#282 – A Hollywood Perspective on Story with Producer Lindsay Doran


Lindsay Doran has worked in the movie business for more than 30 years as a studio executive and as a producer. She has served as the President and COO of United Artists Pictures and as the President of Sydney Pollack’s Mirage Productions. She currently divides her time between her producing duties and her work as “The Script Whisperer™” — anonymous consultation on high priority script development.

Lindsay’s first film credit was as Executive in Charge of Production on the mock-documentary “This is Spinal Tap.” She later became the Executive Producer on two films directed by Sydney Pollack, “The Firm” and “Sabrina.” As a Producer, her credits include “Dead Again,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Nanny McPhee,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” and “Nanny McPhee Returns” (aka “Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang”).

As an executive, Lindsay worked on dozens of films including “The Sure Thing,” “Stand By Me,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Planes Trains and Automobiles,” “Field of Dreams,” “The Naked Gun,” “Pet Sematary,” “Ghost,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and two James Bond films – “The World is Not Enough” and “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

She is the winner of numerous awards including the Golden Globe Best Picture award and the British Academy Award for Best Film, both for “Sense and Sensibility.”

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  1. Amanda
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I really loved this interview. It combined my two favorite subjects: Media and Psychology.

    I wanted to ask Lindsay/ask her opinion on an epiphany that I had.

    Everyone says that Jersey Shore is popular because its a “Train Wreck” However, EVERY reality show is a Train Wreck and not every reality show does well.

    I think the popularity of the Jersey Shore is that there is an aspect of family. The group fights together but they also laugh together. This further proves her hypothesis that relationships pulls people into shows and movies. Of course Jersey Shore should be reality, however, we all know that this is not entirely true. Do you think producers understand that the audience wants an aspect of family and belonging?

  2. Lindsay
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Amanda – Thanks for your comment. I haven’t seen “Jersey Shore.” Even the tiny bits of it I see excerpted on other shoes depress me right down to my toes. But I do think producers understand that, as you say, “the audience wants an aspect of family and belonging.” They may understand it only in a cynical way – i.e., that it’s a necessary part of the formula for success – but I think it’s clear that human connection is ultimately the thing that will make audiences keep coming back. This comes up a lot in the reviews of the new film “Real Steel” – it’s advertised as a film about fighting robots, but many reviews point out that it’s the father-son story that makes it work.

  3. Susan Lee
    Posted January 7, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lindsay – A voice from the past – 9 Warwick Road. (Susie). Just writing to say I love your movies. Great work. Keep it up. I’m following your career with interest.

  4. Lindsay Doran
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Susie? From New Zealand?? Friends with Cherry Dance??? Really????

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