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This documentary tip is almost too easy
October 06, 2011 – Documentary Tips Newsletter

Issue #6 – October 6, 2011 –


Thanks to everyone for your feedback on our brand new Documentary Proposal Template. We had fun giving it away for free and getting such a great response!

And a special thank you to these visitors who wrote in to let us know what they think of Desktop Documentaries.

"I just wanted to say that I think your website is amazing. I am a beginner with an idea, and the info and articles on your website are easy to understand and answer many questions I have. I was also impressed that I got some feedback on my doco idea within about 24 hours of posting it. I can't wait to start filming!"

-- Sarah (Sydney, Australia)

"After much search on the basics of documentary-making I found this little gem. Informative and easy on the mind. In every aspect of living there is a consciousness that the best ideas comes from the best equipped people. Desktop Documentaries is changing that because there are more stories to be told other than the ones we usually see. Great work! Desktop Documentaries is a beacon of information for future documentary makers."

-- Sedick Joseph Saralina (Cape Town, South Africa)

This Documentary Tip Is Almost Too Easy

There are a million great documentary ideas, right? Which one is right for you? Have you already decided what your documentary idea is going to be or are you still searching? What is the process you are going through deciding what your next film is going to be? Are you choosing something because it has personal meaning for you? Because you think it will change the world in some way? Make you tons of money? Whatever the reason, you've got to have PASSION for the idea.

I'm not just talking a little bit of passion. I'm talking deep down, at your core, this idea is something you connect with on every level. Is your curiosity on fire for this idea? Are you obsessed with knowing the answer your documentary will reveal or the possibilities of change it could create? Here's the thing. If you don't have genuine, honest to God passion for your documentary idea, your life is going to suck trying to make your film.

So here is my documentary tip for today. Choose a documentary idea you care deeply about and then go out there and shoot, edit and finish your film – no matter what. Mark my words, at some point while making your film you're going to ask “What was I thinking!??” Don't let that thought win out. Go back and remember what initially intrigued you about the idea and keep moving forward. Trust your initial instincts. It is at the point of your deepest despair and doubt that your hard core passion will have to kick in to finish the film. You will be glad in the end that you didn't let the doubt devils win.

Learn more about choosing a documentary idea that's right for you...

What's New at Desktop Documentaries?

Q&A with Documentary Filmmaker Gail Freedman -- New York documentary filmmaker Gail Freedman recently completed a documentary about the 9/11 Memorial for The History Channel. Read our interview with Gail and learn how she first got into making documentaries...

Confessions of a Filmmaking Amateur -- Check out our new humorous blog series by Scott Umstattd. (Hint, watch the video from Day Six. I promise you will feel better about yourself after watching it) ;)

Documentary Fundraising: Shaking The Money Tree - Learn how to raise money for your documentary and read my review of Morrie Warshawski's powerhouse fundraising book.

Documentary Idea: In Our Own Words - Check out one of the latest documentary ideas that came in from James in Alaska and pitch your own ideas!

Free Book and Other News! - Check out the Desktop Documentaries blog for a free book on distribution and all the other latest documentary news items.

Documentary Production 101 | Audio Series

Documentary Producing 101 Audio Series

Learn the basics of making a documentary from award-winning filmmaker Jilann Spitzmiller in this 4-hour audio series packed with real-world lessons, tips and advice.

Learn how Jilann got her films into the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast on national networks like the BBC and PBS.

It's like a documentary producing mini-masters course! We highly recommend this whole series.

Documentary Production 101 | 5-Part Audio Series

New Release | Documentary Proposal Template

Documentary Proposal Template

New Release!

If you're at the beginning stages of your documentary idea and looking for funding, this is a super helpful tool to help you create a winning proposal. Don't forget to leave your reviews if you've already downloaded it.

Documentary Proposal Template

Coming Soon | Documentary Fundraising Guide Book

Documentary Fundraising Guide

Coming Soon!

This is a 200+ page detailed fundraising guide designed specifically for documentary filmmakers and helping you get the funding you need for your project. Set for release in 2012.

Other Tools and Resources:

Animoto – Edit gorgeous videos without any experience whatsoever. This is a fantastic tool for creating a documentary trailer or any other short video.

Site Build It! – Need a website for your documentary? This "all-in-one" website builder will give you everything you need to build your website from domain name, to building traffic and growing your audience.

B&H Photo Video - Every filmmaker has probably purchased equipment from B&H at some point in their career. Whatever equipment you need for your next documentary project, these guys have it.

Stay Up To Date:

Catch the latest documentary news on our Desktop Documentaries Facebook Page. Make sure to stop by and "Like" us!

Until next time,


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