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May 19, 2018

DAN ARDEN is a veteran non-fiction television producer with a reputation of being a very nice guy to work for – some say too nice. But for Dan, creating a positive and enriching experience for his production team is equally rewarding, sometimes even more so, than producing the show itself. (43:37)




I’ve known and worked with a lot of nice and conscientious TV producers over the years, but DAN ARDEN is hands down the nicest and most conscientious. It’s just who Dan is, and reflective of the way he leads his life.

For nearly 40 years, Dan has belonged to Soka Gakkai International-USA, a Buddhist peace organization whose members are guided by the core principles of respecting the dignity of human life and the interconnect-edness of self and the environment.

And whether he’s producing a series or special for Discovery, Animal Planet, Nat Geo, HBO, NBC, AMC, Showtime, Fox or PBS, Dan strives to create a positive and enriching experience for the people on his production team:

“There’s the material, and the stories, and the outcome of the show you’re working on, and that’s really important. But equally, whether it’s for six months, one season or if you’re lucky enough to work on a show for years, it’s almost like having this other family. And I think when you’re producing, you’re able to create that environment where friends are working together and where you learn from each other. That becomes equally rewarding, and sometimes even more so when you look back on a project, than the show itself.”

Many thanks to the composers of the music featured in this episode royalty free through Creative Commons licensing:

1. "Airlift" by Poddington Bear -

2. "Bill Pickett" by Simon Mathewson

3. "True North" by Adam Selzer

4. "Associations" by Poddington Bear -