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The Mentoring Room - Ask the Working Pros

This is a Public Topic geared towards first-time filmmakers. Professional members of The D-Word will come by and answer your questions about documentary filmmaking.

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Craig Schneider
Sun 28 Dec 2008Link

Thanks for your feedback, Doug. Most helpful.


Andrew David Watson
Sun 28 Dec 2008Link

And your in NYC where the rates are higher... so you can factor that in as well.


Aaron B. Smith
Sun 28 Dec 2008Link

In reply to Prabha Nag's post on Thu 25 Dec 2008 :

what kind of microphone are you using? a lapel mic? boom mic? condenser mic?


Aaron B. Smith
Sun 28 Dec 2008Link

In reply to James Longley's post on Thu 18 Dec 2008 :

Yes, IDA has a "fiscal sponsorship" program. There is a detailed application process, but it can happen for you. Nots sure how hard it is to get approved for their program however. If your doc is of a massive budget – over $50,000 (last time i checked) – they start taking a percentage. I paid a lawyer to read over their legal documents regarding fiscal sponsorship and nothing seemed amiss to him.

Membership is required to apply for fiscal sponsorship.


Mark Barroso
Mon 29 Dec 2008Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Sun 28 Dec 2008 :

I'm shocked, given that all of the contractors employing illegal aliens wanted $25/hr to mud my drywalls.

Edited Mon 29 Dec 2008 by Mark Barroso

Nigel Walker
Mon 29 Dec 2008Link

Mudding is an art though, you have to make sure the room is at the right temperature between coats otherwise the seams will pop up right after the contractor cashes the check.

$25 is a good price, three coats if you own your house, two if you don't.


Lucia Duncan
Fri 2 Jan 2009Link

I searched through the d-word archives for info on subtitles and found suggestions for Belle Nuit subtitler. For some strange reason I can't read the font on the company's website. Would appreciate any explanations of what this software does and why it's preferable to doing subtitles in FCP.


Prabha Nag
Fri 2 Jan 2009Link

In reply to Aaron B. Smith's post on Mon 29 Dec 2008 :

I'm looking at using a boom mike...Any suggestions?


Ethan Steinman
Fri 2 Jan 2009Link

In reply to Lucia Duncan's post on Fri 2 Jan 2009 :

In FCP you can hard code subtitles, that is, when rendered they become part of the image. There is no changing between one subtitle stream and another. Nor can you see the image without any subtitles.

Belle Nuit allows you to generate a separate subtitle file which can be added as a subtitle track when you burn a DVD, allowing the viewer to remove them or change languages.

If you're not concerned with seeing the image "clean", then you can subtitle in FCP without a problem.


Mark Barroso
Sat 3 Jan 2009Link

In reply to Prabha Nag's post on Fri 2 Jan 2009 :

Sennheiser 416.


Ben Kempas
Sat 3 Jan 2009Link

Lucia, you'll find more info if you do a search for "belle nuit" on The D-Word.

Also, as a member, feel free to post these kind of questions in the Editing topic.


John Burgan
Sun 4 Jan 2009Link

Lucia – Belle Nuit is the way to go if you're subtitling a feature-length film, you can get pretty fast and it has all the advantages that Ethan mentions. If budget is a problem, there's a cheap subtitling plug-in from Digital Heaven that might do the trick for you.

PS if the Belle Nuit website is not displaying properly, you might try a different browser.

Edited Sun 4 Jan 2009 by John Burgan

Jeannie Belgrave
Tue 6 Jan 2009Link

Hi everyone...:)New year!!! It's so cool being here and meeting you all. I'm in the legal stage, looking for samples of release forms, current budget samples in USD amounts, simple and documented ways to prepare myself before standing in front of a potential financial partner. How far can I go legally before joining a production studio? I'm my own everything right now. ~J~


James McNally
Wed 7 Jan 2009Link

Hoping I can get some good advice here. I'm a film blogger, and I'm looking for a reputable film studies program that offers courses online. I'm looking for a general grounding in critical theory and film history more than a practical program in filmmaking, but am hopeful that this very wise and connected community can help me out.


Doug Block
Thu 8 Jan 2009Link

You really need that to blog? Blimey.


James McNally
Thu 8 Jan 2009Link

Exactly, Doug. To pull myself up from the ranks of the "hobbyist" and to get a little respect from the rest of the film world (including documentary filmmakers), I'm feeling the need to get a little edumacation. Your comment confirms exactly what I'm feeling.

By the way, Doug. No posts since September? Bad blogger! :)

Edited Thu 8 Jan 2009 by James McNally

Sarah Evershed
Thu 8 Jan 2009Link

Hi I'm beginning work on a documentary that involves animals, birds specifically. Does anyone know if I need the owners to sign some kind of release form to use the birds images? Thanks!


James Longley
Thu 8 Jan 2009Link

if the images are under copyright, then yes, assuming you plan to sell the film or show it in public.


Sahand Sahebdivani
Thu 8 Jan 2009Link

What if it's clearly communicated to the animals that they're being filmed?


Doug Block
Thu 8 Jan 2009Link

In reply to James Mcnally's post on Thu 8 Jan 2009 :

Shhhh!!!


Mark Barroso
Thu 8 Jan 2009Link

They could still be minor birds. And don't pay them chicken feed, either.


Ivana Todorovic
Sun 11 Jan 2009Link

Hello guys!

Im working on a short documentary about broken relation between mother and son due to youth gun violence as graduate student at New School in NYC. Im following mother who made " Harlem Mothers" organization to prevent illegal gun selling, to educate youth about non conflict resolution and to organize support meetings for other mothers. Her son who was killed on the street few years ago when he was 26 made 5 minutes documentary about himself, his dad and mother. He will be character in the film.

Can you recommend me any documentary I should see with same topic?

Thanks in advance!
Ivana


James Longley
Mon 12 Jan 2009Link

"Guns and Mothers" by Thom Powers. I haven't seen it, but the title seems right.


Chahid Charbel Akoury
Mon 12 Jan 2009Link

hello everyone,i'm in the process of buying a camera, nothing fancy just the right equipment for guerilla filmmaking .....and i've set my eyes and choice on either a Sony PMW-EX3 XDCAM or the Panasonic AG-HVX200A P2 HD... i've never tried the Panasonic, but i've seen it's popular around independent filmmakers especially documentarists..what would you advise?
i haven't found any review that compares both cameras... although P2 and XD are quite a different storage system , i'm not sure which is of a better quality and compatibility with say a macbook running final cut...

BTW Mr. Longley i'm an avid fan of your work .... as a middle eastern i have to say Gaza Strip , Iraq in Fragments , and Sari's Mother are the best documentaries to have been ever made in this region....you truly capture the essence , the texture, the feeling, the traits.....what can i say ..thank you for such adorable on screen experiences.....i heard you are in the process of making a documentary in Iran .... good luck with that ..eagerly looking forward to seeing it....


John Burgan
Mon 12 Jan 2009Link

Chahid, I'll let the others chip in, but as well as the HVX200, you should also consider the (tapeless/P2 only) HVX170 which has the advantage of being lighter than the 200 which may be a factor for handheld work.


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