Erica Dunton Becomes a Merman

The global production company Merman has signed Erica Dunton to its roster of elite commercial directors with representation in both the U.S. and overseas. Dunton is a prolific and celebrated screenwriter, indie filmmaker and television series director whose most recent foray in commercial making was directing the high-profile and highly innovative, twenty-three episode “RomCommerce” branded series “Add To Heart” for Walmart, which was produced by Merman. Also recently, Dunton was nominated by the DGA for Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series for helming the 2023 Ted Lasso episode “La Locker Room Aux Folles.” She was nominated for the same prize for the Ted Lasso episode "Rainbow" in 2022.

Having inherited an eye for cinematography - her father is BAFTA winning director of photography Joe Dunton BSC MBE and her two brothers also are working cinematographers - Dunton is much sought after for her superb technical craft as well as her reputation for being an actors' director, knowing that actors are the most important conduit for emotion on the screen. She brings to every job a flair for collaboration with fellow creative artists, always allowing space for actors to play and nuanced performances to evolve.

“Erica’s got two major superpowers,” said Merman’s Global Managing Partner Kira Carstensen. “First she communicates clearly and sets the stage for the performers and the crew and how they are going to do the dance together, and what everybody’s role is to get the scene. She creates an intimate environment complete with trust and total communication. Secondly, she’s a creator who understands the subtleties in a script and how to get the camera and performances to deliver the intent of a script. These are invaluable skill sets that are just as important in a two hour feature film as a half-hour episodic, a three minute Tik Tok clip or a thirty-second spot.”

Dunton’s daunting list of achievements in independent feature filmmaking include her earliest Slam Dance premiere Find Love to her Sundance Audience Award winning To.Get.Her to her latest inventive romancer Abigail Falls, a feature shot on an iPhone. Her television credits include the Dolly Parton anthology series Heartstrings for Netflix, the final three episodes of Amazon's The Summer I Turned Pretty, multiple episodes of season 2 and 3 of Apple's Ted Lasso and season 1 and 2 of HBO's Julia. Also multiple episodes of HBO's Girls On The Bus, including the season finale, and multiple episodes of Peacock's Vampire Academy and Bad Monkey starring Vince Vaughn.

“Joining Merman is a brand new homecoming for me,” said Dunton. “They play in the world of advertising and entertainment and the spaces in between and that is my long game plan, to continue creating commercials, television, features and branded content. Joining a traditional commercial production company just wasn’t in the cards. I needed a home that could utilize all of my skill sets, my ideating, writing, directing, showrunning, my ability to take on huge projects and uniting people across multiple disciplines. With Kira and the Merman team, I felt seen and understood as a fellow team player who has a strong vision and the ability to deliver on it. I look forward to a long and abundant collaboration with them.”

Photo by Matthew Petersenuse
Photo by Matthew Petersenuse
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