WildLIVE! Comes to Wildscreen, Bristol

WildLIVE!   Understanding the Trend towards Real Time Wildlife Programming. Wildscreen, Bristol UK, October 12. LIVE is as hot as chili peppers. LIVE is popping up across territories, genres and formats. For example, just this week, A&E announced a live COPS documentary mini-series located in Dallas TX. At Wildscreen in Bristol, the BBC’s James Honeyborne will …

Takeaways: Choppertown and the Wild West of Facebook Video (3 of 3)

Choppertown evolved from a credit card-financed first documentary to a profitable Facebook documentary channel. We profiled Choppertown‘s origins here (Part 1). And the takeoff as a hyper-niche Facebook Video channel here (Part 2). My podcast audio conversation with producer Zack Coffman is here. This week, here are my Takeaways… 1. Facebook Video: The Scale and …

Choppertown Rides Facebook Video to Earn Multiple Revenue Streams (2 of 3)

We continue our Case Study of Choppertown, the indie documentary producer that evolved into a model mini-network for the Facebook Era. Here is the link to Part 1 of 3 including Choppertown’s history and the sizzler. And a link to my 16-minute podcast audio conversation with Zack Coffman. Hybrid Revenue Streams In 2016, Choppertown evolved into a Facebook Video …

Facebook Live. A Fatal Shooting Marks a Historic Tipping Point for Video

Last week marked a historic tipping point in the public’s ability to both use and respond to live video. Facebook Live’s video stream of the immediate, devastating aftermath of a fatal shooting in Minnesota has either dominated or framed both the news cycle and the public conversation since. We haven’t digested the implications of Facebook’s broadcast, …

“Discovery Communications Is Over-valued.” Wall Street Analysis & Takeaways

Discovery Communications is an “over-valued” company. That was the influential call last week by a key Wall Street media industry analyst. By downgrading Discovery as an “underperforming” stock, Sanford Bernstein’s Todd Juenger rang a bell on 30+ years of tremendous growth in the value of enterprises dedicated to Unscripted / Documentary television. Key Factors Juenger cites …

A Producer at Risk: Siberian Budget-buster! The Takeaways (Case Study 2/2)

We continue our Siberian Case Study: How to manage productions in dangerous and remote locations. The post was first published in April, 2011, and republished here in honor of the fearless producer Vinnie Kraylevich, who passed away suddenly last week. This week: Takeaways from the Russian Permafrost. Last week: Producers, talent and network programmers push the limits That can …

A Producer at Risk: Soviet-Era Nuclear Icebreaker Smashes Arctic Floes. And The Budget! (Case Study 1/2)

I learned today from our friends at Realscreen that Vinnie Kraylevich had passed away suddenly. It is such a loss. Vinnie combined tremendous creative energy with an open heart. He was always prepared to share his wisdom and experience with his colleagues.  I’m particularly grateful to Vinnie because he helped set the editorial ambitions of my newsletter. Soon …

Harry Butler: The Aussie Talent Who Helped Build Discovery Off the Backs of Snakes and Lizards

We read last week that Australian conservationist Harry Butler had passed away in Perth. He is a largely forgotten but breakout talent who helped propel Discovery from battling startup to global giant. Discovery Channel was then searching for its identity and brand, as it struggled to make payroll from week to week. It’s hard to imagine, but …