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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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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
Sat 13 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
Tue 16 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
Thu 18 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
Fri 9 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
Fri 9 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


Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
...oh and Erica, you asked how long it took to make... maybe a year or so, with many evenings in front of the computer scanning, looking for the right photo.... It is of course not finished, since their are many other old photos, sometimes "better" ones, that I may yet use, and of course I'm planning to live the rest of my life as an ongoing documentation project, so every year there will be a few new photos to add, a few new stories to tell.

Even worse, one quickly realizes that one's past doesn't stay the same as one ages, so that the true story of my adolescence or young adulthood keeps changing, and will need to be retold....

This raises the question of what to do with the "old" versions of my past.... See the representations of my past on the web site are really representations of myself at the time they were written, circa 2000 and 2001.... but now its 2002 and I have new truths about my past that I understand....

... and so I really need to archive each version of the entire web site with each passing year to see how my auto-representation changes over time... Well you see the problem this could create if one had too much time on one's hands.

Fortunately, I have other things to do, so I hope to avoid that level of complexity. I will probably just discard the old versions of my past, as time and wisdom lead to new understandings, although they may be saved in some great Google index in the sky somewhere....

Besides, although the words I write will change, the pictures themselves constitute a kind of solid data point that is fixed, even as the meanings I ascribe to them in words may change. Post-modern issues with photographic representation notwithstanding, I think photos ultimately are data about reality, and they have a certain reassuring solidity that my changing words about the past will always lack.


Erica Ginsberg
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
To me, the most powerful documentaries are the ones which are
celebrations of the ordinary. I guess many others feel the same and
that is why you have had enough of and impact to make others want to
do the same thing.

As for your question about adding information to past years, maybe
you could add little postscripts to each year as you "discover" more
about your past rather than creating multiple versions.

Robert Goodman
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
personally i love the idea of layering your impressions of years
past. How did Miles feel about turning 40 when he was 40 and when he
turns 50. In fact you could make a website that would be just about
one year in your life seen through the mirror of time.

my free idea for today.

Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
I like your idea Robert... but perhaps it requires a level of self obsession that even I have not yet risen to? :-)

Thanks Erica also..


Donna Barker
Mon 12 Aug 2002Link
Hi all,
I've just decided to re-pursue a passion I've had since I made my
first doc fim in '89. Worked in the industry for two years in
Montreal and Paris and then had to get a "real" job to pay my
student loans. Here I am, eleven years later, loans paid off and a
film burning to be made inside me.

I'm looking forward to getting to know what I'm about to embark
on...words of wisdom...(no need for the warnings, I've already
gotten lots of them from friends and family!).

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