They are both the creators and showrunners for The Rain.
You can watch The Rain on Netflix now!
Can you explain the genesis of this first Danish Netflix series?
For a long time, we’d wanted to do a danish genre show, inspired by the sci-fi, horror and other genre stories we grew up with. But at the same time as wanting to do this, we always knew that the chances of being able to do this in Denmark were slim to none. Denmark has a proud tradition of doing dramas and thrillers, but a post apocalyptic youth series would be deemed too niche for the few broadcasters in Denmark who would have the economy to lift it. With Netflix entering Denmark we saw the opportunity to try it out here, as this platform seemed at least in our eyes perfect for the project. Luckily for us Netflix agreed.
How did you come up with the basic idea?
The basic idea seemed from conversations about the post apocalyptic genre in our minds often being about survival of the individual. It’s one man or woman against the world. What we wanted to do, was basically to see if we could make it about survival of the community. Denmark and Scandinavia takes pride in being societies where the welfare system makes sure that everyone gets a fair chance, it’s very skewered towards the community over the individual, and we wanted to challenge whether this mindset could survive the apocalypse. Whether we as humans can keep our humanity when its all about basic survival. And we wanted to take a group of young people to the challenge, since they weren’t fully grown when the apocalypse hit, so the society of before wouldn’t be as deeply influenced on them yet.
What were your main references and influences?
We talked a lot about Lord of the Flies, The Leftovers and The Walking Dead, as well as the game The Last of Us, but also stories about unlikely friendships such as The Breakfast Club. Mostly we were inspired by stories that engaged us emotionally, and wanted to do what we could to let this be a story about emotional truth. It’s all about how the characters feel and behave with these feelings in mind, and to see whether it can be possible to have everyday problems in a situation where the normal every-day seems long gone.
What was the biggest challenge in concluding the series?
The biggest challenge for us was to find an ending that seems conclusive emotionally at the same time as the universe still seems open. We wanted to make sure that we concluded the story we set out to tell, and that it would feel whole once ended. Hopefully we did that.
How did you divide the work between you?
Basically Jannik is the writer and Christian the producer. So we have the final creative decisions and the final productional decisions divided between us. But we see it all as a whole and in the end we’re deeply involved in both aspects together.
Can you tell us about the choice of actors and directors?
We were very lucky to be able to, together with Kenneth Kainz who directed the first 4 episodes of season 1, to find actors that we really loved and who represented a diverse group of young people. It was important to find a young cast that had the ability to grow both as characters and literally over the seasons, which we think really succeeded. Take for example Lucas who plays Rasmus, who has gone from a big teenager to a young man over the seasons. The actors have also helped us to push their roles in directions we couldn’t have done on our own. Along the way we’ve gotten the chance to work with even more great directors and actors – people who always had a love for the shows universe and an eye for the emotional development of the characters as the centerpoint, and we really feel that everyone involved has contributed and done their best to lift the series and push the boundaries of it.
How was the collaboration with them?
It’s been a pleasure to work with every last one of them. It is a privilege to work with people every day, who gives constructive inputs and take ownership in their respective roles in the process of making a show like this happen. Making a film or a TV-series is a huge collaborative effort, and we are so dependent on everybody both behind and in front of the camera, so we are thrilled that we worked with a cast and crew that gave us feedback and ideas that lifted and evolved the show. Hopefully they feel the same.
Where did you filmed the various parts of the series?
Most of it has been filmed in Denmark, some in Norway and Sweden.
What is your best memory of the third season?
Being allowed to conclude the series as we wanted to, was a fantastic feeling. And the last day of shooting, knowing this would be the very end of this journey was quite emotional.