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Realscreen January/February 2019

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053 RS: With some of these genres that use a lot of archive, how are they evolving? With history, for example, are we moving more towards 'modern' history that only goes back 20-30 years? RS: Now that there are more buyers thanks to the advent of SVOD, what range of projects is out there? What kinds of projects are you seeing a real uptick of demand for? JBB: I think that because there's a younger demo watching these [docs], perhaps they're trying to have those audiences get people interested in things they have knowledge about, rather than something archaic. NK: I agree that it's a lot about demographics. Documentaries [in the U.S.] used to be primarily funded by PBS nationally and local affi liates and those demographics are not the same as who's watching docs now. Maybe it's just my luck that I keep working on docs that cover stories from 20 years ago, and that's an era that I defi nitely remember from my childhood and growing up with these stories, but someone who is 20 right now might have heard of the story but knows nothing about it. O.J. Simpson is still in modern pop culture, but people who weren't adults in the '90s don't know a lot about it. EK: I hear from people in their 50s and 60s that their kids are turning them on to documentaries, and it used to be the other way around. That's strictly due to the Netfl ixes and Amazons of the world. And social media plays a huge role in getting people aware about programming, and not just the high profi le stuff, but the content with a niche following or a group of activists really interested in it. That, to me, is very exciting, to see how that is working out for projects on the lower budget level. JBB: Music, for sure. And issue-oriented content — environmental, climate change. Also, more of the independent, citizen journalists, and self-funded fi lmmakers going towards an issue because they're passionate about it. EK: In Europe, especially, there are a lot of quite personal, POV stories being told, and for a long time that was a very niche market. Because of more delivery systems, there are more ways to hear those stories. TJ: The smoking gun is the big thing with networks today, whether it's a history story, science or crime. The biggest obstacle we face is often networks will want archival images connected to iconic stories. I was once told by a network that if we are going to pitch a shipwreck story it had better be about the Titanic. I get why networks want stories that can immediately connect with an audience, but there are literally thousands of amazing stories that can be told with archive that are extremely well documented and photographed and would make for edge-of-your-seat drama. I hear from people in their 50s and 60s that their kids are turning them on to documentaries, and it used to be the other way around. That's strictly due to the Netfl ixes and Amazons of the world."

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