After working on a fishing boat in Alaska, graduating from Sarah Lawrence College and interning at Killer Films, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s first job in New York was with photographer David LaChapelle. After a year of blinding glitz she headed to Hollywood with life-long dreams of important feminist filmmaking dancing in her head. Ironically, she found a much-needed paying job as a creative writer/producer in reality TV.
When her paradox became unworkable, she packed it in and drove north to Portland. On arrival, she planted organic kale and landed a job at advertising agency Wieden +Kennedy (Nike, Old Spice, Levi’s, Facebook etc) where she has worked with the likes of Will Ferrell, Todd Haynes, Mike Mills, John Hilcoat (The Road), Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), The Smithsonian Institute and Roman Coppola, producing and directing short narratives and documentaries.
During her 7 year tenure in Portland and at W+K, Sarah also wrote a feature Tremble the Gorgeous Vine, short Sequin Raze, pilot UnREAL and auteured the comedy short, 2nd Best. Additionally, she founded the W+K Gay Club. In 2012 she was selected as Filmmaker of the Year by Women in Film Portland, and was admitted to AFI’s prestigious Directing Workshop for Women where she made SXSW and Adrienne Shelly Foundation award winning short film Sequin Raze (starring Anna Camp and Frances Conroy).
The first season of her TV series UnREAL (based on Sequin Raze) which she co-wrote with Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mad Men) aired on Lifetime in Summer 2015 to critical acclaim. The second season of UnREAL aired in Summer 2016 to rave reviews. In addition to UnREAL, Sarah is currently working on another pilot as well as a feature film.
She now lives in Los Angeles, CA and works full time as a TV Creator and Film Writer.
Winning Project: Sequin Raze
SEQUIN RAZE TRAILER: