Successful Factual, Documentary & Reality Projects Revealed: 18 Detailed Case Studies, from a $40 Mn Box Office Hit to Passion Docs
I enjoy studying the life cycles of documentaries, factual specials and reality series.
My goal is to uncover:
- The inside story: from development through funding, green light, production and distribution.
- The deal: budget, copro terms, box office, license fees and more.
- And, of course, Takeaways.
For the holiday season, here is a selection of my popular and instructive Case Studies.
- Read now!
- All this free, helpful research and analysis will soon vanish behind my Amazon / WordPress paywalls.
A Giant Screen Hit
- Flight of the Butterflies: $40 million box office… and counting.
- Post includes Nat Geo‘s all-time Top 5 Giant Screen hits.
- MLK: The Assassination Tapes won a Peabody
- AIDS: The Rise of the Killer Virus, a Berlin-based copro
- Fidel Castro! A PBS / NGC International copro
- The Lost Kennedy Home Movies for History U.S.
- Bill Gates on Jonas Salk and the project to develop a polio vaccine for Smithsonian Channel and BBC4.
- Every Face Has A Name uses 4K to unlock value from the archive.
Many thanks to ITN Source, sponsor of our archive case studies.
- BESA: A seven year WW2 passion project. It’s a timely story: How Moslem Albania protected its Jewish citizens and refugees.
- Sweet Micky is backed by the Fugees’ Pras Michel and wins Slamdance.
Kickstarter How To’s
- Bill Nye: $859,425 crowd-funding record!
- The Amazing Randi earns $246,000
- George Plimpton’s classy campaign
- Pawn Stars launched Leftfield from startup to stardom.
- Celebrity / Paranormal. A hit is conceived in the back of a New York cab.
- Citizen Science: Nearly $3.0 Mn funding by NSF
- $40 million gross for a polemic against president Obama