Leigh Harmer, LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection, Short Screenplay, 'Metaph-II'
LISP 4th Quarter 2020 Official Selection Short Screenplay, 'Metaph-II' by Leigh Harmer
When did you start writing? How often do you write?
I started writing when I was about 10 - I would write stories and illustrate them with my friends in school.
I don’t have a set writing schedule; I find that I mainly collect bits and pieces of my thoughts in my notes app for a few months until I have enough material to make a full piece - I used to be really frustrated with this lack of structure but have found I work best when I’m not forcing myself to write. My submission for LISP, Metaph-II, was my first time writing sci-fi, and I definitely find switching up which genre you write is helpful to keep creative energy fresh.
Although I got my start writing short stories, comics, and poetry, I’ve recently gravitated toward writing for the screen. My debut short film LIZZIE was the juried winner for the 2019 Buried Alive Sinema Challenge. My other film, like mother, has been selected for fests including the Aphrodite Film Awards, Extremely Shorts Film Festival, and the Midnight Film Festival.
Can you please give us a few tips about writing a short screenplay?
I hope these tips aren’t too obvious… Character-driven stories are always the most engaging, so if you’re writing a short piece I think picking one or two characters max to focus on gives you plenty of material to work with and is much easier to create a connection between the character and the audience than an ensemble piece. I find it also helps having all your characters already know each other, so you can allude to their rich history and relationships; it’s much easier to create meaningful conflict between two sisters than two strangers. Another simple tip that I find helpful with shorter pieces is to make sure all the action takes place within 24 hours, that way you’re forcing your characters to take action immediately.
Lastly, do you recommend writers to give it a go LISP?
It feels great to be recognized, and I would definitely encourage anyone interested in submitting to LISP to give it a go! Thank you so much to the LISP team!