Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

Introduce Yourself

  • Public

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.

Ron Rice
Hey folks,

I'm new to the forum, so I'm doing the intro thing...

I earned a BA in Photography (1990) and an MFA in Film (1993). My
thesis was a documentary. My intention was to make my way as a
documentary filmmaker, but things didn't turn out that way. I found it
impossible to secure funding for my own projects, so I started cutting
tv commercials to pay the bills. The problem was, I was working 80+
hrs/wk in commercials, so I didn't have any time for my docs.

Then I had this idea: why not take some other sort of job that's only
40 hrs/wk and pays better? Then I can make docs on evenings and
weekends (oh, and also spend time with the wife and kids!). So I
became a web developer. Well; that turned out to be 80+ hrs/wk too!
Ugh. But the pay was good, so I stuck with it for 8 years.

So to get to the point... I've been doing everything BUT make docs for
the last twelve years, and I've had enough! I quit my day job in
January, and I'm pursuing doc work full time. I put together an
entry-level Avid workstation, and I'm cutting a 30-min piece for a
nonprofit called Musicians for World Harmony. It's pro bono, but it
feels great! I'm so happy to be back.

I just hope I can figure out how to make some money (just a little
bit, please!), so that I don't have to go back to corporate yuck.

Doug Block
hey ron, welcome to the d-word and the d-world. finding a way to
earn a few bucks that allows you the time to work on your docs is
always the big question. hope you have a goodly amount saved up ;-)
good luck and keep having fun!
Ron Rice
Sorry, I forgot to mention where I live. I'm currently in Ithaca, New
York (about 4 hrs from NYC). I'm interested in relocating to a place
where I have access to more resources and potential collaborators. But
I have to balance that with my family's desire to live a rural
lifestyle (we raise dairy goats). It's a difficult balance.

Anyone interested in starting a documentary filmmaker's commune
somewhere in rural america? :-)

Skip Hobbie

My name is Skip and in a month I'm finishing up my undergrad at the University of Texas
where my focus has primarily been documentary production. I've made a couple shorts
and shot a feature last summer about a group of bicyclist that rode from Texas to Alaska
in order to raise money for cancer research. Put that on hold during the school year, but
this summer and months to come afterwards I'll be in post. My primary interest is in
producing science and nature docs, but if any story (such as the bike one) moves me
enough, i am willing to work on it. I'm also a member of Filmmakers for Conservation.

Joined up because I am want to further/start my career in the Doc business. Thought this
looked like a great place to learn from others in the business and network. I'm looking for
opportunities to get more experience and hopefully paid. I'd love to keep just doing the
indpendent thing, but I don't think its the best route for me until I gain more experience
and can myself on feet.

Doug Block
welcome, skip. good luck in the real world (and getting paid) :-)
Steve Holmes
Howdy, Skip. Hope Austin's as good for docs as it supposedly is for
fictional features.
Laura Mchugh
Hi Guys,

Just introducing myself, my name is Laura McHugh and I a currently a
final year student at the University College Winchester. I am coming
to the end of my degree in Screen Production which specialises in
documentaries, to be honest I am joining this site primarily to gain
research for my dissertation – so be nice, please!

Doug Block
aw shucks, i was gonna bite your head off, laura ;-) welcome and
good luck w. the dissertation.
Andy Royer
Well I figured since I've never set foot inside any sort of film
school that I might as well see what there is to learn here on the
street. A strange way to get started in the film biz... working my
job and somebody says, "hey, what you're doing is pretty
interesting, I think it'd make a good movie." And so, four years
later, here I am; executive producer and producer of a film about an
endeavor that I play a role in. It makes for interesting paradoxes
if nothing else.

Anyway, the film is called Trout Grass. In it, we follow the
transition of bamboo from a living plant in Southern China to a
finished fly-rod on the rivers of Montana. I'm a guy who goes to
China to select bamboo poles for the fly rod building market.
Luckily, the end product of my endeavors go out to some really
amazing people who are very much in love with their
hobby/passion/sport and we've been able to make a pretty cool film
about "the pursuit of passion" and the intangible spiritual elements
that come into play when humans cast aside reason in favor of some
strange emotion that drives them to go stand in rivers, trying for
hours-on-end to trick an animal with a pea-sized brain, only to
touch the wild creature and let it go. We were lucky enough to have
a fairly well known writer, David James Duncan, sign on as a writer
and narrator (and a guy fishing in the film) and we also have
another writer of note, Thomas McGuane in the film.

So were done. And now? Holly smokes, you mean I've gotta go out
and try to sell this thing now? Crimony. Adding this chore to the
overflowing job list is a challenge all in itself but there is a
pool of information for me to learn and I'm diving on in. We've got
a "place-holder" web site up but hope to have the real one up within
a couple of weeks:

Cheers and I'll be picking some brains very soon!

-Andy Royer
Rendra Almatsier
Hi guys,

I'm from Jakarta, Indonesia

First of all excuse me if my English is not good*. I usually work
with NGO*s and International organization in making community
development video and also about environment issue

The video that I made usually to provoke people in some way so it can
be used in discussion for organization, ngo, government etc*.there*s
a leasson learn that they get from the video and hopefully they will
know what to do if they want to solve a problem

I don*t know if what I do is in documentary category, but I sure hope
to learn a lot from this forum.

Steve Holmes
Your English is fine, Rendra. Far better than my Indonesian.
Laura Scott
I just discovered this site through International documentary
magazine. Cool. I'm currently starting production on a one hour TV doc
on couples who have chosen to be "Childfree." I've been writing
screenplays for the last four years and doing research, sociological
surveys, and pre-interviews for this doc. I decided that no one was
going to throw development money at a first time filmmaker so I used
some savings to produce a rough sample tape and now I'm looking for
production partners and funding. Looking forward to chatting with
Tony Comstock
Hello. I've been a working doc filmmaker for about 10 years. I've recently begun using an
image chain for negative --> tape transfer ----> DVD that eliminates the need for
pulldown. My transfer house, Magno in NYC, has never seen it before, so it may a first. In
any case, it saves transfer costs, improves MPEG quality, and I'd be happy to share the
steps with anyone who's interested.

I'm also here because my current project deals with sexuality in a frank and explicit way.
I've spent the last few years engulfed in the world of pornography (some of you may dub
what I do pornography as well), which does not offer many opportunites to discus the art
or craft of filmmaking with colleagues. I'm hoping this forum will provide some relief from
a growning sense of isolation.


Doug Block
welcome, tony. sorry about the problems you've had registering for
the d-word community (this is the public forum). now that you've
gotten onto utne, i can probably take care of the rest shortly. and
good luck with your project - always thought it could be a great
subject for a doc if done well.
Robert Goodman
tony - post in the postproduction topic about your new method.
Brian Bailey
Hey - My interest in documentary has lead me to you guys. My name is
Brian and I have no experience with film making, just a strong desire
to learn what it takes to make quality docs. I promise to try not to
ask too many stupid questions.

Jeffrey Chown
Hello, I'm a professor at Northern Illinois University. About six
years ago I decided to stop theorizing about documentaries and start
making them. I've made four low-budget history documentaries sort of
in the Ken Burns style. In universities we are always worried about
adjudicating what is scholarly and what is not. So recently I talked
a Dean into giving me $1000 to submit my latest doc, "Lincoln and
Black Hawk," to film festivals. I stumbled in here while reading the
forums at Without a Box, where I've now submitted to about ten
The festival business gives me a headache. My guess is they are
looking for more cutting edge material than what I am doing, although
I really believe my work has its own "edge." Do any of you know
festivals where "History Channel" is not a dirty word? I did win
some awards at the Silver State Documentary Festival a few years
back, but they don't seem to be running any more.
If you're interested, "Lincoln and Black Hawk" examines Lincoln's
participation in the Black Hawk War, which was the final step in
Indian removal in Illinois. Black Hawk was an interesting Sauk
warrior who led a resistance movement that ended in a massacre of his
people in Wisconsin. Lincoln used his militia service as a spring
board towards his political career.
I've enjoyed reading around on your site so far and am looking
forward to participating in the future.