Sep 22, 2018
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Front Page, Industry News

The Hot Docs Survival Guide: A Broadcaster Profile of Shaw Media

By TO411 Daily staff writer Daisy Maclean

With just over a month and a half to go before North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, it’s a good idea to start preparing to make the most of your time there. Being in the know is key when it comes to your film festival experience and so we here at TO411 Daily have profiled three Canadian national broadcasters who will be in attendance at HotDocs 2012.

I talked with Sarah Jane Flynn, senior director of original factual content for Shaw Media, whose team oversees anything unscripted, that is not lifestyle, on Global Television, History Television and TVtropolis. Global television is Shaw media’s conventional network that reaches 27 million households across Canada. They have recently announced a new series of one-off documentaries called Close Up, each one hour documentary will look at unusual subcultures of people living life in an interesting way.

“We have a handful that are in production and more in development,” explains Flynn. “Their topics range from animism, roller-derby, to the E-sports world (the world of people that game competitively), also we are looking at doll culture as well as something called Fan-Ladies, which is about middle-aged women who are super-fans.”

On the specialty side, Shaw Media has a Feature Independent Documentary Production Fund which is administered internally. The fund consists of $5 million which is allocated over a 7 year period in order to support feature documentaries which have budgets totaling over a million dollars. These documentaries tend to be the large-scale, grander more epic feature. To date the fund has contributed to a number of projects that are international co-productions.

History Television is Shaw Media’s specialty network dedicated to programming in a historical context. Flynn’s team tends to look for anniversary feature documentaries. “We’ve got one coming out soon called Explosion 1812, as it’s the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812. Coming out next summer is a feature doc about Dieppe airing in and around the anniversary of the battle which will reveal unbelievable new evidence and have a great new story with it,” continues Flynn.

“Monster Snake is coming soon – it’s a doc feature about the largest find of a snake in the world and it actually changes our perception of the temperature of the earth and our contemporary take on ecology. Clearly we’ll be looking for something for the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI and we’ll probably look for a feature doc, as well as a limited series. The Great Escape Revealed was another documentary that was an international co-production. It’s just phenomenal. It tells the true story of that iconic great escape from the Stalag Luft III camp – the Steve McQueen movie. Ironically, there were actually no Americans involved in the great escape, it was mostly Canadians and Brits.”

Flynn’s team doesn’t acquire any documentaries that have been completed, if they are going to become involved in a factual feature then they will come in during development and commission exclusively. The team will be present at HotDocs to take meetings with producers and hear pitches. Keep your eye out for a panel as well. There is no specific number of slots they need to fill with content, instead the team looks for features that fit well within their programming or that offer a spectacular opportunity, like Monster Snake. The team meets every two weeks to discuss potential projects and sometimes their first stage is to give a project some development financing.

The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds are another opportunity for documentary financing funded by Shaw Media. These funds consist of a $3-million completion fund and a $1-million development fund both of which are allocated over a 7 year period. Both of these funds are administered by HotDocs and are open to projects intended for any Canadian broadcaster and not just Shaw Media. The application process for the first round of 2012 funding will open in April, with an application deadline of May 16, 2012.

Flynn’s had some parting advice to filmmakers, “As a broadcaster we are not in the business of paying someone to make a theatrical film. We’re in the business of buying films for television and until people can figure out a way to finance a theatrical documentary purely by theatrical revenues then the TV factor is always going to be there and in may cases it’s should be the lead factor. It’s great and wonderful for a few people to see a film at a festival, but its considerably better for hundreds of thousands of people to see it on television, I think. The goal is to get your film seen.”

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Front Page, Industry News

The Hot Docs Survival Guide: A Broadcaster Profile of Shaw Media

By TO411 Daily staff writer Daisy Maclean

With just over a month and a half to go before North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, it’s a good idea to start preparing to make the most of your time there. Being in the know is key when it comes to your film festival experience and so we here at TO411 Daily have profiled three Canadian national broadcasters who will be in attendance at HotDocs 2012.

I talked with Sarah Jane Flynn, senior director of original factual content for Shaw Media, whose team oversees anything unscripted, that is not lifestyle, on Global Television, History Television and TVtropolis. Global television is Shaw media’s conventional network that reaches 27 million households across Canada. They have recently announced a new series of one-off documentaries called Close Up, each one hour documentary will look at unusual subcultures of people living life in an interesting way.

“We have a handful that are in production and more in development,” explains Flynn. “Their topics range from animism, roller-derby, to the E-sports world (the world of people that game competitively), also we are looking at doll culture as well as something called Fan-Ladies, which is about middle-aged women who are super-fans.”

On the specialty side, Shaw Media has a Feature Independent Documentary Production Fund which is administered internally. The fund consists of $5 million which is allocated over a 7 year period in order to support feature documentaries which have budgets totaling over a million dollars. These documentaries tend to be the large-scale, grander more epic feature. To date the fund has contributed to a number of projects that are international co-productions.

History Television is Shaw Media’s specialty network dedicated to programming in a historical context. Flynn’s team tends to look for anniversary feature documentaries. “We’ve got one coming out soon called Explosion 1812, as it’s the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812. Coming out next summer is a feature doc about Dieppe airing in and around the anniversary of the battle which will reveal unbelievable new evidence and have a great new story with it,” continues Flynn.

“Monster Snake is coming soon – it’s a doc feature about the largest find of a snake in the world and it actually changes our perception of the temperature of the earth and our contemporary take on ecology. Clearly we’ll be looking for something for the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI and we’ll probably look for a feature doc, as well as a limited series. The Great Escape Revealed was another documentary that was an international co-production. It’s just phenomenal. It tells the true story of that iconic great escape from the Stalag Luft III camp – the Steve McQueen movie. Ironically, there were actually no Americans involved in the great escape, it was mostly Canadians and Brits.”

Flynn’s team doesn’t acquire any documentaries that have been completed, if they are going to become involved in a factual feature then they will come in during development and commission exclusively. The team will be present at HotDocs to take meetings with producers and hear pitches. Keep your eye out for a panel as well. There is no specific number of slots they need to fill with content, instead the team looks for features that fit well within their programming or that offer a spectacular opportunity, like Monster Snake. The team meets every two weeks to discuss potential projects and sometimes their first stage is to give a project some development financing.

The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds are another opportunity for documentary financing funded by Shaw Media. These funds consist of a $3-million completion fund and a $1-million development fund both of which are allocated over a 7 year period. Both of these funds are administered by HotDocs and are open to projects intended for any Canadian broadcaster and not just Shaw Media. The application process for the first round of 2012 funding will open in April, with an application deadline of May 16, 2012.

Flynn’s had some parting advice to filmmakers, “As a broadcaster we are not in the business of paying someone to make a theatrical film. We’re in the business of buying films for television and until people can figure out a way to finance a theatrical documentary purely by theatrical revenues then the TV factor is always going to be there and in may cases it’s should be the lead factor. It’s great and wonderful for a few people to see a film at a festival, but its considerably better for hundreds of thousands of people to see it on television, I think. The goal is to get your film seen.”

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You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

The Hot Docs Survival Guide: A Broadcaster Profile of Shaw Media

By TO411 Daily staff writer Daisy Maclean

With just over a month and a half to go before North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, it’s a good idea to start preparing to make the most of your time there. Being in the know is key when it comes to your film festival experience and so we here at TO411 Daily have profiled three Canadian national broadcasters who will be in attendance at HotDocs 2012.

I talked with Sarah Jane Flynn, senior director of original factual content for Shaw Media, whose team oversees anything unscripted, that is not lifestyle, on Global Television, History Television and TVtropolis. Global television is Shaw media’s conventional network that reaches 27 million households across Canada. They have recently announced a new series of one-off documentaries called Close Up, each one hour documentary will look at unusual subcultures of people living life in an interesting way.

“We have a handful that are in production and more in development,” explains Flynn. “Their topics range from animism, roller-derby, to the E-sports world (the world of people that game competitively), also we are looking at doll culture as well as something called Fan-Ladies, which is about middle-aged women who are super-fans.”

On the specialty side, Shaw Media has a Feature Independent Documentary Production Fund which is administered internally. The fund consists of $5 million which is allocated over a 7 year period in order to support feature documentaries which have budgets totaling over a million dollars. These documentaries tend to be the large-scale, grander more epic feature. To date the fund has contributed to a number of projects that are international co-productions.

History Television is Shaw Media’s specialty network dedicated to programming in a historical context. Flynn’s team tends to look for anniversary feature documentaries. “We’ve got one coming out soon called Explosion 1812, as it’s the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812. Coming out next summer is a feature doc about Dieppe airing in and around the anniversary of the battle which will reveal unbelievable new evidence and have a great new story with it,” continues Flynn.

“Monster Snake is coming soon – it’s a doc feature about the largest find of a snake in the world and it actually changes our perception of the temperature of the earth and our contemporary take on ecology. Clearly we’ll be looking for something for the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI and we’ll probably look for a feature doc, as well as a limited series. The Great Escape Revealed was another documentary that was an international co-production. It’s just phenomenal. It tells the true story of that iconic great escape from the Stalag Luft III camp – the Steve McQueen movie. Ironically, there were actually no Americans involved in the great escape, it was mostly Canadians and Brits.”

Flynn’s team doesn’t acquire any documentaries that have been completed, if they are going to become involved in a factual feature then they will come in during development and commission exclusively. The team will be present at HotDocs to take meetings with producers and hear pitches. Keep your eye out for a panel as well. There is no specific number of slots they need to fill with content, instead the team looks for features that fit well within their programming or that offer a spectacular opportunity, like Monster Snake. The team meets every two weeks to discuss potential projects and sometimes their first stage is to give a project some development financing.

The Shaw Media-Hot Docs Funds are another opportunity for documentary financing funded by Shaw Media. These funds consist of a $3-million completion fund and a $1-million development fund both of which are allocated over a 7 year period. Both of these funds are administered by HotDocs and are open to projects intended for any Canadian broadcaster and not just Shaw Media. The application process for the first round of 2012 funding will open in April, with an application deadline of May 16, 2012.

Flynn’s had some parting advice to filmmakers, “As a broadcaster we are not in the business of paying someone to make a theatrical film. We’re in the business of buying films for television and until people can figure out a way to finance a theatrical documentary purely by theatrical revenues then the TV factor is always going to be there and in may cases it’s should be the lead factor. It’s great and wonderful for a few people to see a film at a festival, but its considerably better for hundreds of thousands of people to see it on television, I think. The goal is to get your film seen.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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