Community engagement


Resources include information about the film industry, recommendations of people with whom we have worked with whose experience and expertise has been of value to us and whom we think can be helpful for you, and our personal, eclectic interests. Definitely not exhaustive lists, by any means! We welcome any of your suggestions.

Film biz

Do you need help with story structure? Or want to cut a trailer but not sure how to reduce your film to its essential three minutes? Fernanda Rossi, the Documentary Doctor, is where we start. Her taste is phenomenonal and her advice clear and intelligent. Don’t miss her Trailer Mechanics workshop. She’s also a lively and generous person, whose first instinct is to bring people together so that they can meet and help each other out.

Peter Broderick. He’s advised hundreds, maybe thousands of filmmakers, emerging and established. Consider getting his newsletter, at the very least. For starters, here’s an excellent article written by Peter that can give you a taste of the best course to take in your distribution efforts.

Jon Reiss


Just sayin’, don’t sign that distribution contract or any other license without running it by a reliable lawyer. We can suggest Karen Shatzin. Based in New York, Karen is fantastic to work with. She’s easy going, witty, knowledgeable and sharp. For just a partial list of the doc films that she’s represented, visit the IMDb site.

Dan Schneider (or other that MM used) as entertainment lawyer

Robert Bahar, for how to create a film budget


Fledgling Fund: leading the way when it comes to creative funding for community engagement. If your film illuminates a social issue, consider approaching them for funding. A twice-yearly application process.

The MacArthur Foundation: again giving money to documentaries. For years they supported independent filmmakers, then took a hiatus to re-evaluate their giving. Open for business again, so check them out.

It’s easy to feel that you’re working in isolation or that no one can understand or support you from your direct community. Fortunately, there are several groups dedicated exclusively for advice, job opportunities, socializing and idea exchange specifically by and for documentary and other independent filmmakers. The ones that we are a part of are:

The D-Word



Brown Girls


Often our clients already have their own web designer. However, we can also recommend a couple.

In New York:

JPD Studio

A lovely team, very attentive, patient and, most importantly, creative. They work with clients all over the world, on web design and development, as well as print and identity branding.

Stella Wu, Starbright Media (New York?)

RosssCammm (Madrid & Copenhagen)

For managing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and probably Google+ soon, we recommend Hootsuite. It’s an invaluable tool for monitoring and updating quickly and efficiently, and judicious automating.



Mad Mimi

Constant Contact





We hope you can benefit from and enjoy our growing list of recommended titles.


Rossi, Fernanda. Trailer Mechanics. How to Make Your Documentary Fundraising Demo.

Fernanda has published the second edition of the book, and it’s doubled in size! This is now a book with over 300 pages, that gives you the nitty gritty about how to put together a trailer that can help your film get successfully funded. The author is generous with her information and her knowledge is valuable.

Kaufman, Josh. The Personal MBA. Master the Art of Business.

This book has been enormously useful to us. We’re embarked on changes to our business to better serve our clients and to achieve our own personal and professional goals. Kaufman dedicated several years to read an impressive list and range of books on business and condensed his understanding into bite size chapters that are easy to read, helpful, and provide food for thought. There are also useful exercises provided throughout the book that can help you to focus, to better understand your work, your business, and to make wise decisions.