127 episodes

Have a passion for making documentary films? Want to learn how to best lead a documentary life? Join award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst, and special industry guests as they candidly share their filmmaking stories, insights, and experiences, for all to learn how to best lead and live their own documentary dream lives.

The Documentary Life The Documentary Life

    • TV & Film

Have a passion for making documentary films? Want to learn how to best lead a documentary life? Join award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker, Chris G. Parkhurst, and special industry guests as they candidly share their filmmaking stories, insights, and experiences, for all to learn how to best lead and live their own documentary dream lives.

    126 – Finding Yingying with Jiayan Shi

    126 – Finding Yingying with Jiayan Shi

    When it comes to being affected by the coronavirus, we doc filmmakers, of course, are no exception. Whether we work in tv broadcasting, run video productions, or are freelancers, we are all feeling the impact of the massive shutdowns happening due to Covid-19.


    So in today's episode I'd like to offer up some ways in which we might all stay positive and stay focused on our documentary projects and on a bigger scale, our documentary lives, which have already been significantly affected by recent events so much.


    (https://kartemquin.com/films/finding-yingying) was set to premiere at this year's SXSW, only to lose its premiere once that festival closed its doors due to Covid-19.


    This candid conversation about coronavirus and her time spent filming the tragic events of Finding Yingying is a conversation that I'll remember for quite some time. I think that you will to.


     


    Topics Discussed


    ways in which we all can stay focused on our documentary lives


    how a first-time doc filmmaker came upon the tragic story that would change a family's lives as well as her own life


    the cultural differences involved in filming in two completely different cultures


    the delicate balance between a grieving family subjects and the doc filmmaker


    how the closing of SXSW is changing the whole distribution and film festival plan for her film


     


    Additional Resources (https://kartemquin.com/)


     


     


    Please check out all that Kartemquin has to offer by going HERE (https://kartemquin.com/) .


     


     


     


    The WorkshopsDEAL - $50 WORKSHOPS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL!


    (www.thedocumentarylife.com/workshops)


     


     


    Did you know that we now have roster (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/) and reserve your seat today!


     


     


     


     


     


     


    Sponsors & Thank Yous


    Music Vine 15 PERCENT OFF!Music Vine


    Music Vine (https://musicvine.com/) for contributing the wonderful music that we’ve used in this week’s episode.


    We’ve used many music licensing platforms over the years for commercials, corporate videos, and documentaries and these guys are definitely different.


    Their music catalogue is truly fresh, diverse, full of character, their search engine is as straight forward and user friendly and their licensing fees? Unlike anywhere else we have come across.


    If you need any music for your doc project, we can honestly recommend Music Vine (https://musicvine.com/) .


    And make sure to use our promo code to get an additional 15 percent off of any subscription!!


    PROMO CODE: doclife15


     


    ° Free Music Archive (http://freemusicarchive.org/) today!


     


    Subscribe Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/thedocumentarylife/the-documentary-life) | 


    Rate and ReviewIf you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/documentary-life-filmmaking-documentary-films-documentary/id1112679868?mt=2) and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!

    • 49 min
    125 – Fire in Paradise with Drea Cooper

    125 – Fire in Paradise with Drea Cooper

    One of the most compelling, intense, and well done documentaries that I saw in all of 2019 wasn't even a feature length film. In fact, its run time was only 39 minutes.


    But it was 39 mins of riveting documentary that was financed and distributed by Netflix, and it came from ZCDC (http://www.zcdc.tv/) 's Zachary Canepari and Drea Cooper. And Cooper sat down to discuss with us, among other things, what it was like working on this incredible. film.


    And speaking of run time, in our opening segment, I discuss how to decide what the proper length for your doc films might be. And how, in fact, we may be doing a disservice to our stories, by trying to adhere to a set of arbitrary time lengths.


    Topics Discussed


    how Cooper & Canepari came to the decision to make this a 39 min film


    how Netflix fully supported their film change of plans to pivot to this story


    how & why the usage of people’s phone footage became a powerful storytelling device


    Drea Cooper’s recommendsfor covering a catastrophic event on film


     


    Additional ResourcesTrailer for Fire in Paradise


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KNAl23NwME&t=8s


     


    Trailer for Netflix's Flint Town


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfNURrdgWTU


     


    And if you haven't already done so, you can LISTEN (https://thedocumentarylife.com/podcast/71-making-a-netflix-docuseries-with-flint-town-producer-gary-kout/) to our episode that we did with ZCDC's producer, Gary Kout!


     


    The Workshops (http://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops)


     


    Did you know that we now have roster (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/) and reserve your seat today!


    Sponsors & Thank Yous


     


    Music Vine 15 PERCENT OFF!Music Vine


    Music Vine (https://musicvine.com/) for contributing the wonderful music that we’ve used in this week’s episode.


    We’ve used many music licensing platforms over the years for commercials, corporate videos, and documentaries and these guys are definitely different.


    Their music catalogue is truly fresh, diverse, full of character, their search engine is as straight forward and user friendly and their licensing fees? Unlike anywhere else we have come across.


    If you need any music for your doc project, we can honestly recommend Music Vine (https://musicvine.com/) .


    And make sure to use our promo code to get an additional 15 percent off of any subscription!!


    PROMO CODE: doclife15


     


     


    ° Free Music Archive (http://freemusicarchive.org/) today!


     


    Subscribe Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/thedocumentarylife/the-documentary-life) | 


    Rate and ReviewIf you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/documentary-life-filmmaking-documentary-films-documentary/id1112679868?mt=2) and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!

    • 42 min
    124 – Documentary Film Promotions & Marketing with Jon Reiss

    124 – Documentary Film Promotions & Marketing with Jon Reiss

    The playing field for distribution, promotions, and marketing for independent documentary filmmakers seems to be changing daily. But one thing that remains, is Jon Reiss, the veritable guru on all things film distro, promotions, and marketing. And for this week's episode he weighs in on this latest, including how social media marketing and ad placements are becoming a very important part of the doc filmmaker's toolkit.


    And for my segment, I delve into 5 Tips for Getting Your Documentary Into a Festival!


    5 Tips for Getting Your Documentary Into a FestivalGive a good hook


    Get great sound


    Enter fests early


    Evoke emotion


    Use Film Freeway


     


    Topics Discussed


    the importance of giving great thought to your potential audience before filming


    partnerships and how they benefit the doc filmmaker


    how social media plays an integral role in marketing for your doc


    ad social media over organic social media


    understanding how your audience gets their information


     


     


    Additional ResourcesThe Workshops (http://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops)


     


    Did you know that we now have roster (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/) and reserve your seat today!


     


     


     


     


     


     


    Sponsors & Thank Yous


     


    ATHOS Insurance Services


     


    Make sure you and your film gear are protected!


    (https://www.athosinsurance.com/)


    Over the years, so many of you #doclifers have asked us about best ways to insure your yourself, your shoots, and your precious film gear. And Aylene and Kat of INSTANT QUOTE (https://www.athosinsurance.com/buy-equipment-insurance) today.


     


    ° Free Music Archive (http://freemusicarchive.org/) today!


     


    Subscribe Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/thedocumentarylife/the-documentary-life) | 


    Rate and ReviewIf you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/documentary-life-filmmaking-documentary-films-documentary/id1112679868?mt=2) and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!

    • 40 min
    123 – First Time Doc Filmmaker Wins the Stanley Cup, with Joshua Riehl

    123 – First Time Doc Filmmaker Wins the Stanley Cup, with Joshua Riehl

    Joshua Riehl was a first time doc filmmaker when he decided to make a film about his passion for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. So how exactly did he manage to pull this feat off, including getting actor Jeff Daniels and some of the world's most recognizable names in hockey to agree to be in his film? Trust me. I wanted to know the same!


     


    Topics Discussed


    how having audacity to believe in yourself is half the battle


    how sending handwritten letters to key personnel scored him the critical first meeting


    moved his location to a place where he most likely could raise financing


    how he ultimately found the one person who believe in his project and financed the entire film


    what it was like working with an animation team in Ukraine


     


    Additional ResourcesTrailer for The Russian Fivehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X74BexWy4iw 


    The Workshops (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/)


     


     


    Did you know that we now have roster (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/) and reserve your seat today!


     


     


     


     


    Sponsors & Thank Yous 


    ATHOS Insurance Services


     


    Make sure you and your film gear are protected!


    (https://www.athosinsurance.com/)


    Over the years, so many of you #doclifers have asked us about best ways to insure your yourself, your shoots, and your precious film gear. And Aylene and Kat of INSTANT QUOTE (https://www.athosinsurance.com/buy-equipment-insurance) today.


     


     


    ° Free Music Archive (http://freemusicarchive.org/) today!


     


    Subscribe Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/thedocumentarylife/the-documentary-life) | 


    Rate and ReviewIf you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/documentary-life-filmmaking-documentary-films-documentary/id1112679868?mt=2) and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!

    • 38 min
    122 – Film Travel Tips and Gear Insurance

    122 – Film Travel Tips and Gear Insurance

    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 down the street for your next bit of filming, make sure you and your film gear are protected! Over the years, so many of you #doclifers have asked us about best ways to insure your yourself, your shoots, and your precious film gear. And Aylene and Kat of ATHOS Insurance Services (https://www.athosinsurance.com/) are experts on the subject. This is the episode to listen to ensure (and insure!) that you and your film investments are properly protected!


    Topics Discussed


    hot tips for doc filmmaking travel


    why the independent doc filmmaker even with limited funds should still seek insurance coverage for their gear


    what the process of making a claim is


    common mistakes made when seeking gear insurance


    set, shoot, and gear insurance coverage


    policies for doc filmmaking abroad


     


    Additional ResourcesFive Tips for Solo Filmmaking Travelbook smart flights, not cheap flights


    fly with your camera


    pack sustenance and vit C


    pack change of clothing


    taxi or rideshare


    Essential Travel Doc Filmmaking Gear List (https://thedocumentarylife.com/essential-travel-doc-filmmaking-gear-list/)


     


    In today's episode, we mentioned our Essential Travel Doc Filmmaking Gear List blog post, which you can find HERE. (https://thedocumentarylife.com/essential-travel-doc-filmmaking-gear-list/)


    The Workshops (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/)


     


     


    Did you know that we now have roster (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/) and reserve your seat today!


     


    Sponsors & Thank Yous 


    ° Free Music Archive (http://freemusicarchive.org/) today!


     


    Subscribe Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/thedocumentarylife/the-documentary-life) | 


    Rate and ReviewIf you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/documentary-life-filmmaking-documentary-films-documentary/id1112679868?mt=2) and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!

    • 43 min
    121 – Your Breakthrough Year and #Doclifer, Josh Davidsburg

    121 – Your Breakthrough Year and #Doclifer, Josh Davidsburg

    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 why in this episode I have decided to challenge you (and I!) to make 2020 a breakthrough year in our doc lives.


    And speaking of breakthroughs, for the first time on this programme, we host a full documentary discussion with a true blue #doclifer. (https://queenofthecapital.com/) , is set to screen this month at the Slamdance Film Festival!


     


    Topics Discussed


    making 2020 our breakthrough year as documentary filmmakers


    how Josh Davidsburg went from listener of the program to an award-winning documentary filmmaker


    how Davidsburg leads his doclife by teaching at a university and making doc films during his time off


    the importance of thinking about your film's audience from the outset


    the importance of having a good understanding of Fair Use when using musical performances


    how TDL helped Davidsburg with his doc film and doc life


     


    Additional Resources


    Watch an extended trailer for Queen of the Capital


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7G128nlbzA


     


    The WorkshopsDid you know that we now have roster (https://thedocumentarylife.com/workshops/) and reserve your seat today!


     


    Sponsors & Thank Yous 


    ° Free Music Archive (http://freemusicarchive.org/) today!


     


    Subscribe Stitcher (https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/thedocumentarylife/the-documentary-life) | 


    Rate and ReviewIf you have found value in this podcast please leave a review so it can become more visible to others. Simply click the (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/documentary-life-filmmaking-documentary-films-documentary/id1112679868?mt=2) and then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab to make your entry. Thank you for your support!

    • 43 min

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