Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Lauren Lumsden

Site Director, The Scene at Condé Nast Entertainment

What video/television piece inspired you recently?

Right now, I am an avid fan of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. It’s a documentary series about famous chefs from around the world. The show honestly— and beautifully—portrays the difficulties and joys of their profession. Plus, I salivate over the food they’re making the entire time I’m watching. I am not a foodie, but now I am planning trips to Italy and Korea just to eat meals made by two of the chefs, Massimo Bottura and Jeong Kwan.

On the video front, I was incredibly moved by Tracee Ellis Ross’s speech from Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit. It’s inspiring to know that her video is being passed around the digital community, and will live beyond the event.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

The increasing accessibility of video production is very exciting as it opens new doors in the industry. When I first started making videos in college, I had a heavy video camera that required chunky tapes—and, moreover, shot footage that didn’t look great. These days, my phone shoots better videos, and the editing software is significantly more intuitive and user-friendly. Thanks to that ease and ubiquity, more and more people can make short films, tell their amazing stories, and learn to love the genre as much as I do. Just last week, I saw a video that a freshman in college shot about the loneliness she was experiencing in her first year away from home. I was so moved. Similarly, I want my teams at The Scene and Glamour to feel empowered to tell their stories this way, and not feel limited by imperfect lighting or cameras.

In fact, Glamour is adopting this LoFi-but-still-impactful approach to video with “30 Days to Greatness,” a series about one woman’s attempt to learn to do something new in a month. The footage is largely filmed on her camera phone. Stories feel drastically more real and personal when the person you’re watching isn’t perfectly lit and coiffed.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I have been keeping a diary since I was 5 years old—so I can easily flip to a page and tell you exactly what I was doing on this day in 1989. I’ve always been obsessed with documenting things, people, and feelings, which is why I got into journalism and filmmaking. Another interesting note about me is that I’ve watched every video on the Internet—every, single one.

What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I am most proud to have worked on The Scene, and to have played a role in what the platform is now and what it will be moving forward. I’m obsessed with my team of geniuses, who keep me in a permanent state of awe with their ideas, dedication, and talent. Evolving The Scene has been the highlight of my career. and it has felt very personal at times. Watching our videos go viral, and working with people who are as passionate about the mission as I am, makes every challenge worth it.