Notes to a Documentary Producer on Selling his film
You don't need an agent or a rep, You need to the research you should have done before you started making it: You can do it yourself with a lawyer reviewing the deal before you sign off on it.
1. Which networks are airing similar docs? (Globally)
2. Is there a similar doc out there? Where did it air?
3. Contact the commissioning editors of the strands that air these
similar docs. ITVS, POV, HBO (a long shot), Showtime, etc. Roco (for
4. Send them screeners.
6. Go to markets like Real Screen, Hot Docs, IDFA, Sheffield, AIDC and meet the buyers.
7. Don't make a deal with a company that aggregates for the internet..Make deals directly.
It is possible you won't sell your doc.
Peter Hamilton reports:
A total of 1,694 feature documentaries were submitted to Sundance this year:
843 were from the U.S.
851 were international.
Forty documentaries were selected – a success rate of 2.4%!
There are at least 1700 docs out there and your competing with them for sales.
So it looks bleak.