StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Producer Budget Workshop,Documentaries

producer budgetDocumentary Producer Budget Workshop

Peter leads workshops for documentary producers and network executives that focus on budgets, most recently at the Sorbonne University for a Colloquium of French documentary industry leaders.

His ‘indispensable’ e-newsletter provides industry professionals with current information about deals and trends, especially television production budgets and templates.

He is the co-executive producer of THE SHOT FELT AROUND THE WORLD, a documentary about Jonas Salk and his polio vaccine that will premiere in 2013 on the Smithsonian Channel (US). The production budget for the film is included in his consulting package.

Peter Hamilton has authored several books that are valued by industry professionals and students, including the classic Off-Hollywood: The Making and Marketing of Independent Films. That study includes detailed line items about television production budgets for documentaries and reality programs, indeed for the entire unscripted category.

The firm’s consulting teams include senior associates who are experts in television production templates, and who are based in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.


Flight of the Butterflies ($US)

Producer budget: $10 million.

Marketing + fulfillment documentary budget: $3 million.


  • National Science Foundation $3 million.
  • Mexico: governments: $4.5 million.
  • Mexico: corporate sponsors $1.6 million.
  • Balance: Tax credits in UK and Canada and SK/private investment.


  • Will gross $30+ million.
  • (A hit nowadays is $30-50 million.)
  • “Will have a good life on television after the first few years of its prime theatrical life.
  • (Sky  3D, 3Net, etc.; 2D / HD broadcast and cab/sat in non-3D markets).”

Read more about 3D production in here.



About Peter Hamilton,

Peter Hamilton publishes, a TV industry newsletter on how to produce a documentary TV special and reality television series. His expertise is producer budgets, unscripted TV, the documentary budgetfunding a documentaryselling a documentary, and how to make a documentary.

Sign up here to receive and its many studies about how to make a documentary.