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.

Daniel Raim

Hi Doug,
Thanks for the update, albeit not very good news for us Ross McElwee fans. Are you at liberty to explain what the complications are holding up the film?
I posted in the Hidden Section a synopsis I found on Fandango – looks really interesting!

Documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee, who has cast his quizzical eye on such phenomena as the Civil War, his problems with women and the American news media, now explores the high stakes of life in South America in the movie In Paraguay. McElwee and his wife Marilyn McElwee decided to adopt a child, and made arrangements to become new parents of a baby girl living in Paraguay. When the McElwees flew to Paraguay to meet the child and bring her home, they were struck by the extreme poverty around them, the bureaucracy that dogged them at every stage of the adoption process, and the corruption and oppression that dominates Paraguay's politics. While Ross initially intended to focus on the process of adopting his new daughter, before long his film became a study of a culture whose flaws are all but impossible for him to comprehend, while he also tries to record a bit of his daughter's heritage for her to look to in the future. In Paraguay was an official selection at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Doug Block

I wish I could but I told Ross I'd keep it to myself. But we're getting a bit off topic here, this is basically for intros and greetings. We can continue any discussion of Ross, In Paraguay and the unique challenges of personal docs in the Documentary Film topic.

Indrani Kopal

Hello everyone, I'm Indrani Kopal, a documentary filmmaker from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And, I also work as a full time video journalist with, an online news agency here in KL.

I just returned from Washington DC after being part of the 2010 International Emerging Documentary Filmmakers Fellowship program by The Documentary Center, at the George Washington University. I was really privileged to meet many experienced filmmakers during the 6-weeks program. And I really enjoyed SILVERDOC Festival. is my blog. And, D-word site was a big buzz among many filmmakers I came across in US, so here I am :)

Doug Block

And we're very glad to have you, Indrani. You couldn't have gotten better training than from the Fellowship program. Hopefully The D-Word will keep the spirit alive. Welcome aboard.

Peter Wareing

Greetings from New Zealand.
I live between New Zealand and New York, where I started in the late 1980's as a videographer for downtown independent dance companies. Subsequently I focused on independent film and video work in the experimental genre. These short works have been screened in festivals and galleries in the States, Europe and New Zealand; I also have worked as a video designer, focusing again on the downtown theater projects. More recently I completed a multi channel video projection for the Govert-Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand – titled: There Are Snakes in Paradise. It is an experimental documentary that looks at effects of living in the shadow of the largest international owned chemical plant in New Zealand (Dow Chemical) in the 1960’s –70’s which produced 245T in great quantities and was spayed in the mega tons from the top to the bottom of New Zealand – (The NZ brand: Clean and Green?). Previous to that I made a 32min Doc. about a painter Chuck Bowdish that was screened in various festivals in the US. My most recent doc. I have just completed with funds from the NZ film Commission is a film chronicling the lives (from 1996 to 2009) of three residents in a home on the Upper West Side in Manhattan who are blind and mentally challenged tilted: Not Everybody Can Do Everything. It is a 102min in length and now just beginning to send out to festivals.

Doug Block

Welcome to The D-Word, Peter. And feel free to register for "Professional" status to give you access to all the discussion topics (50, as opposed to just a few).

Gustavo Rosa

Hi everyone,

My name is Gustavo, I am a recent college graduate. I have been thinking about making a documentary (shocking and ill-advised, I know) about illegal immigrants and their path to college. I have a few people lined up to interview, some stuff about policy, a few contacts in some immigrant organizations, and would probably include some stuff about myself in the project as well.

I am a COMPLETE novice to filming! For now I have been watching some documentaries (including Doug's) and thinking about the arch that the project might take, I envision it being about 30 minutes long.

Does anyone have any advice in terms of literature or other informational material that might be useful? I am particularly interested in what you would think a good camera would be for my purposes. I've looked around a bit and like the Canon T2i. I don't have a mac, but I have a PC and access to the adobe suite.

I appreciate any help or advice you guys would have!

Look forward to hearing from you,

Blake Adams Bailey

Hello all,

My Name is Blake Adams, and I have been in LA for twenty years, acting, writing and occasionally producing (my award winning short film titled "Silent Radio") I have never thought about doing a documentary film until now. I was struck with an idea that I can not let go, and need some real guidance on how to put together the pitch. This is an area very strange to me, so any help on what kind of Package to put together...what are 'people' looking for in a documentary pitch.

Christopher Wong

welcome, blake. feel free to post more specific questions in the Mentoring Room section of the D-Word. for now, the quick answer to your question is that people in the doc industry are primarily looking for intimate access to your characters. secondly, people are looking for subjects that are timely and reveal universal truths. celebrity involvement always helps to get a doc off the ground, but that is certainly not a prerequisite in the way that you need an A-list celeb to get a fiction film greenlit.

Doug Block

Greetings, Gustavo and Blake. Gustavo, you might want to try a site like DV User, which has more technical topics on cameras. As for your approach to your film, it seems pretty spot on to me, so I'd say trust your instincts. If you're intent on reading a book, though, Michael Rabiger's Directing the Documentary is a classic. And glad if my film has been a help.

Chithra Jeyaram

I am Chithra Jeyaram an MFA film production student at University of Texas, Austin. I used to be and still am a Physical Therapist and now an emerging documentary filmmaker.

United states is the only country in the developed world with no law requiring PAID PARENTAL LEAVE BENEFITS. Having a child is treated like a life style choice. Most parents lives changes dramatically not only because of the addition of a new life but because of the poor support systems.

I want to make a documentary about tag-team parenting, where parents who can't afford child care stagger their work shifts. For example – one parent works night shifts and the other day and exchange babies at parking lots. In the process, they barely see each other and such marriages or partnerships eventually end.

The situation is worse for single parents or those of the LGBT community. Currently, I am in the research phase of this project. Any suggestions or tips will be appreciated.

Also, I have wanted to make a film using both my skills – Physical Therapy and Filmmaking. Over the last three years, I have noticed that most filmmakers have bad postures and really bad backs. I have be toying with an idea for an animated/doc film on that topic. Any ideas?


Doug Block

Welcome, Chrithra, and feel free to join The D-Word as a full member . I'll be doing an Austin Film Society screening of my new doc THE KIDS GROW UP on Oct 13. Hope to meet you there.

Kemuel DePaula

My name is Kemuel Deaula, I grew up in Alvarenga, Brazil. I've been living in the United State for a long time now, i love it here. I am a graduate of Full Sail University. I am editing my second Documentary and things are going well. D-Word is a great website, i am new to it and still learning how to get around. Check out my resume at i am also going to attach my Resume to this post. Have a good day!!

- Kemuel DePaula

Doug Block

Welcome to The D-Word, Kemuel. We sure are getting folks with great names here.

Kemuel DePaula

Doug Block
haha, that is true, when i was born they spelled my name wrong, so my parents kept it.

Doug Block

Same here, Chithra. Please make sure to introduce yourself at some point.

Robert A. Emmons Jr.

Hello –

I am new to the blog. I applied for full membership and hope to gain it!

I am currently finishing a 6 month project, which is set to finish tomorrow.

During these last 6 months I have made two short documentaries a week. They premiere every Wednesday and Sunday and are based on randomly drawn words. The project is called MINICONCEPTDOCS. It has been the single best documentary filmmaking learning experience of my life. They can be seen here or my Youtube channel:

I would love to hear comments from other documentary filmmakers.

I would consider myself a folk filmmaker interested in local culture and history, usually within the area I live in.

I teach film and media studies at Rutgers University in Camden.

I have written about ethics in documentary particularly the ethical responsibilities of the audience and the face of the Other. I look forward to the insights of the diverse group of filmmakers on this blog.

Mikal Jakubal

In reply to chithra jeyaram's post on Wed 4 Aug 2010 07:21 PDT :
Hey Chithra,
Your line below cracked me up!

"Over the last three years, I have noticed that most filmmakers have bad postures and really bad backs."

Yes, there should be a physical therapy and yoga class for cinematographers and editors. It's hard enough to remember proper posture and ergonomics at a keyboard, but almost impossible to not hunch terribly while holding a heavy camera and staring forward into a viewfinder all day. Ugh!

John Burgan

In reply to Robert A. Emmons Jr.'s post on Sat 7 Aug 2010 :

You're welcome to join us, Robert. Even though it started as Doug's blog, The D-Word is better described as a community of documentary professionals these days with over 3,000 members from some 80 countries. Some of us teach docs as well, so there is a dedicated topic in the Member's area.

Really like the sound of your two docs a week, will check out your link.