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John Burgan
Wed 29 Sep 2010Link

It's a couple of years old already, but have you seen the Independent's The 10 Best Academic Programs for Documentary Filmmakers ?

Edited Wed 29 Sep 2010 by John Burgan

Doug Block
Wed 29 Sep 2010Link

Welcome, Todd, Barbara and especially David, who I've known for a while now (as well as his impossibly lovely wife). You may feel like a newbie but you're not. Dirty Work showed great talent and can't wait to see how My Own Man turns out.

Todd Leatherman
Wed 29 Sep 2010Link

In reply to John Burgan's post on Wed 29 Sep 2010 : Thanks for your quick reply, John. I have been researching the programs mentioned in the Independent article and it has been a great starting point. Please let me know if any other advice comes to mind.

Robert Goodman
Wed 29 Sep 2010Link

Spend your money getting experience. Volunteer for one of the many top-notch doc makers running around NY, Phila, or DC. Then decide if you want/need a masters. You are more likely to find employment by being a great volunteer than by going to school.

Teresa Pigeon
Fri 1 Oct 2010Link

My name is Teresa Pigeon; I live in Cary, NC. I am a photographer, but have recently branched out into documentary video. At Duke's Center for Documentary Studies, I learned how my reach can be extended by moving into the video field, and I'm working to use these new skills to tell stories.

I'm currently working on a short about a local eccentric. Also, I'm documenting the making of a local film. Next, I hope to work on a piece about the use of therapy dogs in Hospice (where I volunteer). I'm only in the planning stages of this – but there are so many things to consider.

As is true for most folks, I learned so much in shooting and editing my very first video:
I learned what to do and what to NOT do (and it's apparent in the clip!)

Very recently I've decided to put much more time and effort into documentary video, and hope to learn from your experiences. I'm excited about some recent work I've done using the 5dmkii – and it's possibilities (while very aware of the limitations). Examples of my photos:

Doug Block
Sat 2 Oct 2010Link

Welcome, Teresa. A great program you went to at Duke. And you're doing the right thing by just plunging in and making films. Best of luck.

Michael Sodano
Sun 3 Oct 2010Link

Hi Everyone – wow, it's been 5 years since my last sign in (where does the time go?). Anyway, thought it'd be time for an update and looks like there's a LOT more people here now. Make a long story short: Documentary (corporate media/events producer to pay the bills) producer/director . . . . moved to the Jersey Shore – exit 102 – Asbury Park. . . . . large arts and cultural component in a never-ending up and coming seaside city . . . . NO movie theater. . . . . in a city that used to have 7 (count 'em 7) movie palaces in its heyday (Walter Reade had headquarters here) . . . . couldn't believe that every art genre represented but film . . . . couldn't let that alone . . . . have opened a 56 seat art house theater in the downtown that for the past 16 months has developed a growing, appreciative audience in a considerable radius of the city . . . . it's called The ShowRoom Independent Cinema – – so now I'm an exhibitor as well as a producer! . . . . quite an odd couple of hats, but very enjoyable and exhilarating to be able to workshop my productions as well as be the salon for others who are making film and looking for an audience. . . . . . and I thought it would be a good time to reconnect and network with everyone on the DWord since I still have a member status here. . . . . right now we're producing short docs that screen before the features, so we keep producing while we're exhibiting. . . . quite a ride . . . . look forward to chatting with you all. . . . Thanks

Vikram Zutshi
Sun 3 Oct 2010Link

Hi all! Greetings from the Bay Area. I am a writer-producer-director with a decade of narrative filmmaking experience in Los Angeles behind me. Have produced, acquired and distributed numerous syndicated tv shows, independent films (foreign and domestic)as well as documentaries. Just completed my cinema verite feature (as Director/DP) on a highly contentious issue:immigration from the south, approached from an unexpected and controversial angle. The main protagonist is a rabid iconoclast, self-proclaimed revolutionary and an embodiment of the Tea Party philosophy. Please do check out the website and trailer at WWW.MAXKENNEDYTHEFILM.COM. The film is due for wide release early 2011. Please click the facebook link on website and 'LIKE' for constant updates. Thanks.

Doug Block
Mon 4 Oct 2010Link

Welcome, Vikram, and a warm welcome back to Mike. Nice to hear what you've been up to, and about The ShowRoom. What a great thing to be doing.

Michael Mazur
Wed 6 Oct 2010Link

Hey everybody. My name is Mike and I'm looking for feedback on the promo to my new documentary "Buscando a Toño Bicicleta". We raised a small amount of funds to shoot this promo and are currently in talks with a few investors to get the full amount. Any feedback would be appreciated.


Jonathan Durand
Thu 7 Oct 2010Link

Hi there everybody
My name is Jonathan, and I'm an director and editor from Montreal. My entry into documentary + video in general came a few years ago, during an extended stay in South Africa and Mozambique, where I was doing media workshops and working with video in the townships. I've also worked for a doc program in Montreal, as an editor and technical advisor. I actually heard about D-Word through a German filmmaker friend (what's up, Magdalena? when are you coming back to Montreal for more bagels and cream cheese?), and looking forward to meeting some of you.
I'm currently researching a film about Polish refugees who ended up in Africa during WW2, including my family. So I'm planning a research trip to England, Poland, Belarus, and Tanzania this fall. If anybody has tips about shooting in Belarus or Tanzania, it would be appreciated. I might be looking for some help finding fixers/translators in both places, too.


Richard Baron
Thu 7 Oct 2010Link

Hi – Richard Baron from Australia. I'm a dedicated documentary producer/director who managed to get my first short feature up and into festivals with no funding or assistance from anyone. Yay for me.

I love your films Doug!

Doug Block
Fri 8 Oct 2010Link

Thanks, Richard. Great to have with us at The D-Word. Love your accent, too.

Jeremy Kaller
Fri 8 Oct 2010Link

Hi-I'm a documentary maker and editor from San Francisco. Another filmmaker I met at Sidewalk Film Festival told me about D-word and all the helpful forums. Looking forward to meeting other doc makers here.

I have made 2 short documentaries, The Recyclergy and The Legend of Toilet-Seat Charlie, and eager for my next one.

The Recyclergy focuses on a unique group of professional recyclers in the SF Bay Area. You can view the film here:

The Legend of Toilet-Seat Charlie is 12 minute piece on about the inventor of the toilet seat guitar. It's not yet online, but soon! Here's the website:


Cristina Mis
Fri 8 Oct 2010Link

Hi everyone! This is Cristina, I'm Italian/American currently interning at American Documentary | POV and Outreach Coordinator for 21 Below, in New York City. After working for over a year for the Documentary Foundation, a non profit organization where I managed an educational program for high school students, and did event planning and fund raising.

I looking for a position as Assistant, Coordinator, PreScreener, and/or Event planner for an organization involved with filmmaking in New York.

I speak four languages and am extremely dependable. I have many references, please get in touch at

Thank you!

Doug Block
Sat 9 Oct 2010Link

Welcome aboard, Jeremy and Cristina.

Cristina Mis
Sun 10 Oct 2010Link

Thank you, Doug! Please spread the word about my job searching in NY!

Jason Govender
Sun 10 Oct 2010Link

Hi all, my names Jason and I'm originally from Southern Africa, and am now residing in NZ. I started making a documentary to help the future generation on getting a more detailed understanding of abusive&addictive substances. I have went down a wasted 10yr path of night clubbing and drugging, and have now given my profession in the Audio Visual industry a break, to complete this doc. I am going to need all the help I can get.
Cheers....or as we say here...Kiora

Noel Donnellon
Sun 10 Oct 2010Link

Hi All,
I'm a Cinematographer & Producer. More info on my site:

Grace Lee
Tue 12 Oct 2010Link

Hello All,
I think I joined D-Word (gulp) five years ago or something and have lurked occasionally, but never long enough to engage in a real conversation. Trying to amend that since I feel woefully behind in the world of non-fiction, except as an audience member.
I made a personal doc called The Grace Lee Project in 2005, plus a few shorts before that; but I also work in fiction (most recently in 2007, a 'fictional documentary' feature called American Zombie). I got sidetracked for a couple of years with family stuff but am now working on a new film about 95 yr old Detroit philosopher/activist who has devoted her life to social justice and the promise of the next American Revolution. I look forward to learning and contributing more to this great community!

Julia Guest
Tue 12 Oct 2010Link

Sounds fascinating Grace, I love films about people in their later years.. so much to reflect on, especially a life of action... that's nearly a hundred years of living history embodied in her.

Erica Ginsberg
Wed 13 Oct 2010Link

Welcome back to D-Word, Grace. The Grace Lee Project is one of my favorite documentaries of all time. Curious – were you introduced to the subject of your current film by the Detroit Grace Lee?

Mark Fuller
Wed 13 Oct 2010Link

My name is Mark Fuller and I've been making television now for two decades. I'm based in Vancouver, BC. I've written/directed/produced across several genres, including documentary – mostly series for History, Discovery, AMC, CBC etc. My most recent project is 'Ice Pilots NWT' (writer) for Global/History and I'm about to start work on a similar doc series for History called 'Dust Up'. It follows a group of crop dusters in Saskatchewan.
More info about me on my website: . I'm looking forward to exploring this site – it looks great.

Joey Daoud
Wed 13 Oct 2010Link

I'm a documentary filmmaker in Miami Beach, FL. I'm finishing up my first feature length documentary called Bots High (, which follows high school robotics teams build kick ass fighting robots.

I also run a production company,, where I create short form documentaries for companies and broadcasters.

Doug Block
Fri 15 Oct 2010Link

Welcome, Jason and Noel, Mark and Joey. Coming so fast and furious we can barely keep up. And welcome back to The D-Word, Grace. Looking forward to your contributing here, as well.

Matt Wilder
Mon 18 Oct 2010Link

Hello friends! It's wonderful to see such a positive use of the internet in a forum like this- too often it is the negative that receives all my attention.

Anyway, I'm a young filmmaker living between Richmond, Virginia and Nairobi, Kenya at the moment working on a project to develop education and filmmaking in both places. My dedication is just that: inform the youth of our world as to the power they have with digital media at their disposal. I anticipate one day seeing a world where everyone owns some form of a camera, where media is completely democratized, where the title 'documentarian' is synonymous with 'human' or, more politically, 'citizen'.

I am happy to find a group of like-minded people, and I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors!

-Matt Wilder

Edited Mon 18 Oct 2010 by Matt Wilder

Marth Christensen
Mon 18 Oct 2010Link

Welcome Matt,
When you are in Kenya, you might check our friends out.

Riccardo Cremona
Tue 19 Oct 2010Link

Hello! My name is Riccardo, I am a documentary filmmaker/producer based in Rome, Italy. I run a production company, We are now launching a crowdsourced documentary project, more details soon!

John Burgan
Tue 19 Oct 2010Link

Looking forward to hearing more, Riccardo – welcome to The D-Word

Edited Tue 19 Oct 2010 by John Burgan

Christopher Morris
Tue 19 Oct 2010Link

Hi Doc folk – My name is Christopher Morris – live and work in wales – 20 years (so far) making docs for British TV – but in 2003 took a left hand turn and went into University – I now run Newport Film School (set up by John Grierson in 1966 – Newport has been producing nearly fifty years worth of Documentary filmmakers! Really interested in contacting old Newport Alumni. Hello John Burgan!!!


John Burgan
Wed 20 Oct 2010Link

Chris is being typically modest about his achievements, both as an award-winning film-maker and also the fact that the doc film course he set up (and which I have just inherited) is rated as one of the very best in the UK.

Not sure if there are many Newport Alumni at The D-Word, Chris, but would be interesting to track them down – check out the search tool

Edited Wed 20 Oct 2010 by John Burgan

Brad Studstrup
Fri 22 Oct 2010Link

Hello all,

Happy to be joining the group!

My wife (editor Jody Jorgensen) and I are forming STORY, a two-person production company to produce docs of a few flavors, but mainly promos and performance docs for the arts. We lived in NYC for five years and loved working on a few docs and a couple of low-budget narratives – mostly post, mostly FCP editing. In the last couple of years, Jorgensen and I have been filming arts projects in development (mostly opera and musicals) – kind of a cross between promotional shorts and behind-the-scenes doc shorts ... we're hoping that one of these projects will turn into a doc feature.

Looking forward to being part of these great discussions!

Doug Block
Fri 22 Oct 2010Link

We're glad to have you here, too, Brad. Feel free to have Jody join up, as well. Then you can procrastinate with us together ;-)

Dean Garris
Thu 28 Oct 2010Link

Hi all,

New member here, have lurked occasionally as an enthusiast but decided it was time join in on the conversation.

John Burgan
Thu 28 Oct 2010Link

What finally brought you out of the shadows, Dean?

Dean Garris
Thu 28 Oct 2010Link

Nothing profound I'm afraid John, applying as a member was one of those things I was meaning to do and never did, but now that I've finished post on my doc I have some time to peruse the site a bit more and make some friends.

Geoffrey A. Davis
Fri 29 Oct 2010Link

Hello everyone, I just completed my 30 minute short documentary, 'MURDER AT CITY HALL COUNCILMAN JAMES E. DAVIS' STORY'. Its about my beloved brother, slain Peace Activist & New York City Councilman James E. Davis assasinated inside New York City Hall on July 23, 2003. Thus far, we've screened at Brooklyn Academy of Music, & the Schomberg Cultural Center to a sold out audience. On Tuesday, November 23, 2010 we're screening at Tribeca Cinemas 54 Varick St NYC. Feel free to inquire. Blessings & keep up the great work.

Jennifer Campbell
Sat 30 Oct 2010Link


My name is Jennifer Campbell, I'm 22 (and three quarters) and I am a personal, reflexive, documentary filmmaker. I just graduated with my BFA in film in my home state of Florida, and started my first year of Graduate Documentary production at Hofstra. I'm not liking this cold weather! Also in the last year I documented my journey to find my mother. It's unlisted so you'll have to click the link to find it.

I am looking forward to connecting with other documentarians. I think this is an incredibly tool for what we do.

Last night I attended Doug Block's The Kids Grow Up in NYC, and stayed for the Q&A afterward, easily the best night in NYC I've had! If you haven't seen the film, stop reading this and go right now. Doug will there for Q&A today and tomorrow for the 3pm screening as well!!! GO!


Ben Kempas
Sat 30 Oct 2010Link

Thanks for your praise, Jennifer.

Good to hear Doug's screenings are going well.

Welcome to The D-Word from a co-host who is 37 (and one third).

Ben Kempas
Sat 30 Oct 2010Link

Geoffrey, welcome to The D-Word.

Very sorry to learn about the loss of your brother. Make sure the film gets seen widely, and please make the best use of The D-Word to promote your screenings.

Doug Block
Sat 30 Oct 2010Link

Welcome, Geoffrey and Jen. Great to have you here with us. And really nice meeting you last night, Jen.

Cy Kuckenbaker
Sun 31 Oct 2010Link

Hi my name is Cy, I'm a filmmaker from San Diego. I just finished a feature doc called Bush League about four members of a soccer team in Malawi and a short called Indentured about labor abuse on US bases in Iraq. I'm now promoting the films and looking for work teaching film at the post-secondary level. I was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Lithuania and a Fulbrighter there. Some of my work can be seen at, I'd love feedback if you have it.

Grace Lee
Tue 2 Nov 2010Link

In reply to Erica Ginsberg's post on Wed 13 Oct 2010 :

Hi Erica, Julia, and Doug – Thanks for the welcome back (even though I'm now a couple weeks delinquent in responding!) Anyway, Erica to answer your question the subject of the current film IS Grace Lee Boggs, whom I met while making the Grace Lee Project. I knew back when I met her 10 years ago that I wanted to revisit her story specifically and that I'd better do it before, as she puts it, "loses her marbles." I don't think there's any danger in that happening quite yet- she is still amazingly sharp at 95 and keeps on asking and living the hard questions. Unfortunately, I am still asking myself the hard question of how I'm going to get this film funded and finished...but I will probably ask others in the Funding section for advice! Btw, Doug, I showed 51 Birch Street in a personal documentary class I taught last spring and the students were riveted. Great film. I look forward to seeing your latest.

Ben Kempas
Tue 2 Nov 2010Link

Welcome to The D-Word Corps, Cy! I'm sure our Teaching Docs topic will be perfect for you.

Ann Torrance Davidson
Thu 4 Nov 2010Link

To Grace Lee ~ I rented 'The Grace Lee Project' on iTunes. Wonderful!
And great that you are doing an update with Grace Lee Boggs.
Q. Will you get a piece of my $3.99 (Canadian)? I gather more would have gone to you had I purchased the DVD through WMM, but I'm not working at the moment and am trying, in general, not to own too much stuff. Really loved the film.

Doug Block
Thu 4 Nov 2010Link

In reply to Grace Lee's post on Tue 2 Nov 2010 :

Thanks, Grace. I'd love to see you at one of the showings. I'll be sending out an email to LA D-Worders with more details, hopefully by end of day.

Mariam Jobrani
Sun 7 Nov 2010Link

Hi everyone!

My name is Mariam. I've always wanted to join, but have always been too busy! I've been working in non-fiction television (reality/docs) for the last 14 years -mostly producing for other people. I did manage to direct/produce 2 of my own shorts: With Us or Against Us and The Fighting Cholitas. I now have some time to really explore this site and to connect with other like-minded folks.

Cristina Mis
Sun 7 Nov 2010Link

Hi Doug,

Thank you for hosting the Symposia at the DOC NYC. It was very informative and interesting – please keep up posted on other events where you'll be attending.

Thank you

Cristina Mis

Doug Block
Sun 7 Nov 2010Link

It was my pleasure, Cristina. A warm welcome to you and Mariam. You should both apply for professional status , which will give you access to all the discussion topics.

Edited Sun 7 Nov 2010 by Doug Block

David Weissman
Mon 8 Nov 2010Link

Greetings – David Weissman here.

I produced and co-directed (with Bill Weber) THE COCKETTES, which was a 2002 Sundance film, and recipient of the LA Film Critics Award for Best Documentary of 2002.

I have a newly completed film WE WERE HERE which is about the coming of AIDS to San Francisco in the early 1980s. WE WERE HERE has already been invited to Berlin, and I'm sure like many others here, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Sundance.

I've been a (mostly) San Francisco based filmmaker for a LONG time.

Edited Mon 8 Nov 2010 by David Weissman

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