Media Musings — Reviewing for publication

The book I worked on for the last year, The Documentary Distribution Toolkit: How to Get Out, Get Seen and Get an Audience, is officially in production. I have heard from the production manager and am in the process of reviewing proofs. The publisher sent me cover mock ups to look at and comment on. I am in awe watching this come together.

It has started to dawn on me how much work this really was. When you’re in the middle of it you’re just focusing on setting up the next interview, preparing for the next call, or fact-checking quotes to make sure everyone feels comfortable with their contribution. Documentary is a small world and we should all support and respect each other.

I was fortunate to have Paul Lewis agree to write a Foreword for the book. Lewis is the Conference Director of the World Congress of Science & Factual Producers, an event I highly recommend. He’s been a mentor (even people who have worked for 20 years need mentors) since my graduation in 2019 from the Arts, Media and Entertainment MBA program at the Schulich School of Business at York University. Restarting my professional life in Canada, which has entirely different rules from the United States where I am from, has had its challenges and he remains unconditionally supportive.

Which leads me to one of the main things I hope everyone will take away from the book: never be afraid to ask questions. Don’t worry about making mistakes, admit them and fix them. Honesty goes a long way.

I will update information when it is useful on my own website. For instance, since sending in the TDDT manuscript in mid-May I have learned that my short film, In the Family Way, won’t end up on iTunes through the aggregator Quiver. I paid for this service (more than my book advance), and wrote about the experience of waiting over six months for it to go live. They recently sent an email that they cannot fulfill the order and will issue a refund.

Which brings me to another point I hope filmmakers take from reading the book: understand business concepts — particularly the budgeting models you are working with as well as those you are preparing to approach. One way to do this is to engage with your local filmmaking community. This will develop your skills and keep you up to date on what is going on in the broader industry. Long-term relationships are the key to your future success.

I now have a full-time job in Business Operations for Entertainment One, and I love it. But I also love the documentary community and will continue to participate in it. I plan to continue speaking about the topics discussed in the book, online and at events. I am developing a workshop for classes and institutional training. I want future filmmakers to feel and be more prepared than I was. I say this in the book and I would like to make this a mantra: When we all do better, we all do better.


Connecting indies to community – September 2011

The Providence Community Library system ( in Providence, RI. is seeking loans or donations (preferred!) of 16mm films for an upcoming and ongoing film series. Primarily interested in feature-length pictures, especially if in good condition, but would love to hear about any ol’ films currently taking up space in your closets, back rooms, basements, storage units, etc. I can pick up and haul them out of your library in the nearby RI / MA / CT area, and can work out shipping arrangements if they’re coming from a distance! We’ll give them a good home and make them available to the people here who want to see them! Also will consider 8mm and 35mm (or any other odd format).

Please get in touch with Dave Dvorchak at with questions and titles you’d like to get rid of!

Event just scheduled:

I’m going to be attending this conference on health and wellness for women with disabilities October 17 & 18 and if you or any of your faculty are in the northern Virginia/DC area I would love to see you there:


Monica & David will be screening during the Association of University Centers on Disability’s annual conference November 6-9, taking place at the Hyatt in Crystal City, VA. The filmmaker will be in attendance and the screening is scheduled for November 8 at 1:30pm –

I have not seen this film yet – and I hope I can get someone on this list to watch it and tell me their thoughts – but an interesting film called Lives Worth Living, chronicling the disability rights movement, is scheduled to air on the PBS Series Independent Lens on Thursday, October 27 at 10pm. Somebody watch it and get back to me!

New release:

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Kavery Kaul, Back Walking Forward focuses on one young man’s struggle to relearn life skills after brain injury. It captures one family’s search for a “new normal” as they become caregivers-for-life. ABC-TV’s Bob Woodruff, the survivor of a brain injury from the Iraq war, calls Back Walking Forward “an amazing and absorbing documentary”. The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives News notes, “Kaul’s film is important because it gives brain injury a face.” For more information visit

Though I’m not one to watch or look at materials surrounding 9/11, this internet archive is quite impressive, and most likely useful for people who do need this content:

And finally, I just find this a really interesting article…