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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.

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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Robert Goodman
Mon 22 May 2006Link
A small honorarium will not cause concern for most. Given the
circumstances you really have no choice. Just keep it small and the
same for all.

Doug Block
Tue 23 May 2006Link
Welcome, David and Leah. I know Leah has already registered, and
David feel free to join our forum for doc professionals, too. your
journalism background definitely qualifies you:

Dustin Ogdin
Sun 28 May 2006Link
Hi Steve, no I'm not currently a member of IFP Chicago. Have
looked into though and will likely join in the future.

Kenzie, if you'd ever like to grab a cup of coffee and compare
notes sometime let me know.

Ryan Ferguson
Fri 9 Jun 2006Link
Hello to all -
I just signed up on this forum and am extremely excited to join
the communal discussion. I, along with four co-conspirators,
created a production company out of Chicago called Fly Back
Productions. The company was created during my last semester in
film school in order to begin fundraising for our first
documentary feature. This documentary, 'The Future's Past', is
now nearing completion. It examines the nuclear age and the
nuclear threat we face today and into the future. We centered the
film around several powerful interviews we conducted with the men
who dropped the atomic bombs on Japan - the only humans in history
to use nuclear weapons!! We have also interviewed other notable
figures such as Noam Chomsky, Gar Alperovitz, Al Franken, and
Howard Zinn. This project, being our first, has been SLOW and
difficult. Meanwhile, our company has taken off and is now
(barely) my full time job. After accumulating our equipment, I am
now able to split my time between our independent projects and
hired production work for clientele. I recently completed the
second installment of a video podcast series for Washburn Guitar.
The series is called 'Chicago Guitar Shop' and is available for
download on ITunes. We also in the last 6 months have begun our
second feature documentary. It was spawned by my desire to finally
kick my 10 year old cigarette habit. I realized the potential
conflict I faced and decided I wanted to capture it. This small
idea turned into a much larger one. The film, entitled 'Smoking or
Non', has entered production. After gaining the support of our
local American Lung Association, we spent the month of May on an
intense 20 day journey examining the Science, Culture, History,
Business, and Truth of tobacco in American society. We returned
with over 70 hours of amazing footage and then I, along with three
other members of my crew, quit smoking, documenting our toils
along the way. As I write this, we are on day 17 off the nicotine
and it does feel good. We are now entering an intesive fundraising
phase. What we completed on our road trip comprises about a third
of the final project. If we are able to raise our budget (and my
fingers are crossed) , I think we really are on to something that
could be amazing. Anyway, I'm blathering, so I will quit. I just
wanted to let you all know what I am shoulder deep in and I look
forward to participating in worthwhile discussions and meeting
people with similar drives and passions as my own.

Ryan Ferguson
Fly Back Productions

Steve Holmes
Fri 9 Jun 2006Link
Great! Another Midwesterner! Welcome, Ryan.

Kacie Cal
Thu 29 Jun 2006Link
Hey!! I just want as many people as possible to know about this newly
released film - and see it!! Its an awesome film documentary based on
ALL the music of beautiful Brasil- the soundtrack is out too- check
it out its amazing!!

heres the only site i know of so far:

Doug Block
Thu 29 Jun 2006Link
Kacie, the Classifieds topic is the place for announcements/shameless
self-promotion like this.

Luke Walden
Sat 8 Jul 2006Link
Hi, I just posted a request for info in another forum and then noticed
that I should introduce myself here! So I will.

I'm 36 and live in New York. I love documentaries and one of my
favorite things to do is have "documentary club" nights for friends at
my apartment. I'll get out a classic documentary on 16mm from the
Donnell Media Center here in NY and then we eat popcorn and watch the
movie, then have dinner and discuss. It's like a book club but
without the homework!

I'm primarily a shooter, mostly DV, freelance for four years, but I
also do freelance producing, sound recording, editing, etc. In short,
I'm a product of the DV generation. Roughly once a year I'll
"one-man-band" an entire promotional video for a non-profit such as
the Science Industry and Business Library of the New York Public
Library, or a summer camp for physically disabled kids. The most
recent one of those that I did was a pro-bono for a medical school in
Mbarara, Uganda. Beautiful country, huge health care needs.

I'm also trying to do independent documentary filmaking as and I've
done a short about an abortion clinic that won the audience award for
best short doc at the 2004 SF indie fest. For the past two years I've
worked off and on with one other colleague on an indie historical doc
feature about a drug rehabilitation prison/hospital that was in
Kentucky in the mid 1970's. We'll be beginning the edit sometime near
the end of summer or by September.

I guess that's enough about me. Nice to be here! Look forward to
meeting you in cyberspace.


Doug Block
Sat 8 Jul 2006Link
great to have you here, luke. feel free to register for the
professional forum:

Steve Holmes
Tue 11 Jul 2006Link
Welcome, Luke. Sounds like you've made major deposits into the Bank
of Karma. How did you swing a trip to Uganda?

Rehad Desai
Fri 4 Aug 2006Link
Hello All

Rehad Desai here, Iam a doccy filmmaker from South Africa, just
finished my second feature length doc, and looking for inspiration
and intelligent discussion around our craft.

Doug Block
Fri 4 Aug 2006Link
Welcome, Rehad. This is the public forum. With your experience, you
should join the professional forum immediately:

Monster Jimenez
Mon 7 Aug 2006Link
Hi. My name is Monster Jimenez. I have a production based in Manila
called Arkeofilms (check out I LOVE MOVIES--All
kinds. We have been producing independent films and using the
resources we get from client-based projects to partly finance it. I
recently co-created a movie called "Big Time."

Fiction Features are a lot of fun to create but I think I would like
to start exploring Non-fiction Features more. My next project is a
documentary that is ambitious to put together (at least for me)and
sensitive in nature. My past documentaries were always about pop
culture and I have never handled any serious topics until now. Just
reading everyone's posts is already inspiring me.

Doug Block
Tue 8 Aug 2006Link
Welcome, Monster (love the name). Feel free to join our professional
community, as well.

Monster Jimenez
Tue 8 Aug 2006Link
Haha. I was trying to. I just got indimated by the question: What can
you contribute to the group? I'm sure living in Manila as it is makes
me a good resource for those who want to know more about our chaotic
but lovable city. I also do a lot of Final Cut. So for those who want
to ask technical stuff...ask away.

Doug Block
Tue 8 Aug 2006Link
yeah, well, coming from documentaries from a fiction film
perspective, that's always something interesting to us.

Monster Jimenez
Tue 8 Aug 2006Link
I guess. It's very different. I'm actually planning to put the feature
film process that I'm used to when I do my documentary. You'll hear
more about it when I start asking questions.

Brent Donaway
Tue 8 Aug 2006Link
Greetings Everyone.

My name is Brent. I have a B.F.A. in film productions from Rowan
University and am currently enrolled in graduate film school at
the New School University to earn my M.A. in Film and Media
Studies, with an emphasis on the documentary format.

For the past 14-months I've been in production on an historical
and cultural documentary on an 80-year old vaudeville/motion
picture theatre in Southern New Jersey. Its my 1st feature project
thats independent of my scholastics and it happens to take place
in my home town.

Thats me in a nutshell!

Doug Block
Wed 9 Aug 2006Link
welcome, brent, in a nutshell.

John Burgan
Tue 15 Aug 2006Link
And let's face it, you've got to be nuts to be in this business

Welcome Brent & Monster!

Jesse David
Thu 31 Aug 2006Link
Hi all,

I'm Jesse. I'm new to film making, but have high hope for what I can
accomplish. I'm from NJ but I will be leaving the US for Israel in
the next week to make a documentary on special scools there that
promote mutual understanding between Arab-Israelis and Jewish-
Israelis. I am posting in hopes that someone who has experience
working in the Middle East and Israel, in particular, can give me
some advice about working there. What resources are available there?
What must I bring over with me from America? That kind of stuff.
Thanks so much in advance.



Gary Green
Thu 31 Aug 2006Link
My name is Gary (or Mr. Green as my students say). I teach at Adele
Harrison Middle School in Sonoma, CA. Each year I have my GATE
students shoot films, edit on iMovie, and burn onto DVDs. I want
them to make a documentary this year and want to give them the basics
of a documentary. Does anyone have a good list of what should be in
a documentary? For example, is there a "set-up piece" followed by
other, specific pieces?

Would really appreciate help on this so that I am giving my 6th, 7th,
and 8th grade students the correct information.

Robert Goodman
Thu 31 Aug 2006Link
Gary - are you asking the students to do a news piece - typically
40-90 seconds -- or a documentary?
Documentaries have no set structure. A news story does. For example,
watch how three of your local stations cover the same story. You'll
get the idea pretty quick. The best way to start thinking about
documentary is to watch some. Suggestions: Any doc by Jon Else, Werner
Herzog, Ross McElwee, or the Maysles. Hope this helps.

Doug Block
Thu 31 Aug 2006Link
Welcome Jesse and Gary. Wish I could help, Jesse, but can't. Gary,
Robert is absolutely right - have your class watch a doc or two and
talk about it.

Steve Holmes
Sat 2 Sep 2006Link
Gary, have your class watch more than a few docs since they vary so
much in tone and structure. For contrast with Robert's suggestions,
offer up one or two "by the numbers" programs from the cable
channels so they'll see how an independently done doc differs from
what they may be used to catching on TV.

Justin Time
Mon 4 Sep 2006Link
Hello all, I am so new to documentaries, i can barley even be seen as
a noob. I have been searching for sites about docu, and found this
forum, this is my first reading in a thread, and am so far very pleaed
i went throught the trouble of actually signing up. normally i just
look for the easy to get ones. anyway, home to see some of you in the

Doug Block
Tue 5 Sep 2006Link
justin time for what? anyway, always good to have another noob here.

J.e. Browne
Mon 11 Sep 2006Link
hello all,

I am joining this forum to float an idea/offer to be part of one of
the more unusual performance car events that happens each year; The
One Lap of America, or more commonly known as the Cannonball Run. I
have driven this event for the past couple of years and think it is
a decent subject for a short film. There is real drama (not the
invented sort of NASCAR), a plethora of personalities and the cars
and tracks make for interesting filming/angles etc.

My idea is to find someone who wants to participate as the co-driver
of my car. His/her duties would be to help me pilot the car between
events and be on their own at the tracks to pursue the film thing.
If there is interest, reply on this board and i will arrange an
email contact or phone call to discuss the details.

PS: we will be piloting a Corvette-powered Porsche.

Hemal Trivedi
Tue 12 Sep 2006Link
Hi all,

I am new to this forum. Just came to New York City after finishing my
MA in documentary filmmaking from the Documentary Institute,
University of Florida. I am originally from Mumbai, India, and had
worked in mutual funds industry for three years before I came to the
U.S. for school.

I am interested in making social issues documentaries concerning
immigrants, minority communities, India, etc. I am currently working
with Carrier Productions, New York, for their documentary film on
Native Americans.

While at school, I had made a 25-min documentary, "Tell Me a Story."
The film witnesses an unusual friendship between an oral historian and
her 84-year-old Japanese patient, as the historian helps her patient
overcome severe depression by sharing memories. Shot in cinema-verite
style, I have been able to capture their relationship since the
beginning. Right now I am also busy marketing the film and need
advice on film festivals and stuff.

If there is an informal get together of doc filmmakers in New York
City, I would like to be screen my film and get feedback.



Doug Block
Tue 12 Sep 2006Link
greetings, hemal. try docuclub: they usually
screen feature length docs in progress, but might pair yours up with
another shorter one.

Hemal Trivedi
Wed 13 Sep 2006Link

Chris Baron
Sat 16 Sep 2006Link
I am also new to this forum, I live in Los Angeles and am currently
working as a freelance shooter. I love shooting, but I love all
aspects of documentary production. I recently have been focusing on
creating a production company (www.occupantproductions) with the goal
of producing my own documentary series and films. I am hoping that
this forum will give me some guidance along the way.

Chris Baron

Doug Block
Sun 17 Sep 2006Link
welcome, chris. notice you've also posted on the d-word community,
so double welcome. if you haven't posted an intro there already,
please do.

Corina MacLean
Sat 23 Sep 2006Link
{erased by cmaclean Sat, 23 Sep 2006 06:01:03 GMT}

Corina MacLean
Sat 23 Sep 2006Link
{erased by cmaclean Sat, 23 Sep 2006 20:16:39 GMT}

Doug Block
Sun 24 Sep 2006Link
hi corina. link doesn't seem to work.

Corina MacLean
Sun 24 Sep 2006Link
hello folks,

i'm launching a new Documentary Films page featuring news, reviews & resources. i joined the forum because i want to keep in the documentary-loop and headspace, as i begin to fill my new page with content. feel free to check it out at your feedback is welcomed.

thx, corina.

Alessandro Falcone
Tue 26 Sep 2006Link
I am Alessandro, an italian documentarist.
I am a freelance somethimes I write docs, some thimes I shoot and
somethimes I edited (but I never did all of this in a single
I am a member of doc-it, the italian indipendent documentariy
I am also a journailist for a football magazine. I just start
(we'll have the first interview tomorrow afternoon, mmm I'm so
excited...) to find stories for an enviroemental issues tv show
made in NYC (the name is built green).
I never know what to write in presentations...I hope it's enoguth,
isn't it?!!!!
so that's me! I hope to know good people and know each other.
greetings from rome

John Burgan
Tue 26 Sep 2006Link
Welcome Alessandro, you sound like a busy guy. Tell us about Doc-it -
is it only in Rome or are there members in all Italy. Is there a

John Burgan
Tue 26 Sep 2006Link
Google found this - is this the association you mention?


Doug Block
Wed 27 Sep 2006Link
Welcome, Allesandro. Visited Rome last December for the first time,
LOVE your city! Glad to have you here.

Christopher Wong
Wed 27 Sep 2006Link
My name is Christopher Wong, and I'm a first-time documentary
filmmaker working out of Los Angeles. I am currently in
post-production on two separate documentary films -- one about
one-year-in-the-life of an experimental new school in the South Bronx
(NYC), and another about television game show fans and their quest to
appear on their favorite game shows. Both are shot "verite-style" with
a minimum of interviews and no narration. I'm interested to keep
learning from other filmmakers out there, and to discuss any current
trends in the doc world.

Doug Block
Thu 28 Sep 2006Link
welcome, christopher. your experienced enough to join the
professional community, if you haven't already:

Gary Parker
Thu 28 Sep 2006Link
Hi everyone,
I'm new to this site. I'm an old time wanna be documentary producer.
I haven't done anything for a long time. My last was a doc about
California Art History back in the 70's. Also a short on religion
for a local TV station. I have several projects that I am working on
now and need contacts to move forward. I am looking for professional
producers, etc. Of course I lack funding like everyone else. I'm
hoping that if I get the right team together, I will be able to get
the funding I need. The companies that I intend to contact are not
willing to give away bunches of money without a track record. The
projects are of an historical nature. One of these will lead to a
full length motion picture.

Ken Mackenzie
Fri 29 Sep 2006Link
Hi there,
I'm Ken and I'm a film/video post production professional from
Vancouver BC. I enjoy post but my passoion lies in the art and pain
of storytelling. Other than student productions and other frivolous
(but fun) stuff, I have done nothing. That's about to change. I am
emarking on a new personal journey to explore my past and how that
relates to everyone else who has a past. I think this will be the
hardest thing I have ever done and at the same time the most
important. I hope to find like minded people here and by the looks
or the posts I believe I will. I look forward talking to you.

Tiana Petrovic
Sat 30 Sep 2006Link
I am an aspiring documentary filmmaker, currently pursuing
Documentary Media Studies at the New School University. I'm just
starting to shoot a 30 min film which is a part of the curriculum,
and I'm sooooooo thrilled about it (I know I probably won't be half
way into production, and especially post-production). But, for
anyone out there, who's interested in getting some documentary
education, I would deffinitelly recommend this program at New
School, which is a one year Graduate Certificate program, and is so
well organized and engaging (we had D.A. Pennebaker yesterday as a
guest speaker, and he was amazing). This is the first year they're
doing it, so I guess we're sort of their guinea pigs. But anyways, I
know I will need some advice, once I delve deeper into this amazing
adventure of documentary filmmaking.

Doug Block
Sun 1 Oct 2006Link
Welcome, Ken and Tiana. Ken, good luck with your personal journey
into the past. I know exactly what that process is all about:

Ben Kempas
Mon 2 Oct 2006Link
Welcome, everyone, from a co-host who has lately been too busy to
hang out here.

J.E. - I filmed the Playersrun twice in the past. Other documentary
makers film weddings for a living, I did silly stuff like this:
<>. However, I
can't see how anyone can make a decent film about such a rallye
while being stuck in one car for most of the time. We had our own
van, and in one year, two additional cameramen.

Alessandro - See you in our professional forum,

"oldmetal" - Welcome, what's your real name?

Gary Parker
Tue 3 Oct 2006Link
Hi Ben, I'm Gary Parker. I didn't realize that I removed my name
when I first posted. I moved over to the Mentoring Room. I'm in
preproduction on an historical documentary. All the research has
been done. Now it's time to review about 40+ hours of taped
interviews, letters, pictures, etc. I've contacted several
institutions for resources and have preliminary approvals for use of
copyright materials. I'm also working with the main historian about
the subject. I'm looking for other interested parties such as
producers, editors, writers, cinematographers, etc. I plan to have
this made for broadcast and haven't decided whether to go with
digital video or film for the final product. That's one of the areas
that I need advice about.

Paul Cypert
Sat 14 Oct 2006Link
Hey Guys,
My name is Paul Cypert. I'm an american living in Bangkok, Thailand.
I am a photographer getting more and more into documentary films.


Doug Block
Sun 15 Oct 2006Link
welcome, paul. glad you found us.

Paul Cypert
Sun 15 Oct 2006Link
Do people still use this forum? Doesn't seem like there's many
posts...I'm trying to find a good community for doc stuff.


Doug Block
Mon 16 Oct 2006Link
This is The D-Word's public forum where all newcomers are welcome.
The forum for those with professional doc experience is The D-Word
Community, and that's where the lion's share of posts are. You're
pretty much limited to The Mentoring Room topic here. And of course
you can read the special guest topics we have from time to time.

Hope to have a makeover of The D-Word in a few months where the
public forum will be expanded. Stay tuned.

Paul Cypert
Mon 16 Oct 2006Link
I guess I'll just have to wait till I'm approved or whatever for the
other forum. Pretty sure I did things correctly, but not sure...


Doug Block
Mon 16 Oct 2006Link
did you apply?

Paul Cypert
Mon 16 Oct 2006Link
Well I sent something where I detailed out my doc experience and all


Richard P. Alvarez
Mon 23 Oct 2006Link
Okay, having a bit of a time navigating the pages, but I'm trying to
jump through the right hoops to become a community member.

I found the site through a posting on, where I usually
hang out.

I have more than twenty five years of professional experience in
radio, television and film. I've worked as a television
cameraman,audio engineer, radio newscaster, actor, theatrical
producer, stunt coordinator, screenwriter and yes, filmmaker.

My first first long form doc, AMERICAN JOUSTER won some awards, and is selling well - so I
am happy with it.

Hoping to make some connections and always looking for new friends.


Doug Block
Mon 23 Oct 2006Link
richard, welcome. to register for the community, go to:

Steve Lickteig
Sat 4 Nov 2006Link

I work as a radio producer to pay the bills, but I currently have two
documentary films I'm working on. The first, which is nearly
completed, is called Waiting for Hockney directed by Julie Checkoway.
I served as assistant director on the film, conducting about one-third
of the interviews. You can learn more at

The other project's working title is Open Secret. It's a personal
story about a secret kept from me for much of my life. Here's the
brief pitch:

What if everything you thought you knew about yourself was wrong? Who
your siblings were? Your parents? Even your heritage? Now imagine that
everybody in your community knew the truth except you. Open Secret
tells the true story of how a farm boy from Kansas discovered who his
adoptive family really was, his connection to the Holocaust and why it
took 30 years to uncover the truth.

A very short "trailer" (something I submitted for a grant a couple of
years ago when I didn't know anything about making a film can be
viewed here:

Now, I have a real director of photography and much more footage.

Anyway, I've been a lurker here for years and now I'm diving in.

Many thanks,


Ana Da Silva
Sat 4 Nov 2006Link

I too have a day job to pay the bills (and after grad school those
are many) and want to work with documentaries, mainly focusing on
underpriviledged children around the world. I've wanted to work
with helping children and tried joining Unicef but hey, I'm not the
office diplomat type. I want to be on the road.

So I googled and ended up here. I know the basics of video
production and have worked with the media in different capacities.
I find that documentaries are a way of being a journalist with
creative room.

I'm very passionate about social issues and am one of those people
who's not happy with her job being just a job. I need to be
involved with my work. I'm figuring out where to go next and being
in NYC helps of course. I'd like to research and write (perhaps
eventually produce).

I'll keep it at that for now and if anyone has any suggestions,
ideas, or comments please do share. Thank you for having me here!


Doug Block
Sat 4 Nov 2006Link
Welcome Ana and Steve. Glad you found us. Ana, hard to give
suggestions without specific questions. Maybe you could take one or
two to the Mentoring Room topic.

Ana Da Silva
Sun 5 Nov 2006Link
Thank you Doug! I'll try that.

Robert Murdock
Wed 8 Nov 2006Link
Hello all,

I am a 30-somthing guy from Seattle Wa. I've recently taken up an
interest in documentaries. I'm going to try to take the creative
plunge and see what I can do with making one or two or ....?

I actually was looking for a place to post some specific questions
but found this topis, so, just sayhing hi!


Doug Block
Thu 9 Nov 2006Link
howdy, robert. post your questions in the Mentoring Room topic.


Andrew Corica
Sun 26 Nov 2006Link
Hi, I am Andrew, 16 years. I hail from PA. I have just started with
documentary's. My first one was on Myanmar in 8th grade. And I am
working on my second and third this year.

Robert Goodman
Sun 26 Nov 2006Link
That's terrific. Welcome. The hosts will chime in soon but they are in
Amsterdam at the moment.

Doug Block
Sun 26 Nov 2006Link
greetings from amsterdam, andrew. great to have you aboard. good
luck with your docs!

John Burgan
Wed 29 Nov 2006Link
Greetins from Denmark too. What was the story of your Myanmar doc,

Robby Bailey
Fri 1 Dec 2006Link
Hey everyone. I am an aspiring filmmaker, in the process of doing
what I can to get into film school, but until then I am trying to
absorb as much knowledge as I can about film. I find myself at the
begining of what I hope is an amazing journey.

Allison Wilson
Fri 1 Dec 2006Link
My name is Allison. I moved to Eugene, OR after graduating from
Webster University with a degree in Audio Production. I am currently
working with a lovely lady here in town developing a documentary
about Gnostic Christianity. I have some experience from school, but
am lost as to where to start, really. Where do we go for funding?
That's the big question. How do we get the ball rolling? We've found
a producer and other community members willing to help. My hope is
that this film will give me the experience to start making my own
very soon. Any advice is greatly appreicated.

Doug Block
Tue 5 Dec 2006Link
Welcome Robby and Allison. The Mentoring Room is the place to ask
those sorts of questions, Allison. Generally, though, there's private
money, grants and broadcast money. And broadcast money, if any, won't
come until you're considerably further along.

Joel Heller
Mon 11 Dec 2006Link
{erased by joelheller Mon, 11 Dec 2006 14:31:27 GMT}

Nishtha Jain
Sun 17 Dec 2006Link
I'm a documentary filmmaker from India. Just learnt about this site from
a fellow filmmaker. I have been making independent documentaries for the
last 5-6 years. Before that I was doing TV shows and docu-series. Just
finished a film recently that premiered at IDFA called 'Six yards to
democracy'. My last film 'City of Photos' too did a fair amount of
travelling. I'm really keen to be part of this forum. I have registered.
Are there any more formalities before one can become a member?

Doug Block
Mon 18 Dec 2006Link
Glad to see you registered for the professional community, Nishtha.
It may take up to a few days, but you will definitely become a member.
Please be patient. Look forward to seeing you online again soon.

Beth Tom
Sat 6 Jan 2007Link
hi people.

this is my first time here, and in fact on any message-type board,
and i don't know how to find the Mentoring Room you talk about.
please forgive me if i'm not in the right place. maybe someone can
direct me a little? here's an intro:

i am beth tom in arizona. i am an artist ( and am
starting a documentary tentatively called "The Mendelssohn

i am taking my 40th year to learn the entire Mendelssohn violin
concerto. i used to be really good as a kid but haven't played in
20 years. as a kid i vowed someday to play the Mendelssohn with an

i will practice publicly, on the street, for a year. the
performance, however, with the cincinnati symphony orchestra, will
be completely private, no audience, no video or audio recording.
then i intend to give my $10,000 custom-made italian violin away.
maybe i'll even just leave it on the street outside symphony hall
right after my performance.

the questions i am attempting to ask (and possibly answer) are:
what is valuable? what do i do or have to give that is of value?
is art a product we can assign value to? what is a valuable
endeavor to set one's sights on? there's a little bit of "if a
tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a
sound?" to the project.

i will attempt to put little snippets on you-tube to generate
interest, filming as much as i can of the year, lessons with
teachers, converstaions with other artists, practicing on the
street etc. money and my lack of it and how we "value" things with
our money is a huge issue and part of the questioning in the

i bought a samsung digital video recorder. it sucks. any
suggestions as to what to use? i need something easy to figure
out, easy to eventually edit (so no tapes would be good, and i'm
on a mac), needs to be able to pick up dialog ok, usually i am
just setting it up on a tripod and letting it run.

absolutely ANY suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated!
thanks, everybody! - beth

Doug Block
Sat 6 Jan 2007Link
hmm, why film a documentary and not film the natural climax (ie. the
concert). that's like following a boxer for a year and not filming
the championship fight. and don't give your violin away, give it to
me ;-)

anyway, welcome to the d-word, beth.

Beth Tom
Sat 6 Jan 2007Link
thanks, doug.

good question. i guess the idea is: what's so special about
another concert? is the value in the performance or the work that
goes into it? the documentary will be more about the process and
experience rather than the climax. anybody can go out and buy any
number of recordings of the Mendelssohn. but can anybody see what
it's like for an average joe to entirely and singularly devote
themselves to any one thing? and then be done?

anyway, this idea is so new for me and still pretty unformed - i'm
not quite sure yet that i'm not full of shit. but i don't think i
am. ;-)

any camera or recording suggestions? thanks for anything! i really
appreciate it! - beth

Steve Holmes
Sun 7 Jan 2007Link
Welcome to D-Word, Beth. The documentary may be more about the
process than the climax, but Doug's right in that the climax needs
to be in there. What sounds valuable to me is the experience of
seeing someone learn something difficult, step by step. Legal
question, though: Will the orchestra agree to having the concert
taped and used in the film? What would they charge? You may not know
the answers, but these are questions that will come up if you
include the concert.

Where are you in Arizona? Do you have a budget and a crew yet?

Beth Tom
Sun 7 Jan 2007Link
hi steve.
thanks for your input. i am in tempe, az. i have no budget, and no
crew! i thought i might check in with some schools that offer
documentary courses and see if i could put together some people
from there. my lessons and practicing will start feb. 5, so i need
to find a camera for at least me to use before then. any
suggestions? i also have a former teacher, my very first teacher,
in fact, from 5th grade, who performs with the cincinnati
symphony. i am hoping they will take an interest and donate their
services... i sound pretty naive and idealistic, don't i?!? :-)

Steve Holmes
Sun 7 Jan 2007Link
Beth: Tempe, huh? How about making contacts at ASU? Unless you're
going to set the camera on a tripod and let it run as you practice,
you'll need a shooter. As to the Cincinnati Symphony donating its
services, it never hurts to ask. They might want the PR.

Amy King
Wed 17 Jan 2007Link
I'm by NO means any kind of expert, but here are my two cents.
I agree with Steve- doesn't hurt to ask Cincinnati Symphony if they
will agree to the recording. Perhaps there is a middle ground, like
they agree that you can audiotape the entire performance, which will
not be reproduced and only a certain amount of the audio will be used
in the film. Perhaps you get some establishing shots of the orchestra
but then the remainder of the scene focuses solely on your performance
and it is like they are not in the room. You could pitch that you
donate the violin to a music school of the orchestra's choice, or sell
the violin on e-bay and give the profits to your director/producer!
Or give it to Doug Block! :)
This sounds like a really interesting arty short film (20-40mins) with
some experimental first person narrative mixed in. I'm sure you could
get a director/producer from ASU or UofA to work with you for a highly
reduced fee. I went to U of A - some great students come out of their
Media Arts program - call Prof. Guilio Scalinger there if you want
some referrals. You could also try the person who manages the student
crew at KUAT in Tucson, as they may be even more doc focused.
Danny Anker, director of MUSIC FROM THE INSIDE OUT may have some
practical advice for you - not sure if he is on D-Word, but here is
his web site: The Philadelphia Orchestra was
the subject of his award-winning doc.
Good luck!!!

Steve Holmes
Wed 17 Jan 2007Link
Longshot, Beth, but picking up on Amy's comment about KUAT, you
might approach KUAT or the Tempe PBS affiliate about a co-production
through the ITVS LInCS program, which provides funds to such
partnerships. As with the Cincinnati orchestra, it doesn't hurt to

Nicholas Skidmore
Thu 18 Jan 2007Link
Greetings from Windy Bristol,
I'm an aspiring documentary filmmaker - having just finished studying
philosophy at university. I'm working in a bookshop for the
time-being, but I'm ditching it all and going off to Eastern Europe
with my camera in September in search of the 'European Soul'.

Doug Block
Fri 19 Jan 2007Link
wow, not exactly an unambitious subject, nicholas. lots of luck and
welcome to the d-word.

Steve Holmes
Sat 20 Jan 2007Link
I thought at first your name was Windy Bristol.

Welcome, Windy.

Nicholas Twaddle
Fri 26 Jan 2007Link
Hi, My name is Nic I am a kiwi (new zealander) that is trying to get
some footage through post production. our website is

Three buddies and I have just finished filming on HD our motorcycle
journey from Cape Town to London up the east side of Africa. We have
shot 67 hours and are about to head in to post production. We have
access to an editing suite and some skilled people back in New
Zealand. We got our technical support before leaving NZ from Greenroom
Productions a NZ based outdoor extreme sort (snow and surf) filming
company Greenrooms will also be backing our post

Our footage is all about four disorganised kiwis just getting out
there and doing it. Doesnt matter that we had limited or no real
riding experience, or filming for that matter. Now we can kind of ride
and hopefully in 67 hours we figured out how to film. The biggest
challenge on the trip was finding the energy to travel and film.
Trying to keep the travelling fun and the filming quality. Havent had
a good chance to reveiw too much footage yet stuck in London. Need
access to a suite and a few bits and bobs for a sony HVR A1P

Most of my searching on this site will be related to finding info on
seeking post production funds and how to negotiate contracts with end
users. Looking to keep our project independent.

Currently I am stuck in London for 5 weeks as I cant change my flights
home. I would love to get access to a suite to get the footage logged.
If anyone kows of any contacts in London that might be able to help
with FCP 5.1.2 that would be awesome, otherwise its going to be a long
5 weeks in London.



Doug Block
Sat 27 Jan 2007Link
welcome, nic. given the level of your work, and advice you're
seeking, you'll definitely want to register for the community for doc

David Rowe
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
My name is David Rowe, I have directed and produced a number of
narrative shorts, written narrative screenplays, and am currently
shooting two (no budget) documentaries simultaneously in Seattle, WA,

I came here to seek wisdom from other's experience, and hopefully tell
some useful stories of my own.

Thanks for having me.

Amy King
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Welcome David! Two films at once? Are they shorts or features?

Steve Holmes
Tue 30 Jan 2007Link
Welcome, David! Glad to see another filmmaker with a foot in the
fiction world. Does Seattle still have an IFP chapter?

Yance Ford
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Hi Everyone-
My name is Yance Ford and I've worked as a doc programmer for the past
5 years. I'm happy to say that I'm producing a feature written by a
friend and I'm also beginning work own project (not sure if its a doc
or narrative)- both are firsts. This side of things is pretty new to
me, so I'll be looking for newbie advice.
Excited to be here...

Erica Ginsberg
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Hey, Yance. You were at POV - weren't you? Hopefully that's enough
of a track record to gain you admission to The D-Word Community.
Looking forward to hearing how your new projects develop. How does
it feel to be on the other side?

Yance Ford
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Still at POV actually and doing double duty. Ask me about the other
side is a few months- right now I'm pretty psyched to be here...

Steve Holmes
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Welcome, Yance.

David Rowe
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Hi Amy, approximately 30 minutes a piece, that's a short right?

David Rowe
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Hey Steve, I don't think we have an official IFP chapter here any
more, but a friend of mine did get some sort of grant from them
recently, I think that was from LA though. Check out the trailer

Doug Block
Wed 31 Jan 2007Link
Welcome, David and Yance. To sign up for the community (which I
highly recommend for anyone with doc experience), go to:

Amy King
Thu 1 Feb 2007Link
Yes - 40 minutes and under is considered a short

Cecilia Rinn
Wed 7 Feb 2007Link
I am making my first feature doc on Bellydancing in America, titled
BELLY. I need more advice then I have to offer, but hopefully that
will change.

Ben Kempas
Wed 7 Feb 2007Link
Welcome, Cecilia. Fire away with your questions in our Mentoring

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