Case Study: POMPEII RISING: A €1.6 Million Coproduction from France’s Gedeon Productions

POMPEII RISING is an ambitious €1.6 million budget Science / History project from France’s Gedeon Programmes. Coproduction partners include French, German, Japanese and other international public broadcasters, and the online subscription platform CuriosityStream. In this Case Study for Sunny Side of the Doc we capture the development, production, distribution and select deal highlights of POMPEII …


Recent stories that capture key industry trends: Fetishizing personalities in the Age of Netflix, and much more

This month’s coverage of the documentary and unscripted landscape is curated by your friends at Sunny Side of the Doc and DocumentaryBusiness.com. Fetishizing personalities: “The Inventor: Out For Blood” exposes the celebrity money cult led by Silicon Valley’s Elizabeth Holmes, founder of collapsed medical disrupter Theranos // The Guardian. Misogyny? That’s what a tech writer …

Munich DOK.Fest: The Master’s Pitch produced by Documentary Campus

Participating in the Master’s Pitch at DOK.Fest Munich was a highlight of my year. Documentary Campus and DOK.fest have developed a unique format that combines compelling pitches, feedback from a jury of international commissioners and experts, and valuable practical training. Case Study:  Richard Ladkani (Director / DOP) opened with an inspiring Case Study of the …

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 …

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 …

Off The Fence: Independent Distributor Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Cannes. A Podcast with CEO Ellen Windemuth

Ellen Windemuth launched OFF THE FENCE from her basement 25 years ago. In this week’s podcast, Ellen: Looks back at her company’s launch. Reflects on the particular challenges then for women in a male-dominated industry. Explores how Off The Fence grew into an industry-leading independent distributor / producer with a turnover of around $20 million. Describes her …

Happy Holidays!

Dear Friends & Colleagues, It’s been a fascinating year to report on the online video tsunami that is restructuring our industry. As the New Year approaches, we often feel that Netflix and Amazon Prime in particular are changing everything, and at an accelerating rate… I hope that my analysis of the emerging ecosystem for documentary and unscripted programs helps you …