218 episodes

Documentary First is your bi-weekly dose of fascinating stories, real-life adventures, and illuminating explorations. Join us as we delve into captivating and thought-provoking documentaries, and meet the filmmakers, experts, and visionaries behind them. Whether you're a seasoned documentarian, a filmmaker just starting out or simply a curious listener, Documentary First is your destination for in-depth storytelling, thought-provoking insights, and compelling entertainment. So tune in, sit back, and get ready for a journey of discovery, with Documentary First.

Documentary First Documentary First Productions

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 31 Ratings

Documentary First is your bi-weekly dose of fascinating stories, real-life adventures, and illuminating explorations. Join us as we delve into captivating and thought-provoking documentaries, and meet the filmmakers, experts, and visionaries behind them. Whether you're a seasoned documentarian, a filmmaker just starting out or simply a curious listener, Documentary First is your destination for in-depth storytelling, thought-provoking insights, and compelling entertainment. So tune in, sit back, and get ready for a journey of discovery, with Documentary First.

    Episode 217 | Award-Winning Cinematography w/ Laela Kilbourn

    Episode 217 | Award-Winning Cinematography w/ Laela Kilbourn

    In this episode, Christian and Chad interview award-winning cinematographer Laela Kilbourn. They discuss her work on the documentary film Girl State, which premiered at Sundance 2024. Laela shares her experiences working with directors and the importance of trust in the DP-director relationship. She also explains the role of prime lenses in cinematography and how they can create a more cinematic look. Laela shares her journey in the film industry, from starting as a film loader to becoming a cinematographer. She discusses the challenges of advancing in the industry and the need to take risks and make sacrifices to pursue your passion. In this conversation, Laela discusses the challenges of building a stable career in filmmaking and the importance of developing relationships with directors and producers. She shares her experiences with discouragement and the determination that kept her going. The impact of strikes and COVID-19 on the industry is also discussed. Laela emphasizes the changing landscape of filmmaking and the opportunities available to new filmmakers. She provides advice for aspiring filmmakers with limited resources and highlights the importance of collaboration. Last of all, Laela shares her experience filming underground in New York and recommends two documentaries: "Morena's" and "Senna".
    DocuView Déjà Vu:
    Laela:
    Morena(s) 2022. 70 mins, IMDB Link:
    Morena(s) (2022) - IMDb
    Senna 2010, 106mins, Watch on Amazon, IMDB Link:
    Senna (2010) - IMDb Chad:
    Keys to the City: Chronicles of a NY Locksmith, 2023, 32 mins, Link: Keys to the City: Chronicles of a New York Locksmith Christian:
    Sour Grapes, 2016, 85mins, Watch on multiple streamers (Freevee, Tubi, Plex, Pluto, Roku, Prime) IMDB Link:
    Sour Grapes (2016) - IMDb Bottle Shock, 2008, Narrative, 110mins, Watch on multiple streamers (Freevee, Tubi, Plex, Pluto, Roku, Prime) , IMDB Link:
    Bottle Shock (2008) - IMDb  
    Takeaways
    Trust and collaboration are key in the DP-director relationship.
    Prime lenses can create a more cinematic look by narrowing the depth of field.
    Advancing in the film industry often requires taking risks and making sacrifices.
    Building a client base is crucial for cinematographers.
    Chapters
    00:00 Introduction and Patreon Support
    01:38 Introducing Layla Kilbourn and Her Work
    03:35 Debut of Girl State at Sundance
    06:35 Working with a Larger Budget
    09:10 Working with Directors as a Cinematographer
    12:05 The Importance of Trust in the DP-Director Relationship
    14:35 The Role of Prime Lenses in Cinematography
    16:37 Layla Kilbourn's Background and Journey in Filmmaking
    33:03 Transitioning from Assistant Camera to Cinematographer
    38:10 The Challenges of Advancing in the Film Industry
    39:50 The Challenges of Building a Stable Career
    41:40 Dealing with Discouragement and Persistence
    43:18 The Impact of Strikes and COVID-19 on Filmmaking
    44:47 The Changing Landscape of Filmmaking
    45:38 Advice for Filmmakers with Limited Resources
    51:51 The Importance of Collaboration in Filmmaking
    54:01 Laela's Experience Filming Underground in New York
    59:56 Recommended Documentaries

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Episode 216 | Getting Distributed w/ Joe Amodei Part 1

    Episode 216 | Getting Distributed w/ Joe Amodei Part 1

    In this episode, Christian Taylor interviews Joe Amodei of Virgil Films Entertainment about the changing landscape of film distribution. They discuss the role of distributors in acquiring and selling the rights to films, the rise of streaming platforms, and the challenges faced by filmmakers in finding trustworthy distributors. Joe shares his insights and experiences from his 20 years in the industry and offers advice for filmmakers considering self-distribution.
    Takeaways
    The role of distributors is to acquire and sell the rights to films, including digital platforms, TV channels, DVD, theatrical release, and international markets.
    While there are aggregators and self-distribution options available, working with a reputable distributor can provide valuable expertise, connections, and resources.
    Filmmakers should carefully vet distributors and consider their track record, reputation, and transparency before entering into distribution agreements.
    Docu-View Déjà Vu recommendation:
    Joe: "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey" - 1984, 110 mins, Watch on MAX or rent/buy from Amazon, IMDB Link: 
    George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984) - IMDb
    This film provides insights into the life and work of filmmaker George Stevens, including his experiences filming during World War II.
    BOOK: “My Place In The Sun” by George Stevens Jr
    Timecodes
    00:00 Introduction and Company Update
    02:14 Joe Amodei's Background and Virgil Films Entertainment
    04:26 The Evolution of Film Distribution
    09:00 The Changing Landscape of Film Distribution
    12:34 Reaching Out to Distributors and Types of Films Distributed
    14:24 The Rise of Aggregators and Self-Distribution
    23:35 The Challenges of Finding a Trustworthy Distributor
    31:02 Documentary Recommendation: "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey"
    Support us on Patreon

    • 38 min
    Episode 215 | Honoring WWII Veteran George Ciampa (Ep. 115 Re-release)

    Episode 215 | Honoring WWII Veteran George Ciampa (Ep. 115 Re-release)

    On this very special podcast, we honor George Ciampa as Christian shares the news of his recent passing. George Ciampa, a World War II veteran and filmmaker, came on our podcast many times and can be heard on episodes #116, #117, #120, #121. He was born in 1925, served in the Graves Registration Service during WWII, and became a filmmaker in his 80's. You can visit George's website: http://LetFreedomRingForAll.org to learn more about his story. Our first recording with George Ciampa was released in May 2021 and plays after a short introduction by Christian Taylor and Jason Rugg. 

    • 49 min
    Episode 214 | Entertainment Blogging w/ Josh Sharpe

    Episode 214 | Entertainment Blogging w/ Josh Sharpe

    In this episode, Jason and Christian provide a year-in-review and updates on their documentary films. They also introduce guest Josh Sharpe, a film/entertainment/theater journalist. Josh shares his background in reporting for cinema and offers tips for conducting interviews. The importance of reviews for filmmakers is discussed, along with the different types of interviews and the process of film reviewing. In this conversation Josh Sharpe discusses the world of movie reviews and how it has evolved with technology. He talks about how some reviewers start their own movie review websites or blogs to review what they want. He emphasizes the importance of writing about and watching as many movies as possible to develop one's own taste and to stay informed. The conversation also touches on the impact of technology on film criticism, including the rise of social media platforms like TikTok and podcasting.
    Takeaways:
    Starting a personal movie review website or blog is a great way for aspiring film critics to practice their writing and review the films they want. Writing about and watching as many movies as possible is important for developing one's own taste and staying informed about the film industry. Technology has greatly influenced film criticism, with platforms like TikTok and podcasting providing new avenues for people to share their opinions on movies. Film reviewers should strive for objectivity and avoid potential conflicts of interest, such as being paid to promote a movie they are reviewing. DocuView DéjàVu:
    Josh Sharpe: Best Worst Thing That Could Have Ever Happened, 2016, 95 mins, Watch (Rent/Buy) on Prime or Apple TV, IMDB Link: 
    Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (2016) - IMDb
    Jason: Greta Gerwig & James Cameron from Variety - Directors on Directors Series, 42:21 mins, YouTube, Link: 
    Greta Gerwig & James Cameron | Directors on Directors
    Christian: A fiction film, “Leave The World Behind”, 2023, 138 mins, Genres: Psychological Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Watch on Netflix, IMDB Link: 
    Leave the World Behind (2023) - IMDb
    The Movie Proposal Podcast link: 
    The Movie Proposal
     
    Timecodes
    00:00 Introduction and Recap
    01:10 Year in Review and Patreon Support
    05:25 Update on "The Girl Who Wore Freedom"
    08:08 Update on "Heroes of Carentan"
    10:32 Introduction of Guest Josh Sharpe
    11:18 Josh Sharpe's Background in Entertainment Reporting
    14:21 Tips for Conducting Interviews
    19:05 Importance of Reviews for Filmmakers
    27:18 Different Types of Interviews
    38:39 The Process of Film Reviewing
    43:14 Starting a Movie Review Website
    45:17 Evolution of Film Criticism with Technology
    53:16 Future Goals in Film Criticism
    57:28 DocuView DéjàVu: "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened"
    01:00:14 DocuView DéjàVu: "Variety's Directors on Directors with Greta Gerwig and James Cameron"
    01:03:30 DocuView DéjàVu: "Leave the World Behind"
    01:05:26 Film Review: "Wonka"

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Episode 213 | Part 2 of "Dear Sirs" with Mark Pedri and Carrie McCarthy, PhD

    Episode 213 | Part 2 of "Dear Sirs" with Mark Pedri and Carrie McCarthy, PhD

    In this episode, filmmakers Mark and Carrie Pedri discuss the challenges they faced in producing their film Dear Sirs. They talk about the difficulties of funding the project and the decision to go with crowdfunding and local grants. They also share their experiences of filming and the importance of storytelling techniques in documentaries. The filmmakers highlight the use of personal moments, music, and archival footage in their film. They recommend the documentary "Minding the Gap" and the series "Harry and Meghan". The episode concludes with information on where to watch "Dear Sirs": https://www.dearsirsfilm.com/. This conversation explores the concept of emotional intelligence and its importance in the various aspects of life including its components, and how to develop it. We also explore the role of emotional intelligence in the workplace, leadership, and relationships.
    Takeaways
    Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions as well as the emotions of others.
    The components of emotional intelligence include self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
    Developing emotional intelligence involves practicing self-reflection, mindfulness, and active listening.
    Emotional intelligence is crucial in the workplace for effective communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution.
    Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to inspire and motivate their team members, and they create a positive work environment.
    Emotional intelligence plays a significant role in building and maintaining healthy relationships.
    DocuView DéjàVu
    Mark: Minding the Gap, 2018, 93mins, watch on Hulu or Amazon, IMDB Link: 
    Minding the Gap (2018) ⭐ 8.0 | Documentary, Sport
    Christian: Harry & Megan, Documentary Series - 6 Episodes, watch on Netflix, IMDB Link: 
    Harry & Meghan (TV Series 2022) ⭐ 5.1 | Documentary
    Timecodes
    00:00 Introduction and Welcome
    01:36 Background of Filmmakers
    03:05 Challenges of Funding
    04:12 Production Decisions
    06:36 Crowdfunding Campaign
    08:56 Lessons Learned from Crowdfunding
    10:41 Challenges of Filming
    12:51 Lessons Learned from Production
    15:12 Storytelling Techniques
    19:59 Incorporating Personal Moments
    22:13 Integration of Music in the Film
    23:52 Archival Footage and Photos
    30:30 Recommendation: "Minding the Gap"
    37:54 Recommendation: "Harry and Meghan"
    42:21 Where to Watch "Dear Sirs"
    01:30 Definition and Importance of Emotional Intelligence
    07:45 Components of Emotional Intelligence
    14:20 Developing Emotional Intelligence
    21:10 Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
    29:40 Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
    36:55 Emotional Intelligence in Relationships
    43:26 Conclusion

    • 43 min
    Episode 212 | Part 1 of "Dear Sirs" with Mark Pedri and Carrie McCarthy, PhD

    Episode 212 | Part 1 of "Dear Sirs" with Mark Pedri and Carrie McCarthy, PhD

    Hey, Documentary First tribe! 🎙️ Get ready for an intimate ride with Mark Pedri and Carrie McCarthy, the dynamic duo behind "Dear Sirs."
    In Episode #212, we're diving deep into family secrets, WWII revelations, and the magic of storytelling. This isn't just a podcast; it's a personal invitation to join us on an emotional rollercoaster of discovery and the power of sharing untold stories.
    From a mysterious knife in a grandfather's bed to leaving LA for Wyoming, every moment is a leap of faith. Tune in to hear about their immersive storytelling process, the challenges of connecting with veteran communities, and the unexpected treasures found in the grandfather's house. This conversation is just the beginning; Part 2 awaits with more revelations, emotions, and insights into the making of this incredible documentary. Don't miss out—press play and become part of the "Dear Sirs" journey!
    Buckle up, hit play, and let's embark on this incredible journey together! 🚀
    #DocumentaryFirst #DearSirs #BehindTheScenesMagic
    DocuView DéjàVu
    Carrie: Boy’s State, 2020, 109mins, Watch on Apple TV+, IMDB:
    Boys State (2020) - IMDb
    Mark & Christian to share their next episode.
    DF212 Summary
    Introduction and a message of thanks to listeners for their support. 0:00 Introducing Mark & Carrie Pedri and their recent project, their BIOs and film awards for “Dear Sirs”. 3:58 Finding your audience and engagement, and veteran stories. 7:32 Building a bridge to connecting the civilian community to the military community. How did this story start? 13:10 A man's life and WWII experiences through personal belongings. 20:37 Storytelling techniques to who was the crew and their personal experiences in doing all the things to capture the story. 25:19 Documenting WWII experiences and survivor's guilt. 31:10 WWII veteran's experiences and the importance of archival research and finding the right people to help. 39:12 Hills to climb: Personal and Filmmaking Hills, Editing and Feedback - Critical yet Gentleness and sensitivity is required 48:35 Documentary filmmaking similarities to Ken Burns and the use of music that leads the story telling. 53:44 DocuView DéjàVu 55:57

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Jj8282l ,

Sneak peek into the Rustle n' Bustle

Far from a sanitized/glamorous version of BTS filmmaking, I appreciate that the director, Christian Taylor gives an honest view of her difficult journey to making an award-winning movie.

Jake123458765 ,

Insightful

Listening to this has genuinely gotten me more interested in supporting this project and seeing the film when it’s ready.

Lura B Priebe ,

Love it!

Thanks for sharing your heart here! It’s so encouraging to hear what you’ve learned & how your faith has informed this journey.

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