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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, December 2004

By Richard Propper

Dear IDA Members:

Most of us involved in the nonfiction world must travel to accomplish our goals of production, research or sales. Travel today is easier in some ways than ever before. Yes, we all groan at the thought of long security lines and crowded airports, but being away from home is a lot easier than it used to be. Now when I check into a hotel room in France or Washington, I am provided with wireless Internet service; no more odd modem connections. E-mails are a snap—no more trudging down into the dungeon "business-office." Telephone service also has surprisingly improved for long distances. No longer is it an issue to use your mobile phone in San Francisco and hours later take calls arriving at JFK. But truly wonderful is that your same unit can be configured to work in London or Cairo. Both mobile phone and computer usage have a cost, but that is expected for this type of convenience. As the nonfiction craft takes on a greater global impact, our modes of communication allow us to accomplish our goals of production, research and sales faster, so that we may focus on the core of our work—telling the story.

I recently attended the IFP Market in New York City and was very impressed with the robustness of the projects being pitched. The documentary component of the market included one-on-one meetings between filmmakers and broadcasters or distributors. The organizers keep these meetings running like clockwork, and the filmmakers were very prepared with sharp proposals, DVD promo presentations and classic leave-behinds (I personally liked the Gumby key-chain). We should be able to see some great documentaries on screens large and small in the next two years or so.

While in New York City, I also had the pleasure of chairing the IDA's semi-annual Board of Trustees meeting. The trustees convened to discuss the goals of the IDA and work to grow our group into a stronger organization. The overall feeling was positive, but there is a lot to do. If you are a New York-based member, we are looking to recruit a few friendly faces for events in 2005, so please contact me at One of the most important comments was how the IDA offers so many services and discounts, and are the members aware of all of them? Well, we are working on that, but in the meantime you can look on the website for more information.


Until next time,

Richard Propper
IDA President