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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.

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Doug Block
Thu 7 Dec 2000Link
Well, ya gotta be. If only I could rely on a distributor to sell it
for me.

Tamra Raven
Fri 5 Jan 2001Link
Hi! I am excited to finally be part of D-word.
I have recently created a company, Out of the Dirt Productions, whose
mission is to bring awareness and get others to take action to solve
urgent environmental, health and social issues.

My first film, RATS TO ROSES, is intended to be a one-hour documentary
that celebrates New York City’s community gardens and the dedicated
volunteers who keep them flourishing. I believe that this documentary
could potentially play a valuable role in helping to prevent the
destruction of NYC’s beloved gardens.

These gardens have provided a haven, a sanctuary, and a community
center without walls, in the heart of NYC to thousands of low-income
people of color. They have given them a sense of pride and feeling of
accomplishment in helping to make their community a better place to
live. My goal is to become even more effective in communicating how
the power of one, the power of each person to affect change.

On another completely different note, I want to sell Final Cut Pro
1.2.5, new factory sealed copy plus $1000 of free software. And want to
know how to do this?
All the best,
Tamra Raven

Robert Goodman
Fri 5 Jan 2001Link
welcome. Posting the sale notice here is fine. I'd also offer it
for sale on ebay

Doug Block
Sun 7 Jan 2001Link
Tamra, you're in the public conference rather than the private one
for professionals. Email me if you're confused or having a problem
getting in there. If not, please copy and post your intro there.

Angela Alston
Fri 9 Feb 2001Link
Hi--
I've just joined D-word through the back door, cause of being on the
AIVF board. I'm certainly glad to have found out about it because I've
found like Doug that documentary making can be a lonely art, ironic
because it's also such a collaborative one. . .

I've made a bunch of short docs, coming out of the public access world
in Seattle, seguing in film school in Texas, including an experimental
one called *The Weeping Woman* (because a lot of English speakers had
trouble with the "ll" in Llorona, the real name of the Weeping Woman).
If you're in Dallas in March, you can see my most recent short at the
Dallas Video Festival,*A Summer Day in Central Park* (it's a jungle in
there).

Now I'm working on making the leap to long-form with several ideas in
development. The bread and butter so far is teaching online
(Information Design) and producing corporate and industrial video. :}
But I'm moving into editing as my b&b, am working on a narrative short
right now, *Harvey the Larvae*.

You can see a bit more about my work on my site, soon to be updated.
www.sparklehouse.com/angela

Looking forward to meeting you all, virtually and in the flesh.

Doug Block
Fri 9 Feb 2001Link
Welcome, Angela. You, too, I think meant to post to the private
conference, so please re-post this there. I've sent you an email
with directions how to do that.

Nothing wrong with saying hello here, too, though ;-)

Robert Goodman
Sat 10 Feb 2001Link
After all this space is available and deader than a door nail.

;-)

Doug Block
Sat 10 Feb 2001Link
Hey, it's hard to find, Robert! And we blew all our advertising
money on that superbowl commercial.

Robert Goodman
Sun 11 Feb 2001Link
If we can sell the article that would change - Superbowl here we come

Matt Kohn
Thu 15 Feb 2001Link
Join over 20 filmmakers from around the United States. Use your
videocamera to create a record of people*s reactions to the
Supreme Court decision that stopped the vote count in Florida.

Interview family, friends and strangers-- all kinds of people in all
kinds of places. Our film will analyze whether or not Americans are
holding back their anger and rage toward the *stolen-ness* of this
particular election

Write me an email and I*ll reply with all the details.

Matt Kohn
718-522-4931
firewalkfilm@earthlink.net

Please title your email response: Election Documentary * Phase

Doug Block
Thu 15 Feb 2001Link
Matt, this is why we invented the Shameless Self Promotion topic!
Come back and introduce thyself, sir!

Good luck with the project, though.

Sarah George
Sat 17 Feb 2001Link
Tamra- Did you ever sign in over at the community conference? Your
project sounds amazaing. Community gardens are such an inspiring
topic. As a filmmaker I am also compelled by the use of the medium to
affect change while telling individual stories. Storytelling can be a
radical act.

Matt- I'm really interested in your project and the idea of using
multiple filmmakers to tell a story. Please tell us more.

Andrew Kohl
Wed 4 Apr 2001Link
Hi Everyone,
New here, got a couple docs on the go, been doing it on and off for
about 12 years...thank god for some corporate work to pay the bills..

first project is:
The Moore Tragedy: Suicide or Murder? Documentary, 45 minutes, DV/Beta
SP; The tragic shooting of two young boys leaves many questions after
police call it suicide. Did religious teachings of Armageddon cause
the brothers to end their lives, or were they murdered? The project is
in final rough cut stage.

second project is:
The Walking Wounded, Documentary, 45 minutes, DV/BetaSP; This film is
about the psychological and spiritual after-effects on adults who grew
up as children in a spiritually abusive environment and indoctrinated
with fear. It details personal stories of survival and their search
for healing. In post-production.

My son and I will be heading to HOTDOCS in toronto next month,
hopefully connect with some buyers , future collaborators.

anyway, hope to learn something here

cheers...andrew

Robert Goodman
Thu 5 Apr 2001Link
good luck with your projects and hot docs. Would be interesting to
hear your experience when you return.

Doug Block
Thu 5 Apr 2001Link
Andrew, be sure to post this intro in the private conference. This
is the public conference, not very well attended by D-Word Community
members.

Maggie Hadleigh-west
Tue 17 Apr 2001Link
Hi everyone. Am currently working on my 4th film, called Player
Hating. It follows the life of a young hip hop artist who struggles
to escape, poverty, alienation and racism through music. 4
Minutes is my collaberative project for The D-Word. My prior
movie was War Zone, a feature doc in which I interview men all
over the country who harassed me on the streets. There is more
info on that film at filmfatale.net, if anyone is interested.

Love being a filmmaker, but am currently struggling with the
struggle. Glad to be a part of this community.

Doug Block
Tue 17 Apr 2001Link
You're in the wrong conference, too, Maggie ;-) Not that there's
anything wrong with sharing here, of course, but I know you mean to be
in the private conference.

Robert Goodman
Wed 18 Apr 2001Link
Given the traffic here doug - this is more private than the private
conference. smile.

Doug Block
Wed 18 Apr 2001Link
Yeah, but that's largely because we haven't made the public area a
priority. That'll change soon, especially with the launch of the
collaborative project on Docuweb.org on June 20. We'll be sending the
public to this conference to interact with the filmmakers. It'll be
very cool.

You'll see.

Robert Goodman
Thu 19 Apr 2001Link
hey -it's all cool.

Kai Hagen
Fri 20 Apr 2001Link
Looking forward to that, Doug!

Morgan Evans
Mon 23 Apr 2001Link
Hi Folks,
My name's Morgan and and I'm very happy to have found the
D-Word group.
I've been in Alaska for 21 years and am working on nature and
historical documentary projects.

I got lucky and scored grant money from the EPA on the first try
for a 60-minute doco on a renowned river in Alaska covering a
time period from 12,000BC to the present. We're also in the
beginning stages of a TV doco about one particular aspect of the
Viet Nam war.

In the summer we conduct 5-7 day/night river expeditions on
extremely remote rivers around Alaska for photography and/or
fishing/wildlife. This helps feed the kids and pay the bills and
also puts us in a position to see and film a wide variety of wildlife
such as Grizzly Bears and other big game.

We've got 4 kids including a little 17-month adventurer named
Zach. Everyone's into the outdoors and I'm grateful we have this
common thread of enthusiam.

We hope to see some D-Word folks up in Alaska in the future.
Give us a call.

Cheers,
Morgan Evans

Ben Kempas
Tue 24 Apr 2001Link
Welcome, Morgan. You sound like you should join us in the other
conference ... I'm sure Doug will assist you?
I'm dreaming of a D-word face-to-face on some remote river ...

Stephen Colvin
Wed 25 Apr 2001Link
Welcome...What a great addition to this community you would be,
Morgan! Your project sounds fascinating as well as your expeditions.
Some years back, I took a 250 mile kayak trip the entire length of
the Teslin River in the Yukon (your neighbor to the east)and I must
do it again before too long. I also hope you can join the conference
and participate with all the terrific people in there.

Mark Spiegel
Wed 2 May 2001Link
Hey everyone, and thanks Doug for providing this opportunity for
connecting! My name is Mark and I am starting my first doc after
a few short film projects over the years. This experience has
been completely different though! To my mind more risk,
excitement and satisfaction than on any film project I've worked
on to date....!

My Project is called " A Small Church in Oakland"; about a 130
year old church whos congregation must come to grips with its
imminent dissolution, (25 aging members down from a high of
1000), or find some way to bring in fresh blood if it is to survive.

I am currently in the "credit card" production phase... and
furiously putting out grant proposals to cover (at least)
post-production. Yes, "Biting off more than you can chew" seems
to be the way to go with docs...Yet somehow, (I dont know why) I
have complete faith the money will come in to get his thing
made...happy to be here.. thanks!

Doug Block
Fri 4 May 2001Link
Mark, you'll want to post this again in the private conference. Go
to www.d-word.com and hit "members log-in" to get there. Scroll down
to the Introduce Yourself thread.

Morgan Evans
Tue 8 May 2001Link
Ben & Steven,
Thanks for the warm welcome. Look forward to chatting further.
Morgan

Linda Goin
Fri 18 May 2001Link
Hi folks - My name, obviously, is Linda. I just stumbled on this
conference while checking out a private conf. I attend here at Utne.
This is amazing. What talent here!

I'm a desktop publisher/graphic artist turned copywriter turned
writer/journalist with a few CO Press Association Awards under my
belt. My projects now are varied and some are getting rather deep.
One is about a woman in Zimbabwe teaching AIDS orphans (mostly young
girls) to grow mushrooms for sustenance and survival on on physical
and on a social level. Am in the process of gathering funding for
this project.

Morgan's post jogged my juices on a project my brother has been
embroiled with in Colorado - my brother is a hydrogeologist who is
currently drowning in a debate over a local dam project.

Both of these works could benefit from film. This is something I have
absolutely no skill with, although I'm a huge fan of the power of
documentaries. I'll be lurking and learning more about all of you, if
that's ok...and if you all don't mind me asking some questions along
the way, I would be most honored.

Robert Goodman
Sat 19 May 2001Link
Ask away. Always nice to see someone pop into the public conference.

Doug Block
Sat 19 May 2001Link
Yes, welcome and fire away, Linda.

Linda Goin
Sun 20 May 2001Link
I have a feeling I'll be repeating myself down the road, but I would
like to know how you all go about getting projects for your films -
are they your own ideas, or do most of you work with
writers/producers/agents?

The second question is how you get your funding? When you are tapped
for a project, do you have a fixed rate? Or are you flexible,
depending upon the project and your interest?

How's that for a beginning?

Robert Goodman
Sun 20 May 2001Link
Most documentary filmmakers get involved in a project because it's
something they care about enough to find the time and money to see it
through to completion. The idea may be self-generated, happenstance,
or from a third party who brings an idea to a filmmaker.

Some documentary films are commissioned by a network, corporation,
organization, or advocacy group. With rare exceptions, these are
actually public relations films. Documentary filmmakers take on these
assignments because they need to earn a living.

Funding for social issue documentaries comes from foundations or
individuals within that specific community circle.

Most documentary filmmakers have a sliding fee scale based on value
and pain. Their highest rates are reserved for commercial clients
who usually demand editorial control and copyright ownership. Most of
us work for free on our projects hoping to get paid after the film is
finished assuming it gets distribution. Less than 10% of the
documentaries made get any kind of distribution. Theatrical release is
likely less than half a percent. Television or on video is where most
high-quality docs end up. It's a complete crapshoot so most treat
doc filmmaking as a hobby and do other things to pay the bills.

It's my guess that there are less than 100 people in the United States
who earn their living solely from making documentaries.

Doug Block
Sun 20 May 2001Link
Robert makes a good distinction between independent doc filmmakers,
who usually produce their own ideas, and doc companies, which often
pitch a number of ideas to broadcasters, usually cable channels but
sometimes PBS or HBO, as well. Or get hired to make programming.

When he throws out an estimate like that, I think he's talking about
the indies. There are far more than that earning their living helping
produce doc series. Let's not even get into "reality" tv or
magazine-type shows.

As far as agents for documentaries, I wish. At least the William
Morris kind. But there are international sales agents (like Jan
Rofekamp of Films Transit) who (very occasionally) help filmmakers
with worthy projects find financing through foreign broadcasters like
Arte or the BBC.

Linda Goin
Sun 20 May 2001Link
"Most documentary filmmakers have a sliding fee scale based on value
and pain." _ hm. That's very similar to many of the arts I've been
exposed to. I tend to call the "public relations" as commercialism,
and I hate it. I have to keep reminding myself it's a necessary evil
to do other projects that are my loves.

I didn't realize - or think about - pitching to HBO or PBS. I've been
so steeped in the 'paper trail' that I've only looked at journalism
sources for money. You guys are really opening a new door for me
(when the student is ready...)

I'm wondering if the press leads I have would be willing to finance
documentary sides to the projects I have...

Part of all this is to learn the difference between all the names you
all are giving to the docs. I'm sure I understand the PR types, and
the indies. I'm not sure what you mean by "reality" tv or magazine-
type shows, Doug? Perhaps if you explain, I'm sure I'll know what
you're talking about.

Doug Block
Sun 20 May 2001Link
"Survivor" is reality tv. "Sixty Minutes" is news magazine.

Linda Goin
Sun 20 May 2001Link
Gotcha.

Robert Goodman
Mon 21 May 2001Link
Linda - Doug is correct about my reference to (indy) doc filmmakers
making a living solely from docs. E.g, the Maysles made a lot more
money selling their style for commercials then they ever did do docs.

Linda Goin
Mon 21 May 2001Link
My history includes a long one in marketing and advertising (a
necessity for publications, of course...). Making a statement
(oblique or head-on) - whether through film, print or art - can be
very hard to finance. That part I understand.

Unless, of course, the funding is made with the objective of having
an exclusive that is pretty hard-hitting. Even then, it's iffy.

Bindu Chander
Thu 7 Jun 2001Link
Hi People

Very interesting reading Linda's ques and the answers that followed.
I'm interested in making a documentary but am quite unfamiliar with
the process to completion. There are - like with everything in life
many ways to IT - any rough guides out there on docu making and the
steps involved?

look forward to learning and exchanging!

Doug Block
Thu 7 Jun 2001Link
Welcome, Bindu.

There are a couple of books I'd recommend on Michael Weise's website:
http://www.mwp.com/pages/books.html

The Art of Reality is worth checking out (the site has a sample
chapter you can read), and Weise's The Independent Filmmakers Guide to
Film & Video (or something like that) is a very valuable general film
book that applies to docs.

Lotsa luck!

Ron Franscell
Wed 20 Jun 2001Link
My name is Ron Franscell. I am a published novelist and newspaperman.
My second novel has been sold to film; my first has been optioned. I
worked on both scripts, and now I am striking off on my own with a
documentary project (as writer only) and an original feature script.

I look forward to invigorating discussions here! Thank you.

Doug Block
Wed 20 Jun 2001Link
Welcome to The D-Word, Ron. Care to share with folks here what the
doc project is about? Always curious what attracts media
professionals (ie. people who should know better) to try their hand
with a documentary ;-)

Ron Franscell
Wed 20 Jun 2001Link
Well, BECAUSE I am an alleged media professional (they're withholding
my union card until I learn to mainline black coffee)I was asked to
be part of a documentary about Butte, Montana. Yeah, yeah, my
reaction at the time was about the same as yours when your read that.
But it turns out this place is a metaphor for the American West, a
place where exploitation, diversity, bawdiness, violence, wealth,
culture, sex and the landscape intersected ... like a train wreck.

Doug kindly answered a beginner's questions, so now I know enough to
be dangerous. That's all.

Fortruanetly, I've published two successful novels and written a
couple screenplays, so I have a vague sense of story structure. I am
eager to see how it's done in this "new-to-me" medium. I look forward
to chatting with all of you.

Robert Goodman
Thu 21 Jun 2001Link
the same old same.

Tony Esposito
Mon 25 Jun 2001Link
Hello everyone, my name is Tony Esposito and I'm in the middle of a
midlife career change. Do to 2 back operations I had to end my career
as a master automobile tech. I have been taping weddings as a side
line and also produced some small corporate videos. When I had to
change careers, I decided to go to school and get into video
production full time. I'm currently working on a documentary on the
growth of Charlotte NC, and how it effects the quality of life. I'm
also editing some works that will be shown at The Museum of the New
South. I'm so glad I found this site and hope to learn from it and
interact with the members.

Tony Esposito

Ben Kempas
Mon 25 Jun 2001Link
Welcome Ron, are you aware of that excellent documentary film 'Butte,
Montana' by Thomas Schadt?

Doug Block
Mon 25 Jun 2001Link
Hey, Tony, welcome to The D-Word. Guess what, I do weddings, too.
Edit in-the-camera, feature-length docs of the wedding day. It's one
of the ways I stake my independence and make docs of my own choosing.
It actually got me out of shooting corporate videos -- it's more
satisfying and I make a lot more $$$$.

Tony Esposito
Wed 27 Jun 2001Link
Hi Doug, it is a very interesting way to make money and support my
other interests. I like the fact that each wedding is an event and
anything can happen. You have to be on your toes and ready for
something to happen that wasn't expected.
I have always thought that taping weddings was making a small
documentary of an event in ones life. The way the families of the
bride and groom interact is always interesting. Did they approve of
the wedding or was this wedding taking place because the bride was
expecting a little something. Great stuff to tape.
Take care,
Tony Esposito

John D. Williams
Mon 16 Jul 2001Link
John D. sneaking back in after an all too long absence. You don't
want to know/hear the LP version of what's been going on in my real
life, but the Readers' Digest version has me switching jobs and
moving from Texas to North Carolina.

After year away from the technical side of things, I'll be back
teaching production classes again. With any luck I'll get to teach a
16mm class in the near future, otherwise it's Mini DV and the Media
100. All of which means I will once again be checking into D-Word on
a regular basis.

It's good to be back.

Doug Block
Tue 17 Jul 2001Link
Good to have you back, John. It's been toooo long.

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