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I am Ellen Reynolds. I live and work in Philadelphia where I am both the post
production supervisor at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at The University of
Pennsylvania, and one of several community video project facilitators and
editing teachers at the Scribe Video Center.
More importantly perhaps, at least here, is my own documentary work. I am
currently working on a portrait of a 92 year old professional poker player in
Atlantic City and through this a look at the pre-casino history in Atlantic City as
well as that (very strange) place today as it relates to the many senior citizens
that retire there in large numbers. Prior to this I've worked primarily on social
issue documentaries. One that is working well is a program completed last
year about the work the New Haven, CT. police dept. is doing in the area of
race relations, a historically problematic area for all police depts., perhaps,
but especailly there. Other work documents models in alternative education.
One example is a 50 minute doc about 12 high school students who go to
Thailand for 2 months to travel and learn about issues there.
Another aspect of my work that interests me very much is the creation of
programs for children. I have created a 1/2 hr. pilot, trailer, and "bible" for 2
proposed series. They are "documentary based" in that they use real
children, situations, locations, and dialogue but I do construct stories in
cooperation with the kids and script the structure. This way of working on
programs cooperatively with children interests me, as does the possibility of
contributing meaningful, interesting, respectful, productive childrens'
television to our children's television landscape. I am especially interested in
learning from the forum what broadcast opportunities are available to
independent makers working for children because through a pretty extensive
few years of research, travelling to children's television conferences
inernationally, and interviewing children's programming executives, I am
coming to the sad conclusion that in the US there is none. The age group I
am working for on these projects is 8-12. I'd love to hear people's thoughts
My primary tools are the Sony PD-150 and Final Cut Pro, like so many others.
I shoot alone, mainly, or with one other person if I need extra help (but never
more) and edit alone too, so I am in some need of a collaborator. Philadelphia
is quiet when it comes to doc makers coming together and sharing so if you're
from Philly - give a shout out.
Thanks for being here...
Community, as well.
finally have time to introduce myself. I am a film student at
Brooks Institute of Photography and am heading in the path of
documentaries. I have a few projects under my belt and will be
shooting a documentary for my portfolio film in the spring. Our
school only offers one introductory documentary class and is adding
more right before I graduate, so I am looking elsewhere to learn the
Along those lines . . . would anyone be willing to let me interview
them (7-10 questions or so) about their involvement in
documentaries? You don't have to be a seasoned professional either,
I would love to chat with people working on their first doc.
Technically it is for a marketing assignment but I've kind of warped
it to fit my desire to see what making docs is like outside of the
school environment. :)
One last thing . . . can anyone recommend some books to check out
about documentary filmmaking?
Wish I knew. Anyone else out there have a recommendation?
Documentary by Michael Rabiger
Makers by David A. Goldsmith.
report from Sunny Side of the Doc.