THE SIEGE OF MECCA: A Podcast with Producer Dirk van den Berg

THE SIEGE OF MECCA uncovers the violent event in 1979 that has shaped recent history, but that is still wrapped in secrecy. My Podcast / Case Study combo with Dirk van den Berg details how he and Pascal Verroust secured mainly European funding for their 620,000+ Euros project, beginning with a fast 150,000 Euros commitment …


UNITED SKATES Case Study: Five Years from Inspiration to Tribeca & HBO. Podcasts with Tina Brown & Dyana Winkler, Co-producers & -directors

UNITED SKATES is an exceptional feature documentary that combines pure and often hilarious entertainment with a hard-hitting expose of how race and class force their crushing ways into the most innocent American pastimes — even roller-skating. For this case study, which is published with Sunny Side of the Doc, I spoke with the co-producer / …

Sundance: Buyers Bid $20 Million as the Feature Documentary Category Booms

The feature documentary is booming. That’s the message from Sundance 2019. Reported bids for rights approach $20 million. Topping the list is Knock Down the House, the Sundance Audience Award winner that captures the run for Congress in 2018 of the “AOC” superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The SVOD giant reportedly bid $10 million for worldwide rights. That’s …

Getting Real at Realscreen: A Podcast with Michael Hoff, Veteran Producer

In this week’s podcast, veteran unscripted producer Michael Hoff shares his Takeaways on the Realscreen Summit. Realscreen was held in New Orleans for the first time this year. Michael is President & Executive Producer of Hoff Productions. Key Takeaways include: Michael says that network executives are regaining their footing after enduring the recent hard impacts of …

Sundance and the Single Documentary Economy: The $1.3 Billion Cost of Missing Out

The documentary niche has remarkable financial scale, as measured by the films seeking selection at Sundance. Let’s assume that the average production cost of all 2,649 Sundance submissions for 2019 is $500,000. Actual budgets range from around $200,000 up to $5+ million. $500K is a conservative average. Production Cost: 2,600 documentaries were “Not Accepted” in 2019. The …

Sundance Film Festival Selections 2019: What are the Odds for Documentaries?

A Sundance Film Festival award lags only behind an Oscar nomination as a measure of success for documentarians. But what are the odds that a U.S. or international documentary will earn a slot on the program? Submissions 2,649 Documentary Features were submitted to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, which opens on January 24: 767 were from the …