Documentary First Podcast

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Episode 49: Rerun of Episode 1: Origins

This episode originally aired on March 6th, 2019. It’s been a very exciting couple of weeks and we thought it’d be good to revisit our origin story.

Today we talk origin stories. We’re looking at how Director Christian Taylor got her start in filmmaking, the necessity of building a good team and how being a Mom helped her as a producer! Christian, Josh, and Jason discuss voiceover, working with a virtual team and the importance in belief.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit http://normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
iTunes, Stitcher, Google Music, RadioPublic, or Spotify!

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Episode 48: Process

In a previous episode, hosts Christian, Josh, and Jason discuss the important lesson of killing sacred cows (or killing your babies) in order to set aside personal emotions and improve the film. In this episode, Christian shares how this helped her find peace in pairing down even more of the film to create an even more whole representation of the story.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

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Episode 47: Rewrite (Again)

As we near the final stages of the film, Director Christian Taylor continues to get critical feedback and has to make difficult decisions. This time, more sacred cows are cut out and voiceover work is scrapped and rewritten to accommodate an accelerated pace!

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 46: Critical Feedback

What should you do when you get critical feedback? In previous episodes, we talked about the practice of killing your babies and working with experienced consultants to make the film better. This episode is all about hearing difficult feedback and deciding to take action or “live with the flaw.”

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 45: Consultants

It’s critically important to get professional help or consulting throughout the entire process of producing a film. How else would a first time filmmaker know what to look out for when trial and error are so costly in both time and money? Are we ready to take The Girl Who Wore Freedom to the next level or is that still a long way off?

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 44: Picture Lock

Thanks to the many focus groups in 2019 Christian Taylor has accumulated a long list of things to fix and improve in The Girl Who Wore Freedom. The goal is to be “picture locked” by February 6th so that we can submit to film festivals and move on to the next stage of the project.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 43: Rights & Clearances

When you’re making a film, remember to take notes about the archival footage, usage rights, and sources for everything added to the film. Learn from our first time filmmaker, Christian Taylor as she talks to co-hosts Josh Lindsay and Jason Rugg about creating the “rights bible” required for proving their rights to the footage in the film.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

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Episode 42: Birthday in TN

Christian Taylor visits her family in Tennessee and (surprise, surprise), she screens the film. While she was there she hears new stories that make her start thinking about her next film. (Is there some sort of filmmakers Stockholm syndrome?) She goes on from there to an adventure with Flo Planna and end up cleaning a world war museum’s storage locker and returning home with some incredible mementos.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

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Episode 41: Coast to Coast

In this episode, co-host and Director Christian Taylor recap focus groups events from one coast to the other: The Villages, Florida to Phelan, California. These two focus groups were on different ends of the spectrum but both very special for their own unique reasons. Listen to hear the stories and people who have helped make this possible.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 40: Branson

In this episode, co-host and Director Christian Taylor recaps her experience running two of the most impactful focus groups so far at the Branson Military Film Festival. Hear how the original girl who wore freedom, Dani Patrix, visited from Normandy and received the key to the city.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 39: Collaborators

Collaboration on a project as large as a film like The Girl Who Wore Freedom is difficult. Films take years to produce and it’s natural for our priorities or goals to shift along the way. In this episode Director Christian Taylor and co-hosts Jason Rugg and Josh Lindsay discuss how to work with folks and roll with the punches.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 38: Blessings

In this special Thanksgiving episode, first-time filmmaker Christian Taylor looks back over the last year and shares the many things for which she’s thankful.

Want to help us make the film? We need volunteers and donations to help finish work on the film. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 37: Networking

In the heat of the moment, you can feel very low when you feel like a meeting or focus group goes poorly. But it’s impossible to know how a single conversation will lead to more opportunities and ultimately influence the success of your project.

Want to help us make The Girl Who Wore Freedom? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 36: Drowning

Everything is possible, but what’s best? In this episode, our hosts discuss what it feels like to make a documentary film and the multitude of options and opinions out there about what should happen next. Film festivals? The Oscars? Distribution rights? In the midst of all of the focus group events, it can be difficult to know what to do.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 35: Fundraising

Fundraising is tough. Even the best documentary filmmakers like Ken Burns still has trouble finding doners that make films possible. What works? Hosts Christian Taylor and Josh Lindsey share some of the things that have worked and how to brainstorm new ideas.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 34: Entrepreneurship

What does it take to be a voiceover actor? Or a film director? Or a book author? Hosts Christian Taylor and Josh Lindsey discuss entrepreneurship to highlight common skills needed for success in a multitude of careers.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 33: Book Publishing

Have you ever wanted to write a book? In May of 2019, Christian Taylor co-authored a book with Peggy Sue Wells to give people another avenue to learn about the stories of veterans and (hopefully) raise some money for the film by the same name, The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Get the book at https://amzn.to/2HtQ9iF.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
iTunes, Stitcher, Google Music, RadioPublic, or Spotify!

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Episode 32: Invest in People

In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares her difficult technique for turning people into your biggest fans. Invest your time to listen to them! Hear how she came to that conclusion and all about her adventures with focus group events in TN.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 31: Homecoming

Director Christian Taylor shares an emotional story of serendipity as she reunites two long lost brothers and brings together veterans, French families, and high schoolers for a memorable focus group event in Stoneybrook, NY.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 30: How NOT to Make a Documentary

If you’re planning to make a documentary, be prepared for a lot of failure and unexpected setbacks. It takes someone like Thomas Edison (or Director Christian Taylor) to spin “1,000 mistakes” into “1,000 small steps to success”. Learn some of the mistakes The Girl Who Wore Freedom has already made and what hope to do about it.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Special Edition: Upcoming Focus Groups

In this special edition episode of Documentary First, we bring you important information about upcoming focus group events for The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Listen in and see more at https://www.normandystories.com/events.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
iTunes, Stitcher, Google Music, RadioPublic, or Spotify!

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Episode 29: Killing Your Babies

How many times do you have to watch your dear film before you decide that it really will be okay to cut some things out? In the industry, this is referred to as “killing your babies”. In this episode, Christian Taylor, Director of The Girl Who Wore Freedom shares what it’s been like to respond to feedback and her own convictions about needing to shorten the film.

Want to help us make the film? We’re looking for volunteers and need donations. Please visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 28: Rejection

What is something you shouldn’t do when running a focus group event? In this episode, Director Christian Taylor talks about what she’s learned from her recent experience attending four focus groups for The Girl Who Wore Freedom in Colorado earlier this year.

One tip: don’t be afraid to ask for donations even if you’ll get rejected. Speaking of which, have you considered donating to support the film? Visit https://www.normandystories.com/donate and help us tell the veteran’s stories!

Subscribe to the Documentary First podcast at your favorite podcast distribution network:
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Episode 27: Volunteers & Partners

Projects like The Girl Who Wore Freedom need volunteers to exist. Volunteers who are hungry for growth have many opportunities to gain real-world experience and do work they’d be proud to show others. It’s a win-win situation for both parties. When should someone start getting paid for the work that they do?

And how do you find social media influencers and partners to cross-promote your work? Find out how this plan began and how we were approached by the folks at Ike’s Soldiers (ikessoldiers.com).

Do you know someone with fundraising experience? The Girl Who Wore Freedom needs help and we’re willing to share a percentage of proceeds to get that work done. Contact us for more information: https://www.normandystories.com/contact.

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Episode 26: Miniseries

When the idea for The Girl Who Wore Freedom was conceived a lot had to happen in a short amount of time. Now that there is a documentary of the film out there, we take stock of what we have and consider the format. What if a documentary would really work better as a three-part miniseries? What steps are necessary to get listed on Netflix, Amazon Video, or even a cable network like The History Channel? Should a documentary even consider that?

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Episode 25: More Focus Group Events

Christian has had a chance to catch her breath and is ramping up for focus group events in Denver, Colorado Springs, New York, Branson, and beyond! Find an event near you: https://www.normandystories.com/events.

These focus groups are being organized and spearheaded by people who are passionate about sharing The Girl Who Wore Freedom in their city and helping us raise funds to finish the film.

If you’re looking to support us and get some cool clothing or souvenirs, check out the new Girl Who Wore Freedom shop: https://www.normandystories.com/shop.

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Episode 24: Fatigue

Creating a film is exhausting. Is it even possible to take a break when you’re in the midst of creating a feature-length documentary? And what do you do when you want to finish the film, but don’t have the money to pay the editor and other team members to get the work done? In this episode, Christian Taylor, director of The Girl Who Wore Freedom, shares the struggle through fatigue and satisfying rewards that shine through it.

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Episode 23: Getting Feedback

Getting any kind of feedback is hard. If the feedback is only positive, you worry that they’re just trying to make you feel good and not being authentic. But it’s also really difficult to receive negative feedback! In this episode, podcast host Josh Lindsey and director Christian Taylor talk about how the Chicago focus group event went and how real-world feedback has influenced the development of the film.

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Episode 22: Q&A with Christian

In this episode, host of the podcast Josh Lindsey asks director Christian Taylor a series of questions to better understand what went on at the Normandy focus group screening of The Girl Who Wore Freedom. We’ll hear about things she would have done differently and hear about some emotional and impactful moments.

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Episode 21: Social Media

Social media is an important part of promoting any project, but particularly films. In this episode, we meet Anne Evans, our first social media lead and sister of Director Christian Taylor. Anne shares how she got started in this role and dissect her plan for raising money for The Girl Who Wore Freedom.

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Episode 20: French Focus Groups

What does it take to run a focus group event in France? In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares how the eleven events were planned for Normandy to gather feedback from the five-hundred people who have seen the film.

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Episode 19: Eleventh Hour

Director Christian Taylor is in France preparing to screen the film, but the drive doesn’t work. In this episode, we celebrate the first focus group event of The Girl Who Wore Freedom in Normandy, France, discuss the struggle to make it a reality, and share first impressions.

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Episode 18: Mississippi Focus Group

In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares an update after visiting Mississippi and hosting a focus group event for veterans with dramatically moving results. Because we’ve been so busy with that, we’re also reairing Episode 2 of the Documentary First podcast in lieu of a new episode. Check out normandystories.com for the latest information about our film.

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Episode 17: Post-Focus Group

In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares an update after running a focus group for The Girl Who Wore Freedom in Normandy for D-Day Celebrations. Because we’ve been so busy with that, we’re also reairing Episode 1 of the Documentary First podcast in lieu of a new episode. Check out normandystories.com for the latest information about our film.

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Episode 16: Next

Director Christian Taylor looks ahead to the next steps for “The Girl Who Wore Freedom” and speculates about what it will be like to watch the film at the first focus group events.

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Episode 15: Bilingual

Working with footage and audiences that represent at least two distinct languages is no small task. Director Christian Taylor talks about the complexity of subtitling and her project’s tight turnaround for sound and score.

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Episode 14: Composer

A good composer understands both emotion and serendipity. There’s no better example than how Jeff Kurtenacker came to be the Lead Composer on The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Listen in as Director Christian Taylor shares his story and how she learned to communicate with emotion.

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Episode 13: Tools

When you’re a bootstrapped documentary you sometimes have to pick free or inexpensive tools to get the job done. For The Girl Who Wore Freedom Director Christian Taylor talks about the pain of editing (“killing your babies” to get the timing and tone right) and shares some of her favorite tools that she’s come to love (including Google Drive, Trello, Frame.io, and Zoom).

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Episode 12: Editor

A good editor is hard to come by and The Girl Who Wore Freedom was blessed with one of the best: Bill Ebel. Learn more as Director Christian Taylor shares her appreciation for Bill and the qualities (and hard, honest truth) that make him the perfect editor for our documentary.

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Episode 11: Garage

All great things begin in a garage. Josh, Jason, and Director Christian Taylor explore the ins and outs of film editing from a garage in Tennessee. Christian also shares the roller-coaster that is translating, subtitling, and script-writing.

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Episode 10: Balance

Is there such thing as work/life balance in film-making? Director Christian Taylor discusses La La Land, the creative process, striking the right tone, and putting family first…always.

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Episode 9: Dark Night of the Soul

What do you do when you’re at your all time low and ready to call it quits? In this episode, producer Christian Taylor tells the story of her (extended) visit to her editor in Tennessee to get the film done, how she ran out of money, and how donors came through on the day they were going to end the project.

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Episode 8: Rewrite

In this episode, producer Christian Taylor shares the results of her first preview of the film; and it’s not good. She faces reality of deadlines, debt, and the editorial process as she considers the end of the project.

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Episode 7: Assembly

A lot has developed since the last episode and the film is currently undergoing the assembly edit. In this episode you’ll what that means and why everything Christian Taylor has told you up to this point is wrong.

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Episode 6: Harry Kropnicki

The wonderful story about Harry Kropnicki, Daniel Banazio and Flo Plana.

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Episode 5: Cuts

Wading through 600+ hours of footage, cutting off appendages, and finding your story—we’re looking at the realities of first-time filmmaking.

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Episode 4: Helmets

Real questions from real listeners posed to a real first-time filmmaker. Christian, Josh, and Jason explore the many uses of helmets, the smells of war, and the healing power of beer.

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Episode 3: Grit

Documentary filmmaking takes way more than setting up a camera in a breathlessly scenic, historic destination. It starts with determination. Christian, Josh, and Jason cover the grit of getting started in filmmaking and how to craft a pitch packet.

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Episode 2: Favorites

Christian, Josh, and Jason explore their all-time favorite documentaries and the inspirations for “The Girl Who Wore Freedom” film.

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Episode 1: Origins

Today we talk origin stories. We’re looking at how Director Christian Taylor got her start in filmmaking, the necessity of building a good team and how being a Mom helped her as a producer! Christian, Josh, and Jason discuss voiceover, working with a virtual team and the importance in belief.

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