“Death of a Nation” and the Rightwing Documentary Ecosystem

I have been tracking the rightwing documentary economy and its leading personalities for several years. I saw it as a lucrative sub-niche that had the potential to disrupt the largely “progressive” character of the American documentary community. Then, several of the key characters, notably Stephen K Bannon and David Bossie, emerged as significant players in …


Attend the SMASH Science Media Awards & Summit, Boston, September 25-27. Save $50!

In just two weeks, the Science Media Awards & Summit (in the) Hub (SMASH!) is slated to open. The session and speaker lineup promises a spectacular event. This three-day, biannual conference is co-produced by Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and WGBH. SMASH convenes more than 250 scientists and media makers to celebrate exceptional science media, …

Facebook Unscripted Strategy: From “Video First” to “Video Fumble”

Facebook is fumbling its video strategy. I have argued here that unlike traditional media players like Disney and Discovery, Facebook enjoys the financial scale and margins to throw endless buckets of mud against the wall of its video / social media strategy to see what sticks. That’s despite the hammering that Facebook’s reputation and enterprise value …

THE CLEANERS An Anti-Case Study from Berlin: A $1.3 Mn Investigative Documentary Premieres at Sundance. Faces Deep Deficit

THE CLEANERS ticked all the boxes. Despite Sundance selection and sales to prestigious broadcasters worldwide, the producers are digging out from a deep deficit. The business model for investigative documentaries has always been risky. It is now under siege… and needs new solutions. That’s the message presented by Christian Beetz, co-CEO of Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion …