Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

Introduce Yourself

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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.

Brian S. Kalata

I'll start over again - I tried posting but the website said my post was NOT SAVED because aI didn't read previous posts - Very odd...

My name is Brian S. Kalata I am A Writer, Producer, Director of the Documentary Film "Pencils Down! The 100 days of the Writers Guild Strike"  which was released by Random Media and The Orchard.

I  began work on Pencils Down! In 2007- on the very first day of the Writers Guild Strike. Igrabbed a camera and headed out to Paramount Studios and started filming. It took several years to bring it all together 

Along with writing partner Rick Shaughnessy, I became  a member of the Writers Guild of America East while writing the feature film, Dinner Rush, which was directed by Bob Giraldi and stars: Danny Aiello, John Corbett, Edoaurdo Ballerini, Kirk Acevedo, Ajay Naidu, Summer Phoenix, Vivian Wu, Alex Corrado and Mike McGlone.

Dinner Rush, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and  was listed on,  Richard Roeper's list of  "Movies that should have been nominated for an Oscar", and "The Top 100 Movies of the Decade (2000-2010)", and is selected in Leonard Maltin's book, Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen.

I am a  graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, and also have a Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent Law School. I had a private Practice in Chicago, Illinois , where I continues to maintain my law license.

Brian has worked as part of the Production team on numerous film and television projects, including: Oceans 11 and Oceans 12, The Road To Perdition, Californication, The Middle, The United States of Tara, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Stranger then Fiction, The Longest Yard, Monster-inLaw, National Treasure, Suburbicon, and Bosch among others.

I have two Documentaries in various stages of production and Recently worked as the DP for a documentary  on the writing of Tennessee Williams which was Shot in New Orleans.  I look forward to  This D- Word Community.


Doug Block

In reply to Brian S. Kalata's post on Mon 4 Sep 2017:

Sorry about the lost post, Brian.  Not sure why that happened.  It's probably a good idea when writing something long to back it up in some form just in case a glitch like that occurs.  It's actually very rare, but extremely frustrating when it does so.

Anyhoo, a warm welcome to The D-Word.  Hope you'll post often and with a glitch-free experiences. 

John Follis

Greetings Fellow D-Worders!

This Spring I completed my first real film, a narrative doc, that's gotten into several fests including the Hollywood International Documentary Film Fest where it won a "Best First-time Film" award. (Woo-hoo) It's also gotten some great reviews from some influential folks.

Titled: "Leaving God: Why I left God and why so many others are too" the film explores the shifting religious tide in America while paralleling my own wild, often comical, search for Truth. (View trailer: )

My main goal is to get it seen, liked, discussed and shared by as many folks as possible so I've done something that filmmakers aren't suppose to do... posted it for free viewing on Vimeo  My interest now is a possible Screening Tour and I just found an org called the Secular Student Alliance which may be a good channel as well as various Secular/Humanist conferences.

But, since this all new to me I'd really welcome all thoughts on Screening Tours with the understanding that I'm doing this totally grass-roots/out-of-pocket. And, if the film theme intrigues you, do check it out and feel free to share your thoughts!



john (at) bigideavideo (dot) biz


Andrew J Morgan

Hello all.  I'm a Director and DP base in Chicago.  I finished my first feature documentary, "Vannin'" in 2013 and have been working on multiple projects ever since; gaining skills shooting and directing. My latest doc, "Hill Climb" is a short and is screening at some fests this month.  I'm always looking to collaborate with other Chicagoans and am hoping to connect with some folks on here.

Juan David Romero

Good evening,

My name is Juan David Romero and I'm a documentary filmmaker and journalist. I am very excited to have joined this community! I look forward to learning from and contributing to some of your posts and perhaps even making a professional connection and/or a friend.

Presently I have been traveling across Europe since December volunteering with refugee aid organizations and filming three short-documentary films about the struggles of three refugees to adapt and restart their new lives in Europe. Actually, I am currently running a Kickstarter campaign for this project. If you are interested in learning more about it visit:

In the past I have interned at magazines such as The New Republic and Science magazine, and I worked as communications officer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington D.C. before moving to Europe. 

Presently I am Athens, Greece, and shall be making my way back to America within the coming months as I continue to work on post for my documentary films. 

Don't hesitate to reach out to me and again, thrilled to be here!

Sebastián Pinzón Silva

Hola D-Worders! It is really nice to be part of this community. I am a Colombian filmmaker and photographer currently based in Chicago. I recently graduated from Northwestern's Documentary program, where I had the great pleasure to meet my good friends and collaborators Timothy Fryett, and Mina Fitzpatrick, with whom I made Palenque, a rhythmic portrait of San Basilio de Palenque, the first town in the Americas to have broken free from European domination. The short premiered at Locarno last month and it will be playing at CIFF, Festival dei Popoli, FICValdivia, and RIDM. 

I am currently working in developing a project with NatGeo and a couple of my own. In the meantime, I am constantly looking for projects to come on board as a cinematographer or editor.

I am looking forward to collaborating with fellow D-worders in the future!


Mentioned: Timothy Fryett and Mina Fitzpatrick
Juan David Romero

In reply to Sebastián Pinzón Silva's post on Tue 12 Sep 2017:

Hello Sebastian,

It's so nice to meet a fellow Colombian here. I am from Manizales and grew up in Florida. I lived in D.C. for a while and now I'm in Athens, Greece, where I am finalizing a few documentaries on my own. Great to meet you and that is a beautiful video. I love the camera movements and the sound editing. 

Check out my video here. Espero conocerte en persona algun dia!


Doug Block

John, Andrew, Juan and Sebastián, welcome to The D-Word.  Great work you guys are doing!

Dima Ballin

Hey everyone!

I feel lucky to have found this place, and look forward to much rewarding interaction. I am just embarking on my new filmmaking career. I just produced and edited a feature documentary called, "Hammer Horror: The Warner Bros Years," and now trying to navigate through the many hurtles of getting it released. It's a pleasure to meet everybody here.

Jan-Eike Michaelis

Hello everyone.
I am currently working as a PA in a German production company for documentary films, where I am fortunately involved to some degree in all processes from development to financing, production, post-production and distribution.
If anyone has any questions about the German funding system, I would be happy to try and answer them.
Otherwise, I am still learning about the specifites of film production constantly. With every new shoot there a new problems ehhh... challenges. This year we shot a lot in Germany (obviously), but also in Israel, Sweden, France, Colombia, Brazil, USA... with different setups, different people, different stories - a lot to do. : -)

Hurry on & see you!


Marsha Emerman

Hi. I'm Marsha Emerman, a documentary writer-researcher, producer-director, and lecturer based in Australia.  Born in New Jersey, I've been moving westward since, to Oregon & San Francisco (1973-1989), and to Melbourne where I've lived since 1989.  As a dual USA/Australian citizen, I vote in both countries and take part in peace, human rights, feminist, and social justice movements. I studied film at City College & SF State, interned on classics like "Dark Circle" and "The Fall of the I-Hotel", wrote a load of unfunded proposals, and eventually, at age 52, managed to complete my first major film - Children of the Crocodile, a story of East Timor's liberation struggle. It screened nationally on SBS TV in May 2002, on the day that Timor Leste became the world's newest nation. 

That film took 3 years to make, with funding from unions, churches, peace groups, and SBS once they saw a rough cut. Filming in East Timor was the highlight - a beautiful country with amazingly resilient people who are still fighting for economic justice (Australia is stealing oil in the Timor sea that they desperately need - see "Time to Draw the Line", a new film by Mandy King & Fabio Cavadini).  

My most recent project  On the Banks of the Tigris: the hidden story of Iraqi music began with meeting the very talented Iraqi-Australian refugee writer and actor Majid Shokor. That began a 10-year collaboration and roller coaster ride to make a film that faced challenges every step of the way. But happily, we did finish and the feature film has gone on to win awards, including Best Documentary at the Baghdad Int. Film Festival and to screen in festivals, cinemas, and venues around the world. 

Please visit our website and have a look at our trailer here:

Check out our FB page:   

and get in touch if you have any ideas of people, places, and screening opportunities for this story of peace and reconciliation. Thanks! Good luck on all your projects.


Doug Block

In reply to Marsha Emerman's post on Sat 23 Sep 2017:

Thanks for introducing yourself and a huge pleasure to read what you've been up to.  To complete your first major film at 52 should be an inspiration to us all! And to have such a successful release of a 10-year project, well, need I say more?  Hope you'll make yourself at home here on The D-Word. Welcome aboard!

Stephanie Moussa

Hello all!

My name is Stephanie Moussa and I am the Social Media Co-Ordinator for the award winning Journalist & Filmmaker; Ms. Daizy Gedeon! Recently we have travelled to Lebanon to being filming the sequel to a Documentary: Lebanon Imprisoned Splendour, which I have attached a synapse of the film.

Below is the website where you can purchase the multi-award-winning original documentary film featuring the late Omar Sharif called - Lebanon…Imprisoned Splendour which was a 1998 entrant in the Academy Awards.

This time around, we explore the resurgence of Beirut and its reputation as a business and banking centre in the Middle East, a playground for the rich, famous and fussy trend-setters by highlighting the lifestyle, beach culture, nightlife and party scenes that rival New York, London, Paris, Ibiza and St Tropez.

Our goal is to rally the largest and broadest audience for this film to ensure the widest exposure for our Lebanon story.

We would love to keep in contact with you all, and keep you updated on the progress of our Documentary Film. Below you will find the link to our website as well as the link for the trailer for the current film project and our social media platforms - so please connect with us! This film aims to change the world...






Website for the Documentary:


Link to the new trailer:


We would love to spread the message of Lebanon as it should be seen. Help us accomplish this mission.


Thank you

John Burgan

Welcome to The D-Word, Stephanie. The way our community works is for a wide and diverse group of documentary professionals around the world to hang out online and shoot the breeze together, sharing experiences good and bad, advice, tips and of course telling each other about what we're working on. Whilst many of us have great working partnerships, it's who you are and what you do that matters most.

As such, although it's great to hear that you are enjoying working with Ms Gedeon (who may of course also apply to join us), you have actually told us very little about yourself, about your background, your experiences, those things that make your heart beat faster... so please take a moment to share!

Tim Vece

Hello.  My name is Tim.  I've been editing for almost 28 years now.  My dream out of college when I graduated with a degree in Cinema and Photography was always to be an editor.  Dark rooms and late nights have always been my most energetic and creative time.  I was never interested in production, only post.  Documentaries were always my favorite genre of film.

I began cutting 35mm film on a KEM flatbed.  I really miss that machine.  The tactile way of working, the clicks the splices made on the sprockets, and the danger to your forearms and shirts while working with a guillotine splicer will always be with me.  Had to switch to an Avid in the early 90's, but I didn't go without a fight.  I'm happy with my Avid.  We get along fine.  It rarely crashes on me and I don't compare my Avid to my first love, the KEM, anymore.  

So, for 28 years I lived in the Ad Agency/TV commercial world.  It was fun.  I was lucky.  I was able to do what I love and do it everyday while providing for my family.  During this time I always kept one toe in the documentary world.  Usually for passion projects.  Now, I'm older.   My kids are grown and I feel the documentary format pulling me back in.  This time I'm going to listen.

Stephanie Moussa

In reply to John Burgan's post on Wed 4 Oct 2017:

 Hello John, you are correct, forgive me for not giving you enough insight into my context! 


My name is Stephanie, and I love all things creative! I love making puns, watching musicals and basically enjoy anything creative! I received this job opportunity out of no where, this is why i believe that everything happens for a reason! I have just graduated university recently, with a degree in Advertising & PR - which i found my love for social media... I am also a very big fan of story telling, which is what i believe every documentary does, and this is how we change the world, by allowing others to see sides of situations/countries/peoples/events etc in a different light, so we hold much more power than we know! My parents are of Lebanese origin, so I am first generation Australian, but the love I have for Lebanon is a love I have never experienced before... I hope to show you all a side of Lebanon you will never get to see in the media!

I am very honoured to be accepted on this forum, and I hope to connect with you all, and hear/see your stories too!




Tiffany Ellis

Hello D-Word! So excited to have joined this community. I'm a producer & director working on my first feature project after creating shorts and branded content for the last 10+ years.

My projects tend to focus on music, dance and performance in cultures around the world, often by design but occasionally by kismet. I produced the web series 80 Faces: Eighty Years, Eighty Stories for the American Dance Festival and I have collaborated on projects with indigenous communities in Australia, South Africa and Hawaii. I served as Post Production Supervisor on award-winning PBS documentary Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula and created short oral history films with Australian Aboriginal communities for Voices of the Wheatbelt, a photography exhibit about contemporary Noongar lives that toured nationally in Australia in 2010. I was also a producer on the Inner Strength web series for Nike, which chronicles athletes including decathlete Ashton Eaton, quarterback Marcus Mariota and comedian Kevin Hart.

I have an MS in Visual Anthropology from Oxford University and studied film production and history at Occidental College in Los Angeles. After spending most of my adult life living out of a suitcase following curiosity, unique opportunities and interesting projects (and living in ten different cities over the last fifteen years), I now split my time between my hometown of Portland, Oregon and Toronto, Ontario. 

I am thrilled to be part of the D-Word community after being introduced to it by Doug Block at HotDocs this year. So often I feel like a lone ranger working on these kinds of projects and it's nice to have a group of like-minded people at my fingertips! Look forward to staying connected.

Antonio Lobo

Hi colleagues!

I am Antonio. I am producer/director in southern Spain.  I have directed three documentaries up to date. i also have been involced in production. Now I am getting some camera skills with a very basic Canon XA30. (I started with two HF10s long time ago so...  I am improving !) 

I am willng to work on a more international level as I see little funding oportunities from here.

This comunity looks like very interesting! Lets see... ;)



John Burgan

Welcome to The D-Word, Antonio! We love Seville (well I do!) Have a look around and post more...

Andrea McGurran

Good morning... I am Andrea, and I am beginning my move into documentary filmmaking after over a combined 36 years in freelance investigative journalism, travel writing and photography, ghost-writing, book creation and writing, textile design, art, and more.  My husband and I worked together to create a presentation for a private event we arranged for former air cadets who attended one of many training camps in southern Alberta, Canada, and my work was so much appreciated that over 200 people wanted a copy of the "documentary" as they called it.  It dawned on me that this was a path that I should pursue.  Together, we are working in our evenings, after work (his) and teaching (I teach during the day) to research a number of amazing ideas and have created a corner of our basement for our pop-up studio for filming work.  I am not saying a lot at this point, as we are keeping the topics hush-hush, but we are looking at a travel series, a course, and an expansion of the original documentary that we made.  We are working at this point with a much loved Canon 60D (thank God for live-view!), a Manfrotto tripod, a Chromakey green screen, and a Rode, camera-top microphone.  And for anyone who has had issues with the Rode basic interview, camera-top microphone, with clicking and hissing on the audio, we tried all the attempts by others to eliminate it, but found it less time-consuming to simply clean the audio up with Audacity software.  We are also using a collection of different art and video softwares to give us the look and affects that we want.  Despite its controversy across the Internet, if you have a good imagination, VideoMakerFX can be a useful tool from a design and marketing perspective.  Otherwise, Videopad, Wavepad, etc. and HitFilm4 Pro are proving very helpful.  I could go on, but I have found a good combination of softwares that I have not got space to mention here, that are allowing us to create and make our imagined ideas real.  Hope to chat with you all at some point.  The best part about this journey we are on is that we are always continuing to learn something knew.