Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

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 year, the key players involved in the rise and rise of the #1 History hit Pawn Stars kindly agreed to share their experience at a panel that we co-produced with the New York State Bar Association.  The speakers were:

  • Mary Donahue, Executive Producer, History Channel
  • Brent Montgomery, Leftfield Pictures and creator of Pawn Stars
  • Rob Miller, Peleton Entertainment, Leftfield’s agent

This week, we complete out coverage of the panel discussion:

6. Q&A. The Deal: The Work-for-Hire Model vs. Producers Retaining Rights (10:34)

  • Can producers evolve beyond the work-for-hire model?
  • Who retains rights?
  • Rob Miller describes some of the financial challenges of the co-production model.

7. Q&A. More on The Deal: Networks and Merchandising Revenue Shares with Talent. They are Disruptive. Renewals & Bumps (10:04)

  • What happens when networks want revenue shares with talent?
  • Complex merchandising deals with talent complicate the development process.
    • Mary: “Speed to air is very important from a competitive standpoint.”
  • Rob Miller leads a discussion of deal points that are addressed at season renewal time.
    • Brent says that talent deals get renewed more often than producer deals.
    • Brent and Mary strongly agree that talent won’t get rich out of appearance fees but from creating or expanding their own enterprises.

8. Q&A. What’s Up Next for Leftfield Pictures? How to Pitch History? And Not! (6:37)

  • Mary says that History is open to pitches from all producers – IF the producers understand the brand parameters, particularly that her channel serves a 70% Male audience.
  • So if you turn up to History with that pitch for your embroidery series, don’t expect another meeting!

And More

Extra Reading

And read our 4-part interview with Brent Montgomery: The Rise and Rise of Pawn Stars and Leftfield Pictures

Leftfield’s hard slog to Vegas (1/4)
Concept, Talent, Sizzle, Pitch, Green Light and Hit (2/4)

After Pawn Stars: A Structure, Doors Open, Renewals, Pitches, Green Lights. What Next?

Pawn Stars
: Leftfield Puts Casting Under a Microscope

And Ten Negotiation Secrets of the Pawn Stars by management consulting guru Gary Greene



History Makers International
A Summit for Informative Media

January 25-27, 2012
Millennium Broadway Hotel, New York City

History Makers International is just around the corner!

Happening Jan. 25 -27, 2012, at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in New York City, this year’s summit for informative media boasts to be the best yet!

History Makers International brings together the world’s best program makers to share their insights on this year’s significant events affecting programming, while also looking forward to future trends in history, archives, and investigative and social issue programming.

This summit attracts the world’s leading producers, development executives, researchers, archive houses, broadcasters, and distributors from over 20 different countries in one place each year.

History Makers International 2012 is poised to be our biggest and best event to date!

Session highlights include:

·        Covering the Arab World: A Master Class With Al Jazeera

·        History Explosion: New Services and Opportunities

·        How Do You Find the Characters in that Character Driven Hit?

And a very special appearance by the production team behind director Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World. Join us as they discuss how they combined incredible archive and home movies with remixes of demos and original recordings of George Harrison’s music, along with intimate and candid interviews, to make a powerful and moving account of the musical icon’s life.

Plus, use our exclusive online portal to book face-to-face with renowned development executives to pitch your ideas, and make deals.

Preferred Access

For a limited time, we are excited to extend a discounted rate to the community to register for History Makers International and save over $500 on your all-access pass. But, don’t delay – this offer expires Jan. 20, 2012.

Register by Jan. 9, 2012 and be the first in line to book your face-to-face time with internationally renowned development executives! Spaces for these exclusive meeting opportunities are first-come, first-served.

As a reader, attend History Makers International 2012 for a very special discounted price of $649 (expires January 8th, 2012) Register NOW and save!

Discounted reg link for $649:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *