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Documentary Business

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Producers’ Tool Kit

True Crime Booms: What Producers Need to Know Before They Pitch. My Pact UK Webinar with StoryCentric’s Ed Hersh

Ed Hersh is a leading authority on True Crime programming. For Pact UK, we unpack the latest industry trends in the seemingly unlimited appetite for true crime programming on every platform. We discuss how the definition of True Crime programming is expanding; what producers need to know, and much more. Watch Now (22′) About Ed …

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TRUE ROYALTY: The Netflix for “super-engaged Royals fans”. A Podcast with CEO Gregor Angus (Republished)

Queen Elizabeth‘s passing reminded me of our 2019 coverage of TRUE ROYALTY, the ‘mega-niche’ streamer for “the 150M people worldwide who are Royal super-fans.” TRUE ROYALTY now carries a library of “450+ constantly-refreshed quality titles about Royalty today, around the world and throughout history.” First published, October 2019 TRUE ROYALTY is a London-based subscription video …

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True Crime All the Time: Bulk Gives Way to Bespoke

by Ed Hersh. If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t yet believe that the media ecosystem is shifting under our feet, the tumultuous events of the last few weeks at Netflix, Warner/Discovery and CNN certainly should convince you. And nowhere can you see these shifts more clearly than in the still-burgeoning field of True Crime …

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Netflix 2023 What You Need To Know Now


U.S. Cable Channels: Legacy networks retain significant if declining footprints

We often listen in to discussions about the rise of Netflix and the streamers as if cable / satellite channels have gone the way of VHS tapes. Not so fast! Byron Media‘s John Morse generously shared a 4Q 2021 snapshot of the distribution footprints of U.S. cable channels, filtered here for documentary/unscripted buyers and news …

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At Risk in Russia: Soviet-Era Nuclear Icebreaker Smashes Arctic Floes… and the Budget! (Case Study)

The Siberian Nuclear Icebreaker Case Study (April, 2011) reveals how producer Vinnie Kraylevich risked his life and finances when he hitched a ride on a Soviet-Era icebreaker. It is my all-time favorite post about the risk that producers take on when they pursue the jeopardy-filled stories sought by platforms, channels and viewers.   His Nuclear …

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The Sundance Documentary Economy: $848 Million Spent by Producers Who Miss 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? Is $848 million really the total spent on all those submissions that missed out? Read on for my …

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News Roundup: Climate Change Documentaries Breaking Through?

The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference opens in Glasgow on October 31, bringing urgency to the race to save our planet. Documentary commissioners, producers and distributors have responded with lots of new orders. Does global warming have the urgent audience appeal of programs that address hot button issues like true crime, gender, and social …

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The Art, Craft & Persistence of Blue Chip Wildlife Filmmaking. WCS executive producer Natalie Cash in conversation with Jacob Steinberg

Natalie Cash is executive producer in charge of video production at the Wildlife Conservation Society, HQ’d at the world-famous Bronx Zoo. She explores the art, the craft and the challenges of wildlife filmmaking with SEASON OF THE OSPREY director / cinematographer Jacob Steinberg. It was nine years since Natalie first met Jacob and heard his …

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