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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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Doug Block
Sat 6 Nov 2004Link
oops, just discovered you've already joined ;-)

Umesh Bist
Sun 7 Nov 2004Link
thanks dough
shall keep in touch thru this wonderful d-world community

Alette Schoon
Mon 15 Nov 2004Link
Hi, I am a documentary director from South Africa, working in
Johannesburg on development issues. I have made a few films on
HIV/AIDS and how it affects communities. I also make a lot of
educational films for broadcast. At the moment I am making a short on
mental disability. I would love to chat to other directors about
interesting ways of structuring doccies, as I think the classic
interview/ cut-away style can become quite staid. Looking forward to
hear from you all!
Alette

Doug Block
Tue 16 Nov 2004Link
welcome, alette. best way to do that is to join the d-word
community: www.d-word.com/community/join

Nathan Scholtens
Thu 18 Nov 2004Link
Hello,

Scholtens is my name, and I live in Brooklyn, NY. I ran across this
forum searching for info on interview techniques--I am in the pre-
production phase of a documentary on landmines.

My background is in narrative, experimental, and animated film. I have
examples of the latter posted on the web at
http://homepages.nyu.edu/~nws202. My favorite filmmaker and
greatest influence is P. P. Pasolini (whose fictional work would
sometimes border on the documentary--"Accatone"--and whose one
endeavor in the cinema verite was, sadly, at any given moment either
un-poetic or overly intellectual--but still worth checking out--
"Comizi d'Amore").

You can reach me at n_in_scioltezza@hotmail.com. I am always happy
to meet people in person, so don't be shy you New Yorkers!!! My home
base is a SOHO editing house called Subvoyant.

NWScholtens

Doug Block
Thu 18 Nov 2004Link
welcome, nathan. do you work as an editor at subvoyant?

Nathan Scholtens
Thu 18 Nov 2004Link
Hi Doug,

I am unemployed. I am, however, doing quite well for myself as an
unemployed man. I spend a full work week at Subvoyant where my
official title is "friend." :)

As a friend of Subvoyant, I have access to their equipment and staff.
These are invaluable assets. When I get my production 'off the ground'
(which is happening very very soon) I'll be able to use Subvoyant as
my production office! Hooray!

NWScholtens

Marc Maurino
Sun 21 Nov 2004Link
Hello to all in the D-word community. Here's a little about me and
what brought me here. I'm 31 and I've been passionate about
independent filmmaking for over a decade. PA'ed in college and
interned for a very well known indie producer for a summer, have
pursued a career outside of film and have a family and now am putting
the finishing touches on two separate DV narrative dramatic shorts
with hopes of sending them on the festival circuit in 05. I have
about fifty books on filmmaking, I read about it all the time, watch
lots of indie film, am working hard on my own projects
(writing/directing/editing/producing/some acting) get every issue of
Moviemaker and Filmmaker (I believe I have a near perfect collection
of the latter from their first issues in 92) and so I've heard of the
D-word through that magazine (Filmmaker) and Doug Block b/c of
Homepage. Filmmaker excerpts a bit of the D-word discussions and I've
always read them but never fancied the notion of making a documentary
before; lyrical dramatic narrative has always been my thing (or at
least my goal!) . . . until now.

Since I'm introducing myself, I'll introduce the possible project that
brings me here, and apologize in advance if it sounds like I'm looking
for advice or whatever in the wrong place. Part of my goal in this
introduction is to look for guidance in navigating D-word. If this
should be posted elsewhere, please let me know; I don't want to double
post, so I'll leave this here and if I am guided to go to another
forum with some of the same introductory information and stating what
I'm looking for, I'll do that then.

I have a close friend of my family, husband to my wife's best friend,
father to my daughter's best friend, a general practice family doctor,
Jewish, who is intending to go to the occupied Palestinian territories
to both provide medical care to those in need and to bear witness to
the ravages of war. He is intelligent, erudite, passionate, and
committed to peace; as he says, he is pro-Jewish, pro-Arab, pro-Peace.
And it looks like after a year or so of negotiating, and recently
starting a brilliant web site blog devoted to deconstructing the
conflict, his wife recognizes that this is a passion and a need that
will not go away and is "letting" him go to what is essentially a war
zone. She's still not thrilled of course but she is a strong and
supportive partner. My own strong and supportive partner loves the
idea of me going with him and making a doc about his trip; the doc
would also by necessity I think use him as a framing device and do a
fair amount of exploration of his decision and his character and his
family and the notion of "bearing witness." He loves the idea of
doing a doc about these people (medically underserved victims of house
razings, etc.) and I think there's a lot in his character to explore
in addition to the simple awfulness of life in the occupied
territories. (He's not so sure about the doc being as much about him
and his choice, so we're talking through that; neither of us is
"committed" to the doc yet, which is part of why I'm here looking for
advice and encouragement.)

So why am I at d-word? Because I've never made a doc before and I'm
looking for guidance. Here's what I've got: a decade experience in
tiny no budget narrative fiction filmmaking, a one chip DV camera,
Final Cut Pro, and a couple hundred bucks I could use to buy a ton of
DV tapes and a home equity loan to buy a plane ticket to Israel. My
goal is to shoot a few hours of interviews with him and his family
here; look for some cinematic ways to highlight some of the issues
that he deals with in his blog on the subject of the occupation and
medical care therein, etc; travel with him and do some interviews with
the doctors in the group with which he's associated and perhaps
through a translator with some of the people who we'll meet; and then
probably look for a professional editor to help me edit the pic into
what I now envision as a 30 minute (more or less) no budget DV doc
that hopefully would get into a few festivals and perhaps play a
religious establishment circuit, maybe a university circuit.

So I have already started and will continue to read every single
possibly relevant post, thread, and discussion at D-word. I'm looking
at other doc websites but am eager for links to any that other
experienced folks find helpful. I am hitting the bookstore, Amazon,
etc. to look for good how-to books, but unlike narrative no budget DV
short production, where I feel like I have a grasp of steps one, two,
three, etc., I'm sort of at loose ends in the D-game. (And I've not
even yet fully committed to leaving my family/time off work/devoting a
year to this project, nor has my doctor friend committed yet to
letting me use him as a framing vehicle to explore the suffering in
the occupied territories and interview his family about how they feel
with him leaving wife and two babies to go to a war zone, though he is
committed to going with a physicians group, that part is already done.)

So here's what I'm looking for, at d-word and beyond: encouragement.
Ideas about funding streams, be they grant writing or "make a five
minute talking head trailer and send it to this company." Advice
about great how-to books and websites. Information about what and
where at D-word and IFP would be good places to explore and look for
collaborators, mentors, exec producers, etc. Experienced doc
directors and producers who might be interested in shepherding such a
project. Filmmakers on the ground in Israel or the territories who
would be capable of providing any sort of support when we get there
(translation, boom mike, interviews, etc.) Though we're not there
yet, ideas about hiring editors, finding finishing funds, marketing,
and distribution. Any technical advice (I've worked with DPs on
narrative shorts and can't afford to bring one to Palestine with me,
so it will be essentially (at this point) a one-chip DV point and
shoot DP job using the in-camera mike ... ) So I am looking for tech
advice about one man crew no budget shooting and sound recording,
including ideas about tools and good cinematography. I am eager to
hear from anyone with any experience, ideas, organizations, or any
information that might be helpful--thanks in advance. Hit me at
blue_sky_films@yahoo.com. Look forward to being a vital part of this
community--thanks!

Erica Ginsberg
Sun 21 Nov 2004Link
Marc, sounds like a great project. First things first: Make sure you
do have the commitment from your character to be filmed (or, as you
say, be the "frame" around which you build the rest of the story).
You'd feel really awful if you committed all this time, energy,
money, and work if your character doesn't sign off on being filmed.

Others here can offer far more cogent advice on many of your
technical issues. I'd be inclined to say trade in your 1-chip camera
for an upgrade to a 3-chip (it might even be cheaper for you to pay
the airfare, living, and food expenses of a hungry DP with his/her
own camera who'd love a chance to shoot gratis in Israel/Palestine
for a worthwhile project). Even if you end up shooting camera
yourself, the best investment you could make is for a soundperson --
hired locally. You will definitely need a local fixer/interpreter in
any case so you may want to start there. Queries here, ads in
Documentary magazine, or on Mandy or Shooting People websites would
be a good start.

Marc Maurino
Sun 21 Nov 2004Link
Erica, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I've just
finished a two page letter to my "subject", who really is also a
friend who is always over for dinner with his family, etc. I'm half
talking him into it but also making sure he's up for the commitment.
My main points to him are "i think people can be more affected when
they can see and feel things through someone's eyes, particularly
someone who looks like them." and i take what you've said about sound
to heart; i've experienced the muddy sound of using the in-cam mic, so
i know i have to figure out something better than that. also a 3 chip
or a pro DP are not out of the question if we commit to do some
fundraising, but that's a little ahead of myself for now. but i'll be
sure to keep you posted and again, thanks for taking the time!

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