82 – Maximizing Your Doc Life with Pedram Shojai, OMD

Maximizing Your Doc Life with Pedram Shojai, OMD

Pedram Shojai has been embodying the doc life now for years. In fact, one might argue that he was doing so even before he was making documentaries, building his life to his passions of Taoism, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and practicing Oriental medicine.  A few years ago, Pedram combined these passions and formed Well.org.  Not long after this, he made his first documentary film, Vitality.  A number of documentary films have since followed.

I think that you will find this conversation to be one of the most frank and open conversations about living one’s doc life that we’ve had in a long time.

Among the topics of discussion, we cover:

  • how/why you might consider using your doc films as freemium
  • how Pedram believes that filmmakers need to get over their issues with making money from their projects
  • how there is a need for docos to be making films that bring more light instead of darkness into the world
  • how electing not to distribute with the Netflixs and Amazons allows you to be more intimately connected with your audiences, which increases the success of your next films


5 Ways to Increase Your Filmmaking Creativity

As creatives, it’s easy for us to get overwhelmed by our projects or other aspects of our lives that demand our attention.  This can sometimes negatively impact our ability to function in a creative capacity.  I have come up with five ways that will help you take some of that creativity back.

  • Get Outside
  • Find Something Good
  • Engage with Some Like-minded People
  • Ask for Feedback
  • Exercise


Related Sources

Trailer for Pedram Shojai’s first documentary film, Vitality:


Trailer for Pedram Shojai’s documentary film, Prosperity:


FREE TDL LIVE WEBINAR EVENT – How to Shoot & Sell Stock Footage with Pat McGowan

Blackbox Global founder, Pat McGowan gives webinar on shooting stock footage

Don’t miss our upcoming live webinar event with BlackBox.Global founder and stock footage expert, Pat McGowan on July 19th at 7p EST.  Pat will be giving us a list of best practices for shooting and selling stock footage.  The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session, a great opportunity for you, #doclifer, to ask any burning questions that you may have about this great additional revenue stream for the doc filmmaker!

This event is free to all subscribers to the TDL Weekly Newsletter.  If you’ve not yet signed up for this awesome newsletter, well now might be a great time to do so!




We are honored to have been invited by #DocLifer, Nic Justice, to give a workshop in downtown Philadelphia on the evening of Wednesday 25th July, 2018 and would love to invite you to attend. We will be presenting a mini version of our The Documentary Life workshop which includes:


  • The Filmmaker’s Identity and Fundamental Values
  • Personal and Professional Finances
  • Lifestyle Habits and Concious Living
  • Building a Support Network and the Importance of Community
  • Organization and Planning Elements of Both Doc Film and Leading a Doc Life


Presentation to be followed by a 20 minute Q&A session.  We will be sharing what we have learned from over 78 episodes of the podcast and our combined 25+ years of working in the film industry. And in addition, we look forward to getting to know our #DocLifer family a little better and connecting face-to-face.

We’d love to see you there, so book your ticket today!

To check out #DocLifer, Nic Justice’s Meetup group down in Philly, follow this link to Rough Cuts Philly!  Steph and I will be giving a workshop on Wednesday eve, July 25th from 6-9p . Tickets are only $20 and can be purchased here.




Our Film

If you are interested in watching TDL host, Chris G. Parkhurst’s personal documentary, you can check out Journey to Kathmandua film that follows the once-in-a-lifetime journey that goats make from their farmland lives of goats in Tibet to their sacrificial deaths in Kathmandu, during the Nepalese holiday, Dashain.

Purchase of the Deluxe Director’s & Goat’s Edition comes loaded with behind-the-scenes footage, director’s commentary, shorts, and deleted scenes. Regardless if you’re simply looking for more info on the making of J2K’or you’re a budding independent filmmaker (or just a fan of goats!), this is a must-have for anyone who enjoys gaining insight into what goes into the making of an independent documentary in a developing country.


Sponsors & Thank Yous


Free Music ArchiveSpecial Thank You to recording artist, Dlay who supplied music for this week’s episode of TDL. You too can download his music or other artist’s music by going to Free Music Archive today!


Host and TDL Founder, Chris G Parkhurst

Chris is a documentary filmmaker and the founder and host of The Documentary Life, a platform which aims to inform and inspire documentary filmmakers from around the globe.

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