We had the good fortune of connecting with Lena Murisier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lena, what do you attribute your success to?
Confidence. As Hannibal Barca once said, “we will either find a way or make one”—that’s how I always approached my career. I always believed that I would become successful in the field that I choose. To become a working screenwriter, I had to compromise and sacrifice. I’m from a small town in Switzerland, and it was a great risk to quit an excellent job in marketing/advertising to move an ocean away and dive into a whole new career. A lot of what I had mastered in my career as an account manager was beneficial in my screenwriting career. I went to a film school in LA, which lead to a one-year work visa (OPT) during which I signed a production deal for my TV Series Bonnie & Bonnie, optioned two documentaries, signed a shopping agreement for a feature romcom and signed with one of the best management companies in the world: Untitled Entertainment. They rep Madonna, Jane Fonda, Ashton Kutcher, and so many more. All these incredible milestones happened within a year and allowed me to get granted the very prestigious artist visa, which is a success on its own. For me, especially with a film school’s expenses and with the concise time frame of one year only to succeed to a high enough level to get one of the most prestigious visas in the world, it was knowing I didn’t have the choice that pushed me every day. I needed to make it. But there is not only one way to make it. Dare to be unique. That’s your superpower. Stay confident in your journey. There are many naysayers in this field, people that will discourage you or try to convince you that you won’t have any success in your writing for at least 10 years because that was their experience. But that doesn’t mean it will be yours. Everyone has their own journey to success. None of it is right or wrong. And everyone has a different definition of success. Today, I have managers that I adore in one of the most reputable management companies worldwide. I have exciting projects I am working on. I have a network of professionals I trust and can grow with. That is my definition of success in this industry. Trust the process. Trust yourself. Trust your journey. Confidence is the key. You can do it, and you will.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.It all started in Switzerland, where I’m from. I worked in the most established Advertising Agency in Switzerland as a Key Account Manager for national and international brands. It was a fascinating job that revolved around storytelling and selling, which is precisely what I do today. I tell stories for a living. I think a huge part of being a successful writer is mastering the art of scheduling. Transforming your dreams into goals that become monthly, weekly and daily tasks is necessary. By keeping a schedule and holding yourself accountable, you can achieve amazing things in your career. When you’re creative, it’s easy to get lost in creating, but there’s a lot more to that. It’s how to market yourself, how to network, and how to keep yourself on track. Know what your goals are and update them often. Make sure that what you do daily brings your closer to what you want to be. But if you don’t do everything you had scheduled for the day, learn to forgive yourself. While it’s essential to write down what you’re supposed to do, it’s also okay if you don’t achieve to do all that was planned in one day. Be nicer to yourself. And along the way, learn to celebrate every success — that is how you last in this incredible industry. Celebrating when you achieve something in your career, even the most minor thing, is how in the long term you overcome the challenges and the uncertain times. While I work on my craft, I want to support writers alike. Visit www.lenamurisier.com and get advice on your screenplay or writing career from me, an award-winning writer who optioned projects, has a scripted TV Series in development, one in pre-production, and got signed by A-List Reps in approximately a year. While I love to give advice, I care that you stay true to your unique voice. That’s your superpower. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Roadmap Writers! After winning their diversity contest, I entered their writing program. I met their excellent crew and the amazingly talented writers they work with. It was a fantastic experience that led to their Top Tier program. An incredibly intense and full of opportunities program. Every month, you meet with outstanding execs, managers, agents from the biggest companies in Hollywood. You get to have fascinating conversations and pitch your work to a large audience. It is through Roadmap Writers that I met my management company. I have great pride to be a Roadmap alumnus and can only advise every writer to check them out on www.roadmapwriters.com — between webinars, consultations, mentorship, and career programs; there’s something for every serious writer out there.