Christina Aguilera is the new spokesperson Yum Brands’ (KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut) annual hunger relief campaign. Since its launch in 2007 the company’s employees have volunteered more than nine million hours in soup kitchens, food banks and hunger relief agencies. Christina has travelled with the UN to Guatamala to learn about the problem […]
Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down (1×30′ pilot) – Narrated guide for city-dwelling twenty-somethings about sex, drugs and mad, bad behaviour, based on the 2006 film of the same name by Paul Sapiano who will executive produce. Channel: Comedy Central TX: 2009 / 2010 Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Life Begins (6×60′) – The Family-style multi-camera ob doc set in a maternity unit at Southampton University Hospital, which will capture around 400 births over three months with more than 40 cameras. Channel: Ch4 Producer: Firefly TX: 2010 Source: Broadcast
PSFK flags up an interview with author John Hodgman who suggests there is a cultural shift underway from ‘jockdom’ based on family wealth and connections, to a more considered and deliberative geekdom, in which companies and countries (such as China) that recognise and reward geeks will thrive. Read the PSFK upsum Read the full interview […]
While drug regimes have increased the lifespans of people living with HIV, it’s looking like they might come with a sting in the tail: an increasing number of people with HIV are suffering from conditions more usual in people twenty or more years older, such as osteoporosis and dementia. Scientists aren’t sure what’s causing this […]
At the recent Sheffield Doc/Fest, there was an excellent session that asked Feature Docs: What Makes a Doc Theatrical? Here are three things that could make sure your doc makes it onto the big screen:
1) Borrow some attitude from the movies.
Simon Chinn, producer of the Oscar-winning Man on Wire, revealed that the film’s approach was inspired by Reservoir Dogs and a French heist film, Rififi.
2) Get a director on board who can deliver a cinematic experience.
Simon said it was also vital to get a good director on board, who can deliver something that works on the big screen. Kevin Macdonald delivered on One Day in September, and that brought him to the attention of John Smithson, producer of Touching the Void. Acquisitions exec Paula Crickard said that you need to shoot the film ‘big’ and use music and FX that suit the cinema environment.
3) Make people want to get up off their sofas
You are asking people to leave the comfort of their home and spend good money on watching your film, so you have to make it worth their while. Jon Battsek, producer of In the Shadow of the Moon, The Age of Stupid and the Oscar-winning One Day in September said that if you want your film can’t be off-putting, even if you have a hard message to convey. For example, The Cove – the story of dolphin slaughter in Japan – tackles a distressing subject, but it is told as a detective story so you get pulled in to the story without feeling like you’re being bludgeoned over the head with its message. There needs to be something uplifting and inspiring about a theatrical documetary film, such as the portrait of human spirit in Touching the Void. (Photo by B Rosen CC BY-ND 2.0)
Obese w/t (6×60′) – Ob doc series follows six obese people (one per episode) over the course of one year. Channel: ABC Producer: 3 Ball Productions TX: 2011 Source: Cynopsis
Fighting the Red Barron (1×90′) – Ex-RAF and Red Arrows pilots Andy Offer and Mark Cutmore, recreate a reconnaissance mission and dogfight in period aircraft. Also features interviews with original WW1 pilots. Channel: Channel 4 Producer: Darlow Smithson Source: Broadcast
Shipshape (2×60′) – Explores how the sea has influenced British art and culture. Channel: BBC4 Producer: BBC Scotland TX: Summer 2010 Source: Broadcast
Dig 1940 (3×30′) – Jules Hudson and his team of experts excavate wartime artefacts and the wreckage of aircraft shot down during 1940. Hitler’s Germany was determined to invade our small island, and all that stood in the way was the men and women of Britain. Accompanied by the people who witnessed events for real, […]
Libel (6×60′) – Ob doc following Britain’s leading law firms and high-profile libel cases as they unfold, exploring why celebrities bring libel cases in the UK rather than the US. Channel: BBC1 Producer: BBC Scotland / Matchlight TX: 2011 Source: Broadcast
In 1974, one of the greatest sporting events of all time happened: the boxing match between Muhammed Ali and George Foreman known as the Rumble in the Jungle. To celebrate the bout’s 35th anniversary, NYC label No Mas has created Rumblevision, a series of three short films that re-imagine the fight. Zaire by David Rathman: […]
Inhabitat reports on a competition sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft that offers a $250,000 prize to anyone who can build a human-powered helicopter that is capable of hovering 3 metres above ground for at least one minute. The current record, held by Nihon University in Japan since 1994, is 0.2m for almost 20 seconds. Read all […]
Dinosaurs Resurrected – A multiplatform brand that combines HD and 3D filming with the latest paleontological discoveries in a multiplatform project that includes a primetime TV series, IMAX and 3D films for theatrical release, games, live events, books and merchandise. Channel: Multiplatform Producer: Atlantic Productions / Fremantle Media Enterprises Source: Broadcast
A Brush With Britain (10 x30′) – Watercolour artist Charles Evans travels to the UK’s off-the-beaten-track beauty spots to paint the landscapes and the series profiles the work of Turner, Lowry and local artists. Channel: Discovery Real Time and Discovery Travel & Living (funded by DFS sponsorship, and grants from local authorities and regional development […]
Who’s Jack is a London-centric online TV network with five branded channels (Jack, Jeff, Marco, Vox and Zoe) and style/trendspotting magazine. Viewers of the videos can buy products featured in the programmes. For example, in this interview with Speech Debelle you can buy Speech’s album or the interviewer’s Lacoste shirt or Vans trucker cap. The […]
Las Vegas Lockdown w/t (8×60′) – Ob doc series that looks at life inside the Las Vegas county jail (Clark County Detention Center) with its population of criminals and people whose vacations went wrong. Channel: TruTV Producer: Langley Productions TX: January 2010 Source: C21
My Flat Pack Home (20×30′) – Amanda Lamb helps people design and build their own homes from a flat pack. A the end of each episode the property is valued to see if it’s worth as much as they have invested in building it. Channel: Home Producer: October Films Source: Broadcast
Variety has noticed a small but growing trend towards women conductors. Female conductors have traditionally been as rare as hens’ teeth, but now people such as JoAnn Falletta (Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra), Marin Alsop (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) and Keri-Lynn Wilson (who has played with the Bavarian State Opera) are beginning to make some headway, but still […]
Soundwalk is an award-winning audio tour “for people who don’t normally take audio tours”. They require you to immerse yourself in a city and give yourself over to an experience that takes you into private spaces and is guaranteed to get your adrenalin flowing. MP3 tours are available for various areas of NYC – Bronx, […]
Snowdonia Farmhouse – Social history reality series in which two Welsh families will live in 19th century conditions in a Victorian hillside cottage. Channel: BBC Cymru Wales Producer: Indus Television Source: Broadcast
Tube Chop does what it says: allows you to chop the best bit out of a YouTube video and send it to your friends / embed it on your blog.
Escape in Time (20×45′) – Modern families live on the Victorian Farm (Acton Scott Estate, Shropshire) for a week and compete with other families to master Victorian self-sufficiency and crafting skills, such as ploughing, bread-making, beer brewing and weaving. Channel: BBC2 Daytime Producer: Lion Television Source: Broadcast
If you are an aspiring (or otherwise) writer, take a look at Write Badly Well and cringe at any or all the literary mistakes you’ve made in that novel manuscript you’ve just posted off to prospective agents.
Dad Camp w/t – Reality series in response to President Obama’s speech that asked fathers to ‘step up’ to their responsibilities, which teaches first-time dads how to raise their kids well. Channel: VH1 Producer: 3 Ball Productions Source: Cynopsis
Not only do students want to outsource their essays, they also want to outsource their chores too. The Washington posts reports that 19-yr-old Charley Cooper advertised for a personal assistant ($12 per hour) to ferry him to and from work, sort out his closet, do his laundry, put fuel in his car and book barber […]
Amanda Holden: Fantasy Lives (3 x 60′) – Amanda Holden attempts to make it as a Parisian showgirl, LA stuntwoman and Nashville singer. Channel: ITV1 Producer: Mammoth Screen / ITV Studios TX: Early 2010 Source: Broadcast
My Life: Louis Walsh (1×60′) – Boyzone manager and X Factor judge Louis Walsh’s life is profiled, with the help of interviews with Ronan Keating, Lulu, Sharon Osborne and Simon Cowell. Channel: Bio Producer: Sienna Productions TX: Mid-December 2009 Source: Broadcast
Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas (3×60′) – Kirstie Allsopp presents a series that shows you how to make Christmas decorations, food, drink and gifts. Channel: Ch4 Producer: IWC Media TX: Christmas 2009 Source: Broadcast
The BBC’s World Service is building an acoustic ecology map of the world and invites you to upload your own sounds from your neighborhood. You can “listen your way around the world” with an interactive map or take an audio tour through a virtual city. Explore more on the Save Our Sounds website.
Great Migrations (7×60′) – HD series that trackes the migrations of animals, birds and insects on every continent. The series is accompanied by a book, a children’s book, mobile content, games and online content. Channel: National Geographic TX: Late 2010 Source: Cynopsis
Tessa Finch has been appointed as Head of Development, BBC Vision Productions from January 2010, reporting to chief creative officer Pat Young. She will be responsible for developing ‘large scale’ productions across various platforms and genres including, drama, comedy, entertainment and factual. Previously, Finch has headed up BBC 1’s The One Show and was head […]
It’s been claimed that music, such as the Sesame Street theme, American Pie and Born in the USA, was used as an instrument of torture at Guantanamo and other detention camps. Outraged musicians, including Rosanne Cash and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, have filed a Freedom of Information Act request for details of the […]
The Washington Post reports that publishers of familiar books have commissioned new writers to continue the series after their original authors died. Coming up is And Another Thing (sixth in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Dracula: The Undead and a new Winnie the Pooh book. This trend signifies a change in attitude among estate […]
Local TV station WJLA Channel 7 in Washington DC caused a stir when it showed fully exposed breasts on its late afternoon and early evening news programmes in segments about self-examination as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Cynics suggested that the timing might have more to do with it being ‘sweeps’ month when […]
Herta Müller (1×30′) – Documentary about the career of the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Herta Müller. Commissioned by: Nobel Media AB Producer: October Films Source: Broadcast
Untitled Jo Malone Project (4×60′) – Reality business series featuring perfume entrepreneur Jo Malone mentors members of the public as they attempt to market and sell a product they’ve created to a high street retailer. Each episode concentrates on a different product category: accessories, childrens goods, home and garden and food and drink. Channel: BBC1 […]
Family Armor – Reality series following father-of-six Trent Kimball and his brother-in-law Jason who are part of the Mormon-family owned business The Texas Armoring Company that turns normal cars into bulletproof vehicles that will protect international VIPs. Channel: TLC TX: 19th November 2009 Source: Discovery Press Web
For his new book, Information is Beautiful, (The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide To The World’s Most Consequential Trivia in the USA), David McCandless spent a year creating more than 200 visualizations to bring to life statistics and subjects from pop to philosophy. You can: Reduce your odds of dying in a plane crash (don’t […]
Touched by Frost (1×60′) – Documentary that will mark the last episode of detective drama A Touch of Frost. Channel: ITV1 Producer: Mammoth Screen / ITV Studios TX: Early 2010 Source: Broadcast
Newly Meds w/t (6 x 60′) – Glossy ob doc series following the work and lives of new, twenty-something hospital doctors. There will be video blogs from the main characters and an online game that tests first aid knowledge. Channel: BBC3 Producer: BBC TX: Autumn 2010 Source: Broadcast
Conflict History is an interactive google map that lets you explore a timeline of the world’s conflicts. Hat tip to Thrillist
Eco vandals are ripping street advertisements to turn ad hoardings and streetlamps in Toronto into impromptu flower vases. It’s debatable whether they look better after the intervention of guerrilla flowers. Read more on PSFK
The Arab Street (6×30′ + 1×60′ special) – Topical current affairs series that canvases the reactions of ordinary people on the streets of Arab cities to the week’s news. The first episode comes from Cairo, with Ramalla, Amman and Doha to follow. Channel: Al Jazeera English Producer: Lion Television TX: From end of November 2009 […]
Carnie Wilson: Unstapled – Reality series that follows TV host and singer Carnie Wilson as she juggles her career with family life. Channel: GSN Producer: World of Wonder TX: 14th January 2010 Source: Cynopsis
Twin Town (1×60′) – Documentary looking at a region in India which has an unusually high number of twins in the population. Channel: National Geographic US Producer: Zig Zag Source: Broadcast
Altuse.com’s mission is to help you “save money and heal the earth by extending the life of everything you already own”. It’s a compendium of grandma’s tips such as using vodka to clean your glasses (or it may just be the vodka that’s blurring your vision) and using old coffee grounds to fertilise the garden. […]
What Do Kids Know? (10×30′) – Gameshow that teams celebrities with kids to try to work out “what goes on in kids’ minds”. Channel: Watch Producer: Shine TV TX: Early 2010 Source: C21
Damage Control – Russell Crowe presents a series that goes behind the scenes and follows the medical staff who treat Australia’s top sports stars. Channel: Seven, Australia Producer: South Sydney Media / Beyond International TX: Early 2010 Source: TBI
Paul Merton’s Lost Silence w/t (1×60′) (working title), which will examine early European cinema and is lined up to air in late 2009 or early 2010. Channel: BBC2 Producer: BBC Bristol TX: Late 2009 / Early 2010 Source: Broadcast