Just found you guys and looking forward to learning from you and offering my advice. First question – I've got a bunch of old b & w photos that I'm planning to use in my next documentary. Any suggestions as to how best to scan these to my hard drive and at what ppi for best quality?
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Michael – Welcome to The D-Word. This topic is really for introductions, so I'll keep the answer brief:
As higher resolution means better results but considerably longer processing times, requirements for scanning really depend on the size of the original photos and the magnification to which you wish to electronically "zoom" into them later on. So my recommendation would be to do a test run of the whole process with just a few photos scanned with various resolutions, and you'll see what you need.
More questions? Enthusiasts can post them in our Mentoring Room .
I am an aspiring filmmaker who just found out about this site from a fellow member. I am really interested in new models for marketing, distribution, financing, micro-financing, crowdsourcing, social media, transmedia, and all other aspects of film that are rapidly changing due to the internet. I understand that what I have just mentioned encapsulates much more than just documentary filmmaking, however, it has really been the documentary filmmakers who have been most successful at this (i.e. Robert Greenwald, Sandi Dubowski, etc. etc.).
I am hoping to find some great information on these forums about these topics. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Specifically, I am interested in marketing/promoting videos on YouTube. I recently created a video for a non-profit for which we acquired sponsorship based on the amount of views that we get. The more views=the more donated.
While this video is not a documentary I think it illustrates (along with Pink Glove Dance) a form of altruistic advertising or in essence the most micro way in which to finance a project. Specifically, by donating time people can fund a cause/film.
Here is a link to the project that I just launched: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSkgWJvFeY8
If it is not ok that I posted this because it is not a Doc. Please flag/remove my post and I will post again without the link.
Once again any feedback on promoting/marketing YouTube videos would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Wade, there's plenty to wade through here (sorry, couldn't resist) especially in the Archived Topics (featuring Dubowski etc.) – you could read for weeks on end.
Can't watch your clip right now but it's perfectly acceptable to post a non-documentary link. Our regime isn't that tough. :-)
And welcome to The D-Word! So, who else is lurking out there?
Hi Doug, those two are very cool events. Thanks for posting...
As a newbie I will start with my name, Christa Boarini, my location, New York, and my deal: I am a filmmaker working on my fist feature documentary, The View From Bellas Luces http://www.theviewfrombellasluces.com
This community came very highly recommended to me by panelists in at a doc seminar and this is the first thing I am doing upon getting home.
I'm pleased to have found you.
I'm currently working on several projects that are in the early stages while also in the final throes of distribution of The Edge of Never (www.edgeofneverfilm.com), a feature doc that is playing on Showtime right now. The film is based on a book I wrote of the same name.
We finished it in Sept. 2009, bought an old Airstream bus and hit the road with it. We did 45 shows from coast to coast (we rented the theaters, bought the advertising, did the PR, and charged at the door) over the course of three months. During that time we sold US pay TV rights to Showtime. We're working on getting onto iTunes, etc. with Distribber (Adam C. recommended this forum), have representation for foreign TV (beginning at MIPDOC and MIPTV), and are seeking a bricks and mortar distributor.
Though I've been involved with other projects – the last one, Steep, was sold to Sony Pictures Classics – this is the first where we've tried the hybrid distribution model. It's been a trial and error so far, but it beats the hell out of the all-rights deal.
Looking to learn from others about the many things that I don't know about, and if I do know anything useful, to share it.
Welcome to The D-Word, Christa and William.
Bill, what a great approach to distribution! See you in our Business Topics.
I'm a film editor, editing (&loving) mostly documentary films, because i think its the greatest editing challenge you can get. I'm glad to have found this site with so many colleagues and film professionals, and i will contribute where i can.
All the best
Welcome on board!
(Thomas is a bit modest and doesn't mention he edited BURMA VJ.)
The extraordinarily well edited, Burma VJ, I should add. Welcome, Thomas, and Bill and Christa, too.
I have just joined D-Word which came highly recommended by a friend. I make doc's and I organise film festivals so I'm super exited about joining, learning and adding in from my experiences!
Great having you here, Yasmin. Get thee to the Festivals topic right away. You'll find it super interesting.
I'm the new Executive Director at Full Frame! We kick off two weeks from today with DA Pennebaker and Chris Hedgedus' US Premeire of "King fo Pastry"!
Come down to Durham for the best docs and a great fun festival! April 8-11...
Great to have you here, Deirdre. We've put up a special Full Frame topic for those attending (there's a whole bunch of us) and those wanting to attend virtually. So feel free to drop in and post there, as well.
On a personal note, can't wait to be there and meet you.
I have made a series of documentaries involving public nudity, including Mardi Gras, Key West Fantasy Fest, and Biker Rallies. Always looking for ideas on how to improve my work and find a market for it. I recently self-published a book, "WildLife – Naked Outdoors" available on Blurb.com
You're welcome at The D-Word, Stephen, whatever the state of your attire.
as far as finding a market for it, HBO and Showtime love nudity... in fact, their "premium subscribers" demand it. that's what one of their CE's told me one time.
My name is Ruchi, I love documentary, I want to make documentaries. I'm a student in the Media Studies program at The New School here in NYC and now, happy to be a part of this community. I found you through the strange, but usual, confluence of things. At a talk at school the other day, two filmmakers mentioned Doug Block's 51 Birch Street, and I thought, I'd like to see that. Then the next day I got an email about a screening of the film in my neighborhood. A click on a link, and here I am.
I recently completed a short doc entitled Making the City that showed at the US Super 8 Film and DV Festival. If anyone is interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7XCcKCKu4s
Wow, Ruchi, and here I am. Life sure is strange. Hope I'll get to meet you at the screening on Sunday (if not you can always rent 51 Birch on Netflix). But welcome to The D-Word, regardless.
I just signed up. It's great finding this community. After surfing through several of the forums I'm blown away by the quality of the discussions and the good solid advice being passed around.
While I do have a doc on the back burner – I'm a post-production guy who does a lot of work with documentarians. Doc work is my most satisfying work... and often the most challenging.
I run my own boutique post house in NYC, specializing in Final Cut Studio workflows. I am also the President of The Moving Pictures Collective of NYC ( www.mopictive.org ), which is 501c3 and a D/B/A of the NY FCP User Group. Its mission is educating digital filmmakers through monthly meetings and educational events.
Since I'm a vendor-type guy as it relates to docs, I'll cut short the details of my business life and just say: Thanks for having me! I look forward to helping out when I can. And I'm sure I'll have some questions for all of you!
Good to have you here, Patrick. Glad you found us. Feel free to jump right into the discussions.
I'm a filmmaker from Zimbabwe and I've been in the industry for almost 5 years. I've been researching two docs for about a year now both focusing on our capital city, Harare – one on water and the other on garbage/waste management, both hot topics here. We hope to start shooting in the next couple of weeks.
It's really exciting to find such an incredible resource on the web – thanks so much to all of you D-Worders who make it happen.
Welcome to The D-Word, Patrick and Nigel.
Nigel, you might want to connect to our other man in Harare.
Welcome to Nigel and Patrick. I remember your posts at Creative Cow, Patrick, your expertise is welcomed. As Ben says, you're our second member in Zimbabwe, Nigel, so go out and spread the D-Word!
The hidden section? Oh yes...
Good day to all, I am fuelled! Is that the way I should begin? I have written a book and script which tells true accounts of the wrongs within the justice system. There has been a great deal of interest in hearing this story. Now I am searching for direction as to how to get this very important film out there. After reading many of the posts, I am confident that forum will help me acquire knowledge that will guide me.
...and for now, I thank you
No rules on how to begin, Marian. Good day is as good as any ;-)
Is your script for a fiction film or doc? Is it finished?
In reply to Nigel Hulett's post on Sun 28 Mar 2010 :
(I didn't even tell him about D-word, I swear. I was keeping this secret all to myself.)
Nice work with Mana by the way – Nigel is quietly going about saving our most beautiful National Park from being destroyed.
And he lent me a spare battery and some filters for my recent trip to Mozambique.
And he organised the Age of Stupid screening here.
And other good stuff.
Thanks for the welcome and kind words Ben , John and Simon. Glad to have found the D-Word treasure chest, even though my fellow countryman was keeping it secret!
Hi, I have an idea for a documentary short that has 1st place at Sundance etc written all over it. It's called "The Holy Ark of the Covenant – The Crystal Meth Controversy."
I have been able to prove on paper that the Ark of Covenant (and the Batteries of Baghdad) were used to manufacture amphetamines in a process similar to the way Crystal Meth is produced today. You can read all my evidence here at http://ark-of-the-covenant-crystal-meth.blogspot.com/ to see that I am not kidding around. This is a very real and bonafide Biblical, Archeological, Societal, Anthropological etc bombshell. This information will literally change the way we see the ancient world and just might influence the shape of the modern and future world for all times sake. This discovery is that important.
A little about me. First of all I don't know anything about film making. I have worked before as a production assistant and back ground extra on some feature films before but that certainly has not prepared me for anything quite this spectacular. I do have an associate of arts in creative writing and a diploma in business administration. So, I should be able to pull this off with a little help from an organized producer. What I need is someone who 'sees the light' and really believes in this project for it's cultural significance. But, more importantly I need someone who can make this thing work financially and just get it done and off to the market because I know already this film will be a big hit and very controversial. So, in other words it has what it takes to make it big.
If this sounds like a project you are interested in then just email me and let me know.
I am ready to start work on this anytime.
Norman Christian Hoffmann
Just embarking on a video production of documentary/interview style on material related to machinery and vehicles specifically.
Narrow target market but of great interest to the petrol heads and machinery nuts out there. Think Top Gear and Long way Round.
Hello all. I don't know how the D-Word escaped my grasp thus far. I'm a documentarian lucky enough to be based in Austin, with a sizable and supportive film community including a fairly sized documentary filmmaker cohort.
I've produced a number of "successful" documentary shorts and have been wrestling with my own identity as a documentary filmmaker for too long. I have finally accepted my destiny and the associated constant scrambles for funding.
Have researched for years and just recently started production on a feature documentary about the late Dock Ellis which I am writing, directing and producing. Dock is best known for his LSD inspired baseball no-hitter, but the back story on his life and times is perhaps even more fascinating. If you're curious, subscribe to the @dockumentary twitter feed. We're shooting interviews on DSLR and (despite the constraints) I find it to be a game-changing format for documentarians.
My core interests converge at the intersection of 21st century information architecture and classical ethnographic documentary. I think regularly about applying software development best practices like scheduling and asset management to the documentary sphere; crowd sourcing – funds, transcriptions, animation, and even user-generated content. I like to think about how the iPhone/iPad and mobile devices can be incorporated into documentary production. I also have some some thoughts on the crossover of gaming and documentary film, which I hope to apply to the current project.
Thank you for emailing.
The script is a completed true story dramatic film dating back to 1979, Sexual assault by a uniformed police officer. This was a groundbreaking case that set three precedents and changed law across Canada. There has been great interest in the case that people are getting hold of me and asking an awful lot of questions so I have begun speaking to groups about the legalities and assault of 1979 and the civil suit of 2008.
Some individuals have suggested that I do a documentary first and a film later, anything is possible.
I could go on and on about this – enough about me.
Thank you for asking.
In reply to Doug Block's post on Sun 28 Mar 2010 :
I'm a doc filmmaker and TV doc/series editor (pays the bills) and programmer for a sweet up & coming, invitation-only doc fest I helped create three years ago here in my old hometown of Salem, Massachusetts (I'm back here after 30 yrs in NYC). Since returning, all those juices I put into my doc making have been diverted into community actions and the creation and sustaining of Salem Film Fest. Looking for new inspirations here to re-juice my filmmaking; and wanting to keep my eye on films for year 4 of our fest (March of 2011). We have kind of a different model for our fest – no application fees, and everyone who screens gets an honorarium paid by a sponsoring local business.
welcome joe. sounds like a very refreshing take on film festivals... please, please invite me ;)
Welcome Joe, Marian, Jeffrey, Phil and Norman! Lots of new folks around here. Norman, could this be an explanation for Jesus walking on water?
Hi Joe! Joe directed HAND OF GOD, an amazing doc that played at our festival a few years ago, and won our audience award for best documentary. It's a very compelling and personal look at Catholic Clergy abuse. A timely subject given recent headlines...
All hail the Ashland Indie Fest!!
Funny how the subject of HoG just won't go away, huh? I guess it's clearly no longer an "American problem," which is how the Vatican tried to explain it away before.
Hi, I have been producing and directing documentaries since –can't be true! – the early sixties back in the days when network owned TV stations were fearful enough about losing their valuable franchise on the public airwaves that they put some of their ill gotten gains into what used to be called Public Affairs programming. Was a fantastic opportunity for a guy right out of Journalism school to learn and learn fast. At WCAU in Philadelphia we had a weekly doc series, four major documentary specials a year, three shooters and three editors and won our share of Peabodys, Ohio State, Emmys and film festival awards. Moved on to Westinghouse station in San Francisco to head up a four man unit that produced four or five documentaries a year, where I got my first Steenbeck editing experience. Since then spent too many years producing and directing syndicated magazine formats with doc segments and couple of reality based kids shows for syndication and PBS.
Couple of years ago formed JC Productions, fancy name for a one man band, writer-producer-director, DV shooting, Premiere and Avid editing – producing affordable short documentaries for non profits like the Salvation Army and Make a Wish group Sunshine Kids Foundation and non profit housing developers.
Right now taking a big leap, self financing a process documentary on a LA African American Dance Company's production of a ballet based on Laurence Dunbar poem about having to "Wear the Mask" to get by in the white world.
Exploring non profit status thru the IDA but finding funders is a whole new ballgame to me, love to find a co producer who is a pro.
Welcome aboard the good ship D-Word, Jim, and good luck with your funding.
Hi, I'm Marina, and I'm a producer in Brazil. Now I'm producing a documentary film wich has footage in Lima, Peru; Washington and Michigan, US. Wolud like to recive informations about procedures filming in these cities. Mainly about Temporary Importation, because of the equipaments My directors will take.
Hey D-Word types,
I just joined up after leaving my job as a Interactive Creative Director in advertising. My background is in documentary film making and motion graphics. I've got lots of ideas in the works and am writing proposals and treatments like crazy right now. I am really interested in the potential of interactive, non-linear story telling in documentary. If you are into the interactive possibilities as well, hit me up. Interactive story telling is the wild west right now and anything can happen. I'd love to kick ideas around.
Cory, there's a solid d-word crew in Seattle- keep an eye on the "face 2 face" topic for the next get together, or suggest one yourself. Beer always seems to go over well with them.
Hi Cory – I'd love to talk with you further about this. I've been thinking about non-linear storytelling and interactive possibilities a lot on my own and then was extra buzzed after having a great chat with my friend, Elan Lee, and also attending a couple wonderful panels at SXSW. I'm also currently plotting out an interactive project to complement the doc I'm currently producing. Drop me an email or call to talk about storytelling anytime.
I'm just getting my feet wet in the world of documentary and, lacking a formal education in the field, I'm starting very much from scratch. So I hope there is some space here for a someone with training-wheels.
My ambition is to transform how tourists experience a place by using documentary story-telling to create engaging and informative multi-media guides. Kind of like your guide-book on steroids.
For example, I want the tourists standing outside Buckingham Palace in London to see more than just concrete and marching soldiers. What is the history of the building? How did it become the symbolic seat of the monarchy? What is it's significance in Britain's history? Why is it relevant today?
I think a guide presented as an historical documentary can be an exciting way for tourists to learn about their surroundings – one that is more appealing than the standard-issue guide book.
I am from an (IT) technical background so I feel pretty comfortable about content delivery. However, content creation is going to be a challenge. At the moment the largest hurdle seems to be sources of affordable footage and stills. Getty/Corbis etc. have scary prices for someone without corporate backing. It would be great to hear if there are any other sources of material for historical documentary makers.
What a wonderful site! I am a screenwriter and freelance journalist based in Derry in the north of Ireland. My passion is movies, documentaries and music. I am currently conducting research for my third movie script (recently finished the final polish of my first script with my second on its third draft). I have a few ideas for documentary films / series that I have been developing (only really in subject research for now) and am currently finding out the best ways to get the first project underway – getting a team together, getting it financed, getting it picked up etc. It will be great to hook up with some like-minded souls on here, and I look forward to getting in touch with some of you soon.
All the best,