Samantha Shad has written screenplays for Hollywood, taught writing at several colleges, practiced as an entertainment attorney, and served in key leadership positions for major writers organizations. She also is the author of The Write To Happiness (Morgan James, July 1, 2020).
Samantha grew up in a show business family. Her father, Bobby Shad, was a prominent music producer and label owner. He found and produced Janis Joplin, the Platters, Lou Reed, Ray Charles, and similar hit makers, as well as an extensive jazz list, including Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. She began her legal career when she joined the prestigious Washington law firm of Steptoe and Johnson. She moved to New York to use her extensive knowledge of the music business and work with legendary music attorney Paul Marshall. After relocating to California, she practiced music and entertainment law, initially at the firm Luce, Forward, and later setting up her own practice is Beverly Hills, Ca., representing active television and feature film writers, directors, producers and actors. While practicing law, she partnered with a micro-budget independent producer to develop dramas for independent producing. Frustrated at their inability to draw suitable dramatic material, she wrote her first treatment for a film and offered to pay any of her starving screenwriter clients to write it. It was universally rejected, even by the most desperate. Finally she sat down and wrote it herself. Drawing on her experiences at a major international law firm, she wrote Class Action. Her finished first draft was rejected all over Hollywood before becoming an overnight sensation with its purchase by Paramount Pictures for Producer Leonard Goldberg. It was later produced by Twentieth Century Fox. She went on to pursue an active screenwriting career. She wrote features for each of the major studios except Warner. She wrote and produced original credited (Class Action) and uncredited (Mercy, G I Jane) features. She wrote feature-length TV scripts (Vanished Without A Trace) and worked with luminaries in feature films (Ridley Scott) and TV (Steven Bochco and David Kelly). Samantha taught at UCLA (screenwriting), The American Film institute (breaking into the industry), the Franklin Pierce College (law and media) and Duke University’s Olli Program. Active in the Writers Guild of America, West, Samantha served as the Chair of the Women’s Committee and a member of the Steering Committee for Protected Classes. She was also the President of the Writers Guild-Directors Guild Joint Women’s Filmmakers Project, and the Chair of the Jointt Women’s Filmmakers Foundation of the Writers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America.
She is an honors graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After she relocated to New Hampshire, she became an active writing consultant, with novelists and screenwriters as her primary clients. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, Denny, and their dog, Bozie.
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