By Ammi Parmar
One student’s struggle to make a documentary has led to an online platform dedicated to helping young and aspiring documentary filmmakers.
Docseed is a website and an Radio and Television Arts (RTA) final-year thesis project that connects aspiring documentary filmmakers with mentoring professionals. The mentorship is presented through blog posts, webisodes, FAQs and production tutorials to teach users the small but crucial things that are required in the documentary film industry.
Docseed was inspired by one of the creator’s struggle with creating short films.
“I started making my own documentary film this summer after I’d taken the documentary production course at Ryerson and I realized really soon into it that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing,” said Dawsyn Borland, a fourth-year RTA student and executive producer of Docseed.
“I was working on a project that required me to get a media pass and I could not figure out how to get a media pass for my life. I looked everywhere online, there was nothing, I consulted a few people and they had no idea either. I came to the realization that university had taught me the theory, but I didn’t actually have the practical application to go ahead and make my own documentary film.”
Patrick McGuire, documentary producer and managing editor of VICE Canada, and John Kastner, four-time Emmy Award winner, have confirmed their partnership with Docseed.
The team is currently crowdfunding its startup on Indiegogo, with a goal of $2,000. The money will go towards location permits and venue costs required to film their mentorship webisodes, the website development costs and marketing.
The web platform is planned to launch on Feb. 20, 2015.
With the non-fiction documentary industry growing and changing, filmmakers are constantly learning new things.
“Non-fiction is becoming more popular in our society and we’re constantly trying to find mediums that are as real as they can get. I felt that pursuing a venture within non-fiction filmmaking would be a wonderful tool because everyone is constantly looking for something that they feel is authentic and raw, and that is what documentary film making is,” Borland said.