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.
and decided to try and connect with other doc filmmakers. my web sites
are: writinghome.com, and beingMEdia.com. 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...
helfand's grant-winning proposal for "a healthy baby girl" is online.
hope it's helpful:
to it. gets immediately erased. so don't bother, folks.
a place where people share the same passion for documentarys. I'll see you often
around the site . here is my web page: http://www.inthecosmos.com
based in Mexico or Germany or elsewhere?
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.....
professionals. this is our public forum, where there's far less give
and take with other doc makers. to join, go to:
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 ideas...my brain is fried after a year of shooting and planning.
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,
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
I'll be poking around here a bit, asking questions and answering others when I feel
All the best,
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
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.
thesis. Shows you're getting into the film mindset.
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.
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!
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? :-)
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.
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!
good luck w. the dissertation.
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: www.troutgrass.com
Cheers and I'll be picking some brains very soon!
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.
feel free to join the d-word community for doc professionals:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Iowa City here).
I, too, do work that would not be considered "cutting edge" so I
know the frustration you face. Try CINE or Telly, which are not
festivals but contests that take all kinds of programs. As to
festivals, your best bet is a gathering that specializes in
historical work. Willing to bet one exists, but I'm not sure where
to find it.
2 years with The Documentary Guild in Allston, MA. I helped on
several shows for WGBH.
My film is about a Boston-area rock climber who took a very long
time to establish a new climbing route on Cannon Cliff in
Franconia Notch in New Hampshire.
Filming has wrapped and we are in post-production. I have tons of
questions and would love to have a community of folks to bounce
them off. I have no desire to re-invent the wheel.
My deadline is approaching rapidly - Aug. 5th for the Banff
Mountain Film Festival.
My name is Shazad and I am a university student studying both film
and sociocultural anthropology. I am thinking of getting an MA in
Visual Anthropology and feel that my interest in cinema leans towards
such a raw and culturally-aware style.
Currently I am taking a summer course but also working closely with a
friend of mine who has started his own business. He has developed an
amazing software that can electronically process audio/video into
text, which is a godsend for documentary filmmakers in need of
transcribing, organizing and editing hours of field tape.
Just to let people know, I would like to offer any of you filmmakers
out here a free 1-hour transcription to not only evaluate our speed
and efficiency, but also help you out with any current projects you
may be working on.
Please take a check out our website below and if you have any further
questions or comments feel free to reply via e-mail or call me at
soon. sounds v. promising for docmakers if the software is accurate.
Thank you and your welcome.
As a filmmaker myself, and based on my experiences with SimonSays
having worked with several documentary filmmakers, I can honestly say
that this service is a impressive. Not only do you get to skip the
tedious process of transcribing your field taste, but you get to
invest this energy into the more creative aspects of your craft.
The software can recognize multiple speakers and comprehend thick
accents. After the software electronically processes the audio or
video, the time-code stamped transcript is then reviewed by a our
staff to guarantee 100% accuracy.
What this allows is for us to offer the best turnaround, which is
usually up to 5 hours of audio in 24-hours. This also depends on the
format you're working in as well as how quickly you can get it to us.
For highest efficiency we have an FTP server that allows you to send
your samples instantly.
Anyway I shall look forward to hearing from you,
I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
I'm brand spanking new here -- but I've been a member of Cafe Utne for
years and years.
I'm working on my first documentary script, on "car culture", its
history, development, social and eco-enviro impact, and the little
known history of "resistance". I might in fact be mad. True.
Remember to wear it whenever you post.
I wish I had something to give to you. You want some New Mexican chili?
Reading Andy's post, I was just about to ask if he'd run into David
James Duncan there in the Missoula area (and then...), where I missed
meeting him by two minutes at a book store where he left just as I was
coming in to ask where in Western Montana DJD lived. You see, I had
just read on a dust jacket (River Teeth) that he had moved there from
Oregon. I asked the bookstore gal, and she said he just left the shop!
... Is that weird, or what? - - - Anyway "The River Why?" sunk itself
into my riverine soul back in the day, and it has barbed hooks, so
it's still there. David is a great and beautiful man!
public forum. In the D-Word community for professional docmakers,
the subject of shaping docs often comes up in "Works in Progress."
I'd say you're eligible to apply to that community, though the final
word goes to Doug Block, who will probably be along shortly.
idea to write as much of the script as you can before production,
but since reality throws us a lot of curves, there's a limit to what
can be written before rolling tape. Have you done any taping yet?
Seem like good places to hang out.
We better take this over to "The Mentoring Room." I'm surprised Doug
or Ben hasn't been in here to shoo us out after the pleasantries.
They're the local bouncers who enforce topic boundaries.
the Mentoring Room.
basic criterion for the d-word community. the public forum is open to
all, but it's not really geared for the usual utne back and forth.
usual utne back and forth."
What is it geared for? I don't see a lot of recent activity.
as have others, but we don't force people to join. Part of the lack
of posts, too, is that the "mentors" who answer are often
overwhelmed with their own tasks. Doug is editing his film to appear
on HBO. With that kind of pressure, it's a tribute to him that he
gets around here at all. Look at it this way: Due to the lack of
competing questions, you have everyone's attention -- even
if "everyone," for the moment, is me.
about raising money for AIDS Project Los Angeles by training for
the Dublin marathon and my uncle who's HIV positive. He's the
reason I'm runnning. Anway I was happy to find out about D-word.
My plan is to shoot while I run both in training and during the
marathon, and to tell my uncle's story. This is my first movie as
producer so I've been looking to gather as much info as I can
while I was at ifpwest I found D-Word.
Some of which will take me across the US.
other APLA fundraising marathoners. Then I run during the week.
The run is October 31, but I was planning to go around the 25th
since I lose a day. I want to be able to get used to the weather,
run there before the actual marathon, and possibly drive the
course. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
turn out to be experimental) with a gl-2, me, and a couple of
people helping out to record the music. A US choir tour in Europe
with members aged 8-64. I have some clearance/consent questions,
so I'll head to the mentoring room. Great to be in the fray!
all my equipment so i've laid low, but now i've replaced my cam and
computer and have thrown myself into a bunch of projects.
i'm teaching a friend to shoot and edit an art piece he wants to do
for a show in Ghana this fall. he's a metalworker and sculptor, and
he's filming his West Indian customers, employees and friends.
i've worked on a couple of docs and informational pieces for the local
department of education, done a portrait for someone's reality show
application, and am now working on shooting footage for a doc about
teen performers in a musical.
i use borrowed equipment and/or the client's equipment a lot of the
time, but otherwise i'm using a Panasonic GS150 and editing on FCP.
really excited and feeling blessed by the opportunities to shoot these
new projects. thanks everyone for the community!
christina. and good luck with your project. sounds like fun.
Benjamin from Puerto Rico. Currently preparing to do a documentary
about the first Puertorrican Governor under USA mandate.
I work as a multimedia specialist for around 18 years. Just finished a
Movie making seminar for new directirs in Puerto Rico and Did my first
shortfilm and creating my first commercial one.
governor? seems like that will make all the difference.
a documentary for awhile, but I have no training at all in the field.
There is an injustice being committed, due to ignorance and lack of
education, which desperately needs attention in order to stop the
current atrocities, but that's about as far as I have gotten with the
idea. If the expense stays under $8000, I can fund the project
myself, but I am afraid that I will not turn out a great film or even
finish it. If that happens, I will have failed in helping with this
issue---should I find a professional to assist in the process?
you do need someone who knows how to shoot and someone who can edit,
not to mention have access to equipment. but hard to advise when you
don't say how long the film will be or what's involved. maybe you can
take this to the Mentoring Room.
I recently made the career leap from the tech world to documentaries
and docudramas. I've worked on a few small productions, but nothing
that is yet completed. Currently I am working on :
- A 30 minute educational documentary about the Camisea natural gas
pipeline in Peru
- A longer documentary about the environmental and human rights
issues created by the pipeline construction and operation
- A silent docudrama about social stratification in America by
following the lives of illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, and the
poor and the wealthy brought together by a small restaurant
- My father's 35th high school reunion, which has had quite a few
requests for weight adjustment and hair color touchup effects
So I gave up the suburban condo, moved into the city, and am snug in
a basement apartment. I'm taking the next year or so to learn as
much as I can about all stages of production, taking classes,
volunteering on shoots, and being nosey.
I have my own camera and editing system and in the past 5 months
have filmed in Vermont blizzards and Peruvian rainforests. Loving
the independance... Wondering how long the savings account will
Looking forward to being a part of the community and being an active
contributor as time goes on.
maker, there won't be much food on it). Where is the restaurant
that's the focal point of the docudrama?
say a silent doc you mean to music. i'm curious if there's a
particular reason why you're doing it in that style.
environmental film festival. She is crazy. She gave up an I-don't-
know-how-many-tens-of-thousands-of-dollars-a-year job in the IT
industry to pursue an indie media-maker life.
Grace, you will miss that job. :-)
I've retired from running an art deco lighting business and want to
master documentary making.
I bought a Sony HC42 mini-dv camera and have been exploring the
intersection of art, commerce and politics at street fairs. I've
focused on gay pride fairs specifically because they reveal a
fascinating glimpse of a world many people are interested in but a
society few understand.
I've done interviews at six different gay events. I also explored a
street fair sponsored by a homeless soup kitchen and another sponsored
by a Park Avenue Association in Manhattan on the same day a few blocks
I've started attending events at the Apple store in Soho. I'm
comfortable but not wealthy. I can afford to spend $10,000 to $20,000
on camera, sound and editing equipment.
Is this the best way to go? I've been reading here and also at DV
Info Net. I'm particularly interested in getting into the new world of
video blogging --"vloging".
Does anyone have any additional resources to suggest I explore?
I am a newbie and enjoying the site. There are so many questions to
ask, but I figured I'd say hello first! I am working on a ballet
documentary and have just started using FCP. I use to work in Imovie.
Now, I need to figure out how to convert Imovie DV files to the FCP
DV format. Any suggestions? I think maybe this is a rendering
situation, but I a newbie!
technical questions at The Mentoring Room topic.
That said, I haven't a clue about converting IMovie to FCP. Randolfe,
I assume you're going the FCP route. Why not just get the most
storage and memory you can, good monitors, and go to town?
Australia and I joined the site to try and find out some legal
information for a doco I'm planning.
what I was looking for. An online forum specifically catered to
documentaries. ahem, excuse me: to the D-word.
I'll attempt to avoid a long-winded monologue about myself, my past
projects, struggles... et al... and keep it short'n'sweet.
I have two projects that are both shot and have remained dormant for
the last 7 years - ouch - at least. Both focus on New Hampshire
subjects: one involves a barber that sold used records at his shop and
the other centers around two contra fiddlers who are still alive and
So much time has lapsed since shooting all the footage, I have found
that my initial interest in the material has changed immensely. So
much so that I'm now trying to grasp the same inspiration I was
bubbling with when I captured all the footage - so that I might
finally edit the pieces. Ugh. And I can't even blame the lack or
expense of technology anymore. Now I really DO have all the tools.
(here I go, rambling) gotta keep this short...
There you have it. Time + different sensibilities = box of tapes.
I know there's a story buried in those hours of footage... or at least
I had one in mind when shooting. How does one turn the light on again?
Without that same inspiration I feel the editing will lack a voice -
and that makes for dull storytelling. I'm a different person, but the
footage remains the same. Hmmm...
I've enjoyed reading some of the above posts and look forward to
learning more. Will check back when time allows...
at the end, you aren't inspired then let it sit. if you are, think
about editing a 5 to 10 minute sample for fundraising purposes. my
guess is you'll find your inspiration again.
i feel as though it's a bit like Plato's cave. now that i've had some
distance from the footage and reviewed every angle of it, my attitude
towards the material changed. i'm now looking at it with a more mature
set of eyes - which certainly isn't a bad thing - it just changes the
anyone got a time machine I can borrow?