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Karim Missouri
Thu 15 Jul 2004Link
Hello Cameron,
If your question in the forum was addressed to me. I am so sorry to
tell you that I am a novice too and don't know much technically
about film documentaries, I've just start taking classes about the
production etc. but I do have some experiences in documentation and
conducting researches and surveys. so my advice to you is to put
everything on the paper first.
- Write a script about your subject
-divide your script to different scenes
- Make some researches on your subject (if somebody has already done
etc)
-Human resources (make sure to get some commitments from people who
will help you not only verbally but also written in return to give
them credits or something like that.
- Financial resources (who is your sponsor, funding etc have you
gotten any written
Assurance etc.
-Technical resources (is your equipment audio-visual are operating
properly and professionally? are you or do you have any reliable
people who knows well about directing, lighting, sound etc?
also you might need some authorizations, I don't know about the US
but in Morocco you will need the authorization of Moroccan
cinematographic center to start filming then you need the music
clearance authorization from the copyright center, if you are going
to use somebody’s music in your documentary.
Finally I always urge newbies like me if they believe in the subject
to go for it.
Good luck

Robert Goodman
Thu 15 Jul 2004Link
Welcome. There are lots of good books on making docs.
Some have been discussed in The Mentoring Room: Ask the Working Pros.

Will Blesch
Fri 16 Jul 2004Link
Hi there folks,

I am a beginning film maker living in the Houston (Soon to be Austin)
area.

A partner and I are about to embark on a documentary journey that I
am pretty excited about.

I was given the link to this site by someone in the Austin film group
(A yahoo group.)

I am totally looking forward to reading these forums and asking
questions and learning in general!

Erica Ginsberg
Fri 16 Jul 2004Link
Cameron, first of all, clarify your topic and your likely audience.
Obviously you can't talk to 43 million uninsured people so find one
or a few who can serve as representative of the whole. Think about a
way to surprise us and tell your story in a way that is different
from how you would see it on the evening news or if Michael Moore
were telling it. How are the uninsured having an impact on our
economy in ways we don't usually think of (i.e., beyond emergency
rooms being used for primary care or mothers choosing welfare over
work because at least their kids will get some kind of health
coverage).

Identify your audience from the start. No film can be marketed to
everyone, so think about whether you are preaching to the choir or
trying to influence legislators, medical professionals, small
business owners, etc. Are you trying to encourage change in one
community, one state or the country as a whole?

In terms of production, if your friends have no experience in film,
count on them to help with ideas, production assistance, outreach,
and helping to keep you motivated. Ideally get a real cameraperson.
If you shoot it yourself, practice a lot first (maybe doing some pre-
interviews with potential subjects) and invest in a good tripod. And
do get an experienced soundman. The biggest mistake of many
beginners is trying to do too much yourself when you really need to
focus on directing. So-so camerawork is forgiveable for a compelling
topic. Bad sound is not.

Doug Block
Sat 17 Jul 2004Link
Welcome, Will. Glad you found us and good luck with your doc.

Tim Hardy
Mon 19 Jul 2004Link
Hi folks-

I'm Tim and I'm heading to Africa. Anyone with a camera & skills want to come?

Tim

Mike Lamb
Mon 19 Jul 2004Link
Hi Doug and friends,

I am a broadcaster/talk show host currently in pre-production for my
first doc. I've produced a couple of infomercials, some TV spots and
thousands of radio spots.

I host and produce a radio program about doing business and making
money using the Internet.

I plan on funding my doc using Internet income streams.

I found this forum by doing my research for producing a documentary.
You guys do an exceptional job here.

I'm looking for good advice (which I've already discovered with this
group), smart ideas and other creative ways to produce, promote and
make noise with my work.

I hope to meet many of you through this effort.

Thanks and have fun.

Mike Lamb
Host, The Moneyroom Show
dword@moneyroom.com

Cameron Page
Tue 20 Jul 2004Link
Just wanted to say thanks to Erica and Karim, I appreciate the
input. Good luck with your projects, hope you keep us updated!

Doug Block
Tue 20 Jul 2004Link
Welcome, Tim. Mike, anyone funding a doc through internet income
streams has more to teach us than vice versa ;-) Perhaps we can
adjourn to the Mentoring Room topic and you can tell us your plans for
fundraising. Consider me fascinated...

Karim Missouri
Tue 20 Jul 2004Link
You are welcome Cameron. feel free to contact me with your
question . I would be more than happy to help.
Good luck

Rill
Sat 21 Aug 2004Link
Hi. New here. Curious and want to get connected to other filmmakers.
I'm shooting a doc about dog fighting -- but my original script sucks.
Now what? Man, now that I've done a few interviews, there's a lot
more to the story. Also want to fund creatively by doing screenings.
Does that work? -- Rill

Jessie Logan
Sat 21 Aug 2004Link
Hi my name is Jessie and I'm a digital filmmaker and have been an
advocate of digital technology for filmmaking since 93. You might say
I was digital when digital wasn't cool.

I'm now looking for funding for a doc on 4 middle aged siblings who
each have very different and distinct mental disorders spawned by an
abusive mother and her lovers. They live in the deep south which
always offers rich storytelling in documentaries I believe. Some of
the things they went through are almost unbelievable. Such as being
put into a raccoon cage (or coon cage as they put it) with one of the
wild animals as punishment. To a possible murder witnessed by the
middle child (male) that he was sworn to secrecy over. And countless
other abuses. Some sexual.

An interesting little piece is that 3 of the 4 siblings and the
mother all see the same psychiatrist, who by the way is so enthralled
with their life he has urged them to participate. The crux of the
story will be to get the mother, who is a foul mouth chain smoking
born again christian, to finally admit the truth about what she has
done. Something her kids have needed to hear for a long time and will
hopefully provide a very dramatic ending.

So here I am trying to get us much information as I can to help me
with the project. Looks like I came to the right place.

Marlene Francia
Sat 21 Aug 2004Link
Hello there! I'm Marlene C. Francia from the Philippines and I've
been doing documentary videos for the past fifteen years. I went
freelance in 1997.

Early this year, I did a documentary on domestic violence in Cebu
City in Central Philippines. Here, women victims of domestic
violence, a local women's group and a nongovernment organization
successfully engaged the city government in passing an anti-domestic
violence against women and children ordinance, putting gender on the
budget, and making gender equality a priority in all aspects of
governance. This model on gender responsive governance is now being
shared in other Philippine towns and cities.

I have also done a documentary on local community experiences in
biodiversity conservation (especially since the Philippines has one
of the richest yet highly threatened biodiversity systems in the
world); the indigenous women of Southern Philippines and their ties
to the land; good governance stories; health risks of women workers
in the workplace, and so on.

Also, I do a lot of production management, coordination,
interviewing, filming, etc for foreign filmmakers. These include
award-winning documentaries on Filipino women migrant workers, the
kidney organ trade, internet mail order brides, child labor, the
devastation wrought by mining, and the global maritime industry,
etc.

I got to know about this site through the SilverDocs newsletter and
I look forward to participating in and learning from the various
discussions here.

Cheers!

Doug Block
Sun 22 Aug 2004Link
Welcome, Rill, Jessie and Marlene! Rill, why would you script a doc?
Maybe that's part of the problem.

Ann Yamamoto
Mon 23 Aug 2004Link
Hello, I'm an American living in Tokyo; I'm not actually making any documentaries right
now, so I probably can't offer any practical advice, alas. For the past 2 years I've been
involved with the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, and I co-edit a
journal called Documentary Box (issued in English & Japanese). You can read back
issues here! http://www.city.yamagata.yamagata.jp/yidff/docbox/docbox-e.html I've been
feeling the need to have more documentarists in my life, so here I am. Ann

Doug Block
Tue 24 Aug 2004Link
Welcome, Ann. Noticed you've registered for the community... we'll
see you there soon.

Frank Zadlo
Tue 24 Aug 2004Link
Hello, I started work on my first documentary this summer. I actually prefer to call it an
intimate character portrait about a 60-year-old man in Philly who is a digital-aged Robin
Hood, collecting used computers and giving them to the poor. He's also a master Rolfer
who focuses on children with developmental problems. (Rolfing, in my words, is a type of
deep muscle manipulation that realigns the body along a vertical plane of gravity.)

I've made several scripted shorts in the past, but this is my first time diving into the
documentary pool, and I'm absolutely in love with it. I love the extended commitment I've
forced myself to take and the amorphous nature of it all which will ultimately yield a
touching portrait of a person's soul. I'm having a blast, and I know this is the right place
to come for answers.

Frank

Doug Block
Tue 24 Aug 2004Link
sure is. glad you found us, frank. welcome and keep having a blast!

Julia Camenisch
Fri 27 Aug 2004Link
My husband and I are video professionals, working for a non-profit in
the Chicago area, and while we've done some small documentary-style
projects in the past, we're embarking on our first long-form one.
So, we thought we'd join this community to learn and interact with
others in the field.

julia

Doug Block
Fri 27 Aug 2004Link
welcome, julia (and hubby).

G Oliver
Tue 31 Aug 2004Link
hello,

my name is george oliver. decided to join up to get connected to
other like minds. i'm headed to antarctica for five months and the
thought of putting together a doco struck me. i'm open to
suggestions, ideas, comments and any possibility of collaboration.
please feel free to get in touch should you be interested:
junk@i8bozo.com

i'm currently editing my first short film (a little sub 10 minute
piece) and i hope to complete that while down on the ice.

thank you for hosting this forum!

Doug Block
Tue 31 Aug 2004Link
welcome. you're welcome. dress warm ;-)

Andrei Kirilenko
Wed 1 Sep 2004Link
Hello,

I am an independent film director and producer based in Bethesda,
MD.

I am currently working on a documentary entitled Technostorks:
Artifical Reproduction in the XXI Century (www.technostorks.com)

I am looking for enthusiastic people with equipment (camera, sound,
lighting) in the DC metro area to shoot a few interviews in
September, as well as people in DC-MD-VA, Philly and NYC to shoot a
couple of events in October. No pay.

I have produced and directed short narrative DV films before, but
never a feature length documentary. So, also need mentoring.

Please let me know.

Best,

Andrei.

Erica Ginsberg
Wed 1 Sep 2004Link
Andrei,

I think we met a few months ago (didn't you come to the GW screening
of CRUCIBLE OF WAR where you met me and Leon Gerskovic?). I know
Leon is pretty busy right now, but I can post your message to the
Women in Film and Video-DC listserv if you are not already a member.

As far as mentoring, feel free to join us at the next Docs in
Progress workshop in DC on September 14. My colleague Adele Schmidt
and I moderate audience feedback on documentary works-in-progress and
you might find it of interest to hear the feedback given to other
filmmakers to help you think more about your own. More info at
http://www.docsinprogress.org

Kevin Clark
Sat 25 Sep 2004Link
Hello!

I'm Kevin D Clark, and I'm preplanning to dive into my first
documentary next year. I'm here basically to soak up knowledge. My
primary concerns here is sound (I know NOTHING of how to handle sound
for this, much of it will be on the street in public interviews).

I'm planning on shooting in several places all over America, so my
project is doubling as the great college road trip, I suppose! :)

-Kevin

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