London Screenwriters' Festival

London Screenwriters’ Festival: ‘Beyond the Bio’: Lisa Holdsworth

Posted on: July 21st, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 1 Comment

Lisa HoldsworthLisa Holdsworth made her debut as a writer with an episode of ‘Fat Friends’ that saw her short-listed for a Best New Writer BAFTA award.  Since then she has spent three years on the Emmerdale writing staff and gone on to contribute episodes to ‘New Tricks’, ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Waterloo Road’

You can read Lisa’s full bio on her speaker’s page, but before that, here is the Leeds-born writer’s Q&A:

Q: What was your favourite film as a kid?

A: ‘Pretty In Pink’ – I was a sucker for a fairytale makeover.  Twenty-five years later and I still love John Hughes movies.

Q: Who inspired you when you were starting out?

A: Kay Mellor. She came from the same city as me and wrote about warm, female Northern characters.  She was taken seriously as a writer.

Q: What was your big break?

A: Kay read one of my scripts and liked it. She offered me a job as her PA. Whilst I was booking trains and typing letters, she decided to do a second series of Fat Friends. We had a story meeting and she encouraged me to participate. I went home that weekend and wrote a story pitch for an episode and Kay commissioned it.

Q: What was the best day in your career?

A: The day John Yorke commissioned my pilot on the strength of a five minute verbal pitch.

Q: What has been your most important lesson?

A: Write your first draft just for you, always remembering that you will be the only person that will ever see it in its raw state.

Q: If a niece or nephew wanted to be in the business, what would you advise them?

A: Don’t do it for the money, do it for love.

Q: What is the hardest part of your job and how do you overcome it?

A: The constant rejection.  You just have to absorb it and constantly think, “Screw ‘em. It’s their loss”.

Q: What do you feel is a writer’s or filmmaker’s key responsibility?

A: A writer’s responsibility is to create a document (the script) that gives a director and the actors absolutely everything they need to get your idea/vision on screen.

Q: What mistakes do you see emerging writers or filmmakers making over and over?

A: Over-writing – getting bogged down in details/incident that don’t serve the story or the characters. Cut, cut and then cut again.

Q: What advice would you offer an emerging writer or filmmaker?

A: Write what you are passionate about or get passionate about you are writing.

NEXT TIME ON “BEYOND THE BIO”: Senior Festival Advisor Julian Friedmann.

One Response

  1. jazad says:

    I really like this feature for the lead up to the LSFW. Short and sweet. Pat on the back to whoever thunk it up. Well done.

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