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.

Robert Lampe

my name is robert, i have made a couple shorter documentaries, combining
elements of docs and experimental film. i am in the VERY early stages of
a (hopefully) feature length doc, and i am writing a script which i
would like to shoot in the documentary style, because not only is that
stylistically appealing to me, but i find that it is the best
environment for everyone involved in the film to truly be at their most
creative, but i could write a novel on my theories about that, so i will
just stop right there. this place looks like a wonderful community.
Michael Lieberman
I'm Michael Lieberman, from Binghamton, NY and recent college

Currently working on a documentary about an Iraq war veteran,
who's now speaking out against the war.

I enjoy the process immensely, as if every day shooting is an
education in life skills and cinema, which is more than I ever
got in college, believe me.

This is the best forum I've seen on documentary filmmaking and I
look forward to spending time here.
Steve Holmes
Welcome, Michael. Go Binghamton Mets! Yeah, there's a limit to what
a college, even a film school, teaches you about making a film. The
rest is here on D-Word.
Doug Block
Welcome, Robert and Michael. Wishing you both good luck on your
Mechelle Martz
Hello! My name is Mechelle Martz. I am currently working on a
Master's Degree at Colorado State University. I have been working
in media for 10 years and have some ideas for some doumentary films
that I would like to create. However, within those ideas my main
focus has become the effectiveness of documentary film to distribute
a message or information. I am currently working on a thesis to
study the social effects of documentary film and if there is a way
to determine if documentary films are able to motivate communities,
governments, and social groups to action.
I have found a ton of information on production and astethic
evaluation of documentary films but very little on follow up
assesment or study on if the film had been effective in
communicating it's message to an audience. How many people see your
documentary? Has the documentary started social movements, changed
government policies? Does anyone evaluate the after effects of
thier documentary film? Do they care?
I hope by joining this forum I may gain some insight into these
areas. Maybe some of you may have more information or ideas of
where I can find possible studies in this area.
Maybe I can give some PR/Marketing expertise to those who need it.
Either way I'm looking forward to getting some tips as well.

Mechelle Martz
Steve Holmes
Welcome, Mechelle! You're working on a fascinating study. Tough to
nail down some of that stuff, how big an effect a film has. You
might start by reading Sandi Dubowski's archived online conference
on outreach. Scroll down on the front page.
Erica Ginsberg
Mechelle, even though it didn't change the administration, Fahrenheit
911 has an enormous impact on the discourse of last year's elections
and Michael Moore was able through his site and through partnerships
with other organizations to promote grassroots mobilization for
progressive causes.

Also do some research on Erroll Morris' Thin Blue Line which impacted
the outcome of a prison sentence.

As far as other films which have had grassroots impact, I'd recommend
looking at the catalogue of the past few years of the Council on
Foundations Film Festival. They celebrate films which are
specifically geared towards impact.

You may also want to think about attending the Center for Social
Media's Why Media Matters seminar which will be held in Washington DC
in February 2006.
Mechelle Martz
I have gotten some information on Fahrenheit 911. I have heard of
Thin Blue Line, but I will look into it further it - thanks for the
suggestion! I have been struggling with trying to find specific
films to focus on.
I am trying to decide if or how to narrow down my thesis to
something manageable. I may end up looking specifically at only a
few films or at an organization that is using documentary film for
issue awareness or impact, but I am still in the information
gathering process.
I am glad I found this site as it is nice to be able to talk with
others that have an interest in what documentary film can do. It
gives me some insight and ideas on where to look and what I am
missing. Thank you!
Maria Vougioukalaki
i just introduced myself in d world and i have a question..I cant add
a topic here??If not how i can ask something which is out of topic
comparing to the existing ones???
PS:this is maria im greek studying film in paris i want to work in
editing i have a little pro experience in documentaries and my
wildest dream would be finishing my hair metal documentary(i should
do a gallop if anybody would be interested in watching that:p).Im so
happy to be here guys
take care:)
Doug Block
i see you made it here, maria. welcome (again).
Maria Vougioukalaki
doug ure a sweetheart!!!
so what do u think guys about hair metal???any fans possibly(again im
full of optimism;p)
Mary Carroll-hackett
hi. i'm a fiction writer and teacher living in small town virginia. i
have no filmmaking experience at all beyond pulling cords as a PA on
a few very low budget horror indies back in my twenties. i've sold a
couple of scripts to indie producers, but i'm preparing to try my
hand at my own documentary, following a poor single mom who has gone
back to college--a story i know since i did it myself ten years ago.
i've been reading and watching everything i can get my hands on; the
search led me here. i have so much to learn! glad to have found it.
Doug Block
glad you found us, too, mary. good luck with your doc and feel free
to ask questions in The Mentoring Room topic.
Wilson Santos
hi. my name is wilson santos. i graduated in 1996 with a BA in
english and a minor in film. i did a 6 week intensive course in
filmmaking at NYU and have taken several scriptwriting seminars. i
wrote my first feature film in 1997 and sold it to a swiss
independent filmmaker. he has yet to produce the film so the rights
will revert back to me this coming year. i just finished the rough
draft of my second full feature.

i have been exploring the possibility of producing a documentary
lately, which brings me to this forum. i have no experience in video
production as my background is film, but i do have a good concept of
screen composition. i am no stranger to organizing and producing
things either, so i think i can handle such a project. i have several
questions though and would like to know which is the best place to
ask. some techinical questions as well as financial questions.

looking forward to learning from those here who have more experience.

nice forum
Doug Block
thanks, wilson. try the "mentoring room" topic.
Rudy Castro
Hello fellow film makers, my name is Rudy Castro, born and raised
in Los Angeles, CA. I have just joined this wonderful community
and i am very exctied about the project im working on. Im telling
the story of two women in 1975 who founded a female clique of one
of the longest standing East LA gangs. Thirty years later, one of
the founders died leaving behind three adult children who each are
following a different path seeking an answer to their loss. One
of the paths is to locate their father, who was also a part of the
gang, after ten years to confront him. To tell him that his first
love is dead and that his first grandchild has been born.

Anyways, i just wanted to introduce myself and begin dialogue.
This website has been very informative, insightful and inspiring.
To all of the contributors, my upmost gratitute.

This will be my first feature length documentary. I have a
bachelors in Sociology, directed a short doc, and have been
working in film medium for about two years. Im currently in the
early stages of production on a self funded budget. Looking to
continue pushing the project further along with the help of you
thank you
Doug Block
sounds like a great project, rudy. welcome and good luck!
Carolyn Allen
Hi, I'm Carolyn Allen. I'm completing my first educational
documentary "Backyard Nature Safari" to encourage young children
to discover the wonder in their yards and parks. I'm in Los
Angeles and am eager to meet other documentary filmmakers. I have
written a couple scripts with heavy nature themes...and am so
excited about finding this group! Yeah!
Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word Safari, Carolyn. Discover the wonder!
Denka Dohre
Hello everyone, my name is Pekka and I'm a full time student, not in
film school though. I'm new to film making and have no experience, but
what I do have is an idea close to my heart and the people to work
with me; two camera men and an editor. Unfortunately I have no
experience in searching for financing and that's what I'm trying to do
now. To be more accurate, I'm trying to learn how to do that right
now. It will be a feature length documentary about mixed martial arts,
and I'm looking for consultancy as how I should go on about things
other than technical issues with shooting the film, meaning producing
it etc. I'm hoping to make few connections in here.. we'll see!

So far the project is being going on with big heart. Hopefully we can
move forward as soon as possible.
Doug Block
Welcome, Pekka, and good luck with your project. You might want to
read a couple of conferences we've done in here: Selling in the
International Marketplace and Fundraising for Docs, in particular.
Margarita Levasseur
My name is Margarita Levasseur. I just wrote my first treatment
with the help of a friend with whom I am collaborating with for a
television magazine/documentary series. I am intersted in knowing
where, or how, I can get names of people to contact and also how to
get funding. Any help and guidance I can get would be very much
Doug Block
welcome, margarita. that's a very general question, so it's hard to
answer. lots of good books on the subject. go directly to morrie
warshawski and carol dean's conference here on Fundraising for Docs.
Lucy Carolan
Hi, my name is Lucy and I discovered D-Word through the Shooting
People network in the UK, that I'm also a member of. I'm a
photographer with a very broad professional experience across Europe
including film stills and AV production for installations. I'm
interested in forums like this more generally because film
documentary seems a far more vibrant area than its photographic
equivalent (though at heart the issues are similar?), and because I'm
working towards collaborations with filmmakers in community projects.

And that's all I can think to say right now!
Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word Forum, Lucy. Are you based in the UK?
Lucy Carolan
Hi Ben, yes I am UK based (I try to travel as much as possible
though). And thanks for the welcome!
Emma Jane Richards
Hello, I'm a London based documentary film maker, I've come here to
look for tips on the perfect pitch. I've got a meeting with a
production company tomorrow and I want to make sure I've done
everything I can to reveal the excitement in my idea. I'm dead into
it but I'm entry level and learning, any advice is always
appreciated, glad I stumbled across this site, it looks great at
first glance.
Doug Block
Welcome, Emma. There are lots of articles with pitching tips out
there if you serach Google. The main thing to communicate is your
passion for the idea and confidence that you can do it really well.
That's what others pick up on and want to be part of.
Emma Jane Richards
I've been googling all day when not scribing! Great advice, thanks
Doug, I'll remember to bubble over with passion tomorrow, they won't
know what's hit them!
Doug Block
well, controlled passion, ej. don't jump their bones ;-)
Joe Mondello
Hi I'm Joe Mondello. Starting on Act Three of my life and coming full
circle back to film (my college major) after 30 years.

Professionally I have been in graphic arts for 20 years doing everything
(I was the manager) from typography on Mergenthaler VIPs to all aspects
of conventional slide production, co-founded and ran a small arts
charity and documented lots of our work and the work of two other
charities. Just about to produce and shoot a 15-20 minute doc on the
work of a charity in Concord, MA. I am based in Manhattan.
Doug Block
welcome to d-word and act 3, joe. lots of luck.
Ben Kempas
Welcome, all!

Tips on the perfect pitch can also be found in our special
Andrew Patterson
Hello everyone. My name is Andrew, I'm a firefighter for the city
of Sherman, Texas and I also make documentary films. I live a
humble life yet aspire to change a few hearts with the incredible
tool that film brings to the world.

I just finished my first doc film entitled, "Subtle Voices: Cries
from Colombia". It is a story about the complicated struggles of
the Colombian people. It's available on

Anyway, I look forward to the message boards here. What's your
background Doug and what are you working on now?
Stephen Slocomb
I think I hung out here 10 or so years ago. I have 32 years in
film/video. Started with Charles Eames, went on to Hollywood, and
moved to Montana and spent 9 years working on my basically self
funded doc "The Story of the Bitterroot". It looks at the plant and
its relationship to the Native Americabns who vererate it. I have it
showing in 5 states on PBS, and selling in maybe 50 museums, visitor
centers, and book stores. I did this on my own, as I could not find a
real distributor. I do have it in 6 national catalogs...but they
provide disappointing sales.
Doug Block
well, we've only been here for 6 years, stephen, but time flies.
especially when you self-distribute, right? anyway, welcome (back)!
Ionee Waterhouse

Hi my name is Ionee, I am a part of Dharma Films, an Independent
Production Company that works in South America.
We do all kinds of social documentaries and we are now in Venezuela.
We are open to work with other documentarians. Contact us.
We are in need of financing and we can do all kinds of socumentaries
about Venezuela (the people, the cities, the turistic attractions,
the native people, the oil, the social issues, Politics, the
history, Hugo Chavez.)
It would be a pleasure to work with you.


Ionee Waterhouse
Independent Producer

011 58 416 2165818
Caracas, Venezuela
Clayton Green
Hello everyone,

My name is Clayton Green and I just graduated with a 2nd Associates
degree. I obtained the first one in Information Technology
Mulitmedia in 2004 and finished up a degree in Film at Full Sail
Real World Education this past Dec. 16th 2005. I am lucky enough to
have off until Jan. 30th where I will be going back to complete a
Bachelors in film. I plan to use my off tiem for research when I can.

I am glad to find this forum and it's community that is linked to
it. I have a passion for films and Documentaries. I have only
finished one documentary that was about twenty minutes long but come
Feb. of 2006 I am buying a Panasonic HD cam that I plan to go hog
wild with.

I have many ideas in mind that would collect the interests of the
younger adults but I am still searching to find worthy topics that
might make a difference to those who watch it.

Well, I just wrote a lot I guess. Thank you for having me and I look
forward to conversing with all of you, learning what I can as well.

Marc Maurino
Hi folks, I plan on posting several questions and comments in various
forums around here in the next several months because I've got a
documentary project started and I'll want lots of advice. About a
year ago I thought I had a project nearly off the ground but at nearly
the last minute my subjects deemed themselves "too important" and my
experience . . . well, too inexperienced. So I introduced myself then
(Nov. of 04) and posted for a few months, but then when my project
fell apart I took a long hiatus from D-word. Now that I'm back it
seemed appropriate to make another short introduction.

To wit: I studied Film and English in college, have a day job very
far removed from filmmaking (though I am a criminal investigator, and
investigations are a bit like doc making--lots of interviews and then
a big showy bundle of info and evidence to go to court.) I am working
on a few narrative fiction projects but I'm always on the lookout for
a compelling doc idea, and in this case I found one next door. My
good friends and neighbors are in the process of starting a Montessori
school, and my family and I have been big supporters of the project
(we'll send our children when it opens) and after a bit of
conversation and e-mail, it looks like I'm going to film some
interviews and cover some meetings and dig into their journey as they
birth their school. They're open and excited for it, and I am too.
So that's me, my project, and now I will go post some questions in
some of the more specific forums.

(And by the way: the reception, support, and outright loving welcome
that I recieved on this site last year was absolutely amazing, and I'm
thrilled to be back here with a project to discuss. I've read through
hundreds of posts in various discussions on this forum, and I am
continually amazed at how supportive and nurturing this community is.
Nowhere on the internet and rarely in the real world have I found a
group of people so willing to give freely and compassionately of
themselves. It is truly so unique and nice that I felt compelled to
comment on it. Thank you.)
Doug Block
aw, shucks, i'm blushing, marc. good to have you back and good luck
with what sounds like an interesting project. so much of the success
of a doc comes from access, and it sounds like you have that solved.
Asar Imhotep
Htp m Mrw (peace and love)

Just came across this site and can't wait to get more involved in it. Just started production on a documentary film and wanted to gain more knowledge on the process. Look forward to hearing from you.

Asar Imhotep

Doug Block
peace 'n love back at ya, asar. welcome aboard.
Katie Robbins
Hi, I'm a New York based filmmaker. I also work for a production
company that is trying to branch out from doing primarily long form
journalistic documentaries to include some educational/industrial
work. I'm trying to do some research on those markets- are they
growing, are there numbers available on sales, etc. Has anyone seen
such information? Thanks so much.
Doug Block
hmm, wouldn't even know where to start. time to google and see what
happens, i guess. but welcome here, for all your doc needs.
Katie Robbins
thanks so much for the welcome.

i've been googling like mad, and thus far to no avail
Robert Goodman
as someone who did that work for 25+ years I'd say you're a bit late
to the game. It's all moved to the web. These days most is 2-3 minute
pieces done for websites - and done very cheaply.
Katie Robbins
did you do more educational stuff for schools or more
industrial/corporate work?
Robert Goodman
I did mostly corporate though also did a series of programs for schools.
The educational stuff for schools was all under 4 minutes tied to text
books. The longest was 4 minutes that covered WWII and the Holocaust.
It's educational support and when classes are 20 minutes long you
don't have time to do more than flash cards.

Corporate stuff was generally 8-15 minutes. Long was 20.
Katie Robbins
Are there big companies that specialize in corporate stuff that I
could look to for information?
Robert Goodman
The Jack Mortons of the world are pretty much gone. There are a few
large players - companies with a 100 people or so scattered around the
country in specialized markets. The only larger ones are the guys
doing meetings and incentive travel.
Chris Brown
Hello everyone. I'm new in town. I'm working as an assistant editor
on a doc. that just moved up here. I'm excited to be here and looking
to do good work. I'm from Austin and am very interested in music/
concert/musician documentaries. Also, live video for shows too. I work
with both Avid and FCP focusing on work with HD.

Currently, we are looking for an empty space to set-up in. The sooner
the better. Something in Manhattan, with internet access, and 24/7
access. If anyone knows anything please let me know. Thanks guys and
good luck!! CB
Erica Ginsberg
Welcome Chris. Keep in mind "here" is everywhere in D-Word, not just
New York...although there are numerous New York members who could
probably make recommendations on space.
Tara Bush
Hello everyone. I am in Tennessee, and I am just starting my first
documentary. I have done some historical biographies before. I like
historical documentation, and I will be doing a short documentary
about a local historic business and building. I believe the business
will be going on, but the building will be coming down to make way for
condos in the near future. I am hoping that this experience will lead
to more documentaries in the future. I found this website while I was
doing a search for documentary release forms. I am sure I will be
able to learn a lot from this forum. Thanks, Tara
Doug Block
glad you found us, tara. good luck with your project. if you're
anywhere near nashville, i'll be coming down your way for the festival
in april.
Tara Bush
What festival? I am in Knoxville. I have located a group here in
Knoxville called Tiptoe which stands for Tennessee Independent
Production and Talent Organization East. It is a local nonprofit.
They meet once a month, so I will be going to my first meeting Jan.
31. I am sure I will find out about different festivals and more
about the industry. There is a Secret City Film Festival in nearby
Oak Ridge TN. I believe that occurs during late summer. I have met
with the local film commissiioner here, and that was an eye opening
experience. One thing that he told me is that I need to make sure I
get all rights to my documentary. Would that be called an
"assignment of copyright" contract. I have been searching for what I
might need, but I have not found it yet. Could you possibly lead me
in the right direction. I have an initial meeting with the owner of
the building next Thursday. The film commissioner also told me that
when I finish the production, I need to send the master copy to
myself registered mail. When I receive it...he said not to open it
but to put it in a safe deposit box unopened and leave it there. He
said that would help with the copyright. Anyway, sorry to go on for
so long....just thought I would share that info.
Robert Goodman
Tara - that person misunderstood your question about copyright. When
you complete a film (not write a script which is somewhat applies to
his/her answer) simply put a copyright notice (c)2006 Tara Bush in the
end credits. You can protect yourself further by registering the film
with the US copyright office - go to their website - fill out the one
page form - send in a copy of the film/dvd/vhs with the fee ($30).
There are separate legal issues regarding permissions to make a film
about someone or a business entity. There are good books available
about making documentary films and the issues involved.
Tara Bush
Thank you. I am reading one right now written by Barry Hampe called
"Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos." It has been a big
help. I will keep on reading and looking into other books.
Mike Seely
Hi ,

I am a recent grad of the stanford doc program, now living in San
Francisco, and finally getting around to joining D-word officially.
It's comforting to find so many people who share my obsession with
documentaries! I'm working as a freelance camera person (I own a
DVX100A) and editor around the bay area. Right now i'm working on
editing a propaganda piece about equity and scoail justice at SF State
University. I'm also working on distributing my most recent short doc
, Radio Grito, about a spanish- language radio show for migrant
farmworkers and their families in the CA valley. I'm in the
development stages of a piece about a mobile hospital truck and boat
in Ecuador that serves remote indigenous communities. .. Other recent
projects include a 16mm short doc that I did the cinematography for,
Under the Rollercoaster (directed by Lila Place), about a Coney Island
woman who used to actually live under a rollercoaster - this film will
be at Slamdance next week, and I'll be there from the 19th-26th if
anyone is around. It would be great to meet other d-worders in the
non-virtual world sometime...

thanks, and I look forward to be a part of d-word..

Doug Block
welcome, mike. also noticed you posting in the community. good to
have you leap right in.
Tara Bush
Hi...I wasn't sure where to post this, but in my researching, I came
across a couple of helpful DVD's. I purchased them off of the Vasst
website. "Lighting it Right" by Victor Milt - this really has helped
me with the creative aspect of lighting and took away some of my fears
of lighting. It has loads of different techniques and tips and
inexpensive lights to create whether you are on a strict budget or
not. Also, I purchased "Understanding Copyright and What You Need to
Know." This DVD covers all different aspects of copyright and has
included forms for use. Just wanted to share this information for
those who are just starting out like me. There is so much to learn!
Michael Amish
I too am unsure where to post this...i have begun work on my first documentary as a director/
producer running up a few bills to do so. My need right now is funding in order to continue the
project so we have created a 5 minute "trailer" or "teaser" that gives some idea what we are
documenting as well as written synopsis and budget sheet (as would be required from something
like the Sundance Doc completion funds foundation) question is: where do you begin
showing something like this to potential commisioning editors? Do they just appear at festivals?
Do they accept solicitations for funding requests from nut-jobs such as myself?
Doug Block
michael, there are a few events each year that present good
opportunities to meet commissioning editors. one is the ifp market in
ny. another is sunny side of the doc, in marseille.

a better one is the toronto documentary forum on may 3 & 4, which is
part of hot docs. it's a two-day pitching forum, and you still have
time to apply as an observer. all the top ce's are there and there's
ample opportunity to meet with them briefly and introduce yourself
during the breaks and lunches. if you have your sample with you on
dvd, they may just take it back with them. or, if you mail it to them
later, presumably it's already on their radar.

there's also the original pitching forum in amsterdam, as part of
idfa. these events are expensive, of course, but kind of the price of
doing business when it comes to raising gobs of funding for your doc.
Robert Goodman
One note - Sunny Side is no longer in Marseille. This summer it will
be in La Rochelle on the Atlantic Ocean coast of France. June 27th to
You can fly or take a train from Paris.
Linda Pattillo
Hi: I am new to the forum. I have recently completed shooting and
directing my first feature length documentary, The Breast Cancer
Diaries. We screened our work in progress at IFP in September
(where we heard Doug's doc panel and found it very informative) and
are now applying to film festivals. In a previous life, I was a
foreign correspondent for ABC News and CNN for 15 years. I have
recently begun research on several ideas for my second documentary
and am looking forward to being able to speak to documentary
colleagues on the forum.