“There is more room for very unique characters, worlds and story structure”

© Thomas Schulz

“There is more room for very unique characters, worlds and story structure”

08. December 2022 –

 Q&A with WINTERCLASS expert and Executive Producer Kelly Souders

The training program WINTERCLASS - Serial Writing and Producing for film and television professionals is all about writing and producing quality series. The eighth edition is already underway. And who knows their ways around the international series market better than the WINTERCLASS speakers themselves? After the first module, Executive Producer Kelly Souders (SALEM, GENIUS, THE HOT ZONE) took the time to answer EPI's questions about current developments in the industry.

You have been participating as expert at the WINTERCLASS for several years. How has the serial landscape changed since then?

So much has changed in serial storytelling since I first came to WINTERCLASS. There are so many more platforms for television series which has allowed much more variety. But the expansion of platforms has also made it harder to get the attention of viewers. As much as there is more room for less uniformed series, there is also a greater need for big stars, ground-breaking creativity in order to get viewers to tune into your show.

EPI: The popularity and success of series has sustained for years. Global streaming platforms and public broadcasters compete for the audience's attention. What developments have influenced the writing and production of series most in the past year?

There is more pressure on a series to attract big talent outside of the writer. Certain platforms will only launch series with big actors attached. The platforms are also focussing their product more than before. They often dictate what they want to see – what will most likely succeed with their very specific audience. This has been a major shift in the development and creative side.

EPI: In your session you talk about "Serial Creativity - developing remarkable shows". What does a series need to be remarkable?

Point of view. Someone’s specific approach, view, experience is what is most impactful these days. Before, you had to appeal to the masses. Obviously, you still need to draw an audience but there is more room for very unique characters, worlds and story structure.

What do you personally take away from the workshop each year?

I always walk away with a renewed enthusiasm. Jobs in TV and film can be a real grind and it’s so nice to step away and see people’s enthusiasm for the industry.

Thank you very much, Kelly, for taking the time to answer our questions!

WINTERCLASS - Serial Writing and Producing is a program of the Filmuniversity Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and the Erich Pommer Institut. This year's WINTERCLASS is supported by our industry partners Audible, REAL FILM Berlin, Sky Germany, STORY HOUSE Productions and UFA.


Timo Gößler, Head of WINTERCLASS Serial Writing and Producing

+49 (0) 331.6202-225 |

Grischa Böhmer

Head of National Training | Legal Advisor

+49 (0) 331.769 915-21 |

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Nora Rennmann
Nora Rennmann
Marketing & Communication Manager
+49 (0) 331-769 915-10 |
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