Well, hope you'll get past our little opening day blip, Nathaniel and share in the good times. There are good times, really.
I recently finished my grad school thesis film, "The Past and Pending" (no, it has nothing to do with the song by The Shins), and also graduated with my MFA. I was initially drawn to this site because of Doug Block's involvement, but I hope to make some friends on here, as I plan to move around the world for a while making micro-budget single-person crew films.
"The Past and Pending" is a personal film with me behind the camera (at this point you're probably thinking "oh, THAT'S why he was intrigued by Doug Block's involvement with this forum..."), exploring a broken promise, which caused my family to fall apart, in the process of migrating from Puerto Rico to Florida.
My initial goal with the film was therapeutic and academic, as I did not want to exploit my family's trust in letting me interview them and use the family's home movies and photographs. However, after doing several screenings at my university, and seeing the incredible response the film has received, I've decided it's a film that truly deserves an audience. It seems to hit certain nerves with people, and I truly was not expecting it (although, I never once thought that the film was strictly for me; I always consider an audience).
Now I am in the process of assessing how good my film actually is, and determining which festivals to submit to as a result. I'm also about to make a big move; leaving my comfort zone in Orlando and most likely relocating to Chicago in September.
I'm really excited about being a part of this community! I hope to gain a lot of knowledge and inspiration from fellow documentary filmmakers!
What I've noticed
Alright, blushing here, Sam, but welcome to The D-Word anyway. Good to hear about the reaction to your film. Personal docs are exceptionally hard to make. But when they work they elicit strong, heartfelt responses and it's hugely satisfying.
Welcome, Nathaniel and Sam. I already am interested to know more about your doc, Sam!
Hi everyone, my name is Joseph Eulo, I am documentary studies student at the New School in New York. I have just finished a 8 min documentary called the "Last American Shoemaker." http://vimeo.com/23475543 This was my first doc.
I have several ideas in development one call "God, Country, Corps: An American Muslim's odyssey in the US Marines" its about Affraz Mohammad an American Muslim marine who was arrested on base and charged with being a member of a sleeper cell of terrorist. He was charge and tried in Military court and found not guilty at trial. The doc is about what happend and its effect on his life.
I am also getting ready to shoot a documentary on New York's Indie Improv scene centered around six members of an Indie Improv Group called the Day Camp Kids (DCK). I will interview club owners and performers and will follow each member of the DCK during their daily lives. I have a few other Ideas but I will not bore you with them here.
I and a few other doc students founded the Students FILM Collective an organization with the purpose to provide others who are studying the craft a opportunity to gain experience by working on group and individual projects.
My name is Jake Salyers and I'm a recent college graduate who is just getting his feet wet in the documentary game. During my junior year in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Tanzania and was inspired to film a documentary. Focusing on a small town on the cost, Bagamoyo, my documentary investigated the litte know east African slave trade, its lingering effects and my journey through the town. It's called "Bagamoyo, Lay Your Heart Down" http://vimeo.com/21568003
I have started to submit the documentary to festivals around the country but am still searching out opportunities for it to be view any way i can. Good criticism is hard to come by and as this is my first documentary, I know I have much room for improvement.
I am happy to have found a documentary community such as this and would love any comments, criticisms, and suggestions(especially about appropriate festivals to submit it to) y'all have to offer about my film.
In reply to Jake Salyers's post on Wed 8 Jun 2011 :
Hi Jake I am new here too. Watched your film and here is some feedback (I posted it on your vimeo page as well)
Hi Jake, great story, and photography. I think you should let the images in the beginning set the location and tone of the film without the narration. It competes with the visuals.
Your soundtrack is too loud during the first interview, the wind in the boat beach scene is also loud. My suggestion is to remove the audio from this clip, so as not to distract from the narration or music.
On some parts where your narrating, the music is loud, and competes with what you are saying. I would dip the sound down while your speaking, and have it play as a low ambient background music.
Move in on your subjects during the interviews. For example you show a subject sitting down in the first interview, almost her entire body is in the shot, thats great, you cutaway to something else, but when you come back its the same shot, instead I would zoom in closer to a medium shot or a close up shot, that way it makes it more personal.
My name is Lillian, and I'm developing a semi-personal cross-media project on nonverbal learning disorder (nld/nvld), a neurological disorder similar to Aspergers Syndrome. I signed up for D-word last year and am just getting involved in the community. I'm looking forward to hearing about your projects and getting some advice!
Good to have you leaping in here, Lilian. Welcome and come back often.
Hello I'm making a documentary exploring the relationship between people with disabilities and their aides. I think I have kind of a unique view on how aides should be hired and directed as employees. Since I spend so much time with my own aides I want us to become friends but also maintain the balance of a professional relationship. The most important thing is mutual respect which many people with disabilities and their aides don't have. This documentary will feature an awesome comedian and playwright who will talk about her own experiences, my own exploration of my relationships with my aides, and you will hear from the people who have worked for us. Please spread the word. http://aidedoc.weebly.com/ or thejoyofaides (at) gmail (dot) com
Welcome, Eva. Great to have you here with us.
You may not realize the Introduce Yourself topic is in the public area of The D-Word and thus your post will show up on search engines. So I edited it to make your email address unavailable to spammers.
Hello all. I'm a journalist turned filmmaker and I'm working on my first documentary, "9-Man". Looking forward to being part of this community!
Hi! I've been on here for a while, but I never introduced myself. I'm a little forum-shy.
So I usually use the old finger quotation marks when I tell people that I'm a "filmmaker". I'm finishing up my first doc, called PEACE AND THE QUIET, this summer (http://peaceandthequiet.com). It's an intimate portrait of two women in the dusk of their lives struggling to make their work matter in a climate of irony, greed, and disillusionment. Looking forward to going through the finishing process with Modulus this fall, and submitting to festivals.
I also work with the Principle Pictures team as a shooter, assistant editor, and associate producer. (www.principlepictures.com)
Looking forward to meeting you on Monday at the Docyard, Doug! I'm thrilled they programmed your film, I have been wanting to see it.
Interesting trailer. Can you tell me what the speaker (~1:50 in the trailer) says. "The reason that 2% of .... is because they were ... before they went off to war." I've played it a couple times and can't hear well enough to figure it out.
Welcome, Ursula, and glad you overcame your shyness, Beth. Look forward to meeting you on Monday, too, so don't be shy in person, please introduce yourself. In the meantime, I highly recommend you drop the quotation marks. If you're a D-Word professional member then you're a filmmaker, period.
Hello everyone! I am very excited to join d-word!
I have degrees in journalism and film, and have loved documentaries ever since I was little.
The only thing I love more than watching documentaries, is making them. :)
I look forward to collaborate with fellow documentarians in interesting projects.
In reply to Marth Christensen's post on Thu 16 Jun 2011 :
MMM. Could use some audio work, sorry about that.
"The reason why 2% of soldier are never driven insane by war...is because they were already insane before they went to war." That's Paul Chappell, the author of "Will War Ever End".
Ahhh. OK. Must be my artillery ears.
Great to have you here, Sharon. We can always use someone who speaks 4 languages fluently (and not even including the language of cinema).
hello to all, I am a writer, nothing published or produced, I have been writing a non fiction book about contemporary America, called The Psychotic Society for alittle over twelve years now and I was thinking maybe I should take this book apart, take out what I consider to be the most important parts and do a documentary film on it, so, of course, what I need it help, I need an Exe. Producer who has done doc. film projects and I need somebody who is familiar with writing grants and/or raising the money to do the project, also I will need a production Mgr. as you can see I have lots of needs, so if anybody has some suggestions on where I can start to look for these souls please let me know, at firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks so much, Jim C.
Welcome, Jim. You might want to start at... www.shootingpeople.org
I have a feeling this forum is going to be extremely helpful! I will be working on a few short documentary film projects, the first in PerÃº over the summer for college credit (topic undecided – suggestions definitely welcome!), and another film immediately following in Cairo, for which I have a more precise plan. These will be my first film projects and I have so many questions that I don't know where to begin. Instead, I will just say hello for now and I'm excited to have found this forum! ~Thanks Fiona Otway!
In reply to Ursula Liang's post on Thu 16 Jun 2011 :
welcome ursula! i always make a point of welcoming other asian american filmmakers – there are so few of us, and we need all the encouragement we can get.
btw, i am intrigued by your film title 9-MAN. that wouldnt somehow be related to that particular brand of absolutely crazy volleyball that is so popular among asian players, is it? just a guess...
Greetings, Jeff. Your questions are welcome in the Mentoring topic whenever you're ready.
I'm new, so I thought I'd introduce myself!
My name is Kali Holloway, and I do work supporting filmmakers in outreach, grant proposals, research, ghost writing interviews, doing PR, social media stuff, crowd-funding strategy, Kickstarter campaign, etc. Recently, I worked on two great documentaries from new filmmakers, Nancy Schwartzman ("The Line" and "xoxosms") and Katie Dellamaggiore ("Brooklyn Castle").
I'm also a freelance writer – I've written for Prefix and eMusic, and I'm the promotional copywriter for the DFA Records label (LCD Soundsystem, Holy Ghost!, The Rapture). I defected to film after previously working as a speechwriter for a NYC Commissioner and as the Deputy Director of Communications for the New York courts.
Thanks so much for having me!