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.

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!

Doug Block
wlecome, gary and christian. glad you found us.
Lora Covrett
Hi. My name is Lora and I am also new to filmmaking. I've made
three fictional short films. I am currently working on my first
documentary about the paranormal and am looking for information and
guidance from any resources I can find on the net.
This site has been the best resource I have found so far.
I look forward to learning!

Doug Block
hey, lora, welcome. glad you found us and good luck with your doc.
Deleted User
Hi all,

First, an introduction. I am an independent producer working on my first
documentary (I've worked in corporate video for many years). It is about
fragile X syndrome, which is the leading known cause of inherited mental
disability and autism. There is a load of information about the doc on our web

My question is this: does anyone know where I can find legal info about the
circumstances under which I need releases from people who will appear in
our doc? I've been getting releases from primary participants (interviewees,
etc.), but what about people who are at a street festival, for example, or in a
grocery store, that end up on-camera? Do I have to get releases from them
too? Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.

Doug Block
DISCLAIMER: i'm not a lawyer, kathy, but...

i make sure to get releases from anyone who talks on camera in a
visible way. i don't worry about background people, unless the
situation being filmed might cause embarrassment.

but that's me. others might be more paranoid.
Kath Clarida
Wow - I am blown away - to find such an incredible wealth of
experience and advice. Now I just have to figure out where to post
my questions to suck you brains - thank you for this forum! - I've
been lurking - reading and absorbing all the archives in preparation
for my fist real doc directing challenge. The biggest thing I have
noticed is that the questions that have been circling around my head
are questions that can be asked - that as a neophyte doc director - I
can ask anything and have it answered with respect - way to go D-
Word! You are an anomily.

So who am I? Worked in video and television for 20 years - most for
non-profit aboriginal orgs. and their counterparts - the last 14
years in the Canadian Arctic with the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation
and it's susiduaries in every concievable production capacity - now
have started a doc production company with a producer and we are
working to market this baby. I have focused on directing for the
last 5 years and it is where I was born to be - anyway - looking
forward to participating in many discussions - asking lots of
questions - thanks again for the forum - Kath
Deleted User
hi d-word,

i'm getting starting in documentary in new york this summer. i'm
here to learn about the art and trade of documentary filmmaking and
seek advice from the more-seasoned folks participating in the forums
here. looking forward to talking with all of you!

Deleted User
Hello Everyone,

Just a note to say hello. I am embarking on my first documentary, and
am quite nervous, but believe in my subject. I look forward to
talking with and getting to know you all!
Doug Block
Welcome to The D-Word, Gina. Care to tell us a bit more about your
Jeff Oswald
Hello. My Name is Jeff Oswald. I'm a digital filmmaker from Austin TX. Broadcast sports production and other video production projects pay my rent. I have DVcam gear and editing equipment and I'm going to start a new, no-budget documentary project this week. I'm going to shoot protests outside movie theaters showing Michael Moore's Farenheit 911.

I thought it would be interesting to do this as a collaborative project with shooters across the country contributing from activities in their communities and pooling all the footage.

If you'd like to participate, please send me an e-mail to

This seems to dovetail nicely with the D-Word War and Peace project, so perhaps we can work it into that.

I'll be posting a call for participants in the appropriate thread here. I apologize for the spamming, but I just found this site and want to get this project started. I'll be more of a participant in the future.


Jeff Oswald

Doug Block
Welcome, Jeff. Just curious whether your project supports the
protests or, as it were, is protesting the protests. I mean, if
someone is interested in participating it's always good to know what
the project is about.
Agnes Varnum
Hi: My friend Erica Ginsberg is always saying good things about D-
Word and introducing me to people from here, so I figured it was
time I got on the stick. I'm the assistant director of the Center
for Social Media at American University, and work with a myriad of
festivals. I'm also working on two short films now (more on that
later, I suppose)! Do members read these newbie postings? All the
best, Agnes Varnum
Deleted User
Hi. My name is Daneeta Loretta Saft. I'm an independent filmmaker
based out of London but originally from the States (New Orleans).
I've just completed principal photography on a feature-length
documentary entitled Tokyo Cowboys ( The film
follows a group of long-term residents for 18 months as they
negotiate themselves around the post modern urban frontier that is
Tokyo. I'm looking for completion funding so that I can edit the 450
hours of footage that I've managed to rack up. I plan to start
editing in August and finish at the end of this year. I graduated
from the London Film School after spending 7 years in Tokyo working
as a writer.
Doug Block
welcome, daneeta. you might want to check out the "selling in the
international marketplace" forum here {LINK NOT IMPORTED} - as well as jan and
diana's 45-pg. report (see the banner link). the info is still very
Karim Missouri
Hi folks,
I would like to thank the D-WORD for this interesting forum, and
also thank all the contributors. I am not a documentary filmmaker
but would like to seek some advice on how to create a documentary.
do I need any licenses? as for the equipments I know I 'll need some.
I am Moroccan residing in the US. I used to work in the social work
field, responsible for social activities such as violence against
women, child abuse, Rape, Divorce, Prostitution, traditions, etc. We
conducted various researches, the only thing back there we didn't
have the equipment and techniques to create a professional
documentary films. Actually I have a limitted badget,tons of
experiences and ideas, optimism,guts, Languages ( speak
Moroccan/Egyptian/Middle Eastern Arabic, Tamazight, French, English
and some spanish. my aim is not only dealing with social issues but
cultural, political and religious ones. I welcome anybody who shares
the same ideas and ambitions.
sp please what would you recommand of creating a documentary film
for a novice person? Any information would be so appreciated.
Doug Block
Welcome, Karim. Have you tried taking a basic documentary production
course? That would seem the obvious first step. Good luck.
Karim Missouri
Thanks dbblock, I haven't really tried to take any basic documentary
production courses, simply because I don't know where to get them.
btw do you recommend any book or web site etc? thanks in advance.
as for conducting researches/surveys, writing reports, interviewing
people, dealing with the goverment administrations etc I do have
some experiences and knowledge.
good luck to you too dbblock.
Erica Ginsberg
Karim, knowing where you are based in the U.S. would be helpful in
recommending a production course. I would recommend that before a
book or website because you will probably benefit by having access to
the equipment and others who are doing the same thing you are. Very
often you can find cheap, basic production courses at your local
public access television station or community college. This might be
a good place to start. Here are some links to some public access
stations in the U.S.:
Karim Missouri
Hi Erica, thanks for your interesting input. the links are so
helpful. I live in Fayetteville, Arkansas and that community access
television building is not that far from where I live. I am going to
go ahead and contact them. I eally do appreciate your help Erica and
everybody who contributes in this forum.
have a great evening.
Cameron Page
Hi there, just thought I would introduce myself. I'm a medical
student about to embark on a documentary about the 43 million
uninsured people in this country. Yes, I've heard that Michael Moore
is making his next film about the U.S. healthcare system, and I
figure him drawing attention to the issue can only help.

Anyway, I have a very basic camera (Sony PDx10) and an Azden wireless
mic, and a bunch of friends willing to help out. I'm looking for
tips on common beginner mistakes, and any suggestions that you
grizzled veterans would be kind enough to throw my way. Thanks!

Karim Missouri
Hello Cameron,
If your question in the forum was addressed to me. I am so sorry to
tell you that I am a novice too and don't know much technically
about film documentaries, I've just start taking classes about the
production etc. but I do have some experiences in documentation and
conducting researches and surveys. so my advice to you is to put
everything on the paper first.
- Write a script about your subject
-divide your script to different scenes
- Make some researches on your subject (if somebody has already done
-Human resources (make sure to get some commitments from people who
will help you not only verbally but also written in return to give
them credits or something like that.
- Financial resources (who is your sponsor, funding etc have you
gotten any written
Assurance etc.
-Technical resources (is your equipment audio-visual are operating
properly and professionally? are you or do you have any reliable
people who knows well about directing, lighting, sound etc?
also you might need some authorizations, I don't know about the US
but in Morocco you will need the authorization of Moroccan
cinematographic center to start filming then you need the music
clearance authorization from the copyright center, if you are going
to use somebody’s music in your documentary.
Finally I always urge newbies like me if they believe in the subject
to go for it.
Good luck
Robert Goodman
Welcome. There are lots of good books on making docs.
Some have been discussed in The Mentoring Room: Ask the Working Pros.
Deleted User
Hi there folks,

I am a beginning film maker living in the Houston (Soon to be Austin)

A partner and I are about to embark on a documentary journey that I
am pretty excited about.

I was given the link to this site by someone in the Austin film group
(A yahoo group.)

I am totally looking forward to reading these forums and asking
questions and learning in general!
Erica Ginsberg
Cameron, first of all, clarify your topic and your likely audience.
Obviously you can't talk to 43 million uninsured people so find one
or a few who can serve as representative of the whole. Think about a
way to surprise us and tell your story in a way that is different
from how you would see it on the evening news or if Michael Moore
were telling it. How are the uninsured having an impact on our
economy in ways we don't usually think of (i.e., beyond emergency
rooms being used for primary care or mothers choosing welfare over
work because at least their kids will get some kind of health

Identify your audience from the start. No film can be marketed to
everyone, so think about whether you are preaching to the choir or
trying to influence legislators, medical professionals, small
business owners, etc. Are you trying to encourage change in one
community, one state or the country as a whole?

In terms of production, if your friends have no experience in film,
count on them to help with ideas, production assistance, outreach,
and helping to keep you motivated. Ideally get a real cameraperson.
If you shoot it yourself, practice a lot first (maybe doing some pre-
interviews with potential subjects) and invest in a good tripod. And
do get an experienced soundman. The biggest mistake of many
beginners is trying to do too much yourself when you really need to
focus on directing. So-so camerawork is forgiveable for a compelling
topic. Bad sound is not.
Doug Block
Welcome, Will. Glad you found us and good luck with your doc.
Tim Hardy
Hi folks-

I'm Tim and I'm heading to Africa. Anyone with a camera & skills want to come?

Mike Lamb
Hi Doug and friends,

I am a broadcaster/talk show host currently in pre-production for my
first doc. I've produced a couple of infomercials, some TV spots and
thousands of radio spots.

I host and produce a radio program about doing business and making
money using the Internet.

I plan on funding my doc using Internet income streams.

I found this forum by doing my research for producing a documentary.
You guys do an exceptional job here.

I'm looking for good advice (which I've already discovered with this
group), smart ideas and other creative ways to produce, promote and
make noise with my work.

I hope to meet many of you through this effort.

Thanks and have fun.

Mike Lamb
Host, The Moneyroom Show
Cameron Page
Just wanted to say thanks to Erica and Karim, I appreciate the
input. Good luck with your projects, hope you keep us updated!
Doug Block
Welcome, Tim. Mike, anyone funding a doc through internet income
streams has more to teach us than vice versa ;-) Perhaps we can
adjourn to the Mentoring Room topic and you can tell us your plans for
fundraising. Consider me fascinated...
Karim Missouri
You are welcome Cameron. feel free to contact me with your
question . I would be more than happy to help.
Good luck
Deleted User
Hi. New here. Curious and want to get connected to other filmmakers.
I'm shooting a doc about dog fighting -- but my original script sucks.
Now what? Man, now that I've done a few interviews, there's a lot
more to the story. Also want to fund creatively by doing screenings.
Does that work? -- Rill
Jessie Logan
Hi my name is Jessie and I'm a digital filmmaker and have been an
advocate of digital technology for filmmaking since 93. You might say
I was digital when digital wasn't cool.

I'm now looking for funding for a doc on 4 middle aged siblings who
each have very different and distinct mental disorders spawned by an
abusive mother and her lovers. They live in the deep south which
always offers rich storytelling in documentaries I believe. Some of
the things they went through are almost unbelievable. Such as being
put into a raccoon cage (or coon cage as they put it) with one of the
wild animals as punishment. To a possible murder witnessed by the
middle child (male) that he was sworn to secrecy over. And countless
other abuses. Some sexual.

An interesting little piece is that 3 of the 4 siblings and the
mother all see the same psychiatrist, who by the way is so enthralled
with their life he has urged them to participate. The crux of the
story will be to get the mother, who is a foul mouth chain smoking
born again christian, to finally admit the truth about what she has
done. Something her kids have needed to hear for a long time and will
hopefully provide a very dramatic ending.

So here I am trying to get us much information as I can to help me
with the project. Looks like I came to the right place.
Deleted User
Hello there! I'm Marlene C. Francia from the Philippines and I've
been doing documentary videos for the past fifteen years. I went
freelance in 1997.

Early this year, I did a documentary on domestic violence in Cebu
City in Central Philippines. Here, women victims of domestic
violence, a local women's group and a nongovernment organization
successfully engaged the city government in passing an anti-domestic
violence against women and children ordinance, putting gender on the
budget, and making gender equality a priority in all aspects of
governance. This model on gender responsive governance is now being
shared in other Philippine towns and cities.

I have also done a documentary on local community experiences in
biodiversity conservation (especially since the Philippines has one
of the richest yet highly threatened biodiversity systems in the
world); the indigenous women of Southern Philippines and their ties
to the land; good governance stories; health risks of women workers
in the workplace, and so on.

Also, I do a lot of production management, coordination,
interviewing, filming, etc for foreign filmmakers. These include
award-winning documentaries on Filipino women migrant workers, the
kidney organ trade, internet mail order brides, child labor, the
devastation wrought by mining, and the global maritime industry,

I got to know about this site through the SilverDocs newsletter and
I look forward to participating in and learning from the various
discussions here.

Doug Block
Welcome, Rill, Jessie and Marlene! Rill, why would you script a doc?
Maybe that's part of the problem.
Ann Yamamoto
Hello, I'm an American living in Tokyo; I'm not actually making any documentaries right
now, so I probably can't offer any practical advice, alas. For the past 2 years I've been
involved with the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, and I co-edit a
journal called Documentary Box (issued in English & Japanese). You can read back
issues here! I've been
feeling the need to have more documentarists in my life, so here I am. Ann
Doug Block
Welcome, Ann. Noticed you've registered for the community... we'll
see you there soon.