Partnership opens doors to deep secrets

The technology behind the transport solutions of tomorrow is veiled in secrecy, but with the right angle, time and money – and by playing the Nordvision card – DR was able to overcome all obstacles.

“Without the backing of Nordvision, we’d never have been able to make these programmes.”

Editor Else Bro Thuestad is quite open about the significance of receiving backing from NRK and UR, as this made it possible to apply for funding from the Nordvision Fund.

“It covered almost half our budget, and we’d never have had enough money to give the series its international twist purely on a DR-K budget. Just as we’d never have been able to travel the world in the same way on a DR budget alone.”

The four programmes about tomorrow’s transport took viewers into the engine rooms of some of the most remarkable development companies. But the road to get there was long and winding.

“It was incredibly difficult to get close. Development activities are inevitably veiled in secrecy, so it took us ages to gain admission, even though these are huge companies with their own media relations departments. But we had the time to keep chipping away,” says producer Jytte Bergmann Moll.

She finally got through to Hyperloop One – a top contender for the most interesting idea for future public transport. This has since been renamed Virgin Hyperloop One.

The show takes Sonja Stockmarr on a fascinating journey to some of the most advanced solutions for tomorrow’s transportation.

Playing the Nordvision card

The company has built a test track in the Nevada desert where they conduct experiments to propel a magnet-powered passenger train through vacuum-sealed tubes.

Their ambition with the train project is to reach a top speed of 1000 km/h, making the Hyperloop a strong competitor to air travel.

“Big American companies are rarely impressed to hear that we’re making a programme for DR, so it helps to tell them that the show will also be broadcast in the other Nordic countries,” says Jytte Bergmann Moll.

As one of only very few architects, DR presenter Sonja Stockmarr was given access to the world’s only Hyperloop test track.

More like a show on architecture

Another door opener was the special take on this programme concept. Any spotlight on future transportation tends to be about the technology. But by focusing on design, style and elegance, and with a female architect and urban planner as the presenter, the producers were able to create a buzz that took the team past marketing departments and executive levels, right into the actual engine room alongside the developers.

“We approached this in the same way as a programme on architecture. We tackled the means of transport as if it were a building. We focused on fascination and elegance to broaden the appeal of transportation, as it’s a bit of a dry subject in itself,” says Else Bro Thuestad.

Her specific intention was to attract female audiences as well, by creating shows that span technology and design.

“It was important to us to reach a broad audience with our subject matter, because the shows are about some of the most precious things we have, namely our time and our environment in a future with an ever-increasing population. This topic really is relevant to us all,” she adds.

 

“Big American companies are rarely impressed to hear that we’re making a programme for DR.”
- Jytte Bergmann Moll, producer at DR

 

Nominated for TV award

What goes through the minds of the architects at BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) when they help design the Hyperloop? This series gives us an idea. The editorial team also visits the Yara Birkeland, an self-steering container ship under development in Norway.

In Sweden, the show takes a closer look at a driverless electric lorry. Although there are many Nordic elements to the programme, it is not specifically for the benefit of Nordic audiences.

Else Bro Thuestad makes this clear:

“Our choice of sources is based entirely on editorial considerations.”

The show aired on DR-K in spring 2018 and resulted in a nomination for the traditional TV award presented annually by the Danish Producers’ Association.

The editor was very pleased and surprised by this honour, particularly due to the category: the series on tomorrow’s transport was nominated for Best Lifestyle Programme.

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