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Fast Foreward: The Editor's Column, Fall 2018

By Tom White

Dear Readers,

When IDA launched the Getting Real conference in 2014, we were intentional in adhering to the tagline, "A Filmmaker to Filmmaker Event." We listened to our community and gauged the needs, issues and concerns that weren't being addressed in a way that truly empowered the filmmakers. That inaugural Getting Real laid the groundwork for the intervening years, in which we turned ideas and insights into actionable items through conversations and confabs across the country.

The second Getting Real, in 2016, affirmed itself as not just a convener but as a catalyzing force. Issues on the forefront, particularly sustainability, would inspire subsequent gatherings—both regionally and internationally—as well as a comprehensive report on sustainability from the NEA and the IDA.

And now we present the third edition, a sprawling three days of provocative ideas, sage counsel, thoughtful interchanges, heated discussions and valuable takeaways—all designed with the expressed intention of continuing the conversation and fortifying our community over the next two years.

The Summer issue of Documentary brought you a taste of things to come at Getting Real, with a focus on the Sustainability theme. The Fall issue expands on that theme and ventures into the other themes—Transparency and Creativity. To give us an overview of the thinking and process behind producing Getting Real '18, Suz Curtis talks to the programming masterminds behind the conference—Claire Aguilar, Ranell Shubert and Cynthia Kane.

Continuing on the Sustainability theme, Washington, DC-based Erica Ginsberg addresses some of the challenges and issues—and benefits—of pursuing a doc-making career outside of New York and Los Angeles. She rounds up her DC colleagues for some insightful takes on making the most of your region.

Addressing the Creativity theme, while VR continues to break new ground in its nascent stages as a media platform, Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are also staking their claims on the documentary frontier. Sue Ding fields insights from some of the leading exponents of these rapidly evolving forms about their implications for nonfiction media.

As one of the four keynote addressors at the conference, Chi-hui Yang brings a formidable range of experiences to the documentary field—as a curator, as an educator and as a funder. He talks to Frako Loden about how these phases in his career have informed his thinking about the documentary form.

Finally, addressing both the Sustainability and Transparency themes, the new federal tax code has sparked many questions about its ramifications for filmmakers. Lauren Cardillo speaks to CPAs and tax attorneys about the pros and cons of this daunting new world.

Yours in actuality,


Tom White