Twelve documentary buyers and producers reveal what drives their decisions.
- Each commissioner is driven by a particular strategy, pipeline and budget ‘sweet spot’.
- Each producer describes a unique path from concept through funding and production to distribution.
Since 2010, the mission of my Documentary Business newsletter has been to reveal how these individual production pathways and commissioner’s strategies combine to form our ever-evolving Unscripted industry.
In this post, I’ve recapped my 2020 interviews with buyers and recent Case Studies of notable productions.
Documentary Buyers: What Do They Want?
- Mandy Chang, commissioning editor BBC-STORYVILLE reveals her strategy and budget sweet spot for my panel at Taiwan’s CCDF-CNEX conference.
- France Télévisions’ strategy for buying 1,900 hours: An interview with Catherine Alvaresse
- BBC History strategy with commissioner Simon Young, buyer of 70+ hours / year
- Smithsonian Channel’s strategy: The key genres. What are the trends? A Sunny Side interview with Chris Hoelzl.
- REELZ network commissions 200 originals. Priorities? Partners? What is the sweet spot?
- CuriosityStream Strategy. 3,000 Titles: What do they want? Meet Jorge Franzini.
- Channel 4 Unscripted Strategy: What do they want? What do they pay?
For dozens more buyer contacts, don’t miss the invaluable SUNNY SIDE DECISION MAKER’S GUIDE, my SWEET SPOTS guide to 31 U.S. networks.
Documentary Productions: Case Studies & Podcasts
- BERNIE BLACKOUT: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. A fast turnaround access documentary for VICE
- 26 DAYS TO KILL DE GAULLE: A French archive-based production that blends facts and speculation
- APOCALYPSE ’45: Discovery Channel’s powerful WW2 documentary in virtual theatrical release. A Case Study for the COVID Era
- HUMBOLDT: EPIC EXPLORER– A €600,000 drama doc from ZDFE, Spiegel TV, Arte and Smithsonian Networks
- Selling MY OCTOPUS TEACHER to Netflix. Don’t miss my popular podcast with executive producer and distributor Ellen Windemuth
- Our partner Sunny Side of the Doc for unique video coverage of the buying strategies of channels and platforms.
- And our sponsor Footage.net for our invaluable Case Studies of archive-based productions.