Topic Studios is seeking a Director, Nonfiction Series & Documentary to join the team in New York, reporting to the VP, Nonfiction Series & Documentary. This position will be expected to be in the office at least three days per week. The ideal candidate will be motivated, eager, & energized by nonfiction & documentary development. They will have proven development & production experience in independent documentaries, streaming, & cable/broadcast television programming. They will be able to work well in a team & independently. They will have strong relationships in the creative community & the industry, including directors, producers, agencies, managers, print media, studio executives, & buyers. They will have a knack for identifying whats of value in the market & nurturing creative talent in the development of content. This position will work closely with the VP to develop & help bring to market a slate of projects to build on the success of the Topic Studios brand in the non-fiction space.
- Work closely with VP to develop interesting & diverse projects with an eye toward market strategy from inception
- Work with VP & EVP, Film & Docs to assess the creative & financial viability of documentary investments
- Forge & maintain relationships with agencies, producers, & filmmakers to solicit high-quality submissions for financing & to bring in projects for development that have a path to sale.
- Identify & cultivate new & existing talent from diverse communities, platforms, & outlets including emerging creators
- Assess & evaluate TV formats, books, articles, podcasts, documentaries, & other source material for development
- Identify creators (writers, directors, producers, talent) with whom Topic Studios could partner.
- Generate ideas for projects, partnerships & packages.
- Work with VP to manage the entire development-to-delivery process on the Nonfiction slate, including communicating notes on footage & cuts as requested, attending shoots as needed, & helping to ensure that projects are delivered on time & on budget
- Work with VP to manage & track the development budget & business affairs deals for slate projects.
- Track competitive information on projects selling to market & going into production.
- Attend general & pitch meetings with creators.
- Work closely with creators to develop stories, formats, decks, pitches, & scripts.
- Serve as the first point of contact between the Nonfiction group & other Topic Studios verticals (Film, Podcasts, Original Series) when considering our proprietary IP for Scripted TV & other formats.
- Other appropriately related projects/duties as they emerge
Background & Qualifications:
- College degree. Related fields are strongly preferred.
- Minimum 5 years of creative development experience in the nonfiction & documentary marketplace.
- Strong relationships with agencies, management companies, production companies, creative executives & distribution/platform partners.
- Knowledge of feature documentaries & unscripted television series & formats (past & present).
- Avid viewer with premium/commercial taste & the ability to identify worlds/voices with the potential to connect with audiences.
- Ability to source IP in all its forms & determine which are primed for development into nonfiction content.
- Ability to generate creative ideas & elements to enhance projects.
- Strategic mindset vis a vis setting up projects that meet a platforms expressed need, brand & audience profile.
- Excellent communication skills verbal & written.
- Must be a team player & enjoy working collaboratively & in person
- Ability to multi-task, prioritize, organize & schedule work effectively.
Compensation (NYC Only): The salary range for this role is $115,000 - $125,000 annually. The salary offered will be determined based on relative experience, skillset & other job-related factors.
About FIRST LOOK MEDIA
First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism & documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder & philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, FLM was founded on the fundamental belief that freedom of expression, the press, & the power of storytelling are vital to a vibrant culture & a thriving democracy.
First Look Medias flagship brands include the award-winning entertainment studio, Topic Studios & the criminally-good streaming service, Topic. FLM continues to expand its mission of supporting independent voices via a variety of new brands, formats & platforms, as well as through foundational technology, helping creators & audiences develop, distribute, discover & connect with meaningful stories.
About Topic Studios
Topic Studios is the award-winning entertainment studio from First Look Media that develops, finances & produces provocative & entertaining content for all platforms including theatrical, streaming, television & podcasts.
The Studio is behind such notable films as Nikyatu Jusus Nanny, winner of the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival (Blumhouse/Amazon); Pablo Larrans Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart (Academy Award & Golden Globe nominee for her performance) as Princess Diana (with NEON); the Academy Award-winning Spotlight; The Mauritanian, starring Jodie Foster (Golden Globe winner for her performance), Tahar Rahim (Golden Globe nominee for his performance), Benedict Cumberbatch, & Shailene Woodley (STX); & Adam Leons Italian Studies starring Academy Award nominee Vanessa Kirby (Magnolia Pictures). Acclaimed documentaries from the Studio have included Stanley Nelson & Traci A. Currys Attica on Showtime (2022 Academy Award-nominee for Best Documentary); the big wave surfing series, 100 Foot Wave, renewed for a second season, and the Peabody & Film Independent Spirit Award-nominated, three-part series, Nuclear Family, both on HBO/HBO Max; Douglas Tirolas Leonard Bernstein portrait Bernsteins Wall; Lucy Walkers wildfires documentary Bring Your Own Brigade, on Paramount+; & the GLAAD Media Award winner Mucho Mucho Amor on Netflix. Pioneering podcasts have included Pulitzer finalist & IDA Award-winning investigative podcast Somebody, with iHeartMedia; former Dinner Party Download host Brendan Francis Newnams new food & travel show Not Lost (Pushkin Industries); John Cameron Mitchells Anthem featuring Glenn Close, Cynthia Erivo & Patti LuPone; Operator (Wondery), a #1 Apples Top Podcasts debut; & The Messenger & American ISIS on Audible Plus. The Studio is also ramping up its scripted television division with the Untitled Martin Lawrence Project, based on the acclaimed Israeli HOT series Nehama; also the Untitled Vincent Chin Project, a scripted drama limited series created by Marilyn Fu with Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi & the Legend of the Ten Rings) attached to direct (in partnership with Amazon)
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer People of color, people with disabilities, women & LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, & to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.