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!
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.
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
Hello out there,
I'm currently living in Shanghai, China and at work on a documentary about cotton and globalization. I'd like to meet any D-word folks and documentary filmmakers who are living/working in Shanghai or nearby provinces (Chinese or expats of all stripes). I'm building up my network here and would like to know more filmmakers, film venues, etc.
Welcome, Laura. I have a good friend (she's Chinese) doing doc work but she's in Beijing, so not sure if that's helpful. If you want to get in touch anyway we can take this to email.
Hi I am a young filmmaker; new on the scene and looking to investigate these types of community sites as an outlet for... anything really. Just want to gain experience and learn from others...
In reply to Doug Block's post on Fri 6 Feb 2009 :
That'd be great, Doug. Your friend may have suggestions about Shanghai– people, places, etc. I'll also travel to Beijing this spring. Will you email me details?
I am happy to find you guys, it looks like an interesting site. I'll be glad to answer any sound questions you might have.
Welcome, Michael. Hope to see a lot of you in our Sound and Music topic. Laura, I'll be in touch soon.
Laura Kissel encouraged me to sign up. I'm a Shanghai-based Shooter-Director, working on a hodgepodge of documentaries, TV commercials, and corporate image films.
Hi, Marj Safinia encouraged me to join...
I'm a TV and new media producer with strong ties to the documentary community and serve on the board of the IDA. Just helped rebuild documentary.org there.
Welcome Carl and Thomas, but you're only halfway there. Feel free to sign up for full membership to get access to all of our discussion topics.
I'm Anita Womack, a documentary producer in Brooklyn, NY. I heard about you guys from Doculink.
I'm Rob Jackson and I've been bitten by the documentary bug. My first and only project to date is "Tracking Patagonia," a doc shot in Patagonia that is currently in post-production (I'm associate producer and co-cinematographer.) To keep it short, I'm here to learn, share and be an active part of the documentary world! Looking forward to it...!
Hi Everyone My name is Jennie Stenhouse and all though I come from a Computer science background I have found my self and my calling in documentary film. I am currently working my first job in the industry as an editor, camera chick and production assistant but long to do my own films ( I have a couple of my own projects i am tinkering away on ) . I found the sight through docu-link I to am looking forward to learning sharing and being an active member of the community.
Hello, this is nilankur, work in a new media studio www.cultureunplugged.com We provide online space to showcase, promote and cross pollinate ideas of film makers of SE Asia, Middle East and Africa. Hope to have a meaningful alliance with like minded friends/Film Makers.
Hello, this is Gerry and I am currently working on my first doc, about an extraordinary self-taught artist from Birmingham Alabama. I learned about the d-word through doculink, and look forward to participating in the community.
Really, it's coming fast and furious, and great to have you all here with us!
I'm a UK-based documentary maker and film journalist. I have been working on a documentary about environmental racism in a community living around oil refineries in Texas independently for 5 years, and recently won Best Short Pitch at BRITDOC festival and money towards completion of the film. Myself and the director (photographer Zed Nelson) are trying to get funding to complete post-production to meet our April deadline so I've gone the IndieGoGo route. If anyone has any great blogger leads from people who'd be interested to know more about the topic, I'd gratefully hear them.
More info on the film and a three minute trailer at:
Hannah, with your credentials you're welcome to apply for full membership of the D-Word, which will give you access to all the members-only topics.
Hi there- found out about you guys from doculink. I'm a freelance television documentary director/producer/writer (Discovery, Nat Geo, TLC, etc.) who also produces indie docs on the side.
Hello, My name is Sarah and I am a senior at Marywood University in Scranton, PA. I am working on a senior project which has developed into a documentary on people living with and/or affected by breast cancer. This will be my first documentary so I am a little unexperienced but I am also very excited. Anyone have any tips?
Ok, just kidding, Sarah. We have so many people flooding the entrance gates here lately I'm getting a bit giddy. A warm welcome to one and all.
Hello to everyone, I recently helped shoot my first documentary called “Hobocon”. The documentary is about our adventures as we go to Gencon (The worlds largest gaming convention) and hang with fellow gamers. This is the first doc to cover this culture that is not biased or geared at making fun of the subjects. We are very proud of that fact. We shot the film using high quality consumer level flip out mini-DV cameras. Nerds are a shy lot and we wanted to keep them as comfortable as possible. Sometimes all the proper gear gets in the way of the story. Now that we are in post-production I have been tasked with the job of getting the word out. Dose any one have any tips for me on this? Please check out our trailers on You-tube under “Hobocon”, they are pretty fun to watch.
Hi I'm SamProof – I'm starting a Documentary about an artist in Los Angeles who currently has no kidneys. He's work is amazing. I've pretty much just started. I'll be blogging about it at http://proofalist.blogspot.com/
I myself have worked the last few years in Reality TV, and have been saving up for a while so right now I'm financing the first stages of this film myself. In fact I'll be the whole crew, director, camera and editor. I've been making videos on youtube (http://youtube.com/samproof) for the past couple of years and building up for this project.
btw if anyone knows where I can find a group release and a contract boiler plate for my main subject please point me int he right direction. (I already have a standard release form)
so that's me. Hi folks.
Hi! My dear friend, the illustrious Danielle Beverly, has been telling me for awhile now that my life will be dramatically improved by getting involved with the Dword. Now's the time! After a few years absorbed by producing my first indie doc called "A Dream in Doubt," I'd love to join the community. "A Dream in Doubt" was funded by ITVS, and had the fortune of airing on Independent Lens last May and was a part of Community Cinema. I'm happy to share any lessons from this experience and others. I've been involved in doc production for over a decade and have worked on lots of types of projects, for various broadcasters and organizations. I also work as a content and outreach consultant at Reframe (Tribeca Film Institute's digital distribution site). I'm developing some ideas for next films, and am thinking of focusing on a short.
Howdy, Tami. Your life will indeed be dramatically improved shortly. Your IQ will increase at least 10 points, your teeth will get whiter and your breasts will, oh never mind. But the good news is The D-Word will be dramatically improved by your presence, too. Welcome aboard.
Thanks for the welcome and for putting so much effort into this site. If you weren't behind bars, I believe I could actually test this theory about improved breasts. Alas, I'll have to wait and see how things go.
what doug failed to mention is that breast size only increases in D-Word males who sit at the computer all day eating chocolates and fried food...
Oh well, I guess the ladies in the house can hope for the IQ boost then! Nice to meet you Christopher.
So THAT's what the "D" stands for!
I thought it was a film thingy.
Thanks for the welcome Doug. Looks like I need find a few days to just absorb this site.
My name is Piero Menor, from Madrid, Spain. I have just moved to NYC to find a position in the industry.
I´ve been working a lot during the last years in different non-proffesional projects including a documentary about my road trip around the USA. I also directed a tv show which was awarded with an Emmy to the Best Student Production.I am willing to work as soon as possible in NYC, and if its something very interesting, its posible even to work for free. Nice to meet you all.
I'm returning to d-word after a little hiatus and am happy to be among so many hard working professionals. I'm in Chicago now, but coming soon to a city near you.
If anyone is connected to events with social justice entertainment, look me up. I'm working on some things in Chicago, Arizona, California, NY with musicians/artists/activists/filmmakers...and would love to connect with people in other cities.
Also, we have a feature that aired on POV and ran the festival circuit, "Standing Silent Nation", if anyone has any educational outreach connections (university/high schools), we would love to hear from you.
Thanks and hope to connect soon, suree
Greetings back at ya, Suree, and welcome to you, Piero and Robin. Connect away.
I'm re-introducing myself as I've been away for quite some time. I've been busy with some grant writing projects.
I have worked for the last few years developing a film based on the work of philosopher Susan Neiman and have recently finished a full-length film based on an interview with the author as she explains the concepts of her book Evil in Modern Thought. This was made following a request from a philosophy professor looking to teach her work and I'm now adding some finishing touches and hoping to distribute to philosophy professors and students. I am raising funds to make a film for a general audience which will use other philosophers, historians etc. and will focus on the meaning and relevance of Hannah Arendt's phrase "the banality of evil."
I am also beginning work on a film about Detroit's move toward urban gardening. I hope to show this in a larger context by focusing on the global food industry and the benefits of localized food production. I also hope to show some of the universal issues of a post-industrial city undergoing eco-friendly transformations. I will most likely be posting on this film as I have the one above pretty much figured out (at least I like to thing so :-)
I'm looking forward to jumping back into this wonderful community!
Hi to all,
I'm not (yet) a film maker nor work in the industry however I am taking evening courses with the intention of applying to a documentary film program here in Vancouver.
Welcome back, Monica. You've clearly been a busy (and productive) one. Nice to know you'll finally be jumping in and posting. Hope it becomes a nasty habit.
Good luck with your doc studies, Barry.
Just wanted to say a quick hello. I was looking up the previous projects of an editor and in googling I came upon the d-word. I can't believe I haven't been here before; this looks amazing!
I am a documentary editor myself having worked on two different socially conscious projects in the past few years. (When I Came Home & Skid Row.) I learned a lot from working on them and can't wait for the next feature length project. Check out the links below if you wish and hello again!
Hi Brendan, we're delighted to have you on board.
Having been busy for a couple of days, I've just been swept away by a flood of new members here. What's happening?
I have a feeling our new Co-Host Marj Safinia has been doing some networking and promotion...
Thanks Doug! I'll be working my way through all of the posts and jumping back in shortly!
Hey guys! i live in montreal canada and i am a new member to D-word, so whats up? im looking forward to sharing ideas with ppl on this site and hope i can gain more info in this field and grow.i am studying in film and would love to work with anybody who is interested in docs, features etc...
Thanks Ben. I'm just getting acclimated to the site. This is really a cool thing; I love talking to other documentary people. While I was in New York on a project I found myself surrounded by a ton of documentary professionals, but in Los Angeles I'm a little out of the loop. Do you have any advice or particular topics you think I should check out to interact with West Coast doc people?
Oh wow, I just noticed that one of your hosts Doug Block worked on Esther Robinson's film about her uncle Danny and the Warhol factory. Esther was sooooo helpful on a previous project and we worked closely with her and her editor Shannon. I guess it truly is a small world...
Welcome to all these new faces to D-Word. Look around and stay awhile. And a special shout out to Suree. I was the curator of the Council on Foundations Film Festival last year and your film was one of the selected films. I was very impressed by the degree of outreach you had already achieved with the film to non-traditional audiences and still talk about it with filmmakers who are just starting out. Hope you'll share some of your experiences maybe in the Distribution Topic.
Brendan, good to have you here. Esther is one of my best friends and we go way back – she helped produce my doc Home Page, for which I created a running blog back in 1996 called The D-Word. In late 1999, when the film's distribution life started to peter out, The D-Word took a different turn . Funny how it all works out and, yes, it is a pretty small world.
Brendan, D-Word Members in L.A. meet all the time. I just got to witness a secret get-together yesterday. The Face 2 Face topic is always a start.
Thanks for the welcome, all! And to Erica...that's great to hear. We wanted to go to the Council on Foundations, but it was a little difficult to make it, so thanks for the feedback. I'll check out the distribution topic boards and would be happy to share our experiences. We're still working on distribution (mostly university/foreign/small groups now), but I appreciate the thoughts you share (usually it feels like we're working in a little bubble, but your comments remind me of the unseen impact screenings have). Good luck to all, viva documentary!
Hey folks –
I've been lurking for a few months, but I figured it's time to make my membership official... My name is Nels Bangerter, I'm primarily a documentary film editor (freelance) and I just moved from D.C. to New York, so I'm looking to rebuild a little community.
I was the editor of "War Child," which won the Audience Award for features at Tribeca last year, and I just finished working on Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer's documentary "Out in the Silence", which I think might be familiar to D-Word members. And back when I was in Los Angeles (before D.C.) I edited "Cine Manifest," a feature doc about a memo-crazy 1970s San Francisco-based Marxist filmmaking collective that imploded because of overly contentious idealism and rampant "criticism/self-criticism." Hopefully no resemblance to the D-Word...
Thanks for having me.
How long did the San Francisco collective last? The D-Word has been around for nearly 10 years now. Welcome to the commune!
In reply to Ben Kempas's post on Mon 16 Feb 2009 :
1972 to about 1978 (depends on what you call the end) So the D-Word has it beat. What a relief!
Good to have you aboard our overly idealistic collective of doc fanatics, Nels. Welcome.
I make documentaries and sad little comedies with a small team called Castparty Productions. I also did an experimental narrative feature last summer, for which I'm in the process of doing a director's cut.
We've begun periodic shoots of a local activist hero, for a doc that may or may not turn out to be feature-length, along with working on a feature-length musical. I guess you could say we're touching all the bases.
HI. Sailesh Dave from Bombay, India. Currently producing Prime Time TV shows and small spoof movies for clients like MTV, STAR TV network etc. Have always been passionate about documentaries and want to start by making some. Need advice on what are the latest market trends, sales agents, international format requirements, technical specs etc. Thanks.
Welcome, Sailesh. Best thing you can do is spend some time reading the various through the various topics here and use the search engine and tags to get at specific questions you might have. There's a handy Help function that will explain things, too, if need be.
Hi All – I've worked on a few documentaries before as editor and composer, but am making my first as a director/producer now and am looking for different resources and communities to help answer some of the questions and snags I'll encounter along the way.
I'm in the grant writing stage of the process now...
looking forward to participating here.
Can't imagine running into snags, Matthew. Producing is so easy, especially in this economy. But we'll try to untangle what we can. Welcome aboard.
In reply to Marj Safinia's post on Fri 6 Feb 2009 :
Marj thank you soo much, this has been of great help to us..
Dear Citizens of D,
I'm producing and directing my first documentary, "To Them That's Gone", along with three partners. The film is about the Run for the Fallen, an apolitical memorial project that traveled across America last summer to honor service members killed in the Iraq War. We are now in post-production and the fundraising continues.
I'm proud to say we just launched our website and new promo piece at www.tothemthatsgone.com. I'd be honored if you would watch the piece, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated (email below).
My prior experience includes picking up a few tricks while assisting Doug Block for a stretch, during the production of "51 Birch Street"; and assisting/shooting additional footage on "Jacques d'Amboise in China", which recently aired on HBO.
It's good to be here!
Your project looks very powerful. Good luck during the post process! I'll send you an e-mail with a couple names that are in your area that could be helpful to you.
Welcome aboard (finally), Andrew! But you're only halfway in the process, and missing most of the discussion topics. So finish registering to become a full Member here
Hello, Everyone. After a small break, I'm back. The look of D-Word has changed a bit (for the better I'm sure). I commute into DC from Md (60 miles each way). I work for the Govt during the week (a steady paycheck) and help those that I can, any chance I get. I've 20 + yrs experience and if I don't know something, I probably know someone who does. Wishing you all the best.
Hi, my name is Pierre Samuel Rioux, do not expecting a perfect English from me... i am a French Canadian native.
This is my project i am working on.
Guédelon le chantier médiéval.
I am a Quebecer but i shot this film in France... It's about a group of man and women building a 13e century castle today the way they do it at this time. The doc have 50 minutes running time. I like to follow this adventure and try to find the way to do a kind of co production.The first one it's made and it's in the final post.
This is wy i am here, i am also a www.dvprofessionals.com member and
a www.Konvas.org member this one is about people how using Russian lens lomo and Camera.
does anyone know where i could find a website for foley art or sound effects>
they got a interesting sound kit.