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.

Tony Comstock
Fan
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.

Regards,

T.C.
Doug Block
Host
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
Pro
tony - post in the postproduction topic about your new method.
Brian Bailey
Fan
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.

Thanks,
B.
Jeffrey Chown
Pro
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
festivals.
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
Pro
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
Fan
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
Host
Yes, Jennifer, welcome, and feel free to ask away in The Mentoring
Room topic.
Shazad Chaudhary
Fan
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.

Sincerely,
Shazad Chaudhary

www.simonsaysvoice.com
contact@simonsaysvoice.com
Doug Block
Host
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
Fan
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,
Shazad

www.simonsaysvoice.com
contact@simonsaysvoice.com
James River Martin
Fan
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
Pro
Welcome, James! Your membership beanie will arrive within a week.
Remember to wear it whenever you post.
James River Martin
Fan
{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
Fan
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
Pro
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
Fan
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
all.
Steve Holmes
Pro
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
Fan
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
Fan
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
Fan
Click below to view hidden post.
Over in the regular Utne site, there is this ...

Literature.Writing.547
Documentary film -- script writing
{Literature.Writing.547.1-}

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

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
Host
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
Fan
"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
Pro
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
Fan
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
Host
good to have you here, jamila. how did you find us?
Jamila Gaskins
Fan
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
Fan
Oh I forgot to mention I'm shooting all my fundraising events too.
Some of which will take me across the US.
Jamila Gaskins
Fan
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 jkgaskins@yahoo.com.
Kathryn Burg
Fan
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
Fan
welcome kathryn. i'm pretty new too. best of luck with your
project.
Christina Frederick
Pro
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
Host
well, glad you've finally come forward and introduced yourself,
christina. and good luck with your project. sounds like fun.
Benjamin Pastrana
Fan
Hola!

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
Host
welcome, benjamin. what kind of access do you have with the
governor? seems like that will make all the difference.
Keri Dillingham
Fan
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
Host
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
Pro
Hello,
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.
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