Nicola Lusuardi: “Theory and technique are the 10 percent, the 90 percent is your mindset!”

In mid-July, Nicola Lusuardi, the acknowledged screenwriter, script consultant, story editor, and creative producer, will host a one-of-a-kind masterclass on the art of crafting exceptional drama series in Tallinn. Nicola’s notable works include Priscilla by Sofia Coppola, The Young Pope and The Hand of God by Paolo Sorrentino, and My Brilliant Friend by Saverio Costanzo. He is currently the Head of Content of Our Films, scouting for and developing projects for the international market.

To set the tone for the masterclass TV Series: the Narrative Revolution, Nicola shared some insights on what participants can expect from the masterclass and revealed a bit about his favourite series and current projects.

What are your favourite series?

There are tens of them. Tens that I enjoyed and studied. It would be unfair to make a ranking. You will have a hint during the days together. There I’ll refer to the ones I find most relevant in order to understand what a series is.

What are your favourite series among your own work?
Always the next ones! And the next one that is going to premiere soon is M, a series about Benito Mussolini and the rise of the fascist party in the ’20. It’s written by Stefano Bises (Gomorra) and Davide Serino and directed by Joe Wright. It’s amazing.

What are the main differences between film and series writing?

There are so many things that it is like trying to be a professional in playing football and a professional in classical dance at the same time. Different bodies, different mindsets, different esthetical goals, different existential engagement.

If you were a participant in your own masterclass, what would be the top 3 tips you would put to use immediately?

  1. Be a professional viewer: outline and dismantle every series you like in order to really, seriously, understand how it is made and how it works.

  2. Always look for the specificity of the language you use: in order to make a great series you need to grasp what you couldn’t tell – and talk about – if you’d develop a movie.

  3. Theory and technique are the 10 percent, the 90 percent is your mindset: therefore reshape your body in order to feel and move following the needs and the goals of the serial storytelling.

What has been the biggest lesson for yourself about series writing?

Failing badly and understanding that we were not analysing deep enough the specificity of the serial storytelling. Therefore, understanding that all the classical theoretical models shaped for cinema weren't just useless but misleading in creating a series.

What are you working on now?

I’m setting the slate of Our Films, the new company we founded with the team of our previous company (The Apartment Pictures). I’m Head of Content, therefore I’m scouting and already working on many new developments mostly for the international market. More on this when we meet live.

What should the participants prepare themselves for? What kind of mindset do you expect from them or should attendees do some work beforehand (like watch a specific series)?

No. I just hope they have watched everything. Not something you can catch up with in a few weeks. But in case someone didn’t already watched everything, I hope our days my togheter will inspire to catch up with a lot of really good series.

Read more about the masterclass TV Series: the Narrative Revolution taking place in Tallinn in 12-13 July 2024 and sign up now!