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Rising Stars: Meet Shannan E. Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannan E. Johnson.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
As a student at Burbank Elementary, I was given a descriptive writing assignment by my 3rd-grade teacher, Mrs. Jones. After spending a paragraph or so describing a blade of grass – it’s color, texture, smell – Mrs. Jones told me I should be a writer. And because teachers are like gods to young, impressionable minds, I agreed and so began my journey. With the goal of becoming an author, I graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Journalism. But it wasn’t until my senior year that my mother sent me an article about a black female TV writer that I truly became inspired.

I quit my full-time job after college and moved to LA with whatever fit in my Chevy Cavalier to sleep on couches and floors and soak up as much experience as I could before enrolling in Florida State University’s MFA Film Program. It was there that I further honed my craft in storytelling for the screen setting me up to place in competitive screenwriting competitions and work as a creative executive at NBCU. Now, as the CEO of the first black-owned script consultant agency in the entertainment industry, I provide straight-shot no-chaser feedback to develop creatives and their content. And I’m bringing my experience and expertise back to Texas to provide more filmmaking opportunities to Houston creatives.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m currently stepping into a new lane by executive producing a film. My years of experience as an executive of television development and current programming, an executive director of a nonprofit, and an entrepreneur of a rapidly growing company have prepared me for storytelling, marketing and branding, but the learning curve in fundraising and budgeting, managing and leading employees/contractors has been enormous and exciting. In just four short months, I’ve had to go back to the drawing board a few times, cancel events, lose money, and change staff/personnel. This is only the beginning of the process, so I expect and welcome many more trial and error periods and roadblocks ahead. Each of them molds me into a better businesswoman and helps me grow a strategic plan for future endeavors. The one thing that has remained unchanged is that Tweet has a story to tell, and so it shall be told.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a screenwriter who specializes in coming-of-age stories about people of color and how trauma can present itself when unrecognized therefore unhealed. As a script consultant, I specialize in structure and creating three-dimensional characters. So, when Isaac Yowman of IYO Visuals contacted me in 2018 to help pen the virtual tribute to DJ Screw that is now in development as a biopic with Sony, I jumped at the chance to understand the Screwed Up Click on a human level in order to share their stories.

I’m now telling another Houston-based tale about Tweet, a tattoo artist who is selling truffle sauce – of all things – in order to pay her last tuition bill, graduate from community college, and be granted ownership of a tattoo shop. But Tweet keeps letting life get in the way. Not this time. She’s gonna start over… for real for real. That is until a customer arrives and pushes her into a setback, leaving her standing in the gap between her past and her future.

Houston is already on the map because of creatives like Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad, Beyonce and DJ Screw. TRUFFLE SAUCE will feature Houston creatives, talent, crew, vendors and businesses. I’m proud to be at the forefront of telling our stories for the screen, and I appreciate all of the support I’m receiving from the community. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I don’t consider myself lucky, but I do consider my privileged. I’m the daughter of an educator who was allowed to be creative from the moment I left the womb and has traveled the world to more than 19 countries and 48 states. I recognize that my upbringing and exposure to other cultures and ways of living have molded me into someone who isn’t afraid of taking the leap. If there is something I want to do, I do it. My name and brand proceed me, so I can’t lean on luck. I must lean on preparation and will. In 2018, I stopped chasing my dreams and started chasing my reality. I’m out to get what’s mine.

Pricing:

  • Product Placement: $1,000+
  • Sponsorship: $3,000+
  • Producer Level Perks: $5,ooo+

Contact Info:

Image Credits
SJ_6: By Jordan Spry

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