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.

Danny Lurie
I'm currently living in Cape Town, South Africa. I've just started
working on my first doc. We're following the life of a pre-apartheid
political activist who was imprisoned on Robbin Island for 15 years
with Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu. that's the basic idea anyway.
As this is my first project, I'm hoping to find out all I can about
funding, distribution and sales and what to look out for.
Best of luck to all those out there with their projects.

Doug Block
Welcome, Danny. I'm making a doc that we plan to film in
Johannesburg and Cape Town next February. Good luck with your own
film - sounds intriguing.
Deleted User
Hi I am just joining and I have just made the decision to go ahead;
after much foot dragging; and jump ahead with a documentary of sorts.
I am just a little timid about this but I am gonna plow ahead with it
anyway. Any advice for first timers would be greatly appreciated!
Deleted User
Hello all. Like Joy above, I've finally decided to take the plunge
into documentary. And what a daunting yet addictively invigorating
plunge it's been thusfar! I did my undergrad in literature and
recently decided to pull up stakes, so to speak, and transplant
myself from Montana to Scotland for film school. After a ridiculous
amount of utterly unnecessary worry, I've finally decided it's all or
nothing and am jumping in headfirst with my first documentary. I'm
still in the pre production phase, but it seems to have grown to
unexpected and somewhat daunting proportions all by itself. So my big
challenge right now is to orient myself as to what sort of structure
and form I would ultimately like the film to take. So, as general as
that is, any insights or recommendations (and I do mean any) about
first time documentary making would be happily received. So, thanks
and luck to you all.
Ben Kempas
Welcome, Kelly. What film school do you go to? Napier? Stirling Uni?
Doug Block
Welcome, Kelly. It may sound a little self-serving, but I highly
recommend you read the various discussions we've held in this Forum.
The Al Maysles/Susan Froemke discussion would be particularly
valuable, I think.

I usually find it best to leap in by doing interviews first. They
don't cost much and preparing for them is a good way to bone up on the
subject at hand. I usually approach interviews by coming from a point
of innocence or downright ignorance, even if I'm familiar with the
subject. So it's not like you have to be an expert before proceeding.
Scott Davis
My name is Scott davis and I am a filmmaker. I have been in the film
industry for 20 years. Last year I embarked on my first doc.
I am part of a group of 4 called Common Sense Films.
We are in the last stages of post production of our first feature
documentary, The Fort Fisher Hermit, The Life and Death of Robert E
Harrill. I look forward to the exchange of ideas and guidence that
this group has to offer.
Doug Block
Welcome, Scott. I see you've registered for the community, as well.
We'll be able to accomodate you later tonight. Be sure to re-post
this intro once you're in there.
Heide Schramm
Hi there d-community.
I am a doc distributor based in Germany and have joined the doc
platform with my own company HS Media Consult in 2000. Beforehand I
have been doing this job for a company mainly specialized in music
I consult and distribute mainly for German distributors who want an
international platform for their programs - so yes, all foreign doc
producers are welcome to contact me the other way round should you
seek help in German speaking territory. My main focus is arts, human
interest, historical doc and - this is new scientific programs as
Right now I am looking for advise from people who love gypsy music and
could recommend the best place to go theatrical in the US with a
feature length doc film on a gypsy group from Romania called the
Fanfare Ciocarlia. They have been touring and fascinating the world
since about 5 years and they are back performing in the States again
in the end of June. So whoever wants to help spread their fame give
me a hint.
I look forward to correspond with a lot of interesting people on as
interesting topics in the d-word community!
Erica Ginsberg
Welcome Heidi.

If you have an NTSC version of the doc, I'd love to see it (though I
am no expert in Roma music, I do quite enjoy it.) At least in
Washington DC, there is an audience for Roma concerts and films.
Tony Gatlif's films seem to have a following and I know there was a
Czech film (about a woman singer -- I can't recall her name) that
also played a small circuit here. And of course Jasmin Dellal's
AMERICAN GYPSY which isn't about music so much as the culture as a

If Fanfare Ciocarlia are touring, it would be great to combine
showing the film with performances. D-Word's Nina Seavey did this to
great effect with the Russian country band Bering Strait and their
performances and the film really enhanced each other.

Is the band popular in Romania? Not sure how much help they'd be to
you, but you might want to try the cultural section of the Romanian
Embassy in Washington (only thing is they may have a new cultural
attache, so I'm not sure how active they are in promoting events; if
the film is produced by Germans, you could also try the Goethe
Institut in different cities)

Other possibilities are to try for festivals like South by Southwest,
FullFrame, and, of course, Sundance.
Heide Schramm
Hi Erica,

thank you so much for your interest and prompt reply.

Let me know your address by return mail and I will send it to you,
however we only have PAL versions so far. Do you have access to a
player then??

I will certainly take your advice and will let you know if I am

Sincerely Heide
Doug Block
Welcome Heide. I agree with Erica, festivals are the way to expose
your film in U.S. territories. It's very difficult for international
docmakers here, however (something we're working hard at The D-Word to
correct). Don't get your expectations too high.

I suggest you check out the website for The Ballad of Bering
Straight. It's a good model for your film:
Ben Kempas
Heide, don't forget to join us in {LINK NOT IMPORTED} as well.
Greetings from a Munich burgher...
Heide Schramm
Dear Doug,

thank you very much for your note and welcome. I will keep you posted
on my proceedings - hopefully ending in success.
Kindest regards,
Deleted User
Hi guys,

I'm a casual documentary fan, as in, when I see them I usually like
them, but not obsessed or anything. I am, however, obsessed with
backpacking (budget travel, not wilderness stuff) and would love to
one day chronical my travels and encounters with others in docu form.
This is just me starting to research into the world of documentaries!

Margot Roth
Kirsty-- funnily enough, we have a D-Word member who is currently
making a doc about "travellers"/ budget backpackers-- she also was/is
one herself (& her cameraman husband as well). Her name is Pegi Vail.
(Not sure she checks in here though.)
Deleted User
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum. Just wanted to say hi. Everyone in
Reelity/Reality knows me as Zion. Pleased to meet you all :-)
Fas Ghauri
Hi there,

This forum is a real find! A wealth of information
exchanged amidst a real sense of community.

My name is Fas, I am 29 years of age and and
I live in London, England. Here's my situation:
I have big ideas but limited resources (sony
pc101, new iMac). I can't help feeling the
professionals amongst you will have heard this
many times before :)

So I'm looking for examples of great, innovative
or just interesting docs made using similar resources.
Any genre.

Doc-making long held strong appeal for me.
Yet it only recently feels that it's become
accessible in terms of resources. I'm
currently putting together a travelogue of a
3 month trip to South America - this will be
my first, a personal doc and steep learning
curve at the same time.

Once I've some basic insight into the craft side
of doc-making, I'd like to explore other ideas.
One that has been fertilising for some time is a doc on
street preachers. Portraits of street preachers -
anyone with a cause. Fanatical in the street, but
ever-so-normal behind closed doors?

Fas Ghauri
username: aurelian
Deleted User
Hi I am working on a documentary film of Tibet, China.On June,2002, we went into Tibet and took back 12,000 mins sony betcam sp 30 tapes of the fodder, i am looking for anybody who are interesting our fodder (most of them is world premiere,example:wind funeral,etc. contact me:0086-13003330238

Doug Block
Welcome, James. Let's see, 12,000 min = 200 hours. That's not so
bad ;-)
Deleted User

That is a hard work.our group consists of 15 people,and the conditions overthere is so bad,most people of our group live in Tibetan Area for a long time(at least 20 years), also work on documentary film for a long time. Our group have a profound knowledge about Tibetan Buddhism, and a deep understanding why the harmonious unity between politics and religion, culture and religion as well as life and religion in Tibetan region can be achieved and we are familiar with the spots where we intend to shoot the film, and to establish long-term cooperative relations with the local governments, monasteries and common people, so that we can enter many mysterious places to shoot film. At the same time, our group get accustomed to the language, food and life there, so that we can to live and work at Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau which is 4300-6000 meters above sea level for a long time.

Based on all things above, the documentary fodders our group bring back is quite worthiness and in a class by onself.

Main contents of the Documentary Fodders 1. When will Qinghai-Tibet Plateau--- the third pole of the world, rise? 2 Is it the origin of the country with two ancient civilizations and the Mother River? 3. Why Buddhism has withered away at its birthplace while flourishes in QinghaiTibet Plateau? 4. And has evolved into the unique Tibetan Buddhism? 5. When did the eternal epic ¡°King Gesar¡± come into being? 6. How could the illiterate children manage to recite tens of thousands of lines from the epic without missing a single word? 7. What after all is ¡°Mani¡±, which has blended into the life and flows in the blood vein of Tibetan people? 8. Who carved the 15-kilometer-long¡° Tripitaka¡± lying at the bottom of the river and how was it carved? 9. How could the souls of Tibetan people be able to reincarnate from kalpa? 10. When did the deities of the age-old Pon Po give up their own religion to become the protector of Tibetan Buddhism? 11.How was the sublime and heroic Khams-pa songs and dances created? Who first created the stirring Tibetan drama? 12.Do you know the myriad changes of unique ¡°Kalachadra calendar¡± and ¡°Nag-rsthis calendar and Tibetan festivals? 13.How does the Buddhist pagoda manage to accommodate the boundless universe? 14.What is Mandala (the residence for deities) and meditation of Tantra? 15.How the Wind-horse flag, Mu-thag(heavenly rope) and three realms find their expressions in people¡¯s residence? 16 Tibetan medical science, Tibet pharmacy, deity¡¯s curse, prayer, pilgrimage and wind funeral. etc........

Ceremonies&festivals\Historical\Monks\Monasteries\Wind funeral\Mani\Wind-horse flag\Buddhist pagoda\Khams-pasongs\King Gesar\Tibetan medical science\Tibet pharmacy\deity's curse\Prayer\Pilgrimage\Prayer wheels\Statues\Stupas & chortens, etc........


Todd Grabe
Hello everyone.
My name is Todd and I am 29 years old and I live in Minneapolis, MN. I graduated
from Film School in Bozeman, Montana about 4 years ago and have been working in
the Corporate/Government video sector snce then (gotta pay off those school loans).
I still consider myself a beginner when it comes to the world of documentary, so I will
probably be doing a lot more listening than talking. I have made a couple of short
Docs; one about urban sprawl, and one about using the movie making process as a
learning tool for children. I am slightly confused by the site architecture, but the
content is amazing. I am really excited about the international flavor of the site. It is
like the Doc. filmmakers U.N.
Thanks for having me
Deleted User
Hi, Just joined this morning, New Zealander now residing in New York.
Looking forward to being part of the discussion.
Doug Block
Welcome, guys. Peter, want to tell us more about yourself? Todd, I
think you're confusing the Forum with the Community. Since you've
also joined the Community (where the professionals reside), you should
introduce yourself there again. Just click on the D-Word Community
link on the top right of this page.
Erica Ginsberg
Kate, I think it's in the D-Word Community (the members-only section).
Mary Gordon
Hello! Greetings from Edinburgh Scotland!

I've just found you. Lara Celini in Edinburgh told me about the site.

I've made 2 short docs. My next project is to go with my Edinburgh
Women in Black group to a peace mission to Israel/Palestine. I would
like to hook up with people who have filmed in the Occupied
Territories and get any tips. Also I'm looking for contacts/names of
peace foundations in Uk which would be likely sources of funding.

In mid July I'm going to the Galway Film Festival/Flach so if anyone
on this list is going and wants to meet up please contact me.

Mary Gordon
hello there!

I seem to have lost my original post...

Greetings from Edinburgh Scotland. Lara Celini told me about this

I've made two short docs (and a drama documentary). My current
project is go document Edinburgh Women in Black going to
Israel/Palestine in Oct as a peace action.

Soooo I'm looking for documentarymakers who have been there recently
who can give me tips and do's and don'ts. I'm getting traning from
ISM on Sunday.

Also any contacts with peace foundations or where to find them who
would be interested in funding this project would be greatfully

In mid July I'm going to the Galway Film Festival/Flach and if anyone
else is going and wants to meet up please holler!

all the best

Mary Gordon
sorry i@m going to have to get used to the posting format. Sorry for
wigging your ears twice!
Doug Block
Mary, welcome! You'll get more help and support by joining The D-
Word Community: You have one more step to take
to register. The link will explain.
Ben Kempas
Welcome, Mary, and thank you for the tape with your film. Will get
back to you as soon as I had a chance to watch it.
Randy Mills
Aloha from Maui,

I am an independent filmmaker recently graduated from the SFSU Cinema
program as well as the SFSU Photojournalism program. Currently
working at Akaku: Maui Community TV (Public access cable on Maui).
As for my own projects I am currently in post-production on my first
music video (heavy metal band called KHRINJ) and will start
production on a documentary "Surf Art Forever: The Life and Work of
Bill Ogden" on June 28, 2003. Will be flying into LA and taking a
road trip up the coast of California with Bill Ogden, the legendary
surf artist, to San Francisco. Currently seeking sponsorship of my
project, but haven't had anything concrete as of yet, but I've only
just begun. Glad to have found this site.


Randy Mills
Dan Chapman
My first post. I'm making a doc/bio about my brother. A labor of
love. He's the inventor of a musical instrument called The Stick.
I've been in advertising for many years, over 15 marketing major
studio films. I've always wanted to make one, but have been too
chicken. Seems like the right time, now. I'm trying to decide if
using the Panasonic AG-DVX100 is a good idea. I know it's
pretty low end, but you've got to start somewhere. I went to the
Entertainment Technology World Expo at the Los Angeles
Convention Center on Saturday and did some tests of different
cameras. It looked pretty good.
Ben Kempas
Yes, John Burgess - but why hiding?

Dan - welcome to The D-Word. As you've also joined our private
filmmaker conference {LINK NOT IMPORTED}, you should introduce
yourself over there as well.
Ben Kempas
Forgive Doug, it's his French keyboard in Aix-en-Provence...
Dan Chapman
Thanks, Ben.
I'm not sure how to introduce myself there. Under which thread?

Dan - welcome to The D-Word. As you've also joined our private
filmmaker conference {LINK NOT IMPORTED}, you should
yourself over there as well.
Ben Kempas
Dan - It's "Introduce Yourself" as well. Try
Charlie Macchia
Greetings one and all ...

I'm a computer programmer, actor, musician, philosopher, who got tired of arguing
with drummers and wanted a way better way to express how I think ...

So I started doing stuff like this:

... and now I'd like to find a way to do more.
Doug Block
Nice stuff, Charlie. You're on to something interesting. Now if
only broadband would begin to fulfill its promise.

Anyway, welcome to The D-Word.
Charlie Macchia

Lot's of work, making these "D-Words", it's especially a problem if
you work on your own (Which I sort of have to do, since it's very
expensive to keep any sort of crew waiting while I'm trying out a new
way to explain an Epistemological concept in front of the camera) ...

I originally thought that being a guy who can "do it all" would be a
big benefit ... and it certainly is for getting things done waaaaay
low budget ... I mean I wrote & recorded the music, the script, shot
the video, acted, did the voice-overs, edited the video, color
corrected and was moving onto audio post ... but now it seems the
powers that be don't believe such a thing is possible ...

Apparently I'm too independent to get any help as an independent!

How the Gods of Irony mock me :(
Doug Block
Oops, Charlie, we had an internal mix-up and accidentally turned down
your request to join. Please hang in there and we'll try to
straighten it out today.
Deleted User
Hello Everyone!

It's great to have found this D-world (I stumbled upon a link on
the AIVF web site)! I'm looking forward to meeting everyone soon
at the Community, but first I'm going to take a tour of this lovely
cyber land. See you all in a minute,
Doug Block
Welcome, Erka. I was on the AIVF board until this year so I'm happy
to know people are finding us from there. It's a great organization!
Pramod Mathur
We have been involved with the documentary for the past 25 years. I
produce, direct and shoot while Neelima is the executive producer,
researcher and the writer. We both come from the field of journalism
of the 70s, she from print journalism and I began with TV News. since
the early 80s we have just been doing documentaries. We are
available on our web site Working on documentaries
from India does have some advantages and a lot of disadvantages too.
But on the whole we feel satisfied with what we have done so far and
we continue to look for new projects all the time. I am very keen to
participate in the "Art of shooting of documentary" discussion.
Deleted User
I've been making the documentary film about the Lysistrata

Since January I have shot or received almost two hundred hours
of video. I have tapes from England, Iceland, Pakistan, Greece,
Italy, Nova Scotia, nearly every state, CA, NM, NY, NJ, AL, AK etc. I
have a reading that was taped in a Kurdish refugee camp and
one from Havana. Celebrities as well as small theatre
companies world-wide turned out in force for this unique event.
Ive cut a ten minute trailer and am looking to bring in a
seasoned producer who has access to money and distribution. I
can be reached at
Doug Block
Welcome, Michael. Good luck with your film - it's a big project.
Taochou Wei

I am new : ) and for some reason I cannot seem to start a new Topic, but can
only post on a topic already started.

My interest in primarily in editing. And the topic I wished to start was
"views on editing"

I wonder about the general view on editors and the editing process , from the
pov of director, producer, writer and general public.

-How relevant is the background of the editor when editing a documentary
compared to a narrative.....what difference if any comes into play..

-How do you feel about the proposal of someone, a random person re-edit a
piece of film that has already been edited and released... do you find it
disrespectful, or inventive, or creative or etc ?

-if was proposed today, during a lively discussion.... that editors and editing is
as simple as plugging 26 alphabets into the word processor and coming up
with a word....

well that's my introduction : ) I am curious......
Ben Kempas
That's your introduction? Who are you then, Taochou? Are you a
documentary editor yourself? If you are, you should join The D-Word
Community <> as well, where we have a topic
dedicated to editing.

Only hosts can start new topics. Here in The D-Word Forum, topics
usually come as week-long conferences featuring special guests.
Ben Kempas
Taochou, I just noticed that you had already joined and introduced
yourself to The D-Word Community. Sorry for confusion.
Robert Goodman
Taochou - it's not kosher to post the same thing four different
times. Enough. As I said in another thread - we all read nearly
everything - post once - if it's in the wrong place so be it.

Don't waste my precious time.
Ben Kempas
Please calm down, Robert. This is the public forum, and the posting
above was Tachou's first-ever, not an additional one.
Doug Block
Like we say, The D-Word is a very warm and welcoming place ;-)

This is actually kind of out of character for us - Robert's just a
little pre-menstrual today ;-) But the point is a good one for all --
there's never a need to post the same thing twice in more than one
topic. This is more a matter for The D-Word Community rather than the
Forum, where we only have a few topics open, but still...
Taochou Wei
Yikes sorry Robert, my apologies. I was quite confused. I had posted then
received a note saying I had posted it in the wrong place and that it should be
at topic .25, which then I did except I made a mistake of posting it at .21 by
clicking on the final cut pro link instead and then received a comment saying it
should be in .25 :) so you see I thought I was supposed to re-post it. You
probably enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed re-posting it.
Robert Goodman
And sorry to bark - didn't realize that was in the Public Forum.
thought it was in the Private Forum. mea culpea.
Deleted User
Hello. I am working on my first documentary film. I am one of the
producers. Looking for any pointers I can get really!
Doug Block
Welcome, Daniela. You'll get lots of pointers from reading the
various archived conferences we've held here. Lotsa luck on your doc!
Stephanie Conn
Hi -- I just found D-word today and joined instantly. I'm suddenly
plunged into making my first documentary film. I come from radio
broadcasting where i was trying to make a radio doc on the same
topic but didn't find the broadcast home there I'd hoped for. then
some doc-making friends said i should try to make it as a film doc,

It's all very scary but exciting too as I have come to this project
through the subject, rather than through film-making, if you know
what I mean. Looking forward to meeting you all and sharing ideas
and concerns and choices. It's mind-boggling isn't it?

Ben Kempas
Welcome, Stephanie. What is your doc about?
Stephanie Conn
Thanks for the welcome. My interest is in the singers of a certain
community, and their sngs which are centuries-old, handed down
orally. When these guys are gone, much of the repertoire will be
lost. In addition they are great guys, real characters, and they live
in a beautful place. So.. i need to move quickly. Which is why I am
jumping in without really knowing anything about film.

As I said i work in radio and I've made short radio Docs so i am
pretending to myself that it can be planned in much the same way. But
theer are so many other layers to deal with. i can gather audio tape
entirely by myself, edit and mix it on my computer. This is a whole
other thing.

And the decisions -- narration or no nrration, should I be in it,
should there be a 'guide', should it be in english or in another
language with subtitles, what about the soundtrack, is Digital video
OK, can I start shooting myself...

Looking forward to getting into conversations with people about their
approaches, and sharing my experiences as I go along. Might be useful
to others too, I guess.