On the smell of an oily rag: Enhancing your documentary research skills – 10 November 2010


(or how to save money while preserving your reputation)

Download the session notes here

The Seminar

Many documentaries stand or fall on the quality of their research. Good research reveals aspects of a subject you may not have thought of otherwise and can save the film from devastating errors of fact, opinion and sentiment. Today’s documentary research begins online and with budgets and time pressures being what they are, we need to know how to use this tool to the maximum effect in the minimum of time.


Whether you are a filmmaker, researcher or writer, this seminar will enhance your skills by demonstrating:

  • How to effectively use different search engines and directories, and understand their strengths and limitations.
  • The depth of information sources available in AFTRS and other libraries and how to search and access these resources for your research.
  • Practical tips and techniques for using subscription-based online and database services and how to retrieve the most relevant material.
  • The unique strategies and tactics for searching lesser known web tools.
  • How to learn when to go beyond the Web to retrieve other high quality information sources.
  • How to use Creative Commons to one’s advantage
  • How to incorporate social media such as Twitter into your research.

The seminar will be presented by Debbie Sander.

Debbie Sander is the co-manager of the AFTRS library and has been at AFTRS for nearly 11 years. She has worked as a research librarian and Internet trainer for 25 years, working in a variety of libraries and training institutions including the State Library of NSW, University of Sydney Library, Telstra, and Dialog. Her area of specialisation is electronic information retrieval and web content, and she remembers having to use the Internet before web links and the mouse were developed. During the last few years she has created a specialised web research course to deliver to students and staff at AFTRS.

Pat Fiske will introduce the session.

WHEN: Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Wine, nibbles and conversation from 6:00pm for 6.30pm start

WHERE: AFTRS Theatre, Fox Studios, Entertainment Quarter, 130 Bent St, Moore Park NSW.

GETTING THERE: http://www.ozdox.org/events/

ENTRY: $5 donation

RSVP not required, but be early to ensure your seat. Please invite your friends and colleagues too! This event is open to the public. Parking fees discounted after 6pm, or with validated ticket from AFTRS.

OzDox encourages you to participate in www.ozdox.org where you can leave comments and open discussion on each event.