BBC STORYVILLE: Mandy Chang guides her legendary documentary strand through COVID turbulence. Our panel at virtual CCDF-CNEX

Mandy Chang, commissioning editor BBC-STORYVILLE recently joined my panel at Taiwan’s virtual CCDF-CNEX Documentary Conference. In this post, we recap Mandy’s valuable insights into the legendary STORYVILLE stand, and the impact of COVID on the BBC’s documentary commissioning process. Our fellow expert panelists were: Hong Kong-based, Phoenix TV exec Haibo Huang And from Washington DC, veteran …

Humboldt: Epic Explorer – A €600,000 Drama Doc from ZDFE, Spiegel TV, Arte and Smithsonian Networks. A Case Study

Humboldt: Epic Explorer is a historical dramatized documentary about the scientist Alexander von Humboldt and his pioneering work in South America. The project was sparked by Andrea Wulf’s best-selling biography, and developed by veteran producer Tilman Remme. It was successfully pitched to European and American commissioning editors at the Science Producers’ Congress 2018 in Stockholm. by …


The Making of Netflix’s Hit Wildlife Documentary: MY OCTOPUS TEACHER

I’m pleased to write that My Octopus Teacher, just released by Netflix, went immediately on to my All-time Favorite Wildlife Documentaries list. Trailer https://youtu.be/3s0LTDhqe5A (copy/paste link). My Octopus Teacher is built on the foundations of any successful doc: Huge Characters, human and cephalopod. Unique Access. Risk… to life and limbs. Then there’s more: The original …

APOCALYPSE ’45: Discovery’s powerful WW2 documentary in virtual theatrical release. A Case Study for the COVID Era

Discovery Channel and distributor Abramorama teamed for a virtual theatrical and broadcast rollout of Apocalypse ‘45. This powerful documentary from Oscar-nominee Erik Nelson recounts the harrowing end of WW2, using unseen archive and the eyewitness accounts of 24 veterans who lived through the Pacific campaign. My Apocalypse ‘45 Case Study and podcasts capture the development, …

UK Wildlife: Top 25 programs in the year of Covid. What next?

Here are the Top 25-rated British Wildlife and Pets/Lifestyle programs in 1H 2020. The nostalgic “Land & Country” theme that I described in my Top 100 UK Factual and Top 25 History posts is less prominent in the Natural History category. Viewers who love Wildlife enjoy being transported to remote locations that are mostly beyond …

NETFLIX: What do they want? True Crime, Reality Formats, the Sussexes and more. Plus my new guide! NETFLIX 2021: What You Need To Know Now!

Netflix is steadily expanding its programming appetites in the feature documentary, popular Factual and Reality Formats. Follow recent reports from the field, and in my new and expanded guide NETFLIX 2021: What You Need To Know Now! True Crime: Netflix is launching the original True Crime documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door. The feature …

How Discovery is positioning for long-term growth with the next generation of fans: Nancy Daniels podcast for CTAM

Nancy Daniels oversees Discovery Channel, Science, and Animal Planet, including day-to-day operations and creative production development. She shared her thoughts on Discovery’s strategy in a recent podcast interview with CTAM‘s Vicki Lins. LISTEN CTAM’s Vicki Lins interviews Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery & Factual (27 minutes, July 13, 2020) NOTES What are your days …