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Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

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.

Nathaniel Hansen
Tue 31 May 2011Link

Sad I haven't discovered this site until today! Happy to be here. Just finished my first feature doc, The Elders ( which I'll start submitting this summer/fall to festivals. Been shooting shorts and commercials for years, looking forward to the next phase of "feature" life through distribution.

Headed out of the country (US) for 7 weeks on a shoot for the Joseph Campbell foundation, so I won't be online much until I get back, but I'm hoping to do more crowdfunding articles while on the road and when I get back. You can read the latest one here, for those looking for some tips on getting started:

Thanks for the site Doug/Ben – looking forward to contributing.


Doug Block
Tue 31 May 2011Link

Better late than never, Nathaniel. Welcome aboard and have fun on your Campbell shoot.

Nathaniel Hansen
Tue 31 May 2011Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Tue 31 May 2011 :

thanks, been an interesting first day here. Nothing quite like finding yourself being called a shameless self promoter on a forum you've never been to. Good times.

Doug Block
Tue 31 May 2011Link

Well, hope you'll get past our little opening day blip, Nathaniel and share in the good times. There are good times, really.

Sam Torres
Wed 1 Jun 2011Link

Hi, Everyone!

I recently finished my grad school thesis film, "The Past and Pending" (no, it has nothing to do with the song by The Shins), and also graduated with my MFA. I was initially drawn to this site because of Doug Block's involvement, but I hope to make some friends on here, as I plan to move around the world for a while making micro-budget single-person crew films.

"The Past and Pending" is a personal film with me behind the camera (at this point you're probably thinking "oh, THAT'S why he was intrigued by Doug Block's involvement with this forum..."), exploring a broken promise, which caused my family to fall apart, in the process of migrating from Puerto Rico to Florida.

My initial goal with the film was therapeutic and academic, as I did not want to exploit my family's trust in letting me interview them and use the family's home movies and photographs. However, after doing several screenings at my university, and seeing the incredible response the film has received, I've decided it's a film that truly deserves an audience. It seems to hit certain nerves with people, and I truly was not expecting it (although, I never once thought that the film was strictly for me; I always consider an audience).

Now I am in the process of assessing how good my film actually is, and determining which festivals to submit to as a result. I'm also about to make a big move; leaving my comfort zone in Orlando and most likely relocating to Chicago in September.

I'm really excited about being a part of this community! I hope to gain a lot of knowledge and inspiration from fellow documentary filmmakers!


Sam Torres

What I've noticed

Doug Block
Wed 1 Jun 2011Link

Alright, blushing here, Sam, but welcome to The D-Word anyway. Good to hear about the reaction to your film. Personal docs are exceptionally hard to make. But when they work they elicit strong, heartfelt responses and it's hugely satisfying.

Niam Itani
Thu 2 Jun 2011Link

Welcome, Nathaniel and Sam. I already am interested to know more about your doc, Sam!

Joseph Eulo
Mon 6 Jun 2011Link

Hi everyone, my name is Joseph Eulo, I am documentary studies student at the New School in New York. I have just finished a 8 min documentary called the "Last American Shoemaker." This was my first doc.

I have several ideas in development one call "God, Country, Corps: An American Muslim's odyssey in the US Marines" its about Affraz Mohammad an American Muslim marine who was arrested on base and charged with being a member of a sleeper cell of terrorist. He was charge and tried in Military court and found not guilty at trial. The doc is about what happend and its effect on his life.

I am also getting ready to shoot a documentary on New York's Indie Improv scene centered around six members of an Indie Improv Group called the Day Camp Kids (DCK). I will interview club owners and performers and will follow each member of the DCK during their daily lives. I have a few other Ideas but I will not bore you with them here.

I and a few other doc students founded the Students FILM Collective an organization with the purpose to provide others who are studying the craft a opportunity to gain experience by working on group and individual projects.

Jake Salyers
Tue 7 Jun 2011Link

Hello D-Word!
My name is Jake Salyers and I'm a recent college graduate who is just getting his feet wet in the documentary game. During my junior year in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Tanzania and was inspired to film a documentary. Focusing on a small town on the cost, Bagamoyo, my documentary investigated the litte know east African slave trade, its lingering effects and my journey through the town. It's called "Bagamoyo, Lay Your Heart Down"

I have started to submit the documentary to festivals around the country but am still searching out opportunities for it to be view any way i can. Good criticism is hard to come by and as this is my first documentary, I know I have much room for improvement.

I am happy to have found a documentary community such as this and would love any comments, criticisms, and suggestions(especially about appropriate festivals to submit it to) y'all have to offer about my film.

Jake Salyers

Joseph Eulo
Wed 8 Jun 2011Link

In reply to Jake Salyers's post on Wed 8 Jun 2011 :

Hi Jake I am new here too. Watched your film and here is some feedback (I posted it on your vimeo page as well)

Hi Jake, great story, and photography. I think you should let the images in the beginning set the location and tone of the film without the narration. It competes with the visuals.

Your soundtrack is too loud during the first interview, the wind in the boat beach scene is also loud. My suggestion is to remove the audio from this clip, so as not to distract from the narration or music.

On some parts where your narrating, the music is loud, and competes with what you are saying. I would dip the sound down while your speaking, and have it play as a low ambient background music.

Move in on your subjects during the interviews. For example you show a subject sitting down in the first interview, almost her entire body is in the shot, thats great, you cutaway to something else, but when you come back its the same shot, instead I would zoom in closer to a medium shot or a close up shot, that way it makes it more personal.

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