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.

Gustavo Rosa

Hi everyone,

My name is Gustavo, I am a recent college graduate. I have been thinking about making a documentary (shocking and ill-advised, I know) about illegal immigrants and their path to college. I have a few people lined up to interview, some stuff about policy, a few contacts in some immigrant organizations, and would probably include some stuff about myself in the project as well.

I am a COMPLETE novice to filming! For now I have been watching some documentaries (including Doug's) and thinking about the arch that the project might take, I envision it being about 30 minutes long.

Does anyone have any advice in terms of literature or other informational material that might be useful? I am particularly interested in what you would think a good camera would be for my purposes. I've looked around a bit and like the Canon T2i. I don't have a mac, but I have a PC and access to the adobe suite.

I appreciate any help or advice you guys would have!

Look forward to hearing from you,

Blake Adams Bailey

Hello all,

My Name is Blake Adams, and I have been in LA for twenty years, acting, writing and occasionally producing (my award winning short film titled "Silent Radio") I have never thought about doing a documentary film until now. I was struck with an idea that I can not let go, and need some real guidance on how to put together the pitch. This is an area very strange to me, so any help on what kind of Package to put together...what are 'people' looking for in a documentary pitch.

Christopher Wong

welcome, blake. feel free to post more specific questions in the Mentoring Room section of the D-Word. for now, the quick answer to your question is that people in the doc industry are primarily looking for intimate access to your characters. secondly, people are looking for subjects that are timely and reveal universal truths. celebrity involvement always helps to get a doc off the ground, but that is certainly not a prerequisite in the way that you need an A-list celeb to get a fiction film greenlit.

Doug Block

Greetings, Gustavo and Blake. Gustavo, you might want to try a site like DV User, which has more technical topics on cameras. As for your approach to your film, it seems pretty spot on to me, so I'd say trust your instincts. If you're intent on reading a book, though, Michael Rabiger's Directing the Documentary is a classic. And glad if my film has been a help.

Chithra Jeyaram

I am Chithra Jeyaram an MFA film production student at University of Texas, Austin. I used to be and still am a Physical Therapist and now an emerging documentary filmmaker.

United states is the only country in the developed world with no law requiring PAID PARENTAL LEAVE BENEFITS. Having a child is treated like a life style choice. Most parents lives changes dramatically not only because of the addition of a new life but because of the poor support systems.

I want to make a documentary about tag-team parenting, where parents who can't afford child care stagger their work shifts. For example – one parent works night shifts and the other day and exchange babies at parking lots. In the process, they barely see each other and such marriages or partnerships eventually end.

The situation is worse for single parents or those of the LGBT community. Currently, I am in the research phase of this project. Any suggestions or tips will be appreciated.

Also, I have wanted to make a film using both my skills – Physical Therapy and Filmmaking. Over the last three years, I have noticed that most filmmakers have bad postures and really bad backs. I have be toying with an idea for an animated/doc film on that topic. Any ideas?


Doug Block

Welcome, Chrithra, and feel free to join The D-Word as a full member . I'll be doing an Austin Film Society screening of my new doc THE KIDS GROW UP on Oct 13. Hope to meet you there.

Kemuel DePaula

My name is Kemuel Deaula, I grew up in Alvarenga, Brazil. I've been living in the United State for a long time now, i love it here. I am a graduate of Full Sail University. I am editing my second Documentary and things are going well. D-Word is a great website, i am new to it and still learning how to get around. Check out my resume at i am also going to attach my Resume to this post. Have a good day!!

- Kemuel DePaula

Doug Block

Welcome to The D-Word, Kemuel. We sure are getting folks with great names here.

Kemuel DePaula

Doug Block
haha, that is true, when i was born they spelled my name wrong, so my parents kept it.

Doug Block

Same here, Chithra. Please make sure to introduce yourself at some point.

Robert A. Emmons Jr.

Hello –

I am new to the blog. I applied for full membership and hope to gain it!

I am currently finishing a 6 month project, which is set to finish tomorrow.

During these last 6 months I have made two short documentaries a week. They premiere every Wednesday and Sunday and are based on randomly drawn words. The project is called MINICONCEPTDOCS. It has been the single best documentary filmmaking learning experience of my life. They can be seen here or my Youtube channel:

I would love to hear comments from other documentary filmmakers.

I would consider myself a folk filmmaker interested in local culture and history, usually within the area I live in.

I teach film and media studies at Rutgers University in Camden.

I have written about ethics in documentary particularly the ethical responsibilities of the audience and the face of the Other. I look forward to the insights of the diverse group of filmmakers on this blog.

Mikal Jakubal

In reply to chithra jeyaram's post on Wed 4 Aug 2010 07:21 PDT :
Hey Chithra,
Your line below cracked me up!

"Over the last three years, I have noticed that most filmmakers have bad postures and really bad backs."

Yes, there should be a physical therapy and yoga class for cinematographers and editors. It's hard enough to remember proper posture and ergonomics at a keyboard, but almost impossible to not hunch terribly while holding a heavy camera and staring forward into a viewfinder all day. Ugh!

John Burgan

In reply to Robert A. Emmons Jr.'s post on Sat 7 Aug 2010 :

You're welcome to join us, Robert. Even though it started as Doug's blog, The D-Word is better described as a community of documentary professionals these days with over 3,000 members from some 80 countries. Some of us teach docs as well, so there is a dedicated topic in the Member's area.

Really like the sound of your two docs a week, will check out your link.

Robert Goodman

I suppose we'll actually run into each other at some point. Odd to meet here first...Hope to meet you in the flesh at Aiph.

Alison Barnim

Hi everyone!

My name is Ali and after being in the film industry as an AD and coordinator, I finally wrote my first documentary that will take me and my DOP to South Africa in October!

I am stoked and scared all at the same time. I feel overwhelmed. Does anyone have some good tips for a first timer?


Eli Brown

The best tip I can think of offhand is to sign up for member status! (Though I'm not in charge, I'm guessing your work as an AD should qualify), and you'll have access to a lot of the more technical and various forums wherein you can ask much more pointed questions. I'm not sure if there's any one tip to make it seem less overwhelming except to expect that feeling and not pay too much attention to it! Oh, and welcome to the D-Word...

Iris Dawn Parker

Hello Alison,
I'm in South Africa right now working on my first doc, I have worked as a photographer for the past 17 years and this is my first doc.
I will be around in October so depending on the area you are working in, we could certainly meet up. I'm living in Joburg.
Peace, Iris

In reply to Alison Barnim's post on Thu 12 Aug 2010 :

Iris Dawn Parker

Hello Everyone,
I'm Iris and I'm new to the field of documentary filmmaking. For the past 2 years I have been working and shooting in the States and South Africa. As you may imagine, I'm running very low on funding and have not found a funding source that supports first time independent filmmakers. It anyone has suggestions of funders I should contact, please send info to me. All info will be greatly appreciated.
Peace, Iris

Robin Rowley

Hey all,
I've made some short docs in the past, but took some time off to start a career. I freelance PA for network news. Now I'm working on a film about children who are head of households taking care of younger siblings. This website seems to be a really good resource, so I'm hoping I can turn to it when I get stuck.
I'm wondering if anyone has had any recent experiences traveling on airplanes with camera equipment. How much are they going to harass me if I have a lot of equipment that I will be carrying on?


Robert Goodman

airlines and equipment...the rules are very strict because there are none of old flexibilities left in the system. People I know who used to tip the skycaps and get 20 cases on a plane are now shipping them fedex.

Whatever fits into a carry-on is okay. But you are limited to one and a small handbag – laptop, purse, whatever. If you travel business class you can bring a second carry-on. My advice pack light or ship it ahead. The bag fees get expensive if you do multiple hops.