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Documentary Club

I’ve seen a ton of good movies this year. While I’ll admit feeling shame for not yet catching Indiana Jones, Kung Fu Panda, Wall-e, Wanted, Hulk, The Happening, Hancock, or Hellboy, I have watched some of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. Although I twitter about most of them, 140 characters is just not enough room to wax film with friends. Last night I proposed an online Documentary Club and started seeing interest right away, so I decided to move the conversation to somewhere that we could all hear each other on (in the comments of this post).

The basic purpose of having a Documentary Club is to be able to find and watch new documentaries, and then discuss them with friends. To run a group like this, we would need to figure out a few things;
1. where the group is located on the web and how we communicate
2. selection process
3. how can we ensure that everyone can see a film
4. what is the best way to get enjoyment out of the whole group process

I’d like to hear suggestions and ideas from everyone interested in the comments below, but here is one way I see this going; We create a yahoo group as a hub for conversations. Anyone in the group is allowed to suggest any documentaries for the whole group, if anyone else seconds a suggestion we add it to a poll. At the end of each month the two highest polled films will be the films for the following month. Each month we have two suggested films for discussion, but nobody is expected to watch both films. Then at the end of the month we start sharing our thoughts on the films (production, story, charm, filmmaker’s bias, etc). An alternative to the yahoogroup thing would be doing a live chat thing once a month and discussing the films on there. Somebody please give out some better ideas on what they’d like to see for a documentary club. If there is still enough interest, and we all seem to be on the same page, then I’ll start the process up and we’ll pick some movies.

edit: Thanks to the work of Scott Stead and many others, The Documentary Club is no online. Stop by DocumentaryClub.ning.com to sign up!


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10 responses to “Documentary Club

  1. doc Avatar

    Oh yeah, although I’ve missed all the geeky summer films, I do get to see the new Batman thursday night at 6… so that’s cool, right?

  2. Church Avatar

    Batman is documentary film? Whoah!

  3. Angela Pires Avatar
    Angela Pires

    Wonderful idea! I second the yahoo group idea so people can write their thoughts and reply to other’s. I think it is important that the films are be available to rent or to buy (in case the doc is working on self distribution). Maybe some sub-groups could be created to debate about films that are running in theaters in their area.

  4. Steve Rhodes Avatar

    I would go with a google group.

    It is a PITA to respond on a yahoo group because of the ads
    and links when you hit reply.

    Maybe experiment with a ning group particularly if the email
    list starts to become high volume.

    http://snagfilms.com will make it easier to find films everyone can watch.

    Though if there is a critical mass of people in San Francisco, it would be good to see some docs in theaters.

    One coming up which might be good is 1000 Journals which opens August 1st at the Roxie

    http://www.1000journalsfilm.com

    I saw it at the SFIFF and the fillmmaker and Someguy brought a few of the journals and it was really interesting watching the audience add to them after the Q&A.

  5. Linda Nelson Avatar

    Since we have an election coming up and there is such a focus on the economy, I think everyone should see SKID ROW. This incredible social doc is opening a lot of eyes.

  6. Mark Rabinowitz Avatar

    Just thought you might like to know, I mentioned this post on the new indieWIRE/SnagFilms doc blog, Docsider.

  7. […] week I threw out the idea of a documentary club on Twitter and my blog. Like a book club for docs. The idea generated a lot of interest, not just from friends but also on […]

  8. Josh Avatar

    This post is the second hit on a google search of “documentary club”.

    You might want to update this post to link to the new home of the club.

    -Josh

  9. doc Avatar

    Thanks Josh, I added a link to the http://documentaryclub.ning.com/ group

  10. Free Documentaries Online Avatar

    thanks for the great post:)

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