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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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Steve Mennie
Mon 9 Dec 2002Link
Hello..

Greetings from the depths of South-central British Columbia in
Canada.I'm a newbie in the field of documentary film making having
spent he last 30-odd years as a painter and printmaker. But am
definitely moving into video as a medium and feel that a place such
as this forum will be invaluable as I do so. I promise to keep dumb
questions to an absolute minimum and am mainly interested in
exploring others' views and approaches to the art of documentary
film.

Doug Block
Mon 9 Dec 2002Link
Nice to have you here, Steve. Welcome.

Fil Sibley
Wed 11 Dec 2002Link
Hi fellow doc' lovers, I have been in the doc side of production for
several years, mostly digital productions, I am heavily into two
doc's- one is looking behind the scenes of the passions and souls and
emotions of women in the sport of Auto Racing.......and i've
researched and filmed many experiencers of either visitors and
sightings of crafts in the australia and tasmania area, my approach
is to let us know what the visitors want....I am currently accepting
all financial deposits to the bank account, I love to be paid to tell
compelling stories.....Fil the filmmaker

Doug Block
Wed 11 Dec 2002Link
paid to tell compelling stories... what a concept! me, too! welcome,
fil the filmmaker.

David Griggs
Sat 14 Dec 2002Link
Hello to you all!
I have just informed myself of this site through Docos and hope that
it will prove to be useful and interesting. I have recently finished
my first documentary short 30mins on miniDV. Shot entirely in a
remote community in Lesotho, Africa on the subject of Life and Magic!
I am keen to carry on with the production of high quality
documentaries using new media formats such as DV, pushing the tech to
the max. I think that DV has a lot to offer the film/video market in
production value terms especially as it involves smaller crews and
allows more local/subject participation and training. The challenges
are pretty enormous when takling essentially single person
productions,but the results can be increadibly satisfying. My first
project was filmed for my final work on the Visual Anthroplogy
programme at Manchester University at the Granada Centre for Visual
Anthropology. I am researching a number of film avenues now having
completed the course only 3 weeks ago! I need to keep up the
enthusiasm, especially as I have now found the career path that pulls
together my life strands so far! So, if anyone out there is keen to
explore Social Documentaries using Poetic aesthetics and
Observational approaches then please contact me, lets keep working
informing the audience! davidgriggs@gaia.org.uk

John Holman
Thu 19 Dec 2002Link
Hello!

I am a freelance lighting/ cameraman specializing in
documentary for film and television programmes. I am based in
the UK. Over the last 12 years I have filmed in Africa, Asia, South
America, and Europe.
I am excited to learn of a resource for fellow adventurers to
communicate with! Cheers...

Doug Block
Fri 20 Dec 2002Link
Hi, John. Hope you'll consider joining The D-Word Community, where
the discussions for doc professionals are ongoing:

www.d-word.com/join

Baz Gray
Mon 23 Dec 2002Link
Hello all or part thereof,
I hereby introduce myself as a person of sound mind and body dwelling
among similar sane and satisfied beings.
I live in the flatland of our fair land, the grandest of all lands
where the winters drain your courage to interact.
I write for pleasure and a higher purpose, but I need encouragement
and exposure. Need I say more? My cosmic philosophy will unfold as my
expressions engage the minds of others. May I be welcome?

Duncan Chinnock
Thu 26 Dec 2002Link
Hello all... I'm a fledgling doc maker working on a biographical film of my late
father. He was a writer/editor who died some 20 years ago. I was initially
approaching this as sort of a PBS style biographical film, incorporating photo's
and writing a VO narration that moved chronologically through his life. There
aren't really any living family members or friends to talk to though (besides an
ex-wife and children) so I don't have a lot of stories or biographical info that I
feel I need for this type of program.
I'm sort of re-thinking my approach now and considering doing a much more
personal, impressionistic film that would focus on my own memories and
feelings towards my dad. I'd love to hear any other thoughts or experiences
with biographical films that people have had. Thanks.
Duncan

Yoram Schaffer
Sat 28 Dec 2002Link
hello,
I'm a doc filmmaker from Israel and reached the site while wandering
around in the web, looking for someone to talk to about documentary
filmmaking. Documentary filmmaking in Israel is quite flourishing
through public funding, though we too (as everywhere else in the
world probably) have to fight for our existence as filmmakers. I'll
be happy to hear and read what other filmmakers have to say since I
don't attend int'l festivals and forums very often.
...And excuse my English, it's not my first language

Ben Kempas
Sat 28 Dec 2002Link
Your English is perfect, Yoram. As this is our public forum, please
make sure to check out our private conference for documentary
professionals as well. It's located at {LINK NOT IMPORTED}, and if
you want to join us (yes, it's free, as we are all fighting for our
existence), here's how to do it: www.d-word.com/join !!!

A big welcome to all new visitors at The D-Word.

Jay D Marlow
Tue 31 Dec 2002Link
Hello all,

My name is JD Marlow and I'm an independent documentary film maker.
I learned about this site through www.digitalvideodocumentaries.com,
which is a great site. I have been involved in making films for a
little over 2 years now. The project I'm working on now is a feature
length documentary called "Street Music". My web site has all sorts
of information about it. http://www.streetmusicny.com

I look forward to participating in these forums and meeting all of
you!

-JD

Doug Block
Sat 4 Jan 2003Link
A big welcome to JD, Yoram and Duncan (and happy new year)!

Duncan, I don't have experience with biographical docs but I do with
personal ones. They're very hard to do well and without coming off as
self-indulgent, narcisistic and all the other qualities the Charlie
Kaufman character accuses himself of being in "Adaptation."

Mainly, you need to ask yourself why a personal story about your
father would be compelling to a general audience. And I'd also add
that a little humor goes a long way, no matter how serious the subject
matter. Try not to be overly reverent (even though it's your father).

Jay D Marlow
Sat 4 Jan 2003Link
Doug,

Thanks for the welcome. On the note of personal documentaries,
you're exactly right. I just finished one about my own experience in
my first film festival. It was 25 minutes long and fun to put
together, however for a general audience I don't think it would work
very well. It is tough to make a personal doc suitable for general
audiences to watch. It is a great kick for me and my family, but
difficult for others.

You have to almost pretend like it's not about you, even though it
is. You also must constantly be deciding between what works for
yourself, and what works as a story for an audience. Good Luck!

-JD

Adele Schmidt
Wed 8 Jan 2003Link
Hello all, my name is Adele Schmidt. I am a German
documentary film maker, who lives since 2001 in Washington
D.C. My friend Erica Ginsberg introduced me to d-word and I am
happy, that I finally got here to introduce myself. I hope to start a
productive relationship with you.

I worked as an independent documentary film maker in Mexico
City for six years. I wrote, directed, produced and edited one long
format documentary shot in DV CAM and two short
documentaries in Super 16mm, released in 35mm. My films
focus on social issues: 'Juana's Journey' is about a young
women who lives in the streets of Mexico City. Her mayor conflict
is between being a mother of a three years old and hanging
around with her friends who live in the streets like her. 'Land of
Mennonites' is a long format documentary about the Mennonite
community in Northern Mexico. The mayor conflict here is the
question : What happens, when modernity enters in to a closed
community. 'The universe apart' is a short film about one of the
most famous Mexican painters Francisco Toledo.
In Mexico I was also a lecturer for documentary film making at
the filmschool (CCC) of the National Center of Arts . I loved to be
with the students, develop ideas of the new generation and try to
get the ideas to the screen. Documentary film making is my
passion, I love to discuss new tendencies in documentary film
making as well as to develop new ideas on how to get a
documentary to the audience.

In 2001 I moved to Washington D.C. and I am working now for
Journey Films in Alexandria as an Associate Producer on the
long feature documentary film BONHOEFFER, a film about the
German priest Dietrich Bonhoeffer who resisted the Nazi regime.
I will talk a little bit more about that film in your Sundance section,
because the film will be screened in three churches in Park City
during the Sundance Film Festival.

For now I will stop the introduction on my self and hope to enter
in discussion with you soon.

hasta pronto
bis bald
best wishes
Adele Schmidt

Doug Block
Thu 9 Jan 2003Link
Adele, welcome, but I think you're confusing the public D-Word Forum
with the private D-Word Community, where all the registered members
hang out.

Go to: www.d-word.com and click on the logo for The D-Word Community
("members log-in"). I suggest you re-post your intro above.

Adele Schmidt
Thu 9 Jan 2003Link
Thanks Doug, I would be happy to join the d-word community, but I am
not a memebr yet. So, what do I need to do?

Doug Block
Thu 9 Jan 2003Link
I took care of it, Adele. You're now a member. Look forward to
having you there - especially when we have our week-long online
discussion with the heads of EDN (European Documentary Network)
starting Jan. 27.

Adele Schmidt
Thu 9 Jan 2003Link
Thanks Doug, I am happy to be a member now. I am also a
member of the EDN, and I am looking forward to discuss the
different tendencies of documentary film making in the USA and
Europa.

Duncan Chinnock
Thu 9 Jan 2003Link
Thanks, Doug, for the post and I'm so glad to see that the D-word site is still
going strong. I first started following it as an outgrowth of your "Home Page"
project. Congrats to you and Ben for a helpful and supportive site!
Regarding my biographical film, I see two approaches to it. I can make a film
just for the family that provides a lot of factual information (dates, important
accomplishments & events etc.) Obviously, if the subject is not widely known,
there wouldn't be a broad appeal.
But what if I approached it more thematically? What if it became more of a
personal meditation, with pictures and music, that explored areas of loss,
roots and the foggy outlines of memory and family history? I guess the
success of a project like this would rely on what original thoughts and
observations I could bring to these subjects. And I agree, there MUST be
humor. Thanks again.
Duncan

Therese Shechter
Thu 9 Jan 2003Link
Hi everyone! I'm here because Doug (who always asks the tough questions at seminars and is therefore my hero) told me to join. I met him at Fernanda Rossi's inspiring Doctoring Your Doc workshop. My doc is called "I Was A Teenage Feminist" which is a first-person feature doc about rediscovering and reconnecting to the feminist movement today, whatever the heck it may be. And it's funny, at least I hope it is, but people do seem to laugh when they watch the trailer. I have bigger words to describe the project to potential funders (like socio-political), but you get the idea. This is my first doc, although I have worked on films for others and made some short shorts. I will be at Sundance volunteering at the House of Docs/Filmmakers Lodge so come say hi. t.


Doug Block
Fri 10 Jan 2003Link
Welcome, Therese. I'll be hanging out a lot at House of Docs (Jan
17- 22) so let's be on the lookout for each other.

Stephanie Davy
Fri 10 Jan 2003Link
Hello. I am Stephanie Davy, and I have a habit of thinking I can
do anything- just do it, and learn as you go. It's worked so far-in
the rest of my life, but reading these pages is scaring me.I'm on
Long Island, NY and wqould love to hear from other people who
have done this stuff by the skin of their teeth.
I'm planning on a documentary about 3 sisters who are amazing
musicians who play together, and normal kids from Long Island,
too. I'm planning on doing everything. Am I nuts?

Robert Goodman
Fri 10 Jan 2003Link
yes as you will find out. However, don't let that stop you. A lot of
nutty people (cause you have to be) make docs. I will say that
you'll save yourself a bit of trouble reinventing the wheel if you
connect with a few experienced hands, virtual or real.

Doug Block
Fri 10 Jan 2003Link
Actually, sounds like you already KNOW you're nuts, Stephanie. Which
is healthy. Or, as my daughter would say, "it's a conundrum."

Anyway, welcome to the nuthouse, Stephanie. You're in good company.

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