Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

Introduce Yourself

  • Public

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.

Linda Goin
"Most documentary filmmakers have a sliding fee scale based on value
and pain." _ hm. That's very similar to many of the arts I've been
exposed to. I tend to call the "public relations" as commercialism,
and I hate it. I have to keep reminding myself it's a necessary evil
to do other projects that are my loves.

I didn't realize - or think about - pitching to HBO or PBS. I've been
so steeped in the 'paper trail' that I've only looked at journalism
sources for money. You guys are really opening a new door for me
(when the student is ready...)

I'm wondering if the press leads I have would be willing to finance
documentary sides to the projects I have...

Part of all this is to learn the difference between all the names you
all are giving to the docs. I'm sure I understand the PR types, and
the indies. I'm not sure what you mean by "reality" tv or magazine-
type shows, Doug? Perhaps if you explain, I'm sure I'll know what
you're talking about.
Doug Block
"Survivor" is reality tv. "Sixty Minutes" is news magazine.
Robert Goodman
Linda - Doug is correct about my reference to (indy) doc filmmakers
making a living solely from docs. E.g, the Maysles made a lot more
money selling their style for commercials then they ever did do docs.
Linda Goin
My history includes a long one in marketing and advertising (a
necessity for publications, of course...). Making a statement
(oblique or head-on) - whether through film, print or art - can be
very hard to finance. That part I understand.

Unless, of course, the funding is made with the objective of having
an exclusive that is pretty hard-hitting. Even then, it's iffy.
Deleted User
Hi People

Very interesting reading Linda's ques and the answers that followed.
I'm interested in making a documentary but am quite unfamiliar with
the process to completion. There are - like with everything in life
many ways to IT - any rough guides out there on docu making and the
steps involved?

look forward to learning and exchanging!
Doug Block
Welcome, Bindu.

There are a couple of books I'd recommend on Michael Weise's website:

The Art of Reality is worth checking out (the site has a sample
chapter you can read), and Weise's The Independent Filmmakers Guide to
Film & Video (or something like that) is a very valuable general film
book that applies to docs.

Lotsa luck!
Ron Franscell
My name is Ron Franscell. I am a published novelist and newspaperman.
My second novel has been sold to film; my first has been optioned. I
worked on both scripts, and now I am striking off on my own with a
documentary project (as writer only) and an original feature script.

I look forward to invigorating discussions here! Thank you.
Doug Block
Welcome to The D-Word, Ron. Care to share with folks here what the
doc project is about? Always curious what attracts media
professionals (ie. people who should know better) to try their hand
with a documentary ;-)
Ron Franscell
Well, BECAUSE I am an alleged media professional (they're withholding
my union card until I learn to mainline black coffee)I was asked to
be part of a documentary about Butte, Montana. Yeah, yeah, my
reaction at the time was about the same as yours when your read that.
But it turns out this place is a metaphor for the American West, a
place where exploitation, diversity, bawdiness, violence, wealth,
culture, sex and the landscape intersected ... like a train wreck.

Doug kindly answered a beginner's questions, so now I know enough to
be dangerous. That's all.

Fortruanetly, I've published two successful novels and written a
couple screenplays, so I have a vague sense of story structure. I am
eager to see how it's done in this "new-to-me" medium. I look forward
to chatting with all of you.
Deleted User
Hello everyone, my name is Tony Esposito and I'm in the middle of a
midlife career change. Do to 2 back operations I had to end my career
as a master automobile tech. I have been taping weddings as a side
line and also produced some small corporate videos. When I had to
change careers, I decided to go to school and get into video
production full time. I'm currently working on a documentary on the
growth of Charlotte NC, and how it effects the quality of life. I'm
also editing some works that will be shown at The Museum of the New
South. I'm so glad I found this site and hope to learn from it and
interact with the members.

Tony Esposito
Ben Kempas
Welcome Ron, are you aware of that excellent documentary film 'Butte,
Montana' by Thomas Schadt?
Doug Block
Hey, Tony, welcome to The D-Word. Guess what, I do weddings, too.
Edit in-the-camera, feature-length docs of the wedding day. It's one
of the ways I stake my independence and make docs of my own choosing.
It actually got me out of shooting corporate videos -- it's more
satisfying and I make a lot more $$$$.
Deleted User
Hi Doug, it is a very interesting way to make money and support my
other interests. I like the fact that each wedding is an event and
anything can happen. You have to be on your toes and ready for
something to happen that wasn't expected.
I have always thought that taping weddings was making a small
documentary of an event in ones life. The way the families of the
bride and groom interact is always interesting. Did they approve of
the wedding or was this wedding taking place because the bride was
expecting a little something. Great stuff to tape.
Take care,
Tony Esposito
John D. Williams
John D. sneaking back in after an all too long absence. You don't
want to know/hear the LP version of what's been going on in my real
life, but the Readers' Digest version has me switching jobs and
moving from Texas to North Carolina.

After year away from the technical side of things, I'll be back
teaching production classes again. With any luck I'll get to teach a
16mm class in the near future, otherwise it's Mini DV and the Media
100. All of which means I will once again be checking into D-Word on
a regular basis.

It's good to be back.
Doug Block
Good to have you back, John. It's been toooo long.
Doug Block
... he says, giving less than a minute for a reply. This ain't a
chat room, Alberto. But hello back at ya.
Robert Goodman
Alberto this is more akin to a community bulletin board. You leave a
note and everyone wanders by when they have time. So check back in
when you have a moment and see what's up.
Jonathan Berman
Hi y'all,finally checking into the D-word "BBS".
I make independent documentaries, "The Shvitz" about the
Russian baths and "My Friend Paul" about my childhood friend,
the bank robber. Recently I did a "work-for-hire", the show
Maternity Ward for the Learning Channel (now known as TLC).

Funding for my films comes from foundations and TV; "Paul" got
a good wallop from ITVS, who gave completion funding. Now
making a new film about the ideals and impact of the 1960's.

Jonathan Berman
Hallie Bourne
Hello everyone. I am a newbie doc producer in the process of editing
my very first doc, a very short topic on sailing windmills (a type of
small one-design racing boat). I am doing this in preparation for
doing a longer project on gay and lesbian parents. I am located in
Columbus, Ohio, where there is a great community called the Columbus
Film Consortium (

Bintu: I have learned a ton from reading the following three books:

Michael Rabiger's _Directing the Documentary_

Allan Rosenthal's _Writing, Directing, and Producing
Documentary Films and Videos_

Paul Kriwaczek's _Documentary for the Small Screen_.