November 18-24, 2013 in Berlin, The Erich Pommer Institut and Media Xchange was hosting part II of the workshop EU TV Drama Series Lab for 40 producers, broadcasters and writers from all over Europe who gathered to learn more and share experiences about current and future trends in TV Drama and emerging forms of new drama formats.

All sessions at this workshop aimed at answering the burning question: How can the ‘Creative Maze’ of European TV Drama be further developed? Some of the topics covered were:

  • What makes a successful drama series? (John Yorke, MD Company Pictures)
  • What is the secret of ‘Nordic Drama’, Nordic Noir’ and DR – the Nordic powerhouse of several successful TV series (Piv Bernth and Nadia Kløvedal Reich, DR Drama)
  • The set up of a US Writer’s Room (Simon Mirren and John Romano, Writers/Producers)
  • Writer’s Room simulation over several days and a creative pitch at the end (Simon Mirren, John Romano, Frank Spotnitz and Robert Thorogood – all experienced Writers/Producers)
  • Management of the Creative Process and writers teams
  • Management of Development
  • Think Tank: How to adapt US best practices into everyday work in a European context?
  • Packaging and Pitching  – the Producer Pitch
  • International co-productions
  • The flow of content across borders
  • Mapping of characters (Laurie Hutzler, The Emotional Toolbox)
  • and finally several 1-2-1 meetings to discuss further collaboration.

The take away from the this workshop was great since many of the sessions were interactive workshops where we tried different pitching methods and got feedback from peers, but my favorite session this week, was Laurie Hutzler taking us through the process of mapping and developing sound and robust characters with her method of Character Mapping.


And more so the following discussion at dinner where we both saw the great potential of going digital and interactive with this method by programming the various steps and then adding a layer of psychological character customizing to gaming concepts when customizing avatars and player types.

…..somebody just needs to call her and do it!