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Getting the Greenlight

This category contains 10 posts

Greenlit: The Feed, FYI

The Feed w/t (6 x 60′) –  Part road show, part buddy comedy, part talk show – this is a deliciously inventive new series celebrating food in all its creative, ingenious glory. Three unique and distinctly opinionated hosts – culinary expert and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons; rock star super-chef and The Taste judge Marcus Samuelsson; […]

Greenlit: The Man Who Fought the Planners: The Story of Ian Nairn, BBC4

The Man Who Fought The Planners: The Story Of Ian Nairn  (1 x 60′) –  This programme looks back at Ian Nairn, who in the 1950s, was part of a new breed of Angry Young Men. Aged just 25 and fresh out of the RAF, he burst onto the architectural scene with Outrage, a blistering […]

Greenlit: Holiday Love Rats, Channel 5

Holiday Love Rats (1 x 60′) –  This documentary tells the stories of Brits who have been completely duped by Holiday Love Rats. Most people are attracted to the idea of a holiday romance – but in these cases they have led to heartbreak and financial ruin. Predators lurk in glamorous holiday destinations ready and […]

Against All the Odds: The Curious Case of the Man Who Got His Idea on TV Despite No Industry Contacts

At Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013, a panel (produced by Sharron Ward of Katalyst Productions) discussed the thorny issue of what to do when you’ve got a great idea for a documentary, but don’t have the channel contacts to get it commissioned. Jes Wilkins, Head of Programmes at London-based Firecracker Films presented a case study that proves that it can be possible to secure a commission without a track record, but underlines the fact that there are no short cuts.

Greenlit: Developing Factual/Reality TV Ideas From Concept to Pitch by Nicola Lees

There are some simple principles to successfully developing and pitching your ideas, whether you are working for a global ‘super-indie’ production company, or are a documentary filmmaker pitching a passion project. The extraordinary thing is that no one will tell you what they are! Greenlit is the first book to reveal, step-by-step, how to originate, develop and pitch your factual/non-scripted TV ideas in a global market.

Get insider tips from: * 10 TV development producers – who have a combined 50+ years experience of developing and pitching ideas at all levels; * 20 senior executives who have sold some of the world’s most successful shows, to: * 16 channel executives, who between them have worked at: * 18 TV channels in: * 7 countries across 4 continents.

Greenlit is available now from Amazon and all good bookstores.

Three Things That Will Make Your Documentary Big Enough for Theatrical Release

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)

Six Ways to Allay Your Commissioning Editor’s Fears and Sell your TV Programme

You might think that all you need to get your TV programme commissioned is a good idea. Not so.

Assuming you have a really good idea, and have sprinkled it with fairy dust for luck, it is still unlikely that you will get your idea commissioned. Why? Because your commissioner is scared. They’re scared of commissioning a programme that might fail. And failing programmes put their jobs on the line. Which makes it your job to allay those fears and make it easy for them to say yes.

Here are six fears you need to address in your proposal and pitch. (Photo by Kables)

Development Insider: Rejection, Rejection, Rejection

This is the first of a new series from a development insider: it’s the the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the dirty truth about TV development. Written by someone (who must remain anonymous), who knows, from painful experience, what really goes on behind the commissioners’ doors. Read, enjoy and join the debate.

(photo by das.viereck)

Seven Lessons from a Life in Development

When TLC rebranded in 2005, they introduced the notion of ‘life lessons’, along with collectable ornaments and a section on their website for ‘grown-up fun”. In the same spirit I’d thought I’d share some ‘development lessons’. Unfortunately, I don’t have matching knick-knacks, and you’ll have to provide your own grown-up fun. (Photo by pimpexposure)

Trendhunter Videos – Tech

Check out the latest Trendhunter tech trends, including: Futuristic Shopping Experiences, 23 Viral Must-Have iPhone Apps, Ads That Age You, Politics from Space and Bad Breath Detectors.