Lindsay Gossling is a writer, director and producer whose work is driven by compelling human stories. Her first feature, Un Traductor (writer/producer) had its world premiere at Sundance 2018 in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. It went on to receive awards at film festivals around the world and secured both domestic and foreign distribution. Prior to establishing production company Involving Pictures, Lindsay was a staff member at IMG (UK), before freelancing as a director/producer on a variety of productions for international broadcasters on programs ranging from documentary to prime-time reality, factual entertainment, magazine shows and sports. When her first two dramatic scripts made the quarterfinals of The Nicholl Fellowship, she shifted her focus to making movies. Lindsay is an alumna of The Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, The Canadian Film Centre, and Queen’s University. Her upcoming project Thirteen Minutes (WT) will mark her feature directorial debut.
- Travel - The world is the most inspiring place and for me traveling is hands down the best way to dream up new stories. Observing different cultures, soaking up history, getting a feel for a place and the lives of the people who live there is the most exhilarating and inspiring experience. I’ve been very lucky to have travelled to dozens of countries around the world and to have lived in several different places. The most important thing that travel has taught me is that people are fundamentally the same the world over – while the setting for a story or the rules specific to a given world might be unique, our essential wants and needs are universal. I don’t need to travel far though to get inspired, taking the subway or the bus, or going on a long drive has the same effect. I guess it comes down to people watching.
- TIFF - I’m based in Toronto and TIFF is a phenomenal resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the industry. If you can swing it, it’s definitely worth a visit. Get a Conference or Industry Pass and go to as many of the panel talks as possible. It’s cheaper than film school and you’ll get so much out of it in just a week. And watch, watch, watch as many movies as you can! It’s an amazing place to see powerful films from all over the world which is a treat. Plus, there’s a daily happy hour.
- Script Notes Podcast - No news here but the Script Notes Podcast with John August and Craig Maizen is essential listening. I catch up on it whenever I can – usually while driving or cooking. A couple of recent episodes I particularly enjoyed (and one from the archives) are:
- Episode 398 The Curated Craft Compendium
- Episode 392 The Final Moment
- Episode 366 Tying Things Up (archived episode)
- Public Radio (CBC, NPR) - I love public radio. Being in Canada, my go to is CBC Radio 1 where I constantly hear real-world stories that spark ideas or lead to further exploration. The Current is great for issue-based features and As It Happens is a mix of serious and light-hearted interviews with people from all over the world. I also love learning from interviews with highly accomplished artists (musicians, filmmakers) featured on Q.
- Art Galleries (Tate Modern, MOMA, AGO) - Art in general – contemporary art in particular – has always been a source of creative inspiration. Looking at art is like having an intimate conversation with a stranger from the past and I leave galleries brimming with new thoughts and bursting with fresh ideas. I love everything about the experience. The quietness of the act of looking at a painting. Of finding the one that catches your eye and then taking in the details. Every time I’m in London or New York the Tate Modern and MOMA are essential stops. At home in Toronto it’s The AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) or independent dealer galleries. The thing about a great painting is that it sticks with you forever – so much is captured and communicated in a single frame.
- Local Public Library - Books are our first introduction to the world of story and I love wandering the stacks and being surrounded by works of fiction, fact, so many resources. Recently I’ve started to going to the public library when I really need to get my head down and focus – whether it’s writing or shot listing, I find a quiet corner where I can switch off my phone and hide from the outside world. Browsing the aisles I often come across ideas for stories based on fact or stumbling upon fictional treasures. It’s inspiring just sitting among the thoughts and efforts of so many authors.
- Books - The first scriptwriting book I ever read was The Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra – probably because when I started out that’s exactly what I was! Her On The Page podcast is amazing too and another great resource for writing and industry info. I read Coffee Break before the classics (Story by Robert McKee, Screenplay by Syd Field, and Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat). Pilar’s book is full of little 10-minute exercises and while I didn’t always do them as they were meant to be done, the exercises always got me thinking about the point of a scene or a character’s purpose, or forced me to think what my story was about as a whole.