Selling To Netflix 2024

Selling Your Documentary To Netflix and the Streamers 2024

How I Got My Documentary On Netflix with Matt D’Avella

Documentary filmmaker Matt D'Avella shares his journey of how he got his documentary "Minimalism" on Netflix.

How I Got My Documentary On Netflix

Matt D'Avella shares two BIG pieces of advice:

1. Focus 1st on making the absolute best film that you can. Put everything you can into a high-quality production. 

2. Partner up with people who have skills you don’t have. In Matt's case, he partnered with those with an existing audience.

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Additional Take-Aways:

  • Having a successful first film doesn’t mean a second successful film. Matt's second film “failed”, but Netflix came on board as a partner and made it an “original” Netflix production. That means they funded it upfront and became team members.

  • There is no “one way” to pitch Netflix. Use whatever creative tools you have to get across your vision. (Trailer, Pitch Deck, rough cut, etc)

  • Favorite advice from another filmmaker: “If your story doesn’t change along the way, you’re not listening.”

  • The critical importance of a compelling “hook” at the beginning of a film.

  • Sometimes things work good on paper, but not in reality.

  • Huge challenge was the Story Structure - Initially started with a Part 1 and Part 2, but realized the story worked better to weave the two stories together.

  • Yes, it can be difficult to cut scenes, but do NOT get married to any ideas. 

  • During the post-production process, do an honest evaluation of what’s essential and what’s not and cut anything that's not working (no matter how attached you are to the footage).

  • There were a lot of versions of the film. It's important to share your rough cuts with friends, team members and colleagues to get fresh eyes on the story.

  • Never give up on an idea until you look at all the options.

  • There is no straight line to success. Many years will need to be dedicated to the craft.

About Matt D’Avella

Matt D’Avella

Matt D’Avella is a Netflix filmmaker, YouTuber & entrepreneur exploring things like minimalism, productivity, and habits. He directed the Netflix documentary "Minimalism".

You can find Matt on Instagram & Twitter.

Official Website:

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