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Daniel Raim
Thu 29 Jul 2010Link

Thanks, Doug. Great to be here! Any word on a release date for Ross McElwee's new film, "In Paraguay"?


Doug Block
Thu 29 Jul 2010Link

No. I'm afraid there are complications that are holding it up indefinitely. Which is too bad, I'm very eager to see it.


Daniel Raim
Thu 29 Jul 2010Link

Hi Doug,
Thanks for the update, albeit not very good news for us Ross McElwee fans. Are you at liberty to explain what the complications are holding up the film?
I posted in the Hidden Section a synopsis I found on Fandango – looks really interesting!

Show hidden content

Doug Block
Thu 29 Jul 2010Link

I wish I could but I told Ross I'd keep it to myself. But we're getting a bit off topic here, this is basically for intros and greetings. We can continue any discussion of Ross, In Paraguay and the unique challenges of personal docs in the Documentary Film topic.


Daniel Raim
Fri 30 Jul 2010Link

Great, thanks!


Indrani Kopal
Fri 30 Jul 2010Link

Hello everyone, I'm Indrani Kopal, a documentary filmmaker from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And, I also work as a full time video journalist with Malaysiakini.com, an online news agency here in KL.

I just returned from Washington DC after being part of the 2010 International Emerging Documentary Filmmakers Fellowship program by The Documentary Center, at the George Washington University. I was really privileged to meet many experienced filmmakers during the 6-weeks program. And I really enjoyed SILVERDOC Festival.

indranikopal.blogspot.com/ is my blog. And, D-word site was a big buzz among many filmmakers I came across in US, so here I am :)


Doug Block
Fri 30 Jul 2010Link

And we're very glad to have you, Indrani. You couldn't have gotten better training than from the Fellowship program. Hopefully The D-Word will keep the spirit alive. Welcome aboard.


Peter Wareing
Sun 1 Aug 2010Link

Greetings from New Zealand.
I live between New Zealand and New York, where I started in the late 1980's as a videographer for downtown independent dance companies. Subsequently I focused on independent film and video work in the experimental genre. These short works have been screened in festivals and galleries in the States, Europe and New Zealand; I also have worked as a video designer, focusing again on the downtown theater projects. More recently I completed a multi channel video projection for the Govert-Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand – titled: There Are Snakes in Paradise. It is an experimental documentary that looks at effects of living in the shadow of the largest international owned chemical plant in New Zealand (Dow Chemical) in the 1960’s –70’s which produced 245T in great quantities and was spayed in the mega tons from the top to the bottom of New Zealand – (The NZ brand: Clean and Green?). Previous to that I made a 32min Doc. about a painter Chuck Bowdish that was screened in various festivals in the US. My most recent doc. I have just completed with funds from the NZ film Commission is a film chronicling the lives (from 1996 to 2009) of three residents in a home on the Upper West Side in Manhattan who are blind and mentally challenged tilted: Not Everybody Can Do Everything. It is a 102min in length and now just beginning to send out to festivals.


Doug Block
Mon 2 Aug 2010Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Peter. And feel free to register for "Professional" status to give you access to all the discussion topics (50, as opposed to just a few).


Jason Osder
Mon 2 Aug 2010Link

Indra, nice to see you here!


Gustavo Rosa
Tue 3 Aug 2010Link

Hi everyone,

My name is Gustavo, I am a recent college graduate. I have been thinking about making a documentary (shocking and ill-advised, I know) about illegal immigrants and their path to college. I have a few people lined up to interview, some stuff about policy, a few contacts in some immigrant organizations, and would probably include some stuff about myself in the project as well.

I am a COMPLETE novice to filming! For now I have been watching some documentaries (including Doug's) and thinking about the arch that the project might take, I envision it being about 30 minutes long.

Does anyone have any advice in terms of literature or other informational material that might be useful? I am particularly interested in what you would think a good camera would be for my purposes. I've looked around a bit and like the Canon T2i. I don't have a mac, but I have a PC and access to the adobe suite.

I appreciate any help or advice you guys would have!

Look forward to hearing from you,
Gustavo


Blake Adams Bailey
Wed 4 Aug 2010Link

Hello all,

My Name is Blake Adams, and I have been in LA for twenty years, acting, writing and occasionally producing (my best...an award winning short film titled "Silent Radio") I have never thought about doing a documentary film until now. I was struck with an idea that I can not let go, and need some real guidance on how to put together the pitch. This is an area very strange to me, so any help on what kind of Package to put together...what are 'people' looking for in a documentary pitch.
Cheers,
Thanks


Christopher Wong
Wed 4 Aug 2010Link

welcome, blake. feel free to post more specific questions in the Mentoring Room section of the D-Word. for now, the quick answer to your question is that people in the doc industry are primarily looking for intimate access to your characters. secondly, people are looking for subjects that are timely and reveal universal truths. celebrity involvement always helps to get a doc off the ground, but that is certainly not a prerequisite in the way that you need an A-list celeb to get a fiction film greenlit.


Jill Woodward
Wed 4 Aug 2010Link

In reply to Gustavo Rosa's post on Tue 3 Aug 2010 :

Gustavo, your idea sounds interesting and timely. This issue isn't limited to the US, Europe and in particular Greece struggle with it.


Doug Block
Wed 4 Aug 2010Link

Greetings, Gustavo and Blake. Gustavo, you might want to try a site like DV User, which has more technical topics on cameras. As for your approach to your film, it seems pretty spot on to me, so I'd say trust your instincts. If you're intent on reading a book, though, Michael Rabiger's Directing the Documentary is a classic. And glad if my film has been a help.


Chithra Jeyaram
Wed 4 Aug 2010Link

Greetings,
I am Chithra Jeyaram an MFA film production student at University of Texas, Austin. I used to be and still am a Physical Therapist and now an emerging documentary filmmaker.

United states is the only country in the developed world with no law requiring PAID PARENTAL LEAVE BENEFITS. Having a child is treated like a life style choice. Most parents lives changes dramatically not only because of the addition of a new life but because of the poor support systems.

I want to make a documentary about tag-team parenting, where parents who can't afford child care stagger their work shifts. For example – one parent works night shifts and the other day and exchange babies at parking lots. In the process, they barely see each other and such marriages or partnerships eventually end.

The situation is worse for single parents or those of the LGBT community. Currently, I am in the research phase of this project. Any suggestions or tips will be appreciated.

Also, I have wanted to make a film using both my skills – Physical Therapy and Filmmaking. Over the last three years, I have noticed that most filmmakers have bad postures and really bad backs. I have be toying with an idea for an animated/doc film on that topic. Any ideas?

thanks
C


Doug Block
Wed 4 Aug 2010Link

Welcome, Chrithra, and feel free to join The D-Word as a full member . I'll be doing an Austin Film Society screening of my new doc THE KIDS GROW UP on Oct 13. Hope to meet you there.


Kemuel DePaula
Thu 5 Aug 2010Link

Hello
My name is Kemuel Deaula, I grew up in Alvarenga, Brazil. I've been living in the United State for a long time now, i love it here. I am a graduate of Full Sail University. I am editing my second Documentary and things are going well. D-Word is a great website, i am new to it and still learning how to get around. Check out my resume at www.itsgrita.com/films i am also going to attach my Resume to this post. Have a good day!!

- Kemuel DePaula


Doug Block
Thu 5 Aug 2010Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Kemuel. We sure are getting folks with great names here.


Kemuel DePaula
Thu 5 Aug 2010Link

Doug Block
haha, that is true, when i was born they spelled my name wrong, so my parents kept it.


Kemuel DePaula
Thu 5 Aug 2010Link

In reply to Gustavo Rosa's post on Tue 3 Aug 2010 :

Hey gustavo, how you doing? i am been doing research for a project similar to yours. shoot me an e-mail, i would like to help you, i want to know more about you project. Kemueldepaula@hotmail.com


Chithra Jeyaram
Fri 6 Aug 2010Link

In reply to Doug Block's post on Wed 4 Aug 2010 :

Hey Doug,
Thanks. I missed your documentary at Silver Docs. Would love to see the film and meet you in Austin.
Chithra


Doug Block
Fri 6 Aug 2010Link

Same here, Chithra. Please make sure to introduce yourself at some point.


Robert A. Emmons Jr.
Sat 7 Aug 2010Link

Hello –

I am new to the blog. I applied for full membership and hope to gain it!

I am currently finishing a 6 month project, which is set to finish tomorrow.

During these last 6 months I have made two short documentaries a week. They premiere every Wednesday and Sunday and are based on randomly drawn words. The project is called MINICONCEPTDOCS. It has been the single best documentary filmmaking learning experience of my life. They can be seen here http://robertemmons.blogspot.com or my Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/raemmonsjr

I would love to hear comments from other documentary filmmakers.

I would consider myself a folk filmmaker interested in local culture and history, usually within the area I live in.

I teach film and media studies at Rutgers University in Camden.

I have written about ethics in documentary particularly the ethical responsibilities of the audience and the face of the Other. I look forward to the insights of the diverse group of filmmakers on this blog.

Edited Sat 7 Aug 2010 by Robert A. Emmons Jr.

Mikal Jakubal
Sat 7 Aug 2010Link

In reply to chithra jeyaram's post on Wed 4 Aug 2010 07:21 PDT :
Hey Chithra,
Your line below cracked me up!

"Over the last three years, I have noticed that most filmmakers have bad postures and really bad backs."

Yes, there should be a physical therapy and yoga class for cinematographers and editors. It's hard enough to remember proper posture and ergonomics at a keyboard, but almost impossible to not hunch terribly while holding a heavy camera and staring forward into a viewfinder all day. Ugh!


John Burgan
Sat 7 Aug 2010Link

In reply to Robert A. Emmons Jr.'s post on Sat 7 Aug 2010 :

You're welcome to join us, Robert. Even though it started as Doug's blog, The D-Word is better described as a community of documentary professionals these days with over 3,000 members from some 80 countries. Some of us teach docs as well, so there is a dedicated topic in the Member's area.

Really like the sound of your two docs a week, will check out your link.


Robert Goodman
Sat 7 Aug 2010Link

In fact some of us teach at the same school...


Robert A. Emmons Jr.
Sun 8 Aug 2010Link

In reply to Robert Goodman's post on Sat 7 Aug 2010 :

Ah, Mr. Goodman! We share many a student! The Digital Documentary production class at AIPh has been the best teaching experience I have had. I absolutely love it.


Robert Goodman
Sun 8 Aug 2010Link

I suppose we'll actually run into each other at some point. Odd to meet here first...Hope to meet you in the flesh at Aiph.

Edited Sun 8 Aug 2010 by Robert Goodman

Alison Barnim
Thu 12 Aug 2010Link

Hi everyone!

My name is Ali and after being in the film industry as an AD and coordinator, I finally wrote my first documentary that will take me and my DOP to South Africa in October!

I am stoked and scared all at the same time. I feel overwhelmed. Does anyone have some good tips for a first timer?

Smiles,
Ali


Eli Brown
Fri 13 Aug 2010Link

The best tip I can think of offhand is to sign up for member status! (Though I'm not in charge, I'm guessing your work as an AD should qualify), and you'll have access to a lot of the more technical and various forums wherein you can ask much more pointed questions. I'm not sure if there's any one tip to make it seem less overwhelming except to expect that feeling and not pay too much attention to it! Oh, and welcome to the D-Word...


Iris Dawn Parker
Fri 13 Aug 2010Link

Hello Alison,
I'm in South Africa right now working on my first doc, I have worked as a photographer for the past 17 years and this is my first doc.
I will be around in October so depending on the area you are working in, we could certainly meet up. I'm living in Joburg.
Peace, Iris

In reply to Alison Barnim's post on Thu 12 Aug 2010 :


Iris Dawn Parker
Fri 13 Aug 2010Link

Hello Everyone,
I'm Iris and I'm new to the field of documentary filmmaking. For the past 2 years I have been working and shooting in the States and South Africa. As you may imagine, I'm running very low on funding and have not found a funding source that supports first time independent filmmakers. It anyone has suggestions of funders I should contact, please send info to me. All info will be greatly appreciated.
Peace, Iris


Robin Rowley
Sat 14 Aug 2010Link

Hey all,
I've made some short docs in the past, but took some time off to start a career. I freelance PA for network news. Now I'm working on a film about children who are head of households taking care of younger siblings. This website seems to be a really good resource, so I'm hoping I can turn to it when I get stuck.
I'm wondering if anyone has had any recent experiences traveling on airplanes with camera equipment. How much are they going to harass me if I have a lot of equipment that I will be carrying on?

Best,
Robin


Robert Goodman
Sat 14 Aug 2010Link

airlines and equipment...the rules are very strict because there are none of old flexibilities left in the system. People I know who used to tip the skycaps and get 20 cases on a plane are now shipping them fedex.

Whatever fits into a carry-on is okay. But you are limited to one and a small handbag – laptop, purse, whatever. If you travel business class you can bring a second carry-on. My advice pack light or ship it ahead. The bag fees get expensive if you do multiple hops.


Phoebe Brown
Tue 17 Aug 2010Link

In reply to Robin Rowley's post on Sat 14 Aug 2010 : I routinely squeeze as much equipment as I can carry on---on. Get yourself a good smallish camera backpack. I have a KATA bag that I love--holds a laptop, a small handycam or a DSLR and a couple of lenses and some external drives--all the cords, etc. and counts as your "purse or briefcase". Then figure out how to pack the rest of what you need into a rolling carry-on. Tripods are what kill the deal. And yes--the baggage police will just make you check--no way around it--if you've got more than 2 carry on items.


Ken Schneider
Thu 19 Aug 2010Link

Good morning/afternoon, y'all. It's Ken here, spending a typical day editing a short piece for another producer, promoting our upcoming PBS broadcast of "Speaking in Tongues," our last film, working on a proposal and trailer for our current film, "Got Balz?", and juggling the filmmaker/parenting thing. And enjoying life.


Doug Block
Thu 19 Aug 2010Link

Yup, that'd pretty much describe a typical day here, too. Nice to have you aboard the good ship D-Word, Ken, with all the other workaholics.


Peter Johnsen
Fri 20 Aug 2010Link

In reply to Ben Kempas's post on Tue 29 Jun 2010 :

Hi Ben, I would love to get in contact. My name is Peter Berulf Johnsen – so both. I started my production, been to Alaska and am going to Croatia and Mongolia for the next month.

Peter


Bill Jackson
Mon 23 Aug 2010Link

I just joined, and am hoping to be able to help documentary filmmakers finish their post production sound.
I have mixed about half a dozen documentaries in the last several years, as well as other films.


Doug Block
Mon 23 Aug 2010Link

Welcome to The D-Word, Peter and Bill.


Marcia Jarmel
Mon 23 Aug 2010Link

Hi, I'm Marcia. I work with Ken Schneider, (who introduced himself above) on social issue docs. Our most recent is on PBS this month--a piece about kids growing up bilingual called SPEAKING IN TONGUES. I've spent the past 18 months working on a national engagement campaign for it. And now we're back in line fundraising for a new project. That's the life.

Edited Mon 23 Aug 2010 by Marcia Jarmel

Doug Block
Mon 23 Aug 2010Link

Great to have you here, Marcia. Looks like a great campaign and a powerful film. All the best with your broadcasts.


Kerrin Davis
Mon 23 Aug 2010Link

Hi, I'm Kerrin, and I'm currently working on a documentary about sexism and gender roles as portrayed by the media. I hope this website will help me get ideas for my topic. If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to comment.


Elizabeth Gesas
Tue 24 Aug 2010Link

Hi there, I'm working for an acclaimed documentary filmmaker and we are looking for interns who can log footage in Santa Monica. The documentary will be released within the next year.
More details to follow once a dialogue is started.
Thanks!


Erik Mauck
Tue 24 Aug 2010Link

Documentary filmmaker in Austin, Texas. I'm currently working on a documentary about a woman whose brother is on death row in Livingston. Always looking for collaborators. Willing to help out on others' projects as well.

Edited Tue 24 Aug 2010 by Erik Mauck

David Lawless
Wed 25 Aug 2010Link

Hi all,

Documentary filmmaker based in Dublin and at the moment I'm working on a feature doc about coffees, baristas, coffee farmers and a quiet revolution that could change the world.

Looking forward to collaboration and contact via this site.

David

www.davidlawless.co


John Burgan
Wed 25 Aug 2010Link

New D-Worders arriving from around the globe – welcome Kerrin, Eliabeth, Erik and David.


Doug Block
Wed 25 Aug 2010Link

Ditto. Greetings to all!


Helkin Rene Diaz
Thu 26 Aug 2010Link

Hi,
I'm Helkin René Díaz. Photojournalist and DOP from Colombia.
I've just finish to shot the documentary film "Jala, a journey through the senses of water" in India. Shot with the RED ONE camera.
If someone need something in Colombia, don't hesitate to contact me.
All the best!
Helkin René
http://vimeo.com/channels/helkinrenephoto
www.helkinrenephoto.com


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