Trapped

Trapped is an Icelandic Crime-Thriller television show that centers around a family man and down-on-his-luck cop named Andri, who lives in a small Icelandic fishing port/ town of Seyðisfjörður. Andri gets a call about an freshly dismembered, yet unidentifiable body being found in one of the fishing nets, just as a ship carrying travelers from Denmark arrives in the town. It suddenly becomes a race a time for Andri and his team of cops (Hinrika and Ásgeir) to find the killer before the killer infiltrates and reigns terror upon the town.

Ownership:

Trapped was created by Icelandic filmmaker and occasional actor Baltasar Kormákur, who (as seen on the poster to the right) created hit films such as 2 Guns and Everest (which both are linked to the series as 2 Guns is a crime film and Everest is set in a cold and hostile environment, which Trapped shares both of those elements). 

 

The series was produced and funded by RVK studios (who are an Icelandic company), and distributed  and also funded by the international company, Dynamic Television, who are horizontally integrated company and don't dabble into other industries.

The show was first introduced at the Toronto International Film Festival, where people could have access to early screenings of the show (primarily the pilot), and where companies can obtain broadcasting rights to air the show on their channel.

When the show finally was released publicly on December 27th, 2015 in Iceland, it shattered Icelandic TV records and is the strongest debut of any television in Icelandic history. According to third party analytics, the first episode garnered a 50% (or 132,000) in viewershipand a 90% share, and that increased in the second episode, where the viewership bumped up 55% (or 141, 000) and a 91% share - baring in mind that Iceland's total population is only a mere 329, 000. 

 

In the UK (where it was released on February 13th, 2016), viewership of the first episode reached 1.27 million viewers within 7 days of release, and the second episode garnered 1.12 million viewership numbers. Needless to say, the show was a huge success.

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Promotional wallpaper from the show - photo complementary from NY Times review of the show

Accolades and promotional material for the (then) newly released DVD of Trapped - video by StudioCanal Germany 

Marketing:

 

Of course Rvk. Studios was responsible for the marketing of Trapped. But, before the show was sold its broadcasting rights and distributed around the world to companies like 'The Weinstien Company' (for the US) and the BBC (in the UK), particularly for their BBC 4 channel, the show had been shown off at the Toronto International Film Festival (one of the largest publicly attended film festivals in the world, attracting over 480, 000 people annually"), which is in Canada. So right off the bat, Trapped already had gained international traction, which was especially heightened by positive reviews (From places like the Hollywood Reporter and Indie Wire for example).

The show premiered on the days of September 11th, September 13th and September 20th of 2015, where it received positive reviews all around, hence why as previously stated, companies like the BBC picked up the series so it could be aired in the respective country.

On posters of Trapped (like the one on the right), you can see at the bottom of the poster that it states "A new crime series from Scandinavia". The fact that it states this shows that companies are promoting new cultures to the mass audience in Western civilisations.

Many long-form TV dramas have a big enough following to the point where fans of the shows begin to create fan made merchandise in order to promote their passion for the show. However, Trapped barely has any of that, and is primarily appreciated on a more traditional and civil level of only engaging with the show when it's relevant.

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All above photos are clickable and you'll be redirected to the original site where the artwork or photo originated from.

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Production:

As previously stated, the series is produced by Icelandic "production company" Rvk Studios (a shortened down name of the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavík), and also produced by "production, financing and distribution company" Dynamic Television, who have more international basis.

 

Other international companies like the BBC, Amazon and the Wienstien Company (the American distributer of the show) which they own only the broadcasting rights to to the series and nothing else. The series also, is available on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, meaning that the audience can watch the series on any device at anytime. DVD's of the series are available to purchase on Amazon.

Being a national company, Rvk Studios are well know for producing primarily Icelandic films and TV shows such as 'The Oath', 'Adrift' and the Icelandic version of 'Britains got Talent', while Dynamic Television has produced more international projects like 'Van Helsing', 'East Los High' and 'Z Nation'.

 

Trapped (as a whole series) costed roughly around 1 billion Icelandic Krona (or roughly €6,500,000), whereas other Icelandic shows usually cost between 100–200,000,000 Icelandic Krona.

Apart from the director being well known for his blockbuster works like Everest and 2 Guns, the rest of the crew of Trapped aren't too well know, that is except the cast (who are well know for their roles in other Icelandic productions). For example, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (actor who plays leading man, Andri) is a well known actor in Iceland for his roles in Icelandic productions like Áramótaskaup 200 and 101 Reykjavík, as well as playing minor roles in American films as The BFG and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

 

The idea for Trapped was simple; its a Scandinavian (or usually shortened down to Scandi) Noire crime drama, which (as the name implies) a crime drama set in the Scandinavian parts of the world. In conjunction with Kormákur, the show was also written by   

  • Sigurjón Kjartansson and Clive Bradley. Unlike companies like Netflix which encourage their audiences to binge watch by releasing the whole series in on one date, Trapped was released episodically over the course of a month.

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  •  Filming of the show took place between December of 2014 and May of 2015 (roughly six months) in Siglufjörður, Seyðisfjörður and Reykjavík (three cities in Iceland). It is unknown how long the visual effects aspect in the production process took though.

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  • The series was edited by Sigvaldi J. Kárason, who has also edited another Rvk. Studios project, that being 'The Oath'. Technology in the way of CGI was used to enhance the hostility of the environment, almost which acting as layer on the real environment. However, the actual landscape of Iceland is the same as Iceland was built.

 

 The series was released on December 27th, 2015 in Iceland, and Febuary 16th, 2016 in the UK, where it was released episodically rather than by series.

 

Trailer of Trapped season 1 that was marketed at the Toronto International Film Festival - Video by TIFF Trailers