Sunday, April 10, 2016

9 Decor Ideas for Envious Kitchens

It's a normal; we envy those who have beautiful homes and kitchens. We assume that they are rich. We wish to have the same beautiful looking kitchens but don't know how to get it in the budget. This post will help you with some smart ideas of envious kitchens.

1. Some vintage cook wares and serve wares:

Do you have some copper or bronze cook wares and serve wares? May it be kettles, works, casseroles or even glasses? Maybe you don't admire them and prefer not to use it. A simple trick is to put it to use or display. Even if not in use, clean it up and leave it on the table or kitchen top for classy looks.

2. Add a little light:

Add a small lamp on the kitchen top. This will serve many purposes. While it will save stumbling if someone walks down the kitchen for water at night, if you add cheerful light then it will give cozier looks to the kitchen. Even if you are having a dim light late night movie time, then you don't have to turn on lights to move around looking for quick snacks.

3. Some must have kitchen cloths:

If you have a cute looking apron, then don't shy to display it. Hook it on the cabinet or kitchen door to flaunt it. Having a table cloths and you remove it every time after use? Leave it there. As long as it is clean it will give a fresh look. Similarly, pick up a dish towel you are proud of. Display it and replace it with you old ones.

4. Cookbooks:

Having some space in the cabinets? You can even custom-made an island to add some cookbooks you love. You can even use your refrigerator top for the purpose. These will help you with some handy recipes if you are looking to try something new while adding luxurious looks to your kitchen.

5. Fresh flowers:

Add a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen top. This will add fresh looks to your kitchen. You can even add a small basket of fresh fruits to have the same effect. If your kitchen window or island has enough space for sunlight, add some fresh pots with growing kitchen herbs. While you are replenished with fresh herbs for your recipes these will give fresh looks to your kitchen.

6. Plate art:

Stacked with leftover single pieces of plates from the complete set and not sure what to do with them? Hang them on the wall as a decorative piece. First, mix and match them for the right composition on the ground so that you don't end up making extra holes on the wall.

7. Kitchen chairs:

Bored with the old looks of the kitchen chairs? It's amazing what cleaning and a coat of fresh paint can do. You can even swap them with dining chairs, dressing table chairs or from anywhere to keep the fun alive.

8. Window dressing:

You can dress your windows with classy and matching window blinds. Choose the fabric that is easy to clean because the kitchen is a place where they can be loaded with oil, grease and other stains. Prefer roller blinds for the smooth finish. If you have glowing sun or a beautiful view outside you can go for energy-efficient blinds or if the view is not so tempting then go for some other style to block the sun and its harmful UV rays.

9. Explore with chalkboard paint:

This is a new style introduced of lately. Add chalkboard paint anywhere you wish, a refrigerator, cabinet or even a small board. Use if for the menu, grocery, quotation, to-do list, reminder or any way you wish to. It is not necessary that you need to have a big budget to decorate your kitchen. It's just the creativity and the use of existing stuff is needed. Now as you are all set with loads of ideas to start with, it's time to style your kitchen with unique way.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Exhilarating Ideas for Home Decor - Because Each Home Has A Story To Tell!

"I'm a designer who loves to decorate the home with utmost simplicity yet to display the grandeur; I take charge of the things in my life as well as in the home, showcasing my timeless love for perfection," say most women. Decorating your home the way you like only increases your affinity towards the things that you've chosen, thus creating a more personal touch to the interior.

"Home Decor is nothing but a method of alchemy, to mutate the generic, the quotidian, or just plain unworkable into- Something more beautiful, something rarer and something that's more usable!"

To establish a beautiful interior it is important to choose the right home pieces, things that will not only accentuate the existing but will also add an entirely new look to the home. Remember, each home has a story to tell and your home decor pieces do that for you.

Here are the home decor pieces that add a charismatic look to the interior-

1. Lamps & Lanterns - Add fervor to your home and life by introducing an exciting range of lamps and lanterns, a symbol light, optimism and of course ethereal beauty. Here's what you can buy -
Candle Stands - Prepare your home for a beautiful night with a marvelous collection of candles and candle stands, a unique home decor item, chosen by a few who love to embellish their home with masterpieces.

Lamps - To complement the urban and rural touch, a lamp is all you need to add to your list of decor pieces for your home. Buy traditional lamps and bring them in symphony with the contemporary look of the home.

2. Wall Decor - To create decorative and pleasing walls it is important that you choose the right wall decor pieces, each casting its unique look and importance in the room. Here's what you can buy -
Photo Frames - Your life is full of heartwarming memories, and each picture that speaks of those memories deserves to be displayed in an absolute photo frame.

Wall Hangings - As beautiful as the name, the wall hangings are not only used to hang you keys and clothes, but also to add a somewhat appealing look to the mundane walls of the home.

3. Decor Seating - Giving your guests a generic yet pleasing place to settle down definitely wins a lot of compliments for you, and the adequate decor seating is exactly what it takes. Here are the options for you -
Stools - Traditional as they sound, stools are a perfect decor item for homes that want to stick to the generic touch or even for homes that like to blend the old and the new.

Ottomans & Pouffes - Adding colorful ottomans & pouffes in your home will certainly add a majestic touch to your interior because these colorful units add brightness and sparkle to the empty home.

4. Antiques - Antiques are always pleasing, taking you down the memory lane and helping you memorize all those beautiful days that you've lived. Here's something that might please you a bit -
Magazine Racks - Buy antique magazine racks for your age old collection of magazines, and every time you pull out a magazine from the rack, you'll think of the many ways this rack has simplified your life.

Figurines - Add a classy ambiance to the room with a few figurines, each exaggerating the look of your house, decked for almost any occasion.

5. Antique Furniture - As I said earlier, antiques make you remember the old, and if it's all about fond remembrances, then what can be better than adding antique furniture pieces to your home decor list.
Antique Table & Antique Chairs - For the undocked look in the house, it is best that you add a few antique chairs and a table to your list of home decor pieces. These antiques create a striking look at the house with a lot of ease, thus creating a sophisticated yet ethereal look in the room. It is recommended that you choose the right antique chairs and an antique table for your living room for the fabulous look.

Adding one of more of these decor units mentioned above will indeed add a charming look to your home, thus developing a more positive outlook in your life, simply because each unit has a story to tell. So bring out the designer within you and buy these units to make the house look like "Home".

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Respect Is?

My kids don't respect me. My boss doesn't respect me. My employees don't respect me.

When we make comments like these we are trying to demand respect. When we demand respect we get what we deserve... not much! Our goal is to command respect. There are two aspects to commanding respect. Both are simple. You just need to shift your thinking just a touch.

Key #1: Do you respect yourself?

I always tell my members, if you don't respect yourself no one else will respect you. Respecting yourself is just a matter of doing what's right for you as long as it's not harmful to yourself or others. Let others have their opinions about what you "should" do.

How do we make sure we respect ourselves? This is actually simpler than you think. Take five minutes and write your values down on a piece of paper. Not sure what you value most? One way to figure this out is to look at your daily actions. Not the things you say you want to do or think you should do, but what you actually take action on. Those are the things you value. Another way is to look at the things you detest. You value the exact opposite.

When you respect yourself people may not agree with you, but they will respect you for your conviction to your choice of action. During the Civil War, not everyone agreed with General Robert E. Lee's actions, but he was one of the most respected leaders by both the Confederate AND the Union Armies. He was a man of honor and character.

Key #2: Do you listen with your ears, head and heart?

What does it mean to listen with our ears? Listening with your ears means you're not making assumptions about what's being said. Your child says to you, "I want to go there," as they point to the patio door. You assume "there" means outside. You sternly tell your child "no" because it's -30 degrees outside. To the child "there" meant in front of the door so he could sit in the sun.

How do we make sure we hear the right words? By asking a simple question. "What do you mean exactly when you say... " In the above example, it would quickly resolve the assumption, and avoid the disheartening comment.

What does it mean to listen with our head? Listening with our head means discovering the "why" behind another persons request. It means asking questions like, "Why is this important?" or "Why is this necessary?" As Stephen Covey wrote in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People we must seek to understand before being understood.

The greatest leaders and most respected people always look to understand where people are coming from. They've never walked a mile in their shoes so don't assume to understand the other persons experience.

What does it mean to listen with our heart? To be able to empathize with others. You don't have to agree with another, but empathizing with them will garner a high level of respect from that person. In turn, they will be much more likely to listen and try to understand where you are coming from. As Thoreau once said, "It's never to late to give up on prejudices."

This simple question for listening with your heart, "What if our roles were reversed?" Commanding respect is about commanding your own thoughts and emotions.

Respecting yourself IS the path to commanding respect.

Be sure to teach your children this valuable lesson. As you do you will see the areas you need to work on. As we teach we grow!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Money Is A Part of Our Everyday Life

Money Is A Part of Our Everyday Life

Money Is A Part of Our Everyday Life
Money Is A Part of Our Everyday Life

Money Is A Part of Our Everyday Life

We all have memories of our experiences with money when we were children. Some of us had piggy banks and many of us got allowances. On special occasions, a silver dollar or a check in a card for our special celebrations was always welcome and ex- citing. However, we had a very limited view of what money was and what it can and cannot do.
The older we got the understanding of how money works started to intrigue us and the wheels of our mind would start churning to what we could now want instead of only thinking of what we need. We all grew up and money management grew right along with us or so we hoped it would. We could save some, spend some, give away some and with enough effort a new house, car, or vacation was in our means. Maybe – however with what is considered “plastic” money, we were tempted and even encouraged to “live beyond our means.” If we wanted something that old adage of hard work and saving could be tucked away in a drawer until we enjoyed life, and did what we wanted and when we wanted to do it.
The world was cooperating with us because new credit card offers filled the mailboxes of even high school students. You could be free to not only dream but to have your dream and enjoy it while you were still young. Christmas gifts were a lot more expensive and elaborate, and weddings and other important events cost more but we were definitely worth it. Why even a funeral with all the trimmings could be put on a plastic card and slipped through the machine which made everything okay.
The world is now different and while our needs and expectations have changed along with our lifestyles, we are now a part of the global economy and what happens in countries across the world now affects us. It’s a bit sobering to realize that trade deficits, futures and QE programs can and will make a difference in our money goals and dreams. We can take a class to learn more about these terms but that won’t give us the confidence that we are totally in charge of what we have, what we earn, and what our future monetary world will be. We are part of a world economy whether we like it or not. Taxes, referendums, government fees and other costs do rise and we must pay them. Age brings with it life changes including medical, housing, and family needs. Our pay check can be divided up and a dozen hands come out to take their share before we even get the check home. We begin to realize that our needs are now coming to the forefront and our wants are many times put on the back burner. Why is this happening and how will it all turn out?
The main word in a changing and sometimes confusing money world is “be prepared.” This once was a scouting byword and now it can be our lifesaver if we realize its strength and its possibilities. Every person has different circumstances and many may be in a position more restrained and compromising then others, but whatever you face, being prepared at least can smooth the path and iron out the wrinkles of whatever financial headache we may encounter. It is never too late to sit down and find out where you stand in your money world, and what the challenges might be. There are solutions and there are ways to cope but only if you take the time to realize that while money should never be your goal in life, it can be a means to an end. Taking even small steps in your debt, your necessities, and your responsibilities to maintain what has to be done can relieve some of the anxiety. With each further step, the “extra” items can be factored in and handled. This is the time to use abilities, innovation, creativity and self control so that not only are today’s “money” situations met but tomorrow’s needs are handled and peace and serenity can reign in your heart, your home, and in your grown-up “piggy bank.”

Sewing Through The Years

I started the day with a sewing project.

For me, this is not done lightly. My expertise with the needle leaves much to be desired so I usually bring clothes that need repairs to a professional seamstress. But this was an emergency. Tonight we are going to an event that requires dressier clothes, the kind I only wear once or twice a year.

My project is a black sleeveless top that I had bought on sale a year ago. But when I tried it on at home, I realized it was almost a size too big on me. I couldn't return it so it had hung in my closet all this time, waiting for me to decide whether to donate it to Goodwill or bring it to a seamstress for repair (which would cost more than the top had cost). So I decided to give it my "quick" treatment.

I still remember my first sewing project. I was in my first year of high school and all the girls had to take cooking for half the school year and sewing for the second half. The boys took wood working which I would have preferred; however, this was 1955 and the women's liberation movement was still 15 years away. I breezed through cooking; something I had done a lot of at home but the sewing class literally tied me up in knots!

The first project for the class was an apron. We chose our material, then learned how to cut out a pattern, thread a needle and make small, neat strokes through the fabric as we sewed it together. I struggled with each step, watching as my classmates completed their aprons and moved on to a skirt. I can't remember if I ever finished the apron but I did learn to hate sewing and promised myself that I would avoid it at all costs.

However, I was enticed back when I inherited my grandmother's treadle sewing machine. We didn't have Barbie dolls in those days and I wanted to dress a favorite doll in grown-up clothes. I searched for bits of material around the house and designed some kind of outfit for the doll. After some experimenting, I learned to use the old machine. I loved the feel of the treadle, peddling it back and forth with my feet while my hands maneuvered cloth through the needle. The clothes I made had a short life span but I learned that sewing could be fun if I could choose the project.

My mother had taken sewing lessons at one point but the table sewing machine she had bought was soon tucked away in its case and stored in the back of the closet. The sewing projects stopped with the class and my mother was reticent to get rid of such an expensive purchase. When I got married, she saw the perfect home for the sewing machine and sent it to me. I ignored it until early in my first pregnancy when I thought I could save money by making a few maternity clothes.

I bought a pattern, material and thread and went to work. My project was a two piece outfit; a skirt and long top. I tried to follow the pattern, cutting a hole in the front of skirt to accommodate the baby's growth. I think I wore it once or twice but by the time I was five or six months pregnant, I discovered that the hole in the skirt came down too far and the jacket was too short, exposing my pregnant belly to the world. Those were the last clothes I ever made.

But I did get into other projects. Years later, with three growing children, I felt the need for an art project. I decided to make quilts for my daughters' beds. Out came the same old sewing machine, still in pristine condition after years of abandonment. I bought four colorful sheets, cut them in squares and sewed the squares together; then backed them with a soft, fuzzy material and filled the interior with stuffing. Then I repeated the process for our second daughter. For a month, our dining room table was covered with fabric, thread, and stuffing - all presided over by the old table sewing machine. Because the kids took so much time during the day, I stayed up late into the night, obsessively working on the projects. When both quilts were done and spread out on the girls' beds, the sewing machine went back in its case and retired to its home in the storage closet.

Since that time, I have sewed hems and pant cuffs (simple ones that only have to be turned over), a few buttons, the occasional ripped shirt or pants, and immediate projects like the one today. I hadn't done much sewing for some time until my granddaughter asked me to teach her how to sew. When we visited a few months ago, I brought a book on learning to sew for children and a small sewing basket filled with all the necessities. She and I spent most of one day working on a small stuffed dog (or cat or bear; I was never certain). She tackled the project with determination and did most of the work herself. However, she had energy to burn when we finished and I was exhausted, ready to go to bed! But it was great fun and exactly what I always thought being a grandma was all about.

The sleeveless top I worked on today was too long, both in the shoulders and in the length. So I pulled up the shoulders, folding the fabric over until the neckline hit me where it was supposed to. Then I pinned it and did the same on the length, folding the hem up until it hit my hips. A search through my sewing kit proved that I had every possible color of thread except black. I called a neighbor and an hour later, I had a spool of black thread! The finished project was very imperfect - lumpy shoulders and bulky hem - but it won't be obvious when it's hidden under a jacket. Another sewing project, another day!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to Make a Documentary

Interested in making documentaries ? Well, is your story compelling? Very few forms of communication have the power to impart to an audience the unique perspective that a documentary does. Bearing this in mind, do you want know how to make a documentary?

If I were a budding film maker I would certainly want to know how to make a documentary, however I am not a film maker. I am merely a writer, and the only thing I can do is change the way that people think by means of the power of words.

Many film makers believe that they have the unique perspective to capture the imagination, and this is certainly true. But how many have the ability to engender such a unique perspective that they are able to capture the imagination as well as to evoke change? Well the makers of documentaries do!

While it is true that would-be documentary film makers are more prolific than antique car salesmen, this is beside the point. People from all walks of life have a story to tell, and to tell it cinematically means that they are able to reach people who can relate to them perfectly. This is one of the gifts of knowing how to make a documentary, being compelled to share your story!

Your story does have to be compelling; there is no doubt about it. As an example, we know someone who is after his divorce, living between his vehicle and an abandoned building. This guy is a regular "Joe", not a hobo, he has a job and played a strong community role, however because of his divorce and between alimony and child support, he is barely any longer able to support himself. Now some people may think that this is not worth documenting. I disagree, I believe that this story is compelling and warrants attention.

I believe there is a strong universal lesson that can be learned and when learning how to make a documentary this counts, by the way this is coming from a woman who after her divorce could not get child support because my ex husband lied to the courts regarding his financial status! But others may feel differently, this is what makes a documentary so personal and so "apart from the run of the mill".

What is it about your story? Does it apply universally? How much do you believe in it, enough to produce a film and know that other people will relate to and understand? If so, you will have your documentary material.

Essentially when you want to know how to make a documentary, you have to have a universally acceptably story, thereafter the sky is the limit. Documentaries are the ultimate soap-box! 

Introduction To Documentary Credits In Nigeria


Documentary Credit is one of the common international payment methods adopted by companies in Nigeria for the settlement of international trade obligations. Very many international exporters accept such documents issued by Nigerian banks. These exporters are taking the risks of local banks while others require the confirmation of other 'international banks' based in Europe, North America among others for some of the local Documentary Credits.

Nigerian Banks comply with the provisions of International Chamber Of Commerce Rules for Documentaries Credits (ICC Publication Number 600, 2007 edition). This defines a Credit as: 'any arrangement, however named or described, that is irrevocable and thereby constitutes a definite undertaking of the issuing bank to honour a complying presentation'.

In other words, this document can be seen as a commitment given by a bank on behalf of its customer to pay the seller of goods/services certain amount of money provided the seller presents documents called for under the credit and meets other terms and conditions specified therein within prescribed time.

Many local importers like this arrangement because:

They are able to get bank funding using this instrument

They are sure that their bank will not pay the seller unless all terms and conditions of the Credit are complied with The buyer can control the quality and quantity of goods by calling for certain documents under the credit

Importer can obtain credit from the exporter since the exporter will be taking the risk of the issuing bank instead of that of the importer

Its transactions are eligible for official foreign exchange market which is a cheaper source of foreign exchange

Working of Documentary Credits:

Buyers and Seller execute a sales contract and Seller issues a Proforma Invoice

Buyer completes a Form M using the Proforma Invoice and other documents

Buyer applies to the bank to issue the document

It is issued in favour of the Supplier and advised to a foreign bank (Correspondent Bank of the issuing Bank) using cash or credit line

Correspondent Bank advises Seller directly or through seller's bank

Seller receives the Credit and thereafter ships the goods to destination prescribed in the Credit

Supplier presents the documents specified in the Credit on the nominated bank for payment

Nominated Bank checks the documents and if found in order, forwards them to the issuing bank

Nominated Bank pays the Seller using cash or credit line

Issuing Bank uses copies of the Shipping Documents to apply for Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR)

Issuing bank releases documents to the Buyer including the PAAR

Buyer pays import duty to the bank that opened the LC and goes to clear the goods from the port often using a Clearing Agent

On or before 90 days after taking delivery from the port, buyer sends Exchange Control Documents to the issuing bank (45days for Petroleum Products)

Transaction is closed.


Any request for a Documentary Credit transaction in Nigeria must comply with local exchange control regulations by supporting such application with the under listed documents where applicable:

E-Form M (Mandatory)

Proforma Invoice (Mandatory)

Local Insurance Certificate (Mandatory)

Current Pharmaceutical License (Pharmaceutical Products)

Current pharmaceutical License for registration / retention of premises (Pharmaceutical Products)

Current National Agency For Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Permit (Chemicals, Food, Drink, etc)

Current NAFDAC Clearance Permit (Drugs only)

Current National Electricity Regulatory Agency permit (Generators only)

Current Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Permit (Petroleum Products)

Current Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Certificate

for Storage Facility / Tank Farm(Petroleum Products)

Endorsed Standard Organization Of Nigeria Conformity

Assessment Programme (SONCAP) Product Certificate (Various

Household and Industrial items).

Banks usually ask Documentary Credits applicants to complete an Application Form which serves as a contract for the transaction between the buyer and the issuing bank.

The specific terms of this application differ from bank to bank.


Documentary Credits qualify for the official foreign exchange window - Central Bank weekly intervention as well as Inter-bank funds.

Importers can however use their Domiciliary Account balances to fund their Documentary Credit transactions.

The Central Bank intervention is made available in United States Dollars only and happens every Monday and Wednesday of the week

Importers with invoices in third currencies (Euros, Pounds, Yen, etc) will use the Dollars from the Central Bank to purchase these third currencies from the bank issuing the credit

Where the importer is funding the Documentary Credit alone, the issuing bank will require the importer to provide local currency equivalent of the Proforma Invoice value before the credit is established

The foreign currency will be sent to the confirming bank to cash cover the credit as the issuing bank is not allowed to keep the funds

Funds purchased from the Central Bank must be used to establish or pay on the Documentary Credit within three days from date funds were received.

Funds not applied must be returned to enable Central Bank repurchase and return local currency to the importer

Foreign currency from the Central Bank is cheaper than that from inter-bank market. 

Using Transcription to Document Documentaries

There are some people who cringe when they hear the word documentary as this usually means that they have to sit through some hum drum monologue others however normally get excited as they view this as an opportunity to learn something new. The sad fact however is that most people are no longer interested in the documentaries and there are very few people who will not sit through 2 hours of a documentary as they would rather do something different.

This article has been written for such people. These are the people who have genuine interest in the documentaries transcription process. Like other kinds of broadcast including audio or film there are people who get money for writing down each and every word that has been said by a narrator, the people they interview and any other person who comes in between.

Just like the other transcription projects, documentary transcription also requires the know-how and a skilled hand so that things are done in a quick and accurate manner. Most of the time transcribers will be asked to do the writing since they focus on speech. The documentaries are normally presented in film form and the transcribers will have to watch it to come up with text file that are used for computer backup.

If you are a documentary film artist and have been thinking about transcription, it is one of the best decisions that you can make. This will give you a chance to read through the documentary even in the future. This also gives you something to add to your resume as well as records especially when it is being used for a legal suit and there was someone who had not filled out a proper waiver before thy made an appearance in the documentary.

Regardless of the fact that documentary transcription is usually a part of the entertainment or broadcasting world and not people usually think about the transcription part other than the strange few who have many questions in their mind. There are very many professional documentary transcriptionist that you can make use of when you want the job to be done.

If you want to joint he profession, you have to learn how to type fast to make sure that the work is done. You also need to be keen so that you can produce quality work. This is because the clients who want the work done are usually every thorough and only want the best to work on their projects. 

Documentary Fundraising Secret That Will Take You From Zero to $50,000

Let's be real. Fundraising is tough. No matter how good or bad the economy, no matter how wealthy the individual or how big the documentary funding pool for grants, individuals, foundations and organizations do not part with their money easily.

So how do you inspire people to give up their cold hard cash? Ah, the million dollar question!

Here's the secret that inspires giving and gets people to take action.

Ask for the amount you need, state when you need it.. and create urgency!

Filmmakers often have the fantasy that one big wealthy donor or a big foundation will write one big fat check to cover the full budget of the documentaries film. Don't get me wrong. It can happen. And it certainly doesn't hurt to ask, however here's the strategy that will most likely work best for you, especially if you are a new filmmaker.

Ask for small, specific amounts of money from a lot of different people and set deadlines for when the money is needed. Even if your documentary funding budget is $250,000, don't ask for that full amount all at once. It's a daunting number that will intimidate most people.

Raise money in manageable chunks based on how much you need at that particular moment and how much you think your donor can give. Say you need $5,000 in documentary funding at the very beginning to film your first 10 interviews. Tell people that's what you're doing and that you are raising money for that particular purpose.

Build trust and confidence. This is KEY to fundraising. Make sure to report back to your donors when you've raised the money and done what you said you were going to do. They may be willing to give again or at the very least be willing to fundraise on your behalf!

Use crowd funding. If you are a first time filmmaker with no track record, you are going to need to embark on a grassroots fundraising campaign among people you know. A great place to start is with online fundraising hubs such as KickStarter or IndieGoGo.

It is absolutely essential when fundraising for a documentary to create the best trailer possible. People need to see what you're trying to accomplish and they need to feel inspired to help you. You must convince people you have the passion and the determination to pull off your project.

Remember that success follows success. If you can raise the first $5,000 - $10,000, it gives you more credibility (especially with larger donors) when asking for the next $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000.

There is no substitute for picking up the phone, pitching your idea and making the ask for a specific amount of money for a specific purpose. Filling out forms for a grant can take days, sometimes weeks and you are competing with who knows how many other projects. A passionate 10-minute personal plea to an individual who is already pre-sold on your documentary idea will often yield better and faster results.

As a general rule, cold calling does not work with fundraising. For a brand new contact, where there is no prior relationship or credibility established, send a letter of introduction first (hopefully along with your trailer) and THEN call and follow-up as needed.

Do your research and approach people at their level. Before asking someone for money, make sure your project is a natural fit for them and that you have a general idea of what they might be capable of giving. Your college buddy might be able to pitch in $20 whereas your businessman uncle might be able to pitch in $1,000.

Last but definitely not least, communicate excitement and urgency. Making a genuine person-to-person ask is one of the hardest things you'll ever do, but it's one of the most powerful and effective ways to get documentary funding. 

7 Secrets to a Successful Video Settlement Documentary

One of the obligations of plaintiff's counsel in today's world of litigation is to develop concise plans of disclosure through persuasive communication in order to obtain an early and adequate recovery for your documentary clients. The challenge then becomes how best to convince the claims people and decision-makers on the other side that it would be in their best interest to settle the claim early. The printed settlement brochure and demand package along with PowerPoint presentations has been the standard over the years and has proven to be effective in getting the facts and damages of your case to the adjusters. But with the proliferation of cable TV and the internet, the way we receive, digest and retain information has made video the dominate factor in getting cases settled today.

The video settlement brochure gives you and your clients the power to convey a vast amount of facts quickly and without interruptions. It portrays numerous facts and elements of the liability and the damages of your case that cannot be conveyed through the use of still photographs or the printed word. So, how does one go about producing powerful and effective settlement documentaries ? Here are seven secrets from a forensic professional to help guide you:

It is crucial to keep in mind that the video settlement documentary is not produced for viewing by a jury. Its target audience is claims adjusters, committees and the actual decision makers who will sign the check. The success of video settlement documentaries across this country has given rise to a proliferation of all types and qualities of settlement videos. Ranging from hokey videos shot with home camcorders to heart wrenching, sappy music videos produced by non-professionals, insurance companies have such a range of settlement videos on their desks that they now hold "bleeps and bloopers" contests at their annual conventions!

It is in the best interest of you and your clients to seek out professional, forensic video producers with a track record of experience. Your whole objective in producing this video is to find out what concerns and problems the adjusters have about your case, pinpoint and tackle those problems through facts and witnesses to bring forth an early and just settlement. Only an experienced, professional forensic video team knows how to highlight your case and put together a powerful, compelling and compassionate documentary .

The strength of the liability and damages of your case will determine how to begin production of your video settlement documentary. Remember, you want to stay focused on what the problems and disputes are with your case; then on what will motivate the adjusters to settle. Once you identify those problem areas, then determine which witnesses and demonstrative evidence will best tell the story to resolve those problems. Once that is done, a storyboard is created as to the sequencing of events in your documentary and the sound bites that you need to obtain from your witnesses. Through this process you will automatically develop and identify themes for your documentary and your case.

From the storyboard of your documentary, you then prepare a shot sheet for your camera crew listing the witnesses, demonstrative evidence and other exhibits that need to be videotaped. Shoots and locations are then scheduled, sets are dressed and then it's lights, camera, action!

After all shooting is complete, the raw footage is captured and logged as to time code and subject matter. Computer graphics, animations and titling is then created for insertion onto the master video. The editing process begins and any special effects, music and voice-overs are generated onto the master video. Once this is all completed you are ready to view a rough edit of your documentary.

This is your chance to make sure that your documentary accomplishes its goals and that no objectionable, confusing or distracting material has been included on the master video. Then show it to audiences you trust and make sure to show it to some crusty, hard-core insurance adjusters. Once you have relayed all of your changes and thoughts to your video production team, the final edit is prepared and ready to be viewed by the other side.

Now that you have spent all this time, money and effort, don't drop the ball when it comes time to present your video to the other side. Calculate carefully when and how best to present your documentary. Some attorneys prefer before mediation, some think after the first mediation. Your strategy will depend on the attitudes and commitments from the other side. With today's fast-paced, media-intense world, an uninterrupted viewing is ideal, so make sure you take the appropriate steps to make that happen. Another tactic a lot of attorneys use is to post their documentary to a secure website allowing them to gather analytics on number of views and time spent viewing by the other side.

A video settlement documentary gives you the only golden opportunity to tell the story of your case in its entirety without interruptions. It also gives the other side a view of what the jurors will see and hear and helps them to better evaluate your witnesses, your demonstrative evidence and your claim. We have yet to find another way to best present your case without it being sanitized or criticized by the other side. Even if your documentary does not bring your case to settlement, if properly produced it will ultimately enhance the settlement value of your case. 

Popular Indian Documentary Films

A documentary film is a moving presentation that documents some or the other aspect of reality. The film presents to the viewers some facts or information about a person or an event. While presenting reality, such films help a great deal in spreading social and inspiring messages within and across the boundaries.

Listed below are some of the most popular Indian documentary films:

Smile Pinki

This is a 39-minute documentary film that received the 81st Academy Award for Best Documentary. Directed by Megan Mylan the film shows the plight of a five year old girl living with a severe cleft lip. The girl lived in a small village and was deprived from the right to education. Furthermore, she also faced rejection and ignorance in the village because of her cleft lip. One fine day a social worker visited the village to gather patients with cleft lip and offer them freedom from this deformity completely free of cost. Pinki also undergoes the free surgery and thereafter her life gets completely transformed.

Mahatma Gandhi - Life of Gandhi (1869-1948)

Mahatma Gandhi - Life of Gandhi is also a popular documentaries life picturized on the complete life story of the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The entire story gives a complete description of his life in terms of his education, political spirit, spiritual leadership, and his significant contribution to India's freedom struggle. His unbound love and his never-ending search for truth are also presented in the film.


Swayam is a documentary film by Arun Chadha that received the Golden Conch Award in the 2004 International Documentary Festival held in Mumbai. The film showcases the impacts of micro-credit on women's self-help groups. It also highlights the social and financial support from the NGOs linked to such groups. Swayam actually means 'oneself' and the film delivers a holistic approach to put an end to ongoing violence against women. It aims to draw people's attention on the increasing efforts of self-help groups.

Made in India

Made in India is a very meaningful and significant documentary film that showcases the desperation of an infertile couple to have a child. The film shows the journey of an American couple traveling to India in search of a surrogate mother. The innovation and the advancement in technology have given a completely new dimension to the issue. The phenomenon of outsourcing surrogate mothers to India has increased tremendously to resolve severe family clashes. 

Documenting Your Documentary With Transcription

When you think about the word documentary , do you cringe in horror at the thought of having to sit through the humdrum monologue or are you excited to learn about the wonderful reality that is filmed? Sadly, there are far too many people who are disinterested these days in a good documentary that follows the lives of people, animals, or things around the world. Fortunately, there are still a few people out there who couldn't live without a good two-hour long documentary to fill their evening with learning.

It is for these people that this article was written, those who would be interested in knowing about documenting documentaries with transcription. Much like any other kind of broadcast, whether it is film or audio only, there are people paid to take down each word that has been said by the narrator, those they interview, and anyone in-between.

Just like any other transcription, documentaries transcription requires a skilled hand and the know-how to get things done in an accurate and quick manner. Often times, transcribers will be required to write as their focus is speaking. However, with documentaries which are often times filmed in the field, the transcribers will be given a copy of the film or audio to transcribe it into either paper format or a text file for their computer backup.

As a documentary film artist, if you've never thought of documentary transcribing, it is truly something to consider. Not only will it provide you with the ability to read over your documentary in the future, it will also give you something for your resume and records in the instance of a legal suit if someone hasn't filled out a proper waiver before appearing on the documentary.

Despite the fact that transcribing is involved in just about any part of the broadcasting or entertainment world, not many people will stop to think "Was this transcribed?" but, if you're one of the strange few who does have this question lording over your mind, you would be glad to know that yes, it more than likely was transcribed by one of the many documentary transcribers out there.

So, what if you want to become a documentary transcriber? Well, you have best be prepared to type a minimum of two hundred words per minute with an accuracy of ninety percent or more. These companies require the best of the best, especially if they are asking for live transcription. This isn't a time where you can go back and correct errors later, typically, a company will expect the transcription to be read-ready by the end of the program.

You must have a firm knowledge on spelling in the particular language that is being transcribed as well as a good grasp on grammar. While yes, not everyone will speak grammatically correct, you will still want to do your best to write what is said appropriately so that it can be read as it aired on television or on film. There is no middle ground when you want your documentary transcribing to be on the spot. 

Dinosaur Documentaries for Younger Children

Dinosaur Documentaries for Younger Children

Sesame Street: Dinosaurs! Genius Products. (2008)

For the much younger set (toddlers), the Sesame Street: Dinosaurs! DVD is a way to introduce your child to the world of dinosaurs. Popular kid's characters, Elmo, Telly and Abby Cadabby, explore dinosaurs in an imaginative way. The 40 minute video does provide an educational aspect covering a couple types of dinosaurs and some facts about them such as what they eat. It also talks a bit about other pre-historic creatures. However, education is not the sole aspect of this dvd and know that a lot of the content is just for entertainment value.

National Geographic: Really Wild Animals - Dinosaurs and Other Creature Features. (1995)

Re-released on DVD in 2005, this 47 minute long documentary explores both the world of dinosaurs as well as insects, bats and other "creepy crawlers". Narrated by Dudley Moore and accompanied by rock music and interviews, it uses humor to take away from some of the "scary" dinosaurs and creatures. This film uses provides us with lots of scientific information, however, the oldness of the film makes the animation outdated-which adults and some children might find "corny." This also does not provide any newer dinosaur research, but is still a good introductory documentary.

Dinosaur Documentaries for Older Children

National Geographic Kids: I Love Dinosaurs

The movie's title and description seem to advertise to younger children, however, this documentary's focus is on paleontology and dinosaur digs, which may be less appealing to young kids. Older children however, can learn lots about what paleontology is and what a "dig" is like. It follows paleontologist, Paul Sereno, as he uncovers a T-Rex and all the work that it involves. This is recommended for the older child who has a science and/or paleontology interest-it may be a bit boring for those just interested in seeing "real" dinosaurs.

Prehistoric Planet: The Complete Dino Dynasty. BBC. (2003)

Narrated by the well-liked Ben Stiller, this dinosaur documentary appeals to all ages. It's an adapted version from the BBC Walking With... series. It provides both information and action using CGI dinosaurs. One fun special feature included with this DVD is a 3-D gallery in which kids can put on 3-D glasses (included with DVD) to view pictures of dinos in 3D! However, if you already have seen or own the Walking with... series, this documentary will be very redundant because it uses footage from the original series.

Dinosaur Documentaries That Appeals to All Ages

Walking With Dinosaurs. BBC. (2002)

A widely popular BBC documentary series on dinosaurs and prehistoric times, Walking with Dinosaurs is an informative dinosaur DVD for both children and adults. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, this takes on a nature documentary style by observing computer animated dinosaurs in their "natural" habitat. This appeals to anyone with a dinosaur interest. However, some feel that the scenes in this documentary can be a bit graphic-the film contains violent dinosaur fights, dinosaurs eating each other and dinosaurs dying, so some feel it may not be appropriate for younger children. Please know that this DVD also comes in the combo pack-"The Complete Walking with... Collection" for the extreme dinosaur fans.

Other dinosaur documentaries that may appeal to kids are "All About Dinosaurs" (2008), BBC's "Before the Dinosaurs: Walking with Monsters" (2006) and Discovery Channel's "Dinosaur Planet. Real. Big. Stories." (2004) 

Great Collections of Dinosaur Documentaries

Many companies producing dinosaur documentaries have also released a combo-pack or collection of dinosaur documentaries. These packs have become a popular way to view and/or own a whole series on dinosaurs as opposed to individual episodes or programs. This article includes combo-packs that provide a wider range of information, are well-produced and lack a sense of repetitiveness from one DVD to the next.

*Note: These are not listed in any particular order.

Ultimate Dinosaur Collection. BBC video. (2007)
This collection puts together a popular and informative BBC series of dinosaur documentary . On 3 discs, this set includes "Before the Dinosaurs: Walking with Monsters", "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurs", "Chased by Dinosaurs" and a bonus program, "Trilogy of Life: The Making of Walking with Dinosaurs, Beasts and Monsters". The dinosaurs in this set are both computer-rendered and animatronic. The "Walking With" dinosaur documentaries are narrated by expert, Kenneth Branagh and the "Chased" series is narrated by zoologist, Nigel Mavens. The Ultimate Dinosaur Collection is an informative and visually appealing dinosaur documentary set, however these discs drop many of the special features released on the original DVD.

Discovery Essential Dinosaur Pack. Discovery Channel. (2008)
This combo-pack combines 7 of Discovery channel's most popular dinosaur documentaries . This is a 2 disc set that includes "Valley of the T-Rex", "T-Rex: New Science, New Beast", "When Dinosaurs Roamed America", "Utah's Dino Graveyard", "Dinosaur Planet", "The Mystery Dinosaur" and " Dinosaurs: Return to Life?". Discovery channel uses computer generated animation of dinosaurs. Narration is not done by experts, but by actors-for example, John Goodman, but there are many interviews with scientists and experts. This set is able to inform a wide audience (children to adults) of the dinosaur research that has occurred, although some of this research has become outdated.

The Complete Walking With...Collection. BBC Video (2000)
BBC provides us with another set of dinosaur documentaries. This one includes the three programs from BBC's Emmy-award winning series. On 5 discs, the complete collection includes "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurus: A Walking with Dinosaurs Special", and "Walking with Pre-historic Beasts" and also includes many special features such as behind-the-scenes features and interviews with the creators. The DVDs provide more realistic computer generated dinosaurs and uses interesting angles-which usually works well. This series does provide some humor to the narrating scene. This set does not include 2 other documentaries that were part of the Walking with...series-- "Cavemen" and "Life Before Dinosaurs"

Pre-Historic Earth: Natural History. BBC Video (2008).
This disc-set supplies a historical outlook of pre-historic times in BBC's total "Walking with..." series. It's a 6 disc set including "Before the Dinosaurs", "Walking with Monsters", "Walking with Dinosaurs", "Allosaurus", "Walking with Pre-Historic Beasts" and "Walking with Cavemen". This set aims to recreate the dinosaur world with computer-rendered dinosaurs in a natural environment. They are highly informative and take a scientific outlook. However, it has been said that some of the information in this film isn't fully accurate such as showing particular animals living together that may not actually have been possible. All in all, Pre-Historic Earth: Natural History is a comprehensive set of dinosaur documentaries and information.

Prehistoric Collection: From Dinosaurs to the Dawn of Man. History. (2009)
An overview of prehistoric times, History provides us with 4 highly popular dinosaur documentaries. On 8 discs, this set includes, "Jurassic Fight Club", "Prehistoric Mega-storms," "Journey to 10,000 B.C.", and "Clash of the Caveman." Jurassic Fight Club is focused only on dinosaurs and provides really great fight scenes as the name suggests. With decent computer-animation, the exciting fight scenes are also accompanied by expert narration and interviewers who truly love dinosaurs. The other 3 series aren't exactly dinosaur documentaries but they do relate to the prehistoric era. A broad range of knowledge on the pre-historic timeline is given in this DVD but it does use a common documentary film layout which avid documentary watchers may be familiar with. 

Making a Documentary Film

Documentary films, as the name implies, are films produced with the intention of being an audio-visual documentation of a concept or event.

A documentary film is intended to be much more like a piece of journalism than a piece of entertainment or expressive art. There is typically a voice-over narrative going on throughout a documentary film with the narrator describing what's being seen in a businesslike way without any dramatic reading.

Documentary films are often made to more deeply explore a current events or history subject that has remained shrouded in mystery, been controversial, or in the opinion of the film maker misunderstood or underexposed. Documentaries have also been made simply to record an event of personal interest to the film maker.

Biographies, sports and music events, a compilation film of collected footage from government sources, and so on and so forth all may be subjects for a documentary film. Documentaries film makers are typically the writers, directors, and producers. Often they may act as cameramen as well.

Documentary films are most often made for TV but in more recent times there have been more of them made as direct-to-video, made-for-video, straight-to-video, or straight-to-DVD formats in which they were never first played on TV or in the theaters but were simply distributed for home-viewing.

Some major motion pictures when released in DVD format also come with bonus DVDs that act as documentary films of the making of the movie. Documentaries also often feature re-enactments of events that could not or were not originally documented on film such as historical events from the year 1776. There have also been "mockumentaries" made, in which a piece of comedy fiction is made but is done up in the same dry and straightforward format of an actual documentary. "This Is Spinal Tap" and "The Gods Must Be Crazy" are two of the most successful mockumentaries ever made.

To put together a quality documentary film, the filmmaker first begins by doing research, even if he knows the subject matter well already. The Main point of a documentary film is to relay facts and information from all angles.

Quality documentaries usually include interviews at some point. This is a technique for lending authoritativeness to the film's producer by getting people to speak from first-hand knowledge about the subject matter or an aspect of it. A documentary film also has to be well organized in an interesting and logical format. Unlike with many fictional movie stories, a documentary should never deliberately confuse, mislead, or leave something mysterious. Multiple perspectives or opinions can be highly effective at giving a documentary film depth. 

What Is A Documentary Film?

What is a documentary film? Well, essentially it is a film that is supposed to document reality. There is a wide variety of documentary films. There are hundreds of historical documentaries, and there have been some very popular political documentaries as of late. Although in my personal opinion you will find many of the late political documentaries have a bias agenda.

For example, Al Gore released an extremely popular documentaries called "An Inconvenient Truth" which was about global warming. While many still say that global warming is not absolute truth and that we are merely in a cycle of a small change in the worlds climate, this documentary states it as thought it is a fact rather than a theory. It provides only the evidence that supports the theory. While the documentary is rather interesting, it obviously has a very bias agenda.

Other popular political documentaries are Michael Moore's films, "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko". Fahrenheit 9/11 was probably one of the most controversial films of the last decade. It contains outlandish comments about the Bush administration and even referring to the media as "cheerleaders" for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Many people supported it, but those that disliked it found it necessary to make a rebuttal documentary of their own entitled "FahrenHYPE 9/11". The documentary is devoted to try to prove many statements that were made in the Fahrenheit 9/11 documentary as false.

Sicko made its own wave of controversy. It made comments about how poor the American government's healthcare system really was. I do not believe it made as much of an impact simply because most people are aware that our quality of healthcare is much better than most other countries, it is just the cost that is killing everyone. Michael Moore takes it to another level stating that even some third world countries have better healthcare. I think most everyone knows this is simply untrue. You can simply take a look at the rampant diseases in those areas to determine the truth on the matter. 

Creating a Holiday Documentary

You have been looking forward to this holiday documentaries all year. Perhaps it is a first-time getaway with your new romance, a family holiday filled with excitement, or an unbeatable clubbing vacation with your best friends. No matter what makes your holiday memorable, you will certainly want to capture and store the details for years to come.

Traditional mementoes of a holiday tend to include photo albums, slide shows, and maybe a sea shell collection. These items can bring back plenty of fond memories for you, but what about the people you share them with?

Isn't there a more exciting and entertaining way to showcase your holiday adventure?

Holiday Documentary

A holiday documentary is much more than a home movie, it's a holiday production. By combining your vacation memories with this popular film format you will have an entertaining keepsake that your friends and families will love to see for years to come.

What You Will Need

The most important item that you need to make a holiday documentary is a personal camcorder. Any camcorder will suffice, even if you have to borrow one from a friend. Of course, there are also several reasonably priced professional-quality models on the market, should you chose to invest in a new one.

If you are using a digital camcorder, be sure to purchase a memory card. Most digital camcorders will record approximately 30 minutes of action; by expanding this time with a memory card you will be able to capture your day's activities with fewer downloads to your computer.

On the other hand, if you chose to record with a camcorder that uses tapes, be sure that you have plenty of extras on hand. Remember, you will be able to edit the content once you are home, so don't be afraid to shoot several hours of action.

In order to create the final product, you will also require a way to edit your film, The best option is a simple computer editing program that will allow to splice different scenes, and maybe even add voice-overs, text, and other special effects.

Planning the Documentary

One of the primary differences between a documentary and a home-video, is that a documentary follows a rough story line or premise. This means that your first step towards planning the documentary is to decide on a story angle. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

o Baby's Eye View. A family with a new member could create a documentary of their holiday from the perspective of the baby.

o 101 Ways to Eat. This documentary could centre on the holiday's food and include everything from purchasing food in a market to discussing cuisine with a famous local chef.

o The Best Looking Man. Girls going away on a clubbing weekend may create a documentary in search of the holiday's best looking man.

After selecting your topic, you should also create a brief outline of the information that you would like to cover. Of course, documentaries are very spontaneous and should be scripted, but it is still a good idea to have a direction in mind. For example, on a girls' weekend some important shots to include would be getting ready for a night out on the town, dish sessions over breakfast, and any exciting adventures that arise.


When you are filming live action, resist the urge to narrate excessively - everyone has seen the home video that includes a running monologue describing every event and item on the screen. Instead, keep your statements to a minimum and narrate only when it is necessary. This will ensure that the noises of the action itself are not lost behind your voice. Plus, it you are using a digital camera and a basic editing program, you will be able to add a voice-over narration later on.

Selecting what to film should be easy, as long as you have prepared with enough memory or film. Basically - film everything that you think to and edit later. You never know what funny or outrageous event you'll inadvertently capture.

However, it is also important to keep in mind that you don't have to capture every bit of the holiday on film - remember: you are there to experience it too! If something exciting or eventful does occur without the camera, you can always create a video diary moment where you explain the event on screen.

Creating the Final Product

Editing the final cut of your documentary is a fun activity that you will be able to enjoy after you have returned home from your holiday. First, think about the theme for the documentary and look at your initial outline. Next, reflect on the events that actually took place and select those that you would like to include in the film.

Remember, you have likely captured hours of film, but not all of it needs to be included in the final documentary. Include only those events that feed into your overall theme.

Now that you have a rough guideline for the flow of the documentary, use your editing program to select the scenes that you would like to include. Here are some other great additions that will help create a professional looking product:

o Title shot.

o Sound track (consider your favourite song, local music from the holiday destination , or significant tunes that fit each scene's mood)

o Cast list (you can put this either at the start or the finish, if your editing software allows it, consider including a photo beside each of the names)

o Scene Titles (if your documentary is a series of separate events, consider identifying them with subtitles)

Screening Your Documentary

Now that you have created your masterpiece, it's time to show it to the world. Next time that you have friends or family over, pop some popcorn and dim the lights to create a theatre atmosphere. Your guests are sure to love this innovative twist on the holiday scrapbook! 

Top 5 Spanish Documentaries

One good way to improve your Spanish listening skills is to watch documentaries in Spanish on the internet. There are a good range of Spanish documentaries available online on sites such as RTVE and YouTube to name two of the more famous. Some of these documentaries were made in Spain or Latin America originally but some are translations from English and other languages. I have made my recommendations for a top 5 Spanish documentaries or documentary series for you to watch below, however, in reality, what best suits you will largely depend on personal taste and Spanish ability. This therefore is just a general guide to watching Spanish documentaries and the themes are quite diverse - my aim is really just to give you an idea of what sort of material is available so you can find the documentaries that interest you.

1 - Documentos TV

My first recommended documentary series is available for free from (the home of the Spanish national television and radio) - follow the links from the RTVE homepage (search on to "RTVE a la Carta" and then the "Documentales" section. Documentos TV is one of the top 5 series at the top of the page - if you follow the link there is a large archive of documentaries all lasting around one hour. Most people will be able to find at least one or two to interest them but watching all will expand your vocabulary on a range of themes - for example the most recent at the time of writing this article are about themes as diverse and the hunt for the last Nazi and poker fever. This is the signature documentary series for RTVE and the episodes are clearly presented and provide deep and thought provoking insights.

2 - Imprescindibles
This is another of the documentaries series available if you follow the same route as above to the RTVE documentales page. Imprescindibles is another documentary series but this time tends to focus on hour long episodes about important figures in Spanish culture. If you don't recognise the names these documentaries might not interest you but I found most episodes very interesting.

3 - Espanol en el Mundo

Again follow the link to RTVE a la Carta and this time select programas. Espanol en el Mundo isn't a documentary as such but a series following Spanish people in cities around the world - the episodes last just under an hour and each one follows four or five Spanish natives in their daily routines in their new cities having migrated abroad. The series is really interesting, more socially based and hence informal and I found also a bit more happy than most other documentaries.

4 - Documania TV

Again no individual documentary but this Spanish website (search on offers a huge range of Spanish documentaries. The topics range from history and science to geography and religion - as a result there is something for everyone. I would especially recommend the National Geographic documentaries available.

5 - Bear Grylls and Louis Theroux

These are two of my favourite documentary series in the UK and luckily they are translated or at least subtitled in Spanish. Bear is available on YouTube if you search "A prueba de Todo". The Louis Theroux series is difficult to find in complete but there are clips and episodes if you search on 

Best Documentaries Of The 21st Century

While fiction has long been the mainstay of cinematic entertainment since the beginning of the movie industry, the ground-breaking 1922 documentary file Nanook of the North gave filmmakers a taste of their audience's desire to view something that would give them an insight into parts of their world that they would otherwise not know about. Despite the fact that it took a while for filmmakers to really catch the documentary "bug", recent documentaries such as An Inconvenient Truth, Inside Job and Fahrenheit 9/11 only reinforce the desire for filmmakers to make movies that not only entertain but also enlighten. Here's my list of documentaries - in no particular order - that should be on any documentary aficionado's "must see" list:

Sigur Ros: Heima (2007)

Music lovers especially will appreciate this documentaries that focuses on the last few concerts of Icelandic band Sigur Ros' World Tour. Even those people not familiar with their music will be able to appreciate the marvellous & atmospheric cinematography that depicts Iceland beautifully.

The Fog Of War (2003)

This Oscar-winning documentary focuses on the life and public service of former United States Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and also provides an insight into the security & international relations of the United States during the Second World War, the Cuban missile crisis and the Vietnam war, as well as an overview of what lessons McNamara gleaned from these pivotal moments in his life.

The Power Of Nightmares (2004)

This three-part TV documentary series created for the BBC depicts two strains of political thought whose clash resulted into today's War On Terror: Middle Eastern Islamism and Western Neo-Conservatism. Although the documentary series admits that these two distinct political ideologies are direct polar opposites of each other, the series argues that they depend on each other for their continuing popularity and existence. While not exactly a documentaries in the strictest sense of the word, these three films are noteworthy in how the creator Adam Curtis uses the visual medium to hold the viewer's attention.

Quants: The Alchemists Of Wall Street (2010)

An exceptionally well-made Dutch documentary showing how mathematical wizardry and the rise of the mathematician became a major factor in the explosive growth of wealth in the financial industry and how this massive growth led to the all-encompassing greed that eventually brought the world economy to the brink of disaster.

Friends of Kim (2006)

An off-beat, humorous and touching independent documentary showing how a group of die-hard anti-capitalists travel to North Korea to support the country's "Worker's Paradise" and how they slowly realise that their vision of North Korea as a socialist stronghold was naive and simplistic.

Here Comes The Sun (2008)

An interesting look into the future of solar energy with a particular emphasis on the development of the German renewable energy industry. While the documentary itself can be accused of being slightly over-optimistic regarding the ability of renewable energy to solve humanity's ever-increasing energy needs, it is quite inspirational in the sense that it is a clear indication of how much easier it has become for countries to overcome political hurdles and to harness this seemingly unlimited source of power.

The Story Of The Weeping Camel (2003)

A German docudrama about a family of Mongolian shepherds in the Gobi desert trying to save the life of a rare white camel calf after it was rejected by its mother. Heartwarming with a happy ending.

Collision (2009)

A documentary film focusing on the ongoing debate between atheist Christopher Hitchens and Presbyterian pastor Douglas Wilson and which provides an overview of several days worth of debates following the release of their book "Is Christianity Good for the World?". While Hitchens may have seemed an indomitable debating opponent by most, Douglas Wilson is one of the first "believers" who did not shy away from putting up an intellectual fight.

Right America: Feeling Wronged - Some Voices from the Campaign Trail (2009)

A documentary that highlights the sometimes strident and disturbing conservative reactions to Barack Obama's victory of the 2008 presidential election and which premiered on HBO on President's Day 2009. I sometimes struggled to understand the doomsday scenarios the Republican supporters conjured up once they realised that their candidate had lost the presidential race. The vitriolic rhetoric only seemed to get worse as the documentary went on.

Our Labor of Love (2010)

Heartwarming documentary focusing on the animals of Out Of Africa wildlife park (Camp Verde, Arizona) and their caretakers. Although this documentary is obviously promotional in its intent, I included it in this list because it does its job so well. Besides, there are few things finer than watching tigers playfully leap into water with wild abandon over and over again.

Useful Tips On How To Shooting a Personal Documentary

Shooting a Personal Documentary

Want to run a personal documentary with high impact? Although there is no rule book for making documentaries, there are other experiences that can guide you. In this article I will give you some tips on how to make a personal documentary of success. Some suggestions here are for the project in general and some are specific to shooting interviews and filming outdoors. 

What is a personal documentary? 

A "personal documentary" is a branch of the documentary film that focuses on a particular human subject, or sometimes a couple or a family. Commissioned by the object or a family member is a measure (measure) video biography that draws advantage of the immediacy and excitement of the film to tell personal and family history stories that would otherwise be counted on paper. 

Being "responsible" does not mean that the personal documentaries is pure and free of difficult questions flattery. Instead, to be successful must contain personal documentary objectivity and real dark to balance the light. In my experience, submitting themselves have no interest in the history of saccharin. But where mistakes or wrong directions taken were committed, a personal documentary will be an opportunity to explain the context and - preferably - understanding. Ultimately, however, the editorial control rests with the contracting party (the payment of) the personal documentary. 

Tip 1: Keep your front and center topic 

There are many twists to life, and many rabbit holes that a staff of well-meaning documentary could disappear down. But resist deflections, unless the rest of the progress of the material. 

By asking questions, trying to report events motivations and feelings. The subjects are usually very good at giving the "who, what and when." Filmmaker staff must work to get into the "why" and "why nots." 

By telling stories involving previous generations, try connecting the story, or tell the story from the perspective of someone who is still alive. Exhibition exciting even the most fascinating historical detail (for example, "Grandpa George Unwin once killed a Bengal tiger") means that it can be connected to someone or something tangible for the public (for example, "Old George Unwin was an adventurer like his little son Frank, who both joined the army when they were 18 ...") 

Tip 2: Go beyond the surface 

On a personal documentary , most of the information comes from matter and your friends, colleagues and family. But you should dig a little whenever possible, and not to ignore the documents. 

For example, I always do genealogical research on my subjects at the request or not. It is common to find errors in the collective memory of the family, and sometimes strange and surprising revelations come to light (such as child marriage, name changes and significant underestimation of age) . 

A personal documentary success 

A personal documentary selected must feel, humor and layers. It will focus on key "stations of the cross" in the life of the person, without being exhaustive (an impossible task on any device, at any time). It will also take into view. 

Depending on the weather, you can do historical research of the city or the state or the facts narrated or the period in question. Research journal can download interesting material (you must attach a library to have access to the best databases). And some filmmakers even make Freedom of Information Act aims to strengthen its research activities. 

Tip 3: Be patient 

Barry Hampe to "make documentary films and Reality" says a lot about the interview documentary is to run the treadmill through the camera expect and hope that the subject will say something interesting. 

It's a bit hard. But tell the truth good collection indeed: you can almost never force the pace. In general, careful, patient and open quests should let the story come to you. 

Tip 4: Shooting maintenance 

Chances are you'll be filming the two assemblies interview and location. 

When interviewing a subject, ask questions prepared, but also ask questions (and the film) who can tell us something about the person, such as your work, hobbies, location itself, etc. Also , capturing a number of blows about in the interview - general plans (subject to the interviewer, and even lighting, etc), to close ups (eg, size and above ) to the extreme (face only). Avoid moving the camera while the subject speaks. 

Try recording (full) name, age / date of birth (if they are to be relevant), place names, etc., either in writing and / or have been saying their name and explain that the band. Of all the mistakes you make on a personal documentary, go wrong or misspelled names seem to attract the most attention. 

After shooting a scene, ask if there are big plans to apply to the end, eg, hands, feet, objects. Consider POVs (point shots) - where you walk behind the subject and things of films (often an object or activity), from their point of view. 

Tip 5: filming on location 

Instead in a personal documentary, you can follow the subject while moving around an event or shooting places of personal importance or puts the person's past. 

For each location, capture 5 to 10 second "plan" - it's a long shot showing the entire building / town / room / whatever. This helps guide the viewer and gives you a bit of range. Avoid moving the camera during the filming of establishment, except a pot or a soft, slow zoom. 

Keep an eye on the signs and writing of any kind that are usually worth - the names, warnings, graffiti, ads ... 

And if you are shooting a fishing show or a movie, avoid fast pans and quick zooms. In general, it is best to carefully frame the first shot, steady shot, and then let the action in front of the lens - not significant horizontal movement or zooming. 

Bonus tip: Finding a rhythm 

When it comes time to change the personal documentary, trying to find a rhythm to the writing. 

Like a poem often have a rhyme scheme, a personal documentary also can often have a pattern (for example, Chapter 1 clip of the interview, the image and voice clip maintenance rather than injection and audio interviews, a clip of the interview, an interview and then repeat for Chapter 2 clip). Having established the material you want to use a satisfactory model, make sure to break the pattern from time to time. 

A personal documentary success 

A personal documentary selected must feel, humor and layers. It will focus on key "stations of the cross" in the life of the person, without being exhaustive (an impossible task on any device, at any time). It will also take into view. 

Adopt a vision? Chances are, if you make a personal documentary focuses on a life or a family, you've got to know the subject. A personal documentary is not a polemic, but it is possible to notice. You can express only by the facts of life you choose to cover, the title of the documentary or the chapter headings (if you create chapters name - it is certainly an option), or even - if you are very careful - to through the story. 

Some filmmakers are wary of narration, preferring to let the story unfold without "voice of God" telling us what to think. But used carefully, the voice can save time.

And never forget: have fun!

10 Easy Steps to Make a Documentary Film

Learn how to make a documentary can be fun and does not require a rating of cinema. You have a burning desire to tell their story and the will to understand each step of the process.

Here are 10 easy steps to make a documentary

Identify an idea of ​​documentary - The key to choosing a subject that is truly passionate about.
Outline - A map of the basic structure and the topics you want to include in your documentary. You also want to think about the style of narration - style like New Frontline / PBS? Demi documentaries / movies with low performances? Talking heads? Personal point of view? Observation?

Bring your audio-visual - Start gathering the existing footage and other visual elements of the theme audio - this is perhaps old home movies, photos, audio, national archives, music, etc.
Then decide what new material need to tell your story and start shooting. This can be expert interviews, capturing an event such as a show horse or a football match, shooting photos of one of his characters - for example, if you focus on a famous artist in your community you want to get pictures of the painting of the artist.

Produce / Change Trailer - Once you've collected 3-5 hours of "rushes", start putting together a mini-version of his documentary, also called "trailer". A trailer is generally 3-8 minutes captures the essence of his documentary. This is a great tool to create buzz and raise money for his documentary.

Pull remaining pictures - Continue collection of interviews and other materials to cover all the areas you listed in the scheme of the room.

Catalog and - If you are a one-hour documentaries , you might have dozens or even hundreds of hours of material that will draw in the editing process. Make sure that all interviews were transcribed and knows exactly where all images. There is nothing worse than being "in the groove" edition and having to stop and look through all the sequences to find a specific occasion.

Writing a script - even if you do not plan to have a narrator, you need a script to design the basic order of their sequence, how it will begin and end the film, in addition to any appointment of interview.

Edit your document - If you've never edited video before, you may want to start with a simple software free video editing as Apple "iMovie" but something a little more sophisticated, such as Final Cut Express will give you more flexibility. Start your documentary with something interesting, unusual or controversial to capture the attention of the audience. And I know how the movie will end help determine your editing options that led to the conclusion.

Get on the Internet or burn them to a DVD - Make sure that you own the copyright while in his documentary before publishing on the web or make copies. This applies to music (including background music in the background), archive footage and photos.

Promotion, distribution and display - This is the last step in the process which could present his documentary film festivals, hobby PBS and other television networks, upload to Amazon Unbox to sell copies of his documentary, a first , create a public relations campaign around the release of his documentary and of course DVD and send free thanks to all those who helped you :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Settlement Documentary: Visual Persuasion in Litigation

Settlement Documentary: Visual Persuasion in Litigation

Settlement Documentary: Visual Persuasion in Litigation

Settlement Documentary: Visual Persuasion in Litigation

Settlement Documentary: Visual Persuasion in Litigation

Visual Persuasion in Litigation

Settlement video documentaries are sophisticated video presentations produced specifically for pre-trial mediation and settlement. The sole purpose of these settlement documentary videos is to convince the opposing parties it is in their best interest to pay maximum compensation now rather than risk a jury trial later.

A well-crafted settlement video incorporates the key factors of a case and visually weaves them into a cohesive television-style documentary presentation. The effect is profound as it not only provides a humanizing portrait of the plaintiff; it individualizes the case and forces the opposing parties to take notice. In addition, the settlement documentary can be an effective tool used to present critical evidence and prove damages, thereby justifying the demand letter and increasing the value of the case. Professionally produced legal video documentaries are powerful forms of communication that have an impact on the viewer like no other medium can.

Day-in-the-Live Videos vs. Settlement Documentaries

Day-in-the-life videos are primarily utilized in personal injury cases to document, without prejudice, the plaintiff’s daily activities and the impact the injury in question has had on their lives. Typically, day-in-the-life videos are presented in trial for jurors to witness the plaintiff’s condition as they go about their day. The content of these videos are subjected to rules of evidence codes (see Day-in-the-Life Admissibility) and are in stark contrast to what settlement documentary can cover.

Unlike day-in-the-life videos, settlement documentaries include many more aspects of a case and they are not limited by admissibility rules. Therefore, they can broadly and dramatically represent the issues of liability – duty, breach, causation; the extent of harm; loss; economic and non-economic damages. Of course, the degree to which a settlement documentary focuses on these issues is determined on a case-by-case basis. All-in-all, a settlement video can succinctly establish for the viewer, in the simplest terms; the who, what, when, where, how and why – all in about 15-20 compelling minutes.

Every case has a story

What was the plaintiff’s life like before the incident? Who is liable? What are the damages and why should the opposing party pay compensation? These and other questions can be addressed with on-camera interviews of expert witnesses, key family members and deposition testimony of the key players. The interviews may be intertwined with before-and-after photos, demonstrative recreations, police reports, medical imagery, day-in-the-life footage and other visuals. Professional narration is included throughout the video to guide the viewer through the sequence of events. A professional settlement video will deliver the case theme and events as if the matter is being presented as a television documentary such as Dateline or 20/20.

The television-style documentary has the ability to unveil a captivating depth about the plaintiff and the circumstances surrounding the case; much more so than the written word can convey. There is no doubt, presenting the case information in this documentary format makes for a convincing and powerful presentation.


The most important issue to be addressed in the settlement video is damages. The documentary must clearly demonstrate for the claims administrator and opposing counsel how the plaintiff’s life has been altered, what the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries are, as well as current and future needs.

While presenting damages, it is imperative to highlight the likeability and sympathy as it relates to the plaintiff and their condition. Post-injury portrayals in the form of day-in-the-life videos can be incorporated into the settlement documentary in such a way that the opposing parties are forced to fully realize the pain and suffering the plaintiff is experiencing. Interviews with key family members and life care planners also assist in individualizing the case by associating it with a name and a face; not just a case number with a value assessment. This portrayal of the plaintiff can be the emotional catalyst the case needs to persuade the opposing side to settle. However, when demonstrating the plaintiff’s suffering, the documentary must remain authentic; staying true and accurate to the facts and circumstances.

Gilding the Lily and Other Extremes

Gross or even subtle exaggerations may cause opposing counsel to dismiss the video presentation as deceptive and not take the demand seriously. Overstating or over dramatizing events can reflect poorly on the entire video presentation and cast suspicions about the validity of the case.

On the other side of the pendulum, presentations that lack compassion or understate the emotional impact of the case; may disserve the plaintiff as much as gilding the lily. Broadcast journalists and deposition videographers hawk their wares for producing legal videos, but they often lack the narrative skills and patience of a long-form filmmaker. A newscast-style video presentation may not garner the sympathy or compassion the plaintiff deserves and therefore will not illicit a compulsion to settle the case.

A properly constructed settlement video will balance the factual and emotional facets of the case. The documentary will faithfully portray the extent of the damages without heroics and hold true the emotional expressions of the participants. It will not stage or exaggerate events for the sake of dramatics. Remember, the sole purpose of the settlement documentary is to persuade the opposing parties it is in their best interest to settle the case instead of proceeding to a jury trial. Dabbling in deception may reduce that probability.

Bolster the Case

A cohesive, logical and persuasive settlement video presentation can educate the opposing party of the merits of a case. It also can demonstrate the credibility, preparedness and commitment of plaintiff’s counsel. Settlement videos may be presented as the plaintiff’s opening statement, or it may be submitted to the mediator and opposing counsel several weeks in advance so that they may adequately prepare for settlement. No matter how it is used, settlement documentaries are a highly effective tool. Seeing is believing.