Hi Marcia and welcome to The D-Word. Best of luck on your thesis project. Care to share more about it?
Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First
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.
I am a cinematographer based in Los Angeles. However, I spent most of the last year in Cambodia, India, Iraq, Israel, Guatemala, etc. Although I work in narrative films as well, I absolutely love documentaries. I look forward to learning from everyone here as well as sharing my own knowledge. Cheers.
In reply to John Burgan's post on Tue 20 Jan 2009 :
Oh yes!! Francesca is studying here at ZeLIG right now! I'll tell her.
I'm a writer/producer who makes a living on corporate projects but lives for my passion for documenting offbeat subcultures.
After making a bunch of political/history docs for PBS and PBS affiliates, I recently got sucked into the world of traveling county fair daredevils. "Hell Drivers: America's Original Crash Test Dummies," features guys who set themselves on fire for $500 and jump garbage trucks off dirt ramps despite the guaranteed back problems.
After being in about a dozen low-key festivals, I'm getting phenomenal feedback from both monstertruck fanatics and the NPR crowd (very little overlap). Lately, I've been researching the sales agent world to aim for TV before playing the distribution game to NASCAR nation. But I think it's a little too wacky for PBS.
Would love feedback on the trailer if anyone has a moment: http://helldriversmovie.wordpress.com/see-the-trailers/
Glad to be part of this community!
I'm an director/editor living and working in Santa Monica. I mostly get paid to edit crappy reality TV, but in between shows I like to help causes I care about grow awareness and gain support through media. Last spring, I went to the Thai/Burma border with some friends to lay the groundwork for a non-profit trying to bring hope to the people of Burma, and in the fall I traveled all over Africa to shoot a doc for a non-profit based in Nashville. I've done similar work in Sri Lanka, and I edited a short film about an AIDS orphan in Northern Uganda for the non-profit Invisible Children. Currently editing the Africa doc and cursing the sound guy (myself).
Welcome, Austin, from a guy who recorded a key interview in his current film outdoors without a windscreen and is now suffering the consequences.
curiously enthusiastic outdoors personage, stranger in a strange land, 3 years in NZ after 20 in the USofA.
am taking this year to edit Doc I shot over 2 years in the American West, 2004-5. 220 hours. Daunting but fun. film|fotography|filosophy. that's what I do.
Well, lucky for us that's what we do, too. Welcome to our ongoing online party, Richard.
. . . and I look forward to being part and parcel of your family Doug, thank you.
I'm a documentary filmmaker currently located in my hometown of Reading, PA. For the past year and a half, I've been living in New Hampshire creating short documentaries about the state during the primaries and election. It was there I stumbled upon the topic for my first feature doc – The Free State Project, a modern pilgrimage to New Hampshire by libertarians from around the U.S., intending to influence local and state policy in the hopes of creating a libertarian utopia inside the U.S.
My doc follows four individuals associated with the Free State Project– Two as they are moving to New Hampshire and two who already reside as members of FSP. They all are wonderfully different and bring different dimensions to this film of passionate characters.
We've finished filming, and I'm back in Reading catching up with old friends and editing this project. I plan to move out to L.A. by the end of the year. Can't wait to get to know all of you and learn from your expertise!
A warm welcome to The D-Word, Christina. My guess is you look at your libertarian subjects objectively, but I'm curious if your personal politics differs a great deal. If so, almost always a fascinating tension. Feel free to talk more about the film in the Works in Progress topic.
Hiya! I'm just starting to get back into digital vid. filming and this looked like a great site. I am trying to put together a short doc. and am always looking for advice and tips that can save me time, money and headaches but not always in that order. Short of my own limited experience I don't really have anyone locally to ask about stuff so, here I am. I am very interested in what others have accomplished on shoestring budgets. I've only signed up about an hour ago and have already found some great resources. Thank you! I'm not much of a social butterfly or big blogger type but if someone is interested what little experience I've had, I am willing to share. Then again this may be my last post... Thanks for such a great site BTW. I know it takes a ton of effort for a thing like this to run. Know that your work is greatly appreciated!
Best regards, Jay
Geez, Jay, always thought Cape Coral was a hotbed of documentary activity. Another illusion shattered, but welcome anyway.
Hi all, I'm a sometime filmmaker from Gibraltar, now languishing in the World of Extreme Sports, based in Munich...pays the bills though huh!
Ah, Munich... perhaps then you know Munich's most famous online export, Mr. Ben Kempas? If not, you'll meet him here soon enough. And welcome to The D-Word, Sergio, where we languish 24/7.
Doug, stop it...
Sergio, a big welcome from Munich to Glonn! How did you end up there?`:-)
Theatre- Music- and Filmenthusiast, in the hands of ZeLIG School for Documentary (Italy) since nearly 20 years and running ESoDoc – European Social Documentary (Media-Training-Initiative) creating Productive synergies between NGOs, documenary filmmakers and New Media people. Future of audiovisual production is our (practical) focus.
Welcome, Heidi. It's great to see the first people finding us through Reelisor. Be sure to sign up as a full Member of The D-Word to see all our additional discussion topics. It's free but not automatic.
I am very excited to be here today! A friend of mine told me about this wonderful site yesterday. While I have heard bits and bobs about it, I am pleased I took the time today to say hello. Documentary filmmaking is my passion. I majored in film studies at the University of Boulder where I made my first doc, Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. It is fun to look back and laugh now:). Most recently I produced a documentary that opens in theaters next month called As Seen Through These Eyes, on the surviving art and artists of the Holocaust.
Also, I am currently circulating a short film called Kaziah the Goat Woman on the festival circuit, which I directed and edited.
Finally, you can find my thoughts in the form of a blog on FilmIndustryBloggers.com.
Thank you for all your hard work putting this together!
welcome Amy! one of the editors (Zeb Smith) you worked with on AS SEEN THROUGH THESE EYES was the editor for my film. he doesn't post here very often, but he speaks very highly of your work.
make sure you become a full member here, and then you can see all the really interesting (and time-wasting) parts of the D-Word.
Thanks to all of you and D world. I am very new for making documentary and need your some advice. First I am not sure about camera that from which camera I should shoot documentary. I want my documentary should go in festivals also.
I want to use simple camera which I can rent cheaply but same time festivals should accept documentary which shoot by these camera.
Can some one tell that which type of camera shoot (documentary) is accepted by festivals?
Or festivals only accept documentary which is shoot by some special camera if so please you can mention those camera name (which should be simple and cheaper to rent).
Thanks to all of you and hope to get some good answer.
Try the Panasonic DVX100B for standard definition, or if you have the budget to work in High Definition, try working with the HVX200 or HPX170. But your choice of camera should also depend on what kind of material you are planning to film. Festivals are most interested in good films, not the kind of camera.
Just kidding about the Arriflex 535, BTW.
Lots of thanks James
You say Festivals are most interested in good films, not the kind of camera… please can you say some most simple camera which I can use for shooting and I can rent or buy camera on cheap cost.
Is this true that festivals accept only those films which have Resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels, if so which normal and simple camera will give Resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels.
Anand – firstly please note that the D-Word is a "Real Name" community, meaning that everyone is asked to register with their full name, not initials, so please log-in and adjust your profile accordingly.
Secondly, there is no single technical standard for festival submissions – this can be anything from standard definition DV to full-blown HD. Check the festivals own submission guidelines although as James says, the main criterion is to submit a good film.
Thanks, my full name is Anand A.
I am a new person so have these types of question. To make a good film it can be shooting in simple camcorder also and I have simple camcorder almost 4 different companies and one is Sony DCR-HC26 but I am not sure shooting from these camera will be accepted by festivals. So before I start it is good if get clear idea from some professional people like You, James and so many other people then may I can start shooting. And thanks for your advice.
If you say festivals just need a good film then can you say that I can even shoot my documentary with sonny DCR-HC26 and I think this is the simplest camcorder.
Folks, this topic is for introductions only. Newbie questions can be answered in the Mentoring Room . (And you won't be very happy with the HC26 because it basically offers no manual controls...)
Anand, is your last name really just "A"? Are you from India?
hello, I'm rachel leah jones, a documentary filmmaker based in Berkeley, CA (but who want to admit to that, especially these days?! so i wrote berkeley, ca instead...). i'm working on my 3rd doc (previous titles as director include 500 DUNAM on the MOON and ASHKENAZ). i'm editing with FCP right now, which isn't very popular in israel (its an AVID kind of country...) and i need some people to troubleshoot with. i'm not a technophobe, but i'm also not a tech-freak. so, hello...
hello to you, rachel. i'm a bit confused, you say you're based in berkelely but writing berkeley instead? reading between the lines, did you mean to say israel? either way, happy to have you aboard the good ship d-word.
Hi Rachel – great to see you finally made it to the safe shores of D-word. It's been ages. What's the new doc about?
I know how you feel, BTW:
I'm based in Seattle, but I didn't want to admit I was in the United States so I wrote "Iran" instead.
Hi Rachel – Greetings from Wales where Hassina and I now live after leaving Berlin for Denmark back in 2006, living here since last Autumn. Good to see you here at the D-Word, have to get Phillippe on board one of these days.
Quite a few of us use FCP and there is also a dedicated topic if you come unstuck...
In reply to Doug Block's post on Mon 2 Feb 2009 :
doug: yes i meant to write based in tel aviv... but i guess i was so ambivalent, and ambivalent about being ambivalent, that i couldn't even get the words right... anyway, i was born in berkeley, ca. and grew up there as well as here in tel aviv...
james and john: hello! i'd love to see you both in person again sometime.
james: sorry i missed you in seattle, i was there in november showing ASHKENAZ. the new/old (started shooting almost 10 years ago) doc is called GYPSY DAVY about david serva (nee jones) a white boy with alabama roots who reinvented himself as a flamenco guitarist in andalucian boots who fathered five children to five different women along the way, and one of those children is me...
john: sorry you're no longer in berlin, i keep imagining a repeat visit. i guess wales will have to do (after all, i am a jones)... warm regards to hassina!
ok, this probably isn't the time and place to do all this chatting, though i'm glad to encounter friendly familiar faces, so what's my next step in terms of posting a tech problem?
So what's wrong with chatting? We live to procrastinate! And have no fear, Rachel, I highly recommend you change your "Current Location" to Tel Aviv. Always helpful to know where people are currently. And it will keep all our SF area members from being disappointed when they discover you're not in Berkeley.
I have been working for the past ten years as a photojournalist and I am now looking to make the jump into documentary film work out here on the left coast (of course I am located in the Bible-belt of the San Joaquin Valley, smirk). A former professor now colleague mentioned this site as a place I should join.
I have been working in FCP, doing mostly web shorts, but I would really like to not make too many 'tech' mistakes moving forward into documentary work. Looking forward to asking lots of newbie questions and then getting deeper into the process.
What's with everybody missing part of the heads? I guess I'll have to upload a new pix. Wecome Michael.
David, apparently I did not pay the photographer enough.
Used to live right near Kingston, Ontario and climb at the Shawanagunks. The cool part about Cali is now I can get to Yosemite and just visited Galen Rowell's gallery in Bishop.
I'm a new doc film maker who just completed Thom Powers' documentary production class at NYU. There I not only had the pleasure of having Doug Block as a guest lecturer but I also learned of The Stranger than Fiction series where I recently saw Upstream Battle by Ben Kampas, so it seemed only natural to come and sign up for D-Word next.
Right now I'm working on my first doc about the little known but widespread influence of two men who in 1991 made a series of predictions about major social trends and events to come (specifically including events such as the current financial crisis) which have since turned out to be surprisingly prophetic. At the time they published their predictions, Newt Gingrich called their book "an intellectual tour de force" and Al Gore called it "the most stimulating and politically relevant book on American history that I have ever read” and sent a copy of it to every member of congress. (I’m really looking forward to explaining this more and getting as much feedback as possible in the Works in Progress section here.)
While working on that I’m trying to earn a living as an assistant editor Avid/FCP (I own my own Avid system) and also trying to earn extra money by doing transcription by voice with Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software. It’s not something I want to be doing full time but it’s so much faster than regular transcription that when I used it recently during an internship on an Obama documentary everyone there told me it was so much faster and better that there would really be a good market for it in doc films.
Anyway, I hope this intro wasn’t too long but I'm looking forward to meeting some really interesting people here and getting some great feedback and advice on making docs.
Thanks for coming to the STF screening and welcome to The D-Word, Even. (I will spell your name like this until you get my surname right.) ;-)
Good to have you here, Evan. Congrats on surviving your course with that notoriously ruthless taskmaster, T Powers.
D'oh! Sorry about the typo Mr. Kempas. And yes it was rough suffering under our friend Thom's vicious whip all semester so thanks for the sympathy Doug.
And thank you both for the welcome!
I forgive you. I don't know what it is, people either make me a "Kampas" or "Kempers". But somehow they never make me "Kampers". :-)
Hello everyone.. My name is Yixi Villar and my partner and I are looking to fund our documentary, "Life In The Balance" . It highlights the work of two cutting edge doctors and their patients. These doctros are changing the face of cancer treatment in America, they are saving the lives of people who have been sent home to die at the hands of doctors from some of the leading cancer centers in America.
We are looking to raise $100,000. For a number of the grants out there we need to have a non-profit status, does anyone know of any grants that don't have that criteria?
Please help, Thank you
Yixi, welcome. The traditional workaround is to find a fiscal sponsor, an organization that has non-profit 501(c)3 status that agrees to collect funds you raise in exchange for a percentage that they take for themselves. This allows you to pursue grants that require non-profit status, usually for about 5%-6% of what you raise. There are a number of organization that offer it, include the IDA or Public Media Inc. or IFP New York