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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.

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Michael Fox
Sat 22 Aug 2009Link

Michael has worked all over Europe, South Africa and the United States with assignments taking him through Africa, the Middle East, Haiti, Mexico and South-East Asia. With more than 20 years of combined experience as a professional photojournalist and videographer, Michael brings extensive knowledge of media communications and marketing, having worked in those capacities at IBM in England, South Africa and the U.S. He continues to work on projects that aim to re-engage public interest in humanitarian and social issues on a local, national, and international basis.

In his years as a photojournalist, Michael has been doused in tear gas, nearly attacked by a mountain lion (which turned out to be a wild donkey), and brought in to land on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. His work has been featured in many leading daily, weekly and monthly publications as well as on MSNBC, CNN and other news-related channels.

Edited Sat 22 Aug 2009 by Michael Fox

Jason Perdue
Sat 22 Aug 2009Link

Welcome Michael in the third person. Glad to see another Bay Area person.


Doug Block
Sat 22 Aug 2009Link

Good to have you aboard, Michael. But, as Jason suggests, we talk in first person here. It's just that kind of place.


Michael Fox
Sat 22 Aug 2009Link

Yes, I caught that. Just a little lazy, this afternoon and cutting and pasting from another bio was much easier.

Good to meet you all!


Tom Dziedzic
Sat 22 Aug 2009Link

Tom Dziedzic also welcomes Michael Fox on D-Word. 8>}


Michael Parfit
Mon 24 Aug 2009Link

Hi, D-Word,

I was involved in various ways – writer, editor, narrator, some photography – in a documentary called "Saving Luna," about a lost killer whale who tried to befriend human beings. It had a good theatrical run in Canada and has been showing on CBC at a couple of different lengths. The film has also had some festival success. I've done a bit of writing in the IMAX nature genre – the films "Antarctica" and "Ocean Oasis" – and a narration script for "Under Antarctic Ice" for PBS's Nature. I've also done some writing for National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines over the years, and a few books. I'm relatively new to the documentary world and I find it to be full of truly awe-inspiring individuals whose ability to innovate technologically and creatively is astonishing. As is their ability to survive. There's a lot to learn.


Marj Safinia
Mon 24 Aug 2009Link

Welcome Michael. I absolutely LOVED Saving Luna. Nice to have you here.


Michael Parfit
Mon 24 Aug 2009Link

Well, thank you, Marj. That's very nice to hear.


Robert Arnold
Tue 25 Aug 2009Link

Hello, D-Word. Shirley Thompson mentioned this group today, and it reminded me that I've been meaning to join for a while, so here I finally am.

I made (produced, directed, shot and co-edited) a doc called "The Key of G" (http://www.lateralfilms.com/), which played on PBS in 2007 and won a Golden Gate Award at the SFIFF. It follows a young man with multiple disabilities as he moves out of his mom's house into an apartment with a couple of his friends/caregivers. I'm distributing it to the educational market via New Day Films. Since I finished that film, I've been doing some editing, shooting, and DVD authoring for hire and looking for a new doc of my own. I've also been working on some short fictional pieces.

I'm excited to poke around this site and to meet some of the other members...


Doug Block
Tue 25 Aug 2009Link

Good to have you here, Robert. Welcome and hope you'll leap right into the discussions.


Jason Perdue
Tue 25 Aug 2009Link

Nice to have you Robert. New Day always well represented at Sebastopol. And tell Shirley she should be here conversing as well. I never see her here.


Robert Arnold
Tue 25 Aug 2009Link

Thanks for the Welcome!


stephen watson
Wed 26 Aug 2009Link

Hi
I have made my first documentary and Penelope Andrews suggested I look at your site. I must say this is an excellent site and I can see why she recommended you. Keep up the good work!! I will be referring to your archives from now on and may ask a few questions when required.

Regards Steve


James Longley
Wed 26 Aug 2009Link

Welcome, Stephen and Robert. Always nice to see new faces in the neighborhood. It's civilized but lonely here, kind of like Edinburgh.


Penelope Andrews
Wed 26 Aug 2009Link

So glad your are checking in to D-word Stephen
Dont to forget to tell everyone on D-word a little about yourself and the film your finishing!
I would also suggest you apply to be a member as soon as you can as it a wonderful community of filmmakers and very helpful.


stephen watson
Thu 27 Aug 2009Link

I got into documentary making because I was inspired by reading my uncles book called 'Grow Jamaica'. The book is about using ganja for food, fuel, fibre and medicine in Jamaica. My uncle (Reverend Leeroy Campbell who died in January 2009 aged 78) was a ganja activist and scientist and under the banner of 'Friends International' they incorporated Cannabis Hemp Research Institute of Science & Technology. He had worked in this field for 20 years with his wife Janice who co-wrote the book.

The documentary and the book both provide a comprehensive look at the economic, social, spiritual and environmental impact of a cannabis industry in Jamaica. Basically on returning from my annual holiday to Jamaica I rounded up my friends who were studying film at university, gave them an outline of what I wanted them to do and paid them to go to JA and make this documentary for me in 2004.

I started a publishing company called Classic Black Press and a website currently being redeveloped and we agreed a fee that they would produce the dvd for me and I would own the rights to the film. They have kept some footage for their library and gone on to other things. As luck would have it I was able to attract some names to the doc (Stephen Marley & Oliver Samuels are probably the most well known people in doc) and a short 10 minute version was credited at the British Film Festival (see utube trailer 'Grow Jamaica').

I then got call to say they wanted to show the whole film at the Caribbean Film Festival. My uncle, his wife and I went to the festival where it was the only film that everyone was talking about. The press came and done interviews etc (which were not aired, as far as I know), an impromptu heated debate began at end of film, and I was approached by David Coy from Palm Pictures, a distributer from Apple and some finance people.

However, some of the music used had not been cleared and although Apple said they could possibly work around this I was new to this business and decided to try and get clearances first and then go back to distributers (probably a big mistake!) or perhaps even self distribute! That was 3 years ago and clearances has been a 'bit of a headache' so I ended up having to do cover versions of the songs that were not cleared (about 10 songs each running for approx. 10 seconds) and edit the movie to accommodate the changes.

Fortunately the musicians and editor (Penelope Andrews brother and his friend) were extremely good and the doc has been enhanced considerably since it was originally made. I have just begun the process of applying for synch rights to enable me play the cover songs in the movie legally in the larger festivals and possibly small theatrical run. It has been a long but enjoyable journey and I have never lost faith in the documentary which deals with a very important issue from a different perspective.

I hope I haven't dragged my intro on for too long but once I started to write it was difficult to condense into a few paragraphs.


stephen watson
Thu 27 Aug 2009Link

By the way I forgot to mention the doc is 60 minutes long


Penelope Andrews
Thu 27 Aug 2009Link

Don't for get to put a picture of yourself at some point!
thats was really intresting...thanks for sharing


Pablo Alvarez
Fri 28 Aug 2009Link

The film looks great Stephen. I really want to watch it. So what will happen with this film now? Maybe move the thread to the documentary films section?


Johnny Boston
Mon 31 Aug 2009Link

Hello. I am a documentary filmmaker who's recent award-winning documentary, "My Name Is Alan and I Paint Pictures", about paranoid schizophrenic New York-based artist Alan Streets is now available for rent on Netflix. Add it to your queue and please feel free to comment. Thanks!

http://mynameisalan.com/


Jesse Epstein
Mon 31 Aug 2009Link

Hello! Been hearing about the D-word for a while and glad to have joined up. Let’s see… I’m in the middle of directing a project on physical perfection – it’s a series of shorts/segments that will be combined to be a feature. Three segments are finished: Wet Dreams and False Images, The Guarantee, and 34x25x36 – and while finishing the project as a whole, I’m distributing them as shorts to schools through New Day Films. Which is how I know Robert Arnold.
34x25x36 is currently airing on P.O.V. and is up at: http://www.pbs.org/pov/34x25x36/

Like Robert, I'm excited to poke around and see what’s on this site. What a great resource this is.


Doug Block
Mon 31 Aug 2009Link

Welcome, Johnny. And a special welcome to the awesome Jesse, who's too modest to talk about her great work keeping Shooting People going all these years. Great to have you here, Jesse.


Marj Safinia
Tue 1 Sep 2009Link

Welcome Jesse! Still clearly and often remember your short Wet Dreams and False Images from SilverDocs. Glad to have you here.


Ciaran Tully
Tue 1 Sep 2009Link

Hi there, My name is Ciaran and I am a professional photographer.Last night I had dinner with my friend Onno.The conversation eventually turned to the D word. I described a film doc. that I want to make and I talked about how little I know about making one. So this morning I woke up with a link to the D-word Onno e-mailed to me, so here I am. This is my website........http://ciarantully.com/


Doug Block
Tue 1 Sep 2009Link

Greetings, Ciaran. Good luck with your doc.


Jesse Epstein
Tue 1 Sep 2009Link

Thanks for the welcome notes. Looks like I signed up just in time for the 10th anniversary party. And, at the Bohemian Hall even.


Doug Block
Tue 1 Sep 2009Link

Be there or be square, party girl.


Ted Fisher
Tue 1 Sep 2009Link

Hi, I'm Ted Fisher.

I make short documentaries and am hoping to move to feature length soon. I blog at http://actualities.blogspot.com/ and http://newyorkportraits.blogspot.com/ and have a filmography at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3299032/ also. I was producer and editor on the New York Times "Frugal Traveler" video series, which won the Webby award in 2008 and 2009. I teach editing, television production and visual effects at a few different schools.

I have two shorts up at Snagfilms currently:

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/hoop_springs_eternal/

and

http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/blind_faith/

This Saturday, I'm screening an 18-minute piece at Rooftop Films.

http://newyork.going.com/event-625191;Rooftop_Films_Storms_Expected

I'm looking forward to meeting everyone.

tf


Doug Block
Wed 2 Sep 2009Link

Welcome, Ted. Feel free to sign up as a Professional member and gain access to all the discussion topics. Here's how ...

Edited Wed 2 Sep 2009 by Doug Block

Gregory Crofton
Wed 2 Sep 2009Link

In reply to stephen watson's post on Thu 27 Aug 2009 :

Wow, sounds really interesting. Any Web sites or trailers to check out yet for the film?


Ted Fisher
Wed 2 Sep 2009Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Wed 2 Sep 2009 :

Thanks!


jade wu
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

New to D-Word. I'm a writer/filmmaker who founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Golden Phoenix Productions, Inc. in 2002. http://goldenphoenixproductions.com

At the time, I started the non-profit for a doc film on what I thought would be a story about my, then 94-yr old, illiterate Chinese-Burmese grandmother who documented over 75 years of her life in illustrated journals by creating her own hieroglyphic language. Her story garnered enough interest to capture a little funding when funding was more available. I was a neophyte in filmmaking, so I lived an "everything documentary" world. I watched films, watched other filmmakers, I learned everything and anything that would help me tell the best story I could tell.

I traveled to Burma, post-9/11, following my grandmother back to her homeland. She had been visiting her offspring in the U.S. and it was time to return, for she feared reliving the horrors of war, something that shrouded her entire life. At least Burma was home to her. Burma was safer, provided one plays by the government's rules, speaks only behind closed doors, and never displays a disgruntlement toward the junta.

It had been 45 yrs since I had visited Burma. People warned me to stay within the tourist boundaries. My parents pleaded with me not to go. My friends kept saying, "please be careful."

I obtained a special permission note from the Myanmar Ambassador in DC. to visit my relatives in the Northern Shan States. It felt like grade school, but I had to abide by the country's laws. Who am I to disrespect another government? Who am I to feel entitled to leniency just because I am an American citizen? I did everything above board.

Despite the diligent measures taken and my special permission note, the day of my arrival in Lashio, I was arrested by the junta and detained for three weeks. They had no clue about any Ambassador nor had they any idea where Washington,DC was. Needless to say, my film suddenly swerved another direction, and for a while, I was run off the road.

I didn't know if I would ever get back to the film, but I had grown addicted to doc filmmaking by then and needed a fix, that truth fix where everything around you has a story behind it that needs to be told. I had to find the right story, one that would stir me, cause insomnia, ressurect that doc filmmaking drive again. I needed to find a story that would parallel mine in graveness, but wasn't about me.

I found that story and I've been living in it for two years now. Production is nearly wrapped on NUMBER 228, the story of Mildred Harnack, the only American civilian beheaded by Hitler's direct order for her sole American involvement in Berlin's German Resistance movement, The Red Orchestra, during WWII.

Several years ago, I secured exclusive lifestory rights to tell her tale in film, television and stage. It's been a grand ride meeting subjects who have resurrected pain and buried truth. I've had a chance to relive their past with them, and through it all, I realized that this film is the precise prescription for me to return to my film about my grandmother. Life's cycle spins in odd ways. I love what I do and I hope what I do does doc filmmaking justice.

Often I work in a vacuum, so it'll be nice to be a part of D-Word. I've been such an ostrich.

Thanks, Doug, for starting this.

Jade


Robert Goodman
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

that's one heck of an intro on the D-word's 10th. Welcome aboard. Our hosts must be busy celebrating. smile.


Christopher Wong
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

welcome jade. you'll find a great community of docmakers here to share with, learn from, and maybe just maybe get arrested with ;)


Marj Safinia
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

Yep, if you're looking for cellmates, I can point you in the direction of 2 gentlemen in particular who come to mind!

Welcome to the D-Word. I can tell you're going to be a great addition.


Carlos Alberto Mattos
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

Hi everyone, anyone. I am a Brazilian journalist, film critic and film researcher who is specially interested in docs. I even created, some 3 years ago, the first Brazilian blog for docs, DocBlog, under the umbrella of big newspaper O Globo (Rio de Janeiro). Now it is temporarily out, but will return in 2010.

For the moment I post (only in Portuguese and not only about docs) at http://carmattos.wordpress.com.

Well, I am here just for the fun or reading and hearing from you. And eventually get some hot subjects for my blog.

Warm regards from Brazil!


Peter Paris
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

Hello filmmakers! I am an editor in Brooklyn. I am hoping to get myself further established as an editor working on anything interesting and that leads me to documentaries.

Documentaries to me are about learning and I'd be interested in working with anyone if they need an editor for short-form documentaries and long-form films. I have a bit of experience in film production and on the advertising level of post-production as well.

I have recently completed a couple of documentary trailers. In the coming months, I'm hoping to expand that into longer form projects and features. Please visit my reel, which at the moment consists of mostly advertising Rips. The address is http://web.mac.com/peter.paris and also to view the documentary trailers at http://www.decadesout.org/

I am also looking for short-form narratives as well if anyone needs an editor for those types of projects. I have experience on both Avid and Final Cut Pro and most HD tape formats.

Thanks too all!

Pete


Doug Block
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

Welcome, Carlos and Peter. Feel free to register for full professional membership for full access to all discussion topics.

Jade, it's wonderful to have you leap right in with that great intro. By all means, make The D-Word your second home!


Peter Paris
Thu 3 Sep 2009Link

Thank you Doug, I hope we can work together in the future.

Pete


wilfred kiumi
Fri 4 Sep 2009Link

Hi am based in Nairobi Kenya we own a small production and rental house. i heard about this forum from some guys i worked with from canada and i think its great.


Ben Kempas
Fri 4 Sep 2009Link

A big welcome to the first new Enthusiasts and Members of the now 10-year-old D-Word. Wilfred, you should also apply for full membership if you haven't already.

Edited Fri 4 Sep 2009 by Ben Kempas

Ruth Somalo
Fri 4 Sep 2009Link

Hello all, I can't believe is taken me this long to join the D-word.
I was having drinks at the beer garden with some of you guys last night, excellent mix of docu networking and party atmosphere. Happy B-day.

I've known about it since its birth, but I was still in Spain getting my first steps in the documentary making world. I think it was in a Patricio Guzman's master class when I heard about it first, for some reason in my head it was archived like something of a "only big documentary makers should join" type of thing. Thanks for being so open and welcoming.

After 5 years in London I moved to NY and I am loving the documentary community/family of people I keep meeting.

My last feature length doc Till You're Told To Stop, about british singer songwriter James Blunt and his story from obscurity to selling 14 million records worldwide and remaining himself through the process, is doing well in Festivals and I am talking to a few sales agents and distributors now. This doc journey has been lonely and hard for the last 5 years, and is finally starting to happen. Find out more at www.tillyouretoldtostop.com

My backdrop idea for this film was Don't look back by DA Pennebaker. I met the legend, the lovely man himself at an STF event this year (later chatted about Rioja wine and spanish cheese). That made me realize that NY is a place where incredible people are happy to share stories and help each other, and I think D-word is a great example of this.

Thanks for having me.


Doug Block
Fri 4 Sep 2009Link

Welcome aboard, Ruth. Great to meet you last night and nice to see you leap right into joining and introducing yourself. Make yourself at home here.


Carlos Alberto Mattos
Fri 4 Sep 2009Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Thu 3 Sep 2009 : Thank you Doug. I am starting by browsing this great forum.


Ben Kempas
Sat 5 Sep 2009Link

Maybe we should change our tag line from "a worldwide community of documentary professionals" to "only big documentary makers should join"...


jade wu
Sat 5 Sep 2009Link

In reply to Marj Safinia's post on Thu 3 Sep 2009 :

Thanks for the welcome note, Marj. Still figuring out how to navigate through D-Word. I'll be in LA next week for pickups and meetings. Is there anyone I should meet with while there?


Doug Block
Sat 5 Sep 2009Link

It's easy to navigate, Jade. Just come on every day and keep clicking on the "Read next topic with new postings" link at the bottom.


Raphaela Neihausen
Sat 5 Sep 2009Link

In reply to Ruth Somalo's post on Fri 4 Sep 2009 :

Welcome, Ruth!! You finally made it over. I am delighted that I get double exposure to you now (both through STF and D-Word). If only I was better about regularly attending those dance classes, I'd get triple the exposure... One day.

I think you'll find the D-Word community very useful for both your existing and future projects, as well as your general enthusiasm for documentaries. Bienvenida!


Raphaela Neihausen
Sat 5 Sep 2009Link

In reply to Jesse Epstein's post on Mon 31 Aug 2009 22:54 UTC :

Jesse! Just catching up on past D-Word posts, and see that you have finally joined as well. Funny, but I always assumed that both you and Ruth were already members since you're so involved in the NY doc community. Anyways, great to see you both here!! It is indeed a fantastic resource, rich with information and community. Thom and I are back in NY Sept. 21, so see you at STF!


Tim Disbrow
Sun 6 Sep 2009Link

Hey, my name is Tim Disbrow, I'm a filmmaker from New Jersey. My production company is Iron River Films LLC. I'm currently working on my first feature length doc. It's called "Card Subject To Change." It's about pro wrestling, more specifically the "Independent Circuit" of pro wrestling which could be compared to the Minor Leagues in pro baseball. The film will be complete in early October.

Thanks!

IronRiverFilms.com

CardSubjectToChange.com


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