Terra Mater - Star Chasers on Senegal

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Documentary Budget

My NETFLIX LIVE Webinar. Desktop Documentaries Course. Thursday May 13, 1pm (EST). SAVE NOW!

For all students enrolled in my NETFLIX 2021 COURSE with Desktop Documentaries, please join me for a LIVE Q&A Thursday, May 13 @ 1:00 p.m. EST. I’ll answer your questions about Netflix, the rapidly-changing streaming landscape, how to pitch Netflix, and any other questions you may have. If you are not enrolled, it’s not too …

My NETFLIX LIVE Webinar. Desktop Documentaries Course. Thursday May 13, 1pm (EST). SAVE NOW! Read More »

OSCAR win for MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. Listen to executive producer Ellen Windemuth in our “How we sold OCTOPUS to Netflix” podcast (Update)

Congrats to MY OCTOPUS TEACHER‘s extended family for winning the Best Documentary Feature award at last night’s Oscars. I write “family” because it took a deeply committed and close-knit group of friends and colleagues to bring Craig Foster‘s unexpected subject from chilly False Bay to Netflix, and then to Hollywood’s #1 stage:   How It …

OSCAR win for MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. Listen to executive producer Ellen Windemuth in our “How we sold OCTOPUS to Netflix” podcast (Update) Read More »

The Sundance Documentary Economy: The Odds for Feature Docs. The $806M Cost of Missing Out

A Sundance Film Festival award lags only behind an Oscar nomination as a measure of success for documentarians. But what are the odds that a U.S. or international documentary will earn a slot on the Sundance program? And what is the total expense on all those submissions that missed out? This year, the Sundance Film Festival screened 73 feature-length …

The Sundance Documentary Economy: The Odds for Feature Docs. The $806M Cost of Missing Out Read More »

Netflix 2023 What You Need To Know Now


QUOLL FARM: A $600k Wildlife hit for ABC Australia, Smithsonian, ZDF/Arte & NHK

Quoll Farm is a classic natural history film about a very cute and little-known Australian marsupial, the Eastern Quoll. It has a gentle conservation message, and like several recent films, notably My Octopus Teacher, there’s a story of human redemption as part of the wildlife package. I was totally charmed by the antics of the …

QUOLL FARM: A $600k Wildlife hit for ABC Australia, Smithsonian, ZDF/Arte & NHK Read More »

SELLING YOUR DOCUMENTARY TO NETFLIX: My new resource-packed online course. Now with a 700-program online database

Selling Your Documentary to Netflix

SELLING YOUR DOCUMENTARY TO NETFLIX is my new, resource-packed course designed for both industry professionals and developing talents. The online course features: How to pitch your project effectively! A unique 700-program database of Netflix originals & acquisitions Step-by-step video tutorials Worksheets, and other downloads Proposal templates, and much, much more… The course includes NETFLIX 2021: …

SELLING YOUR DOCUMENTARY TO NETFLIX: My new resource-packed online course. Now with a 700-program online database Read More »

BIG vs SMALL: Production & festival strategy for a giant wave surfer doc. Indie Case Study from Finland

BIG vs SMALL tells the inspirational story of Joana Andrade, the first Portuguese woman to surf the giant, bone-crushing waves of Nazaré. Finnish director and producer Minna Dufton’s debut feature documentary was released in late 2020, and so far has enjoyed premieres at nine top global festivals including DOC NYC and PÖFF. BIG vs SMALL …

BIG vs SMALL: Production & festival strategy for a giant wave surfer doc. Indie Case Study from Finland Read More »


Nielsen’s Streaming Ratings 2020: Positive Takeaways for the Documentary / Unscripted Sector

Nielsen released their Top 10 Streamed Programs for 2020 (U.S.) in three categories: Originals, Acquisitions and Movies. Their key metric is Minutes-Streamed-per-Show. In the Originals category, the Top 10 is led by OZARK with 30.5 billion views in 2020. TIGER KING is #4 with 15.6 billion views. When I looked deeper into the data, I …

Nielsen’s Streaming Ratings 2020: Positive Takeaways for the Documentary / Unscripted Sector Read More »

Who are the documentary buyers? What do they want? How many? Deal highlights and more

Twelve documentary buyers and producers reveal what drives their decisions. Each commissioner is driven by a particular strategy, pipeline and budget ‘sweet spot’. Each producer describes a unique path from concept through funding and production to distribution. Since 2010, the mission of my Documentary Business newsletter has been to reveal how these individual production pathways …

Who are the documentary buyers? What do they want? How many? Deal highlights and more Read More »