"Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen."
- Robert Bresson, French Film Director
Desktop Documentaries is dedicated to filmmakers looking for guidance, perspective and insight about documentary filmmaking.
"I found your site by chance... Congratulations, as someone who's made a living out of documentaries for 30 years, this is one of the most comprehensive summaries of what it takes to do it that I've ever seen." ~ Leo Eaton/President & CEO at Eaton Creative
Documentary filmmaking can feel overwhelming at times. That's because there's so much more to making a documentary than interviewing and shooting b-roll.
There's budgets and fundraising.
There's legalities involved in filming and telling someone else's story.
And finally, you want people to see your film, right? Welcome to the world of distribution!
All of these challenges can be overcome. And that's where Desktop Documentaries comes in!
Whether it's through our world-class courses or 1000+ pages of free articles...
Our navigation can get you to the finish line so you can experience the pinnacle of your adventure - the premiere of your film!
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Academy Award®-Nominated Writer-Director Daniel Raim attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles where he studied under one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most esteemed collaborators, Production Designer Robert F. Boyle. Raim has directed three award-winning and critically acclaimed feature documentaries and numerous documentary short subjects.
Peter Hamilton is a former CBS executive who has directed his New York-based international consulting firm for 30+ years.
His clients have included NBC, Discovery, A+E Networks, National Geographic Channels, Global Canal+ and BBC; the Rockefeller Foundation.
Instructor: Selling Your Documentary To Netflix!
Jilann Spitzmiller is an award-winning Documentary Filmmaker whose work has appeared on the BBC, Sundance Channel, Starz/Encore, PBS and many more.
She has successfully raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for documentary projects (including 3 ITVS funding awards and two Sundance Documentary Fund grants).
Instructor: Documentary Budgeting Masterclass / Templates
Hank Rogerson is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with credits including SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, picked up 11 awards on the festival circuit, and was broadcast worldwide. He produced and directed HOMELAND and CIRCLE OF STORIES for National PBS.
Anna Darrah is an experienced film buyer, negotiating with and licensing 800+ films in her 12 years working for Gaiam and Spiritual Cinema Circle. She is currently the head programmer for Illuminate Film Festival.
Anna has been an active player on the festival circuit and currently advises filmmakers on custom distribution strategies. She is a Co-Producer on the new film MEOW WOLF: ORIGIN STORY, which recently premiered at SXSW.
Gordan Firemark is an entertainment attorney based in California and also teaches Entertainment Law in Columbia College Hollywood's film program.
He's the producer and host of Entertainment Law Update, a podcast for artists and professionals in the entertainment industries and the author of The Podcast, Blog and New Media Producer’s Legal Survival Guide.
Scott Umstattd is the Development Coordinator for Desktop Documentaries bringing in and managing new business opportunities. Scott worked with Habitat for Humanity International 10-years managing million dollar partnerships.
He can often be found behind the lens of his camera, traveling the world. He is currently based in Mexico.