Is There A Dark Side To Hollywood Screenwriting Success? by Shawn Christensen

Watch the video interview here on Youtube

Film Courage: How did you spend your first few years as a screenwriter? I know you said you initially wanted to be an actor? And I know you’ve had a career as a musician. But how did you spend your first few years as an actual screenwriter? How is it for you now? Is it the same (just more year behind you in terms of what you don’t like, what you do like)?

Shawn Christensen, co-screenwriter/producer of THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL movie:  It’s much different….so when I first wrote screenplays, you are writing it for the fun of the medium or you want to write movies or be in the film business or you have a great story to tell, whatever your reasons are (a combination of all those things).

But what happened for me is we had an agent (as I said) from this little script and once you have an agent, especially if you are at a big agency like WME [William Morris Endeavor] you have access and when you have access it charges you to…now you know you can really write, because you know you can get the screenplay to people. It’s a different thing. And so I wrote a couple bigger movies, bigger in…action movies I guess we’ll call them.

And these movies went into the big studios and they went through the engine (The Factory). And the writer can get really destroyed in that Factory. And I got destroyed in that Factory. It doesn’t happen all the time, but I wrote a couple popcorn movies and they got rewritten head-to-toe. One of them didn’t get made, one did. But it was an excruciating experience and it really (quite frankly) made me not want to write anymore…(Watch the video interview here on Youtube).





THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL will be exclusively on DIRECTV from January 25–February 21, 2018; VOD on February 27, Theatrical on March 2, 2018. For more info, please visit here.


Directed by: Shawn Christensen

Starring: Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Monaghan, and Nathan Lane


After publishing a bestselling novel based on the death of one of his high school classmates, the controversial writer Sidney Hall (Logan Lerman) finds himself catapulted to unexpected fame and renown. His relationship with his girlfriend (Elle Fanning) begins to fall apart as the dark consequences of the book intrude on their life together, and he disappears without a trace. Nearly a decade later, an enigmatic detective (Kyle Chandler) searches for the missing author, whose books are connected to a string of mysterious arsons.



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Watch the trailer to New York’d on Amazon here

There are days when New York City seems to open its doors to you and every single piece falls nicely into place supporting the dream that brought you to that big wonderful city. Then there are the other days…the days when those same pieces become ill-fitting sharp-edged shards ganging up against you and any goal you may have. Those are the days when the cruel heartless city itself seems to be conspiring against you. Those are the days you know you’ve been…New YORK’d. It WILL happen to you…


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