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Doug Block
Sun 12 May 2002Link
Welcome Paul and Dani.

Danielle Beverly
Tue 14 May 2002Link
Greetings Doc makers,

I'm Danielle Beverly, new to New York City via San Francisco and
Chicago. I've been working mainly for PBS since 1997. I'm in the last
months of production on my first feature documentary. The film follows
a 35 year old bipolar artist/chef/bulimic who destroyed her stomach and
esophagus in a failed suicide attempt, and is currently rebuilding her
life. I've done all the camera and sound on the film, as well as
produce it. Several doc makers suggested "d-word" as an excellent
resource, and I'm happy to now be part of this community.

Doug Block
Tue 14 May 2002Link
Well, you're part of this Forum, Danielle, but not part of this
community until you email me and Ben a request: d-word@d-word.com

Steve Cook
Mon 20 May 2002Link
Bonjour,
I am an Australian currently shooting a doco in France - my wife is
an editor and has worked on several Australian and French
documentaries, and was previously making a series out of Tokyo where
we previously lived.
I am photographer, getting my head around this black art, and an avid
(not the brand, the generic term) forum subscriber/contributor.
Our current project is following the creation of a new political
movement in France in the wake of the recent tumultuous presidential
elections, which yielded yet another notch in the extreme-right
wing's belt.
Looking forward to sharing ideas and experiences (although I am
reletively new to the moving picture side of things - I was
previously a Production manager for a media/internet development
company in Tokyo.)
Voila....
will email now.

Ben Kempas
Mon 20 May 2002Link
Welcome Steve. Hope to see you soon inside the Community as well.

Steven Leibo
Wed 5 Jun 2002Link
Hello: I am a professional historian who, having spent a great deal
of time as a "talking head" on the tube or on the radio doing
interviews about various contemporary international issues decided a
few years ago that I wanted to learn how to get behind the
camera/microphone and learn to make documentaries myself. I have thus
far produced a number of short mini-documentaries and am working on a
much larger piece. Since I am trying to learn as many aspects of
documentary film making as I can, from the creative to the very
technical, I am hoping this forum will be the right place to do that.

Doug Block
Wed 5 Jun 2002Link
Hey Steven, we can use more historians in The D-Word Community. Why
don't you email me and we'll get you in there: doug@d-word.com.

Kat Leung
Tue 11 Jun 2002Link
Hi all,
My name is Kathy and I currently reside in Beijing. My
experience so far in film has been writing and producing
fiction back home in Vancouver, Canada, but I've always been
fascinated with documentaries. Signed up to look for more
information about how to start making a documentary (where
to begin!), and to see if there's anyone in Beijing who
would like to start a project about the quickly disappearing
hutongs. Thanks and looking forward to being a part of this
forum.

Ben Kempas
Wed 12 Jun 2002Link
Welcome Kat! Of the people who have introduced themselves, I can't
remember anyone being from Beijing. But someone has to do the first
step ...
So what are Hutongs again?

Erin Nesbit
Wed 12 Jun 2002Link
Hi, my name's Erin.
I'm assisting on someone else's project in an effort to learn more
about the process of production. I actually did quite a bit of
documentary work as a student, but it was very low-tech and shoe-
string funding. So now I'm hoping to be introduced to the world of
people who do this professionally.

Ben Kempas
Wed 12 Jun 2002Link
Welcome to The D-Word, Erin!

Kat Leung
Wed 12 Jun 2002Link
Thanks for the warm welcome! Hutongs are old courtyard housing for
families (children, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents
would live in the same compound but in different quarters with an
open courtyard in the middle) and they've been around for centuries.
With the 2008 Olympics coming, they're being leveled fast and the
ones that are being preserved are becoming very touristy. Are there
books or on-line resources you recommend to give an overview or an
idea on where to start (do I start with footage and see what I get
from that or do I begin with a story in mind...)? I probably have
very basic questions. Thanks!

Doug Block
Thu 13 Jun 2002Link
Welcome Kat and Erin! Kat, try www.aivf.org

Dani Dion
Fri 14 Jun 2002Link
Hi Kat, Welcome (from a fellow Vancouverite). Here is a link to a good, basic, free resource. It's not entirely documentary specific, but it's all relevant. http://www.cybercollege.com/tvp_ind.htm I'm on a similar mission myself. As for approaching funders, etc, I suppose it depends on whether you will be based in Beijing or Vancouver. Unless you can afford to go ahead and collect footage, I'd try to establish the money side first. Sounds like an interesting project. Good luck.


Phillip Anderson
Mon 17 Jun 2002Link
hi, all. i am a working filmmaker and the director of the 5th
annual channel islands indie film festival (sept 10-15 2002) in
ventura county, ca. we also curate a monthly series of
microcinema (shorts). we regularly screen docs addressing
progressive issues. we would love to see your film. cheers.

Dani Dion
Wed 19 Jun 2002Link
Welcome Phillip. I'm sure we'd all like more info on the festival,
if you have the time.

Scott Pierce
Thu 20 Jun 2002Link
Thanks for starting this resource, Doug. And hi, all!

I'm currently prepping for "Yanomami: The Last Stand", which
will be following one of the last of the Orinoco Cowboys back into
the Amazon. What raised my interest is, he's going to help curb
a global epidemic the old-fashioned way. Should be fun, if not a
complete trial by fire for me.

With my previous background in children's television and music
videos, this project has really restored my passion for the real
world again. It'll be great sharing time with like minds, who also
want to bring their visions of the world to audiences that may
never get a chance otherwise.

Ben Kempas
Thu 20 Jun 2002Link
Welcome to The D-Word, Scott!

Rick Miller
Fri 21 Jun 2002Link
Dragonfly Motion Pictures is a small (one-person) independent documentary production company located
in Toronto. Owned and operated by Rick Miller, I create low budget social issues documentaries. Dragonfly
also provides post production services to a variety of broadcast clients. Since graduating from York
University's film school in 1987I have acquired in excess of 100 editing credits on documentaries for
Canadian broadcasters TVO, CTV, CBC, History, Discovery, Bravo, and Vision.

Dragonfly Motion Pictures has three documentaries in production. "David, his bubby, and Goliath" profiles
a family of radical activist who follow the ancient Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam: healing the world
through social action. "The Cost of Copper" documents the history of remote northern Quebec mining
village which is in the process of becoming a ghost town. "Beer: A Love Story" is an examination of
Canada"s love affair with beer.

I hope that The D Word will provide me with a forum to acquire advice on issues that arise from time to
time when I produce my documentaries. I often have questions about ethics and story development that
I've not been able to find answers to anywhere else on the web. I'll also have questions about the craft of
documentary making. I also hope that I'll be able to make a positive contribution to your forums by
sharing my experiences with fellow filmmakers.

millrick,
Toronto
June 21, 2002

Victoria Mielke
Fri 21 Jun 2002Link
Hello,

I have been interested in documentaries since childhood. I
enjoyed "The Atomic Cafe" thoroughly as an example of popular culture
historic preservation.

I am a native of the Detroit, MI, USA area. I am a writer by training
and have a college degree in journalism. What I need is education in
filmmaking. I am interested in meeting another person with a film
background who would like to collaborate with a writer.

I have an idea for a documentary that was spawned by recent historic
events, that I believe could be done with taste and care if it is
planned first.

As a fan of popular culture, I am interested in how the events of 11
September 2001 had an impact on the "high" and "low" arts of the USA
and overseas. In other words, I would like to work on a documentary
about the popular culture of 9/11 that examines both professionally
produced items and "folk art" from ordinary citizens.

1. For example, the commemorative items, from high quality books and
memorial items, to the "kitsch" that remembers this dark date in US
history.

2. I am also interested in how 9/11 had an impact -- though brief --
on popular entertainment. From erasing the Twin Towers from movies,
to star-studded benefit concerts, reactions in corporate America
varied.

3. Another aspect of 9/11 pop culture involves the Web, such as the
folklore ("Tourist Guy"; Nostradamus) and endless memorial sites and
graphics.

4. Symbolism, iconography and jargon of 9/11. What person who lived
through this era does not know the meaning of "Ground Zero," "Let's
roll," towers with US flag behind them, or what a looped, red, white
and blue ribbon means? Major events often gain their own language and
symbolism, that when presented years later, will still evoke memories
of those who lived through or studied them.

The body of materials produced in reaction to 9/11 is a snapshot in
time, a reflection of recent American history. Even the tackiest
item -- a sequined purse sold in Australia showing a jet hitting a
tower -- tells us of emotions, opinions and reactions of the era.

Dani Dion
Fri 21 Jun 2002Link
Welcome Victoria, Rick & Scott. Good luck with all your projects.
What global epidemic is Yanomami fighting? I thirstily await "Beer: A
Love Story" while clutching my sequined, tragedy satchel...

Victoria Mielke
Fri 21 Jun 2002Link
Question:

How do I go about looking for a filmmaking partner to pursue this
documentary idea? I can write, such as scripting, but I need a person
with the technical know-how; i.e. camera operation, selection of film
or digital video, etc.

Robert Goodman
Sat 22 Jun 2002Link
Start by contacting the film office in Detroit or Michigan. Ask about
all the professional organizations - network - find out who's doing
what. There are plenty of talented people out there - you just need to
find them. Another avenue is to look at the credits on shows that you
like and contact those people. Locally produced docs would be a place
to start.

Some advice - the most powerful docs are those with a central
character who undergoes change. We want to see people not ideas.
Figure out how to tell story with a person at the center.

Bill Wroblewski
Tue 25 Jun 2002Link
Greetings, all!

My name is Bill, and I am a journalism student at the University of
Minnesota - Twin Cities. Most of my work has been in print, but I am
becoming more and more interested in documentary film. I have a
little experience in the classroom, but am always looking for outside
opportunities. I have talked with a number of professionals here in
the TCs, and was referred to this site. So, here I am, looking
forward to hanging out, catching the buzz, and asking questions...

Cheers!

Doug Block
Wed 26 Jun 2002Link
I've been away for a few weeks and nice to see so many new folks
here! Welcome Phillip, Scott, Rick, Victoria, Bill. Keep asking
those questions (although the Mentoring topic is the best place to ask
them, at least after your initial introductory post).

Scott Petersen
Fri 28 Jun 2002Link
I'm an Avid/Final Cut Pro editor and documentary filmmaker in
Los Angeles. I'm originally from Chicago and like docs about
odd subcultures.

Best,
Scott

Harris Mann
Thu 4 Jul 2002Link
hey all
just introducing myself. i'm sitting here in echo park california
listening to the cracking of neighborhood fireworks. it's a beautiful
night aside from the shooting that happened at LAX today.
i'm a filmmaker, performer and co-artisitic dir. of a theater company
here in LA. just a general artist who likes to make things. i am
working on a doc with a number of experienced doc people and i thought
i would get involved with this forum. we're curently making a doc
about a husband...his wife...their lover and their white bengal tiger.
love to have some tips on the various styles there are when writing/
presenting a treatment as a tool to get completion costs. if no one
has specific advice it would be much appreciated if someone could point
me in the right direction.
thanks
harris

Doug Block
Fri 5 Jul 2002Link
Welcome, Harris. I just got your registration email for The D-Word
Community. So please introduce yourself there, too.

Axel Grigor
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
Hello fellow docomakers!

My name is Axel Grigor and I'm the director of an Australian film
company currently shooting an exciting verite documentary that's
scheduled to air nationally in Australia early next year and
hopefully hit many foreign shores soon thereafter. I'm fairly new
to the long-running-time doco game, but I'm enjoying it
immensely.

I have heard many good things about your forum and don't want
to stay out in the cold any longer. I hope to form many new
industry connections through this service and hopefully help
someone get closer to realising their own budding non-fiction
work.

It's nice to be part of this group!

Axel Grigor
Brisbane, Australia

Michael Kennally
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
My name is Michael Kennally and I live in the UK. I did some
documentary work at university a few years ago now and have spent the
last four years using video and multimedia technology as an aid to
communication for people with severe learning disabilities.

I am interested in dabbling with the medium again and wanted to see
what goes on here.

Michael Kennally

Doug Block
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
Welcome Michael. Axel, since you registered for The D-Word
Community, please make sure to post your introduction there, as well.

Michael (and others who are interested and qualify), for info on how
to register, go to: www.d-word.com/join.

Margot Roth
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
Welcome, all!
Just to clarify... There are two different online areas here. The confusing thing is their names are almost the same. One is called the "The D-Word Forums" and is open to the public at large to discuss general documentary stuff. (We're in it now.)

The other is called "The D-Word Community" and it is private, in that you must apply to get in. The "D-Word Community" contains many, many more topics that a professional doc filmmaker will find of interest--technical, creative, legal, conceptual, etc. It is a very active community and I encourage any doc-maker who finds his or her way here to apply.


Doug Block
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
Thanks for explaining, Margot.

Hermann Barth
Mon 15 Jul 2002Link
hy all,

my name is Hermann Barth, I studied some philologies and film theory
10 years ago, made some documentaries meanwhile but mostly prefer to
theorize. Mixing (up) theories and practical experiences I'm
sometimes giving lectures on dramatic structures and visual rhetorics
for students at the Munich Film Academy. I worked for the
International Documentary Film Festival in Munich (www.dokfestival-
muenchen.de - a site with not only german written but some english
texts and informations too) during the last 16 years and I'm now it's
director - so probably can answer some of your questions about
festivals in Europe, film traditions etc. ... but I'm mostly curious
about what's going on here on D-Word and inquisitive after new up-
coming films and projects...

Best

Hermann

Doug Block
Mon 15 Jul 2002Link
Hi and welcome, Hermann. Like many others who have registered for
the community, you have jumped the gun and posted an intro on our
public forum. I'll register you now and email you instructions.

Dick Rodstein
Wed 17 Jul 2002Link
Hi, my name is Dick Rodstein and I'm a narrator. I wanted to hang out
here to better understand how documentary makers see the world and how
they put their projects together.

I've narrated for Discovery Channel, National Geographic Explorer and
Canal Plus, as well as for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the
National Gallery. Recently, I've narrated some trailers for
unfinished documentaries. These short presentations are being used for
completion pitches.

Mostly I'm here to lurk, but if I can answer any questions about
writing for the spoken word, or the best way to get what you want out
of a narrator on a recording session, I'll be happy to.

Cheers,
Dick

Ben Kempas
Wed 17 Jul 2002Link
Welcome to everyone and a special welcome to Hermann Barth, the only
D-Worder who didn't ignore my birthday!

Some members of The D-Word Community don't read in this public forum,
so you should introduce yourself in our private forum as well:
{LINK NOT IMPORTED}

Doug Block
Wed 17 Jul 2002Link
Welcome, Dick. Nice to have your golden tonsils here.

Dani Dion
Fri 19 Jul 2002Link
Ben, did we miss your birthday!? :o
Welcome Dick and Hermann!

Ben Kempas
Sun 21 Jul 2002Link
Yes you did, Dani. I'm pretty sure I left a clue somewhere ...

Hermann, wann sehen wir uns in {LINK NOT IMPORTED}? Wir haben da
sogar ein deutsches Topic!

Steven Austin
Tue 30 Jul 2002Link
Greetings! I'm a filmmaker (12 years in the industry) and I'm about
to embark on my first documentary feature.

My topic is rather unique, so I can't reveal it online. Due to the
timely nature of my piece and my relative inexperience in the field,
I'd like to ask some seasoned pros a few key questions regarding:

1. acquiring film clips and still photos, fair usage laws and public
domain.
2. the discovery of copyrights for films already made, plus
discovery of underlying literary rights of such films.

Any help would be appreciated! I can be reached at
philnoir@earthlink.net

Thank you.

Ben Kempas
Tue 30 Jul 2002Link
Welcome Steven!

Replies to these questions please in {LINK NOT IMPORTED} where the same posting
was made.

(This is to say we don't double-post at The D-Word. We read
everything ...)

Adam Freeman
Fri 2 Aug 2002Link
Hello all!

I am new to the world of film production. I have no experience, but
I have desire, drive and a potential project. I am currently a
member of a non-profit organization devoted to peace education within
inner-city schools. In the 5 years the organization has been around,
they've never studied the impact of their program upon the
community. I plan to follow a documentary format and use the film as
a PR tool for the organization to develop more opportunities for
funding.

Starting out, are there any tricks of the trade I can utilize to make
sure that I get either specific shots, or should I follow my inner
creativity and just let it flow? Also, I have access to a mini DV
camera through the university I attend. Would anyone specifically
recommend using it as the primary camera for shooting? Or could I
use something else and use the mini DV for scenes that require detail
to separate by importance of the message?

I have access to local filmmakers, but wanted to throw my name into
this community. I do this mainly because of the War and Peace
Community provided through this site.

Cheers!

Adam

Doug Block
Fri 2 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, Adam.

Your inner creativity is a good thing, but it's best to know the
essentials. There are a number of good books out there for that. I'd
recommend one written by one of our D-Word members, Denise Ohio,
called "Five Essential Steps in Digital Video." You can read more
about it at: http://www.holytoledo.com/Five_Steps.htm.

A mini DV camera will be pefectly fine for your project. Lotsa luck!

Miles Hochstein
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
...just stumbled across this forum looking for Reed College...

I made a documentary once: www.documentedlife.com

But I think I mean something different than you folks....

Miles

Robert Goodman
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
actually no - identical though different media.
A terrific site - only harbored a glance but loved the yearly photos
linked to rememberances. And the family tree was equally interesting.

Okay - now all you have to do Miles is turn it into a film.
smile.

Erica Ginsberg
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Miles, it looks very much like a documentary to me. It makes me
think a little of Alan Berliner. I actually prefer the interactive
nature of your piece and am not sure it would work as well as a film
as it does as a website. How long did it take you to construct and
what gave you the inspiration in the first place?


P.S. My dad went to Bronx Science too, but he's about 7 years younger
than your dad.

Dani Dion
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Welcome Miles - I'm curious about how the FAQ's failed to ask why you
never use names in the pictures of your children. Just curious.

Deleted User
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Dani....

Well one might question the wisdom of posting pictures of one's children on the web at all "in this crazy old world of ours...."

Not using their names seems like an obvious precaution, given that I have chosen to be public with their images. Maybe you have to be a parent to see how obvious it is?

Why not ask it in my FAQs? Well I never ask it, and you are the first person to ask it.... so it isn't frequent yet I suppose... ;-)

Miles


Deleted User
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Erica, Thanks... I honestly don't think that my life is "yet" a good subject for a film documentary... At 43, I still have vague hopes that it might turn out to be a good subject, but at the moment a web autodocumentary seems like a much more modest and appropriately scaled kind of documentary. I mean, I think I'm fascinating and all that... but not feature film fascinating, if you know what I mean. My web site is a celebration of the ordinary... or would be if it wasn't so not ordinary to celebrate the ordinary...

I'd like to see a world of hundreds of documented lives, portraying the face of ordinary life. I'd like my web site to be an inspiration for others to represent their "ordinary lives" (which of course cease to be ordinary as soon as they are represented). A few people have told me that my web site has had that effect on them, making them want to look into their past and document the reality of their lives... Nothing makes me happier than to hear that it has that effect on people, to hear that when they look at my life, they begin to think about their own life and want to represent it.

Thanks for your comments!

Miles


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