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contents 17 23
March / April 18 Into the Shark Pack, one of our MIPTV Picks, takes a deep dive into studying the hunting habits of sharks.
A look at the lay of the land at Discovery post-Scripps acquisition; Nancy Dubuc exits A+E, heads to Vice .........13 With summer on the way, networks and prodcos are prepping more physical competition series.
“What are our rights as filmmakers, as people who are telling stories on the front lines?” 52
IDEAS AND EXECUTION
Riding the new wave of physical competition series ............................17
SPECIAL REPORTS MIPTV PICKS
Our pick of the “must see” projects heading to Cannes this spring ........................................................23 THE GLOBAL 100
The top 100 prodcos working in unscripted and non-fiction, selected with your input .......................................33 HISTORY FOCUS
PBS shines the spotlight on Native America; History explores Frontiersmen ........................................................ 47 CHANGEMAKERS
Funders, filmmakers, futurizers ......................................................51 Providence Pictures’ four-part series Native America is headed to PBS this fall.
Relive our 20th anniversary edition through the camera lens ..........56 1 MARCH / APRIL 18
on the cover
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Officer Globie is in hot pursuit of this year’s Global 100 list, as seen in Matthew Daley’s cover illustration.
AND ONE MORE THING
Paige Davis and Trading Spaces return to TLC .......................................59
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WHERE IT STOPS, NOBODY KNOWS…
’ve lost count of the number of editorials I’ve penned about the subject of change during my tenure at realscreen. True, it is the only constant. But when it comes to the non-fiction content industry in the U.S. — particularly the network sector — it has been a particularly eventful few months. Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps, in the cards since last summer, is now a reality, and a revamped executive structure has been established (see page 13 for more details). While the dust is still settling, it’s still unclear how the deal’s “cost synergies” will impact programming teams at the various nets under the umbrella of the newly christened Discovery, Inc. And speculation about the future of smaller nets in the roster remains, as to whether they will remain linear offerings, or move to a potential direct-to-consumer fate. Meanwhile, at A+E Networks, significant change is unfolding as well, with the departure of president and CEO Nancy Dubuc announced as the realscreen team was putting this issue to bed (see page 14 for more). Dubuc, with the network group for 20 years, was in the running for the top post at Amazon Studios, and had reportedly taken herself out of the race. While that job ultimately went to former NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, enquiring minds were still speculating about Dubuc’s future plans. The day A+E’s parent companies Disney and Hearst announced the Dubuc news, Variety reported that she was being considered to take on the CEO role at Vice Media, replacing co-founder Shane Smith. The following day, Vice Media made it official, with Smith moving into an executive chairman role. Thus, for those keeping score, here we have three major network groups — Discovery, the newly acquired Scripps, and A+E — in the beginning stages of significant transformation. And to keep things even more interesting, there’s still Disney’s planned acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets — including National Geographic — to look forward to. All of this leads to a major redrawing of the map for the non-fiction content buying landscape — a map that was already getting something of an overhaul courtesy of the big, deep-pocketed SVOD platforms staking out their claims in the space. And even there, personnel change has made divining the strategies for non-fiction content from a few of the services — Apple and Amazon, for example — even more of a challenge. For more on the topic of change, check out John Smithson’s column, also on page 14, as he offers some practical advice for producers on how to weather all of this activity. Truth be told, frequent blasts from the winds of change aren’t necessarily unique to the television world. Those of us covering it are also subject to the gusts. In our case, this issue marks our last with associate editor Meagan Kashty, as she moves to a new opportunity. Concurrently, we are also happy to announce that senior staff writer Daniele Alcinii is being upped to news editor. Thus, as I sit at my desk and whistle the wistful refrain of The Scorpions’ “Winds of Change”, I trust you will join me in wishing them both well. Cheers, Barry Walsh Editor and content director realscreen
March / April ‘18
March + April 18 Volume 21, Issue 3
Realscreen is published 4 times a year by Brunico Communications Ltd., 100- 366 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 1R9 Tel. 416-408-2300 Fax 416-408-0870 www.realscreen.com VP & Publisher Claire Macdonald firstname.lastname@example.org Editor and Content Director Barry Walsh email@example.com Associate Editor Meagan Kashty firstname.lastname@example.org News Editor Daniele Alcinii email@example.com Staff Writer Selina Chignall firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers Kelly Boutsalis, Chris Palmer, John Smithson Associate Publisher Carol Leighton email@example.com Account Manager Kristen Skinner firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing & Publishing Coordinator Jessica Strachan email@example.com Creative Manager Andrew Glowala firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Mark Lacoursiere email@example.com Print Production & Distribution Supervisor Andrew Mahony firstname.lastname@example.org Lead Conference Producer Tiffany Rushton email@example.com Webmaster Farhan Quadri audience services Data Integrity and Customer Support Supervisor Christine McNalley firstname.lastname@example.org corporate President & CEO Russell Goldstein email@example.com VP & Editorial Director Mary Maddever firstname.lastname@example.org VP & Publisher, Kidscreen Jocelyn Christie email@example.com VP Administration and Finance Linda Lovegrove firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Director, Events and Creative Services Brenda Wilford email@example.com Senior Director, IT and eBrunico Eddie Ting firstname.lastname@example.org All letters sent to realscreen or its editors are assumed intended for publication. Realscreen invites editorial comment, but accepts no responsibility for its loss or destruction, howsoever arising, while in its office or in transit. All material to be returned must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. ISSN number 1480-1434
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MIPTV stand no. P-1.L2, P-1.M1 zdf-enterprises.de
BY SELINA CHIGNALL, BARRY WALSH
One of the largest deals to impact the non-fiction content landscape in recent memory, Discovery’s acquisition of Scripps, is now complete. Here, realscreen provides an overview of the changes the deal has ushered in thus far, and a look toward what could be next.
a done deal. In early March, Discovery Communications completed its US$14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. The combined company is now known as Discovery, Inc. “Today [March 6] marks another critical milestone for Discovery, as we become a differentiated kind of media company with the most trusted portfolio of family-friendly brands around the globe,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO for Discovery, in a statement as the closing of the deal was announced. According to a statement from Discovery, the rebrand to Discovery, Inc. “demonstrates a new focus on growth in the areas at which Discovery excels, telling stories across deeply loved genres and empowering superfans to explore their world wherever and whenever they choose.” In anticipation of the merger of the two companies, Discovery revealed its post-merger leadership team on March 1. Scripps’ chief programming, content & brand officer Kathleen Finch was named chief lifestyle brands officer for the combined company, with her remit increasing considerably. She now oversees HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Discovery Life, American Heroes Channel, Destination America, Great American Country and Lifestyle Digital Studios in the U.S. The restructure also saw the exit of Rich Ross, former group president of Discovery Channel and Science Channel, and the appointment of former TLC president Nancy Daniels to the new role of chief brand officer, Discovery and factual. In her position, Daniels is charged with all creative and brand strategy, development, production, marketing and day-to-day operations for Discovery and Science Channel. Howard Lee, formerly EVP, development & production for TLC and general manager of Discovery Life, is now president and GM for TLC and Discovery Life. Henry S. Schleiff, meanwhile,
continues in his role as group president for ID, Destination America and American Heroes Channel. Both report to Finch. Erik Logan remains in position as president of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. On the international front, Discovery Networks International president and CEO Jean-Briac Perrette continues in his role, driving the combined company’s global expansion. Susanna Dinnage remains as global president of the Animal Planet network in the U.S. and Animal Planet brand worldwide. Discovery’s Bruce Campbell continues as chief development, distribution and legal officer for the combined company. Reporting to him is Eric Phillips, president of affiliate distribution. Elsewhere, Karen Leever remains as EVP and GM of digital media U.S., and Mike Lang continues as president of Discovery Networks International Digital and CEO for TEN/MotorTrend, with both reporting to Zaslav. Former chairman, president & CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, Kenneth W. Lowe is now part of Discovery’s board of directors. Coming up: Discovery Inc.’s move from its long-time home of Silver Spring, Maryland to New York City, and the implementation of a national operations headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Across the industry, there will be great interest in seeing how the alignment of the two companies unfolds further. In an analyst call in March, Zaslav said original estimates of $350 million in cost synergies looked “increasingly conservative based on our last analysis.” Domestically, the mega-deal places five of the top cable networks for women under the Discovery, Inc. umbrella. Former Scripps brands such as HGTV and Food Network will also see increased international visibility. But importantly, the deal furthers Discovery’s global ambitions, as spelled out by Zaslav in a keynote interview at MIPCOM in 2017. “We’re going to spend four to five hundred million dollars more in IP, [and] we’re going to spend more money in building our direct-toconsumer business,” he told journalists at a media roundtable following the keynote. “Our focus is, what do we look like three to five years from now, and as people are consuming more content on more devices, what do we have to do to nourish those audiences so that we can be a long-term, sustainable, high growth, global IP company? “I think the real question is: are we right? And if we are right, there’s going to be huge value creation in our company.”
TIPS FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING B Y C H R I S PA L M E R A N D G A B Y K R E V AT
and led to a 20% stake in Vice Media Holdings. “In her roughly 20 years at A+E Networks, Nancy played a major role in building the success of A&E, History and Lifetime, and we thank her for her leadership,” said Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst, and Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney|ABC Television, in a joint statement. “We are also very grateful to Abbe, a former CEO of the company and one of A+E’s first employees, for agreeing to return on a temporary
“Anyone who knows me well knows I am an entrepreneur, creator, rebel and disruptor at heart.” basis as acting chair,” they added. “Vice speaks to a generation that defines today’s cultural conversation, and the opportunity to partner with all of the incredibly creative people across the entire company was one of those rare moments in a career,” said Dubuc of her move to Vice. “As the next chapter of media is written by founders such as Shane and Suroosh [Alvi], it’s an honor to join a brand with such tremendous opportunity and I look forward to growing the platform for decades to come.” Daniele Alcinii
any people fear public speaking. Being a little nervous before making a speech or presentation is normal. Even the most articulate of speakers may experience some anxiety before stepping in front of a crowd. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep that nervousness under control and deliver a great presentation. Whether you are speaking in front of a large audience or a small group, the following four tips will help you become a more effective, comfortable and powerful speaker. Be prepared. One important way to boost confidence in your public speaking abilities generally — and the specific speech that you will give — is to prepare adequately. The goal is to convince your audience that you are a master of the material you are presenting. Think through the concepts and ideas you wish to share with your audience, rather than simply listing basic talking points and winging it. Being prepared also means researching your audience so that you know exactly who they are and have prepared material that is appropriate for that group. Anticipate tough questions from this audience beforehand so you’re not forced to come up with a response extemporaneously. You don’t want to be caught unprepared. It may also be wise to practice your speech or presentation in front of a close friend or family member. This person will be able to give you honest advice on how to improve your performance, including pointing out areas where more clarity and energy would help. Connect with your audience. Being able to bond with your audience is essential for a successful speech. You
can engage your audience in a variety of ways. Give them a little background about yourself and share a relevant personal story. Get to know your audience by asking them questions. This kind of stimulating interaction between speaker and listeners will automatically engage your audience by involving them in your presentation. Use engaging body language. No matter how compelling the information you are presenting may be, the audience will lose interest if they do not feel engaged. Maintain eye contact with the crowd. Try to avoid reading off PowerPoint presentations or notecards. Be dynamic. Move and gesticulate. If possible, avoid hiding behind a podium and allow yourself to move freely about the stage when addressing your audience in all parts of the room. Be enthusiastic. If you look bored on stage, your audience will likely feel the same way. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for the subject you’re speaking on. Captivate your audience by demonstrating your zeal and mastery of the subject. Your enthusiasm will be both contagious and entertaining. Your audience has come to hear what you have to say. Being a master of your material, knowing how to engage your audience and sharing your passion will make the presentation an enriching experience, and leave a positive, lasting impression. Professor Chris Palmer is director of American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and author of four books, including Raising Your Kids to Succeed, Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker and Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College. Gaby Krevat is a filmmaker and MFA candidate at American University. •
IDEAS & EXECUTION
The popularity of the physical competition series is reaching peak levels, with more networks and platforms diving into the fray. But what elements give such series an edge over their competitors? BY MEAGAN KASHTY
The Fear Factor reboot on MTV favors psychological challenges and physical stunts over gross-out tasks.
hen Arthur Smith was first developing the concept for American Ninja Warrior nearly a decade ago, he had a specific feeling he hoped to evoke in the audience. “I compared it to the Olympics,” says the CEO of Los Angeles-based A. Smith & Co. “I knew we had to do a good job telling the stories of what these athletes are working towards and on a personal level, what competing means to them. Then, when the viewers watch, they’re going to feel something — they’re going to be invested.”
LET’S GET PHYSICAL It was a simple concept, but it worked. The obstacle course competition series — a U.S. adaptation of acclaimed Japanese format Sasuke — is hitting its ninth season, prompting several spinoffs and specials. With the world still buzzing from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, it seems only natural that production companies should try to ride the high that came along with the event. Smith, for one, isn’t resting on his laurels. Upcoming for the Tinopolis-owned prodco is Titan Games — a series fronted by Dwayne “The
Rock” Johnson that will offer everyday people the opportunity to compete in head-to-head challenges designed to test the mind, body and heart, and, eventually, become a “Titan”. The series has received a 10-episode order from NBC. Elsewhere, reality powerhouse Mark Burnett has two projects on the go that will push contestants to their physical limits. In January, MGM-owned network Epix announced that it was preparing to debut a 12-episode reboot of boxing reality series The Contender — a series
IDEAS & EXECUTION
Netflix’s Ultimate Beastmaster, produced by 25/7 Productions, has been renewed for a third season.
Jessie Graff is one of the recent stars of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.
“It’s all about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” Among these new entries are the ever-present physical competition stalwarts — American Ninja for one, alongside veterans such as Survivor and Amazing Race, which compel viewers through a mix of new competitions and contestants, and old favorites. “[Physical competition series] have universal appeal,” says Smith. “It’s all about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
RAMPING UP Smith
March / April ‘18
that originally ran from 2005 to 2009. The series sees boxers divided into two teams to train, each overseen by a coach. Over the course of the season, the competitors live together, train together and fight each other in the ring, all vying to become the “ultimate contender.” Less than a month afterwards, American commercial broadcast network CBS announced MGM Television’s TKO (w/t), which features one player racing through obstacles while other contestants assume battle stations and fire projectiles in an attempt to slow down their opponents. The series, which will air later this summer, is an original format created by Steve Hughes and Sean Kelly of Shaggy Entertainment Inc.
Another indicator of the strength of physical competition series — global streaming giant Netflix’s first reality competition series Ultimate Beastmaster has been renewed for a third season. Danny Fenton, CEO with UK-based Zig Zag, says Netflix’s entry into the physical competition space, coupled with the high production levels in scripted, has required prodcos to scale up their physical competition projects. “The production value has had to go up — the bar is getting higher,” he says. “There’s audience interest, but the production values have to meet audience expectations.” One of Zig Zag’s upcoming series aims to do just that, with Fenton referring to it as a reality equivalent to Game of Thrones. Ancient Games has Zig Zag teaming with Chinese TV production and distribution
business 3C Media. The series sees former athletes and celebrities compete in a variety of challenges and games from the ancient world while living in a camp where they dress, eat and sleep exactly as competitors would have more than 2,000 years ago. The companies have built an ancientstyled colosseum in China that will serve as the set for the Chinese production and the hub for international productions. Fenton calls it the “holy grail” — the creation of a production hub in one location that the rest of the world can use. He likens it to Wipeout’s Argentinian set, or the hub for Release the Hounds in Central Europe. “It provides the ability to scale up a series while maintaining economies of scale,” he explains. Robin Feinberg says Endemol Shine North America works hard to consistently come up with competitions that are a bit more out of the box. “It’s getting harder,” the SVP of unscripted says. “I don’t know if it’s that people are getting in better shape or are willing to take more risks, but you have to develop constantly.” Feinberg is currently overseeing the Fear Factor reboot. While the original iteration of Fear Factor, which aired between 2001 and 2006, and once again in 2011 on NBC, was centered around gross-out eating challenges, the new version is more about psychological challenges and stunts. For example, in one competition, if the contestants didn’t complete a challenge in a certain amount of time, their smartphone was destroyed. “They were petrified,” says Feinberg. Hosted by American actor and rapper Ludacris, Fear Factor now airs on millennialfocused MTV. “As part of our research we asked millennials what they were scared of, and a lot of it has to do with the unknown,” Feinberg says. “So we put them in situations where they don’t have control and they don’t know what will happen.”
“COULD I DO THAT?” Smith says his intuition for physical competition production was honed early on in his career as a sports reporter in Canada. “I reported on stories for the serious sports fan, but when it came to playoffs or the Olympics, I needed to learn how to be broad because those stories appealed to a different audience.”
American Ninja Warrior hosts Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila survey the action.
“The production level has had to go up. The bar is getting higher.” There are three key elements Smith says are needed to make a “must see” physical competition series: you have to be interested in the contestants and their motives for participating, you need a physical spectacle, and it needs to be in a digestible format. “I have yet to see a format that succeeds when it’s based on the competition alone,” he says. “For American Ninja Warrior, for example, we had to do a good job telling the stories of why people are doing these obstacles.” What’s more, he says, giving a physical competition series more emotional elements makes it family-friendly — a reason for parents to sit down with their children and root for the different contestants. Feinberg agrees, adding that one of the most compelling elements audiences respond to with series such as Fear Factor and Wipeout is the ability to live vicariously through other people’s accomplishments (again, à la the Olympics). “People like to test themselves and ask themselves, ‘Could I do that?’” Smith, Fenton and Feinberg agree that some of the most successful physical competition series are steeped in sheer visual spectacle — the kinds of series that you could watch with the volume down, and still find compelling.
Feinberg points to the success of unscripted series that aren’t necessarily competitions, but incorporate competition elements. The physical challenges in Big Brother, for example, tend to rate well because they give stakes and structure to the show. “That feeling of people wanting to see what other people can do transcends all countries,” says Feinberg. “You can watch a Korean or German show and it’s just as exciting.” It’s one of the reasons Zig Zag’s Fenton has had so much luck optioning formats from overseas. In 2012, Zig Zag acquired British and American television rights to the Japanese game show format G Wars from the Fuji Corporation. It also partnered with the Yoshimoto agency to produce the game show format Time Out for the Japanese and UK market, and optioned NTV’s Exit format for the UK and the U.S. “It works best if they’re comedic and outrageous, but also relatable — people should want to try the games themselves,” he offers. Fenton’s theory rings true, as more contestants come forward in an attempt to be the next “Survivor”, “American Ninja Warrior” and soon, “Titan” and “Contender.”•
HISTORY UNCOVERED Partners: Cinétévé for ARTE France; distributed by Zed Premiering: Winter 2018 (France) | Length: 4 x 52 minutes Rights available: All rights worldwide Often, there is more to a story than the sound bite. And with history, some of the things accepted as fact are, over time, revealed to be a little less certain upon further reflection. This series examines some of history’s most prevalent “myths” — the strategic aptitude of Adolf Hitler, the ultimate impact of the Marshall Plan on Europe’s fortunes — and puts their veracity under the microscope. As with many mythologies, while facts may be present within these assertions, more investigation can lead to a clearer truth. 圀䠀䄀吀 䤀䘀 䠀䤀匀吀伀刀夀 䠀䄀䐀 䤀吀匀 䠀䤀䐀䐀䔀一 匀吀伀刀夀㼀
I N S TA N T D R E A M S
Partners: Pieter van Huystee Film; distributed by Cargo Film & Releasing Premiered: November 2017 (IDFA) | Length: 1 x 91 minutes Rights available: World excluding the Netherlands While it may seem like a quaint artifact in the era of smartphones and their accompanying HD-quality cameras, the Polaroid Instant Camera was a revolutionary development both in the world of photography and for culture in general. This doc from Willem Baptist follows Polaroid enthusiasts who refuse to let the camera and the mysterious chemical process behind instant film pass into posterity. With Polaroid halting production on instant film in 2008, and subsequent attempts since then to resuscitate the product, Instant Dreams artfully delves into Polaroid’s sepia-toned past, while pointing towards hopes for a vivid future for the medium.
STEALING VAN GOGH Partners: Lion TV for BBC2; distributed by All3Media International Premiered: January 2018 (UK) | Length: 1 x 60 minutes Rights available: All rights for the world excluding UK primary broadcaster rights In December of 2002, two paintings from Dutch master Vincent van Gogh — “View of the Sea at Scheveningen” and “Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” — were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The thieves climbed onto the building’s roof, used a sledgehammer to break through a window, and absconded with the canvases in a matter of minutes. In this program, presenter and British art historian Andrew GrahamDixon explores the theft, and investigates the shadowy underworld that tempts burglars to take such huge risks to steal artwork that can’t be sold or displayed in the open market.
TA B O O Partners: Panenka for VRT – Éen; distributed by Lineup Industries Premiered: January 2018 (Belgium) | Length: 8 x 60 minutes Rights available: Format and print rights worldwide excluding Benelux Since the days of Lenny Bruce, comedy has often skirted along the edge of good taste and what is considered “fair game” for poking fun. But many subjects are still deemed too sensitive to be joked about. This Belgian series follows one of the country’s top comedians as he spends time with four people living with a similar disability, and then, using material crafted from his time spent with them, presents a live comedy show focused on his observations. Arriving at a time when opinions about practically anything are charged and polarized, this format asks viewers to risk being offended in order to explore deeper truths about ourselves — what separates us and what unites us.
PEOPLE . PLACES
15th Meridian East – Similarity in Difference 5 × 52’
PEOPLE . PLACES
Wilderness in Europe: The Bohemian Forest
The Emperor’s Darling – Joséphine de Beauharnai 45’, 52’
www.au ten tic -d ist
2 × 45’, 2 × 30’
om n.c o i ut rib
MEET US AT MIPTV 2018 STAND R7.F2
R A P E N AT I O N : J A PA N ’ S S E C R E T S H A M E Partners: True Vision for BBC2 | Premiering: May 2018 (UK) | Length: 1 x 52 minutes Rights available: Worldwide excluding the UK and Eire In the spring of 2017, Japanese journalist Shiori Ito went public with rape allegations against one of Japan’s more prominent journalists, former Tokyo Broadcasting System Washington bureau chief Noriyuki Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi has denied the allegations and in 2016, prosecutors dropped the case, citing insufficient evidence. But after filing a civil suit and writing a book about her experience, Ito is continuing her efforts to break the deeply entrenched silence surrounding sexual assault in Japan. This program follows Ito as she explores the reasons behind the lack of reported rapes in Japanese society, and her personal reasons for challenging a status quo that keeps victims silent.
JANE Partners: National Geographic Studios and Public Road Productions for National Geographic; distributed by Fox Networks Group Content Distribution Premiered: September 2017 (Toronto Intl. Film Festival) | Length: 1 x 120 minutes Rights available: All rights, worldwide It’s difficult to imagine that there are still lessons to be learned from Jane Goodall, a woman whose pioneering research with chimpanzees has been revered by scientists globally. But Brett Morgen’s Jane succeeds in showing a new side of the renowned primatologist. The doc features more than 100 hours of never-before-seen 16 mm footage of Goodall’s first contact with the chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park. Morgen lovingly profiles Goodall’s research, her relationship with cameraman and husband Hugo van Lawick, and the chimpanzee community she holds so dear.
M A R R Y M E , M A R R Y M Y F A M I LY Partners: CJZ for SBS; distributed by TCB Media Rights Premiered: January 2018 (Australia) | Length: 3 x 60 minutes Rights available: Worldwide excluding Australia It’s said that love knows no boundaries, and transcends geography, culture and belief systems. But as we’ve seen in stories since Romeo and Juliet, family approval for a romantic union can be of the utmost importance. This three-parter documents a diverse range of Australian couples embarking on cross-cultural weddings, and the challenges that can emerge in bringing cultures — and families steeped in those cultures — together at the altar. Ultimately, the couples and their families need to work together to respect their differences, while also honoring the unifying force of love bringing them together… but is that easier said than done?
WOMEN IN THE OCEAN DRAGON Partners: Sealight Pictures for CCTV10, SBS, Seven Network, SVT Sweden; distributed by Off the Fence Premiered: January 2018 (Australia) | Length: 1 x 60 minutes Rights available: Worldwide excluding China, Sweden and Australia Prior to the adventure chronicled in this documentary, Australian environmental reporter Rachael Thornton had never been to sea. While some would prefer their first outing upon the open waves to be via a cruise ship, or perhaps a yacht, Thornton opted for an opportunity too good to pass up for a journalist — the chance to join the first major scientific mission of Ocean Dragon, China’s powerful manned submersible. She joins a crew that includes the world’s deepest diving female submersible pilot in a history-making, if dangerous, endeavor of discovery.
March / April ‘18
TUNING TO YOU — INDIA’S LOST MUSICIANS Partners: Soumik Datta Arts, Bagri Foundation, SD Films; broadcast on Channel 4 and 4OD; distributed by Earth Touch Premiered: April 2017 (Channel 4) | Length: 6 x 30 minutes Rights available: All rights, worldwide Young British Indian composer Soumik Datta is renowned the world over as a virtuoso player of the sarod, a 19-string, fretless instrument with roots that spread across ancient Afghanistan and the India of colonial times. Having brought this classical instrument into the modern era, Datta continues to be absorbed by the histories behind ancient musical expression. In this series, the musician travels across rural India’s forests and villages to find those who are still practising and performing traditional musical forms that are in danger of vanishing into silence.
KANGAROO Partners: Hopping Pictures; distributed by Cargo Film & Releasing Premiered: January 2018 (U.S.) | Length: 1 x 98 minutes Rights available: Worldwide It’s hard to think of an animal more entrenched within a national identity than the kangaroo. Enshrined within the Australian coat of arms, the mighty marsupial represents the wild and exotic nature of Australia to those of us in other countries. But in its home country, with its numbers higher than the human population residing there, the kangaroo is often regarded as a pest with the potential to do great damage to pastures used for livestock. This film explores the issue from various vantage points —from the farmers and commercial hunters who assert that a cull is necessary to protect Australia’s agricultural balance, to other farmers and activists determined to find a path towards co-existence.
RAGE ROOM Partners: Mighty Productions for All 4; distributed by Armoza Formats Premiered: October 2017 (UK) | Length: 8 x 15/30 minutes Rights available: Worldwide, excluding the UK Considering the past year through the lenses of the political and cultural temperament, the word “fractious” comes to mind. Thanks to social media, we have found new ways to argue with each other, and can now spew vitriol across continents in 280 characters. But sometimes, to get that satisfactory feeling of release… you just have to smash stuff. Enter Rage Room, a game show format that sees contestants vie for the chance to take out their aggressions against whatever’s bugging them in a room specially designed with reminders and representations of their angst. Whether it’s the way your roommate chews his food, or the Instagram filter your best friend uses on her feed, in Rage Room, the best beef wins.
INTO THE SHARK PACK Partners: ARTE France, Le Cinquieme Reve, Andromede Oceanologie for ARTE France and National Geographic Wild Premiering: 2018 (ARTE France, National Geographic Wild) Length: 1 x 90 minutes; 1 x 44 minutes; 1 x 52 minutes Rights available: DVD, SVOD, TV, Internet, non-theatrical rights worldwide Sharks are often depicted as lone hunters, misunderstood and elusive, dangerous and deadly. As a result, they’re big business in the natural history genre. This project takes a deep dive into a Polynesian feeding frenzy involving close to 700 sharks in order to illustrate littleknown truths about shark hunting behavior. Shot in 4K and using an arsenal of drones, high speed cameras and GoPro Black cameras for a Matrix-esque “bullet time” effect, this project should thrill any fan of “shark TV.”
ICE BRIDGE Partners: Yap Films for Smithsonian Channel (U.S.), CBC (Canada), France TV (France); distributed by Cineflix Rights | Premiered: January 2018 | Length: 1 x 60 minutes Rights available: Worldwide excluding the U.S., Canada and France American archaeologists Dennis Stanford and Bruce Bradley have been investigating what’s known as the Solutrean Hypothesis for two decades. The theory states that people from Europe — specifically, regions now known as Spain and France — were the first humans to land on North America, across a sea of ice, some 20,000 years ago. It is a controversial position, with some scientists calling it dangerous, as it casts doubt on the more universally accepted theory that the first North Americans came from Asia, across a land bridge. This doc hears from both scientific sides of the argument, while following Stanford and Bradley as they explore what they believe to be new evidence pointing to the Solutreans.
THE DEMINER Partners: Lolav Media and Ginestra Film, SK Production, with support from: The Swedish Film Institute, SVT, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Film Stockholm/ Filmbasen; ARTE GEIE, SVT, YLE, DR, BBC, VGTV, VPRO, VRT; UK distribution and international sales: Dogwoof; North America distribution: Cinetic Media | Premiered: November 2017 (IDFA) Length: 1 x 83 minutes | Rights available: Worldwide excluding U.S., UK, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany Winner of a special jury prize at IDFA, The Deminer chronicles the day-to-day work of Fakhir, a Kurdish father of eight serving with the Iraqi army as a deminer. Disabling landmines with a trusted pocket knife or his bare hands, each call to duty could be his last. Assembled from hours of videos shot by the Colonel himself, The Deminer is a nail-biting depiction of the high stakes inherent within a war zone.
THE EDGE OF WONDER: THE HUMAN MICROBIOME Partners: Osmosis Films; distributed by Off the Fence Premiering: TBD | Length: 31 x 30 minutes Rights available: Worldwide Scientific research is providing increasing evidence that each of us is an ecosystem unto ourselves, housing a veritable universe of microscopic organisms within us. These microbiomes comprise more than 99% of the DNA within us, and between 50 to 90% of the cells in our bodies. As a result, they can tell us a potentially infinite amount more about why we are what we are. With commentary from some of the leading minds in microbiome research, this program provides a compelling look at what one scientist calls “a paradigm shift of our understanding of what’s actually going on inside our bodies.”
TELL THEM WE ARE RISING Partners: Firelight Films for PBS; distributed by PBS International Premiered: 2017 (Sundance) | Length: 1 x 83 minutes Rights available: All rights, worldwide Award-winning documentary director Stanley Nelson (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) brings the history of America’s historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to the screen in Tell Them We Are Rising. World premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Nelson’s ninth documentary looks at how HBCUs for more than 150 years have shaped American history and culture, through a weaving of archive and first-person interviews. By showcasing the story of African Americans and their post-secondary educational experiences, audiences have the chance to glimpse at a history that has not been offered the spotlight and yet has had an immense impact on American life.•
March / April ‘18
MIPTV LISTINGS AVAILABLE Contact Carol Leighton 416.408.0863 firstname.lastname@example.org
A+E NETWORKS Head office address: 235 East 45th Street New York, NY 10017 Tel: +1-212-210-1400 e-mail: Email: email@example.com website: Website: sales.aenetworks.com MIPTV Stand Number: P3.C1
Names and titles of executives attending MIPTV 2018: Patrick Vien, Executive Managing Director, International Edward Sabin, Executive Managing Director, International Richard Tulk-Hart, Managing Director, International Content Distribution Paul Buccieri, President, A+E Studios Barry Jossen, EVP, A+E Studios Laura Fleury, SVP/Head of Programming, International/A+E Networks Melissa Madden, Head of International Marketing Vicky Kahn, SVP, Corporate & International Communications Paul Hardy, Creative Director International Development & Formats Hayley Babcock, Head of Formats, International Production and Programming Denis Cantin, VP/Head of Content Sales, EMEA Ellen Lovejoy, VP/Head of Content Sales, Americas and Formats Glen Hansen, VP/Head of Content Sales, Asia-Pacific Bryan Gabourie, Sr. Director, International Content Distribution Helen Jurado, Sr. Director, International Content Sales, Latin America Michael Oesterlin, VP, International Content Sales Robyn Hurd, VP, Content Sales EMEA Grace Mangum, Director, International Digital Media Freya Brown, Director of Events Marica Giessen, Sr. Sales Manager Suzanne Flowerday, Associate Sales Manager Edwina Ngao, Head of China, International Content Sales Pooja Nirmal Kant, Director, International Content Sales
A+E Networks® is a global content company comprised of some of the most popular and culturally relevant brands in media including A&E®, Lifetime®, HISTORY®, Lifetime Movies, FYI™, VICELAND®, Blaze™ and Crime+Investigation®. A+E Networks’ portfolio extends across platforms and genres, with a long-form production division, A+E Studios™; film division, A&E IndieFilms®; full-service digital storytelling hub, 45th & Dean™; strategic investment division, A+E Ventures™; and A+E Digital®, encompassing watch apps, games and SVOD initiatives including Lifetime Movie Club and HISTORY Vault. A+E Networks’ channels and branded programming reach more than 335 million households in over 200 territories in 42 languages. A+E Networks has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and Singapore. A+E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/aenetworks and Facebook at facebook.com/AENetworks
GLAM MASTERS | New | Format Primetime 1 hour | Language: English Shed Media | Completed Over 15 million beauty blogs are created every year that garner over 700 million views! The beauty industry has taken notice and actively recruits top influencers to showcase their products and act as brand ambassadors. Now, Executive Producer Kim Kardashian West, the most copied style icon on the planet -- and the subject of thousands of online makeup tutorials -- is searching for America’s next Superstar Beauty Influencer. In this elimination competition, 12 YouTube beauty influencers will compete for a position on Kim’s Glam Squad and the coveted job of running Kardashian Beauty. THE MEN WHO BUILD AMERICA: FRONTIERSMEN New | Series | 4 x 2 hours | English Stephen David Entertainment | Completed America was once wild, untamed, and unforgiving. From Academy Awardwinning Co-Executive Producer and Co-Narrator, Leonardo DiCaprio comes this epic and sweeping docuseries about the brave pioneers who risked their lives to stake a claim in America’s untapped land. Fusing innovative and gritty drone, handheld, and GoPro footage, each episode tells the epic tale of America’s most iconic figures — Daniel Boone, Lewis & Clark, Tecumseh, Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and Kit Carson, Washington, Hamilton and Lincoln — and how they transformed a nation. LIVE PD POLICE PATROL (seasons 1-3) Returning | Series | 29 x ½ hour English | Big Fish Entertainment | Completed A provocative docu-series delivering a live, unscripted look inside the unpredictable world of officers on patrol in America. Live PD takes transparency to a whole new level, giving audiences first –hand accounts of what really happens out on the streets via police body and dashboard cams. From routine traffic stops to gun violence, seasoned detectives highlight the play-by-play action from the studio as it unfolds across 6 cities and rural countries in real time.
Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc. 111 Grand Avenue, Suite 203 Palisades Park, New Jersey 07650 P: (201) 224-8000 F: (201) 947-4500 firstname.lastname@example.org www.alfredhaber.com
EXECUTIVES ATTENDING: Alfred Haber, President Andrew Haber, Vice President, International Sales Steven Weiser, Vice President, Domestic & International Sales Patricia Villagran, International Sales Executive MIPTV 2018 MIPTV Booth: Palais 1, P-1.L50 MIPTV Telephone number: +33 (0)4 92 99 8300
The Alfred Haber Group of Companies – Alfred Haber, Inc., Alfred Haber Distribution, Inc. and Alfred Haber Television, Inc. – together form one of the world’s largest distributors of U.S. network annual events and music specials, and are leading independent distributors of primetime reality series, specials, and documentaries. Please visit www.alfredhaber.com.
HELP! MY HOUSE IS HAUNTED! – UKTV New! Episodes: 12 x 60’ | Genre: Reality From world-renowned ghost expert Zak Bagans comes the next generation of paranormal ghost hunting. HELP! MY HOUSE IS HAUNTED! Is the spine-tingling new series that goes beyond the ghostly activities famously found at historical monuments and tourist attractions, and focuses instead on everyday people who have encountered supernatural phenomena in their homes. With years of experience, cutting-edge technology and a unique skillset, our team of investigators stops at nothing to help families reclaim their homes from unwelcome spirits. TOP 20 FUNNIEST - truTV Episodes: 60’ x 49 | Genre: Reality Laughter is the best medicine…and it makes for a great television show, too! The extraordinary international success of TOP 20 FUNNIEST continues to grow as comedic commentary charts the best viral videos, home movies, surveillance clips, event footage, dash cams, news bloopers, and more, while we count all the way down to Number One: the week’s most hilarious video. 61st ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS® – CBS (1 x 210’) Live! Jan./Feb., 2019 Episodes: 1 x 210’ | Genre: Music/Awards Show It is all about the performances on “Music’s Biggest Night™” – the 2019 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards®, the world’s most prestigious televised music awards show, to be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network in the U.S. in Jan./Feb., 2019. The recent milestone 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast – seen in more than 190 territories worldwide – delivered music’s biggest names and brightest stars, including Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Sir Elton John and Miley Cyrus, Kesha, P!nk, Logic, Khalid, Alessia Cara, Rihanna, U2, Sam Smith, SZA, Childish Gambino, Sting, and more. DEAD AGAIN – A&E Episodes: 9 x 60’ | Genre: Reality A true-crime series from iconic “Law & Order” producer Dick Wolf’s Wolf Reality and Left/Right Productions, DEAD AGAIN is the slick, stylized and compelling nonfiction A&E Network series about an elite team of detectives that re-investigates controversial and mysterious murder cases to confirm, or reject, the original verdict. LET IT SNOW – Hallmark Channel Made-for-Television Motion Picture Episodes: 1 x 120’ | Genre: Holiday Film Candace Cameron-Bure (“Fuller House”) stars in the smash hit, yuletide season film that has delivered holiday cheer to audiences around the globe – and record ratings to broadcasters worldwide!
Passion Distribution No 1. Smith Square 77-85 Fulham Palace Road London W6 8JA Tel: +44 (0)207 981 9801 Email: email@example.com Website: www.passiondistribution.com
MIPTV Stand P4.C18 Executives attending: Emmanuelle Namiech, CEO Nick Tanner, Head of Sales Nikki Andrews, Senior Sales Manager Christine Wehrmeier, Sales Manager Agnes Mbye, Sales Manager
Bad Teen To Ballroom Queen (6 x 60’) Get ready for fireworks and fisticuffs as 8 badly behaved teens attempt to tame their wicked ways and become better people by learning to ballroom dance. A Firecracker Films production for 5Star.
The Price Of Fame (6 x 60’) Compelling new series which uncovers the private struggles of iconic celebrities and reveals what life is really like when your very existence is in the spotlight. An AMS Pictures production for Reelz.
Chilli Hunter (8 x 30’) World traveller and food-adventurer Tyson Mayr is on the fiercest, fieriest and scariest culinary quest as he seeks out Asia’s maddest, baddest and most dangerous-to-eat delights. A Beach House Pictures and Motion Content Group production for Mediacorp (Singapore).
MIPTV LISTINGS AVAILABLE Contact Carol Leighton 416.408.0863 firstname.lastname@example.org
Corus Studios 25 Dockside Drive, Toronto, ON M5A 0B5, Canada Tel: (1-416) 479-7000 | www.corusent.com | Stand: R7.N3 Riviera Contact: Rita Carbone Fleury, Worldwide Sales | Rita.CarboneFleury@corusent.com
Rust Valley Restorers - 8 x 60 minutes Automotive / Transactional /Docu-follow Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is one of the most unique car communities in the world known as “Rust Valley.” You can’t miss it: acres upon acres of old and abandoned cars; a junkyard as far as the eye can see. And, at its heart, is a remarkable restoration shop run by a team of colourful and charismatic characters who use their impressive skills and experience to restore, trade and sell classic cars - transforming piles of rust into collectible car treasures. Produced by Mayhem Entertainment for HISTORY® in association with Corus Studios. Turning Rusty Wrecks Into Classic Wheels ZDF Enterprises GmbH Erich-Dombrowski-Str.1 55127 Mainz / Germany phone: +49-6131-9911611 fax: +49-6131-9912611 e-mail: email@example.com website: www.zdf-enterprises.de At MIPTV 2018 MIPTV booth: P-1.L2/P-1.M1 office phone: +33-4-92998120
THE STORY OF EUROPE (6 x 50’) This ground-breaking series tells The Story of Europe in 6 glossy episodes exploring different chapters of its eventful history. It’s a journey through time and across space, from physical beginnings to the first human settlers, the evolution of European culture and religion, historical achievements in exploration, technology and politics, and a daring look at the continent’s present and future. Stunning photography, pertinent questions and surprising insights paint a mesmerising portrait of Europe. HISTORY OF WEAPONS (10 x 50’) Weapons are instruments of war, uniquely designed to both protect and harm mankind. But they also trigger innovation and accelerate human progress. History of Weapons showcases the evolution of weapon technology throughout the history of the world, in a way which has never been seen before. Some of the most renowned international experts in the world will explore the secrets of these weapons in a complete hands-on approach. These experiments will illustrate how weapons have changed the tides of history.
Bringing Fun and Fierce Back to Fashion
They Race Big Trucks. And They Race Them Fast.
Stitched - 12 x 60 minutes - Fashion Forward/Competition The deadlines are tight, the expectations are high and the judges are hard to please! STITCHED is the stylish competition series where skilled Fashion Designers match wits and stitches in an epic fashion throw-down. In every selfcontained episode, four competitors face off in dramatic themed challenges and one Designer is eliminated per round. The challenges, each increasing in difficulty throughout the episode, push the Designers to create an ambitious outfit inspired by unique materials or concepts, driven by a ticking clock. The result? High style meets high-stakes drama. In the finale round, one Designer rises to the top with a couture-level creation that earns them the $10,000 prize. Produced by Forte Entertainment for SLICE™ in association with Corus Studios. Big Rig Warriors - 10 x 30 minutes Automotive / Docu-follow During the week they earn a living travelling North America’s highways behind the wheels of their big rig trucks. But in their downtime, they meet on tracks where they drive their trucks on their own terms – and usually at dangerously fast speeds! Follow five dynamic truckers and the families and friends who support them during the exciting racing season, amid exhaust, roaring engines and burning tires on their quest to cross the finish line and be crowned the “fastest.” Whether they’re drag racing on the streets of cities or country towns, competing on traditional racing tracks, or going head to head in oval races in Las Vegas they all share a common obsession: They race big trucks. And they race them fast. Produced by Attraction Images for HISTORY® in association with Corus Studios.
pring arises, and brings with it another edition of the Global 100, realscreen’s annual listing of the top 100 international production companies working in unscripted and non-fiction content as determined through input from the industry itself. Compiling the list for more than a decade has given the realscreen team a remarkable vantage point from which to observe the evolution of the industry. True, it has also provided its share of sleepless nights for the team, but so it goes. From its first appearance in these pages, in 2006, the list evolves on a yearly basis, reflecting not only the production talent behind the best factual content of the year represented, but also the shifting sands of the industry itself — providing insight into hot genres of programming at any given time, as well as the everexpanding range of platforms showcasing the goods. In recent years, change in the industry has been reflected via the Global 100 in the number of companies that are part of larger conglomerates, ranging from the indies within the superindies, to production divisions of broadcast entities scoring commissions with other broadcasters. And of course, there is still, thankfully, plenty of room for the lone wolves, or “true indies.” On that topic: if you notice a Planet Earth II-sized hole in the list, it’s because in 2017, BBC Studios had only produced content for the BBC. Absolutely wonderful content, yes — but in keeping with our criteria that broadcaster-owned production arms need to be producing for other outlets during the year in question, we weren’t able to include them in the list this year. On to the list, then. As always, thanks to those of you who chimed in with thoughts, opinions and feedback — all of which helped shape this snapshot of the best in factual content from the past year. Barry Walsh Editor and content director Realscreen
THE GLOBAL 100
CANADA EONE TELEVISION Headquarters: Toronto www.entertainmentone.com Number of hours produced in 2017: 500+ Number of employees: 1,130 Recent programs: Siesta Key; Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G.; Growing Up Hip Hop; L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later; Timber Kings Upcoming programs: Back in Time for Dinner (CBC) Establishing its U.S. unscripted office in 2012, the Canadian-headquartered eOne has struck gold with a variety of projects, ranging from the glossy Siesta Key for MTV to Growing Up Hip Hop for WE tv. 2017 also saw the studio deliver two powerful documentaries to A&E — L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later (exec produced by Boyz in the Hood director John Singleton) and Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G., for the rebooted ‘Biography’ strand. Having acquired a majority stake in Naked & Afraid prodco Renegade 83 in 2016, the company has also forged partnerships with such labels as Creature Films, Purveyors of Pop and Keller/Noll. After signing a multi-year deal in 2016 to continue heading up the department, EVP Tara Long has cemented a reputation as an “executive who really supports her shows,” in the words of one network exec who cast a vote for the company.
In Canada, eOne is behind series such as HGTV Canada’s Timber Kings and Yukon Gold, which ended a four-year run on History Canada in 2017. The Canadian office has streamlined its alternative division by amalgamating two of its acquired prodcos, Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment, under the eOne Television banner.
2018 is ushering in more change, with longtime TV head John Morayniss stepping down and Mark Gordon being named president and chief content officer for film, television and digital, following eOne’s full acquisition of The Mark Gordon Company. Barry Walsh
Titanic: The New Evidence; Lost Secrets of the Pyramid
Big Coat Productions
Love it or List It
What it Takes to be Extraordinary; Like a Tourist
Mayday; Property Brothers
CMJ Productions II
Guilty Rich; Fatal Vows
Son of Sam: The Hunt for a Killer
Backyard Builds; Still Standing
Great Pacific Media
Heavy Rescue: 401; Highway Thru Hell
Amazing Race Canada; The Launch
Media Headquarters Film & Television
Canada’s Smartest Person
Jade Fever; Wild Bear Rescue
Vegas Rat Rods; Last Stop Garage
Home Town; Flip or Flop Fort Worth
March / April ‘18
THE GLOBAL 100
UNITED STATES 495 PRODUCTIONS (A FREMANTLEMEDIA COMPANY) Headquarters: Burbank, CA www.495productions.com/ Recent and current titles: Floribama Shore; Winter Break: Hunter Mountain; Hear Me, Love, Me, See Me; Party Down South; Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party Upcoming titles: Jersey Shore: Family Vacation 2017 marked the year that SallyAnn Salsano returned to the “Shore.” The creator and EP of the pop culture phenomenon that was Jersey Shore added new blood to the franchise via another series for MTV, Floribama Shore. The series, following eight young adults living life to the fullest while spending their summer at Panama City Beach, boasted MTV’s highest rated new series
premiere in over three years, and staked a claim on the top spot for an original cable series in its time slot. Unsurprisingly, MTV greenlit a second season earlier this year. Salsano and team also hit the slopes for another MTV series, Winter Break: Hunter Mountain, once again featuring a young adult cast. And striking while the iron is hot, MTV has greenlit a second season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, featuring the original cast and their families, before the official April premiere of the first season. Other fresh projects from the prodco included The Untitled Action Bronson Show for Viceland, and Hear Me, Love Me, See Me for TLC, which is based on a format from FremantleMediaowned, Israeli prodco Abot Hameiri. BW
BUNIM/MURRAY PRODUCTIONS (A BANIJAY GROUP COMPANY) Headquarters: Glendale, California www.bunim-murray.com Number of hours produced in 2017: 275 Number of employees: Approximately 500 on average Recent and current titles: Born This Way Season 4; Keeping Up with the Kardashians; Miz
and Mrs.; Citizen Rose; Project Runway All Stars; The Challenge: Vendettas; Bill Nye Saves the World; Earth Live; They Call Us Monsters Founded in 1987 by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jon Murray, Bunim/Murray Productions first made its mark in the television industry not only with the creation of a franchise series — The Real World —
but with the kick-start of an entire genre. Thirtyone years later and with more than 50 unscripted series in its catalog, the Glendale, Californiabased studio is still innovating. By the end of the 2017 calendar year, Bunim/Murray had more than 30 series on the air in a two-year period, ranging from A&E’s Emmy-winning Born This Way (pictured), to National Geographic’s ambitious, two-hour natural history event Earth Live, and many points between. The company also made headlines in 2017 with a zeitgeist grabbing move — documenting actor and activist Rose McGowan in E!’s Citizen Rose. Last year, Bunim/Murray launched a sophomore season of the Lonzo and LaVar Ball-fronted Ball in the Family, one of the biggest hits to emerge on Facebook’s Watch. The prodco is also prepping USA Network’s Miz & Mrs., a six-part docuseries chronicling the married lives of WWE wrestling superstars The Miz and Maryse, and produced in association with the WWE. The Banijay Group-owned franchise-builder further fortified its senior management team with the elevation of former co-president Julie Pizzi to president of entertainment and development in early February 2018. Daniele Alcinii
THE GLOBAL 100
FLY ON THE WALL ENTERTAINMENT (AN ENDEMOL SHINE NORTH AMERICA COMPANY) Headquarters: Valley Village, CA www.flyotw.com Hours produced in 2017: 408.5 Number of employees: 150 (includes freelance across projects and staff) Recent/current programs: Big Brother 19; Big Brother: Over The Top; This is Life Live; Celebrity Big Brother; Flip or Flop Atlanta; Katy Perry: Witness World Wide; Katy Perry: Will You Be My Witness?; Reclaimed Reno Upcoming Titles: Cutting Edge Reno; Big Brother 20; This is Life Live: Season 2; Flip or Flop Atlanta: Season 2; pilots for Travel Channel, HGTV and DIY. Founded in 2009 after the merger of two unscripted prodcos, Allison Grodner Productions and Meehan Productions, California-based Fly on the Wall Entertainment has gone on to produce innovative, story-driven programs across multiple genres. Over the course of their careers, partners Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan have created shows such as Big Rich Texas, The Family, Flipped and the Emmy-Award winning docuseries The Teen Files. With Fly on the Wall, Meehan and Grodner are also the EPs behind CBS’s long-running competition series Big Brother, which is going into its 20th season in summer 2018. This past winter, a celebrity edition of Big Brother debuted in the U.S., after
successful runs in the UK. The prodco is also behind HGTV’s home reno show Flip or Flop: Atlanta which has been renewed for a 14-episode season slated for 2018. The first series attracted
more than 7.9 million viewers since its debut, edging HGTV into the ranks as a top three cable network among upscale women 25-54 in the Thursday 9-9:30 p.m. ET/PT time slot. Selina Chignall
3 Ball Entertainment
44 Blue (a Red Arrow Studios company)
Wahlburgers; Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry
A. Smith & Co.
Hell’s Kitchen; American Ninja Warrior
Asylum Entertainment (a Legendary company)
Breakthrough; Origins: The Journey of Mankind
Atlas Media Corp
Hotel Impossible; Extreme Hotels
New York, NY
Flipping Out; Best Thing I Ever Ate
Big Fish Entertainment
Live PD; Black Ink Crew
The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey; Catfish: The TV Show
Electus (an IAC company)
Running Wild With Bear Grylls
Endemol Shine North America
MasterChef; Fear Factor
Evolution Media (an MGM company)
The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills; Botched!; Vanderpump Rules
FremantleMedia North America Figure 8 Films GRB Entertainment
Half Yard Productions (a Red Arrow Studios company)
The Last Alaskans; Say Yes to the Dress
Herzog & Co.
The Nineties; The History of Comedy
High Noon Entertainment (an ITV company)
Cake Boss; Fixer Upper
Leah Remini: Scientology & The Aftermath; Active Shooter: America Under Fire
The First 48, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
March / April ‘18
Redondo Beach, CA
Studio City, CA
Toulca Lake, CA
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
New York, NY
North Hollywood, CA
X Factor; America’s Got Talent
Sister Wives; Bringing Up Bates
Sherman Oaks, CA
New York; Bethesda, MD
North Hollywood, CA
Sherman Oaks, CA; Denver
Van Nuys, CA
Los Angeles, New York
THE GLOBAL 100
FLORENTINE FILMS Headquarters: Walpole, NH www.florentinefilms.com Recent/current programs: The Vietnam War; Jackie Robinson; Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War Founded in 1976 and home to filmmakers Ken Burns, Larry Hott, Buddy Squires and Roger Sherman, the New Hampshire-based company enjoyed one of its greatest successes in 2017, with the airing of Lynn Novick and Ken Burns’ PBS event series, The Vietnam War. Aiming to “tell the epic story of the Vietnam war as it has never before been told on film,” the 10-part, 18-hour project featured rare archive and gathered testimony from close to 100 participants, ranging from those who fought in the war to those who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians. The premiere episode, airing in September, drew 9.6 million viewers and garnered a 6.0 household rating, according to PBS. All told, the series averaged 6.7 million viewers across its 10-night stand, and overall, the series was seen by more than 33.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s Live +7 data. Burns spoke to realscreen months before the series’ debut, when the filmmaker was hosting screenings for select individuals with various perspectives on the war. At the time, he remarked: “I haven’t had one person respond that they didn’t feel like they were in it.” BW
Kinetic Content (a Red Arrow Studios company)
Married at First Sight; Little Women LA
Santa Monica, CA
Left/Right (a Red Arrow Studios company
New York, NY
Leftfield Pictures (an ITV company)
Pawn Stars; Alone
New York, NY
Flea Market Flip; Checking In; Candy Crush
Santa Monica, CA
Loud TV (an ITV America company)
Tiny House Nation; Tiny House Hunting
New York, NY
60 Days In; Undercover High
New York, NY
Magical Elves (a Tinopolis company)
Top Chef; Cold Justice
Los Angeles, CA
Diesel Brothers; Moonshiners
New York, NY
MGM (Mark Burnett)
The Voice (U.S.); Shark Tank
Beverly Hills, CA
Mission Control Media
Face Off; Hollywood Game Night
Los Angeles, CA
Original Productions (a FremantleMedia company)
Storage Wars; Deadliest Catch; Bering Sea Gold
Peacock Productions (an NBC Universal company)
Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White
New York, NY
Pilgrim Media Group (a Lionsgate company)
Fast N’ Loud; Bring It!
North Hollywood, CA
The Amazing Race
El Segundo, CA
Red Marble Media
Shattered; Evil Lives Here
New York, NY
THE GLOBAL 100
JUPITER ENTERTAINMENT (A SKY COMPANY) Headquarters: Knoxville, TN www.jupiterent.com Number of employees: 185 between Knoxville and New York offices; approximately 350 counting freelancers Recent/current titles: #Murder; American Murder Mystery; Evidence of Innocence; Fatal Attraction; Princess Diana: Tragedy or Treason?; Homicide Hunter; The Kitty Kelley Files; Murder Chose Me; Notorious; Street Justice; Snapped; Killer Couples Upcoming titles: ATL Homicide; Everyday Astronaut; God Code; Dying to Belong; Grave Evidence; Missing Pieces A quick glance at the titles in Jupiter Entertainment’s slate will tip you off that true crime is a specialty for the Knoxville-headquartered prodco. And crime certainly pays, as multiple crime titles for Investigation Discovery, TV One and Oxygen are several seasons deep. Homicide Hunter for ID, pictured, is renewed for an eighth season while Oxygen has renewed Snapped for a 24th season. The company says its renewal rate stands at an impressive 87%. But the 22-year-old prodco doesn’t solely focus on dastardly deeds and those who do them. The company, headed by Stephen Land, has also crafted docusoaps for TLC (Welcome to Myrtle Manor) and Animal Planet (Wild West Alaska), as well as episodes of ‘Biography’ for A&E and series for History, Discovery, Reelz, TruTV and Fuse. In 2015, UK media and telecom conglomerate Sky purchased 60% of Jupiter. 2018 will see more projects on the way for ID, History, Oxygen, TV One and Facebook Watch. David Young was named CFO in February. BW
March / April ‘18
Headquarters: New York City www.radicalmedia.com Hours Produced in 2017: Approximately 80 hours of non-fiction content Employees: Approximately 110, not including freelancer staff or crew Recent/Current Titles: Abstract: The Art of Design; Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders; Dark Side of the Sun; From the Ashes; Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio; Killing Richard Glossip; Intent to Destroy; Oprah’s Master Class Season 6; May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers; My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman; Year Million Upcoming Titles: America Divided Season 2; Bobby Kennedy For President; The Fourth Estate; Mars Season 2; Taking the Tiger; The Untold Story of the 90s; Wrong Man Global production studio Radical Media
had a busy 2017, with multiple projects across streaming platforms, theater and linear broadcast. The team was also able to shake former late-night host David Letterman out of retirement for the Netflix original My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. There was also considerable true crime-focused programming, including Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio and Killing Richard Glossip, both from acclaimed director Joe Berlinger, for ID. The slate mirrors the thoughts of one network exec, who cites Radical’s “amazing ability to wrangle access” as a definite plus. Upcoming projects for the prodco include a second season of its docu-hybrid series Mars for National Geographic, as well as the multi-part docuseries The Fourth Estate for Showtime from Liz Garbus, which explores The New York Times’ coverage of the Trump administration. SC
THE GLOBAL 100
WORLD OF WONDER PRODUCTIONS Headquarters: Hollywood, California www.worldofwonder.net Number of hours produced in 2017: 182 Number of employees: 128 (including both staff and freelancers) Recent and current titles: Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 10; Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars; Sell It Like Serhant; Alter-Native; Big Freedia: Queen Of Bounce; When The Beat Drops; Out Of Iraq (pictured); The Trixie & Katya Show, Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles/New York; Real Estate Wars; Gender Revolution Upcoming projects/films: Ministry Of Evil: The Twisted Cult Of Tony Alamo; Untitled Netflix Project Emmy- winning prodco World of Wonder Productions enjoyed a successful 2017 after its franchise series RuPaul’s Drag Race posted its highest viewing numbers for VH1 since its move from sister station Logo a year earlier. The series’ season nine finale was its most-watched ever, according to the Viacom network, scoring a 0.4 rating and 859,000 viewers. Spin-off series RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, meanwhile, also recorded record highs after receiving a .69 rating in P18-49 in L+SD and a total of 895,000 viewers, making it the most-watched All Stars episode to date, according to Nielsen. Founded in 1991 by filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the shop also expanded its digital efforts with the November launch of WOW Presents Plus, an SVOD platform that aims to curate programming from the company’s library of
films, TV shows, live events and original series. The move came months after WOW began ramping up its efforts in original programming across its digital platforms with the February 2017 appointment of Todd Radnitz as SVP of creative and digital. World of Wonder boasts a substantial digital footprint with its YouTube channel WOW Presents. With more than 592,000 subscribers and 295 million-plus views, the channel currently airs 12 weekly original series. The studio also launched the
Renegade83 (an eOne company)
Naked and Afraid XL
WOW Presents Network, comprised of more than 150 YouTube channels with nearly half a billion cumulative views and over 2.2 million subscribers. On the doc front, following the success of 2016’s Robert Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, WOW capped off 2017 with the commission of Emmywinning director Chris McKim’s Wojnarowicz (w/t), an archive-driven documentary that will spotlight the late writer, multimedia artist and AIDS activist, David Wojnarowicz. DA
Sherman Oaks, CA
Escaping Polygamy; Almost Home
Sharp Entertainment (a Core Media Group company)
90 Day Fiancé; 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After
New York, NY
Long Lost Family; Who Do You Think You Are
Los Angeles, CA
Crash Karaoke; World’s Toughest Mudder; How Close Can I Beach?
New York, NY
Thinkfactory Media (an ITV company)
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars
Los Angeles, CA
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern; Delicious Destinations
Eden Prairie, MN
Truly Original (an Endemol Shine Group company)
The Real Housewives of Atlanta; Ink Master
Los Angeles, New York
Mountain Men; Building Off the Grid
Warner Horizon Television
The Bachelor (with Next Entertainment); Little Big Shots (with A Very Good Production, East 112 Street Prods)
THE GLOBAL 100
UNITED KINGDOM LABEL1
RAW TV (AN ALL3MEDIA COMPANY) Headquarters: London, England www.raw.co.uk Number of hours produced in 2017: 120+ Number of employees: 125 including freelancers in office, and another 200 on location and in edits Recent and current titles: Homestead Rescue; Gold Rush season 8; Silk Road: Drugs, Death & the Dark Web; Waco: Madman or Messiah; Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me; Abortion on Trial; Locked Up Abroad; Gold Rush: White Water Upcoming titles: Drowning in Plastic; American Dynasties: The Kennedys; Homestead Rescue Season 2; Parker’s Trail Season 2; Gold Rush Season 9; American Animals; Three Identical Strangers For a company that seems to go from strength to strength with each passing year, 2017 proved to be a year to remember for Raw, with strong performers Stateside and acclaimed projects in its home territory as well. In the UK, Chris Packham: Asperger’s & Me, airing on BBC and featuring the British nature presenter, was hailed
March / April ‘18
by many media outlets, with “brave,” “stunning,” and “utterly fascinating” among the adjectives trotted out by the press. It racked up just under 3 million viewers. In the U.S., Discovery’s Gold Rush continued its hot streak as the cabler’s top-rated show, with its two-hour season premiere in October claiming the top spot for a non-sports telecast in the M25-54, M18-49, and M1834 demos, topping broadcast programming as well. The spin-off, Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail, was the most-watched new unscripted cable series for the M25-54 demo in 2017. It was renewed earlier this year. On the feature front, buzz was strong at Sundance for Three Identical Strangers, helmed by Tim Wardle. The stranger-than-fiction doc, telling the story of three young adults who discover, as complete strangers, that they are identical triplets separated at birth, nabbed the U.S. documentary special jury award at the fest. It will air on CNN and was acquired by Neon for North American distribution. BW
Headquarters: London www.label1.tv Number of hours produced in 2017: 15 Number of employees: Four permanent; five-strong development team; 90 freelance Recent and current titles: Hospital; The Job Interview Upcoming titles: Hospital series three (pictured); School Label1 co-founder Simon Dickson was an early adopter of the fixed-rig technique for factual programming, commissioning The Family while at Channel 4 in 2007, and then co-creating fixed-rig hits such as One Born Every Minute, 999 What’s Your Emergency and 24 Hours in A&E. Now at the helm of UK indie Label1, along with another former C4 alum, Lorraine Charker-Phillips, Dickson has brought more fascinating factual to the forefront of British telly, via Hospital for BBC2 and The Job Interview for C4.
Hospital’s second series premiere made headlines, as it captured the action at St. Mary’s in Paddington shortly after a deadly terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge. Among those brought into the hospital, and captured on film, was the perpetrator, Khalid Masood. The premiere brought in a consolidated audience of 3.8 million. The prodco originally formed under the auspices of ITV’s inhouse factual arm, Shiver, and subsequently went “full indie,” until FremantleMedia acquired a 25% stake in October. Coming soon from Label1: School for BBC2, a six-part series filmed over the course of a year which Charker-Phillips claims will “merge the humour and sentimentalism of the Educating brand with a steely-eyed analysis of how we teach kids in modern Britain.” BW
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THE GLOBAL 100
LIGHTBOX ENTERTAINMENT Headquarters: London, Los Angeles www.lightboxent.com Hours produced in 2017: 22 Employees: 12 permanent Recent/current titles: LA92; War Child; Bare Knuckle Fight Club; The Traffickers Upcoming titles: Whitney (theatrical release feature doc); Weinstein As individuals, Jonathan and Simon Chinn have established a firm foothold in the non-fiction content industry. Together, as founders of London and LA-based prodco Lightbox, the filmmaking cousins bring together the best of both unscripted worlds: feature docs and nonfiction television. Simon boasts credits such as Academy Award-winning Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man, while Jonathan built a reputation in TV, having worked on American High and 30 Days. Lightbox has seen a steady raft of commissions in the four years since its inception, with broadcasters including Netflix, Nat Geo, Channel 4, the BBC, Discovery and Fusion having aired series from the prodco in the last year. LA92, a feature doc to mark the 25th anniversary of the LA Riots, received critical acclaim, snagging an Emmy and being shortlisted for an Academy Award. Upcoming for the prodco is a theatrical release of Whitney, the only authorized doc about Whitney Houston. At the end of 2017, Lightbox also announced that it would be tackling the story of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in the BBC2 doc Weinstein (w/t). Meagan Kashty
America in Color; See No Evil (with Saloon Media)
Galapagos with Liz Bonnin; The Coronation
Blast! Films (a Sky company)
The Supervet; Secret Life of the Zoo
The Garden (an ITV Company)
24 Hours in Police Custody; 24 Hours in A&E
Savage Kingdom: Uprising; River Monsters
Love Island (with Group M)
Exodus: Our Journey Continues; Three Wives, One Husband
Lion Television (an All3Media company)
Homes Under the Hammer
Lime Pictures (an All3Media company)
The Only Way is Essex
Love Productions (a Sky company)
The Great British Bake Off; The Great Pottery Throwdown
Mentorn Media (a Tinopolis company)
Robot Wars; Things Not to Say
The Detectives: Murder on the Streets; SAS: Who Dares Wins
Monkey Kingdom (an NBC Universal company)
Made in Chelsea; The Question Jury
Finding Jesus; America: Promised Land
Walking the Americas; Outrageous Acts of Science; Home Alone
Optomen (an All3Media company)
Employable Me; Feral Families
Oxford Film and Television
Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy
Life at the Extreme with Davina McCall; Earth Live (with Bunim/Murray)
Crystal Maze; Eat Well For Less
Shine TV (an Endemol Shine company)
The Island with Bear Grylls; MasterChef
Studio Lambert (an All3Media company)
Gogglebox, Undercover Boss
Thames (a FremantleMediaUK company)
X Factor, Britainâ€™s Got Talent
True Vision Films
Catching a Killer; Stacey Dooley Investigates
Twofour Broadcast (an ITV company)
This Time Next Year; The Real Marigold Hotel
Wall to Wall (a WBITVP company)
Little Big Shots (UK); Lawless Oceans
THE GLOBAL 100
SPUN GOLD Headquarters: London www.spungoldtv.com Number of hours produced in 2017: approx. 120 Number of employees: 120 (including freelancers) Recent/current titles: The Real Full Monty; Love Your Garden; The Royal House of Windsor; Great Canal Journeys Upcoming titles: Garden Rescue 3; Love Your Home and Garden; How the Other Half Lives Headed up by founder and CEO Nick Bullen and managing director Daniela Neumann, Spun Gold had a notable 2017, with turnover increasing by 60%, a three-fold increase in the number of hours produced, and new business with U.S. networks and SVODs. Known for its raft of Royal Family content, the past year saw Spun Gold deliver The Royal House of Windsor, a six-part doc series for Channel 4 and Netflix. But it was a cheeky entertainment show that perhaps brought the biggest buzz for the prodco in 2017. The Real Full Monty, commissioned by ITV to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the surprise hit film, followed a group of male celebrities as they learned the finer points of the art of striptease, to raise awareness about cancers affecting men. The one-off brought in 5.4 million viewers, including 3.7 million women. Naturally, more Monty is on the way for this year, this time featuring female participants as well as males. Spun Gold also picked up a BAFTA for best live event, for The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration, coproduced with ITV Entertainment and HPower. Other highlights included the ITV quiz show Masterpiece and the two-part Secret Life of Crocodiles for the BBC. BW
INTERNATIONAL ARMOZA FORMATS Headquarters: Tel Aviv, Israel www.armozaformats.com Recent/current titles: The Four, Still Standing Upcoming titles: The Four season 2, Play Date Armoza Formats has been a leading light in the formats industry for a good percentage of its 13-year history. Founded by Israeli producer Avi Armoza, the company carved its early successes through finding and distributing formats from the burgeoning Israeli content industry to the rest of the world. Upon creation of its own development arm, its shiny floor formats started making their way Stateside, including Who’s Still Standing and I Can Do That for NBC. The most recent major Armoza format to travel the world is The Four, originally
produced as The Final Four. The singing competition features four finalists who are announced in the season premiere, selected by the series’ music industry judges. But in every episode, talented hopefuls try to steal a seat from one of the final four. The Four made its U.S. debut in early 2018, produced with ITV Entertainment. It has since been renewed for a second season. In 2017, Armoza also struck a deal with eOne for its Sex Tape format, to develop the spicy format for U.S. audiences. BW
Beach House Pictures (a Blue Ant Media company)
Asia’s Next Top Model; Frontier Borneo
Todd Sampson’s Body Hack
Off the Fence
I’m Different, Let Me Drive; Wild Survival
Barbara Streisand: naissance d’une diva
Talpa Media (an ITV company)
HONORABLE MENTIONS COMPANY
Ultimate Beastmaster; The Day I Met El Chapo
51 Minds (an Endemol Shine North America company)
Below Deck: Mediterranean; T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
Jo Cox: Death of an MP; Calais: The End of the Jungle
Meet the Penguins; Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens
Park Slope Productions
Alaskan Bush People
Killer Women with Piers Morgan
Propagate Content Saloon Media Sirens Media (an ITV America company)
North Hollywood, CA
Planet of the Apps; Lore
Los Angeles, CA
Hunting Nazi Treasure; See No Evil (with Arrow Media)
Real Housewives of Atlanta; Killing Fields
Silver Spring, MD
New York, NY
Stephen David Entertainment
American Playboy; Roman Empire: Reign of Blood The Ivory Game; Chasing Quakes
March / April ‘18
New York, NY
Terra Mater Factual Studios (a Red Bull company)
CITY Los Angeles, CA
Tradition and trust
BY SELINA CHIGNALL
With an upcoming four-part series, PBS and Providence Pictures aim to reveal the rich historical, cultural and geographic tapestry of Native America.
ary Glassman, executive producer of PBS’ upcoming docuseries Native America, makes it crystal clear that this project is unlike many programs produced about Native Americans. “This is not your forefathers’ vision of ancient America,” he tells realscreen. “This is a new vision of the Americas and the people who made it.” The project from Glassman’s Providence Pictures, which is slated to premiere in fall 2018 on PBS stations nationwide, explores the lives and culture of Native Americans by weaving history and science with their living Indigenous traditions. With the help of animation, 3D computer modeling and other techniques, the stories of those original North and South Americans come to life to reveal thriving cultures with an ancient foundation. For series producer Julianna Brannum, the four-part program provides the opportunity to break the one-dimensional stereotype of Native
and civilization, ranging from architecture to Americans as “nature-loving, spirituality, from transportation to irrigation. one with the earth.” For In telling these stories, the crew for Native Brannum, who is Comanche, America trekked across two continents and Native America paints a more various communities within the United States. The complex picture. production team journeyed to the Kwakwaka’wakw “We are often seen community along the Pacific Northwest Coast to as an unsophisticated, the Haudenosaunee in upper New York, and down technologically inept culture, to the Amazonian caves containing the Americas’ and the reality is we had earliest art and interactive solar calendar. Field very rich, complex religions, archaeologists using 21st century tech such as languages, belief systems multispectral imaging and DNA analysis were and cultural practices also brought on board to shine more light that were as upon the importance of ancient sites. advanced Beyond the sites themselves, it as any other of that time,” was also crucially important to she stresses. “The European have Native Americans sharing civilizations are given far more their own narratives. Glassman credit than Native American reached out to the National civilizations, and this series Museum of the American Indian aims to open your eyes to how early in the production process. By advanced these cultures were.” doing so, he was introduced through With each episode narrated Glassman the museum to those within various by legendary musician Robbie Native American communities. Robertson, who is of Mohawk heritage, the But Brannum says it took time to gain these series delves into the myriad innovations communities’ trust. and accomplishments of Indigenous culture
Producers for the four-part PBS series spent a year building relationships with various Native American communities.
“We took a full year to build these relationships,” she notes. “We were visiting them before we even brought a camera. We were talking with the elders and the cultural officers and learning what was acceptable and what was not.” That trust-building effort enabled the production team to be able to film ceremonies that have never been captured before. This includes the Haudenosaunee Wampum Belt ceremony that represents the coming together of the five warring nations to form the first democracy in the Americas — more than 500 years before the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The team also filmed a group of Hopi elders and faith keepers performing special ceremonies — including the rain prayer — in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. “At the end of us filming, it rained there,” Glassman says. Meanwhile, in Fort Rupert, British Columbia, the team filmed the Potlatch ceremony of the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe which was being held in celebration of the initiation of a new chief. “It’s just such a moving, deep ceremony with roots that go back thousands of years,” says Glassman. Brannum notes there were some ceremonies or
“This series aims to open your eyes as to how advanced these cultures were.” communities needed direct involvement. activities, including certain dances, that the team “Most production companies and filmmakers was not permitted to film. tend to not do that with Native Americans,” says “We could not be disrespectful to those beliefs Brannum. “You don’t see African American stories or those protocols,” she says. “It was [about] told by a non-African American. It’s complicated finding what we could and being respectful and problematic.” to them, and still being able to tell She says she pitched the idea to the stories, but with full trust Glassman about exploring the from these communities.” Comanche tribe, to which she “We treat people the belongs. They started to develop way we would want to be the idea which took them to treated,” says Glassman. “If New Mexico with archeologist I give my word, I keep [it].” Severin Fowles of Barnard Glassman says he also College. There, they learned allowed the communities to about the rock art which illustrates review footage of any sacred the evolution of the Comanche nation. ceremonies to make sure they Brannum “Going there was deeply moving for me were ultimately comfortable with them personally,” she says.“I was standing in the only being broadcast. known home — as ‘home’ as a nomadic people Brannum says that she respects Glassman for can get — and filming there, sharing the stories having the foresight to know that in telling the of my ancestors.” stories of Native Americans, those within the
Kit Carson and General Stephen W. Kearny are among the historical figures featured in The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen
BY DANIELE ALCINII
Stephen David Entertainment and A+E’s History have followed up 2012’s The Men Who Built America with a new installment spotlighting icons from the American frontier.
eep in the foothills of uncharted wilderness, woodsman and longhunter Daniel Boone, alongside 35 ax men, is cutting a trail from Tennessee through the forests and mountains to Kentucky Territory. The rough mud trail, hardly more than a path, will become known as the Wilderness Road, meandering through the Cumberland Gap, a notch in the Appalachian Mountains, and into the heart of Kentucky. The footpath will later serve as the future corridor to the Western U.S. for some 300,000 wide-eyed settlers. And in 1775, it will be at the trail’s end, along the Kentucky River, where Boone establishes a permanent settlement on the frontier, despite resistance from the Native American Shawnee nation. Boone’s trailblazing path is one of seven tales told in History’s The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen, which began airing March 7. Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions and Stephen David Entertainment, the docuseries shares the stories of similar pioneering explorers who set forth across untamed lands in defiance of colonialism and a British king to launch the American Revolution. “It was this time period where, as we dug in, we realized that America’s fight for independence wasn’t seven years — it was actually 70-plus,” says Stephen David, CEO of Banijay Groupowned Stephen David Entertainment. “We were looking for another time period that was really interesting... where you knew the names but didn’t really know the history.”
Six years ago, the first series in the franchise, 2012’s The Men Who Built America, chronicled the industrialization of the nation. Frontiersmen, meanwhile, sets out to trace the journeying footsteps of America’s lesser-known founding fathers by detailing the determination and self-reliance of its principal subjects: Boone, Davy Crockett, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Shawnee warrior Tecumseh, General Andrew Jackson, John C. Frémont and Kit Carson. Through dramatic reconstructions and exclusive interviews, the four-part, eighthour project spans the formative 75-year period of America’s birth — from the Revolutionary War through to the California Gold Rush — and highlights the important parallel activity happening along the Western frontier and on the global stage. For History’s SVP of development and programming, Mary Donahue, it was critical to ensure that even the minute details of each story were rigorously fact-checked for historical accuracy, particularly when dealing with culturally sensitive portrayals of important characters. “Because we are also telling the story of a great Native American warrior, we wanted to be extra careful that we were portraying the story of Tecumseh in all its complexity and with sensitivity, as well as accuracy,” she tells realscreen.
The process for such a series, says David, begins with at least a dozen researchers leafing through resource materials, archives, letters and anything else the team can find for the period. Concurrently, producers are interviewing experts that will be profiled through the series — historians and professors that know specifically about the characters and their stories. “When we get into post, we’re constantly trying to double-check on that,” David explains. “We’re basically doing everything we can to make sure we’re telling what actually happened.” But accuracy goes beyond the story that shapes each historical retelling. For Frontiersmen, it meant working with experts to ensure that costuming and musketry were authentic to the period. Relying on such historic records as woodcuts and maps, researchers and showrunners devised fact-based replicas of what costumes and armaments of the era looked like. “It is somewhat challenging to do historically accurate recreation, but you’re not swimming entirely in the dark,” notes Donahue. Appian Way’s Jennifer Davisson and Leonardo DiCaprio serve as executive producers alongside Stephen David for Stephen David Entertainment, and History’s Kristen Burns and Mary Donahue. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for Frontiersmen. •
“We were looking for another time period where you knew the names but didn’t know the history.”
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Mixing it up Norwegian media and technology company The Future Group is attempting to revolutionize the television industry by introducing next-generation interactivity into the historically passive viewing landscape.
BY DANIELE ALCINII
The Future Group used its IMR technology to create virtual sets and characters for the format Lost in Time.
ounded in 2013 by Bård in Time. The format follows Anders Kasin and Jens three contestants as they’re Petter Høili, and with transported to different historical offices in Oslo and Los Angeles, the eras — the Wild West, Ice Age, the aptly named Future Group focuses Kasin Medieval Age and the Jurassic Period, its efforts on creating content that merges among others — where they compete in real time the real and virtual worlds through its Interactive against the clock in a series of challenges before Mixed Reality (IMR) technology. going head-to-head in a futuristic end-game to be Developed by The Future Group, IMR blends crowned champion and win a jackpot prize. photorealistic mixed-reality viewing with real“As our sets and characters can be inserted in real time interactivity on a mobile device. time, it gives the producers the flexibility of choosing Using Frontier, a broadcast-compatible version what to insert to reflect the real-life action,” Kasin of Epic Games’ Unreal gaming engine, real says. “If it wasn’t live, we wouldn’t be able to capture people and objects can be inserted into virtual the real human emotions of people competing and sets while augmented reality (AR) characters can interacting with the virtual environment.” be placed in the real world in real time. Thus, real Along with virtual set and character technology, people can cast shadows in virtual worlds while Lost in Time also incorporates an interactive AR characters can crash through real walls. element that invites viewers to play against “Our IMR technology allows full multi-cam the show’s contestants and other players setups to produce real-time content with real from across the country in real time through a contestants — in one take. That is crucial when smartphone app. At-home contestants also have you’re dealing with real people competing to the opportunity to win the same jackpot as the win real money,” says The Future Group’s chief in-show competitors, as well as additional prizes content officer Stig Olav Kasin. “It also allows us from sponsors throughout the week. to create the visuals one time in pre-production, Initially launched in Norway, the series saw reducing the cost of visual effects in postinteractivity levels of 28% during broadcast and production since we only have to do it once.” an average in-app time of nearly 20 minutes The pioneering virtual studio technology throughout the week. Dubai TV has since propelled a partnership between RTL Groupcommissioned the program for 22 territories owned FremantleMedia and the Norwegian tech across the Middle East and North Africa. firm on the first-ever IMR competition format, Lost
In working with IMR on formats, The Future Group utilizes three main storytelling components — the human story, the environment and interactive opportunities available — in combination to maximize the potential of each element. “The human stories are as important as in any format, but the two other elements have huge potential for creating new worlds and ways of connecting with the audience,” Kasin notes. Out of the company’s North American studios — headed by Lawrence Jones, VP North America, business and content, and Rob DeFranco, director of business development — The Future Group is working with myriad producers to create next-gen programming, including game shows and competition series. IMR tech can potentially bring in younger audiences for both and in turn, rejuvenate the genres. Non-fiction projects in its pipeline include a music experience with Scandinavian mediaco MTG and Norwegian music management company MER; as well as eSports coverage with Turner Broadcasting that integrates AR Street Fighter and Injustice characters from the DC Comics universe into the proceedings. “We’re also exploring how to futurize existing TV formats by renewing them with either mixed reality environments or augmented reality,” says Kasin, “and also enabling the audience to participate through interactivity.”
BY SELINA CHIGNALL
Filmmaker Michelle Latimer embraces the use of film and media to inspire social change. But when it comes to authentically depicting under-represented communities, she says collaboration is key.
expected that a director will drive their teams to execute their vision on projects. But for Michelle Latimer, the Toronto-based director behind Viceland’s Indigenous-focused series Rise, it’s imperative to approach For Latimer, this means the work with an eye towards engaging in dialogue before collaboration and openness. any shooting begins. It also “In documentaries, that vision has to requires deep listening to ensure come from within, and not always [from] Latimer that she is telling the story as authentically the director, but from the community or the story and accurately as possible. you are telling,” Latimer tells realscreen. As a documentarian, she approaches a story With Rise (2017), Latimer explored issues without any preconceived ideas of how it should impacting Indigenous peoples in Canada, unfold. This attitude has led the director to find Brazil and the U.S. And while some of those herself surprised at what she has uncovered. issues have become major media stories — the “I’m out to discover, to examine, to learn and Standing Rock pipeline protests, for example explore and have things revealed to me,” she says. — Latimer feels the context that can only come This approach led to her to discover the story from the communities affected is vital. behind her short, Nuuca, which came out of Rise. The director says authentic engagement with The 12-minute film, executive produced by the community she is shooting is integral to Latimer and Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cook of her directing process. Latimer, who identifies Field of Vision, draws a link between the resource as Algonquin/Métis, explains that for so long, storytellers from outside Indigenous communities extraction industries’ exploitation of land and violence inflicted on Indigenous women and girls. would come in and “extract” — take the It premiered at the 2017 Toronto International information they wanted, interpret it in their own Film Festival and also screened at Sundance and way and leave the community. the Berlinale Film Festival. “The community should benefit as much as the Latimer, who has also appeared as an actor in people taking the stories outside the community,” multiple projects, has a busy year in filmmaking Latimer says. “For me, that’s an approach that ahead of her, including adapting Thomas King’s requires respect and listening to what the The Inconvenient Indian with Toronto-based community wants.”
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Viceland’s Rise, directed by Michelle Latimer, explores issues impacting Indigenous peoples.
prodco 90th Parallel, Bell Media/HBO Canada and the National Film Board. She is also directing, writing and producing Forgotten: The Freedom Project, a scripted drama through her own prodco, Streel Films, in conjunction with Sienna Films. The film is about the only female classified as a “dangerous offender” in Canada. And while Latimer will most likely be spending a lot of time on set, she is also one of four recipients of Field of Vision - First Look Media’s new fellowship program aimed at supporting doc filmmakers. Latimer says she is looking forward to learning more about security issues through the program. “What are our rights as filmmakers, as people who are telling stories on the front lines?” she questions. It’s a topic she’s keen to explore, and knowledge she will take with her to the field on her projects. In the meantime, there are more stories to be told, stories that represent other viewpoints and other communities. And they are stories that need to come from within those communities. “There are no more excuses,” she says. “We just need to move out of the way to make space for those people to tell those stories.”
Giving Back Father and son team Hugh and Asher Rogovy’s funding foundation is only a few years old but it’s already making an impact for those making socially conscious documentaries. BY MEAGAN KASHTY
hose in the docmaking community are often able to pinpoint a specific project that drew them to the industry. For Hugh Rogovy, it was 1998’s The Thin Blue Line from prolific director Errol Morris. The film, which documented the story of a man wrongly convicted and sentenced to death for a murder that he didn’t commit, inspired Rogovy to support the doc industry following a successful career as the co-founder of a software company. Rogovy spent the better part of 33 years running Seattle, Washington-based Satori Software. After the company sold, he hoped to earmark a good chunk of the proceeds into some kind of charitable activity. After much deliberation, Rogovy and his son Asher landed upon support for documentary films as a way to give back and have an impact. “There’s nothing quite like watching a non-fiction film that is fact-based, and has interesting characters and a compelling story,” he says via email. Thus, in 2015, the Rogovy Foundation was born — an initiative that at its core envisions a future in which informed and inspired citizens influence leaders to tackle pressing issues and, in turn, advance progress towards a more perfect world. “We simply wanted to give back, with a prospect of having some measurable influence,” Rogovy explains. “We recognized that we were not in the same league as today’s mega-donors, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the Open Society Foundation. That put us on track toward supporting documentaries, which can have out-
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sized impact and will remain our primary activity. We feel we can add value by reviewing and ‘voting’ (with funding) for the projects that might best fulfill our mission.” One of the initiatives from the Rogovy Foundation that works to address its goal to educate and inspire has been the creation of the Miller/Packan Film Fund — a fund inspired by two of Rogovy’s childhood teachers. “My childhood education was in a small rural township school district near Akron, Ohio,” he explains. “I had the incredibly good fortune to benefit from two outstanding high school educators: Sally Miller, an English teacher, and Mae Packan, a history teacher.” Rogovy says that although the teachers left a mark on several generations of high school students, their impact has gone largely unrecognized. The Miller/Packan Film Fund was created in their honor as well as other exceptional, yet unheralded, educators. “It supports documentaries that perpetuate the idealism and critical thinking they brought to their students,” Rogovy says. “Incidentally, Mae Packan is still alive and going strong at the young age of 104.” Projects receiving help through the fund include director Katie Dellamaggiore’s The Quiet Zone, Billie Mintz’s The Guardian and Christine Yoo’s 26.2 to Life: The San Quentin Prison Marathon. Most recently, the Rogovy Foundation launched a new initiative — the Focus Fund, created in hopes of encouraging filmmakers to tackle timely and significant topics.
Rogovy says that every year the foundation receives nearly 500 applications for grant financing, but many of the proposals offer takes on a small range of topics — often ones that are recently fashionable or trending in the news of the day. “It’s not unusual for us to receive a dozen proposals on a similar topic,” he says. “This is a shame, since so much passion and effort go into each one of these projects.” As part of the Focus Fund, the foundation will publish topics on its website that it feels are timely and significant, but not necessarily wellcovered. The foundation will offer US $15,000 in development funding to whoever convinces them that they have the right vision and skills to move the topic forward. “The application for this development funding is only two pages, and we hope to be reviewing dozens of proposals over the coming year,” says Rogovy. While the foundation has only been in place for two years, Rogovy has grand ambitions for the future and is keen on expanding. “Making a documentary film is a labor of love,” says Rogovy. “Most projects we review have timelines that extend many years. There is always a scramble for funding, and the financial rewards from producing a documentary film are uncertain at best. We are truly in awe and filled with appreciation for the tireless filmmakers that continue to bring us stories that educate, inspire and enrich us all.” •
on-fiction and unscripted content executives from around the world once again made the trip to an unseasonably balmy Washington, DC, for the 20th anniversary edition of the Realscreen Summit, held from Jan. 28-31 at the Marriott Marquis. Over the course of the four-day event and conference — which is moving to New Orleans for the 2019 and 2020 editions after two decades in the U.S. capital — producers, distributors, and network and streaming executives came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities of working in today’s non-fiction content industry. Much thanks to our 2018 advisory board for their help in steering the program for this year’s milestone event. And of course, a warm thank you to all of the delegates, sponsors and staff who made our last year in DC one to remember. We’ll see you in New Orleans! (All photos by Rahoul Ghose)
A (L to R) T Group’s Jenny Daly; Discovery Inc.’s Allison Page B WE tv’s Angela Molloy C History’s Mary Donahue D A+E’s Don Robert E Realscreen Legacy Award recipient Jon Murray F Syndicado’s Greg Rubidge; CuriosityStream founder John Hendricks; Amazon Channels’ Richard Au G Realscreen Legacy Award recipient, HBO’s Sheila Nevins, at her post-keynote book signing H Anvil 1893’s Eric Schotz I A+E’s president of programming, Robert Sharenow J Propagate Content’s Brett-Patrick Jenkins K PBS’s Marie Nelson L Smithsonian Channel’s David Royle M ITV America’s David George; Nutopia’s Jane Root N Lifetime’s Liz Gateley; Wheelhouse Entertainment’s Brent Montgomery; Discovery Inc.’s Kathleen Finch O TV One’s D’Angela Proctor P National Geographic’s Alan Eyres Q Tremendous’s Colleen Needles Steward; Ugly Brother Studios’ Mike Duffy; Noble Savages’ Joe Livecchi; Hit + Run’s Rob Shaftel; AMPLE’s Ari Mark R WE tv ‘s David Stefanou (left) and Summit Showdown host Scott Wolf (right) with development deal winner Amy Bolton Curley S Nat Geo’s Alan Eyres (left), Charlie Parsons (third from left) and Igal Svet (right) with Summit Showdown development deal winner Michael Holstein T Oxygen Media’s Monica Valdes with SBS’s John Godfrey, recipient of Realscreen’s Diversity and Inclusion Award U Ugly Brother Studios’ Tim Duffy; Insight TV’s John Brunton; Armoza Formats’ Avi Armoza; CJ E&M’s Spencer Thomas
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SAVE THE DATE MONDAY, JANUARY 28 - THURSDAY, JANUARY 31, 2019 SHERATON NEW ORLEANS
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