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?
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.
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?
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.
that's one heck of an intro on the D-word's 10th. Welcome aboard. Our hosts must be busy celebrating. smile.
welcome jade. you'll find a great community of docmakers here to share with, learn from, and maybe just maybe get arrested with ;)
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.
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!
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!
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!
Thank you Doug, I hope we can work together in the future.
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.
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.
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.
In reply to Doug Block's post on Thu 3 Sep 2009 : Thank you Doug. I am starting by browsing this great forum.
Maybe we should change our tag line from "a worldwide community of documentary professionals" to "only big documentary makers should join"...
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?
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.
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!
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!
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.
Hallo colleagues from all over! Nice to be here (thank you Ben that you invited me). I'm a Peruvian-Dutch filmmaker, Heddy Honigmann. I live in Amsterdam, where you're welcome (and not only during the IDFA). I have a son I adore, Stefan (he just started to study film) and a friend, Henk, I really love. When I do not film I'm not so happy. This is one of these days :-(
So go quickly and take a look in my website:
My photo will follow one of these days.
Why I read under the space for my photo "enthusiast" ?
I am a wildlife photographer and just completed my 1st Documentary on Snow Leopards. Well, it took almost 18months for me to complete this film.
I do have a day job in IT too.
Hope to learn a lot from here.
Thanks a lot :O)
Welcome Carlos, Ruth, Wilfred, Peter, Jade, Gregory, Tim, Amit, Ted, and anyone else who has entered through the saloon doors of D-Word in the recent past. And a big welcome to Heddy who is my docu-hero. We're not happy either when you are not doing film.
Welcome, Heddy and Amit. Heddy, can't tell you how many admirers you have here, we've discussed your films often in our Documentary Films topic. So become a member soon so you can join in and have access to all of our topics. Amit, feel free, as well.
I've seen too few of your films Heddy but O Amor Natural is truly a delight.
In reply to Heddy Honigmann's post on Mon 7 Sep 2009 :
Welcome, Heddy. "Forever" is one of my very favorite films.
Welcome Heddy. I've been following you at San Francisco Int'l for years where they always seem to show at least one of your films. "O Amor Natural" is the film I often find myself thinking about.
That's very funny- I was actually watching "Forever" last night, and was going to post about it here on d-word today. I was so moved by your ability to express the humanity of your subjects, and I searched around a bit online about your filmmaking process. I found the following youtube clip, where you say that "when someone is in front of the camera, I have to love them to film them." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWBYf7Je0AM
Anyways, I'm very inspired by your films, and I'd love to learn more about your filmmaking process if you stick around d-word a bit. Welcome!
Hello Amit, John, Erica, Doug, Robert, Ted, Jason, Andy and all the ENTHUSIAST host & members of this great site, D-Word. I love very much NY, SF, Minneapolis, Chicago, Toronto and other cities where I was very welcome in the past and where I had good (and real) discussions about the ins- and outs of filmmaking and the production of documentaries. The discussions are endless because doc-world is absolutely rich. And that is one of the reasons to join D-word: in the Netherlands, with it's big doc tradition (from Ivens till Van der Keuken), the discussion between colleagues is dull and dull are also most of the ones who write about this art. And of course there are exceptions! But I don't think we have a "John Anderson" (the guy who probably everybody here knows and who appears in the youtube short fragment Andy mentions). You have plenty of great festivals arround you, as Tribeca, SFFF, Toronto, Hot Docs, Chicago, etc; you have plenty of people busy deffending the GOOD film, you have Sundance (in all it's forms), ITVS, HBO and others. Colleagues respect the work of others. The documentary film climate seems to be healthy in the US. Or am I wrong? I would like very much to know what do you think about this. It could be that I idealise -if it's a correct English word and do not see how difficult it is for you to find the funds to film.
Best wishes with all your projects!
Heddy, glad to see that you followed me, but you're still only half-way there, really. Complete the profile and become a full member. It's free, but it's not automatic, as we're working to keep any fake Heddies out. :-)
A big welcome to everyone else, too!
Oh, it's plenty difficult here, Heddy. Now that you're a full Member, you can go to the Funding (North America) topic and see for yourself. Again, a warm welcome to The D-Word.
Thanks Ben (I became a member), so I followed your advice for the second time. Why you're a host and not a member? And beeing a host how could you welcome me as a member? I'm curious!
Doug, now I go with my laptop from place to place. For some weeks I'm an exile: I needed to reconstruct parts of my house and there are delays (now already 3 weeks). When I'm back home I'll go to the Funding and read. But my questionn was not only in relation to money. I would like to know if there is a bond between colleagues, if makers help each other, are happy when someone makes a beautiful film... that is the idea I got reading personal and general messages in Facebook and maybe it's a romantic idea?
I think you'll find that community spirit in more abundance here at D-Word than just about anywhere else- at least, that's been my experience.
Heddy, if you find time to poke around some of the topics in D-Word, you will see that collegial bond in action. I actually would answer your question about whether the documentary film climate is healthy in the U.S. by saying a resounding "yes." Indeed it is not if one were to only look at it from a money perspective. The competition for limited funds has always been tight in the States and it has gotten much worse this year as arts funding has been cut in many states, corporations have fewer revenues for their foundation sides, and private foundations have been pinched as well. But somehow the scrappy spirit which you need to be a doc-maker in America also creates a deep need for a community in which to share the joys and frustrations of making documentaries, as well as a shared love for discussing documentaries. D-Word and Facebook both provide a place in the virtual world and there are a number of local organizations which provide the regular face to face sustenance which is also so very needed.
Curious to know why you find the conversation among the Dutch colleagues dull? What makes it dull?
P.S. The hosts will probably recommend this conversation be continued in another topic since this one is generally reserved for introductions only. You are well past introduction and into discussion. So maybe continue this discussion in the virtual Bar & Grill?
Yes, Erica's right, this should move to the Bar. So I'll only add that there's a lot of collegiality here in the U.S. among documentarians in person, but I've also found that to be true in most places I've visited. Far more than among fiction filmmakers, that's for sure. But there's always a healthy amount of envy and spite, as well. It's called being human, I guess.
Hey Y'all. I haven't posted in a while and not sure if I ever really intro'd myself. My name is Shelly and I am trying to make my world today in documentary editing. I've been doing it for 4 years now and am thoroughly enjoying all the NYC doc people I've been meeting along the way!
Now for a question: The doc I'm currently working needs a male actor to mimic the voice of one of our subjects for use as scratch narration. We'd like to get some one who can come very close to the person's real voice as we may use a cut with this narration to send into festival applications, etc. Does anyone know the best way to go about finding and hiring voice talent or actors? Our budget is small, so I'm sure we couldn't pay too competitively but, would try to offer a decent wage. I've posted on Backstage but was hoping for more suggestions. Does anyone know anything about contacting talent agencies or casting directors? Any advice would greatly help as I am totally inexperienced in dealing with actors. Thanks!
Hey everyone! My name is Taylor Van Sickle and I'm producing a documentary. I'm a senior at Utah Valley University and I'm in the Digital Media program. I'm doing the documentary for my senior project. It's going to be about my personal discovery and research of my 5th great-grandfather. Frederick Kesler. He was a millwright in Utah in the 1800's and built over 35 mills of different types and was a very interesting character. It's my first project of this size and scope. I'm hoping that this site will help me through the process of production. Any advice whatsoever would be useful!
In reply to Shelly Helgeson's post on Wed 9 Sep 2009 :
Shelly, I've used Voices.com for projects in the past. You can post a project proposal on the site and then different voice talent will send you what they would charge for the project. It would definitely want to check it out! Hope that helped...
this really belongs in the mentoring room. I would contact all the casting agencies listed in the New York Film Guide and ask for their non-union voice-over demo reels. Most are likely to be online at this point. Find the person or person you like and then contact the agency or the person and make them an offer. If you have a little bit of money, make sure you're organized so the person can get in and out in under an hour.
My apologies. I will move now! But, thanks for the helpful info already!
My name is Tomás and I am a Colombian TV commercial director currently residing in NYC. My work in advertisement has given me an approach to the audiovisual language, but at the same time it has distanced me form the “reality” that I’m very eager to explore as an individual and through the camera lens. Therefore, since some time ago, I am interested in exploring my own documentary language. I am pursuing this exploration by currently taking the Documentary Production Workshop at The New School in NYC. As a final assignment of the workshop, I will make and present my first documentary short film of 7 minutes. In Colombia I have been working as a documentary theory, film history and filmmaking teacher at a range of universities. I have also contributed extensively to a range of workshops around the country organized by the Colombian Ministry of Culture.
I am 33 years old and for the last 12 years I have been producing images for other people and teaching others filmmaking. Being in NYC has triggered me to do my own film and the time to start to work in my own dreams has come.
Welcome, Taylor. I highly recommend you look through our vast list of archived discussions, which is available to Enthusiasts. You'll get all sorts of production advice there. And feel free to ask questions in the Mentoring topic, as Robert suggests.
And welcome to Shelly and Tomás, as well. Both of you should feel free to apply for full D-Word membership (it's free) by clicking here ...
Hello everyone, my name is Esther and I am doing my first documentary. A graduate of Dramatic arts, published writer, done a feature but decided on doing historical documentary of my people. Had it mapped out but now it's a differnt game as I have landed myself with too much researched materials being on it since december 2005. So now I watch the pictures on my editing table wondering which should be relivant? I'm being honest here because I need proffessional advice. I have read so much doc. but still need more info as i draw close to rounding up in early december 2009. Ok! let me talk less after all I just got here. Just one more thing, I think info on presentation style or story structures so as to attract funding for a television broadcast will help. Soon you will read about my experience, that I think should even be another doc. on it's own. An experience. i do love to share my experience and learn more from you out there. Thanks.
In reply to Tomás Corredor's post on Thu 10 Sep 2009 :
While you are at The New School, be sure and participate in some of the "Doc Talk" events they host. Often it's a chance to meet filmmakers and discuss their work face to face.
A warm welcome, Esther. Glad you found us and good luck with your doc. You might want to read a special week-long discussion we did here devoted to Story Structure in our vast archives.
Hello, My name is Floyd Webb and I am a docfilmmaker living in Chicago. Working on my first doc after working with a lot of interesting people, I also do short 3 minute profiles of Chicago people.
Of late I am working on a project that got me tied up in a Federal lawsuit over Fair Use in Boston. The case may be dismissed Sept 28, we will see. The film I am making covers a century of the marginal social community of martial arts from Teddy Roosevelt's Judo dojo in the White House to the Dojo Wars of Count Dante in Chicago.
This is site looks like it could be a very interesting place.
In reply to Niam Etany's post on Wed 12 Aug 2009 :
Thank you for the nice words...
In reply to Yocheved Sidof's post on Thu 13 Aug 2009 :
Yes, a fellow Minnesotan living in LA... and yes diehard Viking fan. My two biggest passions film and football. It's great to you.