Sunday, April 10, 2016

Irresistible Home Decor For Music Lovers

Music lovers are reputed as innovative people around the world. There are certain music lovers who are adorers to such an extent that they dedicate their entire lives to either creating some form of music or the other or for that matter draw music into every aspect of their lives. In recent times we have come across certain innovations that can be termed as apt adaptations of the above mentioned theory. One such example is that of home décor ideas inspired by music. This is not only contemporary, but also a very happening innovation when it comes to the subject of internal home decorating ideas.

1. Snare drum shelves: Shelves are a very important and useful part of our room décor. If you are a person who likes innovation in your room apart from being a person inspired by musical instruments, you can try this awesome innovation as this would certainly provide you with a sense of beats.

2. Cassette coffee table: This room décor idea would not only provide you with a feel of love for the retro music but will also make you nostalgic for certain. No one among us can deny the fat that cassettes and tape recorders were important part and parcel of our childhood. Thus, this is a décor worth trying out, whether music lover or not.

3. Trumpet lamp: The sound of the trumpet creates an enthralling aura for the listeners. But have you ever heard of the lights of the trumpet creating a romantic atmosphere? This unbelievable is possible with this creative and one of the most striking home decor ideas currently in place.

4. Recycled piano bookshelf: The space inside a piano can be used in a lot of constructive ways. There are a lot of unplayable pianos up for grabs which can be purchased for use and in the most unorthodox of ways. One such option is to use it as a bookshelf. Thus, the ear soothing instrument is not only utilized in a proper manner but also looks quite an eyeful for the beholder.

5. Drum lamp: If percussions form an essential part of your dream, make sure that you see one of those instruments quite regularly while you are relaxing back home. The drum lamp is an effective way to decorate your room apart from enhancing the beautification of your favourite room in house.

These decorative elements form only a minor part of what is in store for people who are primarily lovers of music and also are quite remarkable in planning newer and ever changing creative home décor ideas which prove to be fruitful not only in meeting the thirst of the person for possession of an unique room but also quite effectively speaks out to the entire world about the sensibility of music which the person possesses. Along with all the stylizing aspect, the prospect that music provides you with also ensures that there is a theme to these awesome home decorating ideas that music is probably the only thing in the world which can calm the minds of people after all the calamities of the contemporary lives.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Home Decor - Picking Paint Color

One of the easiest ways to change the entire look of a room is to paint it or change the current paint color. Most people leave their walls white, because they have no idea what color they want to use in a room or which walls they should paint. There are so many different ways to apply paint to a room. You can paint this wall but not that one. Paint this wall a light color and that one a dark color. Paint all the walls dark and use white for the trim. Maybe you want to paint the ceiling. There are a lot of decisions to make. When it comes to paint you don't have to know exactly what you want to do until you know what color(s) you want in a room. What walls or ceiling you paint depends entirely upon the mood you want for that room, and if you have a dark color or a light color.

The first thing to think about when picking a paint color is to choose what room you are going to start decorating. Starting with a smaller room is a good idea just in case you don't like the results. If you don't, you can always start over. Bathrooms are usually a good place to start because of their size. Applying new home decor to any room where you are changing the entire look, can get expensive if you choose a room that is too big. Focus on one of the smaller rooms in your home when just getting started.

The second thing to think about when picking paint color is to determine the mood you want to set for that room. What room are you planning to decorate? The bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom. How do you want to feel when you walk into the room. Do you want a soothing and relaxing room to go to when you're tired or stressed out? Do you want a bright and bold room with a lot of pizzazz What type of feeling do you want portrayed inside the room? If you already have decorations and don't want to replace them, you will need to choose a color that compliments the current home decor. If you are planning to replace everything and can start over fresh, you can choose a color you like or one that portrays the mood you are looking for.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

How to Bring Unity Among People: Within a Family to a Nation

Bringing in unity among people requires skill, integrity and flexibility as well. Why is unity among people so important? Because unity is in itself strength and when strength is there, nothing at all is impossible. In this article, I cite various ways to bring unity among people, and it all starts with home and families and gradually spreading to a nation.

In a burgeoning home and family, responsibilities are only a few such as, paying off bills, earnings, looking after non-school going children, cooking, doing groceries, throwing trash to name a few. As the children go older, the responsibilities of the family also get bigger for example, which schools to send the children, their homework, taking them and bringing them from school, talking to them to see if they are doing OK etc. These require unity, co-ordination and cooperation of both the parents. Soon the children will grow up and attend all the way to High School and probably even opt for going to university. But the parents will have to intervene all the time, taking information of their kids if they are still doing OK. So it has to be a disciplined and unified family with discipline and unity running from parents to their children. One day some of these children will become the manager of a company, vice-chancellor of a university and even the president of a nation.

A manager of a company, for example, files a list of tasks for his company with the help of his assistant(s). Soon the task distributor is going to distribute tasks among appropriate team leaders. The team leader of each team is going to distribute sub-tasks to his team members, knowing his team members' strengths, weaknesses and competence.The company is going to run efficiently. It is following a good system or a set of efficient rules and principles. But the manager has to continue to file listing of tasks afresh from time to time and the process continues. This is one example of bringing unity among working people and there is every strength in the process because it is a highly coordinated one.

As another example, a vice-chancellor runs a university. He shouldn't deviate too much from existing rules and principles but conforming to existing ones, he should review them and improve a little once in a while. For instance, the holding of exams, the class lectures, the students' tuition fees, appointment of new teachers, the list of vacancies, the library management, the laboratories' management, the cafeteria management etc. should all fall into a regular rhythm. The vice-chancellor along with his subordinates, just like the manager of a company, sits in a meeting and resolves issues in any of these sectors and contemplates to bring about improvements (however not drastically), setting forth co-ordination, integrity and flexibility into the whole process.

How about the president of a nation? The same is true. The constitution is there, the rules, principles all set out there. He just needs to abide by them, again improving the strategies to some extent for the betterment and unification of the people of his country. But as I said before, I emphasize a little adjustment once in a while without breaking any rules otherwise parts of the process will begin to suffer.

To summarize, the more integrated and coordinated a family, the better the family is going to give birth to a manager of a company, vice-chancellor of a university or president of a nation, bringing in more unity and co-ordination among a nation.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Money Is A Part of Our Everyday Life

We all have memories of our experiences with money when we were children. Some of us had piggy banks and many of us got allowances. On special occasions, a silver dollar or a check in a card for our special celebrations was always welcome and ex- citing. However, we had a very limited view of what money was and what it can and cannot do.

The older we got the understanding of how money works started to intrigue us and the wheels of our mind would start churning to what we could now want instead of only thinking of what we need. We all grew up and money management grew right along with us or so we hoped it would. We could save some, spend some, give away some and with enough effort a new house, car, or vacation was in our means. Maybe - however with what is considered "plastic" money, we were tempted and even encouraged to "live beyond our means." If we wanted something that old adage of hard work and saving could be tucked away in a drawer until we enjoyed life, and did what we wanted and when we wanted to do it.

The world was cooperating with us because new credit card offers filled the mailboxes of even high school students. You could be free to not only dream but to have your dream and enjoy it while you were still young. Christmas gifts were a lot more expensive and elaborate, and weddings and other important events cost more but we were definitely worth it. Why even a funeral with all the trimmings could be put on a plastic card and slipped through the machine which made everything okay.

The world is now different and while our needs and expectations have changed along with our lifestyles, we are now a part of the global economy and what happens in countries across the world now affects us. It's a bit sobering to realize that trade deficits, futures and QE programs can and will make a difference in our money goals and dreams. We can take a class to learn more about these terms but that won't give us the confidence that we are totally in charge of what we have, what we earn, and what our future monetary world will be. We are part of a world economy whether we like it or not. Taxes, referendums, government fees and other costs do rise and we must pay them. Age brings with it life changes including medical, housing, and family needs. Our pay check can be divided up and a dozen hands come out to take their share before we even get the check home. We begin to realize that our needs are now coming to the forefront and our wants are many times put on the back burner. Why is this happening and how will it all turn out?

The main word in a changing and sometimes confusing money world is "be prepared." This once was a scouting byword and now it can be our lifesaver if we realize its strength and its possibilities. Every person has different circumstances and many may be in a position more restrained and compromising then others, but whatever you face, being prepared at least can smooth the path and iron out the wrinkles of whatever financial headache we may encounter. It is never too late to sit down and find out where you stand in your money world, and what the challenges might be. There are solutions and there are ways to cope but only if you take the time to realize that while money should never be your goal in life, it can be a means to an end. Taking even small steps in your debt, your necessities, and your responsibilities to maintain what has to be done can relieve some of the anxiety. With each further step, the "extra" items can be factored in and handled. This is the time to use abilities, innovation, creativity and self control so that not only are today's "money" situations met but tomorrow's needs are handled and peace and serenity can reign in your heart, your home, and in your grown-up "piggy bank."

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Some Clarification On The Secret Law Of Attraction From The Documentary The Secret

In recent times we've all been exposed to this new age thinking phenomenon called the law of attraction, and at some level we've all been touched by it, especially at a spiritual and mental level, believing that with our minds and some positive thinking we can have a better life at all levels, be it financial, spiritual or physical.

As explained in the law of attraction documentaries , you can change your life by altering your way of thinking, and be a better person by the use of positive thinking and visualization techniques, so in essence by using your imagination, and by visualizing a big house, an expensive car, and a bank account with 9 zero's, you will suddenly attract it to you like magic.

In the documentary they also explained another important factor, which is the energy and frequency at which you vibrate, and how this relates to the environment in which you live, and the effect this has towards your desired outcomes. As explained in the documentary you should match your frequency of vibration to the frequency at which the person you wish to become vibrates. To match the frequencies you use the visualization technique, so by visualizing yourself as already having the things you want to have you start to vibrate at that frequency, synchronizing yourself with the life you want to have and making it possible to attract it to you, and by doing so you activate the law of attraction.

In theory it sounds pretty easy, but unfortunately many are not getting the results they want with this technique, and the manifestation process is not really working for everyone. Something is missing, that something that can help you and many others make that quantum jump from where you are to where you want to be, and unfortunately in the law of attraction documentary they didn't explain what the missing elements are.

In reality there is more than one missing element to activate the infinite power of the secret law of attraction, in fact the universe is not governed by just one law, but there are eleven laws that govern the universe, and you need to study and understand all of them in order to be able to attract all the things you want in life. 

Future of Food Documentary - Genetically Modified Food

What Is Genetically Modified Food?

For anyone who has ever wondered about GMO food and what exactly Genetically Modified Food is, there is a fantastic documentaries on the subject. It details the growing controversy surround this science and the political ramifications.

Things such as gene splicing and the use of virus and bacterium to invade cells is something that many people are not aware of. How this all relates to your health is a great concern. Consider that the corn and tomatoes on the market in your local store may be genetically altered with viruses and other not to desirable materials.

There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding some of the political elements. This documentary covers the issue of pesticide and eminent domain. There are interviews with scientists, political pundits as well as the farmers who have been subjected to increasing pressure.

Some of the issues of concern are the decreasing abundance of crops and how this can lead to a devastating epidemic should anything go wrong in a particular strain of crop. Many of those interviewed about GMO food find this one of the most troubling aspects of the entire scene.

The documentary also contains a great deal of information about what is being done currently to combat the effects of this procedure. While there are many who claim that genetically modified foods will both end world hunger and poverty, the facts provided in this documentary show otherwise. In fact, the reverse seems to be the case.

Most of the impoverish nations of the world seem to have done far worse with the new crop of GMO foods. These type of food products are also becoming very harmful for first world nations and many people are starting to become aware and resist them. 

Documentary Style Wedding Video

Having a wedding video is a necessity because as individuals who are about to face the altar to vow their everlasting love and devotion to each other, both of you will not have a chance to see what the wedding documentaries looked like. This is understandable though, because since you are the highlight of the event, you will not have the chance to look around to see how everything goes but your wedding video will capture just that!

During the ceremony the couples are very busy with themselves that all they see is everything about the attire, make up and accessories. They will not exactly know who's sitting in the church benches or who the people who are supervising the decorations are and how they did it. A wedding day is a very busy day for the couple, so in order for both of you to savor the moment of your magnificent wedding day, make sure that you have a video of your event.

As much as possible, ask your wedding videographer to make a documentary type of your wedding. Though it may be a bit more costly than having your wedding filmed for the entire wedding ceremony alone, it is always worth it to have everything and everyone in video.

The documentaries style of video would start on the morning of the day of the wedding. The videographer will take videos of the preparations of the couple's attire, to walking down the aisle up to the actual wedding ceremony itself. After the matrimonial ceremony, the videographers will continue filming until the reception. The videographers will also ask your guests about their wishes for you and these thoughts will be forever preserved on film.

By having a documentary style of your wedding video you will have the chance to see how the wedding really looked. You can also see the people who arrived to share your moment with you. It will show you the real laughter and bliss of your guests, the tears of your parents perhaps, and the people who attended only in the reception; these are the moments that you will fail to see while you are busy exchanging your vows, but special moments to cherish and laugh about as well!

The difference of having your wedding documented and not is great. Having your wedding entirely shot on the actual ceremony alone will not let you experience the entire wedding event; it will not be also greatly appreciated by your guests, if you will send them a copy, because they already saw how the ceremony went. They will be curious about the preparation, how your decorators did it, who worked out the catering and how they were eating at the reception; they will also be looking for themselves in the video you know, because they were there too! 

Billionaire Squashes PBS Documentary About His Trading Style

Why has one of the most powerful men in the finance industry, a self-made billionaire, been trying so hard to keep a 23 year old PBS documentary out of circulation? That is the question that many have been asking over the years, especially in the past few weeks as the video has once again surfaced, and once again been squashed into obscurity by lawyers.

Filmed a year before the stock market crash of 1987, the documentaries "Trader" features a 32-year old Paul Tudor Jones II. In the film, Jones correctly predicts the crash saying, "There will be some type of a decline, without a question, in the next 10, 20 months," he says in his rich Memphis drawl. "And it will be earth-shaking; it will be saber-rattling." Jones proved right, netting his investors over 200% after Black Monday.

VHS copies of the documentaries have sold on eBay for thousands of dollars. According to legend, Jones bought up all the copies that he could in the early 1990's as he felt that the film gave away too much information on him and his trading style. The film's director, Michael Glyn, even acknowledges that Jones requested that the documentary be removed from circulation.

This saga became more interesting in late July of this year, as the video surfaced on YouTube. It's public viewing was limited however, as YouTube soon removed it due to alleged copyright violation. The video was uploaded by "doctationsmarketing", and the official reason for its removal was a copyright claim from the film's director, Michael Glyn. With a little work, the film can still be found online, but unfortunately it's not as easy as simply viewing on YouTube! 

Behind the Helmets: A Daft Punk Documentary

Daft Punk is the futuristic electronic music group who are most widely recognized by their use of bright and shining helmets. As people jam to their hits such as 'Get Lucky' and "Instant Crush'" they are often left asking themselves the question - "Why the Helmets?" A UK Electronic Dance Music (EDM) magazine set out to give listeners a little insight on the duo's infamous helmets in the short yet detailed documentary called "Behind the Helmets."

The world may know them for their unmistakable, LED headwear, but the story behind their intricate helmets is anything but simple. The documentaries begins by pointing out that before Daft Punk disguised themselves with illuminating helmets, they were two normal French singers just looking to make dance music. Yet, as their popularity began to grow, they wanted to evolve with their music, not emotionally, but physically.

To seek an identity for their music, they reached out to Grammy award winning music video directors, Alex and Martin, who contributed several phenomenal design ideas. To fulfill their overall vision they decided to team up with special effects extraordinaire, Tony Gardner. Garder revealed in the documentary they wanted to hide behind the helmets so it would be about the music, not the people.

Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, the men behind the Daft Punk masks, shared a favorite film with Gardner - The Day The Earth Stood Still. This quickly began the key inspiration for the helmets. The challenge was incorporating a linear readout and eliminating the 'human' aspect of the performance. To help overcome the challenges they faced with various renderings, they took on the help of the men who did the metalizing for the NASA space suits as well as the man who built the jumbotron!

Thomas Gardner and the duo began coming up with several different prototypes before settling on the main design. Upon realizing the helmets were going to require a lot of wires for linear reading, they came up with the brilliant idea of their entire wardrobe being highlighted with various live wires which would be used as piping so while performing on a dark stage, they would read as a lit up silhouette!

After ditching a prototype with hair and one with a slight grin, the final product was a complex robot helmet which boasted an array of impressive LED displays. The epic design perfectly mirrored their high-tech sound. They were thrilled to have finally fulfilled their fantasies. Gardner was pleased with the result but stated it would have gone much differently if built today due to their lack of supplies when the headware was originally built.

As viewers watch "Behind The Helmets" they get to watch the evolution of the helmets evolve to what it is now. Those who are still curious about the men behind those snazzy helmets will take much intriguement in other Daft Punk documentaries such as the "Daft Punk Documentary" by DB films as well as the video by The Creators Project on the collaborators behind Daft Punk's hit album, Random Access Memories. 

How To Produce A Documentary Film For Free

Over the years the equipment necessary to produce a high quality film has gradually decreased in price, yet much of it is still too expensive to be of service to the average person. While an independent filmmaker may not be able to afford the best stuff on the market, there are some techniques for getting a professional result from as little as no money at all.

The basic elements to a documentary production are concept, talent, and equipment. By concept we mean the idea for the film, which you will want to plan out in general and probably even come up with some sort of expected script or outline. This step is the easiest to do for free. All you need is your mind and maybe some paper to write things down.

With that settled, what about the issue of talent? For a documentary, this would mean the people filming and the people being filmed. First let's talk about the people doing the filming.

Documentaries can be filmed solo, and in this case you obviously wouldn't have to be paying anyone. But if you need some help there is a good chance of getting it free of cost as well. Many people just starting out in the film industry are willing to work in exchange for the experience, credit, and relationships. All of this you can provide your workers for free.

In this case you will want to make sure that you treat the people working with you as professionals. Take your project seriously and work to produce a good film and the people you work with will feel like their time is being well spent, and you will give yourself a good chance at developing relationships that could benefit you in the future.

With that settled, let's talk about the subject, or subjects, that you will actually be filming. For a low budget film, there is really no reason to pay anyone appearing on screen. Being in a film can provide valuable exposure for people, so find a way to sell that to them. For example, if you want to document an interesting restaurant, point out that it will basically be a commercial for them.

And if you are documenting a protestor or activist, point out that the exposure will help legitimize and spread their cause. You are not ripping them off or manipulating them. You are providing value in exchange for their time.

So far we have a crew and a subject and have not spent any money, but here is the hard part. Getting the equipment to actually make your documentary could cost you a lot, but if you are willing to get creative, you can pull it off for free.

The first big issue is of course cameras. One of the best ways to get a nice camera for free is to borrow one from a friend or someone working with you. If this is not possible, try borrowing someone's point and shoot camera. These common devices owned by nearly everyone have improved so much recently that you can get some great results on them if you limit what types of shots you want to include. Find out what the camera can do well and just stick to that.

The same principle applies to any other type of equipment needed. Look to borrow or use the equipment of people you bring on to work with you. You are the director and producer. You have provided the concept, inspiration, and organization, so it's not like you are freeloading by using other people's technology.

All that remains is post-production. Fortunately this is another easy step to do for free. Once again, look to borrow someone else's computer if they have editing software and all of that already set up. If not, as long as you have a computer there are plenty of open source video editing programs you can use. Most new laptops will come with some type of free editing software, so this should be no problem.

Even professional music for your film can be had at no cost. Many composers just starting out will score your film for the experience and credit, but if you don't have time for that, there are sites online that offer free production music of various types. You might even know some musicians that would be willing to donate their music to your project in return for the exposure. It's all about coming up with ways your film can benefit other people.

Documentary filmmaking can be very cheap by nature if you have the right approach, so if you are an aspiring documentarian, there is no excuse not to get started on your career. 

Greatest Documentaries

1. HOOP DREAMS (1994).

A film following the lives of two African-American boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. Documentaries don't come much better than this. Here we have a sincere, compelling look at the lives and ambition of two inner-city basketball hopefuls.

2. THE KING OF KONG (2007).

Diehard video game fans compete to break World Records on classic arcade games. What an unusually, brilliant look at the formidability of gaming nuts. I was hooked by the plight of Steve Wiebe, as he tries to break the world Donkey Kong record.

3. GRIZZLY MAN (2005).

A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear documentary activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska. Straight off the! I wouldn't go as far as saying I am sympathetic towards Timothy Treadwell; however, his story and apparent ability to tame wild bears is enthralling. A must-see!

4. THE LAST WALTZ (1978).

A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band. Give me a concert, which features the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, etc., and which has Martin Scorsese at the helm, any day - truly enjoyable!

5. THE COVE (2009).

Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health. If you have a weak stomach, I advise you not to watch this; if you can stomach the worst animal cruelty known to man, this is a riveting watch.

6. NIGHT AND FOG (1955).

The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside. If you "enjoy" war films/ documentaries as much as I do, and find man's inhumanity towards other men intriguing, it doesn't get better than this gem of a war documentary.


A biography of the rock music star. There is nothing more to say other than this being a biopic of a true, iconic legend.


The filmed account of a large Canadian rock festival train tour. If this film doesn't make you want to buy a guitar, start a band, as well as live during this drug-fuelled bonanza, nothing ever will.


A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall. This is a harrowing look at corruption like no other. It is amazing to believe they got away with it for so long.


Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence. Moore does what he does best; he focuses on an issue (gun crime) and blows the case wide open. 

What Makes a Documentary Wedding Photograph?

Wedding photography - and particularly the documentary image - takes up a great deal of my thinking time when I'm sat at my desk editing or reading on the internet. It's a passion as well as a job so I'm quite often distracted by other photographers websites or getting involved in discussions on the various forums that cover the subject. One particular discussion I was involved with earlier this week asked the question:

"What defines a 'documentary / reportage / observational' photograph?"

and it's one of those deceptively simple questions that gets you thinking about everything that you do.

Weddings documentaries are littered with cameras these days - every guest must have one - so what is it that I am doing on the day that differs from everyone else that is taking photographs?

**The majority of my work on the day is unposed**
I'm looking for truthful, natural and unselfconscious photographs of how the wedding day was for everyone who experienced it on the day. (Guests' photographs tend to be about making other guests stand and smile for the camera.)

**My photography on the day is about telling a story**
Wether it is within a single image or a sequence of images I'm always looking to tell the story of the wedding day in each photograph. I'm always looking to show the emotional interaction that is happening on the wedding day - not every photograph is about smiling and looking at the camera; more often it's about the heightened emotions of the day - crying, laughing, kissing, being proud, being overwhelmed, being nervous, being really REALLY happy, being human.

It's most importantly about what is happening 'between' people. Photographing the connections and reactions of the wedding day. I really love that there are so many emotions that couples, parents and friends go through that it makes telling the story of the day so compelling for me.

**It's more than 'snapshots'**
I've been asked before "With so many guests clicking away throughout the day why not just collect all their shots together and make an album?".

Some of the explanations above will go someway to answering the question but I would also say that it's not their 'job' to document the day. They are part of the day. I'm watching, waiting, anticipating and creating photographs that are not just little slices of the day but form part of a narrative that tells the story of the event - in an aesthetic, artistic and pleasing way (I hope).

Before I click the shutter I'm not just thinking about who is in the frame but where we are, what the light is like, what I want to say, how best to communicate what the photograph will tell us, what to include in the frame and what to leave out and what is the split second in time that will register the emotions of the scene (or when is the punchline coming in the speech so I can get everyone laughing at the same time!).
Every guest takes a 'snapshot' so they can remember being there but a good documentaries photographer communicates the emotion of the day to people who weren't there - or who haven't yet been born. 

Secrets to Funding Your Dream Documentary

Here is an except from my interview with Bill Einreinhofer about how to fund your dream documentary. I wanted to know how a successful documentarian gets money for his/her productions. I figured others might want to know as well so I ask Bill, who has a very good track record, to share some of his secrets. Bill is a National Emmy-Award winning producer, writer and director with over 20 years of television production experience. He shared a lot of useful tips about how to raise money to produce a documentary. In this excerpt, he discusses how to approach potential funders.

SYDNYE: Before you introduce yourself and how fabulous you are and how fabulous your idea is, you need to know why and where and how much they give?

BILL: Yes. This is where you start looking at the giving history. This is where these various reference libraries, whether you go to the actual library or whether you view it online line, find out where the money has gone in the past. What are their interests if they are a foundation? Of if they are a corporation, who they are trying to reach? Corporations, I've gotten corporation grants to do public documentaries television programs, and it's because those particular corporations wanted to reach the audience that public television gets. You have to figure out what the grant maker wants. And then be able to tell them, "I can deliver what you want to you." It only makes sense. I mean obviously, it these people are going to be making grants or if they are going to be making advertising buys, they have certain needs. You have to understand what those needs and be able to tell them "this is how I can help you meet those needs."

SYDNYE: So we'll talk a little bit more a little bit later about documentary distribution because that is part of it.

BILL: And this is probably the biggest mistake that many people make. In that they'll put together a wonderful proposal. They've got a great theme. They've got colorful characters. A really, really good story, they've figured out exactly how to shoot it and edit it. They know what the look is and they don't put anything about how they are going to distribute it. And if no one is ever going to see this program, this film, then why fund it? 

Producing a Black History Documentary

Have you ever thought about producing a documentary ? Often referred to as a life-story, a documentary is a true account about an era, person or persons, company, city, country, etc that is factual. One of the major challenges for the documentary maker is research and gathering of facts. But having as much accurate information as possible is key to the overall integrity of the production.

From the production stand point, and especially when interviewing people, it's important to utilize proper lighting and the use of high quality microphones (preferably a lapel or lavalier).

A few years ago we had the opportunity to produce a black-history documentaries about an all-black school and African-American educator from south Texas - Eugene Daule. Professor Daule, as he was commonly called, served as principal of an all-black school in Cuero (DeWitt County), Texas in the early twentieth century. The school was originally called Cuero Colored School and was later named Daule Colored School in honor of the educator.

Several months of historical research and personal interviews in Texas, California and Louisiana (Daule's birth place) provided a great deal of information about the African-American educator and the many obstacles that people of color had to overcome during that period. After several dozen interviews with ex-students, ex-faculty members and community residents, we discovered that despite the obvious impediments and racism - some of the greatest minds of the 20th century matriculated from segregated institutions.

Much like its places of worship, the all-black school served as a source of community pride and unity for African-Americans. And an overwhelming consonance among those who were interviewed indicate that segregation, despite its much-intended oppressive and appalling nature, had one positive consequence - it united a people during one this nation's darkest periods (from slavery through emancipation, reconstruction and the civil rights era).

Many of the ex-students and teachers who were interviewed for the wild documentary felt that the closing of mostly all-black schools and the forced-busing of African-American students to previously-segregated all-white schools - in retrospect - and despite its good intentions - left the African-American community with a void from which it will never recover.

Documentary Wedding Photography

In our last article we looked at the traditional wedding photography style and saw that this classic form is methodical and it is a way for the photo-artist to control elements of an image in order to convey a logical flow of the wedding day. Its purpose is so that the interaction between the photos and people after the fact, will keep intact the actual emotional interaction of the wedding day itself.

Documentary photography differs from the classical style in that the documentary form is a close up view of the wedding over a timeline. It is a picture by picture, frame by frame, way of documenting the wedding day story. You capture what has taken place from one point in time to another including events within "documenting the event."

The importance of the documentaries style of wedding photography is the objectiveness of the photos. In other words the photographer's intent on your wedding day is to candidly capture the true and actual events of the day as they occur. The one obvious problem with this type of photography is that the actual events of the day are captured and retold from the perspective of the photo-artist. Since perspectives change from one person to another the interpretation of the photos will not be the same for everyone. But that is OK if what you desire from your wedding photos is a view of the day, one candid moment by candid moment without specificity to the whole wedding day story. Each interaction with one of the photos will impress a unique feeling upon the viewer one photo shot at a time. The photo shots as a collective whole will allow for a blend of each feeling and a unique interpretation of your wedding from person to person.

Documentary wedding photography is the historical capturing of your wedding. It is a style that can be quite compelling and a unique perspective of your wedding day. 

My Top 10 Documentary Films

Documentary films used to trigger yawns among ordinary mortals. These are films you would watch in schools, museums, or other places for intellectual stimulation. You would not pay to pay watch, as they are probably subsidized by the government or some non-profit agency.

But things have changed. Documentary films are now mainstream entertainment - and some of them are riveting and very interesting. In fact, some are superior to a lot of Hollywood dreck. The more powerful documentaries not only divert you, they open your eyes to new realities, and sometimes change your life.

Below are my personal picks for the best documentary films in recent memory.

An Inconvenient Truth - if you have to see one, see this one about global warming and its terrible far-reaching effects. If you care about how we're leaving our planet for future generations, this will open your eyes. All of a sudden, any other issue is dwarfed.
Fog Of War - a very informative film about the once Secretary of Defence McNamara and the lessons he has learned in life, looking back, in his 80 something years. Our generation should learn lessons from history, ("Empathize with your enemy", "Rationality will not save us", to name a few), but sometimes we don't.
Enron - with this doc, I was able to finally understand how corporate smart guys steal from investors and ordinary people. Ken Lay, Skilling and Fastow's tragic endings show that being smart and greedy is a road to hell.
Winged Migrations - to those who care about nature, and birds in particular, this feature about birds' migratory habits is phenomenal!
Microcosmos - It's fascinating to see things we take for granted when we walk through the woods. The details it shows about insect life is beautiful and amazing.
Supersize Me - this doc will wake you up to the unhealthiness of fastfood (McDonald's) eating. Very gutsy to take on big business. Also very instrumental in making changes to fast-food offerings.
Fahrenheit 9/11 - Moore's entertaining take about the guy whom many have judged to be the worst president of the U.S. To me, it's like shooting a fish in a barrel.
Bowling for Columbine - Moore's sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes funny take about gun violence in America.
The Corporation - an eye-opener, showing how corporations' efforts to maximize profit can be a scourge to our lives - and an even bigger threat to the future. Bovine Growth Hormone, Agent Orange, marketing research on how to inspire children to nag their parents to buy products - it makes its case convincingly.
Darwin's Nightmare - Documentaries about the effects of rampant capitalism on Africa's ecology and people. 

Top 5 Autism Spectrum Documentary Films

With an incidence of 1 in 88 children identified with Autism, it is very likely that you have in some way come into contact with either an individual with autism or a friend or family member who is caring for an individual with Autism.

Maybe your interested in what it's like to have Autism or what it's like to love an individual with Autism, but didn't know how to ask without seeming rude. Or maybe you are a caregiver and would like to see depictions of other families who are living with Autism in some way.

You don't have to be in the dark any longer. Satisfy your curiosity about Autism by engaging in one of the many well made documentary films that tell the stories of individuals on the spectrum and their families. Below you will find my top 5 documentary films about the Autism spectrum. I have tried to cover the life span and choose a well range of topics from early childhood to adulthood as well as films that fall outside of the stereotyped images of Autism. Enjoy and please comment and share your own choices as well.

1. Loving Lamppost (2010) - This is the story of one father's journey to understand his son's new diagnosis. He learns about the two viewpoints in the Autism community the "recovery movement" and the "neurodiversity movement." A very touching and informative film that is great introduction for parents of newly diagnosed children.

2. Autism: The Musical (2007) - This is a feel good film that follows the lives of five L.A. children on the Autism spectrum as they prepare to perform in a musical production. The documentaries does a great job of showcasing the children's creative abilities while they deal with their own unique challenges.

3. Refrigerator Mothers (2003) - Did you know that in the 1950's and 1960's mothers who sought treatment for their children's impairments were actually blamed for the child's disability? This film interviews a number of families, mother's in particular who lived through this time period and dealt with being a "refrigerator mother" - a parent who was incapable of providing warmth and nurturing to their baby and thus created a child who could not connect.

4. Fragile X... Every Family Has a Story - This wild documentary follows a family, specifically two adult brothers in Canada who are diagnosed with Fragile X syndrome, the most widespread, single gene cause of Autism. This film focuses on the family challenges and dynamics that adults with Autism and their families deal with on an ongoing basis.

5. Wretches and Jabberers (2011) - This is a delightful film about two adults with Autism; Larry and Tracy, who travel around the world sharing an international story of Autism. This film gives a unique insight into the lives of adults on the spectrum from their point of view and in their own words as well as experiencing the exotic locations from Larry and Tracy's point of view.

Obviously this is a very short list and there are a number of other great documentary films that portray the Autism spectrum. Most of the above can be found free on the internet with a simple search of the name. 

8 Great Documentary Films That You May Not Know

"Is Everybody Happy?" directed by Tim Marklevitz
"Is Everybody Happy?" The documentary is from first time director, Tim Marklevitz. It is the heartbreaking true story of four friends, their band "Bless You Boys" and the thirteen day tour that changed their lives forever. This film takes a look at the less glamorous side to being an independent band on the road and highlights the difficulties that we all must endure as we try to turn our dreams into a reality.

"American Movie" directed by Chris Smith
In the town of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin man Mark Borchardt fights to achieve his lifelong dream to become a filmmaker. Despite the fact that he is unemployed, deeply in debt and a borderline alcoholic, he is extremely driven to complete the short film Coven in an attempt to raise money for his feature film Northwestern. After suffering numerous mishaps, mostly due to his poor planning skills and lack of crew - which is limited to his best friend Mike Schank - he begins production and convinces his uncle to help finance his film. Exciting and hilarious, this documentaries should not be missed.

"Man on Wire" directed by James Marsh
This British documentary crafts the feel of a high profile heist while retelling the story of Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between New York's Twin Towers during their construction in 1974. Daring and illegal, the near 45 minute high-wire walk was planned as though it was a high profile heist as well. An exciting story about a Frenchman in New York City, this film - without claiming to be so - is a touching tale of a well remembered and important event.

"Herb & Dorothy" directed by Megumi Sasaki
To call them art collectors would be an understatement. Herb and Dorothy Vogel lived a normal life together in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Working as a postal clerk and a librarian, they spent years building a world-class contemporary art collection of ore than 4,000 pieces valued at several millions dollars. The two are extremely modest and quite endearing as the speak about how their lives. This documentary is a truly interesting and exciting story of two amazing people, a simple life and an obvious love for art as well as each other.

"Darkon" directed by Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel
Most of you have probably seen the movie "Role Models" with Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott. If so, I'm sure you found the LARP (Live Action Role Play) scenes to be quite funny. Now imagine that...only real. Now you know what Darkon is about. This is a 'real-life game' that allows hundreds of adventure-seekers to escape their everyday lives and become warriors, knights and kings. Entertaining and interesting, these people do not allow their normal jobs to define them instead they allow their imaginations to take control as they escape reality and enter Darkon.

"Jesus Camp" directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
Controversial and shocking, "Jesus Camp" follows several young children as they attend a Christian summer camp. More well known than some of the other documentaries on this list, "Jesus Camp" has received plenty of media attention due to the content and some of the extreme scenes where numerous children are weeping and promising to stop sinning. Different viewpoints obviously offer varying opinions. One very obvious question that has been asked time and time again, "Are they brainwashing these children?" There is no doubt that this documentary offer plenty of shock value and causes eyebrows to be raised. Watch it and let us know what you think.

"Dark Days" directed by Marc Singer
Director Marc Singer joins a group of squatters who have been living next to the Amrtrak tracks near Penn Station in New York in order to tell the story in this documentary. Living in near total darkness, they use leaky pipes to clean themselves, they cook, sleep and live their lives here as they have been doing for years. They are given a 30-day eviction notice by Amtrak during the filming of this poetic documentary. There were many struggles to complete this documentary as this first time filmmaker spent years in post production and insisted on maintaining creative control in order to protect the documentaries homeless subjects that he lived with for months. Having won several awards, this is a great documentary that should not be missed.

"Dogtown and Z-Boys" directed by Stacy Peralta
Another great documentary which was Directed by one of the original Z-Boys, Stacy Peralta, I actually found this film after watching the 2005 film "Lords of Dogtown". Focusing on a group of young surfer/skaters out of Southern California, "Dogtown and Z-Boys" tell the story of the Zephyr Surf Shop and the creation of the Zephyr Skate Team. A small group consisting of mostly rough necks living in the urban community of Venice, CA. This documentary was financed by Vans and tells an amazing story of a quick rise to fame, fortune and how quickly it can go away. 

Writing a Documentary Treatment

Real life is depicted through writing a documentary treatment. A documentary is a genre of short motion pictures where the creative writing of actuality is brought alive on the screen. It deals with any one particular aspect of life and does not require fabricated characters or an imaginary tale. Life as it is or one caught unaware by the camera lens is a pure delight to watch. Documentaries utilize treatments or proposals that comprise a brief description of the person or topic being documented, why and how.

Often writing a documentary treatment helps the film gain funding. TV stations need to be persuaded to shell out the huge amount of money that is required. They need reassurance that the program will attract the audience and will be watched right till the end. Therefore, treatments have to be meticulously compiled. What the audience will experience as they watch the documentary on the screen in included in a treatment. The main purpose of a documentaries treatment is to provide a common platform for understanding among all the people involved in making it, editing and in the distribution process. While writing a documentary treatment, research the topic thoroughly. Have up-to-date information of it so that it answers all the queries of the readers and later of the viewers. Every statement that you make should be backed by ample evidence of being correct.

Expand your knowledge about the subject to the fullest. The best way to obtain information for writing a documentary treatment is through the following:

- Libraries
- Conducting interviews with relevant people and institutions
- Professional treatment writers for hire
- Internet
- Contacting related people through phone calls, e-mails or letters

Different producers have their own preference for the format required. Check with them before writing a documentary treatment. Do not sound personal. Use colorful words that help the readers to visualize whatever you are describing. Avoid excessive use of adjectives. Instead, let the readers feel what you are trying to convey through the words that you choose. Adhere to present tense and active voice. Inform the readers what they are likely to perceive and listen to on the screen. Write, rewrite and edit the documentary treatment until the desired degree of perfection is reached.

Be very specific while stating all facts for a documentary project. The factual drama does not call for too much of music but whatever little it does include should be pre-planned. You are free to make changes in music later on. The treatment must mention who the presenter is going to be and why he or she has been chosen. The structure, a conflict and the end should be clearly outlined. In view of the budget, decide the length of the treatment. The scientific background, the people interviewed plus a little about the planned time for production can also be mentioned. It will show your total professionalism and involvement in writing a documentary treatment. 

Get The Attorneys' Edge With a Settlement Documentary

The video settlement documentary can be a powerful tool in getting maximum compensation for your clients at mediation.

This long form documentary typically runs between 20 and 40 minutes. It can include either damages or liability or both. TV News veterans are your best choice for this documentary production. If you choose the right team they will be expert storytellers who will automatically know how to present your case in a clear, concise and compelling format.

Your wild documentary should include in depth interviews with your client and all of those victimized by the defendant's negligence whether it be personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, toxic tort or other injustices. These delicate interviews are best done by TV veterans with the skill to elicit emotion without causing more harm. You may also want to include expert interviews. These may be done by either your documentary producer or an attorney. But keep in mind, in a documentary, you do not want to elicit "yes" and "no" answers. Ask questions in way that will encourage the interviewee to add details.

The good legal documentaries will also include home videos, photos, police and coroner reports and possibly animation and news reports as well as video of what your client's life is like today.

The documentary may be done with narration or in the victims' own words. The narration should be done by a professional broadcaster with the ability to tell a compelling narrative. The documentary will show what your victim's life was like, recount the tragic incident and give your viewers (in this case, the defense) an unassailable view of your victim's suffering today.

The successful settlement documentary will bring your case to life and show the strength of that case in a way that the written word can never do. It will truly give you the attorneys' edge. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

How to Make a Documentary

Interested in making documentaries ? Well, is your story compelling? Very few forms of communication have the power to impart to an audience the unique perspective that a documentary does. Bearing this in mind, do you want know how to make a documentary?

If I were a budding film maker I would certainly want to know how to make a documentary, however I am not a film maker. I am merely a writer, and the only thing I can do is change the way that people think by means of the power of words.

Many film makers believe that they have the unique perspective to capture the imagination, and this is certainly true. But how many have the ability to engender such a unique perspective that they are able to capture the imagination as well as to evoke change? Well the makers of documentaries do!

While it is true that would-be documentary film makers are more prolific than antique car salesmen, this is beside the point. People from all walks of life have a story to tell, and to tell it cinematically means that they are able to reach people who can relate to them perfectly. This is one of the gifts of knowing how to make a documentary, being compelled to share your story!

Your story does have to be compelling; there is no doubt about it. As an example, we know someone who is after his divorce, living between his vehicle and an abandoned building. This guy is a regular "Joe", not a hobo, he has a job and played a strong community role, however because of his divorce and between alimony and child support, he is barely any longer able to support himself. Now some people may think that this is not worth documenting. I disagree, I believe that this story is compelling and warrants attention.

I believe there is a strong universal lesson that can be learned and when learning how to make a documentary this counts, by the way this is coming from a woman who after her divorce could not get child support because my ex husband lied to the courts regarding his financial status! But others may feel differently, this is what makes a documentary so personal and so "apart from the run of the mill".

What is it about your story? Does it apply universally? How much do you believe in it, enough to produce a film and know that other people will relate to and understand? If so, you will have your documentary material.

Essentially when you want to know how to make a documentary, you have to have a universally acceptably story, thereafter the sky is the limit. Documentaries are the ultimate soap-box! 

Introduction To Documentary Credits In Nigeria


Documentary Credit is one of the common international payment methods adopted by companies in Nigeria for the settlement of international trade obligations. Very many international exporters accept such documents issued by Nigerian banks. These exporters are taking the risks of local banks while others require the confirmation of other 'international banks' based in Europe, North America among others for some of the local Documentary Credits.

Nigerian Banks comply with the provisions of International Chamber Of Commerce Rules for Documentaries Credits (ICC Publication Number 600, 2007 edition). This defines a Credit as: 'any arrangement, however named or described, that is irrevocable and thereby constitutes a definite undertaking of the issuing bank to honour a complying presentation'.

In other words, this document can be seen as a commitment given by a bank on behalf of its customer to pay the seller of goods/services certain amount of money provided the seller presents documents called for under the credit and meets other terms and conditions specified therein within prescribed time.

Many local importers like this arrangement because:

They are able to get bank funding using this instrument

They are sure that their bank will not pay the seller unless all terms and conditions of the Credit are complied with The buyer can control the quality and quantity of goods by calling for certain documents under the credit

Importer can obtain credit from the exporter since the exporter will be taking the risk of the issuing bank instead of that of the importer

Its transactions are eligible for official foreign exchange market which is a cheaper source of foreign exchange

Working of Documentary Credits:

Buyers and Seller execute a sales contract and Seller issues a Proforma Invoice

Buyer completes a Form M using the Proforma Invoice and other documents

Buyer applies to the bank to issue the document

It is issued in favour of the Supplier and advised to a foreign bank (Correspondent Bank of the issuing Bank) using cash or credit line

Correspondent Bank advises Seller directly or through seller's bank

Seller receives the Credit and thereafter ships the goods to destination prescribed in the Credit

Supplier presents the documents specified in the Credit on the nominated bank for payment

Nominated Bank checks the documents and if found in order, forwards them to the issuing bank

Nominated Bank pays the Seller using cash or credit line

Issuing Bank uses copies of the Shipping Documents to apply for Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR)

Issuing bank releases documents to the Buyer including the PAAR

Buyer pays import duty to the bank that opened the LC and goes to clear the goods from the port often using a Clearing Agent

On or before 90 days after taking delivery from the port, buyer sends Exchange Control Documents to the issuing bank (45days for Petroleum Products)

Transaction is closed.


Any request for a Documentary Credit transaction in Nigeria must comply with local exchange control regulations by supporting such application with the under listed documents where applicable:

E-Form M (Mandatory)

Proforma Invoice (Mandatory)

Local Insurance Certificate (Mandatory)

Current Pharmaceutical License (Pharmaceutical Products)

Current pharmaceutical License for registration / retention of premises (Pharmaceutical Products)

Current National Agency For Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Permit (Chemicals, Food, Drink, etc)

Current NAFDAC Clearance Permit (Drugs only)

Current National Electricity Regulatory Agency permit (Generators only)

Current Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Permit (Petroleum Products)

Current Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Certificate

for Storage Facility / Tank Farm(Petroleum Products)

Endorsed Standard Organization Of Nigeria Conformity

Assessment Programme (SONCAP) Product Certificate (Various

Household and Industrial items).

Banks usually ask Documentary Credits applicants to complete an Application Form which serves as a contract for the transaction between the buyer and the issuing bank.

The specific terms of this application differ from bank to bank.


Documentary Credits qualify for the official foreign exchange window - Central Bank weekly intervention as well as Inter-bank funds.

Importers can however use their Domiciliary Account balances to fund their Documentary Credit transactions.

The Central Bank intervention is made available in United States Dollars only and happens every Monday and Wednesday of the week

Importers with invoices in third currencies (Euros, Pounds, Yen, etc) will use the Dollars from the Central Bank to purchase these third currencies from the bank issuing the credit

Where the importer is funding the Documentary Credit alone, the issuing bank will require the importer to provide local currency equivalent of the Proforma Invoice value before the credit is established

The foreign currency will be sent to the confirming bank to cash cover the credit as the issuing bank is not allowed to keep the funds

Funds purchased from the Central Bank must be used to establish or pay on the Documentary Credit within three days from date funds were received.

Funds not applied must be returned to enable Central Bank repurchase and return local currency to the importer

Foreign currency from the Central Bank is cheaper than that from inter-bank market. 

Using Transcription to Document Documentaries

There are some people who cringe when they hear the word documentary as this usually means that they have to sit through some hum drum monologue others however normally get excited as they view this as an opportunity to learn something new. The sad fact however is that most people are no longer interested in the documentaries and there are very few people who will not sit through 2 hours of a documentary as they would rather do something different.

This article has been written for such people. These are the people who have genuine interest in the documentaries transcription process. Like other kinds of broadcast including audio or film there are people who get money for writing down each and every word that has been said by a narrator, the people they interview and any other person who comes in between.

Just like the other transcription projects, documentary transcription also requires the know-how and a skilled hand so that things are done in a quick and accurate manner. Most of the time transcribers will be asked to do the writing since they focus on speech. The documentaries are normally presented in film form and the transcribers will have to watch it to come up with text file that are used for computer backup.

If you are a documentary film artist and have been thinking about transcription, it is one of the best decisions that you can make. This will give you a chance to read through the documentary even in the future. This also gives you something to add to your resume as well as records especially when it is being used for a legal suit and there was someone who had not filled out a proper waiver before thy made an appearance in the documentary.

Regardless of the fact that documentary transcription is usually a part of the entertainment or broadcasting world and not people usually think about the transcription part other than the strange few who have many questions in their mind. There are very many professional documentary transcriptionist that you can make use of when you want the job to be done.

If you want to joint he profession, you have to learn how to type fast to make sure that the work is done. You also need to be keen so that you can produce quality work. This is because the clients who want the work done are usually every thorough and only want the best to work on their projects. 

Documentary Fundraising Secret That Will Take You From Zero to $50,000

Let's be real. Fundraising is tough. No matter how good or bad the economy, no matter how wealthy the individual or how big the documentary funding pool for grants, individuals, foundations and organizations do not part with their money easily.

So how do you inspire people to give up their cold hard cash? Ah, the million dollar question!

Here's the secret that inspires giving and gets people to take action.

Ask for the amount you need, state when you need it.. and create urgency!

Filmmakers often have the fantasy that one big wealthy donor or a big foundation will write one big fat check to cover the full budget of the documentaries film. Don't get me wrong. It can happen. And it certainly doesn't hurt to ask, however here's the strategy that will most likely work best for you, especially if you are a new filmmaker.

Ask for small, specific amounts of money from a lot of different people and set deadlines for when the money is needed. Even if your documentary funding budget is $250,000, don't ask for that full amount all at once. It's a daunting number that will intimidate most people.

Raise money in manageable chunks based on how much you need at that particular moment and how much you think your donor can give. Say you need $5,000 in documentary funding at the very beginning to film your first 10 interviews. Tell people that's what you're doing and that you are raising money for that particular purpose.

Build trust and confidence. This is KEY to fundraising. Make sure to report back to your donors when you've raised the money and done what you said you were going to do. They may be willing to give again or at the very least be willing to fundraise on your behalf!

Use crowd funding. If you are a first time filmmaker with no track record, you are going to need to embark on a grassroots fundraising campaign among people you know. A great place to start is with online fundraising hubs such as KickStarter or IndieGoGo.

It is absolutely essential when fundraising for a documentary to create the best trailer possible. People need to see what you're trying to accomplish and they need to feel inspired to help you. You must convince people you have the passion and the determination to pull off your project.

Remember that success follows success. If you can raise the first $5,000 - $10,000, it gives you more credibility (especially with larger donors) when asking for the next $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000.

There is no substitute for picking up the phone, pitching your idea and making the ask for a specific amount of money for a specific purpose. Filling out forms for a grant can take days, sometimes weeks and you are competing with who knows how many other projects. A passionate 10-minute personal plea to an individual who is already pre-sold on your documentary idea will often yield better and faster results.

As a general rule, cold calling does not work with fundraising. For a brand new contact, where there is no prior relationship or credibility established, send a letter of introduction first (hopefully along with your trailer) and THEN call and follow-up as needed.

Do your research and approach people at their level. Before asking someone for money, make sure your project is a natural fit for them and that you have a general idea of what they might be capable of giving. Your college buddy might be able to pitch in $20 whereas your businessman uncle might be able to pitch in $1,000.

Last but definitely not least, communicate excitement and urgency. Making a genuine person-to-person ask is one of the hardest things you'll ever do, but it's one of the most powerful and effective ways to get documentary funding. 

7 Secrets to a Successful Video Settlement Documentary

One of the obligations of plaintiff's counsel in today's world of litigation is to develop concise plans of disclosure through persuasive communication in order to obtain an early and adequate recovery for your documentary clients. The challenge then becomes how best to convince the claims people and decision-makers on the other side that it would be in their best interest to settle the claim early. The printed settlement brochure and demand package along with PowerPoint presentations has been the standard over the years and has proven to be effective in getting the facts and damages of your case to the adjusters. But with the proliferation of cable TV and the internet, the way we receive, digest and retain information has made video the dominate factor in getting cases settled today.

The video settlement brochure gives you and your clients the power to convey a vast amount of facts quickly and without interruptions. It portrays numerous facts and elements of the liability and the damages of your case that cannot be conveyed through the use of still photographs or the printed word. So, how does one go about producing powerful and effective settlement documentaries ? Here are seven secrets from a forensic professional to help guide you:

It is crucial to keep in mind that the video settlement documentary is not produced for viewing by a jury. Its target audience is claims adjusters, committees and the actual decision makers who will sign the check. The success of video settlement documentaries across this country has given rise to a proliferation of all types and qualities of settlement videos. Ranging from hokey videos shot with home camcorders to heart wrenching, sappy music videos produced by non-professionals, insurance companies have such a range of settlement videos on their desks that they now hold "bleeps and bloopers" contests at their annual conventions!

It is in the best interest of you and your clients to seek out professional, forensic video producers with a track record of experience. Your whole objective in producing this video is to find out what concerns and problems the adjusters have about your case, pinpoint and tackle those problems through facts and witnesses to bring forth an early and just settlement. Only an experienced, professional forensic video team knows how to highlight your case and put together a powerful, compelling and compassionate documentary .

The strength of the liability and damages of your case will determine how to begin production of your video settlement documentary. Remember, you want to stay focused on what the problems and disputes are with your case; then on what will motivate the adjusters to settle. Once you identify those problem areas, then determine which witnesses and demonstrative evidence will best tell the story to resolve those problems. Once that is done, a storyboard is created as to the sequencing of events in your documentary and the sound bites that you need to obtain from your witnesses. Through this process you will automatically develop and identify themes for your documentary and your case.

From the storyboard of your documentary, you then prepare a shot sheet for your camera crew listing the witnesses, demonstrative evidence and other exhibits that need to be videotaped. Shoots and locations are then scheduled, sets are dressed and then it's lights, camera, action!

After all shooting is complete, the raw footage is captured and logged as to time code and subject matter. Computer graphics, animations and titling is then created for insertion onto the master video. The editing process begins and any special effects, music and voice-overs are generated onto the master video. Once this is all completed you are ready to view a rough edit of your documentary.

This is your chance to make sure that your documentary accomplishes its goals and that no objectionable, confusing or distracting material has been included on the master video. Then show it to audiences you trust and make sure to show it to some crusty, hard-core insurance adjusters. Once you have relayed all of your changes and thoughts to your video production team, the final edit is prepared and ready to be viewed by the other side.

Now that you have spent all this time, money and effort, don't drop the ball when it comes time to present your video to the other side. Calculate carefully when and how best to present your documentary. Some attorneys prefer before mediation, some think after the first mediation. Your strategy will depend on the attitudes and commitments from the other side. With today's fast-paced, media-intense world, an uninterrupted viewing is ideal, so make sure you take the appropriate steps to make that happen. Another tactic a lot of attorneys use is to post their documentary to a secure website allowing them to gather analytics on number of views and time spent viewing by the other side.

A video settlement documentary gives you the only golden opportunity to tell the story of your case in its entirety without interruptions. It also gives the other side a view of what the jurors will see and hear and helps them to better evaluate your witnesses, your demonstrative evidence and your claim. We have yet to find another way to best present your case without it being sanitized or criticized by the other side. Even if your documentary does not bring your case to settlement, if properly produced it will ultimately enhance the settlement value of your case. 

Popular Indian Documentary Films

A documentary film is a moving presentation that documents some or the other aspect of reality. The film presents to the viewers some facts or information about a person or an event. While presenting reality, such films help a great deal in spreading social and inspiring messages within and across the boundaries.

Listed below are some of the most popular Indian documentary films:

Smile Pinki

This is a 39-minute documentary film that received the 81st Academy Award for Best Documentary. Directed by Megan Mylan the film shows the plight of a five year old girl living with a severe cleft lip. The girl lived in a small village and was deprived from the right to education. Furthermore, she also faced rejection and ignorance in the village because of her cleft lip. One fine day a social worker visited the village to gather patients with cleft lip and offer them freedom from this deformity completely free of cost. Pinki also undergoes the free surgery and thereafter her life gets completely transformed.

Mahatma Gandhi - Life of Gandhi (1869-1948)

Mahatma Gandhi - Life of Gandhi is also a popular documentaries life picturized on the complete life story of the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The entire story gives a complete description of his life in terms of his education, political spirit, spiritual leadership, and his significant contribution to India's freedom struggle. His unbound love and his never-ending search for truth are also presented in the film.


Swayam is a documentary film by Arun Chadha that received the Golden Conch Award in the 2004 International Documentary Festival held in Mumbai. The film showcases the impacts of micro-credit on women's self-help groups. It also highlights the social and financial support from the NGOs linked to such groups. Swayam actually means 'oneself' and the film delivers a holistic approach to put an end to ongoing violence against women. It aims to draw people's attention on the increasing efforts of self-help groups.

Made in India

Made in India is a very meaningful and significant documentary film that showcases the desperation of an infertile couple to have a child. The film shows the journey of an American couple traveling to India in search of a surrogate mother. The innovation and the advancement in technology have given a completely new dimension to the issue. The phenomenon of outsourcing surrogate mothers to India has increased tremendously to resolve severe family clashes. 

Documenting Your Documentary With Transcription

When you think about the word documentary , do you cringe in horror at the thought of having to sit through the humdrum monologue or are you excited to learn about the wonderful reality that is filmed? Sadly, there are far too many people who are disinterested these days in a good documentary that follows the lives of people, animals, or things around the world. Fortunately, there are still a few people out there who couldn't live without a good two-hour long documentary to fill their evening with learning.

It is for these people that this article was written, those who would be interested in knowing about documenting documentaries with transcription. Much like any other kind of broadcast, whether it is film or audio only, there are people paid to take down each word that has been said by the narrator, those they interview, and anyone in-between.

Just like any other transcription, documentaries transcription requires a skilled hand and the know-how to get things done in an accurate and quick manner. Often times, transcribers will be required to write as their focus is speaking. However, with documentaries which are often times filmed in the field, the transcribers will be given a copy of the film or audio to transcribe it into either paper format or a text file for their computer backup.

As a documentary film artist, if you've never thought of documentary transcribing, it is truly something to consider. Not only will it provide you with the ability to read over your documentary in the future, it will also give you something for your resume and records in the instance of a legal suit if someone hasn't filled out a proper waiver before appearing on the documentary.

Despite the fact that transcribing is involved in just about any part of the broadcasting or entertainment world, not many people will stop to think "Was this transcribed?" but, if you're one of the strange few who does have this question lording over your mind, you would be glad to know that yes, it more than likely was transcribed by one of the many documentary transcribers out there.

So, what if you want to become a documentary transcriber? Well, you have best be prepared to type a minimum of two hundred words per minute with an accuracy of ninety percent or more. These companies require the best of the best, especially if they are asking for live transcription. This isn't a time where you can go back and correct errors later, typically, a company will expect the transcription to be read-ready by the end of the program.

You must have a firm knowledge on spelling in the particular language that is being transcribed as well as a good grasp on grammar. While yes, not everyone will speak grammatically correct, you will still want to do your best to write what is said appropriately so that it can be read as it aired on television or on film. There is no middle ground when you want your documentary transcribing to be on the spot. 

Dinosaur Documentaries for Younger Children

Dinosaur Documentaries for Younger Children

Sesame Street: Dinosaurs! Genius Products. (2008)

For the much younger set (toddlers), the Sesame Street: Dinosaurs! DVD is a way to introduce your child to the world of dinosaurs. Popular kid's characters, Elmo, Telly and Abby Cadabby, explore dinosaurs in an imaginative way. The 40 minute video does provide an educational aspect covering a couple types of dinosaurs and some facts about them such as what they eat. It also talks a bit about other pre-historic creatures. However, education is not the sole aspect of this dvd and know that a lot of the content is just for entertainment value.

National Geographic: Really Wild Animals - Dinosaurs and Other Creature Features. (1995)

Re-released on DVD in 2005, this 47 minute long documentary explores both the world of dinosaurs as well as insects, bats and other "creepy crawlers". Narrated by Dudley Moore and accompanied by rock music and interviews, it uses humor to take away from some of the "scary" dinosaurs and creatures. This film uses provides us with lots of scientific information, however, the oldness of the film makes the animation outdated-which adults and some children might find "corny." This also does not provide any newer dinosaur research, but is still a good introductory documentary.

Dinosaur Documentaries for Older Children

National Geographic Kids: I Love Dinosaurs

The movie's title and description seem to advertise to younger children, however, this documentary's focus is on paleontology and dinosaur digs, which may be less appealing to young kids. Older children however, can learn lots about what paleontology is and what a "dig" is like. It follows paleontologist, Paul Sereno, as he uncovers a T-Rex and all the work that it involves. This is recommended for the older child who has a science and/or paleontology interest-it may be a bit boring for those just interested in seeing "real" dinosaurs.

Prehistoric Planet: The Complete Dino Dynasty. BBC. (2003)

Narrated by the well-liked Ben Stiller, this dinosaur documentary appeals to all ages. It's an adapted version from the BBC Walking With... series. It provides both information and action using CGI dinosaurs. One fun special feature included with this DVD is a 3-D gallery in which kids can put on 3-D glasses (included with DVD) to view pictures of dinos in 3D! However, if you already have seen or own the Walking with... series, this documentary will be very redundant because it uses footage from the original series.

Dinosaur Documentaries That Appeals to All Ages

Walking With Dinosaurs. BBC. (2002)

A widely popular BBC documentary series on dinosaurs and prehistoric times, Walking with Dinosaurs is an informative dinosaur DVD for both children and adults. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, this takes on a nature documentary style by observing computer animated dinosaurs in their "natural" habitat. This appeals to anyone with a dinosaur interest. However, some feel that the scenes in this documentary can be a bit graphic-the film contains violent dinosaur fights, dinosaurs eating each other and dinosaurs dying, so some feel it may not be appropriate for younger children. Please know that this DVD also comes in the combo pack-"The Complete Walking with... Collection" for the extreme dinosaur fans.

Other dinosaur documentaries that may appeal to kids are "All About Dinosaurs" (2008), BBC's "Before the Dinosaurs: Walking with Monsters" (2006) and Discovery Channel's "Dinosaur Planet. Real. Big. Stories." (2004) 

Great Collections of Dinosaur Documentaries

Many companies producing dinosaur documentaries have also released a combo-pack or collection of dinosaur documentaries. These packs have become a popular way to view and/or own a whole series on dinosaurs as opposed to individual episodes or programs. This article includes combo-packs that provide a wider range of information, are well-produced and lack a sense of repetitiveness from one DVD to the next.

*Note: These are not listed in any particular order.

Ultimate Dinosaur Collection. BBC video. (2007)
This collection puts together a popular and informative BBC series of dinosaur documentary . On 3 discs, this set includes "Before the Dinosaurs: Walking with Monsters", "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurs", "Chased by Dinosaurs" and a bonus program, "Trilogy of Life: The Making of Walking with Dinosaurs, Beasts and Monsters". The dinosaurs in this set are both computer-rendered and animatronic. The "Walking With" dinosaur documentaries are narrated by expert, Kenneth Branagh and the "Chased" series is narrated by zoologist, Nigel Mavens. The Ultimate Dinosaur Collection is an informative and visually appealing dinosaur documentary set, however these discs drop many of the special features released on the original DVD.

Discovery Essential Dinosaur Pack. Discovery Channel. (2008)
This combo-pack combines 7 of Discovery channel's most popular dinosaur documentaries . This is a 2 disc set that includes "Valley of the T-Rex", "T-Rex: New Science, New Beast", "When Dinosaurs Roamed America", "Utah's Dino Graveyard", "Dinosaur Planet", "The Mystery Dinosaur" and " Dinosaurs: Return to Life?". Discovery channel uses computer generated animation of dinosaurs. Narration is not done by experts, but by actors-for example, John Goodman, but there are many interviews with scientists and experts. This set is able to inform a wide audience (children to adults) of the dinosaur research that has occurred, although some of this research has become outdated.

The Complete Walking With...Collection. BBC Video (2000)
BBC provides us with another set of dinosaur documentaries. This one includes the three programs from BBC's Emmy-award winning series. On 5 discs, the complete collection includes "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurus: A Walking with Dinosaurs Special", and "Walking with Pre-historic Beasts" and also includes many special features such as behind-the-scenes features and interviews with the creators. The DVDs provide more realistic computer generated dinosaurs and uses interesting angles-which usually works well. This series does provide some humor to the narrating scene. This set does not include 2 other documentaries that were part of the Walking with...series-- "Cavemen" and "Life Before Dinosaurs"

Pre-Historic Earth: Natural History. BBC Video (2008).
This disc-set supplies a historical outlook of pre-historic times in BBC's total "Walking with..." series. It's a 6 disc set including "Before the Dinosaurs", "Walking with Monsters", "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurus", "Walking with Pre-Historic Beasts" and "Walking with Cavemen". This set aims to recreate the dinosaur world with computer-rendered dinosaurs in a natural environment. They are highly informative and take a scientific outlook. However, it has been said that some of the information in this film isn't fully accurate such as showing particular animals living together that may not actually have been possible. All in all, Pre-Historic Earth: Natural History is a comprehensive set of dinosaur documentaries and information.

Prehistoric Collection: From Dinosaurs to the Dawn of Man. History. (2009)
An overview of prehistoric times, History provides us with 4 highly popular dinosaur documentaries. On 8 discs, this set includes, "Jurassic Fight Club", "Prehistoric Mega-storms," "Journey to 10,000 B.C.", and "Clash of the Caveman." Jurassic Fight Club is focused only on dinosaurs and provides really great fight scenes as the name suggests. With decent computer-animation, the exciting fight scenes are also accompanied by expert narration and interviewers who truly love dinosaurs. The other 3 series aren't exactly dinosaur documentaries but they do relate to the prehistoric era. A broad range of knowledge on the pre-historic timeline is given in this DVD but it does use a common documentary film layout which avid documentary watchers may be familiar with.