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.

Jim Wharton
Hello all,
Just dropping in to get some good advice from the pros. I have crewed
on Indie films and spent a couple of years as a videographer doing
corporate, wedding, and a little music video work. I am currently
prepping a doc of sorts involving two unsolved murders in Oklahoma
and Missouri. They are 5 and 9 years cold respectively so most will
be interviews with family etc. Hoping to get some good advice on
another thread to make the interviews as appealing and interesting as
possible. Thanks!
Doug Block
welcome, jim. and happy holidays to all in d-world!
Michelle Plett
I am here to find out some info and become more literate in the
documentary film world. I am working on a documentary about couples
who make the decision/choice to not have children. I'm 21 years old
and finishing my Post grad in Public Relations. I'm working on this
documentary to gain experience in the industry and to help out my
cousin, who is the director/producer. I currently live in Ontario,
Canada but I grew up in British Columbia. I'm moving to London,
England within the year and can't wait. I am very excited to learn
as much as possible about the documentary world and to meet those
Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word, Michelle!

Anybody else out there? :-)
Doug Block
nice to have you here, michelle. good luck with the doc and with
your studies.
Michelle Plett
Thanks very much! I'm going to post some questions in the ask the
experts section. If you can answer, please do!! :)

Sam Chance
Hey there.

I'm an aspiring studenty type wanting to make docs when i grow up.

Just wanted to ask if anyone has any opinions on the future of
documentary making in relation to new digital technology
Doug Block
lots more docs getting made. bar getting lowered re basic craft
(especially cinematography). pity the poor festival programmers
wading through all the crapola. still, any number of gems are getting
made that never would have otherwise: tarnation, dig!, etc.
David Teigeler
Hi all,

greetings from Amsterdam, home of IDFA, one of the largest
documentary film festivals in the world held each year in November.
I'm joining because I love documentaries and to talk about them, to
answer any questions about IDFA, your opinions about IDFA and of
course to hear about interesting documentaries made in whereever you
live. Don't hesitate to ask anything. My personal favourites from the
2004 edition are Darwin's Nightmare by Hubert Sauper, Liberia: an
Uncivil War by Jonathan Stack and James Brabazon and last but not
least The 3 Rooms of Melancholia by Pirjo Honkasalo. If you have a
chance to see them, go! Greets
Richard Davis
In 1976, age 19, I wrote a wish-list of what I wanted to do & explore
in life, memorized it and tucked it away.

In 2000, I stumbled upon that old list and noticed I had seen and
done a little over half of it.

Also realized I really didn't want to do the rest of that list
anymore. Ha!

So I pondered and wrote a "wish-list" sequel for the rest of my life
on this stage. I carry it in my wallet, it contains 11 written goals.

The third one is, "Produce a TV Documentary Series".

Hmmm, well that may prove to be the most difficult one on the list,
but it's time to start that ball rolling.

So, Hello
Doug Block
hey richard, welcome. hope you have more than a few years for wish
Richard Davis
Thanks Doug,

"a few years" . . .Yea I realize, lol. I've prepared myself to allow
5 to 10 years before I see an internationally televised doc series.
But I've got 26 years of material gathering behind me, so I'm not
going to toss this goal aside, too much passion. I think that a
significant audience wants to hear what's in my head, as they're
already pondering these things privately. However very few (if any)
are doc'ing this stuff cross-culturally & religiously respectfull
enough to be marketable for national TV.

Like most up-start doc producing dreamers, I think I've got an edge.
We'll see. "I've got a dream", hope no one shoots me.

Very glad I found your work here Doug. Thank you.
Aliza Sherman Risdahl
Hello all,

I'm a new media gal gone old media - from Web production to radio and
now film. I've also been a freelance writer for about 15 years so
video production is like a revelation - a whole new way for me to
express the visuals! I'm in the middle of producing a 12-part series
for Wyoming Public Television about social issues faced by families in
the state (domestic violence, economic assistance, child support
enforcement, etc).

For anyone wanting to break into producing, check your local public
television (PBS, not local access) station. They have smaller budgets
but in smaller markets are very open to newcomers.

The experience has been invaluable, and my husband and I have invested
in equipment and lined up a project in Alaska where I'll be moving in
June for a year. I have a few other personal projects I'd like to work
on as well - one in particular, about miscarriage - will be my labor
(so to speak) of love.

I'm excited to be hear, to learn and share. And I'm glad to reconnect
(virtually) with Doug!
Doug Block
so glad you found us, aliza, and that you've made your way to the doc
world! and now hope you'll join the d-word community, where the pros
hang out:

best... doug
Dan Satorius

I am a partner in the law firm of Abdo Abdo Broady & Satorius and
practice entertainment law.

I have worked extensively with documentary filmmakers and
organizations including Independent Television Service and TPT. I
have provided legal counsel to many documentary filmmakers who have
won Academy Awards and nominations, Peabody Awards, Emmy Awards, and
numerous awards at the Sundance Film Festival.

I have served on the Board of Directors of the IFP MSP since July,
1987; president 2002-2004. I was instrumental in organizing the IFP
National and serve on that board.

I have also produced documentary films and have a MA in film
production from the University of Iowa. I am an active member of
the American Bar Association's Forum on the Entertainment and Sports
Industries and serve as the Associate Editor of the ENTERTAINMENT
AND SPORTS LAWYER. I just returned from the Sundance Film Festival
where I chaired a seminar on “Independent Film Financing” co-
sponsored by the American Bar Association and IFP.

You can find out more about me at our website at
Doug Block
dan modestly didn't mention that he's representing esther robinson's
terrific feature doc, "the danny williams story" (which i happen to be
producing with esther). in no way did he solicit this but he has my
unqualified endorsement. welcome, dan!
Dan Satorius
Thanks Doug. It was great to see you at Sundance last year. But I
missed running into you this year. Esther is wonderful and the
project is wonderful. I am glad to be working with you on it.
Doug Block
ditto, dan. was too busy working on a new film (apart from esther's)
to do sundance this year. alas.

noticed you registered for the community. look forward to continuing
the conversation there.
Jody Serkes
this is great. Finally on UTNE. I am a doc film maker who does mostly
stories of rockers. I am working on the story of the late great Laura
Nyro. If anyone here has film, photos or stories of her please contact
me. Mostly what I am struggling with is funding (of course!) I would
benefit emmensely discussing funding. How? Grants drive me nuts. But,
have to do I guess.
Doug Block
welcom, nyrogrl. good luck with your film. you should read the
recent conference we did here on fundraising for docs:

Jody Serkes
Thanks for the hello Doug. Your links were very important to the film
I am trying to launch. Thanks so much.
Doug Block
You're quite welcome. The other archived conferences will be very
helpful, as well. Particularly Jan Rofekamp's on selling in the
international marketplace:

Emily Meyers
Hola! Just joined. The mission of my production company, Eyes of the
World Productions, is to use the power of media to raise awareness of
social issues. We're in LA. Right now, I'm making several
documentaries. Among
them are Her Meth Secret: The High Highs, the Low Lows (the powerful
way the methamphetimeine epidemic spreading across America impacts
women), Comparing Notes: Building an Arab & American Sisterhood
(women in both cultures share best practices to deal with their
challenges). Always looking for collaborators that want to have some
fun, make some money, and make positive change in the world. Contact
me for more info if you're interested!
Doug Block
welcome, emily. see you joined the community, as well, so i'll greet
you there, too ;-)
Jody Serkes
My company is called "FlyingPoodle Productions" kinda says it all and
Christian Saladores
hi all

im a student in melbourne, australia. i'm on holidays at the moment,
waiting for the school year to start. got a dv camcorder for my
birthday just recently and thought i make a lil documentary on a local
workshop educating kids on the elements of hip hop music.

meanwhile, just doing some research on how to get things started and
happened to stumble across this forum... feel a lil 'ameaturish' tho,
but we all gotta start somewhere :)
Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word Forum, J (?) and Christian!
Doug Block
worse places to start from than somewhere, christian ;-) welcome.
Jay Heyman
{erased by dbblock Tue, 22 Feb 2005 01:23:47 GMT}
Doug Block
jay, the classifieds is, in fact, the proper place for this. i
erased your post because you double posted there.
Doug Block
kyoko, i also erased your post because you posted the same thing in
the mentoring room (where it belongs) and i've answered you there.
please, folks, do NOT post the same thing in two different topics.
Michael Clark
Hi, all. I've just gotten into video production as a facet of my job
working with a nonprofit. We're using video for internal communication
and are starting a project to produce educational videos for
commercial distribution. The experience has gotten me really excited
about the possibilities of documentary videomaking, and that's why I
ended up here. I live near Durham, NC, the home of the Full Frame
Documentary Festival - will any of you be attending?
Doug Block
not i, but welcome to the d-word, michael. have fun in production
and at the festival. it's a great one.
Ross Williams
Hey everybody, I just joined up, thought I'd introduce myself. I'm an independent filmmaker living in Ashland, OR. I've made a couple short films and music videos over the last couple years. If interested, you can watch them at my website:

I'm currently in the post production phase of my first feature, a documentary. I was looking for a good place to come for advice on finishing my film, it seems like this is the place. So you'll probably see me posting some questions in other areas.

I look forward to talking with you.

Basil Shadid
hey all, i'm new here as well. i'm working on two projects right now
and decided to try and connect with other doc filmmakers. my web sites
are:, and if anyone is willing to
share, i'm really interested in seeing sample funding proposals. also,
i'm interested in meeting people in the chicago area who are working
on documentary projects...
Doug Block
sheesh, luckily we don't get much spam here, but this is what happens
to it. gets immediately erased. so don't bother, folks.
Jacqueline Delaye
Hallo everybody! I want to introduce my self, Im also new and Im very happy to be in
a place where people share the same passion for documentarys. I'll see you often
around the site . here is my web page:
Erica Ginsberg
Jacqueline, tell us more yourself. Interesting website. Are you
based in Mexico or Germany or elsewhere?
Jacqueline Delaye
Hallo, here I talk a little more about my self:
Im based in Germany since one year an a half in a little city called Bamberg, Bavaria.
for the moment i'm working as a free-lancer but I have to say that in this town is not
so easy to have something to do with video and specially with documentary.
Nevertheless I have the opportunity to work around Germany. My last documentary
was in Hamburg and now I'm in the post production ( long but satisfied work). I travel
to Mexico very often and I try to do it also around Europe. I have to say that my
interest for documentary began mainly because of traveling and because of a feeling
of engagement with our plantet ( and also because is a very funy and creative tool).It
is not easy to choose video as a tool but I find it really efficient when one knows how
to use it.....
Doug Block
jacqeline, you should register for the d-word community of
professionals. this is our public forum, where there's far less give
and take with other doc makers. to join, go to:
Anthony Gilmore
I just joined the D-word community. I read a recent article about
this in the IDA and thought it would serve a tremedous help in
my current doc. I will be posting here and hope to find some
creative brain is fried after a year of shooting and planning.

Christopher Kadish
Hi everybody.
I posted my project on the mentor section, but wanted to say thank
you for having such a place to come and seek guidance and
inspiration. I admire those who "do it." You did it. Now I want
to join your ranks.
All my best,
Christopher K.
Doug Block
glad to have you here, christopher. thanks for the compliments.
Zachary Fink
Hello Everybody - Just joining up here and in the D-Word community and wanted to say hi.

I'm about to go into production on my thesis film for my MFA which will be my first feature
length documentary. I'll be shooting it throughout the Rocky Mountain West for the next
year or so. I've been making short independent documentaries for a number of years
(mostly from the perspective of my anthropology background) and have been supporting
myself as a freelance shooter, final cut pro editor, and dvd author. I have a very strong
connection (and commitment) to Verite style observational filmmaking. I guess it's my
anthro roots.

I'll be poking around here a bit, asking questions and answering others when I feel

All the best,
Doug Block
welcome, zac, and look forward to "seeing" you in the community, as
Octavio Warnock-Graham

My name is Octavio and I am a first year MFA doc. student at City
College in New York City. David Davidson and Andrea Weiss are my two
Doc. professors.

I am starting the pre-production phase of my graduate thesis. I have
many questions, production and structural, and will be seeking help.
So thanks for being here and I look forward to joining your community.
Steve Holmes
Hello, Octavio. Welcome. Never heard of "pre-production" on a
thesis. Shows you're getting into the film mindset.
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.