Following a successful stream on BBC4, the second series of FOLLOW THE MONEY is released on DVD this month by Nordic Noir & Beyond. We caught up with its writer, JEPPE GJERVIG GRAM to discuss the financial thriller’s most recent chapter.
Jeppe who created the series says it began because of the financial crisis. “I expected that all TV writers would be tackling financial stories within a few months. I know a number of shows that got pitched to Channel Executives, but none of them got made and I was quite surprised by that.”
So Gram decided to run the idea himself, “It just felt so right to do it, to experience turning boring Danish coalition politics into engaging drama. It seemed the daring and important challenge to work on. I don’t get scared of complex subject matters and luckily Piv Bernth (Head of Drama at DR) doesn’t either, so we got right to work.”
First broadcast in Denmark during January 2016, Follow The Money is set in the world of economic crime as it shows ambition turn into corruption. Most importantly this is the story of every human – the fraudulent, the greedy, the poor or the rich, who all just want to live their own personal dreams.
In 2016, actress Natalie Madueno said the show's theme of economical crime is unique, Jeppe explained. “This is a show about money and the way it invisibly connects us all, through all levels of society. There are three storylines that intermingle.”
- “A regular policeman that follows a lead into a huge fraud case.”
- “A female lawyer who gets a dream job promotion which has a big prize tag.”
- “A car thief who steals a car that connects him to the country’s biggest fraud case.”
The seasons offer two very different spectacles. “The first focuses on a huge case of fraud in the green energy sector, whilst the second goes into the world of big banking.” Season Three could also be on the way soon, “We are working on a story for the new season at the moment, but it is all very secret. I will be working on the first scripts and all the rest that has to be done before we can go into production.”
Follow The Money has now aired in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands and the UK (BBC Four). Jeppe recently said he tries to not focus on international fans whilst making a series. “I think it strengthens the story if we don’t try too hard being international. There is a great risk of the show losing its soul and angle when focusing on appealing to everybody at home and abroad.”
“The secret behind good Danish shows is that the stories stem from what we know; the society we live and they’re told from our specific Danish point-of-view. Through this local approach and if they are good stories, they appeal globally.”
Jeppe is also behind the critically acclaimed Borgen, but how does it feel to win awards? “The embrace by the British audience of Borgen has been truly thrilling and humbling. Standing on stage at the BAFTA’s and receiving the award (International Prize 2012) is something that will stay with me.”
“The most satisfying part of it all is to get such a large audience, bigger than we ever expected. People around the world have reacted to our story about politics. It was a story that felt very important to us and the reaction is something we could only dare to dream about beforehand.”
Denmark has already produced a series of shows along with Borgen, including The Bridge, Dicte, The Killing, Modus and Wallander. Which show could hit the UK next? “I expect it will be Rides Upon The Storm (by Adam Price), a series about faith and religion which I find very intriguing.”
“There are two other shows which are written by fellow Follow The Money writers. Embassy Down, created by Anders August, deals with a hostage situation at the American embassy in Copenhagen. It will be full of twists. Also, Jannik Tai Mosholt series Rain is a post-apocalyptic fable, and is the first Danish show completely financed by Netflix.”