The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. Case Study of an inspiring theatrical documentary that blends Wildlife & the Archive

It was standing-room-only at the East Village premiere that I attended for The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. The Q&A that followed resembled a celebrity speaking tour: the star in the spotlight was the sparkling 87-year old, Anne Innis Dagg. This Canadian feature combines several of my favorite genres: Archive-based History Wildlife Science Plus a bit …

Responding to the Coronavirus: Programming & Production Snapshot. A pod-versation with Ed Hersh

In these hectic early weeks of the crisis, I thought that it would be helpful to take some time out to reflect on the seismic changes that our industry is experiencing. Veteran consultant Ed Hersh joins me in a pod-versation to provide a cautious snapshot for our colleagues. We focus on three questions: Is there …


COVID-19 Recovery: Picking the ‘Pawn Stars’ of the Coronavirus Recession? A Case Study

What program or genre will be a blazing success when we make the inevitable economic recovery from these dark weeks? Well, History can teach us a lesson. I’m talking about two meanings of ‘History’: ‘The study of the past’ And A+E Networks’ History Channel. Pawn Stars While the 2008 Recession tore through consumers’ wallets and …

Polio Virus Documentary: A Case Study in the Defeat of a Raging Epidemic

A SHOT TO SAVE THE WORLD is a special about Jonas Salk’s race to defeat the dreaded polio virus. It captures how strong, unifying leadership and Science-based government can overcome a terrible global epidemic. I became committed as an Executive Producer. Bill Gates kindly agreed to serve as the narrator of our film, and his foundation supported …

Coronavirus: Consumers Watch More Television. Networks can’t exploit the opportunity due to their lost capacity

Nielsen published a fascinating report yesterday concerning the increased media consumption of U.S. consumers during our Coronavirus shutdown. The analysis is based on a study of Total Usage of Television (TUT) during two severe weather crises: Hurricane Harvey in Houston (2017) New York’s ‘Snow-pocalypse‘ (2016) HOUSTON TUT usage in Houston was up 56% versus the …

Factual Production in the Age of the Coronavirus

As New York City moved into Coronavirus shutdown this weekend, I wondered about the effects of the increasingly restrictive response to the epidemic on program production and delivery schedules. NBA Started It When the NBA cancelled its season, most of the world’s leading Sports franchises followed. Next came Late Night Talk shows with their live …

Coronavirus: The Economic Impact of Lost Markets & Festivals. Workarounds for Producers

The impact on the documentary economy of cancelled markets and events due to Coronavirus precautions is serious. A helpful approach to understanding this loss is to recap what’s involved in the distribution of fine, one-off documentaries in a typical season. This process was captured in my very useful post with Windrose‘s Pauline Mazenod. Read: How …

Killer Virus: Case Studies of co-productions on the AIDS & Ebola epidemics

The challenges of covering the Coronavirus pandemic are anticipated in two of my Case Studies: Rise of the Killer Virus and In Ebola’s Wake. HIV / AIDS: The Rise of the Killer Virus is a scientific detective story. It traces the pre-history of HIV back to the moment of its origination in Africa around 1908. Key …