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

Wow, ballsy move, Gwyn!  Good luck with your campaign and your film.  And welcome to The D-Word.

Manie Conradie

Hey Everyone,

After looking around, I think I have found what I am looking for: a place with real and honest help.

I am as new as it can come to making film, documentaries or anything of the sorts. But that is why I came here.

Looking forward to learn!


Sean Dimond

Hello D-World,

I've directed/shot short film all over the world -- primarily for international non-profits -- and have been involved in two international feature docs. My most recent project was composing/recording the original score for SHAKE THE DUST, a film about hip-hop in developing countries, directed by Adam Sjoberg and Executive Produced by Nas.  

I am currently in pre-production on a feature doc about the race to stop a global pandemic of untreatable malaria, with millions of lives at risk.  

Glad to join the D-Word community.



Isabel Schwarz

Hi D-Word,

My name is Isabel Schwarz, but everyone calls me Titi since I can remember, and I'm really happy Doug introduced me to this community.

I've worked in Sony Pictures Latin America for about 2,5-3 years as a Promo Creative Producer (copywriting and editing) for both of their channels: AXN and Canal Sony, which air all around Latin America. Before that, I edited wedding videos for a company back home called Al Agua. But I've always loved documentaries. 

I feel that documentaries are a thrilling challenge: representing something in it's truest form, while finding the story to make it compelling and interesting to the audience, is not an easy task, but a very rewarding one when accomplished. That's why I based my graduate thesis on three short docs of how different people deal with a given reality. (I'm still subtitling those, so I haven't published them yet).

Living in Caracas, Venezuela, we don't always have the latest equipment or the most adequate, but that is what taught me how to make the best with what you've got and how to make it work when it seems impossible.

Right now, I'm in New York just finishing the 6-week Editing Workshop at Manhattan Edit Workshop, getting certified on Avid Media Composer (and on Final Cut Pro if the updated test comes out on time before I leave) and studying the possibility of becoming a remote freelance editor for people in other countries (so if you need some editing done, just give me a call).

My website:

Glad to be here,


Jesse Dana

Hi everybody,

I'm a San Francisco based cinematographer and producer. I've been meaning to sign up and get more involved in this community for some time, as it's been recommended to me countless times over the years. I'm currently coming to the finish line of a 8 year verite doc about men returning to community after spending 10, 20, and 30 years in San Quinten prison called Life After Life. We are actually running a kickstarter right now to get the last of our finishing funds together, which you can see here if you are interested You can find out more about me and my work at

Thanks and I look forward to meeting you all on here :-)


William Graff

Hello All,

My name is Bill Graff, and my company, Kisemt Media Group, based in NYC and Florida,  helps producers craft their projects for the specific needs of relevant netowrks and digital platforms. We craft the marketing materials and pitch and negotiate on your behalf in order to get the most favorable terms.

I am also helping the Guangzhou International Documentary FIlm Festival source submissions of finished films and new projects to compete at their 2015 edition, December 7-10. I've attached a press release with further details, or you can visit the submissions page on their website at:!news?query=query&iid=348

Doug Block

Welcome, Bill. I have a particular fondness for Guangzhou as my film "112 Weddings" won the Grand Jury Prize there last year.  Any chance they're looking for jury members for this year's edition? (hint, hint)

A warm welcome, as well, to Jesse and Titi and Sean and Marie and the whole flood of new D-peeps that have registered recently. 

Amy Benson

Hi! Amy Benson here. I have actually been on the D Word for over a year, but have been so in the thick of post-production that I have not taken advantage of it. Now that I am in navigating the festival world, I am waking up every morning and reading the latest festival thread. It has been so useful.  I am feeling ready to write some posts myself and get in there! My film is Drawing the Tiger—a seven year portrait of a rural family in Nepal who gets a windfall of opportunity from the west and then tragically loses it.  It just had its world premiere at Hot Docs last month. Still reeling from it. Thanks for being here, y'all. 

Niam Itani

Welcome (again) Amy!

Congratulations on "Drawing the Tiger". What a powerful story.

We definitely want you to write and share this incredible experience with the community.

Doug Block

Great to read about your premiere, Amy, and getting your first taste of some of the rewards that come from all the years of hard work and perserverance (and I don't necessarily mean monetary).  Wishing you much success down the road, and look forward to hearing about all your travels with the film (including when it will show in the NY area).

John Bohm

Hello Everyone-

New to the site-Looking forward to meeting many fellow filmmakers-I have a question-Where can a begin a search for an agent/representation-I think it's time I do so-my last film did well (Father G and the Homeboys)-but I'm gearing up for my new film and would appreciate any advise.  Thanks and I look forward to hearing and meeting from many of you!!!

Rustin Thompson

Hi Everyone,


I'm a documentary filmmaker based in Seattle. My first film was 30 Frames A Second: The WTO in Seattle which had a decent film festival run back in 2000, was picked up for educational distribution by Bullfrog Films, and is now available on many online outlets. Since then, my wife and producing partner, Ann Hedreen, have made 3 more feature docs, 2 short docs, and countless mini-documentary style films for our non-profit clients, which is how we earn our living. We are lucky enough to consider ourselves full-time filmmakers, and not have to have a day job.  I think this comes from our background in broadcast news. I was a freelance cameraman for CBS and other networks for over 10 years before transitioning to owning our business and making docs and short films for our clients. We're currently working on a feature doc set in Peru called Zona Intangible, which we'll hopefully finish in 2016. I've always been curious about the D-Word but never particpated before. I hope to get advice on a lot of stuff as we move forward. But let's start with this: pitch sessions.  How much time and effort should we devote to trying to get invited to pitch our film somewhere?  I'll admit I get a little cranky thinking about the process, since it seems like with all of the hurdles of finding funding, securing a sales rep, getting into festivals, etc., that also navigating the submission process for pitching is another time-sucking roadblock. I also wonder that, since we've got a mulit-layered story that is hard to narrow down to a high-concept logline, perhaps pitching isn't the best fit anyway?  Thank you.

Andy Schocken

Welcome to d-word, Rustin!  I'm a former Seattleite myself, and my first doc was an 8 minute short on the WTO protests called "Not Without a Fight."  I've been meaning to check out your film for ages- I'll have a look.

Now that you're a pro member, this discussion should probably take place in the Finding Funding (North America) topic- I'll post my answer there:

Doug Block

Welcome, Rustin.  Andy beat me to the punch in re-directing your question.  I followed up there with a reply of my own, as well.

Pi Ware

Hello, The D-Word.  My name is Pi Ware.  I am a former board member of the IDA, producer of the IDA Awards, Emmy-awarded TV & film editor, and Sundance writer/director alum.  I started in the indie narrative world and then moved into editing documentaries about filmmakers like Kubrick, Eastwood & Hitchcock. Recently I’ve been editing lots of television which has been fun, but now I’ve found what I’ve been seeking for a decade: a compelling and worthy subject for a documentary film. I’ll be more specific with the subject matter later once we’ve shot a few days and planted our flag as the first doc on the issue.  Right now I’m here to help the community in any way I can, whether that be technical advice on editing or creative thoughts on filmmaking in general.  I am self-financing the first few shoots of my doc until I have enough footage for a kickstarter campaign / grant-writing spree. Which means I can’t afford a paid producer (but am open to interested parties!)  Which also means I have a bunch of specific things that would help me guide me….
+ sample proposals for a documentary
+ sample budget on a spreadsheet for a contemporary doc (the free IDA spreadsheet is a bit out-dated)
+ sample releases:  location release, materials release, talent release
+ Advice on insurance. Do u need it for interviews?  Verité shoots?  If so, where's a good place to buy?
Would sure appreciate any pointers.  Happy to be a part of the community.  Marj has bragged about this forum for years, and poking around the site I see why!

Sheryl Haley

Hi everyone!  I'm so excited to have found this forum.  I'm actually a film marketer who has recently become more and more obsessed with the documentary form.  So much in fact, that I'm refocusing my business to work more in this arena.  I've been doing trailers and sales reels for big studio releases for a long time and I'm really tired of working in that paradigm.  It's all about executives pushing films for profit and lining the pockets of big corrporations (as if this were news to anyone).  Never really my scene,  just something I fell into after college.  But I don't regret it.  It got me here.  Maybe I should make a doc about that.  Anyway, I look forward to meeting all of you!  Thanks for being here.


Doug Block

Greetings and a warm welcome to The D-Word, Pi and Sheryl.  Always fun to read about professionally accomplished people branching out into documentary or taking on a big project of their own.

Pi, you might want to ask your insurance question in our Legal topic.   People here vary widely on the need for production insurance and it might depend a bit on the size of your crew.  Personally, I only carry liability insurance, and the very minimum I need to get by, at that.  But then I don't have any employees and I usually work as a single-person crew.

Anders Teigen

Hi! I'm a norwegian documentary film editor living in Trondheim, running an editing suite called Giljotin (Translated: Guillotine).

I'm currently engaged in a debate concerning the police security services confiscation of raw material to a film by norwegian filmmaker Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen, and someone pointed me in the directon of D-word. You'll probably hear me go on about this in a while. Excited to be here. I'm a bit on and of when it comes to social media, but this looks like a great arena to take part and see whats up in the film society.

John Burgan

Welcome Anders - you look like you're more than qualified to join us as a Professional Member which will give you access to all our topics

Anne Bogart

Hello D-Word People! After many years of producing and directing factual programming for television, I just co-produced and co-directed my first independent feature documentary, "The Babushkas of Chernobyl" which just premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. Now I'm eager to learn more about both the post production distribution and marketing of docs, as well as getting ready to dive into feature #2, and glean some more wisdom on fundraising, etc.    I divide my working and living time between London and Los Angeles and look forward to talking to communities on both sides of the Atlantic. 

John Burgan

Good to hear from you, Anne - same comment as Anders, you should apply to join us as a Professional Member.

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