UK Factual Hits: The Sizzling Sixty for 2015

Publishing the ‘Best UK Factual’ each January makes me wish for just a moment that I had left Melbourne in 1981 for an up-and-coming Brit ‘hood like Glasgow instead of Brooklyn. Maybe not quite so much this year. Let’s see why. Bake Off The Great British Bake Off was a huge, super-hit with more than …

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: …

A very Happy New Year to all our readers!

  Many thanks for a wonderful year to all my readers, sponsors, partners, editorial collaborators, operations team and friends. My DocumentaryTelevision.com adventure turns five next February. It has been the gift that keeps on giving. A highlight for 2014 has been my work in South Africa. Lots of gratitude to ATFT and South African Indies for …

ITV Studios to ‘Pawn Stars’ Producer: “You’re worth US$450 Million!”

Leftfield Pictures was launched in 2007, backed by a stake of $20,000. That valuation now rounds up to US$ half a billion! We have been covering ‘the rise and rise’ of Leftfield. Our aim was to establish the narrative for a hit series. And identify the Key Success Factors for Reality TV producers and programmers. …

Case Study: ‘BESA: The Promise’ – An Established Nonfiction Producer Carries off a ‘Passion’ Theatrical Project (1/2)

By Alex Watson Associate, DocumentaryTelevision.com In our 2-part Case Study: An established, commercial nonfiction producer works for seven years on a ‘passion’ documentary project. The Project: BESA: The Promise. It’s an inspiring documentary about how a sacred, wartime promise is fulfilled across decades and faiths. The Producer: JWM Productions I spoke with Jason Williams, president of …

Kickstarter Case Study: Left Turn Films’ 1st Campaign Earns $6,000. Their 2nd: $246,000! How Did They Do It? (2/2)

By Alex Watson Associate, DocumentaryTelevision.com. In Part 1 of our new Case Study on Crowd-funding, we introduced Left Turn Films, described the fundamentals of Kickstarter, and examined the producer’s first modest but successful campaign with Sons of Perdition. This week, we document the experience of Left Turn’s upcoming film, An Honest Liar, the #4 all time documentary success …

Manitoba: A Skilled Production Community Backed by Generous Tax Credits

Manitoba enjoys a highly-skilled production community that is backed by Canada’s most generous tax credit system. Manitoba’s advantages came to our attention when we worked with the province’s leading non-fiction producers in the lead up to Real Screen 2013. Here is a practical user’s guide to Manitoba’s industry – its structures, benefits and talent. KEY …

‘The Unscripted Entertainment Vine’ from Nat Geo Channels CEO David Lyle

unscripted tv chart

A highlight of the AIDC Conference in Adelaide was the ‘Big Chart’ presented by Nat Geo Channels CEO David Lyle in his keynote. His graphic addresses the evolving landscape of nonfiction television entertainment. It shows how formats and sub-genres are being forever blended and hybridized into new categories. When we caught up with David Lyle after …