The Documentary Life

The Documentary Life

thedocumentarylife.com/podcast-latest
Documentary filmmaker & host, Chris G. Parkhurst, inspires & informs you on how to best live and lead your own doc life.


122 – Film Travel Tips and Gear Insurance
Jan 24 • 43 min
Are you thinking of traveling for your doc any time soon? Awesome. You know how much we love to travel for our doc filmmaking. And Chris has got some super useful tips for your doc filmmaking travel adventures! And whether you’re traveling abroad or just…
121 – Your Breakthrough Year and #Doclifer, Josh Davidsburg
Jan 10 • 43 min
Shouldn’t you be making 2020 your breakthrough year in documentary filmmaking? We all know how difficult, sometimes frustrating, it can be getting our doc films made. And how trying it can be living our doc lives. No one knows this better than I. Which is…
Season Two TDL BONUS!
Dec 27, 2019 • 35 min
Welcome to your Season Two BONUS episode! In which you’ll find selections from five of some of my favorite conversations that I’ve had with documentary filmmakers over the past 120 episodes of the show. Below, you can click on the full episodes to listen…
120 – Documenting Your Family with Irene Taylor Brodsky
Dec 13, 2019 • 43 min
Filming the ones that we love and making documentaries about them can be a challenging, but ultimately very rewarding experience. It can be full of emotional pitfalls. It can bring families closer together . And no one knows this better than Academy…
119 – Editing For Documentary Filmmakers with Paddy Bird
Nov 29, 2019 • 46 min
One of the most popular topics on The Documentary Life deals with post production. More specifically, editing your documentary film. And not surprisingly one of the most popular guests on the program is industry expert, Paddy Bird. Because of this we’ve…
118 – Filming Behind Bars with Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein
Nov 14, 2019 • 35 min
Two veterans of Ken Burns films, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, have recently completed work on their documentary film, four-part PBS series, College Behind Bars. And I had the pleasure of speaking with the both of them about some of their experiences…
117 – How to Raise $8k Quickly and Bring Scriptwriting Principles to Your Documentary Film
Nov 1, 2019 • 59 min
How can you raise a quick $8k in 18 days for your documentary film? Steph and I recently did this on our doc project, Elvis of Cambodia. We’d like to share a few things that worked well and one thing that we wished we’d done! How can you bring feature…
116 – Sculpture, Breast Cancer, and Documentary Film with Prune Nourry
Oct 18, 2019 • 43 min
How does one combine the expanse of one’s artistic works and their personal journey with breast cancer into their first documentary film? This is what was on my mind as I spoke with French sculptor, installation artist, anthropologist, cancer survivor and…
115 – Email Marketing for the Documentary Filmmaker
Oct 3, 2019 • 38 min
What if there was a viable way for the independent documentary filmmaker to build and sustain an audience to support your doc films for the duration of your career? And what if there was a straight forward way that you, the doc filmmaker, could do it…
114 – Documentary Filmmaking Abroad with Edward Watts & Waad Al-Kateab
Sep 19, 2019 • 46 min
If you were subjected to daily bombardment from the air, you were entrenched in a make-shift hospital, and you’d just recently had a baby, would you still be able to pick up your camera and film events? Well, if you’re Syrian doc filmmaker, Waad…
113 – The Fundraising Houseparty For the Documentary Filmmaker
Sep 5, 2019 • 51 min
What if there was a pretty straightforward way for the independent documentary filmmaker to raise a quick infusion of funding for their documentary film… simply by holding a party? Well, there is. It’s called the fundraising houseparty. And there is a…
112 – Lean Team Documentary Filmmaking with Rustin Thompson
Aug 22, 2019 • 53 min
Ever noticed just how many barriers there seem to be to this documentary filmmaking thing? Funding. Equipment. Live pitch presentations. Distribution platforms. You name it, everywhere you turn as a doc filmmaker, there seems to be something keeping you…
111 – The Doc Filmmaker’s Money Mindset & Blue Collar Filmmaking
Aug 8, 2019 • 51 min
So many of us doc filmmakers think that we’ll never make any money from our films. Or that we’re incapable of raising money for them. And that’s wrong. There is actually no reason that any of us should assume that those statements are true. This is all…
110 – Melbourne Documentary and Chasing the Jet Stream
Jul 25, 2019 • 54 min
So many doc filmmakers are doing the one person crew documentary. For many, it’s a necessary evil due to financial constraints of the doc filmmaker. But for some, like doco Claudio von Planta, it’s the preferred way of shooting his films. And it also just…
109 – Make Great Documentaries From Where You Are with Billy Corben
Jul 12, 2019 • 50 min
How many times have you been approached by a friend or family member with another “great idea for a documentary”, when they find out that you’re a doc filmmaker? Well, if you’re anything like Miami doc filmmaker, Billy Corben – director behind such docs…
108 – Maiden and Archival Storytelling with Alex Holmes
Jun 28, 2019 • 46 min
Ever wonder what it might be like to discover a treasure trove of archival footage that lay untouched for over thirty years for your documentary film? That’s exactly what happened for veteran BBC and multi-award winning filmmaker, Alex Holmes on his…
107 – Meta Filmmaking and Framing John DeLorean
Jun 14, 2019 • 53 min
When filmmakers Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce met, it was a match in doc filmmaking heaven. Their first documentary film, The Art of the Steal, was a Netflix hit that would lead them to their next doc projects, and ultimately to their lives as full-time…
106 – Making a Documentary Series in China with Dominic Johnson-Hill
May 31, 2019 • 41 min
Entrepreneur, Dominic Johnson-Hill, has just spent the last year traveling China and presenting for the documentary series, Seasons of China. But the journey to becoming one of China’s most recognizable tv presenters was a unique one, and certainly not…
105 – Doug Block and The D-Word
May 24, 2019 • 52 min
Doug Block has made a living out of the personal documentary style, including films like Home Page, 51 Birch Street, and The Kids Grow Up. He is also the pioneer behind one of the largest online documentary filmmaking communities, The D-word, which has…
104 – Crowdfunding Your Documentary Film with John Trigonis
May 17, 2019 • 52 min
Few people know the crowdfunding game like John Trigonis. He is considered to be one of the leading experts in the game. And with good reason, since he has been leading some of the most impressive crowdfunding campaigns for film companies and independent…
103 – Doc Filmmaking, Festivals, and Podcasting with Thom Powers
May 10, 2019 • 57 min
Thom Powers has been more in touch with documentary filmmaking and filmmakers than most anyone I know. Which makes sense, since he made docs for about a decade, programs for two of the most prestigious film festivals (TIFF and DOCNYC), and is now the host…
102 – On the FRONTLINE with Doc Filmmakers, James Jones and Olivier Sarbil
May 3, 2019 • 60 min
Doc filmmaking duo, James Jones and Olivier Sarbil, have been making their doc living on the frontline of some of the world’s most dangerous areas. But they didn’t necessarily always intend it to be this way. Join us for a powerful and engaging…
101 – The First Female Director with Pamela B. Green
Apr 26, 2019 • 49 min
We’re back! Season 2 of the TDL podcast has officially begun… Pamela B. Green has made her first documentary feature, Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache. And it is about one of the true pioneers of cinema, Alice Guy Blache. You’ve probably…
100 – Happy Thanksgiving Finale From The Documentary Life
Nov 23, 2018 • 56 min
It is the week of giving thanks, as we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Coincidentally, it is episode #100, our last episode of Season One of the podcast. And I am joined by my better half, the producer for the show, Stephanie Vincenti. And we have…
99 – Outdoor Adventure Films with Peter Mortimer
Nov 16, 2018 • 59 min
Peter Mortimer has been climbing and making outdoor adventure films for the past twenty years through his company, Sender Films. His company has put out some of the most recognizable outdoor adventure images on the planet, as well as founded The Reel Rock…
98 – Working with Werner Herzog and Les Blank with Maureen Gosling
Nov 9, 2018 • 44 min
Maureen Gosling is not only the editor of my favourite documentary film of all time, but quite possibly my favourite film of all time. Period. That film is Les Blank’s Burden of Dreams, starring Werner Herzog. And as we near our finale episode for Season…
97 – Understanding Doc Society with Maxyne Franklin
Nov 2, 2018 • 45 min
Doc Society (formerly BritDoc) is a non-profit that has been working directly with documentary filmmakers since its inception in 2005, to make the most impact in the world with their art. Whether with their flagship program, Good Pitch, their Impact…
96 – Short Your Way to a Feature with Jon Kasbe
Oct 26, 2018 • 46 min
Jon Kasbe may not be a name that you are familiar with… yet. Unless you are intricately connected to film festivals or an avid follower of short documentary films, you may not know of this filmmaker’s work. But he’s most certainly someone that you will…
95 – America to Steve James
Oct 19, 2018 • 46 min
Steve James is one of the most recognizable names in documentary. Many of us #doclifers have been inspired by his films and the way in which he makes them. He was on TDL back on the eve of the Academy Awards for his doc, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail. Not…
94 – Documentary Film Distribution with Jon Reiss
Oct 12, 2018 • 48 min
No one knows documentary film distribution in quite the way that film distro wizard, Jon Reiss does. The founder of Hybrid Cinema and author of film distribution Bible, Think Outside the Box Office joined us for this week’s episode of TDL. And it was one…
93 – The Full-time Doc Filmmaker, with Mat Hames
Oct 5, 2018 • 50 min
Mat Hames is one of the few, fortunate ones in our doc world that makes his entire living doing his passion of documentary film. Whether it is through he and his wife’s company, Alpheus Media, or through Rooster Teeth’s RT Docs, Hames has been making…
92 – How to Fund Your Film: The Individual Donor
Sep 28, 2018 • 29 min
An often overlooked aspect of film funding is the individual donor. Which is kind of surprising, given that statistics tend to show that 50 percent (and sometimes more) make up the overall funding for doc filmmakers. Amidst, all of the dialogue and…
91 – Doc Filmmakers Getting Real, with Claire Aguilar
Sep 21, 2018 • 35 min
Getting Real is a biennial conference put on by International Documentary Association (IDA) to foster three days of documentary media discussion, with documentary filmmaker’s sustainability at the core of its discussion. Along with the theme of…
90 – 5 (More) Reasons to Make Your Documentary Film
Sep 14, 2018 • 38 min
If you are like so many of us doc filmmakers, there have been numerous times where you have questioned or doubted whether or not you should or perhaps even could make a documentary film. There are even seasoned filmmakers with multiple docs to their…
89 – Minding the Gap with Director, Bing Liu
Sep 7, 2018 • 43 min
Every once in awhile a young filmmaker comes out of nowhere and takes the doc world by storm. And this year that name seems to be Bing Liu. And his doc Minding the Gap seems to be all over the place these days. Bing’s film won the Sundance 2018 Jury for…
88 – 5 Tips for Your Film Festival Strategy
Aug 31, 2018 • 27 min
Last week, #doclifer Josh Davidsburg took advantage of the TDL Hotline and left a message with us asking about advice for a film festival strategy. Not only did we answer his question and offer up some suggestions, but we took it a step further and…
87 – Learning to Breath with Documentary Photography with Alison Wright
Aug 24, 2018 • 53 min
Alison Wright has been traveling and working in 150 countries and doing documentary photography for 35+ years. She is one of the single most impressive human beings that you may ever meet. She has lived more in her life than most of us will if we lived to…
86 – Influential Documentaries to My Doc Life
Aug 17, 2018 • 34 min
As a doc filmmaker, how many times have you been asked what your favorite documentary film is? If you’re anything like me, it’s a nearly impossible and futile question to answer. There are just too many incredibly documentaries that have influenced,…
85 – Talking Directing and Development with Three Identical Strangers director, Tim Wardle
Aug 10, 2018 • 42 min
One of the biggest documentary hits of the summer has been Tim Wardles’ Three Identical Strangers, a film that follows the incredible true story of triplets who learned of one another’s existence only at age 19, their initial joy giving way to…
84 – Staying Connected as a Documentary Filmmaking
Aug 3, 2018 • 27 min
Last week we attended Podcast Movement 2018 in Philadelphia, USA. It was a great refresher for us – even an eye opener on some levels – in terms of what we are doing with the podcast as well as what we’re doing as doc filmmakers. As was the case last…
83 – My (Rather Candid) Conversation with Brexitannia Director, Timothy George Kelly
Jul 20, 2018 • 51 min
There is something – many things, really – that can be said about having a conversation with Timothy George Kelly (dir., Brexitannia) on the current state of documentary film (or Brexit, for that matter). But you probably wouldn’t believe me if I tried to…
82 – Maximizing Your Doc Life with Pedram Shojai, OMD
Jul 13, 2018 • 55 min
Pedram Shojai has been embodying the doc life now for years. In fact, one might argue that he was doing so even before he was making documentaries, building his life to his passions of Taoism, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and practicing Oriental medicine. A few…
81 – Hacking the Documentary Film Festival, Part Two
Jul 6, 2018 • 48 min
It’s that time again to turn our attention to breaking down the barriers of that ever-elusive filmmaking animal that we’ve all come to respect and love, but few of us truly understand… the film festival. Last year, we ran a two-part special on the subject…
80 – Hacking the Documentary Film Festival, Part One
Jun 29, 2018 • 55 min
It’s that time again to turn our attention to breaking down the barriers of that ever-elusive filmmaking animal that we’ve all come to respect and love, but few of us truly understand… the film festival. Last year, we ran a two-part special on the subject…
79 – Filming in Dangerous Environments with Doc Filmmakers, Chris Kelly & Venerable Luon Sovath
Jun 22, 2018 • 55 min
The number of docos filming in dangerous or hostile environments has been steadily increasing over the past decade, with the access to both dependable portable film gear as well as the best areas in which to tell a given story. What has not necessarily…
78 – From Producing Film DVD Extras to Doc Filmmaking with Jeffrey Schwarz
Jun 15, 2018 • 59 min
If you’re like me, you are a fan of watching the DVD extras or the making-of videos of some of your favorite films. In fact, Ive been inspired and gained some of my very filmmaking knowledge by watching some of the film extras included on dvds. We have a…
77 – Mobile Filmmaking Special Pt 2, with FiLMic Pro’s, Neill Barham
Jun 8, 2018 • 40 min
In part two of our special on mobile filmmaking for the doc filmmaker, we decided to go right to the source: FiLMic Pro‘s, CEO & found, Neill Barham. And he did not let down. If you have ever even had so much as a thought to making your next doc with you…
76 – Mobile Filmmaking Special, Pt 1 with Anna Brees
Jun 1, 2018 • 54 min
To say that phone filmmaking has quickly turned from shooting cute home movies of your kids to full-fledged filmmaking would be an understatement. And understandably, doc filmmakers, have really been embracing this notion of creating a documentary film…
75 – Talking the Doc Life with My Doc Wife
May 25, 2018 • 52 min
I figured since I’m always on here prattling on about my doc life, it might be different to talk about – or actually, with! – my doc wife, Stephanie. We figured what better way to celebrate our second anniversary – of the podcast, that is – than to have…
74 – Archival Storytelling For Your Documentary with Tom Jennings
May 18, 2018 • 55 min
Through his production company, 1895 Films, Tom Jennings has become known for his fresh and inventive approach to using archival footage to tell a story. With both Peabody and Emmy Awards under his belt, there are few who have mastered the art of archival…
73 – Making Great Sound for Your Documentary with Jean Umansky
May 11, 2018 • 58 min
Jean Umansky is one of the most respected sound persons in the field of filmmaking. He is a French sound engineer who has worked on over 50+ narrative and documentary films, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound on Amelie. In our…
72 – Direct Distribution for Your Documentary with Christopher Rufo
May 4, 2018 • 56 min
The topic of film distribution is, perhaps, one of the most requested topics that we’ve ever had for the podcast. And it’s no wonder. While there may seem like more options than ever for the doc filmmaker, it’s hard to know which ones may be best suited…
71 – Making a Netflix Docuseries with Flint Town Producer, Gary Kout
Apr 27, 2018 • 61 min
These are pretty amazing times for documentary filmmakers. Not only have the popularity of documentary films increased exponentially, not only are there far more resources available these days to doc filmmakers, but the distribution platforms that are out…
70 – Crowdfunding for Your Documentary with Seed & Spark’s, Emily Best
Apr 20, 2018 • 48 min
Crowdfunding, nowadays, is one of the most common funding options out there for the documentary filmmaker. However, the crowdfunding playing field has evolved considerably since the early days of Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Take for instance, Seed & Spark.…
69 – The Art of Film Funding with Carole Lee Dean
Apr 13, 2018 • 61 min
It’s no secret that one of the bigger hurdles that we are often faced with as documentary filmmakers is that of funding. It is my intention with this episode to hopefully make things a little lighter for you, when it comes to finding funds for your…
68 – Wild Wild Documentary Life with Maclain and Chapman Way
Apr 6, 2018 • 63 min
Maclain and Chapman Way have recently directed, edited, produced one of the most talked about Netflix docuseries of the year, Wild Wild Country. They have become one of the hottest, most sought after doc filmmaking duos around. Of course, their success…
67 – Making the Personal Documentary with Michael Wiese
Mar 30, 2018 • 60 min
In this episode are joined by someone who is well-acquainted with making personal documentaries, or as he refers to them, as spiritual documentaries. Michael Wiese has been making documentary films for 40+ years and is also the founder/owner of the…
66 – Making Your Splash as a Documentary Filmmaker with Kelly Richmond Pope
Mar 23, 2018 • 52 min
We welcome CPA, Professor of Accountancy, fraud expert, and documentary filmmaker, Kelly Richmond Pope to the programme. Kelly comes highly recommended by other Kartemquin alum, and once you’ve heard this frank and open conversation about how she lives…
65 – The Other Side of the Doc Camera with Up Series’, Nick Hitchon
Mar 16, 2018 • 58 min
In our first 64 episodes of this podcast we have touched upon a host of documentary-related topics and spoken with a variety of guests. However, until now, we’d never spoken with someone who has been on the other side of the documentary camera. And what…
64 – Margaret Byrne Leads a Documentary Life
Mar 9, 2018 • 53 min
No other guest that we’ve yet had on the show exemplifies what we’ve been defining over the past 21 months here on TDL as living and leading a documentary life, quite as well as Raising Bertie filmmaker, Margaret Byrne. Margaret went from working for MTV…
63 – Stories Make the World with Documentary Writer/Producer, Stephen Most
Mar 2, 2018 • 58 min
Storytelling is always at the heart of any kind of documentary journey. And for today’s episode of the podcast, we will explore 5 Ways to Tell Someone’s Story, followed by a shared conversation with, Stephen Most, who has been working in documentary for…
62 – Career Doc Filmmaker + 2018 Academy Award Nominee, Steve James
Feb 23, 2018 • 64 min
So what exactly does one say to one of the most respected documentary filmmakers of our time? What does one say to the man who literally inspired countless future doc filmmakers when his film Hoop Dreams took the world by storm in 1994? What do you say to…
61 – Filming in Extreme Weather Conditions with Doc Filmmaker, Anthony Powell
Feb 16, 2018 • 53 min
Filming in extreme environments as a doc filmmaker can be a challenging thing. Shooting in Antarctica? A whole other ballgame. Just ask Anthony Powell, who has been working on the continent for over a decade, and has recently released the award-winning…
60 – ‘Directing the Documentary’ with Michael Rabiger
Feb 9, 2018 • 55 min
If there ever was a Bible for documentary filmmaking, for my money, it would have to be Michael Rabiger‘s Directing the Documentary. The shear volume of books, online courses, podcasts, and How-to Youtube videos that are out there for the indie filmmaker…
59 – Film Funding & Distribution with ‘Big Sonia’ Filmmakers
Feb 2, 2018 • 63 min
Film marketing & promotions, crowdfunding, and theatrical distribution are topics that, at some point in time, all independent doc filmmakers will need to know about. So if you’re looking to start arming yourself with some knowledge that’s going to…
58 – The Importance of IDA for the Doc Filmmaker with Simon Kilmurry
Jan 26, 2018 • 54 min
The International Documentary Association (IDA) has been nurturing, guiding, and contributing to the projects and lives of documentary filmmakers since its inception in 1982. In the organisation’s words However, for many of us doc filmmakers who are not…
57 – How to Make a Music Documentary with Ian McFarland
Jan 19, 2018 • 64 min
How to Make a Music Documentary The music documentary has a long history as well as a special place in my heart when it comes to documentary films. A couple of my favourite docs of the past few years have fallen into this category. I love geeking out on…
56 – How to Shoot a MicroDoc with Preeti Mankar Deb
Jan 12, 2018 • 56 min
The short form documentary aka micro documentary has been one of the emerging forms of filmmaking over the past decade. The demand and acceptance for this type of content has been so great that even major commercial brands are now hiring doc filmmakers to…
55 – How to Write Your Documentary Film Grant Proposal with Joanna Rabiger
Jan 5, 2018 • 66 min
How to Write Your Documentary Grant Proposal For the documentary filmmaker, obtaining a grant to do one’s film can sometimes feel akin to the quest for the Holy Grail. And so sitting down to actually construct a well-crafted documentary grant proposal can…
54 – TDL Highlights of 2017
Dec 29, 2017 • 61 min
Highlights of 2017 As 2017 draws to a close, it feels like a good time to look back in honor and reflection on the year that was here at TDL, and to then look forward to what will be in 2018. As we did last year, we took some choice clips from our shared…
53 – 5 Advantages to Shooting Solo + Conversation with iPhone Doc Filmmaker, Jack Ballo
Dec 22, 2017 • 65 min
5 Advantages to Shooting Solo as a Doc Filmmaker Whether by necessity or aesthetic choice, we doc filmmakers often shoot our projects with minimal crew and gear, sometimes even opting to go entirely solo. There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages…
52 – 5 Things to Look For in a Fiscal Sponsorship + Conversation with The Film Festival Doctor
Dec 15, 2017 • 55 min
5 Things to Look For in a Fiscal Sponsorship The fiscal sponsorship is one of the more critical aspects of a doc filmmaker’s success when seeking funds for their film. And we take a look at 5 things that can help you decide who might be a good fit as your…
51 – The Imposter Syndrome + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker, Lourdes Portillo
Dec 8, 2017 • 60 min
Do you consider yourself a documentary filmmaker or is that a term that you are hesitant to give yourself? Is there something that is holding you back from your first documentary film? Perhaps what’s keeping you from being a doc filmmaker, or making your…
50 – 5 Ways to Nurture Your Doc Life + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker, Rebecca Dreyfus
Dec 1, 2017 • 71 min
5 Ways to Nurture Your Doc Life There are many ways that we documentary filmmakers take care of ourselves, or perhaps maybe more aptly put, do not take care of ourselves. And with the long hours, sometimes limited budgets, sometimes other day jobs, family…
49 – 5 Things to Be Thankful for In Your Doc Life + Conversation with Wildlife Filmmaker, Zoltan Torok
Nov 24, 2017 • 64 min
Zoltan Torok is one of the world’s premiere wildlife filmmakers. He spends days, sometimes weeks-on-end in some of the most remote regions of the earth, behind some of the most fantastical-looking camera setups, in order to bring you mere seconds of…
48 – How to Become a Professional Editor with Inside the Edit’s, Paddy Bird
Nov 17, 2017 • 71 min
If editing were something we could learn from a manual or Youtube videos, we could all become great storytellers in fairly short order. We could just sit down, learn a few keys, maybe read a theory book or two, and we’d be off, right? But editing, of…
47 – 5 Best Ways to Market and Distribute Your Documentary + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker, Nathan Fitch
Nov 10, 2017 • 56 min
5 Best Ways to Market and Distribute Your Documentary After all of the time, energy, and money spent getting one’s documentary film to completion, how does an independent documentary filmmaker market and distribute their doc once it’s finished? In this…
46 – 5 Ways to Edit More Efficiently + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker, C. Fitz
Nov 3, 2017 • 64 min
5 Ways to Edit More Efficiently To edit a documentary can be a tricky, sometimes frustrating business, even for the more seasoned veterans. But for the less experienced, the edit can just be a downright intimidating, or worse, even project-ending phase.…
45 – Taking the Leap of Faith with Your Doc + Conversation with Filmmakers of The After Hours Club Series
Oct 27, 2017 • 62 min
Believing in yourself as a documentary filmmaker is critical to seeing one’s documentary project through. With so many pitfalls and obstacles along the way, not to mention a multitude of different aspects and phases to the craft of filmmaking, how does…
44 – How to Be a One Person Crew + Conversation with Filmmaker & Co-founder of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn
Oct 20, 2017 • 72 min
Gordon Quinn has been making documentary films for over 50+ years with his landmark company, Kartemquin Films. You may not know his name, but you’ve most likely seen one, if not a number of the films that he has been associated with. His impact has been…
43 – What Do You Want, #DocLifer? + Conversation with The Multimedia Ninja, Bradford Rogers
Oct 6, 2017 • 58 min
For today’s episode of TDL I’m going to do something a little different. Today, I’m going to be asking you, my fellow #doclifer, some questions. I’d like to discover a little bit more about who you are, friend. ° What sorts of things are you doing to best…
42 – How Our Docs Can Make the World a Better Place + BlackBox founder, filmmaker, Pat McGowan
Sep 29, 2017 • 58 min
In this increasingly growing world of content creators, but ever shrinking world of actual distributors who allow you to retain at least some rights to your work, how can the independent documentary filmmaker best work with the big boys of content…
41 – How to Get Your First Documentary Grant + Documentary Filmmaker, Jennifer Brea
Sep 22, 2017 • 61 min
Getting your first documentary grant can be akin to getting into your first documentary film festival. That is, it is often the first one that is the most difficult one to get. Getting that first grant can often be the keystone to making other grants…
40 – How to Shoot Great Looking B-roll + Documentary Filmmaking Couple, Jonathan Lacocque & Clara Lehmann
Sep 15, 2017 • 64 min
One of the often overlooked elements to a documentary filmmaker’s footage is their B-roll. And the biggest reason that I have to make this assumption is the copious amounts of really really bad looking B-roll that is out there in the world. Hell, there…
39 – Attending Live Documentary Events + Documentary Entertainment Law Conversation with Entertainment Lawyer, Gordon Firemark
Sep 8, 2017 • 63 min
As a documentary filmmaker, often the idea of having to wrangle talent releases, location releases, crew deal memos, music rights, all seems like a world that is not really ours. That’s for the feature film and television people, right? Wrong. Like, you…
38 – 5 Reasons to Study Documentary Filmmaking + Conversation with Aussie Doc Filmmakers, Matthew Salleh & Rose Tucker
Sep 1, 2017 • 63 min
The idea that one must go to school for documentary filmmaking in order to become a good documentary filmmaker is a fairly hollow assumption. There are plenty great doc films made by people that never had any sort of formal training in film. But does that…
37 – The (Sometimes) Overlooked Importance of Film Score to Your Doc + Conversation with Film Music Composer, Peter Broderick
Aug 25, 2017 • 46 min
I would like to talk to you about Peter Broderick. No, not that Peter Broderick, the independent film distribution guru. But another Peter Broderick. Who makes music. Really really amazing music. The kind that when you first listen to it, you think, ‘wow,…
36 – Workflow Tips for Your First Documentary + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker, Brian Kimmel
Aug 18, 2017 • 68 min
Over the past few months I’ve received a number of requests for a show dedicated to how one goes about making their first documentary film. And the truth is, I could probably spend the next year dedicated to this particular topic. The world of documentary…
35 – Getting into the Film/TV Industry + Conversation with Doc Filmmaker & Performance Artist, Jeremy Xido
Aug 11, 2017 • 69 min
Professional actor, writer, director, and documentary filmmaker, Jeremy Xido, initially set out to do research for a documentary film about Chinese railway construction workers in Angola. What he ended up with was a film about native Angolans entrenched…
34 – How to Make a Living Shooting EPK/BTS + Conversation with Digital Film Pioneer, Feature Film, and Documentary Director, Stefan Avalos
Aug 4, 2017 • 78 min
Shooting BTS (behind-the-scenes), or EPK (electronic press kit) as it’s known in the film industry, can be a great and a rather appropriate way for a documentary filmmaker to make some additional income. I mean, who else to better create short…
33 – 5 Ways to Make Your Documentary Film Standout + Conversation with Academy Award-Nominated Director, Scriptwriter Daniel Raim
Jul 28, 2017 • 62 min
Documentary Scriptwriting One of the more over-looked aspects of making your documentary film is the scriptwriting process. If your intention is to just shoot, shoot, shoot, and then go through your footage and knock something up, you might be in for a…
32 – The Importance of the War Correspondent, Documentary Filmmaker + Conversation with Legendary War Journo, Nate Thayer
Jul 21, 2017 • 67 min
The War Correspondent History wouldn’t be quite the same without the tireless and sometimes incredibly dangerous work of the war correspondent or doc filmmaker. Ever since I could pick up a camera, I found myself somehow deeply interested and connected…
31 – Personal Finances & the Documentary Filmmaker + Conversation with ‘Glitter Tribe’ Director Jon Manning
Jul 14, 2017 • 62 min
Debt can be a crippling thing for anyone, and documentary filmmakers are no exception. In fact, it’s we independent filmmakers who are often hit in particular with the ugly debt stick. The kids’ daycare, medical bills, rent, a new camera for a project.…
30 – TDL Now Weekly Show! + Conversation with ‘Real Boy’ Director Shaleece Haas
Jul 7, 2017 • 60 min
Welcome to the first episode of The Documentary Life‘s new weekly format! Contained within this initial release I’ll start off by detailing how the new format will work from this point forward. Namely, you’ll be happy to know that we’ll be releasing a new…
29 – The World of the Documentary Film Festival, Part Two
Jun 23, 2017 • 49 min
Documentary Film Festival, Part Two Welcome to part two of a very special two-part series that explores the mysterious world of the documentary film festival from the perspective of the filmmaker as well as the director of a film festival. In part two we…
28 – The World of the Documentary Film Festival, Part One
Jun 9, 2017 • 64 min
Documentary Film Festival, Part One Welcome to part one of a very special two-part series that explores the mysterious world of the documentary film festival from the perspective of the filmmaker as well as the director of a film festival. In part one we…
27 – Faith Fuller Turns Tables on TDL Host, Chris G. Parkhurst
May 26, 2017 • 53 min
TDL’s (Temporary) New Host We are excited to announce that the new host of TDL is Faith Fuller (formerly of Desktop Documentaries)! Okay, so maybe it’s only for one week. And while Faith still holds her post as founder/curator of doc filmmaking resource…
26 – Arrested Filming Your Documentary, with Doc Filmmakers, Lindsey Grayzel & Deia Schlosberg
May 12, 2017 • 64 min
Back in October, documentary filmmakers, Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel were arrested while filming separate but linked acts of civil disobedience. In Grayzel’s case it was for her documentary film, The Reluctant Radical, a film that follows climate…
25 – Ten Hot Tips for Shooting Your Documentary Interview
Apr 28, 2017 • 28 min
The interview is the cornerstone of the documentary film. And therefore mastering the conducting of the interview is not something to be taken lightly. It is an art form unto itself. But sadly, many take this age-old journalistic practice for granted. And…
24 – Conversation with The Filmmakers Process Founder, Robert Hardy
Apr 13, 2017 • 42 min
Many of you are probably familiar with Robert Hardy‘s work for No Film School, where he wrote film content for the popular website. But it is with his own creation, The Filmmaker’s Process, that Hardy has really come into his own, sharing his own…
23 – How to Diversify Your Income as a Documentary Filmmaker
Mar 31, 2017 • 35 min
You’ve got to get creative with your income when you’re trying to make it as a documentary filmmaker in this world. Luckily, there are a number of different, actually pretty cool ways in which you can do this. Here on episode #23, I dive into five pretty…
22 – Conversation with Documentary Filmmaker, Brent E. Huffman
Mar 17, 2017 • 67 min
Brent E. Huffman‘s debut documentary, Saving Mes Aynak, is making a lot of noise these days. This MacArthur Foundation-sponsored film has played dozens of film festivals all over the globe, and its filmmaker, Huffman, has been on media outlets such as…
21 – How to Stop Getting Derailed and Refocus on Your Documentary Film
Mar 3, 2017 • 33 min
Remember when you were incredibly excited about that new documentary project you’d been working on? The one that you even raised some funds via Kickstarter and shot about 50+ hrs of footage? Then do you remember when in the middle of production you and…
20 – Conversation with Documentary Filmmaker, Justin Schein
Feb 17, 2017 • 63 min
Justin Schein is the kind of documentary filmmaker that most of us aspire to be. He is a thoughtful, sensitive, and articulate technician dedicated to his craft. And his latest film, Left on Purpose is the kind of intelligent, compassion, and in the end,…
19 – Achieving Balance in Your Documentary Life
Feb 3, 2017 • 36 min
Work-life balance? Sure, you’ve probably heard of this. Whether in books, seminars, tv, or radio, we’re always hearing about the necessity of some sort of balance in our daily lives and the various ways in which we might better achieve this. But what…
18 – Conversation with Professional Storyteller, Joel ben Izzy
Jan 20, 2017 • 60 min
The term storyteller seems to be one of the more misunderstood or misused vocational words in the past decade. Certainly this seems to be the case in a world of ad agencies, video production companies, and self-styled online entrepreneurs. Joel ben Izzy…
17 – Working with Someone You Don’t Enjoy Working With
Jan 6, 2017 • 35 min
Let’s be honest. We’ve all worked with someone that we just didn’t click with or downright despised, but felt like we had no choice but to stick it out with them. Or we’ve worked on that project that drove us to tears and frustration, so much so that we…
16 – Best of TDL 2016, Look to 2017
Dec 9, 2016 • 35 min
Are you one of those people who loves a good End-of-the-Year list? Yeah, me too. I absolutely love them, truth be told. I know, I know. Kinda cheesy… but kinda fun. And that’s why I’ve put together this retrospective this mix tape, if you will, of this,…
15 – Shaking the Money Tree with Film Funding Consultant Morrie Warshawski
Nov 25, 2016 • 62 min
Funding For Your Film What bigger question does the documentary filmmaker have than ‘Where can I find funding for my film?’ ? Well, today’s documentary industry guest is writer and film funding guru, Morrie Warshawski. Morrie wrote the well-known (and…
14 – How to Run Your Kickstarter Campaign
Nov 11, 2016 • 33 min
So you’ve heard about this cool thing called crowdfunding – or Kickstarter or Indiegogo – where people are getting their documentary films financed by people all around the world. who are interested in being a part of their project. And you’re thinking…
13 – Conversation with Filmmaker Brian Jenkins
Oct 28, 2016 • 55 min
Filmmaker, and record label owner, Brian Jenkins reached out to me a little over a month ago. He was a fan of the show, as well as a contributor to the doc filmmaking online resource Desktop Documentaries. He wanted to make me aware of the upcoming…
12 – Filming Documentaries Overseas
Oct 14, 2016 • 40 min
Film Documentaries Overseas Okay, so it should be noted that this podcast is being released a week after I actually recorded it since I’m currently in the ridiculously sunny and ridiculously humid climes of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico filming on Let’s Talk…
11 – Desktop Documentaries with Filmmaker Faith Fuller
Sep 30, 2016 • 67 min
On this International Podcast Day (yes, there is such a thing!), it’s only appropriate to bring you another installment to our monthly conversations with documentary industry people. This time out, I spoke with documentary filmmaker (Briars in the Cotton…
10 – Avoid These Common Mistakes Before ‘Jumping In’ on Your Documentary Film
Sep 16, 2016 • 26 min
I’m often asked about the most common mistakes one can avoid before diving headlong into one’s documentary project. In some ways, I can’t really decide if I’m the right or wrong one to ask this question to. I mean, I’ve kind of made some of the same…
9 – Why & How Filmmaker Ian McCluskey Lives a Documentary Life
Sep 3, 2016 • 56 min
It’s episode 9 and I really feel that we’re hitting some sort of proverbial stride with this one. In this latest installment to our monthly conversations with an industry person, I spoke with filmmaker and founder of NW Documentary, Ian McCluskey. The…
8 – How to Finish Your Documentary Film
Aug 19, 2016 • 27 min
Top 5 Ways to Finish Your Documentary Film
7 – Conversation with Filmmaker Scott Squire
Aug 5, 2016 • 42 min
Welcome to the third edition of our monthly conversation with a documentary industry person. This time out, I sat down with Seattle-based doc filmmaker Scott Squire, who along with his wife, Amy Benson, run the documentary production company, Non Fiction…
6 – How to Live an Abundant Film Life
Jul 22, 2016 • 34 min
Okay, so the show is now five episodes old (not including this one which will give us six total). We’ve had some great conversations with documentary industry people like John Pirozzi (Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten) and Lydia B. Smith (Walking the Camino:…
5 – The Power of a Grassroots Campaign with Filmmaker, Lydia B. Smith
Jul 8, 2016 • 51 min
Tune in to our second conversation with a documentary industry person, this time award-winning filmmaker, Lydia B. Smith. At the heart of the show is her use of a remarkable grassroots campaign that propelled her last documentary film, Walking the Camino:…
4 – Score For Your Doc
Jul 8, 2016 • 35 min
In episode four, we introduce a new segment to the show: #DocLifer emails! As part of the segment, we address some of TDL’s first-ever emails, including an email that references Episode 3 guest, John Pirozzi. The #DocLifer describes his own challenges…
3 – Conversation with Filmmaker John Pirozzi
Jul 1, 2016 • 54 min
Much like TDL podcast host, Chris G. Parkhurst, filmmaker John Pirozzi has been making documentary films in the SE Asian country of Cambodia for well over a decade, initially with the Matt Dillon feature film City of Ghosts, and then later on through his…
2 – Inspiration
Jul 1, 2016 • 30 min
Welcome back to The Documentary Life podcast. In episode #2, a major topic of discussion revolves around one of the essential aspects of the show: inspiration. We discuss why it’s important for the show to inspire its listeners. Chris also discusses the…
1 – Welcome to The Documentary Life
May 22, 2016 • 18 min
Herein begins the exciting journey of The Documentary Life Podcast! Check out episode #1 where I introduce myself, the podcast series, and explain to you just how you too can lead and live your documentary dream life!