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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.

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Kelly Neal
Sun 11 May 2003Link
Hello all. Like Joy above, I've finally decided to take the plunge
into documentary. And what a daunting yet addictively invigorating
plunge it's been thusfar! I did my undergrad in literature and
recently decided to pull up stakes, so to speak, and transplant
myself from Montana to Scotland for film school. After a ridiculous
amount of utterly unnecessary worry, I've finally decided it's all or
nothing and am jumping in headfirst with my first documentary. I'm
still in the pre production phase, but it seems to have grown to
unexpected and somewhat daunting proportions all by itself. So my big
challenge right now is to orient myself as to what sort of structure
and form I would ultimately like the film to take. So, as general as
that is, any insights or recommendations (and I do mean any) about
first time documentary making would be happily received. So, thanks
and luck to you all.

Ben Kempas
Sun 11 May 2003Link
Welcome, Kelly. What film school do you go to? Napier? Stirling Uni?

Doug Block
Sun 11 May 2003Link
Welcome, Kelly. It may sound a little self-serving, but I highly
recommend you read the various discussions we've held in this Forum.
The Al Maysles/Susan Froemke discussion would be particularly
valuable, I think.

I usually find it best to leap in by doing interviews first. They
don't cost much and preparing for them is a good way to bone up on the
subject at hand. I usually approach interviews by coming from a point
of innocence or downright ignorance, even if I'm familiar with the
subject. So it's not like you have to be an expert before proceeding.

Scott Davis
Mon 12 May 2003Link
Hello,
My name is Scott davis and I am a filmmaker. I have been in the film
industry for 20 years. Last year I embarked on my first doc.
I am part of a group of 4 called Common Sense Films.
We are in the last stages of post production of our first feature
documentary, The Fort Fisher Hermit, The Life and Death of Robert E
Harrill. I look forward to the exchange of ideas and guidence that
this group has to offer.
Cheers

Doug Block
Mon 12 May 2003Link
Welcome, Scott. I see you've registered for the community, as well.
We'll be able to accomodate you later tonight. Be sure to re-post
this intro once you're in there.

Heide Schramm
Wed 14 May 2003Link
Hi there d-community.
I am a doc distributor based in Germany and have joined the doc
platform with my own company HS Media Consult in 2000. Beforehand I
have been doing this job for a company mainly specialized in music
programs.
I consult and distribute mainly for German distributors who want an
international platform for their programs - so yes, all foreign doc
producers are welcome to contact me the other way round should you
seek help in German speaking territory. My main focus is arts, human
interest, historical doc and - this is new scientific programs as
well.
Right now I am looking for advise from people who love gypsy music and
could recommend the best place to go theatrical in the US with a
feature length doc film on a gypsy group from Romania called the
Fanfare Ciocarlia. They have been touring and fascinating the world
since about 5 years and they are back performing in the States again
in the end of June. So whoever wants to help spread their fame give
me a hint.
I look forward to correspond with a lot of interesting people on as
interesting topics in the d-word community!

Erica Ginsberg
Wed 14 May 2003Link
Welcome Heidi.

If you have an NTSC version of the doc, I'd love to see it (though I
am no expert in Roma music, I do quite enjoy it.) At least in
Washington DC, there is an audience for Roma concerts and films.
Tony Gatlif's films seem to have a following and I know there was a
Czech film (about a woman singer -- I can't recall her name) that
also played a small circuit here. And of course Jasmin Dellal's
AMERICAN GYPSY which isn't about music so much as the culture as a
whole.

If Fanfare Ciocarlia are touring, it would be great to combine
showing the film with performances. D-Word's Nina Seavey did this to
great effect with the Russian country band Bering Strait and their
performances and the film really enhanced each other.

Is the band popular in Romania? Not sure how much help they'd be to
you, but you might want to try the cultural section of the Romanian
Embassy in Washington (only thing is they may have a new cultural
attache, so I'm not sure how active they are in promoting events; if
the film is produced by Germans, you could also try the Goethe
Institut in different cities)

Other possibilities are to try for festivals like South by Southwest,
FullFrame, and, of course, Sundance.

Heide Schramm
Wed 14 May 2003Link
Hi Erica,

thank you so much for your interest and prompt reply.

Let me know your address by return mail and I will send it to you,
however we only have PAL versions so far. Do you have access to a
player then??

I will certainly take your advice and will let you know if I am
successful.

Sincerely Heide

Doug Block
Wed 14 May 2003Link
Welcome Heide. I agree with Erica, festivals are the way to expose
your film in U.S. territories. It's very difficult for international
docmakers here, however (something we're working hard at The D-Word to
correct). Don't get your expectations too high.

I suggest you check out the website for The Ballad of Bering
Straight. It's a good model for your film:

http://emergingpictures.com/bering_strait.htm

Ben Kempas
Wed 14 May 2003Link
Heide, don't forget to join us in {LINK NOT IMPORTED} as well.
Greetings from a Munich burgher...

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