Interview with Dan Fletcher of @panthyonseries with @kleffnotes

The Pantheon is a modern office comedy webseries with a mythological twist. In this series we watch as Greek gods figure out how to survive in the modern world with through technology. I got a chance to chat with creator and show runner Dan Fletcher about the series. I’d like to thank him for his time and I look forward to seeing more of the series.

How would you describe your webseries, The Pantheon?

“It’s about ancient Greek Gods running a modern tech comedy, kind of in the vein of The Office or Parks and Rec. It explores all the interpersonal relationship drama you know from the classic Greek Gods, but now in a modern office setting, like family drama and office drama.”

What inspired you to create the series?

“We have a team of four writers and we all work together at this tech company in Venice Beach that’s very entertainment, creator friendly. They said that if you want to make anything at the office then it’s available to you and we were like oh what could we make there? We all went off to come up with ideas. At this company we have a lot of programmers, coders, and software engineers and they were basically like gods. No one knew quite what they did or how they did it, but if they didn’t do what they did basically the entire company would explode. So they’re like gods and I’ve been obsessed with fantasy for basically my entire life. It just made the perfect combination and it kind of spiraled out from there.”

Since you are listed as creator and showrunner what was it like coming up with the idea and then transitioning it into a webseries?

“We had a lot of meetings to come up with ideas. I went off and wrote the pilot and then brought it back and that kind of laid the ground work. Then we treated is as a kind of writers room where we’d all break the stories for the consequent episodes and then different writers would go off and write the other episodes. So you’ll see for each subsequent episode we’ll have different writers listed for them.”

In your episode what prompted you to genderbend Hades?

“I can’t exactly remember the genesis of the idea, but we came up with that pretty early in the process. We really wanted to figure out so many gods, so many stories to follow, where do we kind of narrow it at? If we were going to touch a lot of the main myths we were going to be dealing with the big gods like Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, but those are all traditionally male characters and we definitely wanted more female representation on the screen. It was just something about Hades being cast to the underworld and having to prove herself, it just seemed really exciting for us.”

When you were going through the Greek myths to see what you were going to use, the one thing I thought was really funny was that you used Aphrodite’s original origin story, were there any other things you decided to keep in or tweak, like with Hades, to add in more Greek myth stories into the series?

“Every single episode has tons of deep cut references we’re like spilling over the sides. There’s just so much comedy in those stories, either intentionally or unintentionally. We had six episodes planned originally for the first season, but there’s already so much that we want to get to. There’s a lot of character that you’ll meet later on in season one, but we still couldn’t fit them all in.”

For the rest of the series, without spoiling anything, can you share some characters who weren’t in the first episode?

“I think I want to keep that under wraps, just so people can enjoy the surprise and gasp when they see whose coming. I’ll give one hint. We’ve met a lot of gods already so we’re going to meet a lot of demi-gods soon.”

Since the gods make these apps that are sort of based on their personalities or on their identities, if you were going to design an app based on who you are what would the app be?

“I would definitely want an app that would help you make online content easier and draw a community together easier. There is like no central hub for that and that’s what I’ve been all about. What has been really successful about the show is that we’ve been able to build this little community around ourselves and that’s been really great and really supportive.”

What has it been like promoting the show, has anything surprised you?

“We’ve gotten a couple people with fan art already, which has been super awesome and I was not expecting to see that this early on.”

Have you seen any of the people relating to certain characters, in the fan art or just online?

“A lot of people have been relating to Hades a lot, which is great, because she’s going to be kind of our entry into this through the season. They also think Zeus is hilarious so they’re not really relating to him that much because he’s got a lot of stuff to work through as a person.”

When you were thinking of how the characters would act did you think of the characterizations based on the myths themselves or off of characters from shows like The Office?

“There’s a little bit. Zeus has a lot of Steve Jobs in him, but in terms of people we know in real life no one’s like a spoof or a parody. A couple of members of the creative team act in it, but we did a wide casting call to get exactly the people we were looking for.”

Of the Greek Gods, not like the ones from your series, but from the myths, which one is your favorite?

“That’s a tough one. I won’t say a god, but a figure from Greek mythology I’d love to get in the show somehow, but we just can’t make it work, is Daedalus from Icarus. He’s also the one who created the labyrinth with the Minotaur, like he was mad from grief when Icarus does his whole sun flying thing. He’s an interesting guy, but I don’t think there’s a spot for him in the show, we’ve tried really hard.”

You’ve mentioned there are six episodes of the show going forward, is there a release schedule for them right now?

“Not right now, episode two is shot and in the can. We’re working on getting that out. We wanted to get this first episode out so people could see it and spread it around. We can hopefully draw together some resources to create the rest of our season.”

“We did our Kickstarter last year just for the pilot, but we were lucky enough to hit that goal pretty early on so with our stretch goal we were able to get our second episode made as well. We definitely weren’t going to miss out on that opportunity. We have the first two and we’re definitely excited to make the rest. All the scripts are done and ready to go.”

Are there any additional projects you or the team are working on right now?

“Not me specifically, I’m focused on this one 100%, not that it’s my full time job, but it’s a full time job. If you find all of our actors on social media they’ve got all sort of projects. They’ve go stand-up, sketch comedy, etc. They’re some really funny people, even outside of our show.”

Since you used your own office did you do any sort of special decorating to disguise that it was where you all work?

“We definitely wanted to make sure like everyone’s name plates were hidden so that they didn’t think they’d been cast in this somehow. It’s not like an official production by the company, they’re very supportive, so we didn’t want to over associate them in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. You won’t see anything specific I don’t think. In episode two there was an office party and we got those metallic letter balloons and we noticed that out of whatever they spelled originally some of them spelled out gods so they’re in the background of a couple of shots. Just in general it’s such a visually interesting office with all the murals, the colors, it’s just a huge room. We wouldn’t have been able to make it without that room. There’s tons of nooks and crannies and lots of locations within the location that we can use.”

Are there any Easter Eggs or anything hidden inside the show to hint at certain gods?

“The one thing is that for the gods if you look at them, our costume designer did a really good job and put a lot of thought and care into it, each god has like a little icon that’s part of their costume, some of them are really subtle. A lot of them are really subtle and people haven’t been catching them. As their costumes change throughout the season they’ll always have this icon that makes them who they are. A lot of people haven’t picked up that Zeus is wearing lightning bolt earrings. There’s little lines and asides that hint at like the bigger world of who they are.”

I compared the series to American Gods in my review and while you’re show has a much different feel I wondered if you’d seen American Gods?

“I’ve seen the first couple of episodes, it’s really hard to find since it’s on Starz. The book was a huge influence on me specifically I love that book and all of Neil Gaiman’s stuff for sure.”

Make sure to check out the series on YouTube!

The Pantheon will also be at SDCC next week so if you’re getting your geek on make sure to find them, they’ll have some fun giveaways for fans who stop by.

Help The Pantheon become the most watched show on Stareable this month and they could take home a really amazing prize. Check out what you have to do on stareable.com.

You can find more information on The Pantheon on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and their website.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, and I run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp.

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