I'm producing my first documentary and hope to find answers to some of my questions and contribute back to the community when possible. Looking forward to exploring the site and seeing what topics are being discussed.
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'm just trying to figure out how to do a character-driven doc on a local woman who is on a personal mission to save unwanted pets. I hope to do it in episodes for a start-up web/cable TV station. Then,who knows, maybe there will be enough good stuff for a real doc. I plan to shoot most of it on a new consumer cam – the new Pany hdc-tm300, which is really small. The interviews can be shot on my JVC hd200. When I picture this story, it vaguely looks like Jon and Kate Plus Eight...that kind or reality. What do you D-word folks think about this method of "gathering" material episodically?"
I guess I mean: Has anybody out there tried that method before? And, if so, how did it work out?
Welcome to The D-Word, Chris and Sharon. Chris, that may be a good question for the Mentoring Room . This topic here is for introductions.
So who else is out there? Give us a shout, we rarely bite. :-)
I'm the writer of FUEL. Winner of the Audience award for best documentary at Sundance 2008 and nominated for the 2009 WGA best documentary screenplay award. I'm working on a new doc about Benazir Bhutto. I'm looking for a very good archival footage person. Any suggestions?
Elizabeth Klinck is highly recommended by many people.
I have just finished up a trailer for my new film 'Drying For Freedom'. Its an environmentaly minded documentary focusing on the banning of CLOTHESLINES in millions of communities across America. That probably sounds somewhat obscure but you would be surpised what lies behind this story.
We are trying to drum up as much support/ feedback as possible so if you fancied checking out the trailer and becoming a fan via facebook please do. This is a low budget independent film that is still being made.
Feedback is very welcome!
Just learned about your group in Docs in Progress newsletter. My doc, The Jesus Guy (www.TheJesusGuy.com and www.thejesusguymovie.blogspot.com) had a nice run on the festival circuit & will be out late Fall via Cinevolve (www.CinevolveStudios.com). I am an advertising guy and commercial director by trade. Worked with Albert Maysles at Maysles films for a stint. Looking to learn, mentor, and meet via D-Word.
I'm wondering if anyone out there might be interested in coming out to South India to help me with a doc that I'm developing/ shooting on the international eco/ spiritual community of Auroville. I'll be here for the next 1-2 years and would be interested in working closely with someone who is good with ideas and people. I can't really offer much in the way of payment..... I'll rent the house and keep it running. I'll be in Montreal for late November in the event that anyone is interested in meeting up to discuss and explore options.
I'm Jane Taylor and currently studying an MA at the University of Salford, Manchester, UK in Television Documentary Production.
I am at the stage now where I am conquering my dissertation. I got extremely inspired by the Documentary Campus event at the Manchester Town hall – Leaner Meaner and Keener, and have based my dissertation on the effect the internet has on documentary.
I would really appreciate some opinions, experiences and professional advice on this subject. How the internet plays a part in documentary distribution in a good way and bad way? advantages and disadvantages? What's the future? How it has helped you business or film? Everything and anything please...
I am very new to this forum so I will try and set up a topic and all feedback will be highly appreciated.
Welcome, Jane. Unfortunately, you can't set up a new topic yourself, only us all-seeing, all-powerful hosts can. So you may want to ask that again in the Mentoring topic.
Jonathan, you should be posting that in the Classifieds topics. This is merely for introductions and greetings.
Hi , I'm Susheel Kurien, in NYC and once from Bombay.. I am making a film about Jazz in India..see my profile bio for more detail.I am doing this in collaboration with Sunil Shanbag of Chrysalis Films, Mumbai, India. Our plan is to develop a 6-7 minute pilot that will communicate the essence of the story and demonstrate the production values. I have just returned from India after shooting about 16 -18 hours of HD video with a wonderful team. I am not a professional film maker but many years ago, I worked in with documentary and commercial film. So in some ways its full circle. I have a synopsis for this film and a draft outline treatment that guided our shoot and helped structure it in an efficient way. I am now working on refining the treatment into a 3-4 page script that blocks out the main scenes. In parallel, I am working with my collaborators on developing a 6-7 minute pilot.
I need to develop a circle of professional advisors to guide me through this project. I would appreciate hearing from any professional who is interested in this project and shares my passion for this project. I need all the help and guidance I can get.
I heard about this site from another doc filmmaker. Anyways... I am in the Philippines based in Manila filming a documentary about Rice Trade and Policy. The film is funded by the Fulbright Scholarship. My last film was in South India about the influence of cable tv over in rural areas. here is my website: http://www.fastcloudfilms.com/
I came upon this place by the virtue of sitting four feet from the infamous Doug Block himself! How i ended up there was through a chance encounter at a fund raising shindig whereby I went on this big rant to Lori Cheatle (Owner of Hard Working Movies) about how i had given up on ever doing Documentary anymore because frankly i saw no way for me to get into the field and be able to support myself. Lori then explained that she in fact owned a documentary company. I then quickly ate my words and bing bang boom now i am here and am very excited to exchange ideas and get to know people who are actively working in the field! Life is a funny thing and i am happy that it brought me here!
Infamous? Ok, Vanessa, go fetch me a coffee. Oh wait, you're beholden to that slavedriver Lori, not me.
Anyway, you're only halfway in the door here at The D-Word. You need to register for full membership in order to get access to the lion's share of discussion topics. Do it now – that's an order!
Michael has worked all over Europe, South Africa and the United States with assignments taking him through Africa, the Middle East, Haiti, Mexico and South-East Asia. With more than 20 years of combined experience as a professional photojournalist and videographer, Michael brings extensive knowledge of media communications and marketing, having worked in those capacities at IBM in England, South Africa and the U.S. He continues to work on projects that aim to re-engage public interest in humanitarian and social issues on a local, national, and international basis.
In his years as a photojournalist, Michael has been doused in tear gas, nearly attacked by a mountain lion (which turned out to be a wild donkey), and brought in to land on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. His work has been featured in many leading daily, weekly and monthly publications as well as on MSNBC, CNN and other news-related channels.
Welcome Michael in the third person. Glad to see another Bay Area person.
Good to have you aboard, Michael. But, as Jason suggests, we talk in first person here. It's just that kind of place.
Yes, I caught that. Just a little lazy, this afternoon and cutting and pasting from another bio was much easier.
Good to meet you all!
I was involved in various ways – writer, editor, narrator, some photography – in a documentary called "Saving Luna," about a lost killer whale who tried to befriend human beings. It had a good theatrical run in Canada and has been showing on CBC at a couple of different lengths. The film has also had some festival success. I've done a bit of writing in the IMAX nature genre – the films "Antarctica" and "Ocean Oasis" – and a narration script for "Under Antarctic Ice" for PBS's Nature. I've also done some writing for National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines over the years, and a few books. I'm relatively new to the documentary world and I find it to be full of truly awe-inspiring individuals whose ability to innovate technologically and creatively is astonishing. As is their ability to survive. There's a lot to learn.
Welcome Michael. I absolutely LOVED Saving Luna. Nice to have you here.
Hello, D-Word. Shirley Thompson mentioned this group today, and it reminded me that I've been meaning to join for a while, so here I finally am.
I made (produced, directed, shot and co-edited) a doc called "The Key of G" (http://www.lateralfilms.com/), which played on PBS in 2007 and won a Golden Gate Award at the SFIFF. It follows a young man with multiple disabilities as he moves out of his mom's house into an apartment with a couple of his friends/caregivers. I'm distributing it to the educational market via New Day Films. Since I finished that film, I've been doing some editing, shooting, and DVD authoring for hire and looking for a new doc of my own. I've also been working on some short fictional pieces.
I'm excited to poke around this site and to meet some of the other members...
Good to have you here, Robert. Welcome and hope you'll leap right into the discussions.
Nice to have you Robert. New Day always well represented at Sebastopol. And tell Shirley she should be here conversing as well. I never see her here.
I have made my first documentary and Penelope Andrews suggested I look at your site. I must say this is an excellent site and I can see why she recommended you. Keep up the good work!! I will be referring to your archives from now on and may ask a few questions when required.
Welcome, Stephen and Robert. Always nice to see new faces in the neighborhood. It's civilized but lonely here, kind of like Edinburgh.
So glad your are checking in to D-word Stephen
Dont to forget to tell everyone on D-word a little about yourself and the film your finishing!
I would also suggest you apply to be a member as soon as you can as it a wonderful community of filmmakers and very helpful.
I got into documentary making because I was inspired by reading my uncles book called 'Grow Jamaica'. The book is about using ganja for food, fuel, fibre and medicine in Jamaica. My uncle (Reverend Leeroy Campbell who died in January 2009 aged 78) was a ganja activist and scientist and under the banner of 'Friends International' they incorporated Cannabis Hemp Research Institute of Science & Technology. He had worked in this field for 20 years with his wife Janice who co-wrote the book.
The documentary and the book both provide a comprehensive look at the economic, social, spiritual and environmental impact of a cannabis industry in Jamaica. Basically on returning from my annual holiday to Jamaica I rounded up my friends who were studying film at university, gave them an outline of what I wanted them to do and paid them to go to JA and make this documentary for me in 2004.
I started a publishing company called Classic Black Press and a website currently being redeveloped and we agreed a fee that they would produce the dvd for me and I would own the rights to the film. They have kept some footage for their library and gone on to other things. As luck would have it I was able to attract some names to the doc (Stephen Marley & Oliver Samuels are probably the most well known people in doc) and a short 10 minute version was credited at the British Film Festival (see utube trailer 'Grow Jamaica').
I then got call to say they wanted to show the whole film at the Caribbean Film Festival. My uncle, his wife and I went to the festival where it was the only film that everyone was talking about. The press came and done interviews etc (which were not aired, as far as I know), an impromptu heated debate began at end of film, and I was approached by David Coy from Palm Pictures, a distributer from Apple and some finance people.
However, some of the music used had not been cleared and although Apple said they could possibly work around this I was new to this business and decided to try and get clearances first and then go back to distributers (probably a big mistake!) or perhaps even self distribute! That was 3 years ago and clearances has been a 'bit of a headache' so I ended up having to do cover versions of the songs that were not cleared (about 10 songs each running for approx. 10 seconds) and edit the movie to accommodate the changes.
Fortunately the musicians and editor (Penelope Andrews brother and his friend) were extremely good and the doc has been enhanced considerably since it was originally made. I have just begun the process of applying for synch rights to enable me play the cover songs in the movie legally in the larger festivals and possibly small theatrical run. It has been a long but enjoyable journey and I have never lost faith in the documentary which deals with a very important issue from a different perspective.
I hope I haven't dragged my intro on for too long but once I started to write it was difficult to condense into a few paragraphs.
By the way I forgot to mention the doc is 60 minutes long
Don't for get to put a picture of yourself at some point!
thats was really intresting...thanks for sharing
The film looks great Stephen. I really want to watch it. So what will happen with this film now? Maybe move the thread to the documentary films section?
Hello. I am a documentary filmmaker who's recent award-winning documentary, "My Name Is Alan and I Paint Pictures", about paranoid schizophrenic New York-based artist Alan Streets is now available for rent on Netflix. Add it to your queue and please feel free to comment. Thanks!
Hello! Been hearing about the D-word for a while and glad to have joined up. Let’s see… I’m in the middle of directing a project on physical perfection – it’s a series of shorts/segments that will be combined to be a feature. Three segments are finished: Wet Dreams and False Images, The Guarantee, and 34x25x36 – and while finishing the project as a whole, I’m distributing them as shorts to schools through New Day Films. Which is how I know Robert Arnold.
34x25x36 is currently airing on P.O.V. and is up at: http://www.pbs.org/pov/34x25x36/
Like Robert, I'm excited to poke around and see what’s on this site. What a great resource this is.
Welcome, Johnny. And a special welcome to the awesome Jesse, who's too modest to talk about her great work keeping Shooting People going all these years. Great to have you here, Jesse.
Welcome Jesse! Still clearly and often remember your short Wet Dreams and False Images from SilverDocs. Glad to have you here.
Hi there, My name is Ciaran and I am a professional photographer.Last night I had dinner with my friend Onno.The conversation eventually turned to the D word. I described a film doc. that I want to make and I talked about how little I know about making one. So this morning I woke up with a link to the D-word Onno e-mailed to me, so here I am. This is my website........http://ciarantully.com/
Thanks for the welcome notes. Looks like I signed up just in time for the 10th anniversary party. And, at the Bohemian Hall even.
Hi, I'm Ted Fisher.
I make short documentaries and am hoping to move to feature length soon. I blog at http://actualities.blogspot.com/ and http://newyorkportraits.blogspot.com/ and have a filmography at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3299032/ also. I was producer and editor on the New York Times "Frugal Traveler" video series, which won the Webby award in 2008 and 2009. I teach editing, television production and visual effects at a few different schools.
I have two shorts up at Snagfilms currently:
This Saturday, I'm screening an 18-minute piece at Rooftop Films.
I'm looking forward to meeting everyone.
In reply to stephen watson's post on Thu 27 Aug 2009 :
Wow, sounds really interesting. Any Web sites or trailers to check out yet for the film?
New to D-Word. I'm a writer/filmmaker who founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Golden Phoenix Productions, Inc. in 2002. http://goldenphoenixproductions.com
At the time, I started the non-profit for a doc film on what I thought would be a story about my, then 94-yr old, illiterate Chinese-Burmese grandmother who documented over 75 years of her life in illustrated journals by creating her own hieroglyphic language. Her story garnered enough interest to capture a little funding when funding was more available. I was a neophyte in filmmaking, so I lived an "everything documentary" world. I watched films, watched other filmmakers, I learned everything and anything that would help me tell the best story I could tell.
I traveled to Burma, post-9/11, following my grandmother back to her homeland. She had been visiting her offspring in the U.S. and it was time to return, for she feared reliving the horrors of war, something that shrouded her entire life. At least Burma was home to her. Burma was safer, provided one plays by the government's rules, speaks only behind closed doors, and never displays a disgruntlement toward the junta.
It had been 45 yrs since I had visited Burma. People warned me to stay within the tourist boundaries. My parents pleaded with me not to go. My friends kept saying, "please be careful."
I obtained a special permission note from the Myanmar Ambassador in DC. to visit my relatives in the Northern Shan States. It felt like grade school, but I had to abide by the country's laws. Who am I to disrespect another government? Who am I to feel entitled to leniency just because I am an American citizen? I did everything above board.
Despite the diligent measures taken and my special permission note, the day of my arrival in Lashio, I was arrested by the junta and detained for three weeks. They had no clue about any Ambassador nor had they any idea where Washington,DC was. Needless to say, my film suddenly swerved another direction, and for a while, I was run off the road.
I didn't know if I would ever get back to the film, but I had grown addicted to doc filmmaking by then and needed a fix, that truth fix where everything around you has a story behind it that needs to be told. I had to find the right story, one that would stir me, cause insomnia, ressurect that doc filmmaking drive again. I needed to find a story that would parallel mine in graveness, but wasn't about me.
I found that story and I've been living in it for two years now. Production is nearly wrapped on NUMBER 228, the story of Mildred Harnack, the only American civilian beheaded by Hitler's direct order for her sole American involvement in Berlin's German Resistance movement, The Red Orchestra, during WWII.
Several years ago, I secured exclusive lifestory rights to tell her tale in film, television and stage. It's been a grand ride meeting subjects who have resurrected pain and buried truth. I've had a chance to relive their past with them, and through it all, I realized that this film is the precise prescription for me to return to my film about my grandmother. Life's cycle spins in odd ways. I love what I do and I hope what I do does doc filmmaking justice.
Often I work in a vacuum, so it'll be nice to be a part of D-Word. I've been such an ostrich.
Thanks, Doug, for starting this.