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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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Robert Goodman
Sat 22 Jun 2002Link
Start by contacting the film office in Detroit or Michigan. Ask about
all the professional organizations - network - find out who's doing
what. There are plenty of talented people out there - you just need to
find them. Another avenue is to look at the credits on shows that you
like and contact those people. Locally produced docs would be a place
to start.

Some advice - the most powerful docs are those with a central
character who undergoes change. We want to see people not ideas.
Figure out how to tell story with a person at the center.

Bill Wroblewski
Tue 25 Jun 2002Link
Greetings, all!

My name is Bill, and I am a journalism student at the University of
Minnesota - Twin Cities. Most of my work has been in print, but I am
becoming more and more interested in documentary film. I have a
little experience in the classroom, but am always looking for outside
opportunities. I have talked with a number of professionals here in
the TCs, and was referred to this site. So, here I am, looking
forward to hanging out, catching the buzz, and asking questions...

Cheers!

Doug Block
Wed 26 Jun 2002Link
I've been away for a few weeks and nice to see so many new folks
here! Welcome Phillip, Scott, Rick, Victoria, Bill. Keep asking
those questions (although the Mentoring topic is the best place to ask
them, at least after your initial introductory post).

Scott Petersen
Sat 29 Jun 2002Link
I'm an Avid/Final Cut Pro editor and documentary filmmaker in
Los Angeles. I'm originally from Chicago and like docs about
odd subcultures.

Best,
Scott

Harris Mann
Fri 5 Jul 2002Link
hey all
just introducing myself. i'm sitting here in echo park california
listening to the cracking of neighborhood fireworks. it's a beautiful
night aside from the shooting that happened at LAX today.
i'm a filmmaker, performer and co-artisitic dir. of a theater company
here in LA. just a general artist who likes to make things. i am
working on a doc with a number of experienced doc people and i thought
i would get involved with this forum. we're curently making a doc
about a husband...his wife...their lover and their white bengal tiger.
love to have some tips on the various styles there are when writing/
presenting a treatment as a tool to get completion costs. if no one
has specific advice it would be much appreciated if someone could point
me in the right direction.
thanks
harris

Doug Block
Fri 5 Jul 2002Link
Welcome, Harris. I just got your registration email for The D-Word
Community. So please introduce yourself there, too.

Axel Grigor
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
Hello fellow docomakers!

My name is Axel Grigor and I'm the director of an Australian film
company currently shooting an exciting verite documentary that's
scheduled to air nationally in Australia early next year and
hopefully hit many foreign shores soon thereafter. I'm fairly new
to the long-running-time doco game, but I'm enjoying it
immensely.

I have heard many good things about your forum and don't want
to stay out in the cold any longer. I hope to form many new
industry connections through this service and hopefully help
someone get closer to realising their own budding non-fiction
work.

It's nice to be part of this group!

Axel Grigor
Brisbane, Australia

Michael Kennally
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
My name is Michael Kennally and I live in the UK. I did some
documentary work at university a few years ago now and have spent the
last four years using video and multimedia technology as an aid to
communication for people with severe learning disabilities.

I am interested in dabbling with the medium again and wanted to see
what goes on here.

Michael Kennally

Doug Block
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
Welcome Michael. Axel, since you registered for The D-Word
Community, please make sure to post your introduction there, as well.

Michael (and others who are interested and qualify), for info on how
to register, go to: www.d-word.com/join.

Margot Roth
Fri 12 Jul 2002Link
Welcome, all!
Just to clarify... There are two different online areas here. The confusing thing is their names are almost the same. One is called the "The D-Word Forums" and is open to the public at large to discuss general documentary stuff. (We're in it now.)

The other is called "The D-Word Community" and it is private, in that you must apply to get in. The "D-Word Community" contains many, many more topics that a professional doc filmmaker will find of interest--technical, creative, legal, conceptual, etc. It is a very active community and I encourage any doc-maker who finds his or her way here to apply.


Doug Block
Sat 13 Jul 2002Link
Thanks for explaining, Margot.

Hermann Barth
Mon 15 Jul 2002Link
hy all,

my name is Hermann Barth, I studied some philologies and film theory
10 years ago, made some documentaries meanwhile but mostly prefer to
theorize. Mixing (up) theories and practical experiences I'm
sometimes giving lectures on dramatic structures and visual rhetorics
for students at the Munich Film Academy. I worked for the
International Documentary Film Festival in Munich (www.dokfestival-
muenchen.de - a site with not only german written but some english
texts and informations too) during the last 16 years and I'm now it's
director - so probably can answer some of your questions about
festivals in Europe, film traditions etc. ... but I'm mostly curious
about what's going on here on D-Word and inquisitive after new up-
coming films and projects...

Best

Hermann

Doug Block
Tue 16 Jul 2002Link
Hi and welcome, Hermann. Like many others who have registered for
the community, you have jumped the gun and posted an intro on our
public forum. I'll register you now and email you instructions.

Dick Rodstein
Wed 17 Jul 2002Link
Hi, my name is Dick Rodstein and I'm a narrator. I wanted to hang out
here to better understand how documentary makers see the world and how
they put their projects together.

I've narrated for Discovery Channel, National Geographic Explorer and
Canal Plus, as well as for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the
National Gallery. Recently, I've narrated some trailers for
unfinished documentaries. These short presentations are being used for
completion pitches.

Mostly I'm here to lurk, but if I can answer any questions about
writing for the spoken word, or the best way to get what you want out
of a narrator on a recording session, I'll be happy to.

Cheers,
Dick

Ben Kempas
Wed 17 Jul 2002Link
Welcome to everyone and a special welcome to Hermann Barth, the only
D-Worder who didn't ignore my birthday!

Some members of The D-Word Community don't read in this public forum,
so you should introduce yourself in our private forum as well:
{LINK NOT IMPORTED}

Doug Block
Thu 18 Jul 2002Link
Welcome, Dick. Nice to have your golden tonsils here.

Dani Dion
Fri 19 Jul 2002Link
Ben, did we miss your birthday!? :o
Welcome Dick and Hermann!

Ben Kempas
Sun 21 Jul 2002Link
Yes you did, Dani. I'm pretty sure I left a clue somewhere ...

Hermann, wann sehen wir uns in {LINK NOT IMPORTED}? Wir haben da
sogar ein deutsches Topic!

Steven Austin
Tue 30 Jul 2002Link
Greetings! I'm a filmmaker (12 years in the industry) and I'm about
to embark on my first documentary feature.

My topic is rather unique, so I can't reveal it online. Due to the
timely nature of my piece and my relative inexperience in the field,
I'd like to ask some seasoned pros a few key questions regarding:

1. acquiring film clips and still photos, fair usage laws and public
domain.
2. the discovery of copyrights for films already made, plus
discovery of underlying literary rights of such films.

Any help would be appreciated! I can be reached at
philnoir@earthlink.net

Thank you.

Ben Kempas
Tue 30 Jul 2002Link
Welcome Steven!

Replies to these questions please in {LINK NOT IMPORTED} where the same posting
was made.

(This is to say we don't double-post at The D-Word. We read
everything ...)

Adam Freeman
Fri 2 Aug 2002Link
Hello all!

I am new to the world of film production. I have no experience, but
I have desire, drive and a potential project. I am currently a
member of a non-profit organization devoted to peace education within
inner-city schools. In the 5 years the organization has been around,
they've never studied the impact of their program upon the
community. I plan to follow a documentary format and use the film as
a PR tool for the organization to develop more opportunities for
funding.

Starting out, are there any tricks of the trade I can utilize to make
sure that I get either specific shots, or should I follow my inner
creativity and just let it flow? Also, I have access to a mini DV
camera through the university I attend. Would anyone specifically
recommend using it as the primary camera for shooting? Or could I
use something else and use the mini DV for scenes that require detail
to separate by importance of the message?

I have access to local filmmakers, but wanted to throw my name into
this community. I do this mainly because of the War and Peace
Community provided through this site.

Cheers!

Adam

Doug Block
Fri 2 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, Adam.

Your inner creativity is a good thing, but it's best to know the
essentials. There are a number of good books out there for that. I'd
recommend one written by one of our D-Word members, Denise Ohio,
called "Five Essential Steps in Digital Video." You can read more
about it at: http://www.holytoledo.com/Five_Steps.htm.

A mini DV camera will be pefectly fine for your project. Lotsa luck!

Miles Hochstein
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
...just stumbled across this forum looking for Reed College...

I made a documentary once: www.documentedlife.com

But I think I mean something different than you folks....

Miles

Robert Goodman
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
actually no - identical though different media.
A terrific site - only harbored a glance but loved the yearly photos
linked to rememberances. And the family tree was equally interesting.

Okay - now all you have to do Miles is turn it into a film.
smile.

Erica Ginsberg
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Miles, it looks very much like a documentary to me. It makes me
think a little of Alan Berliner. I actually prefer the interactive
nature of your piece and am not sure it would work as well as a film
as it does as a website. How long did it take you to construct and
what gave you the inspiration in the first place?


P.S. My dad went to Bronx Science too, but he's about 7 years younger
than your dad.

Dani Dion
Thu 8 Aug 2002Link
Welcome Miles - I'm curious about how the FAQ's failed to ask why you
never use names in the pictures of your children. Just curious.

Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
Dani....

Well one might question the wisdom of posting pictures of one's children on the web at all "in this crazy old world of ours...."

Not using their names seems like an obvious precaution, given that I have chosen to be public with their images. Maybe you have to be a parent to see how obvious it is?

Why not ask it in my FAQs? Well I never ask it, and you are the first person to ask it.... so it isn't frequent yet I suppose... ;-)

Miles


Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
Erica, Thanks... I honestly don't think that my life is "yet" a good subject for a film documentary... At 43, I still have vague hopes that it might turn out to be a good subject, but at the moment a web autodocumentary seems like a much more modest and appropriately scaled kind of documentary. I mean, I think I'm fascinating and all that... but not feature film fascinating, if you know what I mean. My web site is a celebration of the ordinary... or would be if it wasn't so not ordinary to celebrate the ordinary...

I'd like to see a world of hundreds of documented lives, portraying the face of ordinary life. I'd like my web site to be an inspiration for others to represent their "ordinary lives" (which of course cease to be ordinary as soon as they are represented). A few people have told me that my web site has had that effect on them, making them want to look into their past and document the reality of their lives... Nothing makes me happier than to hear that it has that effect on people, to hear that when they look at my life, they begin to think about their own life and want to represent it.

Thanks for your comments!

Miles


Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
...oh and Erica, you asked how long it took to make... maybe a year or so, with many evenings in front of the computer scanning, looking for the right photo.... It is of course not finished, since their are many other old photos, sometimes "better" ones, that I may yet use, and of course I'm planning to live the rest of my life as an ongoing documentation project, so every year there will be a few new photos to add, a few new stories to tell.

Even worse, one quickly realizes that one's past doesn't stay the same as one ages, so that the true story of my adolescence or young adulthood keeps changing, and will need to be retold....

This raises the question of what to do with the "old" versions of my past.... See the representations of my past on the web site are really representations of myself at the time they were written, circa 2000 and 2001.... but now its 2002 and I have new truths about my past that I understand....

... and so I really need to archive each version of the entire web site with each passing year to see how my auto-representation changes over time... Well you see the problem this could create if one had too much time on one's hands.

Fortunately, I have other things to do, so I hope to avoid that level of complexity. I will probably just discard the old versions of my past, as time and wisdom lead to new understandings, although they may be saved in some great Google index in the sky somewhere....

Besides, although the words I write will change, the pictures themselves constitute a kind of solid data point that is fixed, even as the meanings I ascribe to them in words may change. Post-modern issues with photographic representation notwithstanding, I think photos ultimately are data about reality, and they have a certain reassuring solidity that my changing words about the past will always lack.


Erica Ginsberg
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
To me, the most powerful documentaries are the ones which are
celebrations of the ordinary. I guess many others feel the same and
that is why you have had enough of and impact to make others want to
do the same thing.

As for your question about adding information to past years, maybe
you could add little postscripts to each year as you "discover" more
about your past rather than creating multiple versions.

Robert Goodman
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
personally i love the idea of layering your impressions of years
past. How did Miles feel about turning 40 when he was 40 and when he
turns 50. In fact you could make a website that would be just about
one year in your life seen through the mirror of time.

my free idea for today.

Deleted User
Fri 9 Aug 2002Link
I like your idea Robert... but perhaps it requires a level of self obsession that even I have not yet risen to? :-)

Thanks Erica also..


Donna Barker
Mon 12 Aug 2002Link
Hi all,
I've just decided to re-pursue a passion I've had since I made my
first doc fim in '89. Worked in the industry for two years in
Montreal and Paris and then had to get a "real" job to pay my
student loans. Here I am, eleven years later, loans paid off and a
film burning to be made inside me.

I'm looking forward to getting to know what I'm about to embark
on...words of wisdom...(no need for the warnings, I've already
gotten lots of them from friends and family!).

Doug Block
Tue 13 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, sucker, er, Donna ;-) Just don't take out any loans to make
your doc, ok?

Seriously, I admire your persistence and passion. Good luck and hope
we can help.

Aleksandra Sarcevic
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Hello Everyone,
This is my first time being registered for such a thing as this one
is. And it is nice to be here!
Ok, Let's see... I am a great documentary lover... I have a nice and
interesting experiences in producing and financing documentaries...
and I think I know world documentary scene quite well...
I am coming from a small country, from the Balkans, and I am looking
forward to talk to you...

All the best

Aleksandra

Doug Block
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Nice to have you join us, Aleksandra. We would like it even better
if you would join The D-Word Community, which is our ongoing
discussions for documentary professionals from around the world:
www.d-word.com/join.

That goes for all other doc professionals out there.

Erica Ginsberg
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Yes Aleksandra. We need more Balkan spirits in the D-Word Community.

Aleksandra Sarcevic
Wed 21 Aug 2002Link
Thanks for welcoming me, Doug!
I already sent an e-mail (subject: acces) to The D-Word Community,
and I am waiting for the answer...
Let's hope the best.
Aleksandra

Also, thanks to Erica for the support!
The Balkans spirits are now here!
Let's enjoy!

Denis Mueller
Thu 22 Aug 2002Link
Hello! This is my first time on the discussion board. I am a
documentary filmmaker doing a program on the activist/historian
Howard Zinn auther of "A People's History of the United States."
We are trying to find the donnet fund. Does anyone have an idea
where they are?

Denis Mueller
Thu 22 Aug 2002Link
My name is Denis Mueller, I'm new here, and I am producing a
documentary about Howard Zinn the activist/historian. He is
known mostly for his book "A People's History of the United
States." I'm looking for the Donnet Fund. Can anyone help me?

Doug Block
Thu 22 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, Denis. If you accidentally double post again, you can
simply click on the yellow Erase button to the top right of the post.

You can write to the Donnet Fund at 302 West 12th Street, #10E, New
York, NY 10014, attn: Jackie Donnet.

Aileen Tu
Thu 29 Aug 2002Link
hello all,

well after turning 30 this year, i decided to rethink my career and
take the big jump to go back to school to pursue documentary
filmmaking (for love if not for money). i'm trying to build up some
knowledge and experience before applying, so i'm currently taking my
first documentary filmmaking class through an extension program. it's
been an *interesting* initial experience to say the least. i'm glad i
came across the d-word and think this list will be a great resource.

Doug Block
Thu 29 Aug 2002Link
Welcome, Aileen. Glad you realize this is a "labor of love" kind of
career. Hope you saved your pennies from the previous one ;-)

Lotsa luck.

William Ross
Mon 2 Sep 2002Link

hello

alerted to the existence of this previously unsuspected community, I have come to poke about.

I'm web geek, not film geek, but responsible for www.climatechange.tv and tv.oneworld.net and generally up to my arse in video nonsense at the moment, and therefore interested in (and probably able to help with) questions about streaming video and the form of the online documentary and all that.



Doug Block
Tue 3 Sep 2002Link
Good to have you here, Will. But pleeeease join us at The D-Word
Community, where all of our members hang out.

Just email me your Utne user name and password and I'll register you.

Churchill Roberts
Tue 10 Sep 2002Link
Hello. I'm Churchill Roberts, professor and co-director of the
Documentary Institute at the University of Florida.
www.jou.ufl.edu/documentary I teach courses in documentary film
history and, along with three colleagues, produce documentaries for
the PBS network. Our most recent documentary, "Freedom Never Dies:
The Legacy of Harry T. Moore," aired last year on PBS. I enjoy
discussing documentary and learning what others are doing. When we
are not teaching, my colleagues and I travel a great deal and, when
we don't have a shoot, try to attend documentary conferences. My
colleague Sandra Dickson will be attending a RealScreen conference in
New York this month and next month I'll be going to Berlin for the
World Congress of Producers of History. My other two colleagues
(lucky devils) will be going to Sundance. In July I visited the
Munich Film School and was most impressed with the faculty and
students there. I look forward to corresponding with
you.

Doug Block
Tue 10 Sep 2002Link
Welcome, Churchill. We'd love to have you join The D-Word Community
(www.d-word.com/join).

John Greer
Tue 10 Sep 2002Link
Hello All,
I am a newby to this scene. I have a background in various media
(audio, still photography, graphics,and of course video). Doing docs
has always been something that I wanted to do but never had the
resources until about 3 or 4 years ago. Docs are,(in my humble
opinion)an incredibly important tool for voiceing topics and
information that mainstreem media can't or won't do justice to. I
hope to contribute my two cents before I check off this planet.I have
two projects I am working on. One being a look at the Jazz history of
Baltimore from the grass roots to the present.Your forum is
invaluable because this kind of knowledge and insite can't be taught
or bought. I look forward to taking part in as well as learning from
your forum.

Sincerely,

John

Doug Block
Wed 11 Sep 2002Link
Hey, John, it's nice to have you here and do take part. I applaud
your eagerness to leap into the daunting docu-making fray. It's a
long haul making a doc, so hold onto that spirit.

Erica Ginsberg
Wed 11 Sep 2002Link
Oh that knowledge and insight could be bought...

Welcome Churchill (or do we call you Professor Roberts?) and John.
Sound like great projects. John, are you based in Baltimore?

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