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“Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa?” $1.1 Mn Pledged. Kickstarter Documentary Record Smashed

2017 February 20
by Peter Hamilton

Kickstarter smashed its record for the documentary category when 8,688 backers pledged $1,126,036. The campaign? “Frank Zappa is one of the strangest, most amazing and influential figures of our era, but his definitive story has never been told. Now, for the first time ever, the Zappas have given us complete, unrestricted access to the contents […]

More on Facebook’s ‘Video-First’ Strategy and Exec Hires. Apple Sits on Fence

2017 February 14
by Peter Hamilton

In this post: more on Facebook’s Originals and a glance over at Apple. Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘Video-First’ strategy for Facebook’s 1.8 Bn active monthly users goes beyond Live video feeds and clips sent by your BF’s. 97% of the company’s $7 Bn in Q3 ’16 revenue (up 56% vs. Q3 ’15!) was advertising-based. To maintain that […]

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

2017 February 12
by Peter Hamilton

(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

2017 February 8
by Peter Hamilton

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 […]

Inmigración 411: A Timely Spanish-language Public Television Series On Immigration Law

2017 January 30
by Peter Hamilton

In 2008, I was retained to develop programming strategy for HITN-TV, a Spanish-language public television network located in Brooklyn’s historic Navy Yard. The recommendation:  Create low-cost, primetime series that respond to the urgent information needs of around 50 million U.S. Latinos. Immigration was the no-brainer as topic #1. With super-scarce resources, we went on to […]

UK’s Fantastic 50 Documentaries, 2016. Plus 25 Lifestyle Hits. The Brexit Predictors. And More!

2017 January 18
by Peter Hamilton

What happened with UK punters in 2016? It was the year when Britain charged headlong out of the ‘hood and into a free trade agreement with nifty New Zealand. Factual TV audiences didn’t behave as oddly as UK voters. But 2016’s hits revealed lots of homely ‘Brexit-predictors.’ Olde Englande: Four of the Top 6 shows […]

“Hamilton’s America”: A Snapshot of the Television, Digital & Social Media Audiences for a PBS Hit

2017 January 12
by Peter Hamilton

Hamilton’s America is a recent PBS documentary hit that sets helpful benchmarks for the U.S. public television audience. The data also captures how PBS measures – and values – social media engagement. Presented by WNET’s GREAT PERFORMANCES strand, Hamilton’s America features Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway super-hit Hamilton. The feature-length documentary chronicles the life […]

VR: Disillusionment at CES Las Vegas / Science Producers’ Congress Takeaway #1: VR is a Big Bust

2017 January 9
by Peter Hamilton

Virtual Reality is suffering in the ‘trough of disillusionment.’ That’s the verdict on VR from the CES Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to Nick Winfield and The New York Times (January 9, 2017). The VR negatives keep piling up: Headsets come with sick bags. Price points induce sticker shock. Sales are slack. Headset […]