Spjallað við handritshöfunda “Stellu Blómkvist”

Frá vinstri: Jóhann Ævar Grímsson, Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir, Andri Óttarsson (Myndir: JÆG, Guðmundur Þór Kárson, AÓ).

Á fréttavef Norræna kvikmynda- og sjónvarpssjóðsins er rætt við handritshöfunda þáttaraðarinnar Stellu Blómkvist; Jóhann Ævar Grímsson, Nönnu Kristínu Magnúsdóttur og Andra Óttarsson. Verkið keppir nú um Norrænu sjónvarpsverðlaunin á Gautaborgarhátíðinni.

Úr viðtalinu:

Jóhann Ævar Grímsson is the Head of Development for scripted material at Sagafilm and the head writer for Stella Blómkvist. With work on award winning TV series such as The Night Shift, Cover Story, Prisoners and Trapped under his belt, Grímsson is one of the most prominent screenwriters working in Iceland today. He is currently writing two new series, including one in collaboration with Yellow Bird.

What makes you tick in terms of genre and storytelling?
JÆG: In my view storytelling is about surprise and emotion; about hitting those primal notes inherent in the human experience. It’s about talking to people and connecting with them. To achieve that I think almost anything is fair game, especially cross-pollinating genres. In fact, I think the most satisfying work usually transcends genre, and through quality writing and emotional delivery becomes its own thing.

What do you find the most rewarding and the most challenging about writing for television?
JÆG: Television is a glorious place to tell stories, especially in the current landscape, as you get a much larger canvas to work on and a greater commitment from audiences to join you on your journey. For me, the most rewarding part is always when you achieve synergy with the people you’re working with, where everybody is committed to the same vision and get enjoyment out of telling the same story. The most challenging part though is always exiting this creative bubble that envelops you when you’re making the project. It’s a fertile breeding ground for self-doubt and insecurities but if you believe in the work and you’re happy with the end result it’s so very much easier.

Cite your top 3 TV shows that you’ve binge-watched recently.
JÆG: I’ve finally been catching up with the rest of the world by binging Downton Abbey, which is a joy. I also breezed through the second season of Master of None twice in a row. I just love the humanity on display there. My favourite TV show of the year though has to be Twin Peaks: The Return, a tour de force of confusion, style and dream logic that leaves you breathless at the end.

Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir is a writer/director, producer and one of Iceland’s most well-known actresses (Heartstone, Paris of the North, XL). She is a founding member of the innovative theatre company Vesturport (Undercurrent, Children, Parents) and co-owner of Zik Zak Filmworks (And Breathe Normally, Nói Albinói). Nanna Kristín graduated from the Vancouver Film School in scriptwriting for film and television. In 2014 she wrote and directed her debut short Playing with Balls which premiered in Toronto. Cubs, her second short film as a writer/director, won the Icelandic Edda for Best Short.

She is writer/director of the upcoming dramedy series Happily Never After (Pabbahelgar), commissioned by RUV. A 38-year old couple counsellor and a mother of three, is confronted with difficult choices on where her life is headed when she finds out her husband has been unfaithful. The worst thing for her utopian vision of a nuclear family are the so called ‘Daddy-Weekends’.

What makes you tick in terms of genre and storytelling?
NKM: I love when visual storytelling intertwines effortlessly with character development and storyline. In Stella Blómkvist, the main characters’ twisted dark wit, is often established through the camera angles and lighting. The neo-noir genre calls for visual storytelling.

What do you find the most rewarding and most challenging about writing for television?
NKM: Working in a writers’ room is especially rewarding for me, with my background as an actress. I find the time given for brainstorming, debating and discussing the story and its elements priceless. To be allowed to go in circles, have second-thoughts and even being wrong and making mistakes is so important in all creation.

Cite your top 3 TV shows that you’ve binge-watched recently.
NKM: I just finished the very crazy but interesting comedy series Lady Dynamite on Netflix. Of course I’m watching the fourth season of Broen/The Bridge but concurrently also the third season with no subtitles on Hulu. I lived in Sweden for two years as a kid so it’s a great Swedish lesson as well. Then I’ve been looking online for the Finnish medical drama Nurses with English or Swedish subtitles-any tips much appreciated!

Andri Óttarsson is a screenwriter, and co-owner of the production company Glassriver with writer/director Baldvin Z (Case, Life in a Fishbowl), producer Arnbjörg Hafliðadóttir (Case, Dead Snow,) and CEO Hordur Runarsson (Beyond Strength).

Óttarsson co-created and co-wrote the award-winning series Case. He’s an educated lawyer with an advance degree in Human Rights and International Law. Previously he worked as a police officer, criminal attorney and Secretary General for the Independence Party in Iceland. Óttarsson is currently developing the series Blackout with novelist Mikael Torfason and Baldvin Z’s new series The Trip.

What makes you tick in terms of genre and storytelling?
AÓ: The human aspect of storytelling, multi-dimensional characters, the grey morality and how we all react differently when confronted with trauma or difficult choices. Crime as a genre is a good vessel for such storytelling since it catapults the characters into a difficult position, usually having the worst day of their life. Furthermore, it does not hurt if you can mirror or point a finger at some real problem in society in the meantime.

What do you find the most rewarding and most challenging about writing for television?
AÓ: Television gives you the time and space to tell extensive, difficult and intriguing stories. You can properly introduce your characters to the audience, show their depth and let them drive the story and develop as human beings as the story goes on. The challenge is to let your characters make their own choices, not forcing them to do something because it’s convenient for the story.

Cite your top 3 TV shows that you’ve binge-watched recently.
AÓ: 
The original German series Dark Saved Christmas. I also enjoyed Mindhunters enormously and Black Mirror is always intriguing.

Sjá nánar hér: Special: Nordic TV Writers – Jóhann Ævar Grímsson, Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir , Andri Óttarsson – Stella Blómkvist

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Klapptré er sjálfstæður miðill sem birtir fréttir, viðhorf, gagnrýni og tölulegar upplýsingar um íslenska kvikmynda- og sjónvarpsbransann. Ritstjóri og ábyrgðarmaður er Ásgrímur Sverrisson.

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