Brian Murphy here. I am a doc filmmaker in western Canada. I've been in and around this racket since the age of 11. I carried a tripod and loaded film mags across Europe and Africa for my father's small production company. I don't recall ever being paid, but I didn't have to go to school. Forty years later and this is what I have to show for: I put in 20 years doing docs at Canada's public broadcaster, CBC and now work on science and history docs for Discovery and National Geographic through production companies in Montreal and Vancouver. On the Discovery series, Mars Rising, (currently airing in Canada) I was asked to write and direct two of the six hours. It was great fun. Just went to Global VIsions, doc fest in Edmonton Alberta. Some very moving work. I hope to become a contributor to this site.
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With all that experience you're very welcome to join us as a full member, Brian
My name's Neil, I recently quit my comfortable and secure job in TV News to test myself in the turbulent waters of independent production. I've just pitched my first film to Britain's Channel4, so crossing everything in the hope of a callback. Will no doubt be asking for plenty of advice over the coming months, but hopefully, I'll be able to offer some back to my fellow members as well. Looking forward to meeting everyone.
Hello Fellow Doc-ers,
I'm working on a film about a 16-year-old Muslim girl who was arrested by the FBI in 2005 for being a "potential" suicide bomber. I've been shooting for almost two years and am now preparing to wrap up shooting and launch head-first into finishing the piece (my first full-length). It's nice to (virtually) meet everybody, see that I'm not the only one up to my neck in footage. Hopefully I can find some folks here to partner with either on this project or on future projects.
David, nice to see you in these parts. Welcome, and I look forward to hearing and seeing more of your project.
Well hello everyone,
Today is a big leap of faith as not only is this the first time I am posting my name on the web, but with a picture to boot!
Anyway, whilst I'm at it, I might aswell jump in at the deep end.
I've been working in television for the past 15 or so years and have reached the grand old position of Shooting Assistant Producer so far, in factual programming. Aside from this, I've also made two personal projects, one being a 50 min documentary about the inner workings of a kooky hotel/hostel in SE England, and a 10 min film for the UK Guild of Goldsmith about the processes of creation.
I'm passionate about documentaries. I think they are a wonderful platform for the free expression of creativity and a strong medium for exposing and exploring stories.
I'm particularly interested in Human Rights and Socio-Cultural issues and am an avid reader of factual books which serve as a great source of inspiration.
I am open to being contacted for potential collaborative work as I'd like to find a partner in crime to make films with.
Danielle and David, welcome. How serendipitous for two people, each looking for a partners on their films to post introductions in rapid succession. Maybe the fastest D-Word collaboration ever?
Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome. Are any of you going to attend the Sheffield Doc Fest?
David, Brian, Neil and Danielle... welcome one and all! Danielle, be sure to become a Member here and not just an enthusiastic Enthusiast. You've certainly got the professional creds.
And I don't see your picture ;-)
Welcome everybody! Looks like an interesting project you got there David. Can you tell us more about it in the Works In Progress Topic?
Thank you for the warm welcome.
You guys are not just visual creators but word jugglers too by the look of it... Doug: I had to laugh at the very clever mouthful that is your blog's name... As for Erica, well "Serendipitous" just lovely.
John, I presume the bonjour was addressed to me, so bonjour a vous aussi. I'm not going to Sheffield this year, but can highly recommend it as I saw some real gems there in the past. Also a good place to meet people.
Considering the enormous amount of energy, patience, effort, blood and sweat it takes for independent filmmakers to get their projects made, it is a sad state of affairs to see the extremely poor exposure they are getting on British television. But hey, I guess this is not the most appropriate forum for this discussion, so I'll make sure I apply for a full membership in the days to come.
Also am thinking that a spellcheck function would come in very useful on this website. I'm a bit of a pedant like this. :-)
Nice to see you too Aaron.
Niam-I'll try to put up some more info in the next day or two.
spel check, what's that? don't just sit there mulling, danielle. join already!
Hello Everybody - I've just found D Word and it looks like a great site for fellow filmmakers, I"m looking forward to navigating the site. I'm going to the D Word day at Sheffield - is anyone else? It would be good to meet up over the weekend and catch some films x
Welcome Clare - you made it in at last. We'll be sending you a participant's list for the Sheffield F2F to you by email later today.
What Ho, Doc addicts- Like Clare I,m new to D-Word, the whole concept looks interesting and I am sure it's a great way to communicate with like minded film makers. I hope to be at D-Word day at Sheffield and look forward to meeting fellow members. I am currently working on a documentary about Lady Mary Heath the 1920's avatrix. A promo can be seen on YouTube, 'Lady Icarus'
In reply to Clare Richards's post on Wed 7 Nov 2007 : That would be great Clare, I'll be the bloke wandering round in a daze.
I haven't formally introduced myself yet, but I'm already loving this site! My name is Monica Williams and two years ago I fell in love with the book Evil in Modern Thought and have been working since on a documentary based on Susan Neiman's influential book. After watching Susan Neiman give the most intriguing interview I have ever seen on PBS's Now with Bill Moyers, I knew that she had to be a "talking head" in a film based on history's affect on our thinking about the political crises of today. My background is in literature, history and philosophy and I committed in college (years ago) to working to apply the humanities to political discourse. In my last independent study on the political philosopher Hannah Arendt, I began to wish that someone would make a documentary film on her timely work. I soon realized that I would have to be the filmmaker and that law school was not in the stars for me. I realized that all of my talent and passion connected to this career. After seeing Neiman's interview I committed to making Evil in Modern Thought the subject of my film. With Neiman's permission I have spent the last two years researching and adapting a structure and in July I got to interview my favorite intellectual. I'm sort of stumbling through this thing, but it seems to be coming together. I'm very happy to know that this community exists!
Monica, welcome! I love that kind of topic; how did the interview actually look?
If you are going to be using the interview track under other pictures, or as the spine of the film, it would be great to hear
how you "see" (only if you want to share this, naturally - not everyone likes to reveal much about their project, me included, until well into the process).
Hello and welcome to you Monica. Very interesting and complex subject for a film...please let us know how it evolves.
Thanks everyone! Jo-Anne - the interview looks beautiful. It was shot by the cinematographer of A&E's Random 1 the short-lived, but amazing documentary series. As for how I "see," the film is centered around four historical events concerning the problem of evil - The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and September 11th so I have a lot of footage and images to work with. I will also be using forms of animation to communicate some of the philosophical and literary concerns. It is a huge balance being done with great sensitivity. I'd love to share more but don't want to take up this space, is there a better way to communicate this?
Hi Monica, your project sounds great. I love that Arendt essay. Heard a great story from a friend who had been a student at U of Chicago when she lectured there, and how people were unreceptive and upset by her ideas in the essay...would love to see how things go.
Hi Monica, welcome - I really dig your subject matter as well.
On a personal note, it's good to see a Detroiter on here and in the midst of a quality film. I lived all over the Detroit area for many years and was even a philosophy major myself at Wayne State U. for a few of them. But, the more I laid awake entire nights lost in the spiraling ramblings of Kant, I knew it was time to jump ship to something more palpable, more concrete, more grounded, and more secure..... like documentary filmmaking(?!)......hmmmm
My husband, Sean Cody, and I make a travel documentary for kids between the ages of 5 and 11. We are currently on location shooting the second season in Turkey. I hope that there are some people out there who might be interested in docs for kids. Our website is www.globalkidsshow.com. The first season wrapped in October so we are submitting Season One (five countries) to film festivals and also talking with some broadcasters. Email is the best way to contact us and you can find that on our site. Once we get home to Amsterdam in mid-April, I will be using D-word more to get advice on editing. That is my next goal....learning FCP. Thanks for reading this.
Allson, too bad you won't be home to Amsterdam until April. Would have loved to meet you at IDFA.
Hi all - Just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Liam Gray and I have recently completed a feature length documentary about a defunct Amusement Park. I served as the Production Designer on the film, but I ended up doing a little bit of everything on the project. We had a theatrical premiere in September and managed to sell out the theatre (1100 seats) with pre-sales tickets, which just amazed us. After that we did a local release on 5 screens and managed to stay on at a big suburban megaplex for 6 weeks, which was fantastic. We are now in the process of producing our DVD's and should have them in stores in time for the Holidays. I'm hoping to gain some knowledge of self distribution and promotion from other filmakers. So far we have done pretty well for ourselves, but it has all been kind of a wing and a prayer. If you want to check out our project, the website is www.rockypointmovie.com
Welcome Liam! Hi Allison. Great to have you here.
Try to contact Al Jazeera Children Channel. (http://www.jcctv.net/channel/en-index.cfm)
Hello everyone....My films have always been local stories (a rough geographic map would be from Salem, Mass. to Nantucket island; a rough metaphoric map would be the idea of community found and lost). There always seems to be ideas of a larger scope that I am kicking around, but they inevitably get shelved for films I can make locally with a three man crew. Does anyone know fo a place that is a bit of an incubator for ideas?...thanks, John
Hi! I am a newcomer to this forum. My name is Katya Myer. I am a German-born, Ukrainian-raised, American-citizened Jew now living in Israel and working on a documentary about the connection between Jews and their land and the difference between spiritual and physical return from exile. I first came to Israel in the summer of 2002. This short trip turned to be a fateful encounter, eventually leading me to leave banking, my profession at the time, and go into Jewish studies. I worked as a program director of MIT Hillel, taught a seminar on interfaith text studies to MIT graduate students, and became a grad student myself, entering an MDiv program at Harvard Divinity School. In summer 2006, I ran a volunteer group in Tsfat during the war with Lebanon. War experience deepened my concern for the future of Israel. I took a year off from my studies and returned to explore the destiny of the land and of the people living in it. I wasn’t aware that my search would ultimately to questioning my own destiny as well – while in Israel I found that I might not be halachically Jewish and am currently going through the process of giyur l’chumrah (conversion). I live in the Old City of Tsfat, in northern Israel.
Growing up north of Boston I rfemember Rocky Point. Seems like there are a string of defunct amusement parks from RI to NH. great Idea for a film. I have been considering producing DVDs of my own film Last Callm about a bar that was the center of town. Any info you can give me on DVD production companies and the pitfalls to watch for is more than appreciated.
Howdy Allison, Liam and Katya. It's exciting to see the breath of international experience you're bringing to The D-Word. Welcome.
Welcome John and Katya! Great to have you here.
John, you can always talk about your project in the Works in Progress Thread or the Developing Stories as well :)
In reply to John Stanton's post on Sun 11 Nov 2007 :
Hi John - People seemed to have a very strong emotional connection to Rocky Point and that has helped our film be very sucessfull. All across the country there are these great old parks just lying in decay. I think that if we wanted to stick with Amusement Parks as a genre we could pretty much go on indefinitely doing the same types of movie for different parks across the country. Its a great slice of Americana that tugs at peoples heartstrings. I don't know if the movie we made is great, but it seems to be the right movie at the right time and the local audience has been very enthusiastic.
We just finsihed having our DVD's mastered and should have them in hand in a week or two. We're doing a 2 disc set with a good 2 hours or so of extra footage above and beyond whats in the feature. The movie itself is on the short end (81mins) and pretty fast paced, so we had a lot of great stuff that just didnt make its' way into the final cut. I have been selling pre-orders through our website for the past couple weeks and it has been going really well. The trick now is finding enough retailers to sell our film. Once we have a final list of retailers we will be doing some local cable TV spots to advertise. I will certainly let you know of any pitfalls we encounter. So far the whole project has gone very smoothly. (knock on wood)
In reply to Liam Gray's post on Mon 12 Nov 2007 :
Can you tell me who made your DVDs? Will they arrive retial ready? Can you give me a ballparak idea on what sort fo initial expense tha involves? I am planning to do the same with a film I premiered a few years ago. It is a cautionary tale of gentrification, and I think there is an untapped audience out there. I have moved onto other films, but two recent screenings of Last Call were so well attended that I think time it right to try and bring it out again, which is something I have never done with a film.
We went with Discmakers for the DVD production. They werent the cheapest, but they were close, and they were a lot more user friendly than the other companies with a LOT of FAQ's, templates, and good documentation. I also found that if I emailed our sales rep I generally got a response within an hour or two as opposed to waiting for days from some of the other places we got quotes from. Our cost ended up being around $2.50 a piece for a 2 disc DVD-5 set retail ready (shrink wrapped with bar code) in a clear amaray case with a 2 sided cover and a 4 page color insert. We are pressing 2000 to start. If you are doing a single disc you can do 1000 retail ready dvds for around $1300. It's really not very expensive.
On a side note - I love Urban Development and revitalization. If you end up doing DVD's you might want to promote a little over at the Urbanplanet.org forums. It's a pretty huge community of people interested in gentrification, sprawl, and other urban subjects....
Liam, John, your info is just too good to be gone into in such detail in this topic. Take thee to the Marketing and Distribution topic post haste!
Whoops - sorry about that - I didnt even notice which forum I was replying in.
My name is Scarlett. I'm SF Bay area filmmaker, community educator and founder of SF Women's Film Festival. I just wanted to say HELLO Y'ALL. Any people out there in the SF/Bay area??? I'd like to invite you to a Networking Happy Hour for Filmmakers, Artists and Professionals on 11/15 in SF. Everyone is welcome. For more information see link below:
To RSVP at:
SF Women's Film Festival (April 10-13, 2008)
In reply to Shashwati Talukdar's post on Thu 8 Nov 2007 :
Thank you Shashwati and Ryan. I hear you Ryan on filmmaking in Detroit - it's rough, especially if you have Kant in your head. Shashwati, I will be sure to keep you in touch with my project. My website is www.knowingevil.com. Maybe you can pass it along to your friend too.
Greetings. Great site, great people, great information.
I'm a recovering Hollywood producer, recently gone from mainstream to downstream. After over a decade there, producing, writing, and directing pilots, series, features, and interstitials even... some bad, some good, it was time to escape. The catalyst was producing (and co-writing) a documentary--which finally made it clear what I wanted and needed to do in this odd business. The film was finally something I could be proud of, and it was nice to have the effort recognized when it was selected as a semi-finalist (or "short list" or whatever) for the 2005 best doc Oscar. Which is nothing compared to the achievements of many of the members of the D-Word. I only mention it for vanity's sake.
What I did next was produce an indie narrative feature up in Seattle, but that was just to punch my ticket home (grew up here). L.A. is not the place to be to make docs. Or, at least, you don't have to be there to make them... and if you don't have to be there, why by there? Now that film's in post, I'm in pre-production here on two new docs, and have opened up a production office.
The plan is to produce historical documentaries that have high production values and compelling, universal (yet unusual) subjects that stand a strong chance of attracting wide audiences. All without penguins or former vice-presidents or blowhards, no matter how much I love and admire them. But I will burn lots of fancy moves on still photos whenever possible.
I have the irresistable ambition of telling stories that will entertain and educate millions. And return money to investors. Stupid. Wrong. I know. Please help.
Good to have you here, Len. Quite a doc contingent that's forming in Seattle. Being shortlisted is quite an accomplishment and quite something compared to any achievements here, so don't pooh-pooh. And always good to have large ambitions. We can use many more docmakers who refuse to fall into the "poor pitiful me, I make docs" mentality. So, welcome aboard.
Thought I would say hi as I share your ambitions regarding the historical documentary. I really get excited to hear someone talking about this as there are so many stories that deserve to be told through this powerful medium. The universal subject of my film is evil, and I'm examining the history of the modern world through the history of philosophical obsession and understanding surrounding the problem of evil in the world. It's adapted from a book that had a profound affect on my understanding of history and my approach to the problems of the world, Evil in Modern Thought by Susan Neiman. You might like to look at her interview with Bill Moyers on Now - it's on my website under resources - www.knowingevil.com. I lived in Seattle for four years and went to Evergreen - I really miss it out there. It must be a nice transition from LA. Hope to hear more about your projects.
Thanks, Doug. "Pity the fool who pities himself." I think it was the eminent documentarian Mr. T who said that, no? I look forward to learning more from all here in Dville.
Monica: that sounds like an amazing project... I love evil, and we live such a wonderful era in which it's so abundant. I'll check out your website after I get back from a meeting with - ugh - potential investors.
Welcome Len, and Monica (Did I say Hi? :)) hope you enjoy D-word.
And btw, you don't need to sign your post, your name appears automatically above every post :)
In reply to Monica Williams's post on Thu 15 Nov 2007 :
Monica: Phew! What an amazing topic you've chosen! It makes my head spin just thinking about all the possibilities.... and how you're going to boil it down to just a couple of hours, as it sounds like it could be a 10-hour series. My current projects are much less intellectual... in fact, not intellectual at all. Currently in the hopper is a doc set in the Cold War era, about a collegiate rowing crew inadvertently becoming the first American athletes to compete behind the Iron Curtain... perhaps loosely analagous to Chariots of Fire thematically. I'm taking a single, notable event and using that to explore the culture, politics, and turmoil at the time... quite the opposite of what you're doing. it is nice to be back in Seattle after L.A. But the decade I spent there was invaluable. If you need information or sources for 9/11 related stuff for your film, let me know (I produced a comprehensive doc on that). In particular, there are some great free resources for footage and photos out there.
In reply to Lenville Odonnell's post on Fri 16 Nov 2007 :
Len - It is a bit of a puzzle that I have spent many days and nights wrestling with. The film truly relies on the genius of Ms. Neiman, as she is able to make the frustrating world of philosophy both relevant and accessible. In our interview, she gave 1-2 minute summaries of each of the major modern philosophers and was able to connect their work to the historical events that have helped shape the western world. I'm shaping the documentary like a series of vignettes that connect in the end and finding the work of the philosophers that can be expressed visually(and taking a huge leap of faith that it will work!) It may turn out to be a series as that would be ideal, but for now I'm focused on making a two hour film and I think I've got the structure down.
Your film sounds amazing - lots of possibilities there too. More understanding around this era is desperately needed and I'm sure you will find a big audience. Would love to hear about the 9/11 resources - free stuff is greatly appreciated!