MIPTV & MIPDoc: The Week in Factual
By Mansha Daswani
High-end, ambitious factual storytelling took center stage at MIPDoc and MIPTV. Topping the list of most-screened projects still in production at MIPDoc was ZDF Enterprises’ Anthropocene: Human Force of Nature, a three-part 4K doc that looks at the scientific and societal solutions for humankind’s impact on Earth.
MIPTV announced it is backing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Media Compact and hosted a keynote showcase featuring Seeker’s The Swim, a documentary highlighting ocean pollution and plastic contamination.
The importance of raising awareness of our effects on the environment was also a major theme of Dr. Michael Gunton’s keynote conversation with World Screen’s Anna Carugati on day one of MIPDoc. The creative director of the Natural History Unit and factual at BBC Studios talked about working with David Attenborough and immersive wildlife filmmaking before he was presented with the World Screen Factual Trendsetter Award.
Gunton’s impressive list of credits includes Planet Earth II and Dynasties, among many other landmark natural-history series. On his approach to storytelling, Gunton noted, “Natural-history audiences love to see new things. When the camera can draw the veil back and show things that are remarkable, that’s the approach. Trying to find surprising stories. Some of the best surprises come from when you think you know an animal and you show something that completely turns [that belief] on its head.”
On landmark series like Planet Earth, Gunton commented, “Every time you make one of these, people say, You’ve done it all! Mother Nature is so extraordinary and so fascinating, if you dig deep, you do find new stories. Of course, you want to bring in new technology that allows you to show things you might have seen before in one way but can now be shown in another way.”
Planet Earth II let audiences “savor the wonders of the world,” Gunton said. “It came at the right moment. The idea was to get close to the animals. Get down there and use the camera and the storytelling to make you feel you were experiencing their lives.”
Natural-history docs have “many roles,” Gunton added. “We had 2 million years of evolution that connected us with the natural world and the last 250, 300 years we’ve stepped away from that. People want to make a connection with the natural world. And there’s endless fascination about our fellow creators on the planet. They’re a reminder of the wonder and value and fragility [of the natural world].”
Premium factual was the theme of A+E Networks’ MIPDoc session on Saturday afternoon. Patrick Vien, A+E Networks’ executive co-managing director of international, A&E’s Elaine Frontain Bryant and History’s Mary Donahue outlined their programming remits, highlighting The Clinton Affair and Jesus: His Life, respectively.
This article continues here.
Want to know what factual broadcasters are paying for acquisitions?
TV Real’s Program Price Guide features average pricing for documentary specials, documentary series, lifestyle shows and factual entertainment.
The comprehensive guide features:
Price Ranges: The high and low prices for a broad range of documentary and factual genres.
Analysis: Determining Prices: A look at how the price ranges are determined, and general trends in how broadcasters are valuing shows today.
Analysis: Hot & Cold Spots: Where are prices rising, and where are they falling?
Analysis: Dealing with OTTs: Perspectives on working with nonlinear platforms and their evolving business models.
World Screen also offers Program Price Guides for scripted programming and kids' programming. The Factual Program Price Guide is available for $149, and all three reports are available to download for a special introductory price of $389.
More information on all three reports here.