The Position: 

The Director, Development (Fiction), Topic will be responsible for the development, creation, and delivery across multiple formats of storytelling (primarily scripted) in episodic, serialized, franchised, short, and film formats.

The Director, Development (Fiction), Topic will build lasting relationships for Topic with agents, writers, directors, producers, talent, and studios, and help establish Topic as a hub for premium programming. They will pitch the brand, streaming service and opportunities therein to creators, partners, and agents, as well as call for and field pitches. 

The Director, Development (Fiction), Topic will also oversee the development and production of projects. Depending on the nature of the project, they will be expected to read, collect, and communicate notes on scripts and cuts, attend shoots, communicate and help resolve conflicts, and otherwise ensure that Topic projects are delivered on time, on budget, and successfully fulfill the parameters and needs. 

They will be responsible for tracking and communicating all pitches and projects to internal stakeholders, including the VP, Originals and General Manager of Topic.

The Director, Development (Fiction), Topic will be an integral member of the Topic team and will report to the General Manager of Topic and work closely with the VP, Originals. 

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and supervise the production of original video programming, including short and long-form scripted and documentary series, feature-length documentaries, and scripted projects, discussion shows, and other types of premium video.
  • Manage entire process for each project, from pitch to delivery; ensure that scripted productions are on schedule and within budget.
  • Identify and cultivate new and existing talent and creators for Topic from diverse communities, platforms and outlets.
  • Ideate and initiate projects around topics, themes, and subject matter — contemporary or otherwise — that is of interest and relevance to curious, educated, and diverse audiences.
  • Maintain a detailed scripted project tracker document, ensuring all internal stakeholders are clear on project status, from pitch (or pass) to delivery.
  • Facilitate development of projects beyond their initial digital forms for potential sales or license to third parties across different formats (podcasts/film/TV/etc).
  • Keep up to date on trends, strategies and the overall landscape of other video creation and distribution brands, whether boutique or broad. 

Secondary Responsibilities: 

  • Marketing, Creative & Press: For each project overseen, ensure that Marketing, Creative, and PR team (along with any others) have the knowledge, materials, and understanding of the project to correctly position for success on Topic’s streaming service and/or with partners
  • Title Performance: Work with analytics and social teams to track title performance; interpret and react to data through regular updates and meetings.
  • Sales/Advertising: work with internal sales and marketing teams to develop and execute branded content and/or integrations that work for potential brand partners and advertisers. 

Background & Qualifications: 

  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience, primarily focused on scripted programming. Non-scripted and acquisitions/programming experience is a plus. 
  • Extensive track record of development experience in both scripted / non-scripted areas.
  • Track record of partnering with production operations, i.e. unions, budgets, etc. and strong working relationships with production communities in NY, LA and beyond.
  • Track record of excellence in creating and nurturing talent relationships with a wide-range of creators throughout the creative process, end to end.
  • Ability to source IP in all its forms and determine which are primed for development into premium scripted series.
  • Solid knowledge and understanding of the domestic and international TV marketplace.
  • Working knowledge of digital media landscape, including social media platforms, TV/OTT, and overarching trends in video consumption.
  • Willingness to travel to Los Angeles and other locations as needed.

About TOPIC

Topic is the ambitious new storytelling brand, streaming service, and entertainment studio from First Look Media, dedicated to supporting creators at the forefront of culture. From Academy Award®-winning films (Spotlight) to television, audio and digital, we explore a wide range of subject matter, both fiction and nonfiction with an emphasis on stories of consequence that explore the issues of our time. Our approach – challenging, compelling and unconventional – reflects our commitment to discovering and amplifying independent new voices, and 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 and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media was created with the belief that independent perspectives are vital to both a vibrant culture and a thriving democracy. 

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

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.  

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