News Roundup: Climate Change Documentaries Breaking Through?

The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference opens in Glasgow on October 31, bringing urgency to the race to save our planet. Documentary commissioners, producers and distributors have responded with lots of new orders. Does global warming have the urgent audience appeal of programs that address hot button issues like true crime, gender, and social …

Afghanistan in Documentaries: Sunny Side’s Story of the Month. Plus: Is Barack Obama a celebrity-fixated documentary producer?

Essential Afghan Documentaries – War boosters & critics: 15 key documentaries about Afghanistan, From ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ to ‘Hell and Back Again‘ // Variety ‘Pat Tillman‘ and other films both critical and supportive of the war // Washington Post Art Workers in France Mobilize to Help Afghan Creators // Artnet Women journalists fear brutal Taliban // Vice Director’s escape from …

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 …

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 …

The Rise of Netflix Increases Pressures on Producers. My Big Takeaways for 2018

Here are my key Takeaways for 2018. It was the year in which Netflix accelerated its challenge to the entire film and television eco-system, with the Amazon behemoth adding to the disruptive force of online video. 1.Channels Under Threat. Factual commissions boomed since the mid-Eighties. A tiny documentary market exploded into the global Unscripted industry …