The Mentoring Room - Ask the Working Pros

Mentoring Room

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This is a Public Topic geared towards first-time filmmakers. Professional members of The D-Word will come by and answer your questions about documentary filmmaking.

Doug Block
Host

Well, I have good news for you.  You're a pro.  You don't belong here :)

Bethany Taylor
Fan

In reply to Peter Brauer's post on Tue 26 May 2009:

 I am currently filming a documentary on the fly, which deals largely with mobile apps. It would be pretty much impossible for me NOT to include large companies' app logos in shots.   I would love to name them. Do you have advice as to whom I might contact with these companies to get clearance? What kind of documentation I might need? I suppose I could always make my own off-brands like Flitter and Friend-Face, but it's been a bit overdone.

Thank you in advance. This is all new to me ;)

Alain Martin
Fan

Hello everyone,

I find myself mired in a deep post-production mess with my documentary (The Forgotten Occupation about the US Occupation of Haiti). My editor tells me he doesn't like the script and we've been pretty much stalled. I've never written a doc script and from my research, ain't really no specific and particular way to write a doc script. Can anyone one recommend any documentary writing consultants that I might hire to have a look at the script and get the engine rolling? Thanks very much!!

Doug Block
Host

I'll second Gwendolyn's recommendation of Fernanda. You can't do better.

Dan Wayne
Pro

Hi folks, I've spent a ton of time on this site and appreciate the time and effort so many put into answering questions. It has been very helpful.


I'm finishing up my first feature and my editor just quit. Not sure what I'm going to do, most of the cutting is done but I could use someone who can guide me through the final steps. One big question I have, and I realize there is a big range, how much does editing generally cost for a doc feature. For those of you who have made several, I'd love to find out low to high. I'm talking strictly editing fees, including an assistant (if there is one). Thanks!

Doug Block
Host

Depends on where you live, Dan.  In NY and LA, top editors generally get $600/day and upwards.  And that's without an assistant.  You can get someone for less, and often someone good, but it would be for an up-and-comer, or a case where the timing is good for someone more experienced and they have a gap in their schedule.  Or if the subject of your doc is an issue they care deeply about.   It would be hard to find someone really good who'd work for less than $400/day, though not impossible.

Dan Wayne
Pro

Thanks, Doug. I've been combing the site through searches. I think I'm getting better at it. I'm in Kansas City, but there's no reason for my editor to be here.

Doug Block
Host

By the way, you shouldn't be posting questions in the Mentoring Room as you have Pro status.  This is meant for Fans, who don't have access to all the other discussion topics.  We don't encourage double posting, but in this case feel free to ask your question again in the Editing topic.

Dan Wayne
Pro

Thanks, I wasn't sure about that. I need a mentor!

Erica Ginsberg
Host

Hey Dan, you should also check out the Professional Classifieds since Ethan Steinman was looking for PA recommendations in Kansas City. You might have some suggestions and, who knows, maybe he has some recommendations on an editor. I'm tagging him just in case.

And Alain, I third the recommendation on Fernanda. Heck, I'll tag her too.

 

Mentioned: Ethan Steinman and Fernanda Rossi
Fernanda Rossi
Pro

A robot called me. Erica tagged me. Ok What do I do now?

My email is info AT documentary doctor DOT com for whoever was looking for me.

 

thanks Erica :)

[Edited by Erica so e-mail address won't be picked up by spiders since this is a publicly searchable topic]

Zak Carter
Pro

In reply to Kayla Kamp's post on Tue 5 Jan 2016:

 Kayla, as a fan of Michael Moore's "Roger & Me" and Kip Andersen's much more recent "Cowspiracy," sometimes getting denied an in person interview on film can really add to the story!

Mike Bell
Fan

I'm working on a documentary where I'd like to use some old TV footage that says "public domain". But I don't really know for sure.  How can I investigate?  The footage is from a show from the defunct DuMont Network from the U.S.

Heather Hutson
Pro

This week my first film -- Hotel Clermont -- screened at the Atlanta Film Festival. It was a wonderful (and nerve racking!) experience. I'm writing in this section on the site because I thoroughly believe in the power of mentorship and am glad that I, as a first-time filmmakers, teamed up with experienced filmmakers. I'm incredibly grateful to D-Worders Danielle Beverly and Eli Brown for all of their guidance and support on this project! (And am happy to share that Tuesday's World Premiere sold out :).)

Erica Ginsberg
Host

Yay Heather! I remember hearing about this when I met you at Full Frame a year or two ago. Hope we get to see the film in DC real soon. Congrats on the sell-out crowd!

Lev Deych
Pro

I am trying to produce my first documentary feature about a brilliant composer who was forced to flee Germany by the Nazis when his career just started picking up, and spent the rest of his life trying to revive it and find his new cultural identity at his new home in New York. I know the story and how I want to tell it, access to the archive materials and witnesses, I have a director (even two co-directors who are also new to doc film making), most of the cast, which includes some luminaries of classical music world (I would not want to name names here), partners in Europe. I do not have the most important thing - financing. I believe that this being my first film I would need to partner with a more experience producer if I have any hopes of finding any money for the film. I made a few attempts approaching some pretty big names who produced films related to my theme, but was essentially laughed at. So, here is my question: Is it too naive of me to hope that I could find a co-producing partner who would agree to help me raise the funds with the promise of an equity in the film and deferred payments, which will be made as soon as funds a raised? I also expect this partner not to try to take over the control over the project, while allowing for some degree of creative control within well defined boundaries. Is it even possible? I really appreciate an honest answer, and maybe someone would suggest whom I could contact with such an offer? Thanks a lot for your time. 

Doug Block
Host

Lev, the Mentoring Room is for members on the Fan level without professional documentary experience.  Being as you're a Pro member, you might want to post this again in the Production topic where it will be read much more widely.  Normally we discourage double posting, but in this case it's quite alright.

The short answer is: yes, it's possible. Longer answer to come once you re-post it. 


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