With a career spanning more than two decades, award-winning documentary maker Tony Lindsay – one of our film and TV screenwriting mentors – counts the likes of Holby City, Casualty and The Bill as highlights on his CV. Now he spends his days sharing his wisdom with our students …

 

How did you know TV and film was the career for you?

I was always top of the class when it came to creative writing and I really fell in love with cinema as I grew up, so it made complete sense to bring my two passions together. During my college studies, we had to create a commercial for a product of our choice – I chose something ‘Hitchcockian’, shooting deep in a pine forest…and won!

 

What’s the most stand-out moment of your career?

I wrote an extremely sensitive episode of Casualty that was about a young nurse being sexually assaulted – it was later voted as viewers’ favourite episode, so that was definitely a highlight for me.

 

What do you think is the secret to winning the TV ratings battle?

There’s an age old saying that ‘script is king’. It’s still true today – quality writing combined with a supportive, hard-working team is a recipe for success.

 

What do you love most about working at LMA?

I’m in my second year of teaching here and it’s quite simply the students who make it rewarding. They all have an innate passion for their craft and that’s what makes the real difference, as you can’t teach enthusiasm and drive!

 

Why is LMA the best place to train?

Again, it all comes down to the team – I truly respect my colleagues, such as Tony Ealey and Tony Lloyd, and I know that what they’re teaching students goes hand-in-hand with what I’m teaching, too.

 

What advice would you give to your students as they look to build a career in the industry?

Keep your head down and be prepared for the long hours and inevitable knock-backs – stick with it and keep the faith. I’d also say that you should learn how to manage the dreaded ‘writer’s block’ and figure out what works for you, whether that’s watching a movie, reading a book or just taking some time out to get a fresh perspective.

 

How has the internet and the rise of platforms such as Netflix encouraged more opportunities?

We actually touch on this as part of one of my modules, as it’s important to understand the scope of opportunities that are out there. Back in my day, you couldn’t get a look in without representation, but the BBC Writers Room looks at any script now, which is great.