Lisa Feit, who graduated from Northeastern with an undergraduate degree in Journalism and English, is an award-winning scriptwriter and producer who aims to create a more humane world. Based in the Washington D.C. area, she is currently a Producer/Writer for National Geographic Television, NG Studios. In this role, Lisa has been able to bring together her own personal interests and her professional work – and tell informative stories that are meaningful, moving, and memorable.
“National Geographic’s mission is completely in-line with the way I think,” Lisa said. “I get to learn more about what I love, and I am making a difference by telling the world about things that matter, while capturing their hearts and imaginations at the same time.”
At National Geographic, Lisa continues to explore her lifelong interest and love of storytelling.
Storytelling is good for business and good for communication…
“Stories are how we remember things; information and ideas stay around a bit longer when told in a story versus bits and pieces at a time,” said Lisa. “And they typically feature a character, which makes them relatable and captivating.”
As Lisa knows quite well, these characters do not have to be human to be compelling. For one of the films Lisa is working on, about a national park in Mozambique, the story is told through the eyes of an elephant who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after surviving years of being hunted for ivory during a brutal 16-year war.
“I think this approach is going to make the story of the park even more captivating,” Lisa added.
Another highlight during her time at National Geographic so far has been working on Women of Impact (trailer here), a film the team produced last fall that was part of a larger National Geographic Year of the Woman campaign. For the film, Lisa interviewed more than 40 women – explorers, public figures, photographers, women in conservation, and more. The list included some recognizable names: Robin Roberts, Martha Raddatz, and Melinda Gates, to name a few. Since its release last October, the film has been well-received and is being shown at universities and venues around the world.
Being in this Producer/Writer role, Lisa gets to work on a lot of different aspects of a film – and with colleagues all across the company.
For Women of Impact, she started off by identifying who would be featured in the film (alongside the Talent Department), followed eventually by three full days of interviewing the film’s subjects, which allowed the individual stories to shine through. She then moved on to scripting the film, which was narrated by Julianna Margulies, based on these interviews.
“When I am writing, I want to know what the story arc is more than anything else and I want to know the transitions. The framework of the story must be stable for everything to work, and this structure informs what the visuals are,” explained Lisa. “For Women of Impact, the project was interesting because it was organized thematically, not chronologically like most stories.”
Before joining National Geographic full-time, Lisa was a freelancer and led her own business, Lisa Feit & Associates, Inc., where she worked with clients on scriptwriting, storytelling, producing, and more. Her work with these clients – which included A&E, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, and HGTV – was an opportunity to collaborate with organizations as committed as she is to improving the lives of people and animals alike. After years of freelancing, when the opportunity to continue her mission-driven work for National Geographic full-time came up, which Lisa describes as her “dream job,” she knew she had to take it.
Of course, leading up these incredible career moves, Lisa gained a lot of important experience along the way. During her time at Northeastern, Lisa took advantage of the co-op program, landing a position at the Patriot Ledger, based in Quincy, Massachusetts.
“I need to learn by doing,” said Lisa. “I was very fortunate to have had such great co-ops. At the Patriot Ledger, I got to write stories that were published, so I walked out of there with a resume.”
Lisa also gained experience working at a radio station, as well as an all-news station, where she was both a reporter and anchor.
“When it comes to the news, you’re working so fast, you need to know how to structure a story; you have to hook people in, then unravel the stories and unpack them in an organized way,” Lisa said. “Working in a fast-paced news setting, I learned how to synthesize a lot of information quickly, and that has served me well in what I do now…
Ultimately, I wanted to tell the stories in a more in-depth documentary format.
And that is exactly what Lisa does, sharing stories that make a mark.