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Documentary First

98 EpisodesProduced by Normandy Project, LLCWebsite

Documentary First is your all-access guide to the world of documentary filmmaking. With her own “The Girl Who Wore Freedom” film well underway, Director Christian Taylor sits down with Josh and Jason to explore the highs and lows of film creation.

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Episode 97 | Industry Pro Sandy Gordon

January 14th, 2021


Today we’re joined by Sandy Gordon, Emmy Award winning producer and published author. We talk about her history in film production, how she got started, and what she’s been working on since.

Sandy tells us about her …

Episode 96 | Appreciation & Anticipation

January 7th, 2021


In this year end podcast, we look back on what we appreciated about this crazy year and what we’re anticipating for 2021. Jason talks about being a …

Episode 95 | Hopes for the New Year

December 31st, 2020


The podcast crew share hopes for the new year by thinking about the limitations, lessons, and innovations they have faced traversing the film-making …

Episode 94 | What's Next?

December 24th, 2020


Today we talk about “the next thing”. What will that look like? Financially, distribution wise? Production wise? When is Christian no longer a first time filmmaker?

And what in the world is going on in the film industry …

Episode 93 | Biz Advice That Doesn't Suck

December 17th, 2020


This is an interview with Mark McClain the author of Joy and Success at Work: Building organizations that don't suck (the life out of people).

This will be a tie into our recent business conversations... how do you …

Episode 92 | Graphic Design for Films?

December 9th, 2020


Today we’re joined by Emily Mixter, The Girl who Wore Freedom’s Graphic Designer. Emily fills us in on on how she joined the project, why she does …

Episode 91 | The 7 Ps!

December 3rd, 2020


The Business of Documentaries

Hunter's back to talk shop, but first Christian gives some sage advice about how life does not stop during the filming of a movie.

Hunter shares what he’s learned from working on the film, …

Episode 90 | Jason's Journey

November 25th, 2020


Josh is out! Christian's on pain meds, and Jason is tired. But this week, we made it happen! Christian gives us some great news about some festivals, and then we do things a little differently, as Christian interviews …

Episode 89 | Entertainment Law

November 19th, 2020


Christian’s back home, but Josh isn’t! Christian fills us in on some updates from the film festival this last week, and some of the pitfalls encountered. But, it comes with some great news!

Then we’re joined by John …

Episode 88 | Intellectual Property

November 12th, 2020


Christian’s off in Utah! For the Red Rock Film Festival, and indeed, the rocks are red. Christian lets us know how the festival is going so far, the differences in the times of COVID, and some of the films that have …

Episode 87 | Lawyers! Film Festivals! Utah! Oh My.

November 5th, 2020


WGA Registration! Lawyers! Film Festivals! Utah! My, oh, my, what a podcast. What is the difference between an Entertainment Lawyer and an IP Lawyer? What new festivals are TGWWF being submitted to? Christian digs into …

Episode 86 | Tech, ToDos & Trouble

October 30th, 2020


LA Femme International Film Festival proves to be a learning experience. Christian learns how new tech can cause issues, why she needs a copyright for her film, and how different festival producers affect the feel of …

Episode 85 | Emerging!

October 22nd, 2020


Christian gives a summary of all the exciting happenings during the Chagrin Doc Fest. Listen to hear about new awards, press, and distribution deals for "The Girl Who Wore Freedom" movie.

Episode 84 | In Chagrin

October 15th, 2020


Christian’s in Chagrin Falls Ohio, for a little slice of Chagrin, Chagrin Documentary Film Festival that is. Christian fills us in on the history of the Chagrin Doc fest and then... some awards?! The Lady Filmmakers …

Episode 83 | Pit Stop

October 8th, 2020


With Boston behind them, Hunter and Christian return home for a brief pit stop before heading out to Chagrin Falls, OH for the Chagrin Documentary Festival. We hear a report from Boston, learn more about sales agents, …

Episode 82 | On the Road

October 1st, 2020


TGWWF is on the road! Look behind the scenes of the journey to our U.S. premiere at the Boston Film Festival. This year, audiences have shrunk, but Christian still gets to experience the live event with her son, Hunter. …

Episode 81 | Festival Run Begins!

September 22nd, 2020


Today, we’re getting a huge update about the film and the film festival run!

But before we get to the exciting stuff, we have to talk about the business stuff. Hunter has been at the helm of supporting Christian with …

Episode 80 | David Paterson is Back!

September 18th, 2020


David Paterson joins the discussion of moments leading up to the much anticipated Official Selection screenings! The USA Premiere of TGWWF is quickly approaching as the Boston Film Festival will host the USA Premiere in …

Episode 79 | Hunter

September 11th, 2020


After an update on film festivals, we’re joined by Hunter, the new Head of Business Operations for The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Hunter joined the Army in 2012, serving 4 years in active duty, then transferred to the …

Episode 78 | Nicole Bernardi-Reis

September 4th, 2020


We begin with exciting film updates, acceptance speeches, & new team members! Then, we’re joined by Nicole Bernardi-Reis: a producer & …

Episode 77 | A Film's Posterity

August 28th, 2020


In this episode, we’re talking about the long-term relationship with a film/filmmaker. David Patterson is back to talk us through what that’s like, and answer some of our questions.

But, before we get to all that, we …

Episode 76 | First-time Filmmaker Elise Jaffe

August 21st, 2020


Our film was accepted into two film festivals & we have another first-time filmmaker to interview! Elise Jaffe is making a feature documentary about using tattoos to reclaim your body after trauma or illness. 

Elise …

Episode 75 | Winning Awards!

August 14th, 2020


Our own first-time filmmaker Christian Taylor and Lead Composer Jeff Kurtenacker won awards in film festivals! They fill us in on what it feels like to be selected, nominated, and finally win! Jeff tells us about the …

Episode 74 | Hello from France

August 7th, 2020


Today we’re joined by Flo and Jenny all the way from France! We learn how Flo is uniquely gifted to ask Veterans questions because of his genuine care, interest, and respect for them... and his tips apply to any …

Episode 73 | Don't be a Sucker

July 31st, 2020


Today we get some updates about Film Festivals, talk distribution again, and a very specific film festival acceptance. COVID-19 feels like a huge opportunity to scam filmmakers out of money, time, and dreams. Christian …

Episode 72 | Distribution

July 24th, 2020


Today we’re talking about distribution, what is it, how does it happen, and how should you approach a distribution deal.

We talk about what to look …

Episode 71 | Why Back Out of a Festival?

July 17th, 2020


David Paterson is back with us again. We’re stuck in a weird gray area with film festivals, some canceling, some extending, some going online, so …

Episode 70 | What do Publicists do?

July 10th, 2020


In this episode, we meet The Girl Who Wore Freedom's Publicist, Morgan Harris. Listen in as he shares the importance of focusing on messaging and building relationships with reporters. What are some elements of a …

Episode 69 | Meet the New Content Creation Team

July 3rd, 2020


In this episode, we meet the New Content Creation Team for The Girl Who Wore Freedom: Kyler Redding & Sam King. Even though the film is "done" there's still a ton of content needed to promote it. Why did they …

Episode 68 | Audio is King

June 26th, 2020


In this extra-long episode, we have a full house with guests Bill Ebel, Jeff Kurtenacker, and Jason Hoban to discuss the understated importance of …

Episode 67 | Finalized

June 19th, 2020


Director Christian Taylor is about to complete her first documentary... for the eighth time! Because, as it turns out, finalizing a film with so many …

Episode 66 | Social Media Team (of Friends)

June 12th, 2020


We're joined this week by some volunteers from The Girl Who Wore Freedom social media team: Rebekah Ueland, Bethany Villero, and David Needham. …

Episode 65 | Jeff & Bill

June 5th, 2020


Jeff Kurtenacker (our Lead Composer) and Bill Ebel (our Lead Editor) each have their own featured interviews on this podcast that left many lingering questions. Last week, Jeff was asking the questions, but this week …

Episode 64 | Bill & Jeff

May 29th, 2020


Bill Ebel (our Lead Editor) and Jeff Kurtenacker (our Lead Composer) each have their own featured interviews on this podcast. But after listening to each other's episodes they were left with many questions that had to …

Episode 63 | Festival Strategy

May 22nd, 2020


As film festivals transition to screening online, should we expect them to pick different kinds of films? In this episode, Christian Taylor and David …

Episode 62 | David Paterson

May 15th, 2020


Meet David Paterson: pro stunt man, volunteer firefighter, park commissioner, playwright, stay-at-home dad, and last but not least, Executive …

Episode 61 | Jeff Kurtenacker

May 8th, 2020


In this episode, we speak with Jeff Kurtenacker, the Lead Composer of The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Jeff has over 15 of experience composing music for …

Episode 60 | Bill Ebel

May 1st, 2020


In this episode, we speak with Bill Ebel, the Lead Editor of The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Bill is an award-winning editor who played an invaluable role …

Episode 59 | Fan Mail

April 24th, 2020


In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares an update on financial assistance, takes some important time to read and discuss fan mail, and answer some questions from the audience.

Want to see the video version of …

Episode 58 | COVID-19

April 17th, 2020


A lot has changed in the past month. In this episode, hosts Jason Rugg, Josh Lindsey, and Christian Taylor chat (online via Zoom) about the current status of The Girl Who Wore Freedom and how film festivals and so much …

Episode 57 | Michelin

April 10th, 2020


In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares what it was like to visit Michelin for events to honor veterans and run a focus group event for her film: The Girl Who Wore Freedom.

Want to help us make the film? …

Episode 56 | Birth

April 3rd, 2020


In what ways are the final production of a documentary film like giving birth? In this episode, Director of The Girl Who Wore Freedom Christian Taylor shares the analogy and exciting opportunities with Michelin as we …

Episode 55 | Film Festivals

March 27th, 2020


In this episode, Director of The Girl Who Wore Freedom Christian Taylor shares with her cohosts exactly how she was invited to submit to a staggering number of film festivals (many with fee waivers)! How important is …

Episode 54 | Reenactors

March 20th, 2020


In the last episode, we met Flavie and Thomas: two French cast members from The Girl Who Wore Freedom who are tour guides and reenactors. Listen in …

Episode 53 | Guests from Normandy

March 13th, 2020


In this episode, our hosts are joined by Flavie and Thomas: two cast members from The Girl Who Wore Freedom. These two are from Normandy, France but how they wound up staying with Christian was quite the adventure! As a …

Episode 52 | Animatic?

March 6th, 2020


In this episode, co-hosts Jason Rugg, Joshua Lindsay, and Christian Taylor are joined by guest Yesenia Thomas to discuss exciting plans for an animatic and where things are at with the latest cut of the film.

Want to …

Episode 51 | Learning from Sundance

February 28th, 2020


In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares what it was like to visit the Sundance Film Festival and bump into celebrities (sometimes literally)! Her documentary film, The Girl Who Wore Freedom, is almost ready to …

Episode 50 | Surprised by Sundance

February 21st, 2020


In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares what it was like to take a plunge and attend the Sundance Film Festival. Listen in and hear her stories about things that she was surprised by and what she figured out …

Episode 49 | Rerun of Episode 1: Origins

February 14th, 2020


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 …

Episode 48 | Process

February 7th, 2020


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, …

Episode 47 | Rewrite (Again)

January 31st, 2020


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, …

Episode 46 | Critical Feedback

January 24th, 2020


What should you do when you get critical feedback? In previous episodes, we talked about the practice of killing your babies and working with …

Episode 45 | Consultants

January 17th, 2020


It's critically important to get professional help or consulting throughout the entire process of producing a film. How else would a first time …

Episode 44 | Picture Lock

January 10th, 2020


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 …

Episode 43 | Rights & Clearances

January 3rd, 2020


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 …

Episode 42 | Birthday in TN

December 27th, 2019


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 …

Episode 41 | Coast to Coast

December 20th, 2019


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 …

Episode 40 | Branson

December 13th, 2019


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 …

Episode 39 | Collaborators

December 6th, 2019


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 …

Episode 38 | Blessings

November 29th, 2019


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 …

Episode 37 | Networking

November 22nd, 2019


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 …

Episode 36 | Drowning

November 15th, 2019


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 …

Episode 35 | Fundraising

November 8th, 2019


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 …

Episode 34 | Entrepreneurship

November 1st, 2019


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 …

Episode 33 | Book Publishing

October 25th, 2019


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 …

Episode 32 | Invest in People

October 18th, 2019


In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares her difficult technique for turning people into your biggest fans. Invest your time to listen to …

Episode 31 | Homecoming

October 11th, 2019


Director Christian Taylor shares an emotional story of serendipity as she reunites two long lost brothers and brings together veterans, French …

Episode 30 | How NOT to Make a Documentary

October 4th, 2019


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 …

Special Edition | Upcoming Screenings

September 27th, 2019


In this special edition episode of Documentary First, we bring you important information about upcoming screenings for The Girl Who Wore Freedom. Listen in and see more at

Episode 29 | Killing Your Babies

September 27th, 2019


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, …

Episode 28 | Rejection

September 20th, 2019


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 …

Episode 27 | Volunteers & Partners

September 13th, 2019


Projects like The Girl Who Wore Freedom need volunteers to exist. Volunteers who are hungry for growth have many opportunities to gain real-world …

Episode 26 | Miniseries

September 6th, 2019


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 …

Episode 25 | More Focus Group Events

August 30th, 2019


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! …

Episode 24 | Fatigue

August 23rd, 2019


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 …

Episode 23 | Getting Feedback

August 16th, 2019


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 …

Episode 22 | Q&A with Christian

August 9th, 2019


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 …

Episode 21 | Social media

August 2nd, 2019


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 …

Episode 20 | Screening

July 26th, 2019


What does it take to run a focus group screening? In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares how the eleven screenings were planned for Normandy to gather feedback from the five-hundred people who have seen the …

Episode 19 | Eleventh Hour

July 19th, 2019


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 …

Episode 18 | Mississippi Screening

July 12th, 2019


In this episode, Director Christian Taylor shares an update after visiting Mississippi and screening for veterans with dramatically moving results. …

Episode 17 | Post-Focus Group

July 5th, 2019


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 …

Episode 16 | Next

June 28th, 2019


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 …

Episode 15 | Bilingual

June 21st, 2019


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 …

Episode 14 | Composer

June 14th, 2019


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 …

Episode 13 | Tools

June 7th, 2019


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 …

Episode 12 | Editor

May 31st, 2019


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 truth) …

Episode 11 | Garage

May 24th, 2019


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. …

Episode 10 | Balance

May 17th, 2019


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.

Episode 9 | Dark Night of the Soul

May 10th, 2019


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 …

Episode 8 | Rewrite

May 3rd, 2019


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, …

Episode 7 | Assembly

April 26th, 2019


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 …

Episode 6 | Harry Kropnicki

April 19th, 2019


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

Episode 5 | Cuts

April 12th, 2019


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

Episode 4 | Helmets

April 5th, 2019


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.

Episode 3 | Grit

March 29th, 2019


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 …

Episode 2 | Favorites

March 22nd, 2019


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

Episode 1 | Origins

March 7th, 2019


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 …

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