Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

WESTDOC Producers’ Master Class: Built for Success – Developing and Producing Non-Fiction Programming in Today’s Environment

US Networks: What do they Want? What’s the Deal? And the Things They Won’t Tell You…
Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Don’t miss my intensive half-day master class with industry veteran Ed Hersh at WESTDOC 2013.

Our workshop is dedicated to helping producers understand the chaotic and rapidly-changing nonfiction and factual marketplace so that they can develop effective strategies for getting their projects green lit.

We will build on the Standing-Room-Only success of last year’s Master Class with Stephen Harris, the former A&E development exec and now ‘red hot’ LA-based producer. Check out the video highlights of the 2012 Master Class here.

This year, Ed and I will take a tour of the network landscape: which networks commission docs, specials and series, including reality series, and focusing on key industry trends.

What We’ll Cover

Topics that we will cover include:

  • Understanding network “filters”
  • Series vs. one-offs: what you need to know
  • What are their audiences, key demos and current program strategies, and how that should affect your pitch?
  • Why do some producers seem to get “all” the green lights, and others don’t
  • When your experience counts. And when it doesn’t!
  • The network commissioning process: What you need to know before you pitch, when you’re in the room, and what happens afterwards.
  • The pitch: Five key Do’s and Don’ts that will increase your chances of success.
  • What are the five things that MUST be in your pitch to have it even considered
  • What are the key deal terms for work-for-hire commissions, co-productions and acquisitions.
  • What do the networks pay for programs? And is that negotiable?
  • Do emerging producers need an agent? Or is it better to partner with an established producer? And what’s the deal for ‘marrying up?’

There will be plenty of time for Q&A and post-workshop networking.

Westdoc Producers’ Master Class
Built for Success: Developing and Producing Non-Fiction Programming in Today’s Environment
US Networks: What do they Want? What’s the Deal? And the things they won’t tell you…

Sunday, September 15th, 2013
$199 for WESTDOC attendees
Register here.

Or email me ( if you have any questions about the Master Class.


The Master Class Leaders

Ed Hersh is a media executive and strategist whose career encompasses print, broadcast and documentary journalism, non-fiction cable production and programming, and the rapidly evolving multi-platform environment. His focus is on creating signature storytelling and compelling content.

He currently serves as Chief Creative Officer of StoryCentric LLC, a New York-based company that he founded in 2007 to provide business, development, production strategy and insight to content producers, networks and distributors.

As a production and programming executive at ABC News, A&E, Court TV, and Discovery Communications, he was responsible for developing, commissioning and supervising production of hundreds of hours in niches and formats that include History, Crime, Reality, Feature Documentary, Specials and Series, and much more.

My own credentials are covered in My recent workshops include: a French producers’ Master Class at the Sorbonne; several MIPDoc panels; and last month at the wonderful Wild Talk Africa in Durban. 

A new effort of which I am very proud is my role as co-EP with Steeltown Entertainment’s Stephanie Dangel of THE SHOT FELT AROUND THE WORLD, a bio doc about Jonas Salk and his race to create the polio vaccine. THE SHOT will premiere in October 2013 on the Smithsonian Channel (US), and features an interview with Bill Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supported the film’s development. We’ll cover foundation funding for docs in the Master Class.

For information, strategy and inspiration, join Ed Hersh and myself at our WESTDOC Master Class, and afterwards enjoy the access to commissioners available at the WESTDOC Conference sessions and networking events.


Westdoc Producers’ Master Class:
Built for Success: Developing and Producing Non-Fiction Programming in Today’s Environment
US Networks: What do they Want? What’s the Deal? And the things they won’t tell you…

Sunday, September 15th, 2013, 2:30pm
$199 for WESTDOC Attendees
Register here now.

Landmark Theater
10850 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

And here is a link to video highlights from our 2012 WESTDOC Master Class with Stephen Harris.


What Do the Channels Want? Now? For 2014?

The International Documentary Buyers’ Guide answers these questions:


  • Are the buyers open to international partnerships?
  • Who are the key contacts?
  • How can you reach them?

Also, whenever we have the data:

  • What do the channels pay?
  • For acquisitions?
  • For co-productions?

The Buyers’ Guide is an invaluable resource for producers who are working on their strategies for pitching ideas or selling completed programs to channels.


16 countries

  • Australia, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Over 35 broadcasters

  • SBS Australia, Astral Media, Blue Ant Media, CBC, CBC News Network, Corus Entertainment, Discovery Channel Canada, iChannel, Knowledge Canada, Shaw Media, SRC-Canada, Super Channel, TVO, Hunan TV Station, RTVC, DR Denmark, YLE Finland, ARTE France, Planete+, ProSieben Sat.1, S.H. Channel 8, yesDocu, RAI Italy, NHK Japan, EBS Korea, AVRO Netherlands, SVT & SVT2 Sweden, BBC, Al Jazeera English, POV, CNN, Discovery International, HBO Documentary Films, MSNBC, National Geographic Channel, and more
  • 95 Channels and Slots.
  • 100+ Buyers & Contacts.


  • Executive Personnel
  • Channel Profiles
  • Documentary Profiles
  • Recent acquisitions and green lights
  • Budgets where available
  • Analysis of how and what broadcasters are looking to acquire
  • Current strands
  • Documentaries and Television Specials

Final Takeaways

  • So that you can make informed, research-backed decisions.




Price: $94.95
Download Now.