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Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

The Business of the Documentary & Unscripted Business. Thirteen Case Studies

My newsletter features detailed Case Studies that reveal the life cycles of documentary films, factual television specials and reality series.

  • We tell the inside story of each project, from development through funding, production and distribution.
  • And we usually have the numbers: budgets, copro deals, box office, license fees and more.

Why Case Studies?

  • In my consulting practice, clients tend to become very engaged when they experience business challenges through detailed case studies.
  • That’s the simple premise driving my newsletter.
  • My bulleted format is a response to the work pressure that we endure: Readers can ‘use it or lose it.’

Here is a selection of my unique coverage of the business of the business, all published in the five years since the launch of

The Archive

The archive-based documentary is a personal favorite genre:


And a History film which I proudly co-EP’d:


Other valuable Case Studies include:

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  • Thanks to the many producers and network execs as well as writers who collaborated on our original work!

Next Week

  • Grace Hamilton profiles Every Face Has a Name.
  • Its an award-winning Scandinavian documentary that uses a 4K conversion of a precious WW2 archive, plus social media, to establish new ways of story-telling based on historic footage.
  • BTW, right after Sunnyside, I’ll rush up to Uppsala, Sweden, where our son James Hamilton and Malin Heymann are marrying. That happy event is on June 26.



Sunnyside of the Doc, La Rochelle, June 21-25

  • Trends in US Factual Market, Sunday June 21, 330p
  • SVOD Explodes. What It Means for Docs, Monday June 22, 300p
  • Meet the Executives, moderator: Tuesday 23 (Science) + Wednesday 24 (Wildlife), both at 1000a
  • Trends in Contracts, with Michelle Bruce: Tuesday 23, 230p
  • Expert Consultations: Monday 22, 330-500p, Tuesday 330-500p
  • Disney Nature and ‘African Cats’ with Jean-Francois Camilleri: Tuesday 600p

Peter’s Recommendation

  • Don’t miss Sunnyside!
  • I highly recommend attending, for new and established producers.
  • It’s a very compatible market, in a beautiful location, with relaxed access to decision-makers and fellow producers.
  • The panels are very informative, too.
  • Plus: the Manitoba delegation are in attendance for the first time! They bring ideas and tax benefits.
  • Also, watch out for our great friends from South African Indies.