In reply to Riley Morton's post on Fri 20 Mar 2009 :
Thanks, Riley. SCRAPPLE's my favorite too.
Welcome to The D-Word! Stop in and sign the guest book - let us know a little (or a lot) about yourself.
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In reply to Riley Morton's post on Fri 20 Mar 2009 :
Thanks, Riley. SCRAPPLE's my favorite too.
This is Ruby Yang from Beijing, my home/work base for the last 5 years. Relocated from San Francisco in 2004, I am still fascinated by Beijing and the rest of China.
Thomas Lennon, my colleague has been telling me about this site. Glad I am now part of this professional community.
Welcome, Ruby! I've known of you through Tom for many years now, so it's great to finally have you joining us here. I guess modesty prevented you from mentioning the documentary short Oscar you and Tom won last year for "The Blood of Yingzhou District", but not me.
In reply to Ruby Yang's post on Sun 22 Mar 2009 :
please, keep me in mind in case you come along with medical video footage.
Hey Documentary community. I am Rick Eisenstein of Los Angeles and I am working on a documentary about the mortgage meltdown leading to the the foreclosure fiasco.
I'm very new to the documentary production process. I am helping a friend raise money to realize his dream of making a documentary questioning the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Edgar Allan Poe against the backdrop of the socio-economic and political realities of 19th century Baltimore.
He's been working on this for well over a decade now, and has a very detailed and well-thought plan, in addition to some participation arrangements with successful documentary filmmakers, so I am confident in the "bedrock" of the written materials and accounting data upon which I am building our funding strategy.
I am familiar with fundraising for social service agencies, higher education, and the visual arts, but this is my first foray into documentary film and it looks like there are significant aspects of documentary funding that are unique to the discipline.
I've found some solid information online and even a few leads worth pursuing, but would definitely be grateful for any wisdom and advice I could gain from those more experienced than I.
Most notably-what are good ways to get leads/ideas/contact information for organizations that issue grants for documentary films (particularly those focusing more on the American history and/or literature fields)?
Thanks for any guidance anybody should provide!
I am merely an amateur who is just getting into filmmaking. My real passion lies in Social Media. I am the Social Media Strategist for a nonprofit organization called Working Films. We work with a lot of documentary films and help create audience engagement strategies so that their films can really have an impact on the social issues they are about. I am really interested in seeing how filmmakers are using social media to get the word out about their films and to engage their audience.
Are there any filmmakers here who have been using social media tools in their film campaigns?
In reply to Richard Eisenstein's post on Mon 23 Mar 2009 :
Rick – sounds interesting. Just make sure to include a montage of a baby carriage rolling down steps.
Welcome Richard, Rob and Lynn.
Lynn, you might want to browse thru the Marketing and Distribution topic, where a number of filmmakers are discussing social media and networking tools (most lately, Angela Alston).
I'm a reformed network news producer who has spent the past 2.5 years shooting in India, Pakistan and W. Africa for a broadcast-length doc called SOLD:Fighting the New Global Slave Trade. It's about three courageous people who defy death threats, carry out daring rescues and challenge powerful interests in the battle to end child slavery in the 21st Century. It's not another film about what's wrong with the world, it's a film about a Christian, a Hindu and a Muslim who are kicking butt and making a difference. (I'm still trying out my loglines ... as you can guess).
Mira Nair has just signed on to be our narrator and we are working with several NGO's on our outreach campaign. I'm navigating the foreign broadcast sales world right now and look forward to the wise counsel of those who have already trod this thorny path ....
Jody Hassett Sanchez
Okay, I already screwed up. Was trying to insert that odd picture into member slot. Figured I'd let you guess which one is me. – Jody
far and away the best self-portrait in the dword to date – welcome Jody, and glad to see us spicing things up
Jody, clearly you're the one humping the column, right? Smart undercover disguise, I say. Good luck with your film, sounds kick-ass, for sure. And welcome to The D-Word.
Yeah, that's me. Same outfit I wore while filming in central Pakistan. Got several requests for the head cover.
My name is Brian Lio, and I am excited to have found a community of so many established documentary filmmakers. I just recently got into this space about a year ago when I founded a small production company with my friends and left a job in marketing to see if we could strike out on our own and make something work. I had not so much as held a camera when this whole thing started, so it has been quite the whirlwind learning process for me along the way.
We have been shooting a weekly documentary reality show called Jet Set Zero that follows the lives of a core cast as they attempt to start from nothing and fund their travels around the world living, working, and interacting locally.
Our goal is to try and tell the stories of what it is like to really live in a culture though personal experiences, and show that it an accessible dream to everyone by having a cast that funds themselves and opening the finances. We have been filming and releasing content for the past 9 months and have been shooting in Seattle, Saigon, Bangkok, Tokyo, and now Seoul. Its been an amazing experience and I am lucky to have a great team to learn from.
I look forward to getting feedback from everyone here and learning about what it takes to make a documentary series really successful. You can check out my work at www.jetsetzero.tv.
Hmmm, great content + great promotion = successful series. As long as we don't talk about funding, how's that for a formula, Brian? Anyway, sounds like a great idea and loads of fun (if you're young). Welcome to The D-Word.
I am an aspiring filmmaker (is there a word like "aspiring filmmaker"?). I haven't done any productive work yet. I was looking for some guidance to start and do it. Can someone suggest which camera (new or old) we need to making short movies? Any other suggestions for aspiring filmmakers? :)
about cameras for short films / low budget – I'm a big fan of the Panasonic DVX100A.
Just joined following a link from dvinfo.net. I am a very new documentary film-maker who has just jumped into the deepest of deep ends. I have two huge projects going on at the moment: one of which, considering my location, is politically sensitive and so will remain a mystery, but the other one I am keen to get some input on.
Basically over the years I have worked in many different capacities at a big Harare arts festival called HIFA. The festival is a complete miracle considering the economic and political context and I want to capture the sense of wonder and incredible achievement as the directors of the festival battle with the worst inflation in the world (over a sextillion percent), a cholera epidemic, a shattered economy, terrible phones and internet, arrogant foreign artists, indignant local artists, highly demanding corporate sponsors, difficult diplomats, etc. It is an exciting project, and I have just begun it. Started filming on Saturday – I have about 6 weeks before the festival starts. The real good footage will come in the last few days before the festival starts, but in the meantime I am laying the groundwork, trying to get some b-roll, building trust (a huge exercise, even considering my many years successful relationship with the organisers), practising some run and gun handheld shooting, etc.
Any recommendations, ideas, tips?
I am pretty worried about the millions of releases I am going to need. The dance rehearsal I just shot had 30 dancers in it! and that is only day two of shooting. Also, worried about incidental music appearing in shots, and the whole host of problems associated with clearing rights for that kind of thing. Seeing as this is an arts festival there will be a huge amount of artistic copyright issues I imagine.
Also I am trying to get as much observational stuff as possible and not interview people formally if I can avoid it. so what seems like a good shooting ratio in this kind of scenario, 60:1 ? I am trying to make a saleable end product which will have the duration of a tv hour – about 50 minutes. I am hoping to try and sell to tv stations etc, as I believe the topic will at least have some novelty value, and it is theoretically current affairs related as well. Anyways, any thoughts from anyone, any pointers as to possible difficulties I am going to have, warnings, tips?
This is my first post here, so this is almost certainly not the place to ask such detailed stuff, anyway – at least you know who I am and what I am up to!
Oh, I have a Sony EX1 and various mics etc. i don't have enough media or batteries, but maybe you never do?
I just joined the forum to see what stuff is being made everywhere!! And to be able to chat with James Longley of course!
Its awesome to be in a forum with such great filmmakers as yourself. Ok, so Ive had something that ive wanted to tell you for a couple of years now. It all started about 3 years ago when I watched Iraq In Fragments. At that point I was on my 1st year of Film School and although I was learning about the sensitivity in storytelling, I was more impressed with camerawork. When I saw that film I was blown away. At that point I thought it was only the camerawork what was amazing and I managed to find your contact at DVX user and I sent you a note asking you ONLY about the presets you used to achieve these images. You replied in no time with all the numbers and I punched them into my newly purchased DVX 100A as if those numbers alone would aquire those pictures.
Now.. for all of these years i have regretted enormously just having asked you about those presets.. I have grown out of the tech freak school mentality and I can watch your film now without focusing on shutter speeds, or framings or whatever. That film has taught me lots of things. I go back to it once in a while to learn when Im feeling stuck creatively.
Ok so all of this is to say.. sorry for just asking what the numbers in your DVX setting were, when you had made such an amazing, human piece.
Thank you, Pablo. You're very kind.
But if you're looking for humanity and sensitivity, there are a lot of filmmakers who've been able to capture that better – and a lot of them are on this forum. Take a look at Doug Block's film 51 Birch Street, just for instance.
Hi. My name is Preston Hart. I am a Brooklyn based composer and producer of music for films and have scored a couple of documentaries by DC's Eidolon Films. I am looking for new projects so please feel free to contact me.
Welcome, Pablo and Preston!
Thanks, James. I'll trade some humanity for your presets, though.
These are okay:
the settings are nothing special – keeping the iris open is more important. Oh yeah – and get close to your subject and shoot wide.
Stumbled upon this site via 2-pop and so glad that I did. I am currently working on a feature length doc working title: Jimi Hendrix: The Early Years
It's about the time right after the Army when he and Billy Cox were living in Nashville. It's about him but it's also about the thriving R&B scene in Music City at the time. It's a side of Nashville that really hasn't been told.
I finished the interviews (30+) and currently working in FCpro, researching archives, licensing, figuring out to pitch it etc.
I ran out and got the interviews first because these guys were not getting any younger...3 have already passed away that I got including Larry Lee last October. I have an hour interview with him and it was probably the last one he did.
I shot everything on a GL2 & an FX1 in SD Have gathered a few more people to help and things a moving forward. I'm sure I will have lots of questions. Grateful to have a place like here to ask them. Looking forward to getting to know some of you.
Glad you found us, Valerie. Sounds like a fun project, hope it all works out. And you find the money for those music rights ;-)
thanks, luckily most of people i interviewed have their own cd's so won't be using much (if any) hendrix tunes. we'll see. you know they did a documentary about bluesman robert johnson (at the crossroads) and all they had was a photo. we'll see...haven't approached Janie Hendrix yet but have a feeling it would be way out of my budget.
happy to be here with the d-word. I'm a filmmaker from a book background which means I'm still learning to work with a more engaging visual style. I've got my first documentary CONNECT USA premiering at the FirstGlance Film Festival in Hollywood next month. Much of my work until now is oral history based (interview heavy), and CONNECT USA is the story of me traveling across the USA interviewing people over a game of Connect Four (see the trailer at www.bodegavision.com)
Going forward as I look to make more documentaries, I look forward to not making it in the woodshed like I did this one, but among a community of doc filmmakers.
Welcome, Gregory. You should consider applying for full membership, which will give you access to all the topics. It's free, but not automatic.
thanks for welcome, I'll apply for the full membership when I get a breather. Right now looking to poster and drop postcards in LA, Marj have any ideas on how to get someone to help me over there? I can be reached also at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm so happy to have found the D-Word and look forward to learning from and connecting with you all! I am currently finishing a film about human enhancement technologies (bionic limbs, brain-machine interfaces, prenatal screening technologies, etc...)and disability rights called Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. In it, I follow three main characters, each of whom has a severe disability and each has a different perspective and stake in these emerging technologies. The film is trying to raise ethical/philosophical questions for us all to grapple with: how will these technologies change what it means to be human, "who" is allowed to be born, what values are embedded within the culture that are perpetuated by these technnologies, etc... I'm very excited about it, and have received great feedback so far, but am feeling a bit stuck about where to go from here. I started the project as my thesis for my master's program at UCSC in Social Documentation (Documentary Film) which I completed this past June. While the program is excellent in supporting us to go deep with our research and analysis and thinking about story structure, voice, etc.. it was quite light when it comes to post and to distribution or anything relating to the business side of things! So I am looking for advice here on these fronts. (I'll post more specific questions in various threads but do welcome any feedback).
I also want to share that after working on my film intensely for the last three years, I'm really excited to connect with other documentary filmmakers and am looking for other projects to crew on. So if anyone is looking for help, i.e. camera, research, writing, assistant directing, PA, editing, even just brainstorming ideas together, please keep me in mind (especially in the Bay Area, but I'd be very willing to travel too for the right project).
I am also about to invest in a camera in the next few days, but am still wavering between the HPX170 and the HMC150 (I'd love more advice on this, but I'll take it to the camera thread).
So thanks to all, especially the hosts! See ya on the forums!
Welcome, Regan. I highly recommend you start by reading the vast archives of the Marketing and Distribution topic. Or at least the past year or so. You'll get up to speed pretty quickly just from that.
i am a member of kodao productions here in the Philippines. Kodao is an indigenous word meaning journal. we make social and political documentaries. We also have a radio program that was blacklisted by the government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because of being outspoken about the administration's corrupt management of our country.
My name is Graeme Orr and I was born in England, grew up in Australia and now live in Canada. I am finishing of my first feature length documentary at the moment. I am very glad to have found this site. I live in a kind of creative bubble. Been working hard on my doc which I am producing, directing, writing, shooting and editing on my own. I love the art forma nd have a subject I am very passionate about.
My film, 'Road to Nirvana' is about how a chance meeting with a humanitarian has changed my life for ever. It was kind of lost. Knowing only that I wanted to learn more about the world and had dreams of using my passion for Documentaries to somehow positively impact the world. Then I was shooting for the local news one day and had to interview a man who builds schools and orpahanges all over the world and bring medical aid to those in need. He still holds down a full-time job and helps his wife run a business. At first I didn't know what to expect but the more time I spent with him I realised he was the answer to a lot of my personal neds aswell as proffessional ones. We travelled to Kenya, Egypt, India, Nepal and Sudan on crazy adventures to see some of the poorest people on the planet. It didn't take long for me to realise how spoit the western world is. I came back from each trip a little different. With a new perspective. I knew I had to make this into a feature and get as many people as possible to see it. I was extremely fortuate and now I feel it is my duty to spread AShid (my subject) message. 'In helping others lies the true significance of living'.
The drama and arch of the story revolves around Ashid's realization that he isn't getting any younger and after 30 years he needs to find some way of making his society survive after he is gone. After being a humble man who did very little self promotion he now realizes he must bring a new generation into the mix so when he is gone it won't all fall away. That is were I come in. Together we are taking his message to the world from the point of view of some one who at first had no really understanding of what he was talking about to now dedicating what has been 2 years of my life on fulfilling what I believe to be my duty or calling if you like.
WOW!! I really can rant on about this project.
Long story short (kind of) .. that's what I am doing at the moment. We have one shoot left in Cambodia and possibly another in The Dominican Republic. I'll be at Hot Docs in Toronto at the end of the month trying to learn the pitching process and aiming to meet the people who can help get this story out to the world.
I look forward to interacting with fellow passionate documentary filmmakers here at The D-Word. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions for you all. I also look forward to researching some of your films so I can pick your brains even more about specifics. This site is just what I need. Wish I had found it sooner.
Great to have you here, Graeme. Like with Ariel, feel free to sign up for full membership here ...
Regan, it's really great to have enthusiastic, fresh young blood infusing The D-Word. So jump right in to any forum without hesitating. We'll all be the better for it. And that goes for everyone who's registered recently or lurking out there in the dark. We simply don't exist without your posts. No questions too unenlightened. No sharing of experience we don't welcome wholeheartedly.
Thanks for sharing that, Doug, (I especially liked that part about being referred to as a "young" blood). =)
It can seem intimidating to chime in with questions and thoughts sometimes, but I'll give it a go! I'm sure I'll have lots of unenlightened quandaries to pose along the way that may, if nothing else, amuse the wiser, more experienced ones among us. Maybe they'll take pity on me and share some insights...? ;)
Thanks to Mikal Jakubal for getting me on here!
hey regan, you must know Renee Tajima-Peña pretty well, yes? she's my Executive Producer for my film WHATEVER IT TAKES. Renee was a big help to me (and continues to be) – hopefully, you've been able to get some good documentary instruction from her...
Hi Chris, That's great Renee is your Executive Producer. I did get to know Renee well and learned a great deal from her. What a fabulous woman and gifted filmmaker/storyteller! Your film sounds really interesting, by the way. Sounds like an incredible journey making it too.
Hi everyone. I'm really pleased to have found this site and looking forward to connecting with other documentary filmmakers.
I'm fairly new to the industry, having been thrown in at the deep end on a project in Thailand about AIDS orphans. The children are from a small rural village and are preparing to take part in an opera in Bangkok. They are being taught by an American composer and musician and filming has been on-going for the last 18 months.
My biggest concern at the moment is to do with releases. I know there is plenty of information available on the subject but it isn't always very clear. I have full permission to film the children, but there are obviously countless other adults appearing throughout the film. I understand that everyone who is interviewed must sign a release. What I'm less sure about is other people who appear in the shot.
When I speak to Americans they always say that everyone should sign a release. It's obviously easy to say than to carry out. Europeans seems to be less strict and concentrate on those being interviewed. I know that Thailand is not a litigious society compared to America – is this a factor a distributor or broadcaster will take into account if people haven't signed?
We're all looking forward to the big performance in July and then we can start to edit.
Hope to get to know you guys!!
Welcome, Mike. I'm no lawyer but I'd mainly be concerned with people you've interviewed and those who are featured fairly prominently in a scene (which is usually a judgement call). If they speak at all I try to get a release. If they're just in the background I don't worry too much, though you might later have the occasional broadcaster who'll want a face blurred.
My name is Matt, and I'm a young documentary filmmaker almost out of college and just looking to start working my way into the networks a little more. I've already worked in La on a couple of feature docs, and I've also created some short pieces over the past 2 years, so I have some experience. Basically just looking to see who's out there and who wants to be friendly enough to say hi, and maybe give me some advice . Always need advice.
Nice to meet all of you.
Greetings, Matt. Since you're now a member with access to the various discussion topics, try and be more specific about what advice you need and post in the appropriate area. But before you do, you should check out back posts or use the search engine. Chances are whatever question you have has been asked many times before.
My guess is you probably have all sorts of advice to give us, as well, so don't hesitate to jump in with it when you can.