Netflix 2024: What You Need To Know Now!

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Secrets of Unscripted / Documentary Television: Twelve Popular Reports

This week, a random look at twelve posts that continue to be read and re-read by visitors to our fast-growing service

And BTW, many thanks for all your encouragement since our launch in February 2010:

1. OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

2. U.S. Networks: Who’s Hot? Who’s Not?

3. What do the networks pay?

4. A top producer’s journey: Starting out. Getting there. Surviving. Thriving!

5. The 3D Budget Premium


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6. Sundance Channel under Rainbow

7. PBS’s great doc strands: How many? How much? Rights? Who earns the commissions?

  • POV
  • Independent Lens
  • And coming soon: Nature, Nova, American Experience, Frontline, and much more

8. Pawn Stars: The Rise and Rise of Leftfield Pictures

  • Is it true that Pawn Stars was conceived in the back of a Las Vegas cab?
  • Our readers read and re-read our 4-part interview with Brent Montgomery on the History channel hit

9. HBO Documentary Films at Sheffield 2010

  • “We look for observational films that are action-packed”
  • How many? What do they pay?
  • Watch out for our update on HBO Docs

10. Where are the U.S. Unscripted producers located?

  • Its a shocker to many!
  • How many are in DC? New York? LA? Other?
  • What’s the trend? Why?

11. How to pitch your project to a U.S. network: Our 3-part, how to: Case Study: A&E

12. Twinning: How U.S. producers can take advantage of Canadian tax benefits

Coming Soon

  • OWN: What next? Several scenarios
  • PBS Strands: How many? How much?
  • Natural History: Where is it going?
  • The 3D Budget Benchmark: An Update on costs from Hoff Productions
  • Kickstarter Case Study: Do’s and Don’ts for Online Funding
  • One Born Every Minute: A Fixed Rig Case Study



Sunnyside of the Doc
La Rochelle, France
June 21-24
3D Where is the Money?
For a year now, 3D has been on the rise. Initiatives are announced each week.
Is this new format the next El Dorado, despite the heavy technical constraints?
Between public subsidies, industrial partnerships, TV copros and theatrical releases:
What is the path to successfully finance a 3D project?
What is the cost premium for 3D vs HD?

Ghislaine Le Rhun-Gautier, head of 3D project, Orange (France)
John Cassy, Director, Sky 3D (UK)
Baptiste Heynemans CNC (NTP) (France)
Laurent Dondey, DP La Géode (France)
Modérateur: Peter Hamilton, DocumentaryTélé

Also: Trends in U.S. Television
What do U.S. broadcasters want? Who is getting the work? And how much do they pay?
Channels want series led by ‘big characters’. Reality keeps on rising.
There is less demand for individual documentaries and limited series.
Meanwhile, HBO, PBS, OWN and a handful of U.S. channels commission documentaries.
What are their filters? And is the U.S. market open to international coproductions?
Steve Burns
Peter Hamilton, DocumentaryTélé
Stephen Harris, A&E