. Want to tell us a bit more about
the film you're making? And if you have any professional experience,
or at least are completing your first film, please register for the
Doug Block
Oops, Nanako, just realized you already registered. That's great. Be
sure to post another intro in the Introduce Yourself topic within the
community, ok?
Jonathan De Santos
Hi, I'm new. To the forums and to documentaries in general.
I've always wanted to make documentaries but I don't really know how
and where to start.

I was hoping to pick up tips and information since I don't know
anyone in the Philippines who could help me. I know they're out
there, but I don't know where.
Doug Block
Well, you have plenty of reading to do here, Jonathan ;-) Take a
look at the archived conferences and you'll get a good head start.
Welcome and good luck.
Jonathan De Santos
Wow! Thanks for the prompt response!
I'm reading the archives right now, actually.

Also, I tried to join the D-Community by accident.
I didn't know it was for the experienced film-makers, sorry for the
Nanako Kurihara
Doug, I will introduce myself at the community.

Regarding the current project, I shot some footage in a town in
Mexico, several years ago. I injured myself in the middle of it and
had to leave. So I am editing what I shot and developing it further.
I am focusing on women and aging. To finish it I have to go back
Deleted User
Dear D-Word Forum,

I'm based in Berlin. Together with Klaus Salge, November Film, we are
producing documentaries. I am also working as a productionmanager for
At the moment we want to co-produce with a polish colleague and I
would like to get more information about the Media Plus programm for
the newcomers in the European Market, like Poland. Is there a
different in the regulation?
I just got to be a member of Cafe Utne, the whole system is new for
me, so I have to spend some time with it.
Best Regards.
Brigit Mu
Doug Block
Welcome, Brigit. We're on our last day of the MEDIA confererence
here {LINK NOT IMPORTED}. Be sure to check it out.

And you should sign up now for The D-Word Community, our forum for
documentary professionals:
Jason King
Hi all,

My name is J. Lamar King, but you can call me Jason or J. I am
looking forward to meeting like minded individuals and sharing
knowledge. My background is in cinematography, still photography and
writing, mostly about the people and places of the great state of
Texas, my home. Documentary filmmaking is a natural extension of
that. I've done it for 15 years. In addition I've had articles
published in a few national special interest magazines. I have
completed several college level documentary and filmmaking courses
and even though I'm now over 30, I'm still eyeing that MFA.

I've been working for the last 11 months on my own production
titled "School of Eternalism." It's about Korean imigrant sculptor
Yon Sim Pak who's radical experimentation with brain science and
sculpture materials could set the art world on its ear. I have at
least 12 more months on this project. 16mm and 24p.

Also I'm in pre-pro on the tentively titled "The Devil's Arrow" which
follows a group of motorcycle enthusiasts as they attempt to rebuild
a vintage land speed record setting Triumph motorcycle that was built
in Texas but was almost completely destroyed in a fire at a British
motorcycle museum in 2003. 24p and original film elements.

That's what I like to do, make films about people who accomplish
Doug Block
You sound like a busy guy, Jason. Welcome and good luck with your
Dale Galgozy
Hello Doc world,

My name is Dale Galgozy. I am a filmmaker living in the Cleveland
Ohio area. I make short non-fiction films on the local and regional
arts. I have been obsessed with direct cinema for nearly 10 years now
and have no plans to get treatment. I work doing location sound for
many of the local video/filmmakers in the area. I produce my own
films when I can afford to.

My question to the many great artists that may read these postings.
Besides Frederick Wiseman, how many still shoot verite on real film?
I won't let go of the "film" camera; so I'm interested in hearing
from a few diehards.
Doug Block
may be a long wait, dale ;-) nice to have you here, while you do.
Deleted User

I'm alex, and I'm currently studying in a Film and media school. I'm
in Singapore and in student projects we do shoot both drama and
documentaries. I have questions about documentaries and hope to surf
around here looking for answers that we students might have in the
course of filming. This mentor thing is especially attractive since
the professionals help out and share their experiences with the

As a student, there are times when your dreams are too big for your
head and realising it might take many years. Yet it's the nicest part
about being who we are, just dreaming and taking one step at a time
to make sure that we get close to that dream. I like to hear what the
professionals say 'cos they definitely know more than we do and thus
the mentoring section is always a nice visit.

My interest in documentary is a farely recent one. I never thought
much about documentary until my course demanded that I take it up and
it's been a very good experience since then. I'm here to take a look
at the world of documentary online, because there are people from all
over the world who come here and post and it's a nice exposure as
compared to what I'm used to in our own little student's world.

Thank you.

Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word Forum, Alex. I don't have a clue about the
documentary scene in Singapore. What is it like? What films are being
Deleted User
Hi Ben,

This is what I know. I know the local TV channels do produce
documentaries, we have a few tv channels, they range from
entertainment to arts entertainment to news. The arts central channel
produces documentaries, some will talk about the local arts scene,
some will focus on some festival, for example the Singapore arts
festival held in June, some focus on the artist and the displays of
their works, etc. For the chinese and english channels, there are
documentaries that focus on life in Singapore and the issues that
concern us, the range is wide, from healthcare to social isssues to
youth culture to crime etc..

Mostly I feel the TV industry caters to the needs of the public, at
certain times there are certain documentaries to inform and educate
the public. For example, last year we had the SARS virus, so there
are documentaries and news coverage on it which I believed is
neccessary. News and documentaries covered the issues of healthcare
and some interviewees talked about the discrimination they faced
because they chose to stand by their profession. Some also showed the
reactions of the public due to the quarantine, it was a sensitive
issue then and still is.

I don't know much about the indie scene though, my apologies.

Doug Block
It's okay, Alex. Thanks for sharing what you know. Welcome and good
luck in your studies.
Deleted User
Hello all,
I am very new to documentary film. In an attempt to gain
knowledge and advice, I joined this site. Hopefully this isn't the
fanciful idea of a 22 year old. I really want to get started and
have no idea where. Anyway, hello and thank you for this wonderful

Doug Block
You're entirely welcome, Phillip. Buttering up your hosts is always
a good starting point ;-)

I recommend you start right in by reading some of the confererences
we've held and have archived here. Should take a while.
Deleted User
Hello Everyone,

I'm so excited to have found this community and know there will be tons to learn here. I'm about to embark on a documentary project after a long hiatus from filmmaking that dragged me through the muck of high-tech and landed me in the funeral business, which is the subject of my project.

I'm really looking forward to reading the posts and discussions here and would always greatly appreciate any information and suggestions anyone has.

Thanks in advance, Matt

Doug Block
that's why we have the Mentoring topic here, matt. feel free to seek
specific info or advice there. and welcome.
Deleted User
Hi Doug & all,
I live in Atlanta, and previously spent 12 years in Florida working
in broadcast & corp TV ( mostly as a news videographer and editor)
Then switched to writing and editing corporate video, shooting
freelance, and made a half hour doc about 1930's and 1940's aviators
and their aircraft. Becoming frustrated with distribution and the
lack of money I left TV to become a web programmer from '93 to 2001.

Now I have just produced another corp sales video on DV and edited a
musician demo. I am developing a couple of non-fiction concepts that
I want to take to cable distribution. I am trying to learn
everything I can about the business side because that was always my
problem in the past. DV solves half the problem of creating your own
docs. But distribution is always the big question.

I'm here to learn or share whatever I can. It's good to have a way
to talk to other Documentary/Reality TV makers.

Ed Hill
Doug Block
Welcome, Ed. Lots of great conferences here for you to learn about
distribution. Happy reading ;-)
Deleted User
hi everyone,
Just wanted to say hello and thanks for providing such a useful
site. I'm working on a film dealing with women that are abuse
survivors and outside of making a film about it, we are offering a
workshop for abuse survivors where they will be able to learn about
video medium as a way to express themselves and further their healing.

I am in Kentucky of the U.S.

Just thought I'd say hello.

Doug Block
Just thought I'd say welcome, Jessica. A very important project
you're doing. Happy if we can help out in some way.
Deleted User
Thanks for the warm welcome!

Well, I guess the biggest help is passing the site around....we're
also collecting donations of products and what not for our

or post a message of encouragement on the message board for the
survivors who post there

Thanks for the offer!

Doug Block
you mean your website? (if so, what's the url?) i'm a little
Kate Slovich
Hello All,

My name is Kate Slovich. I'm a producer, mainly focusing on
anthropological documentaries. I'm currently producing a documentary
on inner city education. I'm hoping to pick up some tech and
equipment tips on this forum, specifically relating to audio.

The director has asked me to provide a suggested equipment list and
the tech side of the biz isn't my strong suite as a producer. I'd
love any suggestions that the group could give me so I can present a
great proposal.

We're working with a $10,000 equipment budget (not including DV cam)
and we'll be shooting in inner city schools, homes and neighborhoods
over the next two years. Thanks in advance for the help.
Deleted User
Hi everyone......

Wow...what a great site!!! Im new to documentary film and have been searching for a way
to get into contact with others who have experience and passion for documentary
filmmaking.....i could use all the knowledge and advice I can get!!! Im a 21 yr old student
who is about to graduate in 2 months and move back home to NYC where i will enter the
"real world." Im quite overwhelmed and dont know where to start, so if anyone has any
advice...please dont hold back!!!!. i look forward to talking to many of you and changing
the world through revealing truth!!
much peace and love,
Deleted User
Hi Everyone,

My name is Samuel Michon. I'm a production designer and
visual artist based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
I've been wanting to move into documentary filmmaking
for quite some time and have gone to all the major
festivals, like IDFA, for years. I've been doing
research for a pet project of mine since '98, on the
development of the Paddington neighborhood in London
(and how domestic travel by rail has influenced the
area, it was one of the first major hubs in the UK) -
not a lot of shooting has gone into it yet though,
nor do I see the production taking flight soon.

I am however in the middle of securing capital for a
documentary on the resistance that quite a few foreign
exchange students (mainly from teh US and Scandinavia)
are experiencing with the teachers and management of
several universities in The Netherlands. There's plenty
of action there, with lawsuits and whatnot, but above
all, a personal story of one Jewish-American exchange
student foreign to Dutch language, culture, and
legislation - who is now trying a David-and-Goliath case
against the education boards, exposing this dire
situation (which because of the fragility of the matter
I can't expand on at this stage). I have the privilege
to move in before the big media do, and document it.

The biggest challenges for me in this project, I have
found, are scripting it in advance - staying on top of
what all the different outcomes can be - and
(in a trial-run) shooting in a way so that it's not just
talking heads, but actually *showing* the story.
I'm creative though, I've come up with some solutions to
that - even though I bet they're unorthodox, because
I haven't directly jumped for the aid of more
experienced doccers (as yet).

Anyhow, I've been perusing these message boards for a
while now, and it's been a real help. There's so much to
making a documentary, and while I am lucky to have a
light and sound guy, it's challenging to do the combo of
writer-director-DP-producer all at the same time
(I don't even want to think about editing; I already
feel way too content to have found a decent soundtrack
by a well-known artist who stands behind the project -
living the illusion of thinking I'll have sufficient
perspective after wrapping that I can single-handedly
edit the piece and end up with something that people
will want to see, is unforgiveable, I know.)

Great forum, I will definitely keep coming around
looking for clues here.

(btw, for some reason I can't get auto-wrap to work
on Safari 1.2 - so my apologies for the bump-'n-erase
earlier - this is a manually wrapped post.)
Doug Block
Welcome, Deborah and Samuel. Glad we can offer help and a
sympathetic ear. Feel free to ask questions in the Mentoring topic
any time.
Maureen Futtner
Hi Doug, Ben, & all,

I've been working as an asst. editor for the past couple years in a
post facility, and have also made some short personal films which
have played at a few festivals.
Over the last several months I've embarked on a rather large &
long-term project (my first) - a documentary about this wonderfully
talented Cuban classical pianist/cabaret singer who is a transgender
person living in San Francisco. At the moment I'm fearing I've
bitten off more than I can chew, but look forward to perusing the
forums here to seek wisdom, inspiration, advice and ... sanity?
Thanks for hosting this!
Doug Block
You're welcome, Maureen. Sanity is our middle name ;-) Happy to
have you aboard.
Deleted User
Hi Ewerybody.

I am a 17year old filmmaker. I have several fictionfilms( and stille
are), but I have always had a passion for documentaries.
I am making my first real atempt at a doc. as I am writing this.
I believe in the "personal-documentary" and one of my favourite films
are FAMILY, a danish documentary about a young filmmaker trying to
find his roots.

That was it.

I hope I will learn alot in here.
Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word Forum, Maureen and Christian.

Don't listen to Doug, Maureen - sanity is out of stock here. :-)

What's the subject of the personal doc you have in mind, Christian?
Gary Mack
Hello Everyone !

My name is Gary Mack,

I live in Washington state, USA.

Just finishing up a documentary about Therapeutic Riding for Special Needs
Children. This project was very interesting and educational.

The documentary was shot with a Canon XL1s and edited in Final Cut Pro.

I enjoy documentary work involving the outdoors and horses.

I'm in the planning stages of a doucumentary about the history and curent use
of an area located in southwest Washington called Indina Heaven.

Alway looking for documentary ideas and production techniques.

Looking forward to reading about your projects!