Welcome, Prabha. So you know, all questions should be posted in the Mentoring topic. This is just for introductions.
Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First
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.
Well, here I am, on the D-word at the urging of my friend, Tanner Wolfe. I own a film production company called Dusk Films. I am transforming it into a non-profit. Exciting times. I hope to contribute to the site as much as possible and I hope to learn from all of you as well. I love community stuff and I love film.
Welcome, Aaron. You're gonna want to sign up for full membership to get the full benefit of the topics here.
My friend Doug Block has been urging me to join d-word for years! I am happy to finally be here. I have always enjoyed the community of documentary film makers when I have been at film festivals. So now I guess I have that community on tap.
I am amongst other things, a documentary film maker. Having made films about OTHER people I am currently making two films which include MYSELF.
I was trained as an ethnographer – one who uses their own self as an instrument of understanding the world view of others. Although I tell my own story on stage – in a performance called Two Men Talking – the enterprise or telling my story on film is one of the most challenging I've ever undertaken.
Perhaps there are those of you out there in the same boat.
either on the stage or in the boat. I find it difficult when I have a foot in each, though elastic underwear has made this almost achievable.
Welcome at last, Murray, but you're only halfway here. You now need to sign up as a full member to gain access to all the discussion topics.
Murray is a being a bit humble, as usual. He made a terrific feature documentary called "Paternal Instinct" that I'm proud to say I co-produced. And he was nominated for an Academy Award (with Roger Weisberg) for the short, "Why Can't We Be A Family Again?" And he's a total sweetheart of a homo sapien.
Welcome, Murray! I saw "Paternal Instinct" a couple of years ago and was completely blown away – it's still one of my favorite films ever!
Hi All, just joined the d-word this week, not sure why it took so long! I run a fledgling documentary production company, and am obsessed with all things documentary. Currently working on finishing a feature length doc 2 years in the making, about a kibbutz in Israel. I'm looking forward to learning and contributing at the d-word.
Welcome, Ben. Do share more about your film in the Members Films topic. I had a chance to see the rough cut and am only sorry that timing did not work out to screen it at Docs In Progress.
Hi Erica, I will do that. Didn't have enough time to work on it to submit it again for January, but we are hoping to re-submit for the March screening. By the way, the new Docs In Progress website is great!
I'll let Adele know you want to be considered for March and I guess you spilled the beans on something I wanted to announce in the Member's Websites topic so follow me there.
my name is Issar Shulman,I'm a musician.I do specially like documentary movies and for the music I wrote for the film "To die in Jerusalem" I was nominated for an Emmy award in September 2008.
I had a great experience working with HBO,editor Geof Bartz and director Hilla Medalia.that is the cause for my decision to move to NY in March and try to make as much connections I can.
you can hear some of my music in my web site
hope for inspiring collaboration in the documentary realm and feel free to ask me for music suggestions if you are looking for music to your movies.
In reply to Issar Shulman's post on Mon 5 Jan 2009 :
Welcome Issar! I just listened to your samples. Very impressive. I'm positive you'll be making connections here. In my opinion this is one of, if not, the best forum for documentary filmmakers/musicians/whatever out there.
thank you Michael that was really fast I've just found this site thanks again
Welcome, Issar, and thank you for the praise, Michael.
Who else is out there who has been meaning to introduce themselves? ;-)
Hello everyone! I've been producing documentaries for a couple of years with d-word member Ben Crosbie, but have only just now joined the forum! I'm looking forward to connecting with other people who share my passion.
hello everybody, i am what this new year of 2009 had dragged in....
Welcome, Chadid. Would be helpful if you'd tell us a bit more about yourself and your work, other than your friendship with a certain co-host named Burgan ;-)
well if you insist , then i'll throw in a brief introduction of who i am and how i relate to documentary..... here it goes, brace yourselves:
i've always been in love with cinema and film ever since i was a child growing up with my grandmother and uncle who after coming back from his day job as a civil engineer would take me to an arthouse movie theatre ( sadly it's closing now ) to watch a different movie almost every day..... well this passion and love grew up as i grew older and soon enough i found myself landing my first job at the Video/DVD rental store that i frequented alot ....there i have to say i watched my first documentary , the one that made me want to upgrade my passion to becoming a vocation , an occupation , a practice.... no secret that documentary was none other than Chris Marker's "Sans Soleil" , i was 14 at the time .... ( i miss those days of being sourrounded by films me there between them, wondering what worlds and feelings and thoughts those discs retain......let's jump to when i realized i'm not cut to become a mechanical engineer and dropped out to go study filmmaking , but was severely lambasted by my father... so i went into graphic design, and chose to specialize in motion graphics, screen based design....and still wanting to be a filmmaker, it was only when my Danish instructor and friend told me about some folk highschool system in the secluded parts of Denmark.... i naturally applied and found myself in a micro-european community of enthusiats that want to venture in filmmaking.... the first course i took there was documentary ( a rather fundamental course) that broadened my perception ,opened my eyes and gave me certain skills that not only made me visualize , and technically approach filmmaking , but also nurtured my passion for documentaries and my evergrowing intellectual curiosity.... and from there on i tried to take every doc related course given at that institution....no secret that Mr. Burgan was the mastermind behind all those courses and sculpter of my new born documentary intellect.... after the course was over i went back to Lebanon (that peculiar tiny spot of bother in the middle east)... and as with everybody in that part of the world, being a full time filmmaker or any form of artistic occupation is synonymous with being non productive, social parasite , not to mention miserably broke... so i took ona job as an assistant producer for Young and Rubicam advertising (television commercials, radio spots , corporate films,.. what i call film prostitution) but i make ends meet, establish a not so bad network of cast, post production companies, directors, DOP, equipment rental....the full monty of film industry.....
i've been in the writing process of a doc-fiction about "the lebanese current situation" ( political assasinations, religious diversity and it's effect on society, state, and government).....
well that's about it...not so brief i see , then again you asked for it .....
oh just a colsing statement ; to me documentaries are the next level of filmmaking , the elevated intellect if you want ,la creme de la creme .....
Wow, what great unbridled enthousiasm! Good look on the journey Chahid!
If he can combine all that enthusiasm and talent with action, Chahid can achieve great things!
Chahid, we can cetainly use some unbridled enthusiasm among our professional members, so feel free to apply (and get access to all our discussion topics) here
I'm a UK based EP with a long career in wildlife documentary series for international cable and satellite channels. Now working freelance, but also concentrating on trying to make TV and film production sustainable.
So would be keen to hear from anyone who has experience and ideas on how to make documentaries without leaving too big a carbon footprint, and without using heaps of resources.
I live in Los Angeles, CA and have spent the last year doing short documentary style pieces with community organizations. My background is in both community-based research and grassroots media. I currently teach video workshops for high schoolers to learn media in Alhambra and Koreatown, and work as a freelance Assistant Editor.
I am just learning about the feature documentary process, and would love your advice on how to get started!
Whoa, Chahid's here as well. Anyway, one of these long, lonely nights in the exciting town of Ludwigsburg finally dragged me here. I am currently a student for cinematography, but very much feeling the pull towards documentary. We all know there are just so many more interesting stories to be told than what we see in fiction cinema, mostly.
I'm also a disciple of the great Burgan, and very happy to know him, not only for the beer-tasting part of it. After growing up in the remote north of Germany I spent nearly two years in Denmark at the European Film College, then moved to Munich to be an intern at ARRI Rental, and now I made it to film school. Besides the obvious interest for film I love listening to music, playing music, reading, writing, science, psychology, riddles, beer; and I can never concentrate on one thing at a time, thus always wanting to do everything myself. I'm sure I must get over that one day.
I (somewhat lazily, but wholeheartedly) second Chahid's statement: "documentaries are the next level of filmmaking , the elevated intellect if you want". Looking forward to reading your posts!
I spent the last two years of my life as a New Media producer for the Obama For America campaign. Traveled around the country shooting video of the President-Elect at rallies and town halls, events as well as interviewing supporters across the country.
I wasn't much of a documentarian before the campaign; now I'm consumed by it. Hoping to pick up some more tips and hear some stories from the good folks on here.
Welcome, Stefanie, Timm and Chris. Chris, fantastic job and much thanks for your work the past few years!!! You all can sign up as professional members and have access to all the discussion topics here ...
I spent all my life painting, either on canvas or doing large murals,or being involved in public art projects. Then following several working trips in Africa, I got hit by the documentary bug. An intensely satisfying form of expression....
Consumed by a project I have a true passion for, I have been working on a documentary video project for the past 4 years. I completed the Certificate program at Duke University in Documentary Filmmaking 2 years ago and all of this has been a life changing experience for me. My project has obtained fiscal sponsorship from the Southern Documentary Fund and has been fairly successful in fundraising, obtaining individual, corporate and foundation grants (though exceedingly arduous) Now in the post production stage, our project, Miss Nancy Minds Their Manners is scheduled for completion this year! visit www.missnancymindstheirmanners.com
I am also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and have been head of my own graphic and website design firm for more than 25 years.
My, the newbies are coming fast and furious. Warm greetings to Claudine, Martha and anyone else we may have missed.
In reply to Timm Kröger's post on Sat 10 Jan 2009 :
Special greetings to Timm with whom I had a couple of pints of Guinness while he was in Munich for ARRI. Godfather Burgan had brought us together.
Yes, it was truly wonderful. A pity I never managed to see your film. I'm sure I will one day, though.
Somehow John seems to be connected with the words "beer" or "pints" a lot. Wonder why?
It'll cost you a pint to get an answer to that, young man. Welcome to the D-Word where the virtual tap never runs dry!
I've been meaning to introduce myself for some time now. I met Doug Block long ago on a train from MYC to the Flaherty Film Seminar in Aurora New York. At that time I was working in Philadelphia as director of the Neighborhood Film/Video Project, a media arts center specializing in exhibition, community engagement, and eventually we also became the service organization for local independents. And we initiated the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema in 1992 I think it was. So I'm a programmer/exhibitor/festival person with some experience in funding from peer review panels, being on the board of a community foundation, and the board of the long defunct The Film Fund. I also subsequently got to co-program the Flaherty Seminar. Twice. In 1997 I came to San Francisco to help with the SF Asian American Film Festival and also worked at the Hamptons Film Festival. Now I'm director of programming at the San Francisco Film Society which produces the San Francisco International Film Festival and now so much more: year round exhibition, youth education, and since this summer, filmmaker services including classes, residencies, grants and fiscal sponsorship. I'm really pleased to be working again in an organization that supports filmmakers in so many ways. More on our two websites: sffs.org and sf360.org (a daily trade magazine about media art activities in the SF Bay Area). OK, that's some about me. See some of you in Sundance. Anyone going on to Rotterdam?
Yep, Linda, we go pretty far back – that Flaherty Seminar was during year two of the making of my first film, well before I got funding for it. And at un-air conditioned Wells College in the midst of a horrific heat wave. An unforgettable experience.
Anyway, Linda is one of those longtime, unsung heros of the indie film world and it's great having you here with us at The D-Word. A very warm welcome to you.
I have been making, studying, and working on documentaries since about 2003, though I've been cloistered in grad-school world for the past 2.5 years... As I near the end of my MFA I'm looking beyond the walls at the big bad docu world out there, trying to gain an idea of what paths to take. I look forward to learning from others on this forum and adding to topics when I can contribute something of value.
I heard about D-Word when Doug Block visited one of my classes (Prof. Paul Stekler) back in 2006
In reply to Issar Shulman's post on Mon 5 Jan 2009 :
Issar, welcome to d-word! (took me some time to read your introduction...).
Welcome, Madeleine. Wow, 2006, talk about procrastination... ;-) Anyway, glad you finally found your way here.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Please welcome a new addition to the team of Hosts of The D-Word:
For those of you who don't know me I'm a long time member and contributor to The D-Word, although I don't post so often in the Public Topics. That will be changing :)
I'm also a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, having passed through New York, London and Tehran on my way here. I'm all about building community, which is one of the reasons I love documentary work, and so I'm thrilled to be welcomed as a new co-host in my favorite community of all.
I'm currently working on a new project, The Department of Expansion with fellow D-Worder and uber-DP, Nick Higgins and his amazingly talented producer/director wife Kristina.
Finally, I've just joined the Board of Directors of the International Documentary Association, so I'm looking forward to creating stronger ties between this community and the IDA in the months to come.
Big thanks to Doug, Ben and John for inviting me to join them as a co-host, and welcome to all our newer members and enthusiasts!
Marj is a bundle of energy, a truly world citizen, a talented filmmaker, an inveterate networker, seems to have several projects on the go at any one time and still has oodles of karma and good humour to spare. We're delighted to have her join us as our Co-Host. Welcome, Marj!
Hello everyone! My name is Yung Chang. I made a film called Up The Yangtze. I'm a brand-new member here. The great Doug Block came to speak to us at the Canadian Film Center where I'm doing a residency. Thank you Doug for bringing me into this D-world. Also, Ben Kempas and I went searching for whales in Reykjavik in September but to no avail. Our tickets are good for a year. Next year right, Ben? I look forward to meeting, discussing and consuming.
welcome, Yung! great to have you in the D-Word community... absolutely loved UP THE YANGTZE and it totally deserves all the acclaim it has received. personally, i especially appreciate a fellow asian american filmmaker getting notice in a world often devoid of non-white docmakers.
So great that you made it to The D-Word, Yung. Hope you'll hang out here and post often. It was a privilege to meet you and talk to the group. The irony of being asked to share my insights and experiences with other filmmakers is that I probably learn a great deal more from the interaction than they do.
Be sure to let folks here know more about your current project, The Fruit Hunters, in the Works in Progress topic. It's a fascinating idea and I'm sure we can be helpful. Meanwhile, can't wait to see Up The Yangtze which I've heard only great things about.
Welcome, Yung! I saw UP THE YANGTZE last year at the Varsity Theater in Seattle and was very impressed by it. Great to have you in The D-word.
Welcome indeed. UP THE YANGTZE was breathtakingly beautiful. Good to have you here.
A big welcome to the great dam builders from the great dam removers!
And yes, we'll need to claim those whale-watching vouchers. I hear Iceland is rather cheap these days...?
I'm a photographer retraining as doc director & looking forward to learning from this forum
Hey Yung, nice to see you here! I didn't know Ben was in Reykjavik at that time as well. Ben, I hope you got to experience Yung's mad DJ skillz. My wife and I went whale watching as well and didn't see a thing, but seeing as she was seasick, I'm not sure we'll do the freebie. :)
By the way, Yung is a true gentleman, helping my wife and I get a lift home from a far-flung screening (a three-hour silent epic completely in Icelandic, no less!)
Wecome Yung .. always nice to have another Canuck in the room.
His Excellency DALAI LAMA had seen my film in the eyes of FREE SPRIT FILM FESTIVAL 2008. you don't miss it.log on to-www.Glimz.net
Go to documentary section, you can see the film :MAN,FREEDOM & GOD
Hello everyone. I have a question for doc fans: Have you ever heard about a company named CINE TV BERLIN? I am looking for a documentary produced by them around 1984, "Saxons in Transylvania" or "Transylvania's Saxons". I'm trying to find this film for a while so every information is really important for me. Thank you in advance.
Maybe you should post this (with the original German title) to the German Association of Documentary Producers AGDOK
Thomas, feel free to sign up as a Full Member
BTW I think one of my former students is still at Zelig, Francesca Scalisi!
In reply to John Burgan's post on Tue 20 Jan 2009 :
Thank you for this information,John. I'll try to AGDOK.
Hi all. I was referred here off another group, Doculink. I'm a director of photography who's been dabbling in docs for awhile now. I'm currently trying to figure out what to do with a travel show that I have just completed, www.iancampbelldp.com/NativeDestinations. I have 3 1/2 hr episodes ready to go but since my experience has been in production I have no connections with cable networks or any other types of distribution. I'd greatly appreciate any feedback or help with getting some sort of rep or agent.
That was a long winded intro but thanks for reading and I look forward to meeting people here.
Ian, you might want to offer the clips as Quicktimes, as Flash only files are not as accessible.
Dear D-word members,
I am a documentary filmmaker AND the Executive Director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation which has been giving out prestigious journalism awards for 50 years. Broadcast is a (relatively) new category so I am trying to nourish it and hope that some of you fellow documentary filmmakers will submit. Criteria is your film must be about a social or economic justice issue and have been broadcast in 2008!
Please see our website: www.hillmanfoundation.org for more information and to see judges and past winners
Hi to all!
I'm a new member here in the D word and a new documentary filmmaker too. I mean really new! I'm finishing my masters degree in mass communication and my thesis project is a documentary on photography: My first child. I've made a living as a photographer and photography professor for the last few years which makes this new stage an extremely exciting one.
Hi Marcia and welcome to The D-Word. Best of luck on your thesis project. Care to share more about it?
I am a cinematographer based in Los Angeles. However, I spent most of the last year in Cambodia, India, Iraq, Israel, Guatemala, etc. Although I work in narrative films as well, I absolutely love documentaries. I look forward to learning from everyone here as well as sharing my own knowledge. Cheers.
In reply to John Burgan's post on Tue 20 Jan 2009 :
Oh yes!! Francesca is studying here at ZeLIG right now! I'll tell her.
I'm a writer/producer who makes a living on corporate projects but lives for my passion for documenting offbeat subcultures.
After making a bunch of political/history docs for PBS and PBS affiliates, I recently got sucked into the world of traveling county fair daredevils. "Hell Drivers: America's Original Crash Test Dummies," features guys who set themselves on fire for $500 and jump garbage trucks off dirt ramps despite the guaranteed back problems.
After being in about a dozen low-key festivals, I'm getting phenomenal feedback from both monstertruck fanatics and the NPR crowd (very little overlap). Lately, I've been researching the sales agent world to aim for TV before playing the distribution game to NASCAR nation. But I think it's a little too wacky for PBS.
Would love feedback on the trailer if anyone has a moment: http://helldriversmovie.wordpress.com/see-the-trailers/
Glad to be part of this community!
I'm an director/editor living and working in Santa Monica. I mostly get paid to edit crappy reality TV, but in between shows I like to help causes I care about grow awareness and gain support through media. Last spring, I went to the Thai/Burma border with some friends to lay the groundwork for a non-profit trying to bring hope to the people of Burma, and in the fall I traveled all over Africa to shoot a doc for a non-profit based in Nashville. I've done similar work in Sri Lanka, and I edited a short film about an AIDS orphan in Northern Uganda for the non-profit Invisible Children. Currently editing the Africa doc and cursing the sound guy (myself).