• Showrunning, Worldbuilding and the story of SEVERANCE

  • Showrunning, Worldbuilding and the story of SEVERANCE

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  • Synopsis

    Future of Film Podcast · 70. Dan Erickson on Showrunning, Worldbuilding and the story of SEVERANCE

    Dan Erickson is the creator and showrunner of Apple TV's Emmy© Award-winning series, SEVERANCE.

    After attending NYU's Tisch School, where he received a Masters in Dramatic Writing. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he delivered food and worked in a string of office jobs, all while conceiving and writing the original pilot for Severance. The script became the first TV pilot ever selected for the annual Bloodlist, which ultimately led to a creative partnership with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Productions, Endeavor Content, and Apple. Atypically, this also led to Dan becoming Showrunner, retaining huge levels of creative control and driving the production - and the show became an instant cult and critical hit largely due to its powerful and original storyworld.

    In this episode, Dan talks to fellow storyteller and CEO and co-founder of Kinetic Energy Entertainment, Diana Williams about his career and building the show's mind-bending world.

    Dan and Diana discuss the intricate process of story world design, exploring how Dan's original play - and real life office experience - inspired the show. Dan relates the journey of the show from concept to screen (and as unknown writer to showrunner) including early pitches and his experiences working with Ben Stiller and Chris Black.

    We also learn what it means to be a showrunner on your first series and the demanding balancing act of creative and organisational priorities it entails. This includes in particular the focus on tone and how establishing the right tone - and maintaining this - is one of the most important and challenging aspects of the role.

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