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5 Minute Mentor: Lisa L. Wilson

Lisa is an Emmy and Academy Award winning producer, and managing partner at Beauvais Wilson Productions.

Lisa L. Wilson
Lisa L. Wilson, Managing Partner, Beauvais Wilson Productions, Emmy & Academy Award Winning Producer

How does your career compare with what you envisioned when you started pursuing work in this industry? How did you discover and get onto this career path?

Funny, when I started in this industry I didn't know quite what I wanted or where I would end up. I just knew I loved television and wanted to create. I didn't take the traditional route of film school, I answered an add (yes I'm dating myself) in the local paper and started as a PA on a television show and worked my way up the ranks. Today, I'm grateful to have received an Emmy for my hard work and been a part of creating content that has made an impact socially.

Tell us about a mistake or bad habit that you had to overcome early in your career. How did you do it?

As a female producer in this industry we automatically work harder than everyone else. However, you also have to demand what you deserve and I didn't learn that until later in my career. Speaking up for yourself is vital to success.

What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to aspiring writers and filmmakers who are looking to network and make industry relationships?

My most important piece of advice is to talk to everyone. Befriend the assistants and the executives. Also, don't wait for someone to hand you the perfect opportunity...make your own. If you have an idea for a script...write it! There's no such thing as a perfect first script, trust me.

What's one industry myth you can debunk?

What you see on TV is the glamour and the glitz. This industry is hard and you have to be ready and develop "thick skin" to maneuver through it. Don't get me wrong it can also be a lot of fun you just have to know you are going to work to make it all happen.

Tell us one of your favorite success stories from the industry, whether it was your success or someone else’s.

Most would think, winning a daytime Emmy would be my greatest success story but it's not. It's was actually starting a production company with my producing partner actress, Garcelle Beauvais. Our first project we decided to executive producing a USC students thesis film called "Lalo's House". It's a very moving, emotional, and tragically beautiful short film that sheds the light on the devastating world of child sex trafficking. Since completing the film, it has played a role in passing legislation in the fight against human trafficking and was most recently awarded a student academy award. We are excited to now be submitting to the Oscars.


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