OSCAR win for MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. Listen to executive producer Ellen Windemuth in our “How we sold OCTOPUS to Netflix” podcast (Update)

Congrats to MY OCTOPUS TEACHER‘s extended family for winning the Best Documentary Feature award at last night’s Oscars. I write “family” because it took a deeply committed and close-knit group of friends and colleagues to bring Craig Foster‘s unexpected subject from chilly False Bay to Netflix, and then to Hollywood’s #1 stage:   How It …

Selling OCTOPUS to Netflix. A podcast with executive producer & distributor Ellen Windemuth (reposted)

Ellen Windemuth executive produced Craig Foster‘s beautiful film MY OCTOPUS TEACHER, a new Netflix release. (Now OSCAR-shortlisted, I’m republishing my popular September 2020 podcast with Ellen in response to the undiminished hit-level appeal of “OCTOPUS” to Netflix subscribers of all ages and territories.) She describes the years’ long journey of her friend, South African wildlife …

Who are the documentary buyers? What do they want? How many? Deal highlights and more

Twelve documentary buyers and producers reveal what drives their decisions. Each commissioner is driven by a particular strategy, pipeline and budget ‘sweet spot’. Each producer describes a unique path from concept through funding and production to distribution. Since 2010, the mission of my Documentary Business newsletter has been to reveal how these individual production pathways …

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 …

GREAT INVENTIONS: The development, production & distribution of a 35-episode Science series. A Podcast with ZDF Enterprises’ Nikolas Hülbusch & WMR’s Alan Griffiths

About the Series: A special quality that attracted me to cover GREAT INVENTIONS in my  newsletter and podcast is that this 35-episode series was developed and funded by the distributor, ZDF ENTERPRISES without the typical building block of a financial commitment from a key buyer, usually a major network. ZDF Enterprises invested heavily in the …

The ZDF Enterprises / Off The Fence Panel at MIPDoc with Terra Mater’s Walter Koehler

My highlight for MIPDoc 2019 was moderating the panel with ZDF Enterprises’ Ralf Rueckauer and Off The Fence CEO Ellen Windemuth. The topic was ZDF-E’s acquisition of OTF, the leading independent factual distributor. OTF also celebrated its 25th anniversary at Cannes. We explored the parties’ motivations for the acquisition at this time of great change …