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First Look Media // new-model media focused on independent voices
Los Angeles, CA & New York City    Posted: Saturday, November 02, 2019
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The Position:

The VP, Nonfiction, Topic Studios will oversee the development, production, investment, packaging, & go to market strategy for Topic Studios on Nonfiction series & feature documentaries, with a focus on Series. The VP will create & execute the creative/editorial vision & strategy for Nonfiction Programming, & oversee a slate of premium unscripted series & several docs. This role will be a thought leader for the Studios Unscripted strategy & partner with the EVP, Topic Studios in shaping & driving the business within overall Studio strategy. Along with Studio verticals in TV, Film & Podcasts, Nonfiction will align with Topic Studios creative vision & revenue goals. With deep filmmaker, buyer, & agent relationships within the doc community, & an understanding of the nonfiction buyers & audience viewing habits, the VP will commission ongoing & limited shows, oversee development & current production, source feature opportunities for Topic to invest in & produce feature docs & shows that will break through the noise in the current marketplace, andscale the business as we grow it. Strategy & slate will be more heavily skewed toward Series than single features, & the ideal candidates skills will mirror this focus, with experience running ongoing episodic Series.

The role will report to the EVP Topic Studios in New York City.The VP of Nonfiction,Topic Studioswill further build the companys presence in the Documentary community, & establish & lead an intimate department in the companys NY office.

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of running successful, high-end nonfiction series & finding & overseeing acclaimed documentary features either at a production company or premium outlet; sophisticated taste & superior development skills; be a self-starter with a book of existing filmmaker relationships, & producer & buyer contacts that enable them to hit the ground running; possess the desire & drive to build a brand & a slate; excellent communication skills; & will thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.


  • Create an editorial vision for a Nonfiction slate of the highest quality that creates a distinctive voice, character & brand for Topic Studios.
  • Curate & oversee a slate ofambitious, premium nonfiction storytelling, including episodic, limited/anthology & film formats.
  • Cultivate talent & creators that help shape Topic voice/brand,build lasting relationships with directors, producers, talent, production partners & buyers, & further establish Topic Studios as a destination for creators of premium nonfiction content.
  • Ideate & initiate projects around subject matter of interest & relevance to curious & diverse audiences;solicit & evaluate pitches & submissions
  • Develop projects with creative goals first, & with an eye toward market strategy from inception; guide programming to buyers/distributors for sale.
  • Manage entire process on projects from pitch to delivery, includingcommunicating notes on footage & cuts, hiring producers & attending shoots as needed, & ensuring that projects are delivered on time & on budget
  • Identify & cultivate new & existing talent from diverse communities, platforms & outlets, including emerging creators
  • Partner with other First Look Media verticals to source & create Nonfiction projects derived from proprietary IP.
  • Oversee budget for the Nonfiction department
  • work with internal production teams on creation of decks, sizzles, & promo materials
  • Coordinate marketing & PR with distributors, talent, prodcos, & internal marketing/PR teams

Background & Qualifications:

  • Self-starterwith proven ability to build & run a sector of a business.
  • Minimum 8 yearsof experience in the documentary series and/or feature space, with more weight given to Series.
  • Minimum 5 yearsin a producer, creative executive, or seller capacity in the space, & preferably experience in each of the three roles.
  • Proven track record working with creative talent through the creative process, end to end
  • Specific production & development experience in nonfiction series & features
  • In depth experience with managing production, budgets, etc.
  • Excellentknowledge of streamers, networks & doc distributors andstrong relationships with buyers
  • General knowledge of film & television media landscape, including social media platforms & overarching trends in video consumption.
  • Willingness to travel to New York City, Los Angeles & other locations as needed.
  • Comfortable with a high degree of autonomy
  • Command of directors, producers, production companies, & talent in thespaceas potential attachments & partners, good eye for talent
  • A strong creative presence that possesses a strategic mind-set & has the ability to promote a collaborative environment.
  • Experience in generating & taking pitches
  • Creative storytelling expertise & extensivehands-on experience giving notes to creators on doc materials & cuts.
  • Comfort with a wide range of genres of material

About Topic Studios

Topic is the ambitious new storytelling brand & entertainment studio from First Look Media, dedicated to supporting creators at the forefront of culture. From Academy Award-winningfilms (Spotlight) to television, audio & documentaries, we explore a wide range of subject matter, both fiction & nonfiction with an emphasis on stories of consequence that explore the issues ofour time. Our approach challenging, compelling & unconventional reflects our commitment to discovering & amplifying independent new voices & supporting established ones.

About First Look Media

First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism anddocumentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder & philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First LookMedia was created with the belief that independent perspectives are vital to both a vibrant culture & a thriving democracy.

First Look Media is currently in the market with its flagship properties, The Intercept, Field of Vision, & the soon to launch Topic SVOD service, & plans to continue expandingits mission of supporting independent voices via a variety of new brands, formats & platforms as well as through foundational technologyhelping creators & audiences develop, distribute, discover & connect with meaningful stories.

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.Informing a large, diverse audience is a core principle of our work, so were committed to building a team that reflects that diversity.

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