Ten Takeaways for Creating a Successful Fundraising Trailer

I’m just back from Vienna for the sold out World Congress of Science and Factual Producers. Pitching strategies were very much part of the conversation. We invited Fernanda Rossi, the globe-trotting trailer-guru to share her expertise on the Do’s and Don’t’s of creating a winning sizzler. Thanks Fernanda! by Fernanda Rossi, Author of Trailer Mechanics: …

Hoff Productions: An Independent Producer Manages the Ups and Downs

This week’s story is about how to succeed in the very tough world of independent production. Our case study is Hoff Productions, whose ups and downs we covered back in 2010 in a popular post titled A Preferred Producer: Hoff Productions between Basement and Buyout. Hoff was on a ride. But, as you can see from …

POV Revealed (2/2): The Filters & Selection Process. What Are Your Odds of Success?

We continue our updated coverage of POV, the flagship PBS documentary strand with a peak audience of 1.9Mn viewers. In this post: What is POV’s selection process, from Open Call to Offer? The Filters. Timeline? Who decides? What are your odds? Read POV Revealed, Part 1. Also: POV‘s 2015 and 2014 selections. SELECTION PROCESS Filters: Great non-fiction storytelling. Address social …

CNEX Chinese Doc Forum 2015: Standouts & Prizewinners

by Mark Lewis. The CNEX Chinese Doc Forum was held in Taipei this year. It was well attended by a large contingent of local filmmakers and representatives from funding organizations, broadcasters, distribution companies and festival programmers. Held over four days the Forum comprised of pitching sessions, panel discussions, screenings and master-classes. I was honored to …

Inside PBS’s POV Documentary Strand (1/2): How Many Greenlights? The Fees? Budgets? And Rights? Plus Changes at the Top

Personnel changes at POV reminded us to update our detailed profile of the PBS documentary flagship. Congrats to Simon Kilmurry who was appointed Executive Director of the International Documentary Association. Simon served POV for 16 years. The new key management team is: Chris White, Executive Producer. Eliza Licht, VP of Content Strategy & Engagement. Chris and Eliza are each …

The Business of the Documentary & Unscripted Business. Thirteen Case Studies

My newsletter features detailed Case Studies that reveal the life cycles of documentary films, factual television specials and reality series. We tell the inside story of each project, from development through funding, production and distribution. And we usually have the numbers: budgets, copro deals, box office, license fees and more. Why Case Studies? In my consulting practice, clients …