David Attenborough Dominates Online Audience Demand Data. U.S. / UK Top 20 for Documentaries & Factual, Exclusively from Parrot Analytics (Q2 2017)

David Attenborough is 90 and still the Alpha. That’s the message from Parrot Analytics‘ Top 20 rankings of online audience demand for programs in the Documentary & Factual category for the U.S. and UK for Q2 2017. Driving the rankings are: Big Brands. Big Talent. And the True Crime, Blue Chip Natural History and Science …

UK Ratings Snapshot, 1H 2017: The Sizzling 60 Documentaries & Lifestyle Hits. A Note on the Ageing UK Audience

It’s always a pleasure to share my semi-annual report card on the top-rated UK documentary and lifestyle programs. I enjoy the compelling diversity and quality of the UK industry. SIZZLING SIXTY Here are the Top 60 Documentaries, Lifestyle & Current Affairs programs for UK through June 30, 2017 (in thousands). Channel Programme ‘000 1 BBC 1 Countryfile 7,670 …

Sunny Side Takeaway #2: “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week”. Fab 4 Archive Case Study

A highlight of Sunny Side 2017 was my Archive Masterclass on Grammy and Focal Award winner THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK. The stars of our standing-room-only panel were Apple Corps executive producer Jonathan Clyde and Matthew White who originated the concept to create an archive-based film about Beatlemania. Takeaways About the archive… Home movie footage related to …

Letters from Baghdad: A Case Study of an Archive-based Documentary With a $1.2 Mn Budget

Letters From Baghdad is a beautiful documentary that uncovers the story of British adventurer, diplomat and Arabist, Gertrude Bell. Filmmakers Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl reveal the struggles of a brilliant, lone woman in an all-male world. Their research uncovered a largely forgotten but mesmerizing film and photographic archive of the early 20th century. Their film blends footage …

How Did Rupert Become ‘Murdoch the Kingmaker’? An ANZAC Day Reflection on the ‘Aussie Prince’ Who Powered Brexit and Trump Populism

Last week’s sacking of Fox News super-star Bill O’Reilly provoked widespread speculation about a shift in power in 21st Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch to his sons Lachlan and James. Despite a decade of corporate scandals, Rupert Murdoch cemented his power as a king-maker in 2016 by shaping the Brexit and pro-Trump / anti-Hilary populist …

GRAMMY FOR BEST MUSIC FILM: “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week”. Fab 4 Archive Case Study

(Originally published, August 2016). I was thrilled when I heard that Apple Corps is the force behind a major cinema release of an archive-based documentary on the rise of The Beatles. Then I saw a rough cut of THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK, and for this early boomer, it delivers one emotional hit after …

Realscreen Takeaways: Documentary Budgets, Facebook Strategy, China’s New Buyers, and More

Realscreen Summit 2017 came at a moment that felt weighted with history. It kicked off in Washington the day after the massive Women’s March in which many delegates participated, and ended as my new president set of alarm bells by slamming down the phone on my prime minister. In between was the hard realization that …