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Erica Ginsberg
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Miles, it looks very much like a documentary to me. It makes me
think a little of Alan Berliner. I actually prefer the interactive
nature of your piece and am not sure it would work as well as a film
as it does as a website. How long did it take you to construct and
what gave you the inspiration in the first place?


P.S. My dad went to Bronx Science too, but he's about 7 years younger
than your dad.

Dani Dion
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Welcome Miles - I'm curious about how the FAQ's failed to ask why you
never use names in the pictures of your children. Just curious.

Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
Dani....

Well one might question the wisdom of posting pictures of one's children on the web at all "in this crazy old world of ours...."

Not using their names seems like an obvious precaution, given that I have chosen to be public with their images. Maybe you have to be a parent to see how obvious it is?

Why not ask it in my FAQs? Well I never ask it, and you are the first person to ask it.... so it isn't frequent yet I suppose... ;-)

Miles


Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
Erica, Thanks... I honestly don't think that my life is "yet" a good subject for a film documentary... At 43, I still have vague hopes that it might turn out to be a good subject, but at the moment a web autodocumentary seems like a much more modest and appropriately scaled kind of documentary. I mean, I think I'm fascinating and all that... but not feature film fascinating, if you know what I mean. My web site is a celebration of the ordinary... or would be if it wasn't so not ordinary to celebrate the ordinary...

I'd like to see a world of hundreds of documented lives, portraying the face of ordinary life. I'd like my web site to be an inspiration for others to represent their "ordinary lives" (which of course cease to be ordinary as soon as they are represented). A few people have told me that my web site has had that effect on them, making them want to look into their past and document the reality of their lives... Nothing makes me happier than to hear that it has that effect on people, to hear that when they look at my life, they begin to think about their own life and want to represent it.

Thanks for your comments!

Miles


Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
...oh and Erica, you asked how long it took to make... maybe a year or so, with many evenings in front of the computer scanning, looking for the right photo.... It is of course not finished, since their are many other old photos, sometimes "better" ones, that I may yet use, and of course I'm planning to live the rest of my life as an ongoing documentation project, so every year there will be a few new photos to add, a few new stories to tell.

Even worse, one quickly realizes that one's past doesn't stay the same as one ages, so that the true story of my adolescence or young adulthood keeps changing, and will need to be retold....

This raises the question of what to do with the "old" versions of my past.... See the representations of my past on the web site are really representations of myself at the time they were written, circa 2000 and 2001.... but now its 2002 and I have new truths about my past that I understand....

... and so I really need to archive each version of the entire web site with each passing year to see how my auto-representation changes over time... Well you see the problem this could create if one had too much time on one's hands.

Fortunately, I have other things to do, so I hope to avoid that level of complexity. I will probably just discard the old versions of my past, as time and wisdom lead to new understandings, although they may be saved in some great Google index in the sky somewhere....

Besides, although the words I write will change, the pictures themselves constitute a kind of solid data point that is fixed, even as the meanings I ascribe to them in words may change. Post-modern issues with photographic representation notwithstanding, I think photos ultimately are data about reality, and they have a certain reassuring solidity that my changing words about the past will always lack.


Erica Ginsberg
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
To me, the most powerful documentaries are the ones which are
celebrations of the ordinary. I guess many others feel the same and
that is why you have had enough of and impact to make others want to
do the same thing.

As for your question about adding information to past years, maybe
you could add little postscripts to each year as you "discover" more
about your past rather than creating multiple versions.

Robert Goodman
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
personally i love the idea of layering your impressions of years
past. How did Miles feel about turning 40 when he was 40 and when he
turns 50. In fact you could make a website that would be just about
one year in your life seen through the mirror of time.

my free idea for today.

Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
I like your idea Robert... but perhaps it requires a level of self obsession that even I have not yet risen to? :-)

Thanks Erica also..


Donna Barker
Mon 12 Aug 2002Link
Hi all,
I've just decided to re-pursue a passion I've had since I made my
first doc fim in '89. Worked in the industry for two years in
Montreal and Paris and then had to get a "real" job to pay my
student loans. Here I am, eleven years later, loans paid off and a
film burning to be made inside me.

I'm looking forward to getting to know what I'm about to embark
on...words of wisdom...(no need for the warnings, I've already
gotten lots of them from friends and family!).

Doug Block
Mon 12 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, sucker, er, Donna ;-) Just don't take out any loans to make
your doc, ok?

Seriously, I admire your persistence and passion. Good luck and hope
we can help.

Aleksandra Sarcevic
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Hello Everyone,
This is my first time being registered for such a thing as this one
is. And it is nice to be here!
Ok, Let's see... I am a great documentary lover... I have a nice and
interesting experiences in producing and financing documentaries...
and I think I know world documentary scene quite well...
I am coming from a small country, from the Balkans, and I am looking
forward to talk to you...

All the best

Aleksandra

Doug Block
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Nice to have you join us, Aleksandra. We would like it even better
if you would join The D-Word Community, which is our ongoing
discussions for documentary professionals from around the world:
www.d-word.com/join.

That goes for all other doc professionals out there.

Erica Ginsberg
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Yes Aleksandra. We need more Balkan spirits in the D-Word Community.

Aleksandra Sarcevic
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Thanks for welcoming me, Doug!
I already sent an e-mail (subject: acces) to The D-Word Community,
and I am waiting for the answer...
Let's hope the best.
Aleksandra

Also, thanks to Erica for the support!
The Balkans spirits are now here!
Let's enjoy!

Denis Mueller
Thu 22 Aug 2002Link
Hello! This is my first time on the discussion board. I am a
documentary filmmaker doing a program on the activist/historian
Howard Zinn auther of "A People's History of the United States."
We are trying to find the donnet fund. Does anyone have an idea
where they are?

Denis Mueller
Thu 22 Aug 2002Link
My name is Denis Mueller, I'm new here, and I am producing a
documentary about Howard Zinn the activist/historian. He is
known mostly for his book "A People's History of the United
States." I'm looking for the Donnet Fund. Can anyone help me?

Doug Block
Thu 22 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, Denis. If you accidentally double post again, you can
simply click on the yellow Erase button to the top right of the post.

You can write to the Donnet Fund at 302 West 12th Street, #10E, New
York, NY 10014, attn: Jackie Donnet.

Aileen Tu
Thu 29 Aug 2002Link
hello all,

well after turning 30 this year, i decided to rethink my career and
take the big jump to go back to school to pursue documentary
filmmaking (for love if not for money). i'm trying to build up some
knowledge and experience before applying, so i'm currently taking my
first documentary filmmaking class through an extension program. it's
been an *interesting* initial experience to say the least. i'm glad i
came across the d-word and think this list will be a great resource.

Doug Block
Thu 29 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, Aileen. Glad you realize this is a "labor of love" kind of
career. Hope you saved your pennies from the previous one ;-)

Lotsa luck.

William Ross
Mon 2 Sep 2002Link

hello

alerted to the existence of this previously unsuspected community, I have come to poke about.

I'm web geek, not film geek, but responsible for www.climatechange.tv and tv.oneworld.net and generally up to my arse in video nonsense at the moment, and therefore interested in (and probably able to help with) questions about streaming video and the form of the online documentary and all that.



Doug Block
Mon 2 Sep 2002Link
Good to have you here, Will. But pleeeease join us at The D-Word
Community, where all of our members hang out.

Just email me your Utne user name and password and I'll register you.

Churchill Roberts
Mon 9 Sep 2002Link
Hello. I'm Churchill Roberts, professor and co-director of the
Documentary Institute at the University of Florida.
www.jou.ufl.edu/documentary I teach courses in documentary film
history and, along with three colleagues, produce documentaries for
the PBS network. Our most recent documentary, "Freedom Never Dies:
The Legacy of Harry T. Moore," aired last year on PBS. I enjoy
discussing documentary and learning what others are doing. When we
are not teaching, my colleagues and I travel a great deal and, when
we don't have a shoot, try to attend documentary conferences. My
colleague Sandra Dickson will be attending a RealScreen conference in
New York this month and next month I'll be going to Berlin for the
World Congress of Producers of History. My other two colleagues
(lucky devils) will be going to Sundance. In July I visited the
Munich Film School and was most impressed with the faculty and
students there. I look forward to corresponding with
you.

Doug Block
Tue 10 Sep 2002Link
Welcome, Churchill. We'd love to have you join The D-Word Community
(www.d-word.com/join).

John Greer
Tue 10 Sep 2002Link
Hello All,
I am a newby to this scene. I have a background in various media
(audio, still photography, graphics,and of course video). Doing docs
has always been something that I wanted to do but never had the
resources until about 3 or 4 years ago. Docs are,(in my humble
opinion)an incredibly important tool for voiceing topics and
information that mainstreem media can't or won't do justice to. I
hope to contribute my two cents before I check off this planet.I have
two projects I am working on. One being a look at the Jazz history of
Baltimore from the grass roots to the present.Your forum is
invaluable because this kind of knowledge and insite can't be taught
or bought. I look forward to taking part in as well as learning from
your forum.

Sincerely,

John

Doug Block
Tue 10 Sep 2002Link
Hey, John, it's nice to have you here and do take part. I applaud
your eagerness to leap into the daunting docu-making fray. It's a
long haul making a doc, so hold onto that spirit.

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