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?
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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).
Welcome, Austin, from a guy who recorded a key interview in his current film outdoors without a windscreen and is now suffering the consequences.
curiously enthusiastic outdoors personage, stranger in a strange land, 3 years in NZ after 20 in the USofA.
am taking this year to edit Doc I shot over 2 years in the American West, 2004-5. 220 hours. Daunting but fun. film|fotography|filosophy. that's what I do.
Well, lucky for us that's what we do, too. Welcome to our ongoing online party, Richard.
. . . and I look forward to being part and parcel of your family Doug, thank you.
I'm a documentary filmmaker currently located in my hometown of Reading, PA. For the past year and a half, I've been living in New Hampshire creating short documentaries about the state during the primaries and election. It was there I stumbled upon the topic for my first feature doc – The Free State Project, a modern pilgrimage to New Hampshire by libertarians from around the U.S., intending to influence local and state policy in the hopes of creating a libertarian utopia inside the U.S.
My doc follows four individuals associated with the Free State Project– Two as they are moving to New Hampshire and two who already reside as members of FSP. They all are wonderfully different and bring different dimensions to this film of passionate characters.
We've finished filming, and I'm back in Reading catching up with old friends and editing this project. I plan to move out to L.A. by the end of the year. Can't wait to get to know all of you and learn from your expertise!
A warm welcome to The D-Word, Christina. My guess is you look at your libertarian subjects objectively, but I'm curious if your personal politics differs a great deal. If so, almost always a fascinating tension. Feel free to talk more about the film in the Works in Progress topic.
Hiya! I'm just starting to get back into digital vid. filming and this looked like a great site. I am trying to put together a short doc. and am always looking for advice and tips that can save me time, money and headaches but not always in that order. Short of my own limited experience I don't really have anyone locally to ask about stuff so, here I am. I am very interested in what others have accomplished on shoestring budgets. I've only signed up about an hour ago and have already found some great resources. Thank you! I'm not much of a social butterfly or big blogger type but if someone is interested what little experience I've had, I am willing to share. Then again this may be my last post... Thanks for such a great site BTW. I know it takes a ton of effort for a thing like this to run. Know that your work is greatly appreciated!
Best regards, Jay
Geez, Jay, always thought Cape Coral was a hotbed of documentary activity. Another illusion shattered, but welcome anyway.
Hi all, I'm a sometime filmmaker from Gibraltar, now languishing in the World of Extreme Sports, based in Munich...pays the bills though huh!
Ah, Munich... perhaps then you know Munich's most famous online export, Mr. Ben Kempas? If not, you'll meet him here soon enough. And welcome to The D-Word, Sergio, where we languish 24/7.
Doug, stop it...
Sergio, a big welcome from Munich to Glonn! How did you end up there?`:-)
Theatre- Music- and Filmenthusiast, in the hands of ZeLIG School for Documentary (Italy) since nearly 20 years and running ESoDoc – European Social Documentary (Media-Training-Initiative) creating Productive synergies between NGOs, documenary filmmakers and New Media people. Future of audiovisual production is our (practical) focus.
Welcome, Heidi. It's great to see the first people finding us through Reelisor. Be sure to sign up as a full Member of The D-Word to see all our additional discussion topics. It's free but not automatic.
I am very excited to be here today! A friend of mine told me about this wonderful site yesterday. While I have heard bits and bobs about it, I am pleased I took the time today to say hello. Documentary filmmaking is my passion. I majored in film studies at the University of Boulder where I made my first doc, Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. It is fun to look back and laugh now:). Most recently I produced a documentary that opens in theaters next month called As Seen Through These Eyes, on the surviving art and artists of the Holocaust.
Also, I am currently circulating a short film called Kaziah the Goat Woman on the festival circuit, which I directed and edited.
Finally, you can find my thoughts in the form of a blog on FilmIndustryBloggers.com.
Thank you for all your hard work putting this together!
welcome Amy! one of the editors (Zeb Smith) you worked with on AS SEEN THROUGH THESE EYES was the editor for my film. he doesn't post here very often, but he speaks very highly of your work.
make sure you become a full member here, and then you can see all the really interesting (and time-wasting) parts of the D-Word.
Thanks to all of you and D world. I am very new for making documentary and need your some advice. First I am not sure about camera that from which camera I should shoot documentary. I want my documentary should go in festivals also.
I want to use simple camera which I can rent cheaply but same time festivals should accept documentary which shoot by these camera.
Can some one tell that which type of camera shoot (documentary) is accepted by festivals?
Or festivals only accept documentary which is shoot by some special camera if so please you can mention those camera name (which should be simple and cheaper to rent).
Thanks to all of you and hope to get some good answer.
Try the Panasonic DVX100B for standard definition, or if you have the budget to work in High Definition, try working with the HVX200 or HPX170. But your choice of camera should also depend on what kind of material you are planning to film. Festivals are most interested in good films, not the kind of camera.
Just kidding about the Arriflex 535, BTW.
Lots of thanks James
You say Festivals are most interested in good films, not the kind of camera… please can you say some most simple camera which I can use for shooting and I can rent or buy camera on cheap cost.
Is this true that festivals accept only those films which have Resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, if so which normal and simple camera will give Resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels.
Anand – firstly please note that the D-Word is a "Real Name" community, meaning that everyone is asked to register with their full name, not initials, so please log-in and adjust your profile accordingly.
Secondly, there is no single technical standard for festival submissions – this can be anything from standard definition DV to full-blown HD. Check the festivals own submission guidelines although as James says, the main criterion is to submit a good film.
Thanks, my full name is Anand A.
I am a new person so have these types of question. To make a good film it can be shooting in simple camcorder also and I have simple camcorder almost 4 different companies and one is Sony DCR-HC26 but I am not sure shooting from these camera will be accepted by festivals. So before I start it is good if get clear idea from some professional people like You, James and so many other people then may I can start shooting. And thanks for your advice.
If you say festivals just need a good film then can you say that I can even shoot my documentary with sonny DCR-HC26 and I think this is the simplest camcorder.
Folks, this topic is for introductions only. Newbie questions can be answered in the Mentoring Room . (And you won't be very happy with the HC26 because it basically offers no manual controls...)
Anand, is your last name really just "A"? Are you from India?
hello, I'm rachel leah jones, a documentary filmmaker based in Berkeley, CA (but who want to admit to that, especially these days?! so i wrote berkeley, ca instead...). i'm working on my 3rd doc (previous titles as director include 500 DUNAM on the MOON and ASHKENAZ). i'm editing with FCP right now, which isn't very popular in israel (its an AVID kind of country...) and i need some people to troubleshoot with. i'm not a technophobe, but i'm also not a tech-freak. so, hello...
hello to you, rachel. i'm a bit confused, you say you're based in berkelely but writing berkeley instead? reading between the lines, did you mean to say israel? either way, happy to have you aboard the good ship d-word.
Hi Rachel – great to see you finally made it to the safe shores of D-word. It's been ages. What's the new doc about?
I know how you feel, BTW:
I'm based in Seattle, but I didn't want to admit I was in the United States so I wrote "Iran" instead.
Hi Rachel – Greetings from Wales where Hassina and I now live after leaving Berlin for Denmark back in 2006, living here since last Autumn. Good to see you here at the D-Word, have to get Phillippe on board one of these days.
Quite a few of us use FCP and there is also a dedicated topic if you come unstuck...
In reply to Doug Block's post on Mon 2 Feb 2009 :
doug: yes i meant to write based in tel aviv... but i guess i was so ambivalent, and ambivalent about being ambivalent, that i couldn't even get the words right... anyway, i was born in berkeley, ca. and grew up there as well as here in tel aviv...
james and john: hello! i'd love to see you both in person again sometime.
james: sorry i missed you in seattle, i was there in november showing ASHKENAZ. the new/old (started shooting almost 10 years ago) doc is called GYPSY DAVY about david serva (nee jones) a white boy with alabama roots who reinvented himself as a flamenco guitarist in andalucian boots who fathered five children to five different women along the way, and one of those children is me...
john: sorry you're no longer in berlin, i keep imagining a repeat visit. i guess wales will have to do (after all, i am a jones)... warm regards to hassina!
ok, this probably isn't the time and place to do all this chatting, though i'm glad to encounter friendly familiar faces, so what's my next step in terms of posting a tech problem?
So what's wrong with chatting? We live to procrastinate! And have no fear, Rachel, I highly recommend you change your "Current Location" to Tel Aviv. Always helpful to know where people are currently. And it will keep all our SF area members from being disappointed when they discover you're not in Berkeley.
I have been working for the past ten years as a photojournalist and I am now looking to make the jump into documentary film work out here on the left coast (of course I am located in the Bible-belt of the San Joaquin Valley, smirk). A former professor now colleague mentioned this site as a place I should join.
I have been working in FCP, doing mostly web shorts, but I would really like to not make too many 'tech' mistakes moving forward into documentary work. Looking forward to asking lots of newbie questions and then getting deeper into the process.
What's with everybody missing part of the heads? I guess I'll have to upload a new pix. Wecome Michael.
David, apparently I did not pay the photographer enough.
Used to live right near Kingston, Ontario and climb at the Shawanagunks. The cool part about Cali is now I can get to Yosemite and just visited Galen Rowell's gallery in Bishop.
I'm a new doc film maker who just completed Thom Powers' documentary production class at NYU. There I not only had the pleasure of having Doug Block as a guest lecturer but I also learned of The Stranger than Fiction series where I recently saw Upstream Battle by Ben Kampas, so it seemed only natural to come and sign up for D-Word next.
Right now I'm working on my first doc about the little known but widespread influence of two men who in 1991 made a series of predictions about major social trends and events to come (specifically including events such as the current financial crisis) which have since turned out to be surprisingly prophetic. At the time they published their predictions, Newt Gingrich called their book "an intellectual tour de force" and Al Gore called it "the most stimulating and politically relevant book on American history that I have ever read” and sent a copy of it to every member of congress. (I’m really looking forward to explaining this more and getting as much feedback as possible in the Works in Progress section here.)
While working on that I’m trying to earn a living as an assistant editor Avid/FCP (I own my own Avid system) and also trying to earn extra money by doing transcription by voice with Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software. It’s not something I want to be doing full time but it’s so much faster than regular transcription that when I used it recently during an internship on an Obama documentary everyone there told me it was so much faster and better that there would really be a good market for it in doc films.
Anyway, I hope this intro wasn’t too long but I'm looking forward to meeting some really interesting people here and getting some great feedback and advice on making docs.
Thanks for coming to the STF screening and welcome to The D-Word, Even. (I will spell your name like this until you get my surname right.) ;-)