In reply to gabriella kessler's post on Tue 17 Jan 2012 : Welcome to the D-Word, Gabriella. Your project sounds compelling. I've filmed inside 5 different prisons in NY and FL, so here's my two cents: All prison officials – kiss ass, kiss ass, kiss ass. In addition, be nice to guards who are jackasses. (You can win an Oscar for this!) Make sure you let the person who grants you access, (public affairs or warden), know it's not your intention to make the prison look bad, (even if it's a hellhole, which most prisons are). Keep this same person informed about what your project is about and how it's evolving. Filmmakers are a bureaucratic pain-in-the-ass for prison officials, and also a security risk. Also, you might want to do a kiss ass interview with the warden if he or she is willing.
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.
Hello! My name is Cassidy and I am producing my first feature length documentary with a wonderful team of journalists and filmmakers. We have an extensive repertoire of journalism, multimedia and short films in the bag but we are venturing into new/scary/exciting territory here! On top of that, we are launching a Kickstarter for post funds shortly, I'm feeling a little frightened but also, very exciting, I hope to have more to post soon! Thanks for this wonderful forum! Website for the film is here: www.barzanthemovie.com. The trailer is rough (too one sided for our liking but we are still in production so its far from finished).
I'm Kevin Spahr and I have completed my first doc and I'm working on completing my distribution deal.
The doc is called "Glen Rock Fae" and it is about the world's largest and longest running fairy festival – yes, fairies – colorful wings, pointy ears, etc.
In reply to Ron Osgood's post on Sun 8 Jan 2012 :
I was actually here in the radio/tv department when it was analog! It was a big change when i came back!
Hi, my name is Clay Zimmerman. clayzimmerman(at)gmail.com
I am a filmmaker and editor wanting to reach out to the documentary community in LA.
I edit non-fiction TV for the most part by day, having done many shows for network and cable,
and in 2004 I edited the award winning doc Gay Republicans. While I research my own projects,
I am on the lookout for a good doc to get involved in later in the year (I have a 2 month old at home right now).
Also wanted to share with the community here on D-word a short experimental doc I made recently:
Thanks and glad to have found the site!
I live in the Baltimore/DC area of Maryland. I switched careers from academia to video back in 2006, a few years after I finished a dissertation on TV war reporting and public opinion formation (where I taught myself to edit video).
I thought news and documentary video was a cool way to show people how the world worked (or wasn't working). I remembered how great I thought those David Burke technology history shows and the movie "Roger and Me" was.
After a year of production classes (and the NPPA TV News Storyteling workshop) I wound up working instead in event video and, eventually, as a shooter/editor for business school marketing communications office for a few years doing a several mini-doc, promo, and testimonial type pieces, some with a former PBS producer.
I've been freelancing since June 2010 doing some shooting and editing, a little grip work, and a lot of (video and web) software training. I also was one of the volunteer editors who put together those daily packages on the SilverDocs 2011 youtube channel during the festival.
The most "doc" things I've done are that I put together a short piece on youtube called "Athar the Bike-Man" about a guy who manages his OCD and other issues by riding his bike all over town every day. I also recorded a friend's team through three days of a 50-mile fundraising walk for MS and taped several concerts by a band I like.
I am interested in working on professional doc or advocacy projects with a social/political and/or technological focus. Aside from my production and post skills I'm a good researcher in those areas.
I've long been thinking about starting a project that follows several badly injured war vets through months of physical therapy and would appreciate any tips on how to get the military to permit extended taping in physical therapy and interviews with patients.
I have a decent Sony EX1 kit (six hours of cards, good wireless lav, good tripod, large+small battery, .8x wide adapter, zoom controller, 24" LCD monitor with component in) and will let others shoot using my gear as long as I'm around. I have a very reasonable day rate for DC.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
weykervideo /at/ gmail /dot/ com
Kevin, Clay and Shayne, welcome to The D-Word. Congrats on the baby, Clay. And Kevin and Shayne, feel free to register for professional status.
Hello, my name is Jonathan Mayor. I'm a writer and filmmaker living in New York City. I'm currently finishing a documentary film on legendary blues musician Chris Whitley. Info online at www.dustradiomovie.com, on Facebook, and on Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dustradio/dust-radio-a-film-about-chris-whitley. Please check us out. Have several other projects int he works, another doc and several fictional features.
Welcome, Jonathan. You should also consider registering for Professional status here. It allows you to gain access to all 50 discussion topics.
Hello, all – Kathlyn Horan here. I'm a filmmaker and photographer living in Los Angeles. I've been working on a prison based documentary for the past three years called The IF Project. More info here, www.theifproject.com. I have just finished my pitch reel and am on the hunt for finishing funds and a stellar editor. Any feedback would be appreciated.
Evidently I'm not alone in skipping the intro section and moving straight to posting!... But better late than never, right?
I run a nonprofit called Art With Impact that works to directly link the power of film with opportunities for people to get engaged in social issues they care about. We are a new organization (just now entering our second year) and are learning a lot as we go. I look forward to learning from the filmmakers on this list how we can best serve independent film makers, and get their work out to interested/engaged folks around the U.S.!
An official welcome, Cary. Ditto to Kathlyn, who we hope will register for professional status since you obviously qualify as a professional.
My name's Mike Shen. I'm an Avid and Final Cut Pro editor based in Oakland, California. I've done tons of work for Current TV, in addition to shows for PBS, HBO, NY Times Television, and National Geographic. I'm looking forward to meeting other filmmakers and being part of this community. Thanks to all, especially Doug and co. for creating this site.
My name is Maysam Akbarin. I am a Software Engineer based in Alabama. I have done close to nothing in this field( actually nothing ! ) .
However, I have some ideas for a documentary. But before I do anything I want to start learning about how to make one first then see how things goes from there.
Greetings, Maysam. For starters, you might want to look at some of the archived discussions we've hosted here (they're listed at the bottom of our homepage). Even though some took place years ago, they're still quite relevant. And it's like having a mini-tutorial on documentary producing and practices.
I joined because I was on a desperate search for your movie "Home Page". I watched it in class led by Professor Peggy Vail at Columbia University a couple years back (and you visited as well!) – I was completely awestruck. I had forgotten what the internet used to be like, (or did not realize, at the time, that the advent of the world wide web used to be populated with such strange and "new" things) in the 90s.
And now, I want to watch the movie again, somehow, but there doesn't seem to be any place selling, renting, or streaming the movie.
If you know where I could get a hold of a copy, please let me know!
Yeah, my apartment. On vhs. The good news is I'm hoping to do a digital release at some point this year.
But why worry about what the internet used to be like? You're on The D-Word, Patrick. This is where the internet is at right now!
True, but sometimes you need to know the past to understand the present. Also, I just really enjoyed your movie, that's all! Hopefully it will be digitally released – let me know when it does. I'll be jumping on it.
In reply to Doug Block's post on Wed 22 Feb 2012 :
Sure thing. Better yet, if you send me an email as a reminder, I can put you on my mailing list and let you know when it's available. doug(at)d-word(dot)com
Hello All, I am a doc film producer and made 3 films a few years ago, one that I had commercially picked up (it dealt with terrorism). While I had no professional (publicist) help, I managed to get into a few film festivals, but really found the "public eye" through the news/media, who wanted to use my footage...which I gave them freely of course. This said, I have joined some friends in post production of their film, which deals with the Middle East but a past snapshot in history...dealing with a peace treaty/Carter Admin. I have been working on getting us into film fests – NOT for the sake of winning prizes, but simply for getting "seen"...I know the "big mainstream" ones, a few which we have already been accepted to, but I was hoping to hear from ANY of you in this Forum about some other "more obscure" ones. Can anyone tell me about the Maine Int'l Film Fest and the Pittsburgh Independent Film Fest? Thanks!
I should have included my email address for feedback from ANY of you. My personal one is: LMagnas(at)gmail(dot)com
I'm the person asking about the 2 films fests (Maine and Pittsburgh) – thanks again!
I just completed my first doc called Casting By which is about the range of influence that casting has had on film history. I have a few questions about how to sequence our credits for the locked cut..is there a 'standard' as to the placement of Director, Producer etc cards or is it entirely up to us? Thanks!
Welcome to The D-Word, Joanna. I'm fascinated by casting so can't wait to see your doc! Please keep us posted on when and where we can see it.
As to your question, it's always up to you, but if you want to learn what's standard I'd simply watch a few other documentaries and see how they do it.
If the credits are at the beginning, it generally ends with Produced by and Directed by. If at the end, it begins with Directed by and then Produced by.
Hello everyone, I am an audio engineer that has worked on documentaries and other post audio projects. I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know if you needed any help of info about sound i would love to help!
Hi, I've edited many many hour-long documentaries for French TV, and am currently working on my third one as a director (réalisatrice). The economic crunch is pretty disheartening right now. Would like to stay in touch with other professionals, share information, develop international potential for our films.
My current project is a portrait of an amazing artist who spent over 10 years doing the reproduction of the prehistoric Lascaux caves.
I am Zeljko Mirkovic awarded documentary director/producer, owner of the Optimistic film.
Hi everyone, my name is Anthony Rydzon but my friends call me Tony. I'm a documentary film producer, director, and writer living and working in Chicago IL. I'm looking forward to sharing ideas, making new 'Doc-Head' friends, learning from some of the best and brightest minds in the doc film community today, helping other filmmakers by passing along information to screenings or crowd-sourcing links, bouncing around new ideas with you guys in the discussion rooms, and whole lot more too.
Whew, I shouldn't have had that last cup of coffee!
Currently, I am working on my first feature length doc,"Finding Vivian Maier", a story about a "French-American" nanny who took over 100k photographs of people she encountered in the streets she walked in both NYC and Chicago- all the while keeping her passion and skill a secret till her death in 2007, when her archive of black and white negatives went to auction and was purchased by a young man living in Chicago's north side. You can learn more about the story at www.VivianMaier.com
Production is moving right along.
I also ran a successful Kickstarter campaign with my friend and director of the film and was selected to pitch at HocDoc's 2011 in Toronto, Canada.
Thanks everyone for giving me the opportunity to say hi and inviting me into your community. I promise to upload a profile pic soon and feel free to email me here or at mmadocfilms AT yahoo! Cheers!
Wow, a wave of newbies today. Justin, Constance, Zeljko and Anthony, a warm welcome to you all!
Hellooooo documentary community
my name is Victoria and I have completed one feature length doc. titled 'House of BOnes' on my family and a house. I am currently enrolled in the SVA MFA doc. program which is a wonderful program thus far. Have been learning a great deal. HAve some projects in the works and trying to finish a small film I am making on a neighborhood in port-au -prince. HAve been going there over the last 3 years since earthquake. I'm in NYC and delighted I finally signed up to be part of this. Hi D.
And we're equally delighted, make that even MORE delighted, to have you joining our virtual doc shindig, Victoria.
Having been one of the lucky duckies to have seen "House of BOnes," (I'll spell it your way, it's more fun) I can attest to the enormous talent of Ms. Campbell.
However, one demerit for posting a photo so dark we can barely see ya.
Hiya, my name is Tessa! I'm Belgian and currently working as an executive producer on a film noir about time travel in Venezuela. More than the scifi aspect, we focus on the Cuban exiles in Venezuela and the issues of dealing with a constantly changing environment, both as an immigrant and a timetraveller. As a setting we decided to use downtown Valencia (VE), to put the old colonial houses in a bit of a different light. This is our Prezi: http://prezi.com/fafeiphjnbx0/almost-midnight/
Seeing Casi Medianoche (Almost Midnight) is my first production, I joined D-Word to learn, look, read and discuss. I look forward to meeting people here!
Greetings, Tessa, it's great to have Venezuela represented here. Glad you found us, even if you seem to be working more in the fiction than doc world. Do you have a film background or do you come to film from another path?
Someone who had been giving me advise on legal matters, told me about D-Word. I myself come from a completely different background. I worked for a while as an assistant in training and education, than did my masters in education. After univ, I met an old friend from Venezuela who was assembling a team to make this movie... I happily jumped at the opportunity and left for South-America.
Both of us are interested in a variety of topics, so joining D-Word is a logical choice for me. My partner has done an as yet unpublished documentary for the Venezuelan state. We've been designing (and dreaming about) about doing a documentary on teaching workers in heavy industry about film, an emancipatory project... but at the moment, our fiction film takes up all of our time.
Well, any friend of Richard Lee's is a friend of ours. We've upgraded you to Professional status so you can take better advantage of all the different discussion topics in here. Hope you find it helpful and best of luck on your film.
Hi everyone! Am a Canadian documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist, currently based out of Liberia, West Africa (where I've worked for much of the past three years). Although the majority of my film work has included pieces commissioned by NGOs, I have also completed a couple of independent documentaries, and am currently working on a third – a short to be filmed in Monrovia next month.
As I often work solo or with a small crew, I've had experience in most areas of production and post-production – and currently shoot with a couple of Sony HVR-A1s and edit with FCP. Working across West Africa and mainly in post-conflict countries, I'm used to dealing with somewhat difficult filming conditions – charging cameras off generators or car batteries, building makeshift 'sound rooms' in closets, cursing humidity's effects on electronics, etc. As you might guess, I don't have access to a lot of fellow filmmakers where I am, so I'm very excited to be able to join this community, and look forward to following along with the discussions. And of course if anyone is keen on projects in my part of the world, would always love to hear from you!
You're very welcome, Arwen. The D-Word is here 24/7, so do check in regularly.
Welcome, Arwen! Lucky you to be in Africa. I love the nature and the colors there (more the plants part of nature than the insects part though!)
I am new to this forum. I have been producing segments on the kiteboarding community in New England and I am looking for help in reaching a Cable Television audience with these engaging films. Also I enjoy editing other people's films, my portfolio can be viewed at DunoyerFilms.com
Hi my name is Ferdinand Casido. I live in the SF Bay Area. I'm a currently working as a producer on my first Documentary Feature called "Two Blind to Ride" which is about two blind adventurers cycling their way from Argentina to Alaska. Along the way they'll stop over at blind schools to tell their story.
Our indiegogo campaign:
This looks like a great website for networking, getting advice and finding resources.
I am already in love with this project, Ferdinand. Looks like a great human story to be told :)
I will share the link to your indiegogo campaign with my facebook friends. Keep us posted (And apply for professional membership if you didn't do it yet :) )
Thank you Niam! The riders and I appreciate anyone spreading the news of their journey.
Hey, everyone. Last year I produced Old School New School, a documentary exploring how we can tap into our full creative potential. Features actor Brian Cox, legednary cinematographer William Fraker, jazz great McCoy Tyner and many more world class artists. Check it out, and please share the link with colleagues and friends.
I'm a newbie and I've already learned so much reading on D-Word. Thanks for this great resource and community. I'm a recent graduate of the program at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies. I'm in post-production on my first film entitled "Granny's Got Game". It is the story of an amazing senior women's basketball team here in North Carolina. These women were pioneers of the game in the 1950s and are still playing now in their seventies! They've been together for almost two decades, so the team has become a support-system and they've become a family. It is such an inspiring story. I'm trying to do it justice despite my inexperience, and I'm glad to have D-Word to ask for advice.
Hi Everyone! I am from New York City – making a film called – Star in the Ring – it tells the close to forgotten story of when Jews DOMINATED the sport of boxing. While this can be seen as a film geared to one group – it really tells the story of so many new Americans. So – it is an important part of Jewish history, American history and sports history. I am proud to say I have received a grant from The Righteous Persons Foundation and am close to finishing all shooting – heading for post. I can sure use help from those that have been through this adventure. Please take a look at my website and trailer:
and get in touch with me with any input. I am going to post questions and look forward to the groups help! Thanks so much!
Welcome, Steven, Angela and Holden! Holden, feel free to register as a Professional member.
Hello everyone! I work for the Scottish Documentary Institute in Edinburgh (www.scottishdocinstitute.com). We produce and distribute short and feature docs; we also run training programmes and organise an annual international pitching forum, The Edinburgh Pitch. I look forward to sharing all the opportunities our Institute offers... But first things first, I'm going to start exploring the impressive D-word resources!
I'm a voice from the broadcaster's side of the biz. I currently work at CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) assisting the senior producers with commissioning original Canadian documentary programming for "Doc Zone," CBC-TV's flagship documentary series.
I produce trailers, promote our docs via social media, vet proposals, provide critical feedback on rough cuts, represent CBC at festivals and more. www.cbc.ca/docs
I also package-for-air acquired documentaries for CBC's "The Passionate Eye."
I'll be attending Hot Docs this year – my last official hurrah before I take a year off for maternity leave. Hopefully during that year I'll be able to sift through this incredible website!
Welcome, Flore and Ilka (much congrats on the pending addition)! Look forward to seeing you both at Hot Docs (Flore, over many fine whiskeys at the annual Interdoc revelry). And great to have you online with us here.
Oh, too bad, Flore. Well, see you online then. We'll just have to drink to your health at Hot Docs.
Now I regret not going to Hot Docs! I would have loved to see your pitch Doug.
Greetings from Dublin.
Hope to meet some of you at Hot Docs. We've a short screening at it and very excited to be attending.
My name is Brendan. I'm a sound designer and audio engineer based in Seattle, Washington. I have produced a few short documentaries for radio but what I enjoy most is collaborating with film makers.
I work independently and with a world class post facility in town called Clatter&Din studios. Recently I served as lead sound designer on the feature films "Safety Not Guaranteed" and "Eden". Both excellent films. I also recently did sound design, audio editing and mixing for the documentary "Uncertain Ice" by Cory Kelly. There's a clip from this in my demo reel on my website – www.brendanjhogan.com.
I'd love to find some more people to collaborate with and hope to find some interesting discussions on the role of sound in documentaries.
Brendan, welcome and feel free to register for professional status as it will give you access to many more of our discussion topics.
Hi there : )
I'm Lara, a student at Bournemouth Uni in England. I'm hoping to do a documentary abroad for my final project in 2013. Trying to work out ways to fund it! Any advice would be very helpful.
I'm Homer. I'm pleased to join you at D-Word.
I'm a spanish-iranian filmmaker.
My film NATION will be premiered at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival:
Hope to see you there...
Ditto. Congrats and hope to see you at Full Frame, Homer. Check out our Full Frame topic to find other D-Word members who are going.
Thanks everybody! Sure we'll enjoy with great films in Durham. See you.
Hi guyz, any of you interested in making documentaries in Nepal? Looking for collaboration.We do have a hell of interesting topics that will keep you riveted on the spot.
Hello! I am Dieter Bartels, a German-American Cultural Anthropologist and filmmaker specializing in Muslim-Christian relations in Indonesia and worked also extensively with Moluccans in The Netherlands. Together with Helen Huwae I have made a full-length documentary, called Maju Terus! Go For It!, about the failure and success of four generations of Moluccan exiles in The Netherlands. We have been screening the film at film festivals and are on the way to show it at the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival (Florida) and the Ethnofilm Festival in Rovinj, Croatia.
If interested you can find out more about the film and my anthropological pursuits on my website www.nunusaku.com
I'm Jon, I'm currently working as a director/producer at Collective Eye Films in Portland, OR.
I'm a filmmaker and a father of a 1-year old daughter. I've worked as a producer for the past 3 years on the documentary feature, QUEEN OF THE SUN: What are the Bees Telling Us? Queen of the Sun was theatrical released in 2011 and we're now out on DVD & Digital in the US & Canada.
I've been working with the director of Queen of the Sun, Taggart Siegel (The Real Dirt on Farmer John) producing and editing the film for 2 years and as on the distribution leg for the past year and a half. We're now developing two new feature projects.
As I'm sure many of you know, filmmaking is a busy, busy business– and the past few years been WOW levels of busy. I'm just now beginning to feel the time opening up again. I definitely know a few here already (pst Danielle Beverly) and I'm excited to meet more of you.
I'm looking forward to reading up and contributing where I can. So far my experience lies in all of the hats it takes to get a doc made, but Queen being my first feature, I'd say I've had the most recent relevant experience with grass-roots distribution techniques, which we've done a consider amount of.
Hi all, Douglas Lyon here. I am based in Paris, France and have been working for almost 20 years all over Europe and Africa as Producer, Production Manager, Line Producer, Field Producer, Journalist and Director for all the major Japanese television networks. I have worked in broadcast news, documentaries, live satellite broadcasts, variety shows, reality shows, sports events coverage, TV films, commercials, etc.
In the world of Japanese television I have come to be known as an "Africa specialist", but actually I began with Fashion and News, then Variety shows and Reality Shows, and although I love it all, but I must confess a particular passion for Broadcast News, Documentaries, and... well, you guessed it : Africa !
I have been working almost exclusively for the Japanese market, and would love to branch out to the English speaking production world as well... Please have a look at my website, and I am sure you will know me MUCH better with just a quick glance ! :
our alternate website is here :
and we can be found on LinkedIn here :
best wishes to all !
Douglas E. Lyon
Welcome Dieter, Jon and Douglas! Good to have you all with us here.