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industry, save for the fact that I'm approaching 150 docs on DVD. I
fancy myself a self-directed, self-taught documentary lover -- but I
limit myself to documentaries on DVD. Unfortunately, some of the
best documentaries arent yet on DVD -- almost everything by Errol
Morris, Hearts of Darkness, etc., etc. I think documentaries on DVD
have some unique advantages. Namely, the extra material can be
particularly insightful and illuminating -- more so than the
commentary track on a blockbuster movie. Anyway, I'm very happy to
have found this forum.
I've been chided for not introducing myself, so here goes.
My name is Riley, and I've been making docs about outdoor and
adventure sports for the last 4 years. I love all kinds of
documentaries (and even a few fictional films) - but have chosen
a niche that i am particularly passionate about in order to
(hopefully) develop something of a reputation in the industry. It
has been a long road, but i'm finally making a living doing film
and video work (much of it commercial) - so i'm thrilled about
that. I was born in Seattle, and live and work here now, but hope
to move to a smaller town at some point in the future.
I've been on Mount Everest for each of the last 2 springs, so it
feels a little weird to not be in the himalaya this spring. In 2002, I
was working on the South Side for Discovery.com documenting
an expedition about American Women trying to climb the peak,
and in 2001, I was on the North Side with a group trying to solve
mountaineering greatest mystery: Did Mallory and Irvine summit
the peak first in 1924 and die on the way down? Or, was Hillary
the first to summit in '53 (he was certainly the first to come down
alive). Long story short, I ended up making a feature about the
2001 trip called 'found on everest.'
Before that, I worked as something of a video journalist for
mountainzone.com (when they still had funding) - and before
that, I made 2 films about ski town culture - which is essentially
how i started learning about documentary filmmaking. A process
that continues, and won't stop for some time to come.
I've started my tapes in the 'tape bin' rounds. Sarah George has
them now, so contact her if you have any interest in seeing the
I'm in between projects right now, developing some ideas, and
doing freelance work. I'm always interested in helping out with
other projects, as a shooter, editor, or just about anything else -
so keep me in mind for that.
I've been grateful to read many of the helpful posts here on
D-word, and will continue to check in. thanks gang!
feature films: http://www.soulsticefilms.com
freelance work: http://www.epicentertainment.com
not necessarily at The D-Word Forum ;-)
this whole community/forum thing has been a bit confusing for
me (as you can see) but i'll go do it there.
i'll get it together soon enough.
private, limited to doc professionals. Forum is open to one and all.
bran-newbie to d-word forums... and glad to be here... planning
to jump in and train to shoot/edit (at dv dojo) after years working
as producer/pm in tv/film. had the opportunity to see a screening
of "homepage" at dojo earlier tonite... thank you doug -- i really
enjoyed it. Look forward to learning lots from all the folks here...
I'm currently living in Cape Town, South Africa. I've just started
working on my first doc. We're following the life of a pre-apartheid
political activist who was imprisoned on Robbin Island for 15 years
with Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. that's the basic idea anyway.
As this is my first project, I'm hoping to find out all I can about
funding, distribution and sales and what to look out for.
Best of luck to all those out there with their projects.
Johannesburg and Cape Town next February. Good luck with your own
film - sounds intriguing.
after much foot dragging; and jump ahead with a documentary of sorts.
I am just a little timid about this but I am gonna plow ahead with it
anyway. Any advice for first timers would be greatly appreciated!
into documentary. And what a daunting yet addictively invigorating
plunge it's been thusfar! I did my undergrad in literature and
recently decided to pull up stakes, so to speak, and transplant
myself from Montana to Scotland for film school. After a ridiculous
amount of utterly unnecessary worry, I've finally decided it's all or
nothing and am jumping in headfirst with my first documentary. I'm
still in the pre production phase, but it seems to have grown to
unexpected and somewhat daunting proportions all by itself. So my big
challenge right now is to orient myself as to what sort of structure
and form I would ultimately like the film to take. So, as general as
that is, any insights or recommendations (and I do mean any) about
first time documentary making would be happily received. So, thanks
and luck to you all.
recommend you read the various discussions we've held in this Forum.
The Al Maysles/Susan Froemke discussion would be particularly
valuable, I think.
I usually find it best to leap in by doing interviews first. They
don't cost much and preparing for them is a good way to bone up on the
subject at hand. I usually approach interviews by coming from a point
of innocence or downright ignorance, even if I'm familiar with the
subject. So it's not like you have to be an expert before proceeding.
My name is Scott davis and I am a filmmaker. I have been in the film
industry for 20 years. Last year I embarked on my first doc.
I am part of a group of 4 called Common Sense Films.
We are in the last stages of post production of our first feature
documentary, The Fort Fisher Hermit, The Life and Death of Robert E
Harrill. I look forward to the exchange of ideas and guidence that
this group has to offer.
We'll be able to accomodate you later tonight. Be sure to re-post
this intro once you're in there.
I am a doc distributor based in Germany and have joined the doc
platform with my own company HS Media Consult in 2000. Beforehand I
have been doing this job for a company mainly specialized in music
I consult and distribute mainly for German distributors who want an
international platform for their programs - so yes, all foreign doc
producers are welcome to contact me the other way round should you
seek help in German speaking territory. My main focus is arts, human
interest, historical doc and - this is new scientific programs as
Right now I am looking for advise from people who love gypsy music and
could recommend the best place to go theatrical in the US with a
feature length doc film on a gypsy group from Romania called the
Fanfare Ciocarlia. They have been touring and fascinating the world
since about 5 years and they are back performing in the States again
in the end of June. So whoever wants to help spread their fame give
me a hint.
I look forward to correspond with a lot of interesting people on as
interesting topics in the d-word community!
If you have an NTSC version of the doc, I'd love to see it (though I
am no expert in Roma music, I do quite enjoy it.) At least in
Washington DC, there is an audience for Roma concerts and films.
Tony Gatlif's films seem to have a following and I know there was a
Czech film (about a woman singer -- I can't recall her name) that
also played a small circuit here. And of course Jasmin Dellal's
AMERICAN GYPSY which isn't about music so much as the culture as a
If Fanfare Ciocarlia are touring, it would be great to combine
showing the film with performances. D-Word's Nina Seavey did this to
great effect with the Russian country band Bering Strait and their
performances and the film really enhanced each other.
Is the band popular in Romania? Not sure how much help they'd be to
you, but you might want to try the cultural section of the Romanian
Embassy in Washington (only thing is they may have a new cultural
attache, so I'm not sure how active they are in promoting events; if
the film is produced by Germans, you could also try the Goethe
Institut in different cities)
Other possibilities are to try for festivals like South by Southwest,
FullFrame, and, of course, Sundance.
thank you so much for your interest and prompt reply.
Let me know your address by return mail and I will send it to you,
however we only have PAL versions so far. Do you have access to a
I will certainly take your advice and will let you know if I am
your film in U.S. territories. It's very difficult for international
docmakers here, however (something we're working hard at The D-Word to
correct). Don't get your expectations too high.
I suggest you check out the website for The Ballad of Bering
Straight. It's a good model for your film:
Greetings from a Munich burgher...
thank you very much for your note and welcome. I will keep you posted
on my proceedings - hopefully ending in success.