// archives

Archive for December, 2013

Five Documentary Storytelling Styles Seen in 2013

Here’s a list of some of the most memorable documentary films I saw, roughly divided into narrative style; the films grouped at the top of the list I generally found most enjoyable and satisfying and within each group of similar films I’ve listed in order of preference from best to worst (my favourites are in bold). Of course this is highly subjective and some of the films I disliked intensely have won awards, so you’ll have to make up your own mind. Some films could easily be placed in a different category but I’ve put them in what seemed to be the most prominent storytelling style for that film.

However, whether you agree with my selection or not, we can learn from the different narrative approaches chosen by the filmmakers you may find inspiration to help you develop and shape your own films. Having a clear idea of how you are going to tell the story will help you pitch your idea to potential funders (and ulimately the audience) more effectively, and also help you keep on track schedule- and budget-wise. (Photo: Jingle Bell Rocks! courtesy of IDFA)

Greenlit: Buy This Restaurant, Food Network

Buy This Restaurant – An expert in commercial real estate helps prospective restauranteurs find a perfect venue for their new business venture. Channel: Food Network TX: 5th February 2014 Source: Cynopsis

Greenlit: Death Valley, CMT

Death Valley (8 x 60′) –  Cut off from society and all the comforts it provides, this docu-series follows five Death Valley residents who brave the elements – and the perils of a lawless environment – in order to live their lives on their own terms. Channel: CMT Producer: Glassman Media TX: Summer/Fall 2014 Source: CMT press release

Development Lessons From Three of the Best Films at IDFA 2013

IDFA in Amsterdam is always my chance to concentrate fully on watching films over anything else and typically watch around 25+ films over the course of several days. This focused immersion in documentaries is guaranteed to be thought-provoking and often throws up several interesting themes or trends; here’s a round up of my top three favourite films from IDFA 2013 with an attempt to articulate what makes them successful. I’ve chosen these documentaries on the basis that of the 22 films I saw these were the ones I found most enjoyable and that have stayed with me, and I would definitely watch them all again. But beyond being enjoyable, what can we learn from these films that could help us when developing and pitching our own films? (Photo courtesy of Dogwoof)

Greenlit: We Move Animals, Nat Geo WILD

We Move Animals (3 x 60′)  – You need an animal moved – regardless of size, time or location? No problem. Meet Susan Denicker and her two grown kids, Anthony and Alyssa. This tough, no-nonsense mother of two has turned her passion for animals into a family business, known as Animals Away. And, now Susan […]

Greenlit: Loredana, ESQ., Sundance Channel

Loredana, ESQ. (6 x 60′) – Non-fiction series that traces the life of Loredana Nesci, a former LAPD officer turned lawyer as she navigates the twists and turns of the criminal defense system and grapples with the question: What is legal and what is right? After earning a reputation for herself as a legal crusader, […]

Greenlit: Obsession: Dark Desires, Investigation Discovery

Obsession: Dark Desires (10 x ) – When desire overtakes reason, the human mind can unleash deadly obsession. In this series women share their emotional stories of survival against obsessive stalkers who would do anything to satisfy their all-consuming infatuation. Channel: Investigation Discovery Producer:  October Films TX: 14th January 2014 Source: Investigation Discovery press release

Greenlit: Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Ranch, CMT

Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Ranch (10 x 60′) –  In this ultimate badass competition show, Steve Austin brings eight elite athletes to his Broken Skull Ranch in Texas to test their strength, stamina and endurance. Each episode contestants go head-to-head until the last man standing earns the right to take on the toughest obstacle course in […]

Greenlit: Tattoo Titans, CMT

Tattoo Titans (8 x 60′) –  Four of the USA’s best tattoo artists face off each week for a chance at $10,000 in cold hard cash. Three rounds, ten hours, no compromises. Which artist can sling the best ink to take down the rest of the competition? Channel: CMT Producer: Original Media TX: February 2014 Source: CMT press […]

Greenlit: My Big Redneck Family, CMT

My Big Redneck Family (13 x 30′) – After sharing their last three vacations with the world, the Clampet family is back; only this time, they’re hanging out in their hometown of Shreveport, LA. This series documents America’s favorite family in this all-new comedy following their everyday routines and parenting misadventures. From Jared’s awkward introduction to […]

Greenlit: Chrisley Knows Best, USA Network

Chrisley Knows Best w/t (8 x 30′) – A real-life family comedy which follows Atlanta-based self-made multimillionaire Todd Chrisley, his devoted wife Julie and their five children who live a seemingly picture-perfect Southern life with everything money can buy. A “patriarch of perfection,” Todd runs his family just like his business – with an iron fist – […]

Greenlit: The West, Discovery Channel

The West (6 x 60′) –  The story of the wilderness, frontier lawlessness, and bloodshed of the 40 years between the end of the American Civil War and after the turn of the 20th Century, when the west was won. From Jesse James and Crazy Horse to Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill, the characters at […]

Greenlit: FNA USA, CMT

FNA USA 6 x 60′) –  Each week, we’ll countdown the top 20 riotous reasons that America is the most badass, Olympic medal-winning, dictator-toppling, hot dog-eating competing superpower in the world. Based on the premise that Americans work hard and play harder than anyone else, FNA USA celebrates everything from six-packed babes to six packs of […]

Greenlit: Combate Americas, mun2

 Combate Americas (10 x 60′) –  A Spanish language Mixed Martial Arts competition reality series that follows 10 professional Hispanic MMA fighters as they compete to win a coveted spot in the exciting new Combate Americas franchise. The series is hosted by award-winning Latin music duo Chino & Nacho and MMA host/journalist Andrea Calle, Urban music superstar […]

Greenlit: Undercover Magic, truTV

Undercover Magic w/t (12 x ) – What happens when you combine a mind-blowing magician with an insatiable practical joker?  Michael Carbonaro is a magician by trade, but a prankster at heart. In this new series, Michael performs baffling tricks on unsuspecting people in everyday situations, all caught on hidden camera. Posing as an ordinary bartender […]

Greenlit: Dumping the Alien, Xbox

Dumping the Alien (1 x ) – Documentary that unearths story of a mass burial of ET the Video Game in a grave in New Mexico in 1983. Channel: Xbox Producer: Lightbox TX: 2014 Source: Broadcast

Greenlit: My Dysfunctional Family, CMT

My Dysfunctional Family (8 x 60′) –  Commando turned family fixer and dubbed “Teen Whisperer,” Dave Vitalli pulls no punches as he comes to the aid of teenagers and parents in distress. Armed with lie detectors and years of experience navigating his way through warzones, Dave’s presence provides a wakeup call for the badly-behaving teens. Mom […]

Greenlit: Do or Die, Nat Geo

Do or Die ( x 30′) –  Life happens fast. And in an instant, disaster could strike. A poisonous snakebite, a rushing tsunami, a skydiving mishap or a brake failure. When the choices you make mean the difference between life and death, what would you do? In each episode, we tell the stories of real people […]

Greenlit: Lorraine Pascale: The Truth About Fostering, BBC2

Lorraine Pascale: The Truth About Fostering w/t  (1 x 60′) – Lorraine Pascale is an ex-model, TV chef and bestselling author, but there’s another side to her story. Adopted at 18 months old and then fostered at eight, she believes that fostering “saved her life”. In Britain today, a child is placed in foster care every […]

Greenlit: Wild France, France 2 / BBC2

Wild France (La France Sauvage) (1 x 90′) – Natural history documentary that explores the story of wildlife in France. Channel: France 2 / BBC2 Producer: Boréales (France) TX: 17th December 2013 (France 2) / TBC (BBC2) Source: C21 Media

Greenlit: Buying for Billionaires, E!

Buying for Billionaires (1 x 60′) – Viewers get a rare inside look the extravagant and oh-so-good life as we follow three luxury lifestyle experts as they attempt to search for rare and expensive items for their outrageously wealthy and extremely demanding clientele.  With the less-than-subtle pressure of their very powerful clients, the three industry […]

Greenlit: Tobacco Wars, CMT

Tobacco Wars (5 x 60′) –  Tobacco Wars is set in the high-stakes world of Kentucky’s dark fire tobacco industry, following the families of two fifth-generation tobacco men. In dark fire country, carefully guarded farming know-how and family traditions are passed down – and freedom is as essential as the air they breathe. It’s a high-stress […]

Greenlit: Cold River Cash, Animal Planet

Cold River Cash (8 x )  Welcome to Eel Country! Maine is one of two states where eel fishing is legal, and it’s the state’s second largest revenue stream, bringing in approximately $40 million this past year alone! But in this icy New England state, catching this sort of liquid gold is slippery and dangerously […]

Greenlit: Heist, MSNBC

Heist (3 x 60′) – Documentary series that tells the stories of some of the USA’s most notable bank robberies and the criminals behind the audacious heists. Channel: MSNBC Producer: 1895 Films TX: 5th January 2014 Source: TBI Vision

Greenlit: Amazing America With Sarah Palin, Sportman Channel

Amazing America With Sara Palin – An anthology of stories that explore some of the most original, interesting – and sometimes inspiring – people, places and pastimes connected to America’s outdoors lifestyle. Governor Palin takes viewers coast-to-coast to places where the American Spirit and the Great Outdoors are celebrated in equal measure. From everyday people […]

Greenlit: After the Dance, BBC4

Storyville: After the Dance (1 x feature doc) – Daisy Asquith directs a documentary that explores her family history, focusing on how her unmarried grandmother was forced to give up her baby for adoption in Ireland. Channel: BBC4 / Irish Film Board Producer: Roads Entertainment TX: Spring 2014 Source: Broadcast 

Greenlit: Islands of Oz, Seven Network (Australia)

Islands of Oz (3 x 47′) –  A documentary series that follows acclaimed actor and comedian Martin Clunes as he explores the most diverse, intriguing, remote and spectacular islands that surround Australia. Channel: Seven Network (Australia) Producer: Prospero Productions TX: TBC Source: Screen Australia press release

Greenlit: The Australian War Memorial, Foxtel History Channel

The Australian War Memorial (10 x 30′) –  In the lead up to the 100th anniversary of the First World War, international broadcaster and renowned historian Neil Oliver takes us behind-the-scenes of one of the world’s most iconic institutions, the Australian War Memorial. With unprecedented access to the memorial, its staff and its rarely seen […]

Greenlit: The Way of the Cross, ABC (Australia)

The Way of the Cross (1 x 30′) –  Media personality Geraldine Doogue makes a pilgrimage to Jerusalem at Easter 2014, searching for what she believes is the essence of her Catholic faith. Channel: ABC  (Australia) Producer: Mark Gould Productions Pty Ltd TX: TBC Source: Screen Australia press release

Greenlit: Treasure Kings, Reelz

Treasure Kings – Reality series that explores the world of Hollywood memorabilia aficionado Richie Marcello. Channel: Reelz Producer: Asylum Entertainmnet TX: Spring 2014 Source: Cynopsis

Greenlit: The Brian Boitano Project, HGTV

The Brian Boitano Project – Olympic gold medalist, figure skater Brian Boitano, travels to Favale di Malvaro in northern Italy to bring his old family home back to life. The 200-year-old house—that Brian learned he inherited while on an Italian vacation— is in major disrepair with no electricity or plumbing and is far from being his […]

Greenlit: Shopgirls, BBC2

Shopgirls (3 x 60′) –  Dr Pamela Cox explores the lives of women who have kept the wheels of commerce turning behind the shop counter. Channel: BBC2 Producer: Betty TV TX: 2014 Source: Broadcast

Greenlit: Nelson in His Own Words, BBC2

Nelson in His Own Words (1 x 60′) – Dramatized documentary that interweaves interviews with history scholars and reconstructed scenes based on the diaries of Lord Horatio Nelson to tell the story of his life up until the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. Channel: BBC2 Producer: Oxford Scientific Films TX: Spring 2014 Source: Broadcast

Greenlit: Planet XXL, NGCI

Planet XXL (1×60) – Obesity is on the rise with more than 300 million people on Earth classified as clinically obese.  Meet three people from very different parts of the world, all struggling with their weight – as they strive for ways to improve their health and those facing the same battle.  In Mexico, the world’s largest […]

Greenlit: Time Scanners, NGCI

Time Scanners (6×60) – Unlocks the secrets of the world’s most iconic engineering feats using cutting-edge, 3D laser scanning technology.  A team of scientists and historians led by Steve Burrows (engineer for the Beijing Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium), uses the extraordinary scans  to create 3D digital models of the Roman Coliseum, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Incas’ Machu Picchu, […]

Greenlit: Truffle of Tripe, Channel 4

Truffle or Tripe w/t (30 x 30′)  – Simon Rimmer acts host and quizmaster for a culinary quiz that will see two teams of contestants compete against one another to win the best ingredients to enable them to cook potentially winning dishes. The studio based show sees two teams of two competing; one from each […]

Greenlit: Vietnam Anzacs, ABC (Australia)

Vietnam Anzacs (1 x 57′) –  An account of Australian soldiers’ action in the Vietnam War and the tragedy of the post-traumatic stress that followed. Channel: ABC  (Australia) Producer: Balmoral Pty Limited TX: TBC Source: Screen Australia press release

Greenlit: Songs From the Inisde, SBS

Songs From the Inside (1 x 55′) –  A documentary musical set in Berrimah Prison on the outskirts of Darwin. Channel: SBS  (Australia) Producer: Beyond West Pty Ltd TX: TBC Source: Screen Australia press release

Greenlit: Who the F**k is Arthur Fogel?, EPIX

Who the F**k is Arthur Fogel? – This documentary profiles Arthur Fogel, a relatively unknown businessman who has revolutionized the global concert touring industry.  It is the untold story of a quiet, private man at the controls of the high-octane, ever-changing (and often treacherous) global music industry. With his personal, “hands-on” approach and masterful knowledge of […]

Greenlit: Vacation House for Free, HGTV

Vacation House for Free – Learn how to own a vacation home mortgage free when licensed contractor and real estate expert Matt Blashaw shows home seekers how to spot a hidden gem and transform it into a big time moneymaker. From selection to renovation, couples who have the help of Matt, the fearless home renovator, on […]

Greenlit: Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne, A&E

Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne (13 x 30′) – The wildly innovative, mischief-loving magician Andrew Many sets out to reinvent revenge. His illusions are mind blowing, but what he really loves is helping people get even. From explosions, to disappearing cars and sleight-of-hand, Andrew’s charm and wit leaves unsuspecting men and women in disbelief. Mayne doles […]

Greenlit: Pregnant at 50, TLC UK

Pregnant at 50 (1 x 60′) – Documentary hosted by actress Tina Malone (Shameless) who found herself pregnant aged 50. She explores the issues surrounding motherhood at a more mature age. Channel: TLC UK Producer: Talent TV South TX: February 2014 Source: Broadcast

Greenlit: Let Me Entertain You, ITV

Let Me Entertain You (8 x 30) – Entertainment show that offers  hilarious VT packages, hidden camera surprises, ‘battle of the lip-syncers’ and a one off special  performance, all by Britain’s secret performers – the ITV viewers. The audience can  submit their funny, entertaining and ridiculous videos. These are combined with the best online content each week […]

Greenlit: Ex on the Beach, MTV

Ex on the Beach  (8 x 60′) – Reality series that involves eight single men and women being invited to enjoy a luxury holiday in the belief they are being set up for a holiday romance. Instead, as MTV cameras follow their every move, certain ex-boyfriends and girlfriends of cast members arrive unexpectedly with no-one knowing ‘whose […]

Greenlit: 90 Day Fiancé, TLC

90 Day Fiancé (6 x 60’) – Series that looks at couples who are exploring their relationships within the constraints of a K-1 American visa, which means that they must get married before the visa expires or the prospective bride must return to her country of origin. Can they make it work in 90 days? […]

Greenlit: First Kill, Last Kill, Channel 5

First Kill, Last Kill – Takes a chilling and compelling look at the first and last murders of one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, the Stockwell strangler. Terrorising the elderly population of South London, Kenneth Erskine claimed seven victims over a period of four months. By breaking into his victims’ houses, sexually assaulting them and […]

Greenlit: The Curse of Oak Island, History

The Curse of Oak Island – In the North Atlantic is a mysterious, and possibly booby-trapped island that has fired the imagination of treasure hunters for more than 200 years. Oak Island could be hiding one of the greatest treasures in history, but no one has ever been able to crack the code of how […]

Greenlit: Horseplayers, Esquire Network

Horseplayers (10 x  ) – In the high-stakes world of professional horse race handicapping, the only thing bigger than the bets are the characters placing them — and the best in the business are members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). This series  follows the lifestyles of a diverse cast of handicappers as they […]

Greenlit: Salvage City, Discovery Channel

Salvage City (3 x 60′) – St. Louis has been on the world stage for centuries.But after industry left the city, many of the city’s once-thriving factory and warehouse districts became Rust Belt boneyards. For Sam Coffey and his salvage crew, this urban wasteland is a goldmine ripe for plunder. Coffee and his crew break into abandoned buildings and […]

Greenlit: Get Rich or Die Mining, NGCI

Get Rich or Die Mining (1×60) – World-class gem hunter Guy Clutterbuck has pulled together an elite team to search for the most stunning rough gem stones.  But the stakes couldn’t be higher – each member of the team has invested his own money in the venture, counting on Guy’s well-honed intuition. Trekking to Sri Lanka, the team […]

TVMoleon Google+