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.

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.
Steve Holmes
A belated welcome, Jeffrey. Good to see someone join from nearby
(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.
Jennifer Tennican
I'm making my first documentary. I was a production assistant for
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.
Doug Block
Yes, Jennifer, welcome, and feel free to ask away in The Mentoring
Room topic.
Shazad Chaudhary
Hey everyone.

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
(416) 720-3805.

Shazad Chaudhary
Doug Block
welcome, shazad, and thanks for the offer. hope to take you up on it
soon. sounds v. promising for docmakers if the software is accurate.
Shazad Chaudhary
Hey Doug,

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,
James River Martin
Hello. I'm James. You can call me River, too. Either way.

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.
Steve Holmes
Welcome, James! Your membership beanie will arrive within a week.
Remember to wear it whenever you post.
James River Martin
{LINK NOT IMPORTED} - Wow! I get a beanie!? How wonderful! You people are amazing!
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!
James River Martin
Click below to view hidden post.
Say, I've been looking around this place, and I see no topic on scripts,
script writing...?! Anyone care to talk about scripts and script
writing? - - - Is that one word or two? Scriptwriting?
Steve Holmes
James, the "Mentoring Room" topic is as close as it gets in the
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.
James River Martin
Click below to view hidden post.
"I'd say you're eligible to apply"

Actually, I'm not a professional filmmaker -- though I am working on a
script. I'm just a deeply interested student. I have no credentials at
Steve Holmes
Working on a script for a doc? I guess I don't follow. It's a good
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?
James River Martin
Click below to view hidden post.
As I see it, Steve, the particular documentary I have in mind, to be
successful, requires a fair amount of pre-production research and
writing. I realize that a lot of research and development occurs
during production in documentary film work, and that a doc script has
to be very flexible. I'm also aware that very often the writer of a
script is also the director and/or producer; but this is not likely
to be the case in my project. I want to pass the script on to someone
who can get the job done right, and whom I trust to do it well.

I'm pretty knowledgeable about my subject, and I have a unique story
to tell. Sure, a lot is gonna happen between now and editing, but I
think this project requires special handling before production
begins. Also, it's gonna take somebody like me to show that and why
this story must be told, and why it is best to tell it in the
film/video media.
James River Martin
Click below to view hidden post.
Oh, by the way, a lot of my footage is almost certain to be stock
(historical) footage--as old as old gets at the beginning, going back
to the first days of the automobile. I'm doing history as much as
anything, though it will move us to the present, and a lot of the
story will be recent history.

Yes, I know stock footage is *expensive* a lot of the time.

And yet, I think I can get ahold of a lot of the video footage I
need for cheap to nothing. This is relatively recent video and film
footage which is pretty indispensable to my project, since it depicts
recent protests and demonstrations, which are now past events, --
which I'm sure were filmed by participants and intersted bystanders,
and sometimes the news media. Many of the people likely to have
documented these events on video/film are natural advocates and
allies of my project, so they are likely to be super happy that I
want to use their stuff -- and I expect some gifts of usage.

We're talking "Critical Mass" bike rides, road protests, "Reclaim The
Streets" events, and the recent story (google it) about the naked
bicycle rides-protests in London and in Spain. This kind of thing. It
actually is pretty zippy imagery!
James River Martin
Click below to view hidden post.
Over in the regular Utne site, there is this ...

Documentary film -- script writing

... which explains a lot of what I'm up to.
Steve Holmes
A noble project, James. Thanks for mentioning the other Utne sites.
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.
Doug Block
Oops, been busy boy. Welcome, James, and, yes, shoo shoo, see you in
the Mentoring Room.
James River Martin
Click below to view hidden post.
Thanks for the welcome, Doug. Hope your business is good and happy

At what moment does one become a professional documentary filmmaker,
and become eligible to the other forum reserved for pros? I only ask
because this place is a little slow, and talk would be beneficial.
Doug Block
James, working professionally in the field of documentary is our
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.
James River Martin
"the public forum is open to all, but it's not really geared for the
usual utne back and forth."

What is it geared for? I don't see a lot of recent activity.
Steve Holmes
It is what people make of it, James. I've spread the D-Word gospel
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.
Jamila Gaskins
Just signed up yesterday. I'm producing my first documentary
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.
Doug Block
good to have you here, jamila. how did you find us?
Jamila Gaskins
Thanks for the welcome, Doug and Steve.

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.
Jamila Gaskins
Oh I forgot to mention I'm shooting all my fundraising events too.
Some of which will take me across the US.
Jamila Gaskins
July 2 @ 7am at Griffith Park I have a group training run with
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
Kathryn Burg
Hi. Just signed up. Getting ready to shoot a doc of sorts (could
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!
Jamila Gaskins
welcome kathryn. i'm pretty new too. best of luck with your
Christina Frederick
hello. i've been a member for a while. my place got robbed and i lost
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!
Doug Block
well, glad you've finally come forward and introduced yourself,
christina. and good luck with your project. sounds like fun.
Benjamin Pastrana

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.
Doug Block
welcome, benjamin. what kind of access do you have with the
governor? seems like that will make all the difference.
Keri Dillingham
Hi everyone---I'm Keri and I have recently been considering creating
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?
Doug Block
welcome, keri. don't know if you need a professional, per se, but
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.
Grace Stahre
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
last. :)

Looking forward to being a part of the community and being an active
contributor as time goes on.
Steve Holmes
Welcome, Grace. You have a lot on your plate (though, as a doc
maker, there won't be much food on it). Where is the restaurant
that's the focal point of the docudrama?
Doug Block
welcome, and good luck on all the projects, grace. i assume when you
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.
Ben Kempas
Grace is one of the D-Worders who I met "offline" first, at an
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. :-)
Randolfe Wicker
I've been a video-maker since I bought my first video camera in 1969.
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?
Christian Cudnik
HI everyone,
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!
Doug Block
Welcome Randolfe and Christian. We generally try to answer the
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?
Jasmine Adams
New person on site. I'm a student at Curtin University in Westerna
Australia and I joined the site to try and find out some legal
information for a doco I'm planning.
Doug Block
fire away in the Mentoring Room topic, jasmine. glad you found us.
Jeff Palmer
well, after a few weeks of surfing the web on and off, I think I found
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...

Doug Block
welcome, jeff. my advice is to simply view and log your footage. if,
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.
Jeff Palmer
thanks doug. sound advice.
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
perspective some.

anyone got a time machine I can borrow?
~ Jeff
Randolfe Wicker
I've been having a lot of fun recently at the Yahoo videoblogging

I would also encourage those coming here to check out the Current
TV "studio" page where they can learn how to submit video and also
get to "judge" videos that have been submitted to Current for

For those who really want to get on the "cutting edge", I'd suggest
exploring the following resources involving "vlogging":

August 20, 2005 update:

CBS News covered one site listed below and that newscast can be
watched via this link:

The kind of unique sharing of personal experience that vlogging
makes possible is demonstrated by this vlog in which a young woman
takes us into her doctor's office while she undergoes a bioptsy.

This site has great free tutorials:

The Yahoo video bloggers discussion group is really a fantastic
resource with a lot of interaction going on.


1175 Members, Archives: Public

Videoblogging is taking off. We discuss practical issues (bandwidth,
process, need for a videoblogging tool) and more philosophical
issues (why and what is a videoblog? ...). Join the conversation! A
very good group has gathered here to make videoblogging a reality.
Creators and developers are equally welcome and needed. Here are the
steps to take to best take advantage of this group: 1. Make a
videoblog. Freevlog explains how to videoblog for free. Feevlog
explains how to videoblog for a fee. ( ...(more)

Before discovering FireANT, I was drawn into exploring the vlog
universe through this site. Click on the “make your own vlogroll”
link above the displayed video frames on the opening page. By
checking those vlogs that look interesting and then continuing to
the bottom of the page, you can have them open in a vertical row and
you can check them out quickly.

At the Apple store in SoHo, they will have a second monthly
presentation described here. (Film Archives in Manhattan is
starting a monthly presentation of the best vlogs after a successful
recent event.)


Join videobloggers as they show their favorite videos and viewing
tools, discuss video blog creation, and share tips and techniques.
Learn how you can create your own video blog for free!
August 27, 7:00 p.m.

A vlog that does a pretty good job when stacked up against
professional commentators/newscasters

The funniest and most talented humorous vlog I’ve found to date is:

A vlog that is polished and professional, one that loads and plays
in a way that proves real quality is possible can be found at:

A vlog which is so open about personal matters, it is absolutely
chilling, can be found at: (updated every Monday)

This video captures the spirit of the vlogging world.

The best discussion I’ve found about digital video has been at:
Marco Raaphorst

My name is Marco Raaphorst. I work as a composer and sound designer
for all sorts of media. I am located in The Hague, The Netherlands.

I have done all sorts of projects, some of them internationally. I did
some work for Dutch RTL Sport and the Canadian CBC's ZED-TV. But I
would like to find composition work for documentaries since I am a big
fan of documentaries myself. My music can fit like a glove with the
imaging, or be the contrast, if that's what we want :)

For a brief introduction about my work, please check


Marco Raaphorst

Van den Boschstraat 286
2595 AH The Hague
The Netherlands

+31-703470409, +31-645492000
Kylie Purcell

My name is Kylie Purcell and I am a third year Television Production
at Charles Sturt University in NSW, Australia. I am currently
working on a Research Paper in which I have decided to focus
on 'Editing the Documentary', and the different approaches taken in
cutting a doco as opposed to say a fictional work.
If anyone has any info or knows where I can find some i'd be very
Doug Block
Well, Kylie, you might start by reading our conference: The Art of
the Documentary Editor {LINK NOT IMPORTED}
Kylie Purcell
wow- i should have looked around more. This is place is excellent!!
Robert Lampe

my name is robert, i have made a couple shorter documentaries, combining
elements of docs and experimental film. i am in the VERY early stages of
a (hopefully) feature length doc, and i am writing a script which i
would like to shoot in the documentary style, because not only is that
stylistically appealing to me, but i find that it is the best
environment for everyone involved in the film to truly be at their most
creative, but i could write a novel on my theories about that, so i will
just stop right there. this place looks like a wonderful community.
Michael Lieberman
I'm Michael Lieberman, from Binghamton, NY and recent college

Currently working on a documentary about an Iraq war veteran,
who's now speaking out against the war.

I enjoy the process immensely, as if every day shooting is an
education in life skills and cinema, which is more than I ever
got in college, believe me.

This is the best forum I've seen on documentary filmmaking and I
look forward to spending time here.
Steve Holmes
Welcome, Michael. Go Binghamton Mets! Yeah, there's a limit to what
a college, even a film school, teaches you about making a film. The
rest is here on D-Word.
Doug Block
Welcome, Robert and Michael. Wishing you both good luck on your
Mechelle Martz
Hello! My name is Mechelle Martz. I am currently working on a
Master's Degree at Colorado State University. I have been working
in media for 10 years and have some ideas for some doumentary films
that I would like to create. However, within those ideas my main
focus has become the effectiveness of documentary film to distribute
a message or information. I am currently working on a thesis to
study the social effects of documentary film and if there is a way
to determine if documentary films are able to motivate communities,
governments, and social groups to action.
I have found a ton of information on production and astethic
evaluation of documentary films but very little on follow up
assesment or study on if the film had been effective in
communicating it's message to an audience. How many people see your
documentary? Has the documentary started social movements, changed
government policies? Does anyone evaluate the after effects of
thier documentary film? Do they care?
I hope by joining this forum I may gain some insight into these
areas. Maybe some of you may have more information or ideas of
where I can find possible studies in this area.
Maybe I can give some PR/Marketing expertise to those who need it.
Either way I'm looking forward to getting some tips as well.

Mechelle Martz
Steve Holmes
Welcome, Mechelle! You're working on a fascinating study. Tough to
nail down some of that stuff, how big an effect a film has. You
might start by reading Sandi Dubowski's archived online conference
on outreach. Scroll down on the front page.
Erica Ginsberg
Mechelle, even though it didn't change the administration, Fahrenheit
911 has an enormous impact on the discourse of last year's elections
and Michael Moore was able through his site and through partnerships
with other organizations to promote grassroots mobilization for
progressive causes.

Also do some research on Erroll Morris' Thin Blue Line which impacted
the outcome of a prison sentence.

As far as other films which have had grassroots impact, I'd recommend
looking at the catalogue of the past few years of the Council on
Foundations Film Festival. They celebrate films which are
specifically geared towards impact.

You may also want to think about attending the Center for Social
Media's Why Media Matters seminar which will be held in Washington DC
in February 2006.
Mechelle Martz
I have gotten some information on Fahrenheit 911. I have heard of
Thin Blue Line, but I will look into it further it - thanks for the
suggestion! I have been struggling with trying to find specific
films to focus on.
I am trying to decide if or how to narrow down my thesis to
something manageable. I may end up looking specifically at only a
few films or at an organization that is using documentary film for
issue awareness or impact, but I am still in the information
gathering process.
I am glad I found this site as it is nice to be able to talk with
others that have an interest in what documentary film can do. It
gives me some insight and ideas on where to look and what I am
missing. Thank you!
Maria Vougioukalaki
i just introduced myself in d world and i have a question..I cant add
a topic here??If not how i can ask something which is out of topic
comparing to the existing ones???
PS:this is maria im greek studying film in paris i want to work in
editing i have a little pro experience in documentaries and my
wildest dream would be finishing my hair metal documentary(i should
do a gallop if anybody would be interested in watching that:p).Im so
happy to be here guys
take care:)
Doug Block
i see you made it here, maria. welcome (again).
Maria Vougioukalaki
doug ure a sweetheart!!!
so what do u think guys about hair metal???any fans possibly(again im
full of optimism;p)
Mary Carroll-hackett
hi. i'm a fiction writer and teacher living in small town virginia. i
have no filmmaking experience at all beyond pulling cords as a PA on
a few very low budget horror indies back in my twenties. i've sold a
couple of scripts to indie producers, but i'm preparing to try my
hand at my own documentary, following a poor single mom who has gone
back to college--a story i know since i did it myself ten years ago.
i've been reading and watching everything i can get my hands on; the
search led me here. i have so much to learn! glad to have found it.
Doug Block
glad you found us, too, mary. good luck with your doc and feel free
to ask questions in The Mentoring Room topic.
Wilson Santos
hi. my name is wilson santos. i graduated in 1996 with a BA in
english and a minor in film. i did a 6 week intensive course in
filmmaking at NYU and have taken several scriptwriting seminars. i
wrote my first feature film in 1997 and sold it to a swiss
independent filmmaker. he has yet to produce the film so the rights
will revert back to me this coming year. i just finished the rough
draft of my second full feature.

i have been exploring the possibility of producing a documentary
lately, which brings me to this forum. i have no experience in video
production as my background is film, but i do have a good concept of
screen composition. i am no stranger to organizing and producing
things either, so i think i can handle such a project. i have several
questions though and would like to know which is the best place to
ask. some techinical questions as well as financial questions.

looking forward to learning from those here who have more experience.

nice forum
Doug Block
thanks, wilson. try the "mentoring room" topic.
Rudy Castro
Hello fellow film makers, my name is Rudy Castro, born and raised
in Los Angeles, CA. I have just joined this wonderful community
and i am very exctied about the project im working on. Im telling
the story of two women in 1975 who founded a female clique of one
of the longest standing East LA gangs. Thirty years later, one of
the founders died leaving behind three adult children who each are
following a different path seeking an answer to their loss. One
of the paths is to locate their father, who was also a part of the
gang, after ten years to confront him. To tell him that his first
love is dead and that his first grandchild has been born.

Anyways, i just wanted to introduce myself and begin dialogue.
This website has been very informative, insightful and inspiring.
To all of the contributors, my upmost gratitute.

This will be my first feature length documentary. I have a
bachelors in Sociology, directed a short doc, and have been
working in film medium for about two years. Im currently in the
early stages of production on a self funded budget. Looking to
continue pushing the project further along with the help of you
thank you
Doug Block
sounds like a great project, rudy. welcome and good luck!
Carolyn Allen
Hi, I'm Carolyn Allen. I'm completing my first educational
documentary "Backyard Nature Safari" to encourage young children
to discover the wonder in their yards and parks. I'm in Los
Angeles and am eager to meet other documentary filmmakers. I have
written a couple scripts with heavy nature themes...and am so
excited about finding this group! Yeah!
Ben Kempas
Welcome to The D-Word Safari, Carolyn. Discover the wonder!