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.

Linda Coussement
Pro

In reply to John Burgan's post on Mon 21 Dec 2015:

 Thanks John! I'll repost it in the work in progress category after the holidays and start thinking about the storyline in more detail whilst roadtripping from Budapest to Athens :) 

Happy holidays!

Kayla Kamp
Fan

Hello All,

I am working on a documentary about the options citizens have to reduce, reuse and recycle in Stillwater, OK. When I started, I had just graduated with a bachelors in multimedia journalism. I had always wanted to make a documentary, but I was unable to find an opportunity to work with someone, so I decided a small local project would get my feet wet and hopefully give me more experience for future projects.

The recycling is run by the city, so when I first started I got permission to do the documentary and had a release signed that I could film in certain locations. I did a couple of interviews with the head of the recycling center, I went to do some other interviews, got caught up with work and a year later I tried to schedule an interview with the collection center to go over the materials they take or charge for, just general stuff. I heard that the guy I'm trying to interview is also into repurposing, so I was going to talk with him about that too. Now the city's marketing manager is saying I can't do interview anyone in that department because they are short of staff and I will have to go through her to get the interview. Previous encounters with her lead me to believe it's more than that and she doesn't want me snooping around.

I am just wondering what my options are? Obviously, she is not a fitting interview subject. I could do without the interview but I'm still going to need the b-roll and if she's saying no out of fear then I don't think she would allow me to do that either. What is the best way to approach this subject?

Thanks in advance.

Doug Block
Host

Not quite sure what you mean by "going through her" to get your interview, Kayla.  Did she specifically ask to be interviewed?  But if he's willing why not shoot the interview with the guy you want after hours, since her objection is about how short-handed they are during work hours.

rosie walunas
Pro

Hi, I'm new here and happy to be a part. Just now posted to the Introduction board. I'm an assistant editor transitioning to editor. Looking to work with a seasoned editor to edit and sift through hundreds of hours of content to help put the story together. I want to continue to sharpen my skills and learn from them! It would be great to be kept in mind for doc projects. If anyone here has advice on getting out of assisting and being taken seriously as an editor or up-and-coming editor, that would be great and much appreciated! Thanks all!

Doug Block
Host

As you're a professional member, and since you already introduced yourself in the Introduce Yourself topic, no need to double post here, Rosie.  We try to discourage that (except for the classifieds).

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!


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