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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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Jennifer Howd
Thu 16 Dec 2010Link

Hi Everyone –

I stumbled upon this community and am happy to have found you all. This seems like an incredibly supportive environment, and that's a huge testament to both the members and the moderators. Kudos!

So, a little about me – I’m a multi-hyphenate Creative Producer/Writer/Marketing Consultant with over 15 years of experience working in the entertainment industry. More specifically, I've produced everything from the visuals for the groundbreaking documentary feature, THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE – to broadcast design packages for major cable networks. I also co-created and produced a grassroots media conference in NYC and LA, served as a publicist at a MGM/United Artists in NYC for four years and wrote a book (published by the Princeton Review).

I recently moved to LA to focus my career on producing larger-scale projects and seem to keep finding myself gravitating toward the documentary world. I dipped my toe into reality TV development and sold a pitch to Sony Pictures Television a few years ago but ended up backing out of the deal for personal reasons (the subjects were friends of mine, and Sony wasn't willing to give me Exec Producer credit because I had never run a show before – so, in the interest of protecting their interests, I pulled the plug). What's that they say about not being involved/close to your doc's subjects? Learned that the hard way...

Onward and upward! I'm now producing the visuals for a feature doc that's based up in Oakland and have recently started developing another non-fiction project about the business of cancer that has numerous media extensions, including a feature component. Having never helmed a project of this size, I'm here to absorb as much info as I can from the community – and to give back, as well.

That said, I'm a huge fan of indie empowerment and have been doing quite a bit of research re: Hybrid Distribution that I'm happy to share. I also have solid experience creating grassroots marketing and outreach strategies.

If anyone here would like a free outreach consultation for their project, please get in touch with me. I'd be happy to help point you in the right direction.

One question – do D-Listers ever get together for local in-person gatherings? As I mentioned, I'm fairly new to LA and am eager to meet like-minded folks.

Thanks!
Jennifer


Doug Block
Thu 16 Dec 2010Link

Great to have you joining us, Jennifer! Feel free to leap right into the various discussions going on here and all the best with your projects.

Yes, there are quite a number of LA-based D-Word members, including our co-hostess with the mostess, Marj Safinia. They're often up for in-person F2F's, so don't hesitate to organize one (on the F2F topic). You might also want to join DocuLink, which is a mostly LA-based listserve for doc filmmakers.

Edited Thu 16 Dec 2010 by Doug Block

Niam Itani
Sun 19 Dec 2010Link

Welcome, Jennifer! Good to have you here :)


Betty Palik
Tue 21 Dec 2010Link

Hello everyone,
I am the head of the documentary division at Muse Entertainment (www.muse.ca), a major independent film and television production house and an emerging force in international co-productions. We've won numerous international awards and were just nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the mini series Pillars of the Earth which we co-produced with Germany's Tandem Communications in association with Scott Free Films. We are mostly a live action, fiction producer but we are keen to work in the documentary world as well. The first documentary we co-produced with Switzerland and filmed in Jamaica was the successful doc feature Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae. Our head office is in Montreal but we also have a US operation based in LA and a sales office in London, England. We are happy to look at documentary projects that would be relevant to Canadian audiences specifically but also of interest to international audiences.


Doug Block
Tue 21 Dec 2010Link

Great to have you here with us, Betty. How far along with their project would someone need to be before approaching you? Would you at the least need to see a fairly polished work-in-progress sample?


Abe Dolinger
Tue 21 Dec 2010Link

Hi all – I'm a documentary sound guy from New York and happy to have found this community! I have been lurking for a few months, and I've enjoyed reading about (and participating in) your challenges and victories. I've been lucky enough to do some work with Josh Weinstein, Nick Higgins, and Amy Berg. I'm always looking for a good subject and a new challenge for work, and I'm happy to give advice where it's needed (I know a lot of you work alone).

Happy Solstice y'all . . see you on the other side!


Jaggy Singh
Wed 22 Dec 2010Link

HEY!

HOPE EVERYONE IS WICKED, AND HOPE EVERYONE HAS AN AMAZING CHRISTMAS!

I JOINED UP IN SEARCH OF HELP FOR MY DISSERTATION I AM DOING, IN FILM PRODUCTION AND TECHNOLOGY

I AM DOING IT ON:
An evaluation of the technology incorporated into documentaries targeted for cinema release

IF ANYONE COULD HELP, THAT WOULD BE WICKED!! ITS MAINLY ON CAMERAS USED FOR DOCU'S AND WHY? THE SOUND AND LIGHTING...AND WHAT THE FUTURE HAS IN STORE FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKERS..

APPRECIATE ANY HELP ANYBODY COULD GIVE ME..

HAVE A WICKED NEW YEAR!


Jaggy Singh
Wed 22 Dec 2010Link

In reply to Abe Dolinger's post on Tue 21 Dec 2010 :

HEY, HOW YOU DOING ABE?

BOY AM I GLAD I SAW YOUR INTRODUCTION!

YOU MIGHT OF READ MINE...AND I WAS WONDERING, BECAUSE YOUR SOMEONE WHO WORKS WITH SOUND AND YOU HAVE FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO HELP ME...

IT WOULD BE LIKE AN INTERVIEW SORT OF THING...IF YOU COULD HELP, PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ME A SHOUT, IT WOULD BE WICKED TO INTERVIEW SOMEONE WHO WORKS IN THE ACTUAL INDUSTRY RATHER THAN JUST RELY ON BOOKS. IF NOT THEN HEY, THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT AND READING THIS.

HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON
TAKE CARE ABE


Jaggy Singh
Wed 22 Dec 2010Link

In reply to Magela Crosignani's post on Thu 18 Nov 2010 :

hey, how you doing?

I noticed you were a cinematographer and you work on documentaries.

im currently doing a dissertation on the production technology used for cinema release documentaries, and i thought maybe you could help me with the camera technology used for documentaries.

i understand if you are busy and if you unable to help, and thats cool...but hey, it's a try right.

maybe I could interview you, ask you a couple of questions?

if you do have some time, that would be great, if not, i understand. hope you have an amazing Christmas and new year.

thank you


Jaggy Singh
Wed 22 Dec 2010Link

In reply to Jennifer Campbell's post on Sat 30 Oct 2010 :

hey, how you doing Jennifer?

it cant be colder than it is down here in the UK! The weather is crazy, but its wicked!...but hey...
I was looking through the pages, to see if there was anyone would could help me with a bit of work, and noticed you was kind of fresh out of uni.

im in the last year now, and have to write a dissertation. I know this is a long shot, but hey, what's the worse that could happen.

my dissertations on, the technologies used for cinema release documentaries, and I was wondering if you had covered any of the technology side in your course...

if you aren't to busy and you got a little time, it would be wicked if you could help. but if you cant, well hey, thanks for taking time out and reading this

have a wicked Christmas, and an amazing new year. :)


Jaggy Singh
Wed 22 Dec 2010Link

In reply to chithra jeyaram's post on Wed 4 Aug 2010 :

hey, how you doing?

I noticed you studied film production.

im studying film production and technology, now in my final year, im currently working on a dissertation on the production technology used for cinema release documentaries, and i thought maybe you could help me with the technology side of documentary film making. im not to sure if you studied the technology side but, its worth a try right.

i understand if you are busy and if you unable to help, and thats cool...

if you do have some time, that would be great, if not, i understand. hope you have an amazing Christmas and new year.

thank you


Doug Block
Wed 22 Dec 2010Link

Ok, Jaggy, good to see you calmed down and stopped shouting in ALL CAPS. Time to take your pleas for help to the Mentoring Room topic. This is just a place to introduce yourself, which you certainly have done enough of. And have a wicked Christmas, yourself.

Edited Wed 22 Dec 2010 by Doug Block

Jaggy Singh
Wed 22 Dec 2010Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Wed 22 Dec 2010 :

Oops.

Sorry. And a happy New Year.


Vitor Souza Lima
Thu 23 Dec 2010Link

Hello everybody. I'm a brazilian filmmaker, this year I've showed in some brazilian festivals my first film, a short documentary called "Hands of October". This film proposes a new way of looking at Círio de Nazaré in the city of Belém, Brazil, using the perspective of the hands. A poetic, almost surreal approach. The characters are the hands of marchers, workmen, sculptors, and others. The voices are just their memories. The duality of hands, which simultaneously suggest materialness and spirituality, constructs one of the biggest faith marches in Brazil. If you're interesting, visit film's website (unfortunately not translated to the English yet): www.maosdeoutubro.com
Regards,
Vitor


Doug Block
Thu 23 Dec 2010Link

Welcome, Vitor. Good to have you here at The D-Word.


Betty Palik
Thu 23 Dec 2010Link

Hi Doug,
In answer to your question: Yes the proposal would need to be very polished; not just idea stage but well researched on its subject, characters, relevance and uniqueness.
Betty


Doug Block
Thu 23 Dec 2010Link

Betty, would be great if you registered as a full member , which would give you access to all 50 of our discussion topics, including fundraising and distribution.


Mark Yount
Fri 24 Dec 2010Link

My name is Mark. I am a software developer and film student. I decided to go to film school because I had a documentary that was set to go twice and the production company flaked on me both times. The story is so close to my heart that I decided to learn how to do the doc my self. That was in 2008 and I have just finished preproduction. Production to start in March.

Edited Fri 24 Dec 2010 by Mark Yount

Doug Block
Fri 24 Dec 2010Link

Welcome, Mark. You may find the story of D-Word member Jon Foy inspiring. He was in the same boat as you, now heading off to Sundance with his first doc.


Nancy Shaw
Fri 24 Dec 2010Link

Hello, I'm Nancy, communications coordinator for the British Columbia chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada. I'm gonna be in here every week or so looking for news and stuff to share with the DOC BC membership and I'm curious to hear what other people are up to in terms of financing and developing their own films.


Ben Kempas
Wed 29 Dec 2010Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Nancy! (Blame it on the holidays that nobody has greeted you yet...)

You should also apply for Professional status here ...


Niam Itani
Thu 30 Dec 2010Link

Welcome, Nancy :)


Errol Webber
Sat 1 Jan 2011Link

Hello folks, and Happy New Year!

My name is Errol, and I'm a documentary cinematographer based in Baltimore, Maryland. Last year turned out to be a particularly good year for me with the film that I shot, 'Music by Prudence', winning an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short – most easily remembered as the film behind the "Oscar Kanye moment." lol. Since then, I've worked on projects in various African countries and along America's eastern seaboard.

In Summer 2010 Elinor Burkett & I finished another documentary, 'iThemba,' which went on to premiere at IDFA this past November as well as showing at various other festivals in Europe and Africa. iThemba is now in the distribution stage.

In Brooklyn NY, I'm working with director, Michele Stephenson on 'An American Promise' – a coming-of-age documentary that's 11 years in the making, about 2 African-American boys and explores the dynamics that surround them as they matriculate a private High School in Manhattan.

Additionally, in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, we've begun shooting a nature-doc in the fall with director, Mike Mathis, on the life of Naturalist & Essayist, John Burroughs, who grew in notoriety for his research and activism in the early 1900s. For this shoot, all the footage (sans the interviews) was shot solely on the, now popular, Canon HDSLRs. There are many pros and cons to this new technology, but while working with the camera for the entire shoot, I was able to find ways to combat the issues that normally plague video shot on the any Canon HDSLR.

My forte is shooting – it's what I love doing and have been doing since 2003. Every day I try to learn something new, whether it be from other docs or from simply watching a TV Show and picking scenes apart. I'm a stickler for good sound and lighting and am maniacal about shooting things right, even if it means agonizing over a shot for another minute or two til it's just right, time permitting, of course.

Now where editing is concerned, I gained about 40,000 hours of my editing experience with Final Cut Pro while still in college, which helped greatly post-college when I started my documentary career in 2008. I do documentary editing but not nearly as much as I shoot. I find myself spending many hours now soaking up all I can about video and various technology because the more I know, the better I am able to become creatively. Plus I'll be prepared when it comes to video troubleshooting which I do a lot of for people when they're stuck in say, a Final Cut Pro problem...right upon a deadline, or making suggestions for their next camera/equipment purchase. So I hope I'll be of some help on some of the threads on the D-Word.

With this new year, my goal is to create more great work with great people, make new contacts and build friendships in this close-knit weave which is the documentary film world. I wish you all a very productive and successful 2011!


Doug Block
Sat 1 Jan 2011Link

Welcome, Errol. Great to have you here with us. There's a lot of collective knowledge in the various discussion topics for you to soak up. And I'm sure we'll be learning a lot from you, too.


Danielle Beverly
Sun 2 Jan 2011Link

Welcome Errol!


Adams Wood
Mon 3 Jan 2011Link

Hi Everyone – I'm a Director/Producer/ Camera-person from Asheville, North Carolina. Last year I finished a film called ON COAL RIVER with my wife/co-director and we're starting another project now. I signed up for D-Word a few months ago, but I'm just now starting to poke around the threads and appreciating the resource this is! I'm looking forward to learning a lot :)


Doug Block
Mon 3 Jan 2011Link

Good to have you come out of the darkness at last, Adams.


Jill Woodward
Tue 4 Jan 2011Link

Hi Adams, saw On Coal River at STF last year. Great job, good luck with your new film.


Jill Woodward
Tue 4 Jan 2011Link

I just heard the sad news about Judy Bonds from On Coal River. My condolences.


Steve Deline
Wed 5 Jan 2011Link

Hello everyone – Thanks to a tip from another doc maker I've been lurking about the forums for months now, trying to soak up as much wisdom as possible, but as 2011 dawns I figure it's time to wave hello.

I'm a writer/director currently stationed in Los Angeles and am in post on my first documentary project: a series about five starkly disparate elementary and high schools in New Orleans and Baltimore, the unusual historical origin they all share, and the stories of what it's like to educate inside their respective walls today. Thanks, all of you, for creating such a great collective resource and community, and Happy New Year!


Doug Block
Wed 5 Jan 2011Link

Welcome, Steve. Feel free to register as a professional member. You'll gain access to all 50 discussion topics.


Steve Deline
Wed 5 Jan 2011Link

Thanks for the welcome, Doug!


Doug Block
Wed 5 Jan 2011Link

Good to have you joining us, Steve. Say goodbye to all your free time ;-)


Stephen Grynberg
Fri 7 Jan 2011Link

Hi D-Word. Happy to be here. I just finished my first feature doc this past year and its been on the festival circuit having a pretty good time. The film is called A Life Ascending. You can find a trailer at ALifeAscending.com Im starting to enter the world of hybrid distribution and anxious to learn from others and share what Im learning along the way. Im also looking for some interns to share some of the experience with and to help with some of the research and marketing work. cheers, Stephen


John Burgan
Fri 7 Jan 2011Link

Congratulations on completing your film, Stephen and welcome as a full D-Word Member too – feel free to explore the place. You may also wish to re-post your request for interns (perhaps with some more details) in the Public Classifieds Topic


Mandy Rose
Fri 14 Jan 2011Link

I’ve just joined the D-Word, thanks to John Burgan for the connection. It seems like a terrific space/collective resource. I hope to make a useful contribution. Here are some headlines re my background.
These days I work at the intersection of documentary and participatory media. I was co-founder and producer of BBC2’s award winning Video Nation project, for which people across the UK recorded everyday life in the 90s, which we edited, with their approval, into over twenty hours of diverse TV output. I was Executive Producer of the BBC Capture Wales digital storytelling project, the first major initiative of its kind in the UK, which was informed by the work of The Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, and resulted in a wealth of autobiographical stories made in workshops around Wales, and contributed to a continuing.digital storytelling culture here.
I still live in South Wales though I’m now a Research Fellow at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, at the University of the West of England in Bristol. My research explores the emergence of collaborative online documentary. I’m interested in how a collaborative approach and the online network might enhance documentary’s role in the public sphere.
I blog at http://collabdocs.wordpress.com/
In the 90s I was a producer/director of documentary and arts TV. My work pursued themes of culture and identity – in Hilda at Darjeeling for Channel Four British women looked back on their role in India under the Raj, in Meeting the Masai Mob for BBC2, Aboriginal Australians met with Masai people to share experiences over land rights. I’ve also made work about culture and media – Pictures in the Post (BBC2) was a history of the 20th century told through postcards and their messages. Verite Today (BBC2) looked at ideas of truth in British documentary and included interviews with Jean Rouch Nick Broomfield and Richard Leacock. How the West was Lost (Channel 4) looked at Native American representations in Hollywood, and in Navajo Media.
Right now I’m looking for participants for a web based collaborative project. Within my practice based research I’m revisiting Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s seminal 1960 documentary, Chronicle of a Summer, in particular the question which opens the film, in the classic vox pops sequence, Are you happy? You can see a clip on the site homepage – 
http://theareyouhappyproject.org/
I’m seeking collaborators who are interested in getting involved by asking that question on video in their locality. This could be an interesting brief for media studies or documentary students. 
If that interests any teachers here I could offer a briefing via Skype, and could put the call to action into context, both of the original film and of the growing field of collaborative online documentary. (I should mention that I have some teaching experience. ) 
Thanks for reading. 
My email – mandy.rose@uwe.ac.uk


Doug Block
Fri 14 Jan 2011Link

What a fascinating background, Mandy. We did a bunch of collaborative projects here at The D-Word in our first few years, but sadly none since then. A shame since such great potential exists for it within a strong and supportive worldwide community like this. So certainly hope your presence helps inspire some more collaborations.


John Burgan
Fri 14 Jan 2011Link

Great to have you here, Mandy. I will definitely be encouraging colleagues and students to participate in the Are you happy? project


Mandy Rose
Fri 14 Jan 2011Link

Thanks Doug, John. I look forward to D-Wording. Have a good weekend.


Jeff Girard
Sat 15 Jan 2011Link

Hi D-Word community,

My name is Jeff Girard. I’ve been an activist since 2000 primarily in the area of bettering the LGBT community. I started the first visible LGBT group in my hometown in 2003, led it through the end of 2007, and then became employed as a volunteer recruiter and trainer with the NO on 8 campaign in San Francisco and Sacramento. Since 2009, I’ve been in the east bay.

In late 2009, I bought a program to hook up my VCR to my computer to transfer my home movies to digital format. It came with a simple video editing program and once I started using it my creative side was reinvigorated after having been set aside while I focused on activism. It started to occur to me that I could merge my creativity and activism by making viral videos and films.

My areas of interests regarding activism and documentary filmmaking include:

-initiating sustainable gay groups in rural/isolated areas, which is needed in many places in CA

-LGBT equality

-preventing the destruction of the human food supply

-voter empowerment: required open debates; instant runoff voting; repealing Prop. 14; the advancement of alternative parties and independents

-access to affordable genuinely-healthy food for all

-healthy sexual education inclusive to LGBT teens; opposition to the glorification of un-protected sex

-freedom from the big-brother/nanny state

-conspiracies

I am here seeking collaborators and mentors. Please email me at jeffg4usa@yahoo.com if you would like to collaborate with me or offer a mentorship opportunity in the Sacramento, east bay, or southern CA areas. (Note: I apologize if sharing email is against TOS but I am unable to find whether or not it is)

We’ve heard a lot about “it gets better” for LGBT folks recently. I hope that promise is not just for teens but for the LGBT folks who endure adversities in their adulthood. I’ve found it to be a challenge to find mentors in the LGBT community. Maybe I just don’t know the right people. To be clear, I am open to working with people of all walks of life – not just LGBT folks.

I want to continue to do good works as an activist – I just need to make enough to pay for my vehicle and food. My hope is that I can find a mentor who sees the record of good works I’ve done as an activist to mentor me and help me become even more equipped to do good in the world while being able to take care of myself too.

With all humility, I was the only person in my family to graduate high school and not get into drugs or become an alcoholic. I come from a tough background with no examples of successful people in my family. When I became an adult I had to start working to survive and since then I have avoided student loan debt. I may not be a college educated person, but I’m certainly an intelligent and creative person. Well, I did take one public speaking class. I got an “A.”

I became unemployed last November and am trying to do all I can to find a place for me to utilize my passion for activism and creativity. I’m hoping to work on projects and partner with or create a nonprofit to fund my projects. I’m living in my vehicle by choice and I could not be happier about it. It’s equipped me to push myself harder to move forward. In case you're wondering, I shower utilizing couch surfing. I'm quite clean and organized considering I live in a vehicle.

Because I am living in my vehicle, for now, I can go anyway. For now, I’m still in the east bay near San Francisco.

Thank you for your consideration.

-Jeff Girard
01/15/2011

PS: At http://www.youtube.com/user/noonprop14theatre you can see an example of my work. I directed, wrote, edited, and appeared in the project.

Edited Sat 15 Jan 2011 by Jeff Girard

Doug Block
Sun 16 Jan 2011Link

Welcome, Jeff. Feel free to take one more step and register for professional membership here. It'll give you access to all 50 of our discussion topics.

And keep up the good work.


David Pelcyger
Mon 17 Jan 2011Link

Hello. I've been reading the constructive and generous posts here for a few months- it's time to introduce myself. I work for a weekly documentary show named World Report. The segments aired are a mix of traditional news (with correspondents) and more impressionistic pieces. My specialty is the latter. Here are a few samples:
http://www.youtube.com/user/HDNetWorldReport?ob=0#p/a/u/0/sfeNUaKxufA

Look forward to adding whatever I can to the discussions.
Thanks, David


Doug Block
Mon 17 Jan 2011Link

Good to have you posting at last, David. Sometimes wonder what we have to do to lure the lurkers out into the sunshine and light of the written word ;-)


Karina Whitmarsh
Tue 18 Jan 2011Link

(Trembling as I type)It's either a post-nervous breakdown, mid-life crisis or a recent trip to India that has me working backwards to becoming a documentary film maker. I was asked to photograph (I'm a classically trained professional photographer making money by doing weddings and freelance work for periodicals)AND "film" for a project dealing with spinal cord injured persons in India last November. With a handycam and digital recorder I "documented" what escip does (look at www.escip.org). I've come back inspired to go back to what I started to do (1st year of college; cinematography major) but didn't complete due to a series of unforeseen events. My goal and agenda at this point to continue bringing social awareness to our generation and inspire the future to also be inspired to film. I would like to teach eventually, how to film in 3rd world countries as a way to heal from pasts that were harmful and painful. I'm at the zenith of my creativity and am ready to share it with the world!!! So, hello and encourage me if you can! NAMASTE


Doug Block
Tue 18 Jan 2011Link

No need to tremble, Karina. We don't bite and we do encourage. Really glad you found us and screwed up the courage to jump right in and start posting. That's the only way we can get to know you.

Welcome and all the best with your ambitious goals.


Rachel Shuman
Tue 18 Jan 2011Link

Hi Everyone,
I've known about D-Word for so long that I can't believe I am only now joining. For the past couple of years I've been attending the Stranger than Fiction series at IFC in NY and have loved the little community that has formed around that event so I am hoping to broaden that now on the D-Word. In the past 7 or 8 years I've worked primarily as an editor, but do occasionally direct my own work as well. I look forward to learning from everyone here as well as sharing some of my own experiences from the field. Samples of my work can be found here: www.rachelshuman.com
Thanks for taking a look!


Doug Block
Wed 19 Jan 2011Link

Banner day at The D-Word! Finally. We. Get. Rachel. To. Join. Us.

(Sorry, folks, but we go way back. And it's taken years.)

Welcome, Rachel, and feel free to leap right into the discussions.


Rachel Shuman
Wed 19 Jan 2011Link

Thanks, Doug, for the warm welcome! I know...I can't believe how long it's been, but just glad to be here now. It's impressive how much the site has grown; what a wonderful resource and place for community. I hope to see you soon.


Dean Lenoir
Wed 19 Jan 2011Link

Hey Everyone,

I'm completely new to documentary film-making, and was recommended to the D-word as a place to connect with others in the field. Here is a little bit about my background:

I'm currently a M.A. student at The New School studying Political Science. The issues that drive my studies include: economic inequality, poverty, and human rights to name but a few. My plan for about 5 years now was to pursue a career as an academic, addressing these issues through classroom teaching, research, and political activism. Teaching and research are exciting for me, so being a professor seemed like the most logical route for me.

About a year ago however, I began to think about film (specifically documentary) as a medium for researching and communicating the ideas that drive me. Documentary film-making seemed exciting; it provided a new, and seemingly broader, medium to research and communicate with people about my areas of concern. The type of research I have been working on in graduate school has been geared more towards academic crowds – indeed this is the norm, and necessary for career advancement. I've always been interested in communicating with broad audiences though, and above all, that is why I am now turning to documentary film-making. Putting together a real-life account of the lives and experiences of others is REALLY EXCITING for me. I admire those documentary filmmakers who have pulled this feat off with success, and I hope that I can one day do the same.

I should mention that despite my enthusiasm for documentary film-making, I did not pursue it initially. There are several reasons for this. First, I was already so invested in academia. Second, I knew very little about film-making, and did not know anyone personally that was in the film-making profession. Finally, I don't have the funds for film school, and wasn't interested in taking out more student loans to do so.

Despite these obstacles, my desire to pursue documentary has only grown during the past year, to the point where I needed to address it!. About a month ago I finally did, when I set out on my first documentary on subway musicians, which I am currently working on. I'm learning a lot from being on the ground, and have came across some interesting people and resources along the way that have really helped my development. I'm hoping that the D-Word will be another great resource where I can share my experiences, and gather knowledge from other filmmakers. Additionally, I am interested in finding work with documentary film crews, so that I can learn more about the art and draft of documentary film-making (I will post an ad in the classifieds stating that I am looking to find work with documentary crews).

Okay, I'm going to stop now because this introduction is probably entirely too wrong, but thanks for having me here, and I look forward to getting to know all of you!

Best,
Dean


John Burgan
Wed 19 Jan 2011Link

Lots of good energy there, Dean. I'm sure you already know of the very well-regarded graduate documentary programme at the New School


Tim de la Torre
Fri 21 Jan 2011Link

Hi everyone,

It's great to join this amazing resource and on-line community. There's not a lot to tell about myself. I studied Television and Film Production for undergrad but took several years off in between and after serving with a non-profit Christian education and development organization in the Philippines. I was able to do some filming while there but my work kept me too busy to do much filmmaking. I've actually travelled to quite a few countries in South America and Asia putting together short videos on the work various church organizations are doing but it's always felt unfulfilling... there was a specific agenda and target audience that I didn't want to be stuck with.

I came back to the states and got married in 2008 and now my wife & I are a traveling production crew. It's been great to work together as a team on various corporate/volunteer projects and we're hoping to branch out into more independent type work that can actually pay the bills... and if not, hopefully the stock footage I sell from some of these projects will help at least!

I kinda took a gamble and used all my money to buy a used Sony EX1 on craigslist and jobs just started coming. I'm still using that EX1 but I've kept reinvesting in equipment as much as possible, learning from my own mistakes, and doing the best I can for each job. I'd love to move towards a DSLR at some point but I'm so heavily invested in my Sony setup that I'm going to work on honing my skills, saving my money, and be comfortable with the equipment I have for a while.

Right now, my wife & I are working on a story of a friend that was a bush pilot in Venezuela that went missing with a plane load of people in a Cessna 182 about 2 years ago. There's an incredible local and international grass roots movement to find the wreckage and get closure for the family. I'm hoping to use the search effort(from scientists at NASA to a private unmanned drone company, satellite images, ground searches through the jungle) as a platform for also examining the kind of person this pilot was: a volunteer pilot with no stipend or salary 100% sustained on donations who saved hundreds of lives flying into ~900 foot runways in remote jungle villages. Ya, it's probably going to have a Christian theme to it because that's who he was and part of the reason he did what he did, but I still believe the human interest aspect of this story could hold someone's attention regardless of their faith or lack of it... I don't want to make another "... and this is why you should be a Christian" film... I want a "do something that matters and die in the saddle" angle... but who knows at this point. If you're interested, www.findingbobnorton.org has some info on the whole search effort.

Well, that's a bit of an introduction. Thanks for having me on The D-Word. I look forward to getting to be a part of this community.


Doug Block
Sat 22 Jan 2011Link

We like long intros, Tim. Welcome to The D-Word.


Niki Bhattacharya
Wed 26 Jan 2011Link

Hello Everyone –

I have heard about this list for a while, but just jump on board. This seems like a great online community resource.

Previously I worked on staff at Show of Force, a NY based non fiction production company and currently I work as the Director of Operations at the new MFA in Social Documentary Film Department at the School of VISUAL ARTS in NY. We have a great group of students and amazing faculty. I look forward to using this site to glean industry knowledge, faculty, guest lecturers and potential students.

Thanks,

Niki Bhattacharya
www.mfasocdoc.sva.edu


John Burgan
Wed 26 Jan 2011Link

Welcome to D-Word Niki, dive right in and keep an eye on Teaching Docs


Adam Hodgkins
Thu 27 Jan 2011Link

Hello

My name is Adam Hodgkins. I'm a lecturer in film and visual media at the University of Westminster, London, England where I've been teaching for about 12 years. Previously I've taught at Goldsmiths, Southbank, TVU, Cardiff and Wimbledon Art School (all in the UK). The British Film Institute brought me to London, to study an MA in Cinema Studies, and that city has been my base ever since.

I'm mostly a film theorist/historian, though I do teach on practice-based courses. My areas of specialism are independent and experimental film, distribution and exhibition, and gender, though I teach more broadly. I have no specific specialisation in documentary – though I do spend a substantial proportion of my viewing time seeking them out.

I used to programme an art house cinema in a far flung outpost of progress in the south west of England. This involved organising festivals and events too, something I continued for a while when I got to London.

I am generally frustrated by the lack of serious online discussion around moving image and have spent most forum time on New Music sites since they seem to attract a more thoughtful and thought-provoking enthusiast (fewer casual fans – more committed artists and academics). I've been reliably informed this forum hosts such rigorous debate! So I'm eager, when time allows, to get involved and hopefully stimulate some discussion.

I look forward to getting to know you...

Edited Thu 27 Jan 2011 by Adam Hodgkins

Mika Kiburz
Fri 28 Jan 2011Link

Hello all! My Name is Mika Kiburz. I am a non fiction film and video artist, with a degree in cinema from the University of Iowa. I am currently working on environmental and social issue documentaries, and I just found out about this site from another documentary filmmaker at Sundance Film Festival, this week. Im excited to be a part of this network! I have a great interest in avant garde filmmaking, film theory, and new ways of experiencing cinema. Im looking forward to meeting other film enthusiasts!


Ashley Hillis
Fri 28 Jan 2011Link

Hello,
I'm thrilled to be a part of the D-Word community. Thank you for having me!
A little bit about me... I'm a northern California native, living in Manhattan and I'm attempting to make my first feature documentary. It's been a labor of love (and sometimes rage and hate and frustration) that I started about 3 years ago and I've made my way to the editing room at last. Every day brings new challenges and learning opportunities and I'm eager to be part of a network of others who may be going through/have gone through something similar.
If you have any wisdom to impart, lay it on me :)
I would love to tell you more, but I must get back to editing.
Cheers!
Ashley


Doug Block
Fri 28 Jan 2011Link

Welcome, Adam, Mika and Ashley. Great that you've found us.


Dean Lenoir
Fri 28 Jan 2011Link

In reply to Niki Bhattacharya's post on Wed 26 Jan 2011 :

Welcome! I heard that SVA is an amazing school – I'm thinking of applying there this coming Fall :)


Becky Hire
Sat 29 Jan 2011Link

Good evening
I am Becky Hire and I live in the metro Atlanta, GA area. For years I have worked with others on documentary film projects while working in corporate video for my day job. Now I am looking to my own documentary project(s) and hope to gain invaluable insight from the good people of the d-word.


Emily Mode
Wed 2 Feb 2011Link

Hello All,

My name is Emily Mode, I live in NYC, and I just learned about The D-Word. A brief background: I did my undergrad work in sociology and fine arts, then I got an MFA in painting. While in grad school I began working for a documentary maker as a PA and second camera person, which then led me to use video in my artwork. After college I continued working on documentaries as well as for visual artists. In 2007/08 I realized I prefer working in moving images, so by 2009 I completed my first single channel experimental documentary. It showed at a number of festivals and internationally, and I realized I have the bug. I hope to work on many more of my own and others projects. With my own work I like to play with the boundaries and form of documentary, but I love working on interesting topics no matter the form.


Doug Block
Thu 3 Feb 2011Link

Great hanging out with you and Sally in Helsinki, Emily. And equally great having you part of our online community. Hope you'll post often.

Edited Thu 3 Feb 2011 by Doug Block

Jo-Anne Velin
Thu 3 Feb 2011Link

Ditto!


Lily Keber
Fri 4 Feb 2011Link

Hi everyone-
My name is Lily Keber and I live way down in the swamp city of New Orleans. I've worked freelance camera/editing down here for 5 years; interned at the community media center Appalshop before that. I'm wrapping up production on what (knock on wood) will be my first feature-length documentary, a portrait of James Booker, the "best black, gay, one-eyed, junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever seen". There's a 4 minute trailer for it on JamesBooker.com.
D-Word in an invaluable resource. I'm glad I'm finally getting around to introducing myself on here...


Doug Block
Fri 4 Feb 2011Link

We are, too, Lily. Hope you'll continue to post away on the other topics. And best of luck on the Booker film.


Jill Woodward
Sat 5 Feb 2011Link

Lily, sounds fun! good luck, look forward to hearing about the film.


David Herman
Sat 5 Feb 2011Link

Lily, love the trailer. Saving the memories of the forgotten greats is blessed business!


Myrthe Mosterman
Tue 8 Feb 2011Link

Hello everybody,

My name is Myrthe Mosterman and I live and study in Amsterdam, Holland, at the Dutch Film and Television Academy. I am 27 years old and I am studying cinematography. I am in my third year now and I will graduate next year.
In a few weeks I am starting to film a small documentary about hiphop in Skopje, Macedonia, and I am thinking of hiring a camera (video hd) over there. Does anybody have experience filming in Macedonia, or knows a good camera rental company?

Thank you


John Burgan
Tue 8 Feb 2011Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Myrthe. There is a D-Word member in Macedonia who runs Asterfest – Goran Trenchovski – who might be able to advise you.


Rob Buscher
Thu 10 Feb 2011Link

Hi all,

My name is Rob Buscher and I work at the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. Before living in Philly I spent the last 5 1/2 years between the UK and Japan working in film production, curation, and distribution. My expertise is Japanese Cinema.

I joined this forum to see what kinds of opportunities are out there for local documentary filmmakers in the Greater Philadelphia region. Anyone local please get in touch!

Thanks!


Brenda Essahaty
Fri 11 Feb 2011Link

Hi everybody,

I came across D_WORD while searching for some information on how to make a documentary and where to start.I'm still learning to get around D_Word.

D-Word looks a nice little warm community.I hope I will find what I need from D-word.I should keep track of my logins on facebook and twitter in case I forget my passwords.

Please Professions help me out here if you can.I am very passionate about real issues cause to me they are what shapes our communities.

Thank you for having me on D-Word..:)


Doug Block
Fri 11 Feb 2011Link

Welcome Brenda and Rob. Rob, surely you know about Philly D-Word members Jon Foy and Fiona Otway, whose respective films won top honors at Sundance. If not, just click on the People link at the top of every page and do a search on their names. You can then go to their profile pages for contact info.


Maeve O'Boyle
Sat 12 Feb 2011Link

Hi – Maeve O'Boyle here. I was lucky enough to be Doug's editor last year on The Kids Grow up and have finally joined this great forum which I have heard so much about. Thank you Doug and sorry it took me so long. Other credits include Frontline: Heat for PBS, Carrier for PBS, Left of the Dial for HBO and other bits and pieces. Glad to be part of the D-word community.


Doug Block
Sat 12 Feb 2011Link

Maeve! I can't believe my eyeballs! Oh, rapturous day!!!

Only took well over two years of talking up The D-Word to get here here, folks. What an impressive salesperson I am.


John Burgan
Sat 12 Feb 2011Link

Good to see you here, Maeve – we've been talking about you in your absence


Maeve O'Boyle
Sun 13 Feb 2011Link

Thanks John, thanks Doug – glad to be here finally!


Sahand Sahebdivani
Mon 14 Feb 2011Link

Hi Myrthe, welcome from another Amsterdam D-worder. Good luck in your skopje project, sounds like a blast!


Caitlin Kelley
Thu 17 Feb 2011Link

Hello. I am the founder and executive director of Africa Volunteer Corps, an NGO based in Tanzania that places African volunteers to work with African -initiated development projects. I joined D-Word in order to connect with filmmakers to participate in a fundraising series we are starting, the Visualize Change Film Forum. We are looking for films showcasing empowering and positive stories about Africa, especially the importance of local control of the development process. We are aiming to make Visualize Change an annual fundraising event so I look forward to connecting with others trying to tell the positive and inspiring stories of Africa that typically go untold.


Doug Block
Thu 17 Feb 2011Link

Welcome, Kaitlin, and thanks for the great work you're doing with Africa Volunteer Corps. Best of luck with your fundraising.


Jeanie Finlay
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

Hello D-Worders

I'm and artist and filmmaker from the UK. I make films about music, outsiders, strangers and people who change how they look to be themsleves. I made large scale video artworks for years before moving into docs about 7 years ago. My films include TEENLAND (BBC4), GOTH CRUISE (IFC). I'm currently making two films – THE GREAT HIP HOP HOAX for BBC and ORION: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING.

my latest film is SOUND IT OUT, a crowd funded feature about the very last record shop in my home town, Teesside (North east UK) which will be premiering at SXSW in March.
See more > www.sounditoutdoc.com www.jeaniefinlay.com

I'd love to hear from any other D-Worders with advice for SXSW – and I'd really appreciate it you could help spread the word about our campaign on Indiegogo to get there. www.indiegogo.com/sendustosxsw

Thanks and looking forward to meeting some new doc folks! JF


John Burgan
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Jeanie. Sounds like you're in the right place – check out the Documentary Festivals Topic for more on SXSW and also use our SEARCH function to see what advice people have been giving in the past.


Jeanie Finlay
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

Thanks John – will do!


Doug Block
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

It was great talking with you the other day, Jeanie. Glad you followed up and registered. Welcome.

Your trailer is charming and beautifully made, it so makes me want to see the film. Hope you raise oodles of money. And get the list of industry people attending from the festival (on the password protected part of their website) and contact them about a week before it starts.

Edited Fri 18 Feb 2011 by Doug Block

Christine Daley
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

Hi! My name is Christine and a friend of mine suggested that I get on here and see if anything clicks! I have been an actor for years and about two years ago I took off across the country and abroad volunteering at various not-for-profits. Changed my world. Now I'm looking to get involved in hosting, writing and creating work that's about real people. This is a link to my most recent hosting gig on solar energy. www.solargenerationusa.org If anyone has any leads, knowledge of where to look or projects, I'd greatly appreciate any advice!


Doug Block
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Christine. Glad that you found us. You can check the Public Classifieds topic here, as people occasionally post about projects they're looking for collaborators on. You might also try the NY section of Shooting People: www.shootingpeople.org.


jennifer folks
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

Hello all! My name is Jen and I am from small town USA in Kansas. I am looking for some advice/help. I have an idea for a documentary but have no idea where to begin. I would like to make/produce this myself but cannot quit my job to take this on. After doing some research and many question and answer sessions with parents this is something that many, many parents are interested in. I have no doubt that it would be watched by many as it asks a question that most of us parents as ourselves when raising our kids. If anyone can give me some insight on where to begin, search for funding or pitch my idea it would be wonderful. Thanking you again! Maybe soon you just might see something on TV from this small town USA Mom. –Jen


Nick Fitzhugh
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

Hi Everyone!

I was referred to this site by a new business partner who couldn't say enough about it and I can already see why. I'm looking forward to leveraging the community and sharing what I can with it too as I get to know it and everyone it it better.

To introduce myself, I'm an independent filmmaker and producer currently based in Washington, DC. After ten years in the media industry running a company I started in college that was acquired by National Geographic, I have turned my full-time attention to filmmaking––something I've always wanted to do. I have one completed project (though I'm still looking for domestic distribution for it) and a couple others in various stages of development/production. All docs thus far but I do aspire eventually to do narrative films along the lines of City of God (or that style).

Feel free to check out my work at redfitz.com and see you all around the topic boards!

Nick


Jeanie Finlay
Fri 18 Feb 2011Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Fri 18 Feb 2011 :

Thanks so much Doug – can't believe I took so long to get here! – This is an amazing resource.

I've been getting my lists together and my plan is forming. We will get to Texas by hook or by crook!

I'm going to write a blog for Filmmaker Magazine about my experiences as a virgin SXSW-er so will post a link here. So excited, not long now.


James Tseyah
Sat 19 Feb 2011Link

Well i must say that i am flattered being part of a world of experts. I can say that being part of this wonderful and exciting site, my dreams of becoming a professional documentary filmmaker apart from acting, is partly completed. Thanks so much for welcoming me. Please kindly advice and guide me so that i can be the best in Cameroon.As you people can realise, i am seemingly the only one from Cameroon, that is why i want to do my best to carry my country up thanks to D-World. I am so happy.


Tom Dziedzic
Sat 19 Feb 2011Link

Hi Nick, You might check out Docs In Progress based in Silver Spring, MD. Erica Ginsberg, the Executive Director, is a regular on D-Word. Docs In Progress is a great meeting place for a variety of doc events and provides many resources for the doc filmmaker in the DC area.

http://www.docsinprogress.org/

Edited Sat 19 Feb 2011 by Tom Dziedzic

Ben Kempas
Sat 19 Feb 2011Link

A big welcome to Jennifer, Nick, and Jeanie, and a very special welcome to our first member in Cameroon, James!!!

So who else is lurking out there?


Joseph Chastain
Sat 19 Feb 2011Link

Hello,

My name is Joseph Chastain. I recently received fiscal sponsorship to create a documentary on Self-injury. I have a bachelor's of arts in film and television from Columbia College Hollywood in Tarzana, Ca.


Jill Woodward
Mon 21 Feb 2011Link

Joseph, self-injury like cutting? Sounds interesting.


Ben Kempas
Mon 21 Feb 2011Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Joseph. Interesting subject. Are we getting to witness......?


Michael Kershner
Tue 22 Feb 2011Link

Hello everyone, I am a cameraman based in Los Angeles, but am trying to make the move into the documentary world. I am in the middle of working on my first documentary about my great grandfather. You can check it out at DustofEurope.com. I am very excited to be in a community with so many other enthusiastic film-makers.


Doug Block
Tue 22 Feb 2011Link

Great to have you here, Michael. Welcome, as well, to Joseph, James, Nick and Jennifer. Always nice to have an influx of fresh blood ;-)


Ben Kempas
Tue 22 Feb 2011Link

You don't want to talk of fresh blood when we're discussing self-injury...

Welcome Michael. Interesting story. Also good to see that Kickstarter seems to have kickstarted you well!


Mark Rattelle
Tue 22 Feb 2011Link

Hello everyone, my name is Mark Rattelle and I am a Documentary Theory and Production MFA student at Hofstra University and I am currently working on my thesis film called "The Indies." The film is about Independent Professional Wrestlers and the world of independent Wrestling.

I am based in NY and I am very excited to be a part of this community. I look forward to chatting with all of you about the film genre we love!


Liam Leahy
Wed 23 Feb 2011Link

Hey folks. I am saying "hello", and on here looking for advice for fixers in DRC. I'm beginning a doc there in 4-6 weeks time. Thanks for any help...


John Burgan
Wed 23 Feb 2011Link

What's the project, Liam? D-Worder Carlo Ontal is based in that part of the world.


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