top of page
Susan directs.png

      Susan Ashley               Screenwriter and...

 

Second generation storyteller. My father was a story teller. He made people laugh and I wanted to possess that power. He taught me to mine stories from everyday life, like the time I pedaled my bike into the back of a parked fire truck while my boy crush looked on. I knew the story wasn't about losing the guy or getting wedged under the truck, but rather... if you run into a fire truck make sure it's one with a hot paramedic on board. Later when I had the great privilege of meeting Norman Lear, he said I had the best sense of comedic timing he'd seen in a woman since Lucille Ball. Mr. Lear's words encouraged me to turn my stories into screenplays, TV pilots and plays. My goal is to make people laugh and leave the planet a little happier and more enlightened than when I arrived.

About
Norman.JPG

How I got here...

My journey started working as a writer's assistant on The Nanny, learning everything comedy from the brilliant Fran Drescher. I then travelled to NY to work with John Hertzfeld on the feature 15 Minutes. Arriving back in Los Angeles, I found myself climbing my way out of a box at the Groundlings, braving stand up at local  comedy clubs, taking more writing classes at UCLA, then landing another fantastic opportunity to work with Fran Drescher on Happily Divorced. All of these experiences have led me to create a diverse slate of screenplays, TV pilots and plays, ranging from thrillers to dark comedies, Christmas themed rom/coms to my first novel adaptation. All with one thing in common... strong female characters not afraid to say what everyone in the room is thinking.

On Set.JPG
'15 Minutes' on set 3.jpg

Seeking production partners

for original material. See projects below.

Available for rewrites, script consultation, staff position, adaptations - freelance writing assignments.

Ext rehersal.jpg
Projects

PROJECTS

TV Pilots

           

                   In The Rough

               A single camera comedy

                            Written by,

                          Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

Ex pro golfer, Langdon Marshall, dreams of a mulligan, a do-over in golf terms after losing his family, his career and his dignity due to his drinking and bad behavior on and off the links. His chance finally comes the day he turns 50 along with a blistering hangover and rejection from a much younger woman. Leaving his indiscretions behind him, Langdon embarks on a journey to make the Senior's Tour only to be derailed when his son, Elliot shows up on his doorstep needing a place to stay while under house arrest. Knowing he lacks the parenting skills to be of any help, Langdon begrudgingly asks his ex wife to move into the guest house with Elliot. This fractured family must once again live under the same roof, bound by something greater than themselves, a court order. Langdon’s about to find out if he can get it right this time. However, he knows do-overs usually don't work out so well for athletes, case in point, Tanya Harding.

Emerging Screenwriters Comedy Competition

Quarter Finalist

 

                My Favorite Shaman

                         A single camera comedy

                                  Written by,

                                Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

After being voted off LIFE IS A LYRIC, singer/songwriter Sofia Sanchez, settles back into her dilapidated rental house in the Hollywood Hills faced with the reality of being an out of work artist. The mounting stress causes her to sleepwalk nightly and on one such outing she finds herself in the kitchen dreaming that there’s a tiny absurdly hot man, think Donald Glover/Chris Hemsworth, in her fridge. The nightly rendezvous continues until one night, during a storm, a bolt of lightning hits the house sending a shower of sparks from every outlet. The tiny man Sofia's been dreaming about, now life sized, emerges from the smoldering fridge, He claims to be a shaman on a mission and that mission is Sofia. He can't leave until he's helped her find true happiness. With her fiancé growing more suspicious by the day and her best friend wanting to know when she'll be fixed up with him, Sofia’s now forced to accept the shaman’s help before his good intentions ruin her life.

 

 

                Classified Encounters

                                One hour drama

                                   Written by,

                                Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

International Human Rights attorney Hailey Holloway is a star at her Boston law firm and relishes her life away from the horrors of a childhood plagued by confusing dreams of alien encounters and bullying from locals in her hometown of Tatum New Mexico. Her parents, considered true believers, had frequent run ins with local authorities over alleged alien coverups and insisted the alien encounters were real. But past is prologue as Hailey's CIA agent ex-boyfriend shows up and offers her a job he knows she can't refuse; join him in a secret government organization tasked with the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by extraterrestrials against humans. The inducement, her father's life depends on it.

ScreenCraft TV Pilot Script Competition

Quarter Finalist 

 

                    Out In The Wild

                           A Single Camera Comedy

                                       Written by,

                                     Susan Ashley

 

Synopsis:

 

After jumping ship from a disastrous romantic cruise, Environmentalist Barry Reagan finds herself stranded in Wasilla, Alaska. Enthralled by the stunning landscape, she decides to stay. Encouraged to run for Mayor on the Green Party ticket if only to raise local awareness on issues of climate change, Barry's sure she'll just be a footnote in the election. When the Democratic candidate suffers a heart attack one week before the election, the Democratic Party, desperate to defeat Barbi "Buckshot" Baker, whose motto is 'If you've got land, we've got a development plan', throws their support behind Barry. After a hard partying election night Barry goes to sleep knowing she can't overcome Barbi's 15 point lead. When morning comes, Barry has won. While becoming Wasilla's first LBGTQ Mayor invites curiosity from her fellow Alaskans, Barbi's a sore loser and she and her posse are happy to hunt anything, including newly elected Mayors.

Screenplays
   All scripts available upon request

                             

 

                       FINDING GRACE

                            A dark comedy

                                    Written by

                                 Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

Working in the airline industry has a shorter shelf life than 48 year old Brett Parker had imagined. He finds himself losing his favorite perk, layovers, and his pick up lines have gone from sure things to laugh lines to misdemeanors in the #metoo era. He’s been grounded while in the throes of a midlife crisis and finds panic attacks the only thing in his life he can count on. Desperate to regain some semblance of a life, Brett's forced to return home to care for his ailing father and confront a long buried secret from his past. With the help of the most unlikely of mentors, his ten-year old neighbor, Nina, a kid desperate to regain a childhood lost to divorce, Brett learns to face life as a grown up. They're an unlikely duo, no super powers, no capes, just two souls in search of a little grace.

Blacklist/WIF feature residency program.

Semi-finalist

                          The Curse of

                   Christmas Present

                        A holiday rom/com

                                      Written by,

                                    Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

 

Sara Brighton doesn't believe in the spirit of Christmas. In fact she believes she's got a Christmas curse. Bad things happen to her at the holidays and this year is no exception. She's lost a treasured locket, her Golden Retriever Elliot's been dognapped and she's agreed to help her BF's boyfriend, Paulo, pick out an engagement ring even though she knows he's getting dumped. If that wasn't enough proof the Christmas Curse exists, while on their way to the jewelers Sara and Paulo find an old man unconscious in the snow. By helping the old man, Sara unwittingly saves Paulo from a broken heart, Elliot from a life in the circus and Christmas for the world as we know it

 

 

Emerging Screenwriters Competition

Quarter-finalist

                       

                    Intruder

                          A thriller 

                                   Written by,

                                  Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

Kate Logan's native American ancestry hasn't prepared her for the battle ahead when she returns to Sedona after her grandmother's mysterious death. Armed with only her 21st century wisdom, Kate must uncover the truth: skinwalkers among us or a serial killer using Navajo mythology as the perfect alibi. 

American Zoetrope screenplay competition

Semi-Finalist

 

Breaking Walls Thriller competition.

Top Finalist

       Caught Up in Christmas

                     

                       A holiday rom/com

                             Written by

                          Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

 

Toy inventor Kate Markham's Christmas is not off to a merry start. After her latest toy prototype misses the mark with the board of directors, she's fired by her fiance' right after he breaks up with her. Facing the prospect of spending the holidays alone, Kate heads for the sanctuary of her hometown only to find her late grandmother's bakery is about to be foreclosed upon. Can her distractingly hot new neighbor help her save the bakery and rekindle some holiday spirit before time runs out? 

 

 

 

                

                       

                   DOGZILLA!

                       An adventurous tail

                                Written by, 

                              Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

Nothing comes between a boy and his dog except the police, assassins and an army when that dog is 20ft. tall. Jeremy Kirkwood and his brother need a friend after moving with their recently divorced mom to a new town. Luckily, the local stray mutt, Jake has adopted them. But things get complicated after Jake starts to grow at an alarming rate. When a giant sized Jake wreaks havoc around town questions abound as to the cause of Jake's growth spurt: an over active pituitary gland, a superfood dog food or an environmental factor that has local industries contemplating a PR disaster? Time's running out as armed men close in on the kids and their frightened dog. Will these misfits prevail and show the world that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, even 20 ft. dogs? After all, isn't it in our diversity that we find our greatness?

Emerging Screenwriters Comedy Competition

Quarter Finalist

 

              Blood Orange 

                      A Mystery/thriller

                               Written by,

                             Susan Ashley

Synopsis:

Paulina Perez, was taught from an early age that we're here to make a difference, to hold people accountable and to fight for justice for those who can't fight for themselves. This desire to bring truth to the public is what drives Paulina to be a news reporter. But after her father's needless workplace death,  putting her life on the line for a job doesn't feel like something she's ready for. That all changes when Paulina finds herself first on the scene of a murder investigation. The victim is Anna Quintero, CEO of S.C.I.P.S. an organization run by the West Los Angeles Sheriff's dept. dedicated to placing undocumented workers in the Agro business. When Paulina discovers the truth about working conditions and what happens to 'terminated' workers, she has no choice but to seek out who's responsible and be a voice for the 'disappeared' even if it means endangering her own life. Finding justice for these workers will hopefully be her best but not her last big story.

Austin Film Festival Screenplay competition

Finalist

CONTACT

skbashley@gmail.com
310-948-2922

You can also contact us by using this form:

Thanks for submitting!

© 2022 by Susan Ashley. Proudly created with Wix.com

WEF.com.jpg
bottom of page