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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.

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Blaire Johnson
Sat 5 Mar 2011Link

In reply to Linda Wasson's post on Fri 4 Mar 2011 :

It is indeed, still illegal to grow industrial hemp here in the US. We are currently the only industrial nation where it remains illegal to grow it, though it is completely legal to import all aspects of the plant, except for the 'live' seeds. You can import hemp's nutritious 'edible' seeds, but we can't import seeds that we can grow. So we are out to change that. Recent developments in Europe, Canada, etc have changed the technology of processing industrial hemp. That, combined with hemp's ability to build the healthiest, most energy efficient houses are creating a real boom abroad. We hope to get America behind hemp, thanks in large part to hemp's ability to build the healthiest houses. Hemp houses could very well be the next trend in green building in the US. Once we are able to grow it here, hemp's healthy houses should be affordable for us all.

John Burgan
Sat 5 Mar 2011Link

Good to see you all here. Keith, Buzkashi has got to be one high-octane bonkers sport – basically Australian Rules Football on horses with a dead goat's head. BTW the IFSW is not an obscure faction but the International Film School Wales aka the Newport Film School where, I, er, know some of the people.

Eugene Martin
Sat 5 Mar 2011Link

Hi everyone,

I am Eugene Martin, a filmmaker from Philly now based in the Dallas area. My new film is a feature length doc titled The Anderson Monarchs. It is about an all girls soccer club from Philadelphia who are the only African American competitive club pretty much anywhere on earth. I am in post production on the film, having shot 500 hours or so. I've got a trailer up on my website here:

Glad to know about this site!


Doug Block
Sun 6 Mar 2011Link

Glad you finally made your way here, Eugene. When did you move from Philly to Texas?

And a warm welcome to Keith and Laura, as well.

Keith O'Shea
Sun 6 Mar 2011Link

Hi John/Doug,

Thank you for the welcome to the site

John, thank you for clarifying that the IFSW is indeed a film school and not an "obscure faction", should have made that a little clearer.
In relation to Buzkashi the sport goes all the way back to the time of Genghis Khan who although forbidding his people from having arms during peace time made hunting on horses compulsory as training for war. Riders would track their prey for weeks at a time eventually wearing down the animals before whipping or stoning them to death. Bloodletting was not practicing as to shed blood was believed to allow the soul to escape.

It's a wonderful, unique part of Afghan culture, a bit like going to the cinema here complete with popcorn sellers and other snack vendors.

Looking forward to getting it out there.

Christopher Wong
Sun 6 Mar 2011Link

In reply to Jeremy Pevar's post on Fri 4 Mar 2011 :

Welcome to the D-Word, Jeremy... are you working at all with fellow D-Word member Jason Osder? If not, you may be a bit interested to know that he has been producing/directing a rather similar project (to say the least!) – and the title of his film was LET THE FIRE BURN.

Jeremy Pevar
Sun 6 Mar 2011Link

@Christopher – I'm not working with Jason, though we have spoken about our respective projects. I believe that we are taking very different approaches to the topic. It is a big story and I think there is room for a variety of perspectives. Without characterizing what Jason is doing with his film, what I am attempting to do is to contextualize the MOVE story by digging into the group's origins and showing how MOVE grew and changed over the years from 1972 – 1985, culminating in the horrific events on Osage Avenue.

Christopher Wong
Sun 6 Mar 2011Link

jeremy, good to know that there is room enough for (at least) two different filmmakers to be making separate projects on MOVE. one reason that it seemed really similar was because of all the riveting archival footage that you are both using in your trailers.

anyways, feel free to keep us updated further in the Works in Progress topic... good luck!

Linda Wasson
Mon 7 Mar 2011Link

In reply to Blaire Johnson's post on Sat 5 Mar 2011 :

well I certainly support and respect your efforts but as for "getting America behind it" as I mentioned, American farmers have long supported and known all about the worthiness of growing hemp. Back when so many family farms were going bust pleas to grow hemp were falling on deaf ears.

Of course now we all know why – the larger corporations were out to suck up the land and make peasants out of the farmers who owned their own places. sure enough, that's what happened as Monsanto and others paved the way for biotek and more monoculture; Walmart is now the largest seller of food in the U.S. market.

just another sad tale...and yes, I am being pessimistic. the fracking mess has got me on a downhill binge.

again, good luck w/your project and feel free to contact me if you need any agriculture input or research.

Caroline Elizabeth Savage
Mon 7 Mar 2011Link

I met Doug Block at DIY Days and decided to join D-Word because of the Peter Broderick distribution seminar. I am continually educating, mentoring our Philadelphia filmmakers so they can sustain their filmmaking careers. Am very glad to see PIFVA member, Jon Foy, to be screening his film, Resurrect Dead, a film PIFVA funded and a film that Doug is producing, at Stranger Than Fiction on March 29. So, I am joining this powerful conversation to learn, observe and network.

Doug Block
Mon 7 Mar 2011Link

Great meeting you, Caroline, and glad it turned into becoming a member here. Welcome.

Hugh Chatfield
Mon 7 Mar 2011Link

Greetings all.

At age 68 I managed to get a post graduate certificate in Documentary Production here at Algonquin College in Ottawa. My first DOC of significance is an extension of my major class project. "Daniel's Journal – History Rewritten" – takes a look at one Daniel Daverne – the first secretary/stores keeper at the first military settlement in Canada – at Perth. Ontario in 1816.

History portrays him as a criminal, a scoundrel. Yet a journal discovered in 1995, in the rubble of an old building being renovated in downtown Perth is the start of a number of serendipitous events that lead to new discoveries about Daniel, his living relatives – and perhaps a rewrite of History.

This project is a multimedia project. The related web site is meant to provide additional information about the subject and allow the viewer to buy the DVD, watch the additional material and decide, as a member of the "jury" whether or not Daniel is guilty of the charges brought against him.

The web site is
The Facebook page is

Some illness has put me about 1/2 year behind on this project – but I am up and running again, and will push to get the DVD produced shortly.

Read about other film work at Hugh's World:

Doug Block
Tue 8 Mar 2011Link

Welcome, Carolina and Hugh. Both of you should feel free to register for professional status, which will give you access to all 50 of our discussion topics.

Edited Tue 8 Mar 2011 by Doug Block

goro toshima
Tue 8 Mar 2011Link

hi all,

i'm a doc. filmmaker based in L.A. my last film ('a hard straight') received best doc. feature at SXSW and broadcast on 'independent lens'.

my current project 'broken doors' just received best short at Big Sky.

also, i'm a very good shooter who is always looking for more documentary work--so if anybody needs shooting, please get in touch.

looking forward to meeting people here...

Doug Block
Tue 8 Mar 2011Link

And we're mighty glad you're here, Goro. Congrats on the Big Sky award.

goro toshima
Tue 8 Mar 2011Link

thanks doug...nice to meet you here.

Victor Huey
Tue 8 Mar 2011Link

Hi, My name is Victor Huey, I am making a documentary about the underground music scene in China, called "Rocking the Great Wall" Shot over a 25 year period form 1986-2011. We are now entering post production. Besides releasing a traditional feature length documentary,I have been thinking about new strategies such as distribution via a interactive documentary social network site based on my content.

Jon Foy
Tue 8 Mar 2011Link

Hey Caroline. I just noticed that you joined D-Word. Cheers.

Doug Block
Tue 8 Mar 2011Link

Welcome aboard, Victor. Noticed your post about your distribution plans in the Peter Broderick discussion. Very intriguing, hope you'll share more in the Marketing and Distribution topic.

Grace C. Albasin
Wed 9 Mar 2011Link

In reply to Jeremy Pevar's post on Fri 4 Mar 2011 :

Hello everyone! I am Grace Albasin from the Philippines but I am here in New York City taking up my MA in Media Studies at The New School. It's great to be part of this group but I am just beginning to tread on documentary. I haven't done anything yet but it is the track I'm pursuing at school.

Doug Block
Thu 10 Mar 2011Link

Welcome, Grace. Enjoy NYC and good luck with your studies.

Matthew McFadden
Thu 10 Mar 2011Link

Aloha Nui,

Storytelling and music are the two things that define purpose of this thing called me. Maui was where the journey this time around began. Los Angeles, New York and New Mexico are places used to dwell. Finding others of the same drive and passion is what makes being here possible. Always looking forward to meeting others to make more magic. "Life's like a movie. Write your own ending. Keep believing. Keep pretending"

Leroy Metcalf
Thu 10 Mar 2011Link


My name is Leroy Metcalf and I am an aspiring filmmaker. I'm currently working on my first documentary titled, "Why Do You Hate Me So Much?", which is about people interacting with other people that may hate them because of race, religion, sexual orientation, geographical location, political views, gender or age. I expect there to be a lot conflict during these interactions, but definitely not Jerry Springer type conflict. The aim is to open up dialogue with people that hate others because of there differences and to hopefully understand why people hate and to get people to think and be more accepting towards others.

I'm very new to this site and I don't know the rules yet. I would really like to network with people to get them involved in my project. Doug/John, please let me know if that's not allowed on this site.



Blaire Johnson
Fri 11 Mar 2011Link

In reply to Linda Wasson's post on Mon 7 Mar 2011 07:55 UTC :

I completely understand your frustration and your pessimism. I think the American public at large is finally ready to hear about industrial hemp, and I think the changes in the technology, and the interest in being greener and more energy efficient are all coming together. As much as we have needed hemp for years, I think hemp's time is finally here, thanks in part to hemp's ability to build the healthiest, most energy efficient houses.

It's horrible to think of the thousands of farms and farmers who could have saved their family farms had they been able to grow hemp. And it's horrible to think of all the merchants who got behind hemp and lost so much, because the market wasn't ready for their vision.

So many people still confuse industrial hemp with marijuana. I've worked at Barnes & Noble for the past 6 years, and I have never seen industrial hemp grace the front cover of a magazine, except for the occasional mention on the front cover of one of the periodicals on marijuana, and it has been equally hard to find hemp cited in the indexes of books one might think it should be included in. I think America is going to be really excited to meet industrial hemp at this time in history, thanks in great part to the many reasons that you cited above. In May, the nation will be celebrating the 2nd annual Hemp History Week. Slowly but surely, the tides are changing.

Jacob Bricca
Tue 15 Mar 2011Link

My name is Jacob Bricca, and I'm new to D-Word. I've been editing feature docs since the early 2000s. Some of my credits are Lost in La Mancha (2002), which chronicled Terry Gilliam's disastrous attempt to make a film adaptation of Don Quixote, Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew (2002), a biopic/concert film about the jazz vocalist that won the 2003 Independent Lens Audience Award, Tell Me Do You Miss Me (2006), a melancholy travelogue following indie rock band Luna on their final tour dist. by Rhino, and Con Artist (2010), which follows the indescribably odd antics of NYC painter Mark Kostabi and is playing at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in LA this coming April 1-7.

Though I seem to work on a lot of films about musicians and artists, some of the ones I'm most passionate about deal with themes of social justice. We just locked picture on Precious Knowledge, a film about the banning of the Mexican-American ethnic studies classes running in the Tucson public schools, which opponents call "seditious" and proponents see as an effective way of engaging their students. (It will premiere at the San Diego Intl. Film Festival later this month.)

I've also done some directing/producing. My feature Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore (2006) followed three indie bookstores in their struggle to stay afloat in the early 2000s. My most recent short Pure, a mash-up of action movie memes, played at the Berlin Intl. Film Festival, and was abuzz on the web for a brief period.

I also teach documentary studies and production at Wesleyan University. Teaching "The Documentary Film" (a history/survey course) is a humbling experience--so many great films! I love exposing students to the genius of Frederick Wiseman, the Maysles Bros. and Ross McElwee, and showing contemporary docs at the close of the course (My Kid Could Paint That and Iraq In Fragments have been recent choices.) In my "Documentary Advocacy" class, I teach doc production to amateurs, and help students engage with local organizations to make films that they can use for outreach purposes.

I love docs and all the issues of they bring up. I thought the recent love-fest over The Social Network was way overblown and advised anyone I could to watch Catfish instead. I thought it engaged with the Facebook phenomenon and all its attendant issues way more successfully!

Happy to be here...

Jill Woodward
Tue 15 Mar 2011Link

Jacob, I've had Lost in La Mancha on my list to see for some time now. I'll have to step it up. Welcome to the d-word discussions!

Doug Block
Tue 15 Mar 2011Link

Great to have you here, Jacob. I did see Lost in La Mancha and loved it. Utterly fascinating. And sounds like a great course you're teaching – lucky students.

Thomas Papapetros
Thu 17 Mar 2011Link

Hi Jacob, i am a big fan of Lost in La Mancha, really love it.

Nicolas Brown
Tue 22 Mar 2011Link

Hi, my name is Nicolas Brown and I've been addicted to documentary film making for most of my life. My father is a documentary filmmaker, and so are both of my brothers. (This feels like my introduction to a 12 step program...)
I heard about D Word whilst teaching in Potsdam, Germany last week. I just spent the last 3 years making Human Planet for the BBC, soon to premiere on Discovery on April 10, 2007.
Prior to that, I made films about climate change such as The Truth About Global Warming with Tom Brokow (Emmy), Climate Chaos with David Attenborough, and the Energy Solution (Best Environmental Film, Telluride Mountainfilm). Before that it was Colonial House and Frontier House for PBS.
I mainly work for TV– I produce and direct. Rarely, I pick up a camera and film myself.
I now have films in development, and am rennovating my kitchen– without filming it at all!
Well, thats my introduction.

Doug Block
Wed 23 Mar 2011Link

And a good one it is, indeed. Nice to have you with us, Nicolas. Feel free to jump right into the various discussion topics.

Jo-Anne Velin
Wed 23 Mar 2011Link

In a week or so, you'll be able to see how Nicolas and his DoP, Keith Partridge, made their segments of Human Planet in extreme environments; they presented this to a professional audience at Insight Out last week.

Suzanne Taylor
Thu 24 Mar 2011Link

I'm looking for some great panelist for my film "What On Earth? – Inside the Crop Circle Mystery" My film's appearing at the QUAD in NY 4/22 for a solid run and I'm looking for panelist, not necessarily crop circle experts but anyone who truly cares about the consciences of the world we live in. If you know of anyone or want to attend I would love to have you there. I have the event on Facebook if you want to RSVP, thank you.

Edited Thu 24 Mar 2011 by Suzanne Taylor

Ben Kempas
Sat 26 Mar 2011Link

Suzanne, as this is our topic for personal introductions, post like this should go into Public Classifieds in the future.

WIlliam Schlosser
Sat 26 Mar 2011Link

Hi. My name is Bill Schlosser and I've been the television industry for nearly twenty years. I found out about The D-Word only recently and am excited to be a part of this community. While I'm no stranger to documentary making, I am new to the world of crowdfunding. I'm trying this method of fundraising to fund the post production of a doc about the snake charmers of India. So far I've raised $30. Not exactly stellar. I would love to hear from anybody who has had success in this area and how they did it. Right now I'm on IndieGoGo. If you would like to see my pitch and critique it, you can go there and search "Sapera." I'm not asking for donations from this community, just some advice. I look forward to getting to know all of you better. And sometime soon I'll post a picture of my ugly mug! Oh and here's a link if you want to see a bit of "Sapera: The Snake Charmers of India."

Doug Block
Sun 27 Mar 2011Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Bill. Theresa Loong has written about her Kickstarter experience in the Finding Funding (N. America) topic, including a link to a lengthy report about it with many tips. Highly recommended reading.

Catherine Stratton
Sun 27 Mar 2011Link

Hi D-Worders,

I’ve been a member of the D-Word for a while – in fact, some of you have been very helpful answering technical questions I had – but realized I never introduced myself. better late than never. . . I am a burgeoning filmmaker. My recent films include a documentary I shot in the NYC Subway called ‘A City Symphony Underground.’ Some consider it more of an experimental piece but it’s actually based on the “city symphony” Documentary genre made popular in the 1920s. Films such as ‘Berlin: A City Symphony, Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, Manahatta,’ and Joris Iven’s ‘Rain.’ So far the film has been screened in 5 festivals and, I hope, many more.

I like doing all parts of the filmmaking process. I have my own equipment. One of my interests is creating short films for NGOs and nonprofits that help others. Films that they can use for fundraising, website, etc. After the earthquake in Haiti last year I traveled to Haiti with World Wide Orphan’s Foundation founder, Jane Aronson, to film her pilgrimage to orphanages there. I loved the work so much and also proved to myself that I was able to film and record audio on my own and get great results. Added to the difficulty of the trek was the 100 degree weather shooting mid day in bright conditions – man, that was hard – getting decent footage shooting people with dark skin with the sun behind them. Arghhh. . . . Plus it was run and gun stuff, all hand held, never knowing what will happen next.

I have also started creating artist profiles – short pieces that profile a creative person’s work and the process they go through.

If any of you D-Worders have any ideas of people that may be interested in the kind of work I do – please get in touch . . . love to hear from all and everybody.

Oh, much of my professional history I produced educational media and curriculum so am also interested in working on projects created to educate or having to do with education. I have a graduate degree from Harvard Grad School of Ed.

Well, that’s it for now. Please check out my website where you can see recent work.



Doug Block
Sun 27 Mar 2011Link

Thanks for the intro, Cathy. See, if you hadn't introduced yourself we would have continued to call you Catherine. Next thing you know you'll be hanging out in the Bar and getting plastered in the afternoon.

John Burgan
Sun 27 Mar 2011Link

In reply to Catherine Stratton's post on Sun 27 Mar 2011 :

Always great when folk finally delurk. Good to have you here, Cathy.

Paul Williams
Mon 28 Mar 2011Link

Hello D-Word, I am quite new to the world of film making... though its been something I've always wanted to be involved with ever since my father was subject of a film by the legendary, Paul Watson, in the 70's. I had the privilege of having lunch with Paul last year and was further inspired to become a catalyst in the telling of important stories. I found myself in the Biz quite by mistake shortly after this... an introduction I made for my friend, director Mark Neale, resulted in his feature documentary, Fastest, being funded. I am now working with him as producer for Mechanics of Hope, a film about NGO, Riders for Health. I was assistant to CEO's of this organisation for a number of years so I know it very well. I am also producing a film about composer, film maker & educator, Tony Conrad. This film is being made by Tyler Hubby. One of my other major projects is with Crispin Glover, the actor & auteur. I am presently developing the circuit in the UK for him to tour his Big Slide Show performance & film screenings. This is his sole distribution model and one that I am honoured to help develop. The first tour in Feb this year sold out. I am learning fast about the innovative & new funding & distribution models that are being practised and I am keen to get involved with discussions about it all. I am also a musician and writer.

Doug Block
Mon 28 Mar 2011Link

A warm welcome, Paul. Would love to hear more about the funding and distribution you're doing in the relevant topics here. Feel free to leap right into the discussions.

Ted Morée
Wed 30 Mar 2011Link

Hello, documentarians of the world!

I'm an aspiring filmmaker currently living in New Orleans. I'm fortunate to be working with Lily Keber on Bayou Maharajah – a documentary about colorful New Orleans pianist James Booker which is now (mostly) in post-production.

We're in the process of setting up a website, and you can sign-up for the email list here if you want to see what happens when filmmakers get ahold of fancy email campaign software.

When I'm not working on the Booker doc, I also spend time pouring coffee at Royal Blend for rent money, shooting antique shop commercials for equipment money, and pestering all the film crews I come across while walking my dog for fun. My wife's in grad school at UNO for poetry, so we'll occasionally cross paths, too.

I plan to assail these forums with a variety of complex technical questions, probing distribution queries, and buckets of unsolicited opinions.

Doug Block
Thu 31 Mar 2011Link

Wow, Ted, a poet and a documentary filmmaker, you guys are gonna be living the high life alright!

Anyway, welcome to The D-Word. Happy to say I'm gonna be in NOLA for 3 days soon for the first time in over 25 years (though it's for a conference, so don't know how much down time I'll have). Looking forward to it.

Edited Thu 31 Mar 2011 by Doug Block

Sean Anderson
Thu 31 Mar 2011Link

I've been registered on the D-Word for a couple of weeks and figured I should introduce myself. I live in Lexington, Kentucky, where I pick up what documentary work I can, although of late that's become very rare around here. But you must know all about that wherever you are so I'll leave it. Otherwise, the place does have its charms, I suppose.

I have made two documentaries myself: "Rock That Uke" (co-director, editor, camera) and "...damn bad oyster: The Times of William Goebel, governor" (producer, director, writer, editor). The former is a meditation on life, death, love, hate, art, frustrated ambition...what you'd expect. Oh, and the ukulele. Especially if it's amplified and distorted. Yeah, it's kinda funny. The latter is a historical project that airs regularly on KET (the state PBS affiliate). It tell the story of a violent, raucous decade (the 1890s) in Kentucky that culminates in assassination and political upheaval. It's quite funny. One review called it "drolly informative." What higher praise could I wish for.

This will do for now; don't want to wear out my welcome first time out. If anyone's needs help on anything in Kentucky, let me know. I have some gear (and I travel). Or if anyone's passing through and needs a drink, I can provide that too.

Sigrid Helene Dyekjaer
Thu 31 Mar 2011Link

Hi this is Sigrid Dyekjaer, producer from Denmark, part of Danish Documentary production, produced film like "The Good Life" by Eva Mulvad, showing at Tribeca in a couple of weeks, "The Monastery" by Pernille Rose Groenkjaer, "Mechanical Love" By Phie Ambo. I am attaching my CV. I am also chairman of the Advisoryboard for CPH:DOX.

Doug Block
Thu 31 Mar 2011Link

Welcome aboard, Sean. A drink sounds really good right now.

And a particularly warm welcome to Sigrid, who I first met at IDFA 5 years ago when "The Monastery" won the Joris Ivens prize. She's one of the Europe's greatest producers and I urge everyone to come see The Good Life at Tribeca and meet her.

So you know, no need to attach your CV. Clicking on your name or photo links to your member profile .

Laura Perlman
Thu 31 Mar 2011Link Tag

I am a musician, composer new to your community. Have to say, in a world where we all spend far too much time in front of our computers (oops that is what I am doing now) it is nice to see so many of you opening up about real issues. That said, I am a composer who had the pleasure of composing music for a doc and fell in love with the process. To be able to write music in, around and complimenting the dialogue and narration of a doc was great. To be a creative part of such a meaningful art form is ..well just love it. So if any of you have need of any music, temp music or anything music related, please feel free to let me know. Also to whomever made the doc about Little Jimmy Scott...i'd like to know where I can see that. He is great..I had the pleasure of seeing him in New York and wow...that is so where Betty Carter got her style.
Thanks to all and I look forward to being a part of this community.
Laura Perlman

Doug Block
Fri 1 Apr 2011Link

Welcome, Laura. The Jimmy Scott filmmaker dude is Jacob Bricca .

Edited Fri 1 Apr 2011 by Doug Block

Marj Safinia
Fri 1 Apr 2011Link

Welcome Laura! Glad you found your way here. I owe you an email back. It's been a crazy week. Happy to have you among us.

Kristen Turick
Fri 1 Apr 2011Link

Hi there, my name is Kristen and I'm a newbie. :)
So grateful to have found this resource for doc filmmakers!
My husband, Jeff and I are currently in production on a feature doc about Transformational Bodywork called "Growing My Brave". Following stories from surviving to thriving. A project that we kind of stumbled into and are now in love with. It's been a truly organic experience that has changed our lives for the better and we look forward to learning and growing our skills as storytellers. We have at least one more leg of shooting in May and then looking forward to jumping into post, with hopes to release by 2012. I cut a teaser to help with funding which you can watch here:

Thanks for taking a look and thanks for having me!

Warmly, Kristen Turick

Ben Kempas
Mon 4 Apr 2011Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Kirsten.

So who else is out there? Enthusiasts and Professionals, please introduce yourself here.

Join this discussion now. You need to log in or register if you want to post.