Craft & Pitch Amazing Stories for NETFLIX! 🎬

Discover Jonny von Wallström's challenges and gain insights from his exceptional expertise. He's an award-winning director for Netflix! 🎥









3 Secrets to selling to Netflix

Are you a passionate filmmaker with a burning desire to tell an impactful story?

I know how...


"Thank you, Jonny. This course is brilliantly structured with a unique and creative teaching style. I've been following Jonny's videos on YouTube for 3 years, and his expertise shines through here. This course is comprehensive if you want to elevate your filmmaking skills. There's no need to search for other courses in this area. Dive in and benefit from Jonny's distinctive insights."


"WooooooooW! I watched all course with mouth open. The best I'v seen."


"Really good. Jonny is very charismatic and full of knowledge to share. Thank you so much!"


"Great course with a lot of own project examples. I liked it and thanks!"


"This is a great course, very informative and conveyed in a direct way. It helped me making more sense of all the production process that goes into making your film available to others, and with the help of the different tasks throughout the lessons it makes it easier to establish a plan and a purpose for the storytelling. I'm now even more motivated than before to go out and give life to my projects! Thank you!"


How do you make a documentary?

To make a captivating documentary, do detailed research. Find a fascinating person and capture a hero's journey. Learn the necessary skills for making documentaries. Experts also teach techniques that focus on the audience and market. Then share your unique stories through a cinematic experience.

ADHD-Fuelled Journey: From Gear Theft to Netflix Success

 I'm Jonny von Wallstrom and my life changed in 2016 after selling my film "The Pearl Of Africa" to Netflix.

You may recognize me from YouTube. I teach aspiring filmmakers how to create amazing films.

Or as a filmmaking coach and teacher, with +7000 students on Udemy and Skillshare.

People often label me a "real" filmmaker, whatever that means. I guess it implies I make films and still find time to show others how it's done.

And yes, I still make films and work with many big brands around the world.

But, my true passion is to be a menace ll society... (great film BTW)

From criminal dumbass to Hollywood

I was never the artist type. I was a footballer and boxer who didn't like following rules. Let's say I wasn't too fond of grown-ups telling me what to do.

No surprise, I started my filmmaking career by stealing camera gear from a bad film school.

With an alcoholic dad, a knife-stabbing cousin, and a drug-dealing aunt, I saw a lot of shit growing up.

But that gave me a lot of empathy for other misunderstood humans. This somehow paid off as I started telling stories about my people.

Something that got me invited to pitch at the Netflix office in Hollywood. I still pinch myself... 🤏

Do documentaries make money?

Well-crafted documentaries can make money. The film's quality, appeal, and audience size depend on several factors. To create a blockbuster film, focus on marketing and impactful storytelling. Broad appeal is key. Learning how to pitch a documentary is critical to making money.

Experts Predict The Documentary Industry Will Hit $21.5 Billion by 2027

I have seen this industry go from broke artists to thriving in the golden age. But this is only the beginning. Market Research Intellect predicts that the doc industry will reach $21.5 billion by 2027.

But here's the sad fact: Only 1% of film school graduates direct a feature-length film.

Consider this: successful filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg attended film school. They faced rejection. They resorted to low-budget films to showcase their talent and determination.

Film school didn't guarantee their success; their hunger for knowledge propelled them forward.

Today you DON'T need a traditional film school.

The Hero's Journey      

The Hero's Journey is a powerful story structure. Joseph Campbell made it popular. It is a technique that captivates audiences by transforming characters. The main character battles obstacles and grows by overcoming them. A simple method to follow. That leads to impactful storytelling.


How to pitch a show to Netflix?

You need a strategy and a great character-driven story to pitch a show to Netflix. Make a compelling pitch deck. Show your unique story with a sizzle reel. Partner with a licensed agent who has a relationship with Netflix. Then, practice and perfect your pitch to get on the streaming platform.

My bankruptcy taught me how to sell to Netflix

I, too, wasted a ton of money and 5 years on film school. Yet, my road to success was challenging. I stole filmmaking gear, risking everything on a short film. It led to bankruptcy. To recover, I hustled a telemarketing gig before selling my first doc, "Zero Silence". I recall standing amidst the chaos in Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring. Bomb planes were buzzing overhead. I wondered if Hosni Mubarak would be stupid enough to bomb his own people. I'm not going to lie, I was afraid he would, but telling the stories is worth the risk.

I rushed the film, then a year later, "The Square" won an Oscar for a very similar story. I didn't know much about the industry. I'm not saying it to complain or brag, but I want to emphasize what it means to understand the industry. Which I obviously knew nothing about back then...

But I didn't give up. Instead, I traveled to Uganda to capture a profound love story in “The Pearl Of Africa.” I highlighted the resilience of a courageous Ugandan trans woman. Netflix later bought the film. After that, I immersed myself in a tense gang war in Sweden. Who could forget when I went undercover to expose the mafia? They were selling puppies to gullible Swedes.

Throughout my filmmaking journey, one thing remains: I risk my life. The industry zombies treat filmmakers like shit! 😡

So, I continue to ask myself: why is it so hard to get great ideas made?

Motivated by two decades of failure. I want to help you by sharing the secrets that helped me turn rejection into selling my film to Netflix.

I want to empower more filmmakers to tell their stories. I want them to fight back against the industry zombies that kill great ideas. 🗡🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️🧨

Know this: the 🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️ are just failed filmmakers who took a stable job. Never forget that.

Filmmaking is more than telling stories

Great stories are a vehicle for creating a better world. It goes beyond artistic expression. It is a means to shed light on important issues and ignite transformative change.

However, I realized that filmmaking is a business. This helped me present my films to major players. For example, Netflix and HBO. Accepting this made it easier to tell my stories.

I'm not going to say it's easy, but it's just a little bit easier when your ideas get funded sometimes...

Why this free documentary course?

Are you ready to make a great documentary film?

I want to share how I do it!

So you can avoid some tired-ass film school teacher showing you outdated shit. 🥱💤

Welcome to my step-by-step guide on how to make an excellent, Netflix-worthy documentary. You can do it without selling your soul.

In this FREE documentary filmmaking training, you'll learn:

☑️ How to tell a tremendous Netflix-worthy story

☑️ The best and fastest way to understand the doc industry

☑️ How can you transition to a full-time filmmaker without losing your soul

☑️ The exact tools and strategies I use to make and sell my films

☑️ How to master the art of pitching Netflix!

You can gain knowledge, skills, and confidence without resources, experience, or funding.

You can create an impactful documentary.

"Amazing! One of the best! Well done and well explained."


"I love all the material this filmmaker do!"


"This isn't about "do this, get a great picture." It's about creativity, problem-solving, and the filmmaker's mindset."


"Amazing and has completely changed the way I look."


How to pitch a documentary to Netflix?

To pitch a documentary to Netflix, you need a great character-driven story. Start with research and develop the hero's journey. Focus on conflict and build a grand, broad, appealing narrative. Craft a persuasive pitch deck and sizzle reel to showcase your unique story. Pitch with a licensed agent.

Is your film Netflix ready?


Ready to learn how to make a tremendous Netflix-worthy documentary?

Filmmaking course online

Embark on a documentary filmmaking journey with my comprehensive online courses. I design my documentary filmmaking classes and courses to hone your skills. My online training provides expert guidance. It's for beginners and seasoned filmmakers. It will elevate your storytelling. Join me and turn your passion for documentaries into a rewarding career. Enroll now in my documentary filmmaking course, From Idea To Netflix. Unlock the secrets of impactful storytelling.

Join my documentary course!

Learn How To Pitch Netflix

Don't waste more time, get the award-winning roadmap today!

How do you pitch Netflix?

Netflix has 200 million global users, winning dominance in the streaming industry. This allows content creators to reach a worldwide audience.

Study their content plan before sending your TV show or movie idea to Netflix. Netflix focuses on producing and acquiring content that appeals to many audiences. Analyze the success of shows and films on the platform to gain insights. Evaluate how your series or film fits in with their collection.

Christopher Mack is a Creative Talent Director at Netflix. He shares nine crucial factors for pitching a TV show. This will avoid sending unsolicited submissions.

Character is paramount:

At Netflix, the emphasis lies on well-developed characters rather than just the plot. Viewers form connections with characters, and their transformations drive engagement.

Culture matters:

Explore genres needing reinvention and tackle sensitive topics that resonate with your culture. Push boundaries and offer fresh perspectives to captivate audiences.

Grab attention within seconds:

As viewers decide to watch a series in just five seconds, make a strong impression from the start. Teasers set up the hero, conflicts, dynamics, and world rules. This happens in the pilot episode.

Harness the power of cliffhangers:

Engaging plot and emotional cliffhangers create binge-watching behavior. Leaving audiences craving answers and watching more episodes.

Craft a compelling pitch document:

Instead of revealing the entire plot, focus on central conflicts, stakes, and themes. Look at Christopher Nolan's approach to exploring themes through the characters' perspectives.

Synopsis essentials:

Define the hero, their desires should be precise. The urgency is essential. The consequences of not achieving goals are dire.

Focus on character and conflict to drive the narrative. Avoid excessive discussion of the topic.

TIP: Study the synopsis of "Breaking Bad" by Vince Gilligan. The summary focuses on family, greed, and power. It takes place in an exciting setting with conflicts and balanced characters. 

Freshness through location and tone:

Identify what sets your story apart. It could be the unique setting, historical events, or mythology in sci-fi or fantasy genres. Utilize pictorial references to convey your vision effectively.

Flawed characters and backstory:

Audiences appreciate flawed characters like "The Witcher's" Yennefer. To create relatable and compelling personalities, delve into their backstory. Also, explore their moral compass and motivations.

Challenge your characters:

Follow Kurt Vonnegut's advice and make awful things happen to your leading characters. This allows viewers to witness their true nature and adds depth to the storytelling.

The Art of Pitching: Step-by-Step Guide

STEP 1: Understanding the Landscape: Netflix Submissions Unveiled

Netflix unveils awards season entries, offering a sneak peek of diverse and captivating streaming content. It showcases the ever-changing entertainment industry, proving Netflix's dedication to producing high-quality and thought-provoking content.

Netflix is the top streamer with submissions in various genres. The streaming platform competes with traditional studios by offering groundbreaking and innovative storytelling.

One key aspect of Netflix's submissions is the diversity of its content. The platform promotes diverse voices and stories representing our society. It breaks barriers and reshapes industry standards.

Netflix's submissions highlight its global reach. It shares stories from diverse cultures and perspectives worldwide. This fosters cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

They explore broad, thought-provoking narratives in addition to diversity and global storytelling. It champions bold storytelling that challenges the status quo.

They also invest in nurturing new talent. Providing opportunities for showcasing skills and achieving industry success. This commitment ensures a constant influx of fresh and innovative content.

But Netflix wants your idea to look for a broad audience. It can be local, but universally attractive.

STEP 2: Developing a solid idea tailored to what Netflix wants

How to pitch an idea to Netflix?

First, Netflix only wants you to pitch a general idea of what you are making. At least for an original project.

What you need to get the pitching process started is a general story idea. Focused on being unique and built around a compelling conflict. 

Prioritize Characters

In the realm of Netflix, characters hold more weight than the plot, at least by a tiny bit.

Viewers form connections with characters rather than the intricacies of the story.

The key lies in creating relatable characters with clear motivations. Your task is to make characters intriguing, not necessarily likable. Our affinity for them will naturally follow once we're hooked on their actions.

According to Christopher Mack, there are only about seven plots. However, there are infinitely unique characters to draw from.

Captivate from the Start

The audience decides whether to keep watching a show subconsciously. This decision is made within the first five seconds.

You need a sizzle reel

A teaser or sizzle reel is a well-crafted pitch video.

The central character is revealed, along with the primary conflict.

We also glimpse the world they inhabit. Including a teaser at the beginning of every episode is crucial when developing a show.

Proactive Heroes, Moving Scenes

In every scene, the hero should actively pursue their goals in some form or another. Each scene should contribute to the emotional arc. Each scene should propel the plot forward. Viewers crave new information. 

It would be best to try to turn every scene as Robert McKee phrases it. A scene begins with a happy character. By the end, something changes. This turns the character's happiness into sadness. 

Leave Them Wanting More

Cliffhangers come in two flavors: plot-driven and emotionally charged. Some cliffhangers give information to the audience. The character remains unaware. The ending must be compelling enough to ask viewers, "What happens next?"

These steps give us a glimpse into the minds of the Netflix executives, now, let's look at what you need.

STEP 3: Crafting Your TV Show Pitch Deck: Examples and Best Practices

So, how do you pitch a tv show to Netflix?

When pitching a tv series or tv show demands a compelling tv pitch deck.

This is what convinces them you know how to pitch a tv show idea to the streaming giants.

They’re essential because they help you communicate your story, which is a chance for you to stand out.

The tv series pitch is a visual representation of your story. So use many images to capture the essence of the film.

If you are familiar with mood boards, this is somewhat similar. You can take images of your project, or just focus on capturing your feel & tone.

This will create a better tv-show idea submission.

How to pitch a show to Netflix:

Christopher Mack, from Netflix, helps you structure your pitch deck for a Netflix TV show. 

Story Questions:

Begin by posing thought-provoking questions that capture the essence of your story. These questions should spark curiosity and highlight your show's central conflicts and themes.


Provide a concise and compelling overview of your show. This section will provide a summary of the concept. It will also describe the setting and your characters’ journey.


Describe the world in which your story takes place. Explore the setting, period, and unique rules of the world.


Convey the tone and atmosphere of your show. Is it dark, gritty, light-hearted, comedic, or something else?

Communicate the emotions you want the audience to feel. Make sure they understand the experience you want them to have. Do this while they are watching your show.


Introduce your show's critical characters. Highlight their motivations, relationships, and arcs. Provide enough depth to make them relatable and intriguing to the audience.

Season Summaries:

Outline each season's overarching storylines and significant plot points. Give a sense of how the story will unfold and evolve over multiple episodes or seasons.

Potential Episodes:

Suggest specific episode ideas that showcase the range and potential of your show. You should demonstrate your ability to create compelling stories. These stories should contribute to the larger narrative.

How to pitch a documentary to Netflix

When you pitch a documentary, the focus changes to having a solid synopsis. The synopsis should effectively capture the essence of your story and conflict.

In a TV show pitch deck, you might even shoot a TV pilot.

But in a documentary pitch, you must convey the concept without knowing the entire story. When you create a pitch deck for a documentary, remember to structure it around these pillars.


This is the working title of your documentary. The description should be short and exciting. It should attract viewers by showing a preview of the subject.

Logline or elevator pitch:

A logline is a summary that describes your documentary's central idea and hook. Typically one to two sentences. It captures the essence of your story and entices the reader to want to know more.


The synopsis explains the logline. It gives a detailed overview of your documentary. It should convey your storytelling approach's central conflict, themes, and unique aspects.

The goal is to generate interest. You should clearly understand what makes your documentary compelling.


This section provides broader context or background information about your documentary's subject matter. The reader understands the importance of the topic necessary to explore.


In a documentary, the characters play a vital role. This section introduces the key individuals in your documentary. It highlights their importance, character arc, motivations, and contributions to the story.

Proving Audience:

You present evidence or research. It shows existing audience or potential interest. It's about the subject matter of your documentary.

The information could include statistics, market analysis, or successful examples.

Production Progress & Status:

Please share updates on the current status and production progress of your documentary. Include details on filming, interviews, and archival footage acquired. This indicates the project's feasibility and potential timeline.

Topline Budget:

Please create an estimated budget for your documentary. Include critical expenses like production costs, crew fees, equipment, post-production, and distribution. This gives a sense of the financial scope and viability of your project.


Introduce your team's essential members: director, producer, cinematographer, and collaborators. Highlight their experience and qualifications to instill confidence in the project's execution.

Use the pitch deck to hype your project. They feel this is a chance of a lifetime.

Follow these steps to structure your pitch deck effectively. Doing this improves your chances of effectively communicating your idea. It applies to both TV shows and documentary projects. This will also help you capture the attention of industry professionals.

The next step is to create the pitch or sizzle reel.

STEP 4: What is a Sizzle Reel?

So, what is the meaning of a sizzle reel?

A sizzle reel, a pitch trailer, is a brief and energetic video presentation. It captures the principal elements and standout moments of a TV show or film project. The purpose is to attract potential buyers, investors, or distributors.

The duration is usually 1 to 3 minutes, not a short documentary. 

Why is it Important to pitch to Netflix?

The tool is powerful because it engages decision-makers quickly. It showcases unique project elements.

Here are some key things to think about when creating a sizzle reel:

  • Captures Attention Quickly
  • Show your visual style and look
  • Highlights Key Selling Points
  • Creates Emotional Connection
  • Showcases Production Quality
  • Demonstrates Marketability


STEP 5: Pitching Beyond Netflix: How to Approach Apple TV and other streaming services.

In the initial phase, assess whether your project aligns perfectly with Netflix.

If it doesn't fit, refine the project to suit Netflix's blockbuster approach better. Otherwise, explore other suitable alternatives.

Netflix isn't the only player in the game. Understand how to customize your pitch for different platforms. One platform to consider in today’s digital world is Apple TV.


STEP 6: Common Mistakes to Avoid

First off, don't contact Netflix without doing your homework. Industry executives don't consider unsolicited proposals; they learn what and when to pitch. Otherwise, you risk getting a reputation you're stuck with for the rest of your life. Research talent agencies if you want to get some insights into who one of the gatekeepers is.

Create an excellent sizzle reel. Craft a concise and captivating pitch. The pitch should effectively convey the essence of your story.

Highlight its unique elements, central conflict, and compelling characters. Make it intriguing and captivating for potential producers, investors, or networks. 

Share your story idea with trusted friends, fellow writers, or industry professionals. Gather feedback and constructive criticism to help you refine and enhance your concept. Be open to revisions and willing to make changes that strengthen your story. 

Developing a solid story idea requires time, creativity, and perseverance. Allow yourself to explore different possibilities, embrace feedback, and trust your instincts. Dedication and refinement can create a compelling story for film or TV.


How to submit an idea to Netflix

Netflix usually partners with established production companies or distributors. They collaborate to obtain TV series or movies. Consider creating your content to grab their attention.

Partner with a company or distributor for added impact. This can increase your chances of success.

These companies already work with the streaming platform. They can help with submitting. Netflix requests a pilot or proof-of-concept to assess a TV series. They have their contact information.

Ensure your initial episode or movie is distinctive before submitting it to Netflix.

Show your storytelling skills, production values, and overall vision for the show. Doing so will give you a chance for a pitch meeting.

To create an outstanding pilot or sizzle reel, invest in professional equipment. Hire talented actors and skilled crew members.

Submit your TV series or movie to Netflix. Use their online content submission portal.

Follow the instructions on their website. Please provide all of the necessary information for the story. This includes a summary and a short description. Please include a breakdown of each episode and any required materials.

Be prepared for a wait because Netflix receives many submissions. The review process may take time.

Making connections in the film industry can increase your chances of success.

Getting your TV series on Netflix is one of those chances. To connect with professionals on streaming platforms and attend industry events. Attend film festivals and networking opportunities as well.

A personal recommendation or introduction can help your submission stand out. Be patient and persistent, as selling your TV series or film to Netflix can be lengthy. I spent over a year engaging with them before pitching.

Your Journey to TV Show Success Begins Here

You have gained much knowledge about Netflix submissions and TV show pitch decks. You are also familiar with pitching strategies.

This knowledge will help you start your journey to success on TV. Getting your show on Netflix requires strategic storytelling, a captivating pitch, and persistence. Remember this. 


Check out my free documentary course to learn how I sold my film "The Pearl Of Africa" to Netflix.

In my course "From Idea To Netflix",I offer a step-by-step blueprint. I help you develop your idea, story, and pitch. Oh, yeah, I also show you how to contact the right person at Netflix for your project. With a template so you can't mess this up.

Keep fighting! Now, pitch your TV show or film with confidence! 🚀📺


Ready to learn how to make a tremendous Netflix-worthy documentary?

The Hero's Journey

The Hero's Journey is a powerful story structure. Joseph Campbell made it popular. It is a technique that captivates audiences by transforming characters. The main character battles obstacles and grows by overcoming them. A simple method to follow. That leads to impactful storytelling.


Where should I send the 100% FREE 1h documenatry course?