The D-Word has been very insipirational site for me as I prepare to pitch a documentary proposal..
I feel a little bit of a fraud as I am currently not a documentary film-maker but a television journalist. I began working as a journalist in 1994 but became a producer/director and made documentaries for Channel 4. I moved from documentaries back to journalism in 1999 because of job security and an offer of a BBC staff job which was too good to turn down. Ten years on, four children later, I am still reporting at BBC Scotland but have ditched the crew and editor and now work as a video journalist. I report for our flagship current affairs programme, The Politics Show. Over three days I have to find a story and make a five to nine minute film and arrange a discussion to follow. I film with a Z1 and edit on Avid. My stories are all character led and take me across the world. I was one of the first reporters at BBC Scotland to train as a video journalist in 2002 and have loved the transition despite the huge workload.
For me, the last six years have been about honing my film making and story telling skills so that I can go back to making documentaries when the kids are at school and there are fewer demands from me as a parent.
For 8 years I have been dreaming about making a documentary series set in the Canadian Arctic and I am now finally preparing to pitch the idea to BBC Scotland and BBC Four. In 2001, I spent two months living in the Canadian Arctic and made a series of radios features. It was then that I met my key characters and since I have been building up my relationship with them and knowledge of the area and people. I am now planning to go back in May 2010 armed with my camera. Well that's if they buy the idea!
Now that the proposal is almost in place, I need to think about whether I should be trying to get on a BBC course to use a more advanced camera than the Z1. I'm proposing to self shoot as the budget will mostly be eaten up by travel and staff costs, so there is no room to bring an ap/sound person. There's a lot I have to learn and find out about..so many questions..so I am so happy to have found the d-word..
If anyone ever needs any Scottish contacts/interviews/footage etc, I'd be more than happy to help out as a favour. Or if you're bringing your film to one of our festivals in Edinburgh get in touch. We're only a few minutes walk from the Filmhouse and if you're stuck for a place to say we may be able to help out.