In reply to gabriella kessler's post on Tue 17 Jan 2012 : Welcome to the D-Word, Gabriella. Your project sounds compelling. I've filmed inside 5 different prisons in NY and FL, so here's my two cents: All prison officials – kiss ass, kiss ass, kiss ass. In addition, be nice to guards who are jackasses. (You can win an Oscar for this!) Make sure you let the person who grants you access, (public affairs or warden), know it's not your intention to make the prison look bad, (even if it's a hellhole, which most prisons are). Keep this same person informed about what your project is about and how it's evolving. Filmmakers are a bureaucratic pain-in-the-ass for prison officials, and also a security risk. Also, you might want to do a kiss ass interview with the warden if he or she is willing.
Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First
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.
Hello! My name is Cassidy and I am producing my first feature length documentary with a wonderful team of journalists and filmmakers. We have an extensive repertoire of journalism, multimedia and short films in the bag but we are venturing into new/scary/exciting territory here! On top of that, we are launching a Kickstarter for post funds shortly, I'm feeling a little frightened but also, very exciting, I hope to have more to post soon! Thanks for this wonderful forum! Website for the film is here: www.barzanthemovie.com. The trailer is rough (too one sided for our liking but we are still in production so its far from finished).
I'm Kevin Spahr and I have completed my first doc and I'm working on completing my distribution deal.
The doc is called "Glen Rock Fae" and it is about the world's largest and longest running fairy festival – yes, fairies – colorful wings, pointy ears, etc.
In reply to Ron Osgood's post on Sun 8 Jan 2012 :
I was actually here in the radio/tv department when it was analog! It was a big change when i came back!
Hi, my name is Clay Zimmerman. clayzimmerman(at)gmail.com
I am a filmmaker and editor wanting to reach out to the documentary community in LA.
I edit non-fiction TV for the most part by day, having done many shows for network and cable,
and in 2004 I edited the award winning doc Gay Republicans. While I research my own projects,
I am on the lookout for a good doc to get involved in later in the year (I have a 2 month old at home right now).
Also wanted to share with the community here on D-word a short experimental doc I made recently:
Thanks and glad to have found the site!
I live in the Baltimore/DC area of Maryland. I switched careers from academia to video back in 2006, a few years after I finished a dissertation on TV war reporting and public opinion formation (where I taught myself to edit video).
I thought news and documentary video was a cool way to show people how the world worked (or wasn't working). I remembered how great I thought those David Burke technology history shows and the movie "Roger and Me" was.
After a year of production classes (and the NPPA TV News Storyteling workshop) I wound up working instead in event video and, eventually, as a shooter/editor for business school marketing communications office for a few years doing a several mini-doc, promo, and testimonial type pieces, some with a former PBS producer.
I've been freelancing since June 2010 doing some shooting and editing, a little grip work, and a lot of (video and web) software training. I also was one of the volunteer editors who put together those daily packages on the SilverDocs 2011 youtube channel during the festival.
The most "doc" things I've done are that I put together a short piece on youtube called "Athar the Bike-Man" about a guy who manages his OCD and other issues by riding his bike all over town every day. I also recorded a friend's team through three days of a 50-mile fundraising walk for MS and taped several concerts by a band I like.
I am interested in working on professional doc or advocacy projects with a social/political and/or technological focus. Aside from my production and post skills I'm a good researcher in those areas.
I've long been thinking about starting a project that follows several badly injured war vets through months of physical therapy and would appreciate any tips on how to get the military to permit extended taping in physical therapy and interviews with patients.
I have a decent Sony EX1 kit (six hours of cards, good wireless lav, good tripod, large+small battery, .8x wide adapter, zoom controller, 24" LCD monitor with component in) and will let others shoot using my gear as long as I'm around. I have a very reasonable day rate for DC.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
weykervideo /at/ gmail /dot/ com
Kevin, Clay and Shayne, welcome to The D-Word. Congrats on the baby, Clay. And Kevin and Shayne, feel free to register for professional status.
Hello, my name is Jonathan Mayor. I'm a writer and filmmaker living in New York City. I'm currently finishing a documentary film on legendary blues musician Chris Whitley. Info online at www.dustradiomovie.com, on Facebook, and on Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dustradio/dust-radio-a-film-about-chris-whitley. Please check us out. Have several other projects int he works, another doc and several fictional features.
Welcome, Jonathan. You should also consider registering for Professional status here. It allows you to gain access to all 50 discussion topics.
Hello, all – Kathlyn Horan here. I'm a filmmaker and photographer living in Los Angeles. I've been working on a prison based documentary for the past three years called The IF Project. More info here, www.theifproject.com. I have just finished my pitch reel and am on the hunt for finishing funds and a stellar editor. Any feedback would be appreciated.
Evidently I'm not alone in skipping the intro section and moving straight to posting!... But better late than never, right?
I run a nonprofit called Art With Impact that works to directly link the power of film with opportunities for people to get engaged in social issues they care about. We are a new organization (just now entering our second year) and are learning a lot as we go. I look forward to learning from the filmmakers on this list how we can best serve independent film makers, and get their work out to interested/engaged folks around the U.S.!
An official welcome, Cary. Ditto to Kathlyn, who we hope will register for professional status since you obviously qualify as a professional.
My name's Mike Shen. I'm an Avid and Final Cut Pro editor based in Oakland, California. I've done tons of work for Current TV, in addition to shows for PBS, HBO, NY Times Television, and National Geographic. I'm looking forward to meeting other filmmakers and being part of this community. Thanks to all, especially Doug and co. for creating this site.
My name is Maysam Akbarin. I am a Software Engineer based in Alabama. I have done close to nothing in this field( actually nothing ! ) .
However, I have some ideas for a documentary. But before I do anything I want to start learning about how to make one first then see how things goes from there.
Greetings, Maysam. For starters, you might want to look at some of the archived discussions we've hosted here (they're listed at the bottom of our homepage). Even though some took place years ago, they're still quite relevant. And it's like having a mini-tutorial on documentary producing and practices.
I joined because I was on a desperate search for your movie "Home Page". I watched it in class led by Professor Peggy Vail at Columbia University a couple years back (and you visited as well!) – I was completely awestruck. I had forgotten what the internet used to be like, (or did not realize, at the time, that the advent of the world wide web used to be populated with such strange and "new" things) in the 90s.
And now, I want to watch the movie again, somehow, but there doesn't seem to be any place selling, renting, or streaming the movie.
If you know where I could get a hold of a copy, please let me know!
Yeah, my apartment. On vhs. The good news is I'm hoping to do a digital release at some point this year.
But why worry about what the internet used to be like? You're on The D-Word, Patrick. This is where the internet is at right now!
True, but sometimes you need to know the past to understand the present. Also, I just really enjoyed your movie, that's all! Hopefully it will be digitally released – let me know when it does. I'll be jumping on it.
In reply to Doug Block's post on Wed 22 Feb 2012 :
Sure thing. Better yet, if you send me an email as a reminder, I can put you on my mailing list and let you know when it's available. doug(at)d-word(dot)com
Hello All, I am a doc film producer and made 3 films a few years ago, one that I had commercially picked up (it dealt with terrorism). While I had no professional (publicist) help, I managed to get into a few film festivals, but really found the "public eye" through the news/media, who wanted to use my footage...which I gave them freely of course. This said, I have joined some friends in post production of their film, which deals with the Middle East but a past snapshot in history...dealing with a peace treaty/Carter Admin. I have been working on getting us into film fests – NOT for the sake of winning prizes, but simply for getting "seen"...I know the "big mainstream" ones, a few which we have already been accepted to, but I was hoping to hear from ANY of you in this Forum about some other "more obscure" ones. Can anyone tell me about the Maine Int'l Film Fest and the Pittsburgh Independent Film Fest? Thanks!
I should have included my email address for feedback from ANY of you. My personal one is: LMagnas(at)gmail(dot)com
I'm the person asking about the 2 films fests (Maine and Pittsburgh) – thanks again!
I just completed my first doc called Casting By which is about the range of influence that casting has had on film history. I have a few questions about how to sequence our credits for the locked cut..is there a 'standard' as to the placement of Director, Producer etc cards or is it entirely up to us? Thanks!