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.

Doug Block

Welcome, Ann. Nice to have a genuinely enthusiastic enthusiast here in the mix. Hope you find what you're looking for.

David Sampliner

Hi D-Word,

I am way overdue in joining this amazing community, and am glad to finally be a part of it. I made my first documentary in 2004 with Tim Nackashi, Dirty Work (, have worked for hire as a cinematographer and producer and director in various corners of the non-fiction film and tv-making worlds, and am now in the middle of making my next documentary feature, called My Own Man, about my middle-aged masculinity crisis (check out for more details on the project). In some ways I'm an experienced filmmaker but in some ways I also feel like a newbie, especially when it comes to the business of attracting funding and building an audience and getting films out into the world, so I'm here to offer what I can while benefiting from the mentorship of this sprawling network of documentary nuts. Thanks for having me, David

John Burgan

Part of the business seems to be discovering that however much experience you accumulate along the way, it's inevitable to find that you're a newbie again and again.

You're welcome to share your crises at The D-Word, David.

Barbara Parks


My husband and I run a post-production facility here in NYC and for some reason have found ourselves working with a lot of documentary filmmakers. We mixed "Dark Days" here as well as "King Corn" and "Herb and Dorothy". I love working on docs and I hope I can add something to the discussions as well.

Todd Leatherman

Hello D-Word,

I am an aspiring documentary filmmaker who is currently researching film schools and am in need of some professional advice. I hold a Bachelor's degree in a field unrelated to film and have very little experience with production, editing, distribution, etc. In your professional opinion, do you think my time and money would be better spent pursuing a Master's degree that may focus heavily on history and theory, or pursuing more of a "hands on" program such as the one-year documentary filmmaking program offered by the New York Film Academy? I have read some varying reviews on the NYFA in general, so any advice or opinions you may have about that school would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your help!


Doug Block

Welcome, Todd, Barbara and especially David, who I've known for a while now (as well as his impossibly lovely wife). You may feel like a newbie but you're not. Dirty Work showed great talent and can't wait to see how My Own Man turns out.

Todd Leatherman

In reply to John Burgan's post on Wed 29 Sep 2010 : Thanks for your quick reply, John. I have been researching the programs mentioned in the Independent article and it has been a great starting point. Please let me know if any other advice comes to mind.

Robert Goodman

Spend your money getting experience. Volunteer for one of the many top-notch doc makers running around NY, Phila, or DC. Then decide if you want/need a masters. You are more likely to find employment by being a great volunteer than by going to school.

Teresa Pigeon

My name is Teresa Pigeon; I live in Cary, NC. I am a photographer, but have recently branched out into documentary video. At Duke's Center for Documentary Studies, I learned how my reach can be extended by moving into the video field, and I'm working to use these new skills to tell stories.

I'm currently working on a short about a local eccentric. Also, I'm documenting the making of a local film. Next, I hope to work on a piece about the use of therapy dogs in Hospice (where I volunteer). I'm only in the planning stages of this – but there are so many things to consider.

As is true for most folks, I learned so much in shooting and editing my very first video:
I learned what to do and what to NOT do (and it's apparent in the clip!)

Very recently I've decided to put much more time and effort into documentary video, and hope to learn from your experiences. I'm excited about some recent work I've done using the 5dmkii – and it's possibilities (while very aware of the limitations). Examples of my photos: