It’s the Journey, Not the Destination: How Merman Develops the Careers of Its Creative Talent

08 May, 2024

Kira Carstensen, global managing partner at the production company, speaks to LBB’s Addison Capper about helping commercials directors make the jump to TV and movies and how the company aims to give opportunities to diverse filmmakers.

Merman, the production company founded by actress, writer and director Sharon Horgan, has always had a strong focus on furthering the careers of the creative talent it manages. Whether it’s a commercial director who wants to make a feature film, TV series or a feature, or a TV director who wants to get into commercial directing, mentorship is a key element of the business. 
Merman also has a history of helping first time writers and performers develop their voice into a viable series or film. It has done that with Aisling Bea’s ‘This Way Up’, Sarah Kendall’s ‘Frayed’, 2020’s Sundance film ‘Herself’, written by and starring Clare Dunne, and ‘Rebel Hearts’, the Sundance 2021 documentary feature directing debut from Pedro Kos.
Another recent success was ‘Your Monster‘, an unusual love story between an aspiring actress and a charming monster living in her closet, which was the opening midnight movie at Sundance this year. It was produced by Merman, and developed from first-time director Caroline Lindy’s short film version that was initially funded by a grant from Women in Film. 
“As a female-owned company, Merman is a proud mentor for Women In Film,” said Kira Carstensen, global managing partner at Merman, who leads all efforts for the company in the US with fellow global managing partner Ellen Clarke. “When we saw Caroline’s short, we immediately knew the concept — and Caroline — were very special.”
To find out more about Merman’s approach to career development and mentorship, LBB’s Addison Capper chats with Kira.