Time to introduce myself -
I am Ellen Reynolds. I live and work in Philadelphia where I am both the post
production supervisor at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at The University of
Pennsylvania, and one of several community video project facilitators and
editing teachers at the Scribe Video Center.
More importantly perhaps, at least here, is my own documentary work. I am
currently working on a portrait of a 92 year old professional poker player in
Atlantic City and through this a look at the pre-casino history in Atlantic City as
well as that (very strange) place today as it relates to the many senior citizens
that retire there in large numbers. Prior to this I've worked primarily on social
issue documentaries. One that is working well is a program completed last
year about the work the New Haven, CT. police dept. is doing in the area of
race relations, a historically problematic area for all police depts., perhaps,
but especailly there. Other work documents models in alternative education.
One example is a 50 minute doc about 12 high school students who go to
Thailand for 2 months to travel and learn about issues there.
Another aspect of my work that interests me very much is the creation of
programs for children. I have created a 1/2 hr. pilot, trailer, and "bible" for 2
proposed series. They are "documentary based" in that they use real
children, situations, locations, and dialogue but I do construct stories in
cooperation with the kids and script the structure. This way of working on
programs cooperatively with children interests me, as does the possibility of
contributing meaningful, interesting, respectful, productive childrens'
television to our children's television landscape. I am especially interested in
learning from the forum what broadcast opportunities are available to
independent makers working for children because through a pretty extensive
few years of research, travelling to children's television conferences
inernationally, and interviewing children's programming executives, I am
coming to the sad conclusion that in the US there is none. The age group I
am working for on these projects is 8-12. I'd love to hear people's thoughts
My primary tools are the Sony PD-150 and Final Cut Pro, like so many others.
I shoot alone, mainly, or with one other person if I need extra help (but never
more) and edit alone too, so I am in some need of a collaborator. Philadelphia
is quiet when it comes to doc makers coming together and sharing so if you're
from Philly - give a shout out.
Thanks for being here...
Welcome to the Forum, Ellen. Glad to see you posted this on the
Community, as well.
Hi everyone. I have been watching the posts for a week or so and
finally have time to introduce myself. I am a film student at
Brooks Institute of Photography and am heading in the path of
documentaries. I have a few projects under my belt and will be
shooting a documentary for my portfolio film in the spring. Our
school only offers one introductory documentary class and is adding
more right before I graduate, so I am looking elsewhere to learn the
Along those lines . . . would anyone be willing to let me interview
them (7-10 questions or so) about their involvement in
documentaries? You don't have to be a seasoned professional either,
I would love to chat with people working on their first doc.
Technically it is for a marketing assignment but I've kind of warped
it to fit my desire to see what making docs is like outside of the
school environment. :)
One last thing . . . can anyone recommend some books to check out
about documentary filmmaking?
Welcome, Angie. That's a good question about doc filmmaking books.
Wish I knew. Anyone else out there have a recommendation?
Imagining Reality: The Faber Book of Documentary by Kevin MacDonald,
examples are a little dated, but i still recommend Directing the
Documentary by Michael Rabiger
In the latest DOX issue, Ulla Jacobsen recommends The Documentary
Makers by David A. Goldsmith.
And Ben Kempas writes a fine article about 5 Iranian filmmakers in a
report from Sunny Side of the Doc.
Thanks ... DOX is nothing like a book though ...
Doing Documentary Work by Robert Coles
Editing Digital Video by yours truly.
The latter being highly recommended by yours truly here.
Should we go back to the intros and hear who else is out there?
wouldn't it be nice to have an eyeball counter - wonder if 2 people
or 200,000 are reading these pages.
Robert, here's the census for the past week on the Forum: 196 visits,
134 forum page hits by 50 users, 204 topic reads by 42 users, 15
postings by 9 users. It always increases many times over when we have
a conference going on.
Damn, you beat me by 5 seconds. I had just written virtually the same
so I guess it's just us and a small group of 50?
I do read the posts on and off. So that makes it 'fifty plus"
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!
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...
Welcome, Shazia. Glad you're jumping right in with questions. We'll
try and help ya out.
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!
welcom, krys. hope we can help imporve your doc skills.
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
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.
Shazia, Krystian, and Mona - welcome to The D-Word Forum!