How to Develop, Pitch and Produce a Premium Unscripted Docuseries for a Streamer or Network

Hosted by Andrew Fried

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Andrew Fried

Webinar hosted by: Andrew Fried

President & Producer at Boardwalk (Netflix's Cheer, Chef's Table, The Goop Lab)

Andrew Fried is the Founder and President of Boardwalk Pictures, producers of premium non-fiction content for multiple networks and distributors, including Netflix, Showtime, Quibi, YouTube and many others. A recipient of multiple Emmy wins and nominations (including six nominations and three wins for breakout Netflix hit CHEER just this year), Fried and Boardwalk strive to elevate and expand the idea of documentary television across an ever-growing unscripted landscape. Boardwalk has been responsible for some of the most prestigious unscripted series of the last few years. CHEF'S TABLE, now in its 7th season, received 8 Emmy nominations, won 3 James Beard Awards and the IDA Award for Best Documentary Series. CHEER, also on Netflix, has proven to be one of the platform's biggest successes. Other huge commercial hits include Gwyneth Paltrow's THE GOOP LAB, 7 DAYS OUT, STREET FOOD and LAST CHANCE U (now in its 4th season), the Showtime series ACTION and YouTube’s BEST SHOT. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

This Webinar has a 100% Satisfaction Rating!

It’s undeniable that we’re witnessing a new era of unscripted television. The staggering, cultural success of shows like CHEF'S TABLE, TIGER KING, CHEER, I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, and LAST CHANCE U signify in no uncertain terms that the appetite is huge for premium docuseries and will likely continue to be for at least the near future.

In today’s rapidly evolving television landscape, one of the greatest challenges that producers face is how to develop series that will actually resonate in such an increasingly crowded space. Gone are the days of having an idea, putting a 3-page deck together and pitching it to 30 different networks in the hopes that several of them will make offers to further develop the series. Instead, the most effective way to produce a docu-series in today’s world is to secure many more parts of the package when bringing a new project to market. In a world of talent, access, format and projected story arc, the development of different types of shows require us to ask different questions of ourselves early on and throughout the development process.

Doing this and working to stay ahead of the curve can very well situate you for success and put you on your way to produce your own premium docuseries. And, we're thrilled to bring you a Stage 32 Educator who can help you do just that.

Andrew Fried is the Founder and President of Boardwalk Pictures, producers of premium non-fiction content for multiple networks and distributors, including Netflix, Showtime, Quibi, YouTube and many others. A recipient of multiple Emmy wins and nominations (including six nominations and three wins for breakout Netflix hit CHEER just this year), Fried and Boardwalk strive to elevate and expand the idea of documentary television across an ever-growing unscripted landscape. Boardwalk has been responsible for some of the most prestigious unscripted series of the last few years. CHEF'S TABLE, now in its 7th season, received 8 Emmy nominations, won 3 James Beard Awards and the IDA Award for Best Documentary Series. CHEER, also on Netflix, has proven to be one of the platform's biggest successes. Other huge commercial hits include Gwyneth Paltrow's THE GOOP LAB, 7 DAYS OUT, STREET FOOD and LAST CHANCE U (now in its 4th season), the Showtime series ACTION and YouTube’s BEST SHOT.

 

By revealing how the industry works behind popular docuseries and walking you through the entire timeline of what putting together content like this looks like, Andrew will give you clear tools and a practical roadmap you can use to make your own docuseries a reality.

 

 

Praise for Andrew's Stage 32 Webinar

 

"Really really great info. As someone who has had success in pitching docuseries before Andrews's information was spot on and I still got new info and ideas out of it!"

-Matt R.

 

"Great presentation. One of my top 2 favorite Stage 32 webinars I have attended.

-Heather L.

What You'll Learn

  • A General Overview of Unscripted Programming
    • What are the different types of unscripted programming?
    • Where do we see these shows/who are potential buyers for them?
    • How has this side of the industry grown and evolved recently?
  • What Are Different Types of Docuseries and What Are People Watching?
    • Anthology vs. arced stories
    • Format vs. a more documentary approach
    • How does this landscape continue to evolve through time?
  • The Circus Analogy
    • How do we find story vs. how do we create story?
    • Casting
    • Access
  • Creating Materials That Sell
    • How to develop a deck
    • How to create a sizzle reel
    • How to do all of this while not breaking the bank
    • How to avoid over-developing your idea, while being sure to not under-develop it either
  • How to Navigate the “Hollywood” of it All
    • When celebrity attachments help
    • How to package your project without cutting yourself out
    • What are the elements you need to actually get a green light
  • Now What?
    • How development and casting steps generally work
    • What is a show bible?
    • When do we actually get to make this thing?
    • Discussion of process in the field and post
  • Q&A with Andrew

About Your Instructor

Andrew Fried is the Founder and President of Boardwalk Pictures, producers of premium non-fiction content for multiple networks and distributors, including Netflix, Showtime, Quibi, YouTube and many others. A recipient of multiple Emmy wins and nominations (including six nominations and three wins for breakout Netflix hit CHEER just this year), Fried and Boardwalk strive to elevate and expand the idea of documentary television across an ever-growing unscripted landscape. Boardwalk has been responsible for some of the most prestigious unscripted series of the last few years. CHEF'S TABLE, now in its 7th season, received 8 Emmy nominations, won 3 James Beard Awards and the IDA Award for Best Documentary Series. CHEER, also on Netflix, has proven to be one of the platform's biggest successes. Other huge commercial hits include Gwyneth Paltrow's THE GOOP LAB, 7 DAYS OUT, STREET FOOD and LAST CHANCE U (now in its 4th season), the Showtime series ACTION and YouTube’s BEST SHOT.

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Testimonials

 

"Truly a great overview on pitching and selling docuseries."

-Michael G.

 

"Clear, well organized and a pleasant approachable personality."

-Amita S.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

  • Andrew Fried did a great job with this webinar. If you are looking into how to get started with the unscripted realm or docuseries, then this is a must-have for your library. The questions at the end of the webinar were also very good and Andrew gave an open invitation to all Stage 32 members to submit to him if you have any of the types of projects I previously listed. With that being said you definitely need to listen and watch the webinar as he does lay down what he likes to produce and the types of things he really does not like to produce. His unscripted content is more along the lines of mini-documentaries rather than formatted reality shows. You will not be disappointed, he packs a lot into the 90 minutes.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Breaking in and Building a Career in Premium Unscripted TV

As you are aware, unscripted television is BOOMING. All the streamers have jumped into the mix and now more and more networks, premium cable channels and even short form platforms like Quibi are diving in with both feet. Creating compelling non-fiction TV requires more than just vision. It involves a gameplan. And it can't hurt to have multiple ideas in reserve or even multiple paths for the same show. This will allow you to not only launch one show, but perhaps lay the groundwork for many shows, essentially building brand recognition for you and for your production company. There is a path to building a scalable business in reality and unscripted and that path is wider than ever. And there's no better person to send you on that path than a guy who has built an empire with his company through producing such shows as Netflix's CHEER and CHEF'S TABLE and many others for streamers and networks around the world. We all have a desire to tell stories. In an era when technology is rapidly developing and there are increasingly lower barriers to actually creating unscripted content. But an idea is just the start. Often times what we fail to do is understand how to get from an idea, or a series of ideas, to having viable content that a more commercial marketplace is actually looking for. By doing a deep dive into the history, shows and business of the prolific reality production company Boardwalk Pictures, we can better understand how to establish our creative voice and brand in a crowded landscape and determine how best to bring our value to a variety of projects and partners. Andrew Fried is the Founder and President of Boardwalk Pictures, producers of premium non-fiction content for multiple networks and distributors including Netflix, Showtime, Quibi, YouTube and many others. A recipient of multiple awards and 3 Emmy nominations, Fried and Boardwalk strive to elevate and expand the idea of documentary television across an ever-growing unscripted landscape. Boardwalk has been responsible for some of the most prestigious unscripted series of the last few years. CHEF'S TABLE, now entering its 7th season, has received 8 Emmy nominations, has won 3 James Beard Awards and the IDA Award for Best Documentary Series. CHEER, also on Netflix, has proven to be one of the platform's biggest successes. Other huge commercial hits include Gwyneth Paltrow's THE GOOP LAB, 7 DAYS OUT, STREET FOOD and LAST CHANCE U (now in it’s 4th season), the Showtime series ACTION and YouTube’s BEST SHOT. Andrew will teach you how to stake your claim in the unscripted marketplace and also how to build an empire in the space. By diving into his journey and the paths Boardwalk Picture shows have taken from concept to screen, Andrew will show you the do's and don'ts of unscripted from the creative and business sides to assure you shorten your path to success. He will speak to the companies origin stories and how Chef's Table became Netflix's first unscripted original series. He will explain how to judge quantity vs. quality, explain the "8th Grade Assembly" test, describe what it means to be storyteller led, and how to identify a void that needs to be filled. He will dive into how to develop your creative brand, define what stories it is you want to tell, and how to approach meetings and networking opportunities to help get your vision to air. He will describe how to add value to just about every situation - so important in unscripted where you're likely to have partners and how to best position yourself to where people not only want to work with you, but will be anxious to hear your next idea and the one after that.   Praise for Andrew's Stage 32 Webinar   "Fabulous, authentic insights into what makes a successful producer of premium unscripted content!" -John P.   "Loved it! I especially appreciated his positivity! I’m feeling inspired and I know I’m on the “write” track to creating something wonderful!" -Edie F.   "Andrew was really great - a total professional who gave a lot of insight into "the business" and what attracts the green light." -Pooky A.   "Excellent. Honest. Thoughtful. Insightful." -Tim O.    

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How to Build Your Career as a Full-Time Writer

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This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. By the end of this 5-week writing lab, you will have an outline and practiced pitch for your more market-ready and developed faith-based film Sessions will vary between 2-hour group settings and personal one-on-one Zoom meetings with Brad. You will be held accountable to take the lessons from each week and move your work forward. Plus, to keep you motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the development process. To see the full writing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 writers and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a working executive and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please do book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for more information     Praise for Brad's Previous Stage 32 Webinar   "Brad was amazing. He laid out so clearly the genre and how to write for it in a practical way. He was an awesome instructor who combined practical info, inspiration, and was so "real." Loved it." -Ricki L.   "This was the best webinar I've had so far at Stage 32. Brad's very seasoned and gave wonderful tips that will help me make my faith-friendly script" more marketable." -Gayle R.   "A very honest, forthright presentation from a guy whose been there and done that, and knows the pitfalls and promises of the biz." -Dennis H.  

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