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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

Cecilia Rinn
Tue 6 Feb 2007Link
I am making my first feature doc on Bellydancing in America, titled
BELLY. I need more advice then I have to offer, but hopefully that
will change.

Ben Kempas
Tue 6 Feb 2007Link
Welcome, Cecilia. Fire away with your questions in our Mentoring

Steve Holmes
Tue 6 Feb 2007Link
Welcome, Cecilia. You have one of the more interesting subjects in D-
Word Universe.

Donovan Emerson
Thu 22 Feb 2007Link
Hi Everyone!

I'm from the frozen wastelands of Kalispell Montana, transitioning
from creating low budget 30 second commercials to my first doc: "Human
Conflict", going to be interviewing veterans from all wars and
nationalities and/or parents and family members of soldiers to
determine why we go to war, how it changes lives, and if there's ever
a good reason.

Steve Holmes
Thu 22 Feb 2007Link
Welcome, Donovan. Our first Montana D-Worder?

Donovan Emerson
Thu 22 Feb 2007Link
Thanks Steve!

Meghan Treese
Thu 22 Feb 2007Link
Hi all. My name is Meghan and I am doc filmmaker living in Los
Angeles. Have been shooting a doc for 3 years now on the life of a
former violent gang member (a female) and her non profit org. Hoping
to bounce some ideas off of everyone. Hello everyone!

Doug Block
Thu 22 Feb 2007Link
Hey, Meghan. Welcome aboard.

Max Staheli
Thu 1 Mar 2007Link
Glad to be a part of the DWord! Hi all!

I heard about the DWord from this posting:
Any idea where I can find the aforementioned releases? They would be
really helpful for a documentary I'm working on.


Davin Hutchins
Fri 2 Mar 2007Link
Hi my name is Davin and I've been chatting about our new Internet site
for docs in the Alternative Distribution Forum. Just thought I'd post
a little bit about us here for those that are interested.

*Release Source: NomadsLand LLC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – a new Internet platform for social issue
filmmakers – launches its Alpha site, prepares for growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Feb. 17, 2007 - – an internet video
platform for social issue filmmakers – has launched its Alpha website
in its mission to offer alternative distribution for cinema with a
social message.
Like YouTube and Google Video, anyone – from professional filmmakers
to video enthusiasts – can upload their films to
The company will host feature films, documentaries, music videos and
satire for free – as long as the film seeks to make a social
commentary, stimulate political conversation or encourage some social
“NomadsLand is many things to many people,” says founder and CEO Davin
Hutchins. “Its an entertaining information site, an informative
entertainment site, a window to the world, but above all, a forum for
social ideas and ultimately a grass-roots campaign for change.”
Although much of the video can be viewed for free,
will offer secure downloads and rentals on premium films featured on
the site, sharing 50 percent of its revenues with each director.
Among the initial films being distributed on are
Dhruv Dhawan’s From Dust and Davin Hutchins’ The Art of Flight. From
Dust, a touching documentary which examines the socio-political
aftermath of the Asian tsunami, premiered at the Tribeca Film
Festival, HotDocs, OneWorld Human Rights Film Festival, Dubai
International Film Festival and the Kara Film Festival.
The Art of Flight is a guerrilla documentary tracing the trail of
Sudanese refugees from Darfur to Egypt and their tales of survival.
The film premiered at AFI Fest Hollywood, International Documentary
Festival Amsterdam and the Bangkok International Film Festival. Other
films explore topics such as homelessness in San Francisco, belly
dancing in Egypt and the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human
“Most independent films are grossly under-distributed,” says Hutchins.
“One of the main goals of NomadsLand is to assist filmmakers who were
short changed after their festival run. Through viral e-mail, search
engines and RSS, they can reach a vastly larger audience. Likewise,
film aficionados can see quality films they’d never see otherwise
without sifting through a cloud of amateur video. We think films can
make a lasting impact of they ‘permanently premiere’ for people who
care deeply about these issues.”
“Not everyone is a born storyteller. But everyone has a story. We want
to provide the resources and royalties to develop an ever-growing army
of raconteurs which can help return mass media back to the masses,” he

# # #
MEDIA CONTACT:*NomadsLand Press Relations, press [at],
(202) 470-0875.

Ben Kempas
Fri 2 Mar 2007Link
Welcome Max and Davin.

Max, releases are often posted in the Production or Legal topics
inside The D-Word Community. for more info.

Stacy Hunt
Sat 24 Mar 2007Link
Hello, all!!!

My name is Stacy and I am new to this industry and site. I am
interested in making a documentary film, but I do not know where or
how to begin. If anyone would like to send me some advice and/or
information on the fundamentals and necessities of filming a
documentary, I would really appreciate it.

I am very pleased to be here and am glad to meet you all!!


Doug Block
Sat 24 Mar 2007Link
Welcome, Stacy. Books, courses and some of the conferences we've
done here at the D-Word should get you started in the right direction.
Good luck.

Nick Schlyer
Wed 28 Mar 2007Link

I'm an associate commercial film producer in New York who is doing doc
work on the side. I have one in production about the modern state of
the art of clown, titled "Down with Clowns." The promo for this work
can be seen on youtube. Just type nicksly in the search box and you
will find it.

I'm also starting a series of interviews with the people who live in
my apartment building. We are involved in a landlord/tenant dispute
and I am working with a few people to witness the stories of our

To make ends meet in NYC, I also produce B-roll for pr events with a
company called EvolutionLA.

That's all for now. I'm looking forward to the comments in this



Ben Kempas
Wed 28 Mar 2007Link
Welcome to The D-Word, Nick!

Nick Schlyer
Thu 29 Mar 2007Link
Thank you. Looking forward to the conversation.

Faith Pennick
Tue 3 Apr 2007Link
Hi. My name is Faith and I'm a documentary and narrative filmmaker. I
just completed my first feature-length doc titled "Silent Choices." It's
about abortion and its impact on the lives of African American women
( I'm doing the festival circuit now and hoping
to air the film on television. Previously, I've directed and produced
shorts; one I produced aired on WNET's "Reel NY." I'm living in suburban
Chicago now after 11 years in NYC. I couldn't afford to live in New York
and still finish my film. I miss it desperately and hope to move back
early next year. To pay bills, I work as a freelance copywriter and

J.L. Aronson
Tue 3 Apr 2007Link
hello all-
i've been meaning to join up with thi wagon for a while now. i'm not
much of a blogster but i'm willing to give it a try. and if you'll have
me, i promise to do my share of the dishes and check the boards at least
once a week, if not more. i make movies. my latest is coming out on HVE
next week (4/10/07) and it's called 'Danielson: a Family Movie.'
you can learn more about it at


Doug Block
Tue 3 Apr 2007Link
welcome, faith. you definitely have enough professional experience
to join the community:

i'd welcome you, too, jl, but you've already joined the community and
we've already welcomed you there ;-)

Hanna Jakku
Thu 12 Apr 2007Link
Greetings from Finland.

My name is Hanna and I work as a Festival Producer in a Northern
Finnish festival called Oulu Music Video Festival. I'm here to network
and smell the air in the international (music) documentary field,
since that is what we are trying to cherish besides the art of music
video. More on us at and

I'm new to this site and I'm a lazy blogger, but I promise to check in
every once and a while.

Nice to meet you all, talk to you later, in English or in Finnish :)!

Doug Block
Thu 12 Apr 2007Link
greetings back, hanna. nice that you found us, though we don't
really blog here. more like documentary discussions, and much more
active in the professional community than in the public forums here.

Ariel Ramos
Fri 27 Apr 2007Link
I am writing to you offering a good original soundtrack for your

I've seen so many people claiming to be Film Composers offering their
services but being so bad at it, that I've decided to change my
approach at networking with producers and directors.

First of all most of the "composers" cannot put together a decent
product, they lack harmonic language, melodic lines, motivic
development and/or their sounds are awful (not better than a midi
sequence from a keyboard. Also, they don't know how to analyze the
story, understand and interpret the director's point of view, or
deliver the emotions to the audience, all these being the basic
function of the underscore in any film.
Of course, that is not the case for all the composers around, but I
know a good one is hard to find if you're an independent filmmaker
with a small budget.

I promise you won't be disappointed with my work and we can work
around your budget, I've been working with independent filmmakers for
a long time and I know how hard it is to finance any indie project.

Like yourself, I like to view a close-to-final cut before I decide if
I want to write a soundtrack for any film, it's a lot of work and I
like to do it right , but it has to be worth the effort too.

You can listen to my samples at:

Feel free to contact me at:
954 319 7096

Thanks for your time and consideration,
Ariel J Ramos
Film Composer.

Aaron Schock
Tue 1 May 2007Link
Hi Donovan, hi Yance:

Donovan: There is a great documentary community based in Missoula
centered around the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. They were
kind enough to show my first film and it was by far the best
festival I've attended. I believe they have on-going programs and
I'd reach out to them if you are anywhere nearby.

Yance: I met you at DocuClub -- Glad to hear you are taking the
plunge yourself!

- Aaron

Gregory Kallenberg
Wed 2 May 2007Link
Hello from Austin, Texas

I've recently completed a documentary about Levi Oliver, the first
sanctioned tamale champ and his quest to defend his title. It's an
interesting story about the quirky sub-culture of competitive eating
and Levi's obsession with being recognized as a top competitor in the

We're trying to cobble together a strategy for the festivals (which
ones to submit to first, etc.). Presently, we're going to give
Toronto a shot along with London, Telluride and IDFA. What do you
guys think?

Any insight and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all in advance and to Doug for pointing me here.


Doug Block
Wed 2 May 2007Link
hey gregory, welcome to the d-word. but let me point you one more
time - this time to the professional community. you're still one step

Rich Brimer
Sun 6 May 2007Link
Now Introducing Rich Brimer...

Hi All. I've just returned form Punjab, India for a week. My XL2 and I spent a week filming my first documentary about a group of local Indian pastors who are going into "unreached" villages of India preaching the gospel, under often tenuous situations. The question for you is how did you come up with the "story" that you wanted to tell? Where does one begin to filter all of the footage into a concise story that would be interesting to watch?

I have 11 hours of film - about 4 hours of which is interviews. My plan is to go cut the interviews first and find threads that can weave the stories together. Then use b-roll footage to lay over their testimony. I think that if I went to shoot with the knowledge I now have, I certainly COULD have singled out a character that would be compelling. I may still have one after looking at the footage. Other than that, I have the progress of conversion to show... Pre-crusade meetings (over tea), actual crusades (music and teaching), follow-up meetings with new converts in remote villages, river baptism (includes shots of water buffalo!), new church meeting (in pastor's house-church).

The tension is with the several militant Hindu organizations that often disrupt the crusade meetings with sticks and rocks. On occasion there have been deaths, but I have no footage of any of this, just footage of phone calls and living room discussions about "last nights" trouble AFTER I shot footage of the previous nights meeting.

My first goal is to create a 3-5 minute trailer to use as a fund-raiser. Then get to work on the story. I hope to have a pretty good rough-cut by the end of summer. But, since this is a labour-of-love and I currently have a full-time job outside of this, it may take a while longer.

Thanks for any input you might make. Rich

Doug Block
Sun 6 May 2007Link
welcome, rich. always hard to advise people on this without knowing
their footage, but sounds like making a 3 to 5 minute fundraising
sample is the best way to go. it will both help you find your story,
and help you figure out what other footage you'll need to flesh that
story out. my guess is you're just at the beginning of a very long
journey. but (the good news is) an exciting one.

Alveraz Ricardez
Wed 9 May 2007Link
Hello. Hope I'm doing this right, never seen a layout like this. My
name is Alveraz, I'm a filmmaker in Los Angeles. I have two features
under my belt, one of which is a documentary I recently wrapped. Now
I'm heading into the jungles of post-prod and need all the support and
info I can get. The doc is a whole new beast to me. The first question
is, whats the best book on documentary post, editing and distribution
out there?



Joe Scherrman
Sat 12 May 2007Link
Welcome Alveraz,
I am interestied in any books about post-prod myself. The seasoned
professional should be with us soon. What was your subject for the doc?

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