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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.

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Gary Parker
Mon 2 Oct 2006Link
Hi Ben, I'm Gary Parker. I didn't realize that I removed my name
when I first posted. I moved over to the Mentoring Room. I'm in
preproduction on an historical documentary. All the research has
been done. Now it's time to review about 40+ hours of taped
interviews, letters, pictures, etc. I've contacted several
institutions for resources and have preliminary approvals for use of
copyright materials. I'm also working with the main historian about
the subject. I'm looking for other interested parties such as
producers, editors, writers, cinematographers, etc. I plan to have
this made for broadcast and haven't decided whether to go with
digital video or film for the final product. That's one of the areas
that I need advice about.

Paul Cypert
Sat 14 Oct 2006Link
Hey Guys,
My name is Paul Cypert. I'm an american living in Bangkok, Thailand.
I am a photographer getting more and more into documentary films.


Doug Block
Sat 14 Oct 2006Link
welcome, paul. glad you found us.

Paul Cypert
Sun 15 Oct 2006Link
Do people still use this forum? Doesn't seem like there's many
posts...I'm trying to find a good community for doc stuff.


Doug Block
Sun 15 Oct 2006Link
This is The D-Word's public forum where all newcomers are welcome.
The forum for those with professional doc experience is The D-Word
Community, and that's where the lion's share of posts are. You're
pretty much limited to The Mentoring Room topic here. And of course
you can read the special guest topics we have from time to time.

Hope to have a makeover of The D-Word in a few months where the
public forum will be expanded. Stay tuned.

Paul Cypert
Sun 15 Oct 2006Link
I guess I'll just have to wait till I'm approved or whatever for the
other forum. Pretty sure I did things correctly, but not sure...


Doug Block
Sun 15 Oct 2006Link
did you apply?

Paul Cypert
Sun 15 Oct 2006Link
Well I sent something where I detailed out my doc experience and all


Richard P. Alvarez
Sun 22 Oct 2006Link
Okay, having a bit of a time navigating the pages, but I'm trying to
jump through the right hoops to become a community member.

I found the site through a posting on, where I usually
hang out.

I have more than twenty five years of professional experience in
radio, television and film. I've worked as a television
cameraman,audio engineer, radio newscaster, actor, theatrical
producer, stunt coordinator, screenwriter and yes, filmmaker.

My first first long form doc, AMERICAN JOUSTER won some awards, and is selling well - so I
am happy with it.

Hoping to make some connections and always looking for new friends.


Doug Block
Sun 22 Oct 2006Link
richard, welcome. to register for the community, go to:

Steve Lickteig
Fri 3 Nov 2006Link

I work as a radio producer to pay the bills, but I currently have two
documentary films I'm working on. The first, which is nearly
completed, is called Waiting for Hockney directed by Julie Checkoway.
I served as assistant director on the film, conducting about one-third
of the interviews. You can learn more at

The other project's working title is Open Secret. It's a personal
story about a secret kept from me for much of my life. Here's the
brief pitch:

What if everything you thought you knew about yourself was wrong? Who
your siblings were? Your parents? Even your heritage? Now imagine that
everybody in your community knew the truth except you. Open Secret
tells the true story of how a farm boy from Kansas discovered who his
adoptive family really was, his connection to the Holocaust and why it
took 30 years to uncover the truth.

A very short "trailer" (something I submitted for a grant a couple of
years ago when I didn't know anything about making a film can be
viewed here:

Now, I have a real director of photography and much more footage.

Anyway, I've been a lurker here for years and now I'm diving in.

Many thanks,


Ana Da Silva
Fri 3 Nov 2006Link

I too have a day job to pay the bills (and after grad school those
are many) and want to work with documentaries, mainly focusing on
underpriviledged children around the world. I've wanted to work
with helping children and tried joining Unicef but hey, I'm not the
office diplomat type. I want to be on the road.

So I googled and ended up here. I know the basics of video
production and have worked with the media in different capacities.
I find that documentaries are a way of being a journalist with
creative room.

I'm very passionate about social issues and am one of those people
who's not happy with her job being just a job. I need to be
involved with my work. I'm figuring out where to go next and being
in NYC helps of course. I'd like to research and write (perhaps
eventually produce).

I'll keep it at that for now and if anyone has any suggestions,
ideas, or comments please do share. Thank you for having me here!


Doug Block
Sat 4 Nov 2006Link
Welcome Ana and Steve. Glad you found us. Ana, hard to give
suggestions without specific questions. Maybe you could take one or
two to the Mentoring Room topic.

Ana Da Silva
Sat 4 Nov 2006Link
Thank you Doug! I'll try that.

Robert Murdock
Wed 8 Nov 2006Link
Hello all,

I am a 30-somthing guy from Seattle Wa. I've recently taken up an
interest in documentaries. I'm going to try to take the creative
plunge and see what I can do with making one or two or ....?

I actually was looking for a place to post some specific questions
but found this topis, so, just sayhing hi!


Doug Block
Wed 8 Nov 2006Link
howdy, robert. post your questions in the Mentoring Room topic.


Andrew Corica
Sat 25 Nov 2006Link
Hi, I am Andrew, 16 years. I hail from PA. I have just started with
documentary's. My first one was on Myanmar in 8th grade. And I am
working on my second and third this year.

Robert Goodman
Sat 25 Nov 2006Link
That's terrific. Welcome. The hosts will chime in soon but they are in
Amsterdam at the moment.

Doug Block
Sun 26 Nov 2006Link
greetings from amsterdam, andrew. great to have you aboard. good
luck with your docs!

John Burgan
Tue 28 Nov 2006Link
Greetins from Denmark too. What was the story of your Myanmar doc,

Robby Bailey
Thu 30 Nov 2006Link
Hey everyone. I am an aspiring filmmaker, in the process of doing
what I can to get into film school, but until then I am trying to
absorb as much knowledge as I can about film. I find myself at the
begining of what I hope is an amazing journey.

Allison Wilson
Thu 30 Nov 2006Link
My name is Allison. I moved to Eugene, OR after graduating from
Webster University with a degree in Audio Production. I am currently
working with a lovely lady here in town developing a documentary
about Gnostic Christianity. I have some experience from school, but
am lost as to where to start, really. Where do we go for funding?
That's the big question. How do we get the ball rolling? We've found
a producer and other community members willing to help. My hope is
that this film will give me the experience to start making my own
very soon. Any advice is greatly appreicated.

Doug Block
Mon 4 Dec 2006Link
Welcome Robby and Allison. The Mentoring Room is the place to ask
those sorts of questions, Allison. Generally, though, there's private
money, grants and broadcast money. And broadcast money, if any, won't
come until you're considerably further along.

Joel Heller
Mon 11 Dec 2006Link
{erased by joelheller Mon, 11 Dec 2006 14:31:27 GMT}

Nishtha Jain
Sun 17 Dec 2006Link
I'm a documentary filmmaker from India. Just learnt about this site from
a fellow filmmaker. I have been making independent documentaries for the
last 5-6 years. Before that I was doing TV shows and docu-series. Just
finished a film recently that premiered at IDFA called 'Six yards to
democracy'. My last film 'City of Photos' too did a fair amount of
travelling. I'm really keen to be part of this forum. I have registered.
Are there any more formalities before one can become a member?

Doug Block
Sun 17 Dec 2006Link
Glad to see you registered for the professional community, Nishtha.
It may take up to a few days, but you will definitely become a member.
Please be patient. Look forward to seeing you online again soon.

Beth Tom
Fri 5 Jan 2007Link
hi people.

this is my first time here, and in fact on any message-type board,
and i don't know how to find the Mentoring Room you talk about.
please forgive me if i'm not in the right place. maybe someone can
direct me a little? here's an intro:

i am beth tom in arizona. i am an artist ( and am
starting a documentary tentatively called "The Mendelssohn

i am taking my 40th year to learn the entire Mendelssohn violin
concerto. i used to be really good as a kid but haven't played in
20 years. as a kid i vowed someday to play the Mendelssohn with an

i will practice publicly, on the street, for a year. the
performance, however, with the cincinnati symphony orchestra, will
be completely private, no audience, no video or audio recording.
then i intend to give my $10,000 custom-made italian violin away.
maybe i'll even just leave it on the street outside symphony hall
right after my performance.

the questions i am attempting to ask (and possibly answer) are:
what is valuable? what do i do or have to give that is of value?
is art a product we can assign value to? what is a valuable
endeavor to set one's sights on? there's a little bit of "if a
tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a
sound?" to the project.

i will attempt to put little snippets on you-tube to generate
interest, filming as much as i can of the year, lessons with
teachers, converstaions with other artists, practicing on the
street etc. money and my lack of it and how we "value" things with
our money is a huge issue and part of the questioning in the

i bought a samsung digital video recorder. it sucks. any
suggestions as to what to use? i need something easy to figure
out, easy to eventually edit (so no tapes would be good, and i'm
on a mac), needs to be able to pick up dialog ok, usually i am
just setting it up on a tripod and letting it run.

absolutely ANY suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated!
thanks, everybody! - beth

Doug Block
Fri 5 Jan 2007Link
hmm, why film a documentary and not film the natural climax (ie. the
concert). that's like following a boxer for a year and not filming
the championship fight. and don't give your violin away, give it to
me ;-)

anyway, welcome to the d-word, beth.

Beth Tom
Fri 5 Jan 2007Link
thanks, doug.

good question. i guess the idea is: what's so special about
another concert? is the value in the performance or the work that
goes into it? the documentary will be more about the process and
experience rather than the climax. anybody can go out and buy any
number of recordings of the Mendelssohn. but can anybody see what
it's like for an average joe to entirely and singularly devote
themselves to any one thing? and then be done?

anyway, this idea is so new for me and still pretty unformed - i'm
not quite sure yet that i'm not full of shit. but i don't think i
am. ;-)

any camera or recording suggestions? thanks for anything! i really
appreciate it! - beth

Steve Holmes
Sat 6 Jan 2007Link
Welcome to D-Word, Beth. The documentary may be more about the
process than the climax, but Doug's right in that the climax needs
to be in there. What sounds valuable to me is the experience of
seeing someone learn something difficult, step by step. Legal
question, though: Will the orchestra agree to having the concert
taped and used in the film? What would they charge? You may not know
the answers, but these are questions that will come up if you
include the concert.

Where are you in Arizona? Do you have a budget and a crew yet?

Beth Tom
Sat 6 Jan 2007Link
hi steve.
thanks for your input. i am in tempe, az. i have no budget, and no
crew! i thought i might check in with some schools that offer
documentary courses and see if i could put together some people
from there. my lessons and practicing will start feb. 5, so i need
to find a camera for at least me to use before then. any
suggestions? i also have a former teacher, my very first teacher,
in fact, from 5th grade, who performs with the cincinnati
symphony. i am hoping they will take an interest and donate their
services... i sound pretty naive and idealistic, don't i?!? :-)

Steve Holmes
Sat 6 Jan 2007Link
Beth: Tempe, huh? How about making contacts at ASU? Unless you're
going to set the camera on a tripod and let it run as you practice,
you'll need a shooter. As to the Cincinnati Symphony donating its
services, it never hurts to ask. They might want the PR.

Amy King
Tue 16 Jan 2007Link
I'm by NO means any kind of expert, but here are my two cents.
I agree with Steve- doesn't hurt to ask Cincinnati Symphony if they
will agree to the recording. Perhaps there is a middle ground, like
they agree that you can audiotape the entire performance, which will
not be reproduced and only a certain amount of the audio will be used
in the film. Perhaps you get some establishing shots of the orchestra
but then the remainder of the scene focuses solely on your performance
and it is like they are not in the room. You could pitch that you
donate the violin to a music school of the orchestra's choice, or sell
the violin on e-bay and give the profits to your director/producer!
Or give it to Doug Block! :)
This sounds like a really interesting arty short film (20-40mins) with
some experimental first person narrative mixed in. I'm sure you could
get a director/producer from ASU or UofA to work with you for a highly
reduced fee. I went to U of A - some great students come out of their
Media Arts program - call Prof. Guilio Scalinger there if you want
some referrals. You could also try the person who manages the student
crew at KUAT in Tucson, as they may be even more doc focused.
Danny Anker, director of MUSIC FROM THE INSIDE OUT may have some
practical advice for you - not sure if he is on D-Word, but here is
his web site: The Philadelphia Orchestra was
the subject of his award-winning doc.
Good luck!!!

Steve Holmes
Tue 16 Jan 2007Link
Longshot, Beth, but picking up on Amy's comment about KUAT, you
might approach KUAT or the Tempe PBS affiliate about a co-production
through the ITVS LInCS program, which provides funds to such
partnerships. As with the Cincinnati orchestra, it doesn't hurt to

Nicholas Skidmore
Thu 18 Jan 2007Link
Greetings from Windy Bristol,
I'm an aspiring documentary filmmaker - having just finished studying
philosophy at university. I'm working in a bookshop for the
time-being, but I'm ditching it all and going off to Eastern Europe
with my camera in September in search of the 'European Soul'.

Doug Block
Thu 18 Jan 2007Link
wow, not exactly an unambitious subject, nicholas. lots of luck and
welcome to the d-word.

Steve Holmes
Fri 19 Jan 2007Link
I thought at first your name was Windy Bristol.

Welcome, Windy.

Nicholas Twaddle
Fri 26 Jan 2007Link
Hi, My name is Nic I am a kiwi (new zealander) that is trying to get
some footage through post production. our website is

Three buddies and I have just finished filming on HD our motorcycle
journey from Cape Town to London up the east side of Africa. We have
shot 67 hours and are about to head in to post production. We have
access to an editing suite and some skilled people back in New
Zealand. We got our technical support before leaving NZ from Greenroom
Productions a NZ based outdoor extreme sort (snow and surf) filming
company Greenrooms will also be backing our post

Our footage is all about four disorganised kiwis just getting out
there and doing it. Doesnt matter that we had limited or no real
riding experience, or filming for that matter. Now we can kind of ride
and hopefully in 67 hours we figured out how to film. The biggest
challenge on the trip was finding the energy to travel and film.
Trying to keep the travelling fun and the filming quality. Havent had
a good chance to reveiw too much footage yet stuck in London. Need
access to a suite and a few bits and bobs for a sony HVR A1P

Most of my searching on this site will be related to finding info on
seeking post production funds and how to negotiate contracts with end
users. Looking to keep our project independent.

Currently I am stuck in London for 5 weeks as I cant change my flights
home. I would love to get access to a suite to get the footage logged.
If anyone kows of any contacts in London that might be able to help
with FCP 5.1.2 that would be awesome, otherwise its going to be a long
5 weeks in London.



Doug Block
Fri 26 Jan 2007Link
welcome, nic. given the level of your work, and advice you're
seeking, you'll definitely want to register for the community for doc

David Rowe
Mon 29 Jan 2007Link
My name is David Rowe, I have directed and produced a number of
narrative shorts, written narrative screenplays, and am currently
shooting two (no budget) documentaries simultaneously in Seattle, WA,

I came here to seek wisdom from other's experience, and hopefully tell
some useful stories of my own.

Thanks for having me.

Amy King
Mon 29 Jan 2007Link
Welcome David! Two films at once? Are they shorts or features?

Steve Holmes
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Welcome, David! Glad to see another filmmaker with a foot in the
fiction world. Does Seattle still have an IFP chapter?

Yance Ford
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Hi Everyone-
My name is Yance Ford and I've worked as a doc programmer for the past
5 years. I'm happy to say that I'm producing a feature written by a
friend and I'm also beginning work own project (not sure if its a doc
or narrative)- both are firsts. This side of things is pretty new to
me, so I'll be looking for newbie advice.
Excited to be here...

Erica Ginsberg
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Hey, Yance. You were at POV - weren't you? Hopefully that's enough
of a track record to gain you admission to The D-Word Community.
Looking forward to hearing how your new projects develop. How does
it feel to be on the other side?

Yance Ford
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Still at POV actually and doing double duty. Ask me about the other
side is a few months- right now I'm pretty psyched to be here...

Steve Holmes
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Welcome, Yance.

David Rowe
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Hi Amy, approximately 30 minutes a piece, that's a short right?

David Rowe
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Hey Steve, I don't think we have an official IFP chapter here any
more, but a friend of mine did get some sort of grant from them
recently, I think that was from LA though. Check out the trailer

Doug Block
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Welcome, David and Yance. To sign up for the community (which I
highly recommend for anyone with doc experience), go to:

Amy King
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Yes - 40 minutes and under is considered a short

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