Quibi: Collapse was in its DNA!

Quibi was destined to fail. I was sure of that when I first read the presser announcing the business plan. There must be deep psychological reasons why retirement-age industry titans can even begin to fantasize about succeeding in mobile video — a medium that targets 10-20 yo’s with goofy dance videos shot in their Covid …

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 …


Making Discovery’s APOCALYPSE ’45: A podcast with director Erik Nelson

Director Erik Nelson describes Apocalypse ’45 as the “first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan meets Apollo 11.” He shares his original concept; how his almost casual pitch to Discovery‘s Howard Swartz led to a full commission; the archive research and transfer process; his veteran interviews; the pre-edit planning, editing and final delivery. Our informative …

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 …

REELZ Commissions 200 Originals: What do they want? What is the budget ‘Sweet Spot’?

REELZ commissions around 200 originals each year and acquires another 50+ programs. The focus is on: Celebrity, particularly from the world of entertainment, and Notoriety, in the True Crime genre. Unlike most platforms like Netflix or U.S. cable nets, REELZ acquires only U.S. rights, allowing producers to profitably exploit rest-of-world in a popular genre. I …

The Bernie Sanders Blackout: A Fast Turnaround Documentary for VICE. Case Study

In this intense U.S. election year, I caught up with filmmaker Pat McGee to explore his fast-track production of “Bernie Blackout: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. Broadcast on VICE network on May 13, 2020, McGee‘s investigative documentary asks: How did the news media affect Bernie Sanders‘ 2020 presidential campaign? Was his campaign sabotaged by corporate …