Christine Weber Discovery
VP Development and Production, Specials and Events, Discovery Studios
Christine Weber has one of the most informative and illuminating jobs in television at Discovery Communications. While she is currently vice president of development and production for specials and events, her previous role as senior vice president of production for Discovery Studios, the internal production group within Discovery Communications, gave her a wide lens across the company’s many networks. The world’s number one non-fiction media company, Discovery Communications is the parent company of Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and many other US cable networks and media platforms.
Weber has overseen Discovery Studios’ production efforts on such diverse shows as Animal Planet’s African lion series Into the Pride, the special The Vanishing Frog, Discovery Channel’s and Military Channel’s high seas docudrama Somali Pirate Takedown, and Planet Green’s organic cooking show Emeril Green.
“What’s fun about this business is you’re learning new things every show,” Weber explains. “I mean, who else gets paid to learn about elephants, lions, home makeovers, and deep water submersibles … all on the same day?
Earlier in her career, Weber traveled the world working on documentaries for National Geographic, NBC, ABC, PBS and others before taking on the position at Discovery so she could remain close to her Maryland home and raise her 13-year-old son David. Weber routinely draws on her background in natural history programming and her degree in biology, especially when overseeing a show like The Vanishing Frog, which put a spotlight on the dwindling worldwide frog population resulting from a deadly fungus.
After hundreds of hours of documentary production under her belt and more than 30 years in the industry, one of her personal favorite projects is the Emmy-winning Search for Battleship Bismarck, about the sinking of the German ship. Weber spent months at sea over two years working on it.
“After finding the Bismarck, we were racing to find survivors from the battleship itself as well as from the ships that sunk it. I was interviewing British seamen and former Nazi sailors. When telling the story of the battle and their friends lost at sea, the German sailors cried even after all these years. They were human beings caught in war. The film was about finding this legendary and deadly ship, but it showed the human side of war… young boys, British and German, doing whatever they were told to do, but it did take a personal toll on them. It changed the rest of their lives.”
As an executive producer, Weber puts together the amazing teams of artists and creatives who make a great production. “The beauty of making television documentaries is that it is an ensemble effort,” reveals Weber. “Like an orchestra conductor, I’m not a shooter, I’m not an editor, I’m not a composer. I can write, but there are better writers. My job as executive producer is to bring out the best in those people, to create the circumstances and do enough homework, enough preparation that they can do their jobs.” Weber says she hopes she brings out the best in all the artists with whom she works.