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Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Commissioning Process

How do channels commission new factual programs?

‘Pawn Stars’ 4/4: Leftfield Puts Casting Under a Microscope

‘Character-crazy’ is a phrase that captures the mood at the 2011 Real Screen conference. Yet we noticed that Leftfield Pictures was one of the very few producers, if not the only one, represented by an executive who heads a Casting department. We continue our talk with Leftfield’s co-founder Brent Montgomery, focusing on Casting as one of his firm’s competitive strengths. In …

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POV: The PBS Doc Strand Announces the 2011 Schedule

We recently published a detailed 2-parter on POV – the flagshipPBS documentary strand: Click here for part 1: POV’s mission, history, budgets And part 2: the filters, selection process, critical dates, typical fees, and more Last week, POV announced its schedule for 2011. We reprint it here. And next week: we begin a 2-parter on Independent Lens, the doc …

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Australian Co-pro: Dino Stampede – An ABC Commission Triggers a Cascade of Tax Benefits and International Licenses

Our Case Study: How an ABC Australia commission for a signature doc special engaged a set of  funding sources to execute a $1.2 million international co-pro. The project: Dino Stampede, Prospero Productions and the Australian International Co-production Model ($U.S.) Dino Stampede premieres on ABC1 on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. And in the U.S. on the …

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Netflix 2024: What You Need To Know Now!


Memo to Reality Talent Hopefuls: No “Bingo!” from Network Deals. How to Blow a Pitch at History! China Doc Boom?

This Week’s Issues: Memo to Talent: Re Compensation — Build a self-branded enterprise. Don’t rely on appearance fees. Dirty Jobs‘ Mike Rowe is the model to follow! “Speed to Air” matters! Work-for-hire versus retaining Rights. Renewals and bumps. How to pitch – and how to blow a pitch – to History. The Panelists Late last …

Memo to Reality Talent Hopefuls: No “Bingo!” from Network Deals. How to Blow a Pitch at History! China Doc Boom? Read More »

U.S. Channels: Where are the Producers Located? 2/2

PIN-POINTING THE GREEN LIGHTS 2/2 Last week, we published our sensitivity analysis of the locations of producers who are suppliers to U.S. Factual networks. Following are the findings 7 more of the 25+ channels that we surveyed: Methodology We reviewed Upfront and other new programming announcements for 2010/2111 We tracked down the locations of the cited …

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U.S. Channels: Where are the Producers? 1/2

PIN-POINTING THE GREEN LIGHTS Where can you find the suppliers to U.S. Factual networks? New York? LA? London? Are there other centers of development and production? Are there different sourcing practices amongst: Established channels and digi-nets? Documentary and Reality channels? These questions matter: For networks: Where should you locate LBA, Development and other resources? For producers: …

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Desktop Doc Netflix course


Oprah’s Documentary Club Picks Three More: How Many Slots Left? What are they Paying?

OWN The Oprah Winfrey Network announced the acquisition of three documentary films for Oprah’s Documentary Film Club One Lucky Elephant follows circus producer David Balding as he struggles to find a nurturing home for his beloved orphaned baby African elephant. The film was ten years in the making 65 Redroses captures the spirit of a …

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HBO Documentary Films’ VP Lisa Heller at Sheffield: “We look for observational films that are action-packed”

Sheffield Doc/Fest Session What Do U.S. Broadcasters Want? How Much Do They Pay? Who? When? 2/3 U.S. channels spend more than $2.0 billion / year on Factual productions. But how can producers get a sliver of that huge pie? They need useful tools to analyse the channels and then to pitch the ideas that networks are …

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