Helping ALL PEOPLE interested in working in Hollywood to achieve their dreams.


Dedicated to the legacy of Gary Shusett


We are a federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization.

Hi, I’m Christine Owens!  After working closely with Gary for over 15 years, I now have the honor of being able to carry on his mission. His dream came from the heart. Gary truly cared about helping creatives connect with producers.


Please, won’t you join me and help me continue his mission?

Yes, Christine, I Can Help. I Can Teach or be a Guest Speaker!

I would like to be a part of Sherwood Oaks and carry on Gary’s dream. I am sending you my contact information. Please get in touch with me soon.

►Note: I personally guarantee the security and integrity of your contact information!! I seriously understand the importance of this and no one will see it but me.  Christine 


Our Mission

At Sherwood Oaks Film School, we passionately champion the dreams of aspiring individuals in the entertainment industry, weaving a tapestry of inspiration and guidance. Our mission is to ignite the creative spark within each person, providing an exclusive gateway to the inner workings of Hollywood through direct engagement with accomplished industry professionals.

Immersed in the legacy of Gary Shusett, we carry forth his vision of perpetuating practical knowledge for generations to come. Our educational platform is not just a conduit for learning; it’s a vibrant community where seasoned educators, who breathe life into the entertainment industry, share their profound insights.

As a non-profit, federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, we strive to break down barriers by ensuring affordability. Our goal is to transform aspirations into reality by offering every emerging creative a front-row seat to learn from and connect with the trailblazers of the entertainment realm. Join us on a transformative journey where passion meets profession, and dreams are given the wings to soar in the captivating landscape of Hollywood.

Board of Directors

    • Christine Owens, President/Secretary: Producer
    • Jennifer Chang, Treasurer
    • Jonathan Ward Edmondson, Vice President; SWO alumnus: Actor/Writer
    • Christina Ahluwalia, Vice Chair, SWO Alumna: Producer
    • Scott Richter, Member: Writer/Director/Producer
    • Hilliard Guess, Member: SWO Alumna, Writer/Director/Producer

Board of Advisors

    • Autumn McAlpin, SWO Alumna: Writer/Director/Producer
    • Eric Weissmann, Attorney with SWO since 1973
    • Martin Guigui, Staff with SWO since 2004: Writer/Director/Producer
    • Paul S. Levine, Agent/Attorney with SWO since 1993
    • Samuel Oldham, SWO Alumnus: Director
    • Todd Durham, SWO Alumnus: Writer

Our Values: The Dream of Gary Shusett

Gary Shusett's Vision

Against formidable odds and fueled by a modest reserve from his own pocket, Gary Shusett embarked on a remarkable journey, birthing the non-profit school known as Sherwood Oaks Experimental College in 1971. Half a century has passed since its inception, and the flame of its success continues to burn brightly.

Shusett’s altruistic philosophy sought out individuals who had achieved remarkable success in the realms of motion pictures, television, or the music industry. Placing them in intimate settings with passionate newcomers dedicated to learning became the hallmark of Sherwood Oaks. In a brief span, Shusett and Sherwood Oaks earned international acclaim, gracing the pages of People magazine and featuring prominently in popular filmmaking literature. It was at Sherwood Oaks that luminaries like Syd Field, Robert McKee, and Michael Hauge began imparting their wisdom through screenwriting classes.

Renowned for his instinctual grasp of Hollywood’s market dynamics, Shusett’s expertise in evaluating the commercial potential of story ideas reached such heights that Universal Pictures extended an offer for him to discern the remakes most likely to rake in profits.

Equally illustrious was his track record in helping writers refine pitches that resonated with directors and producers. Today, at Sherwood Oaks, where thousands of guest speakers have left their mark, we continue to believe fervently in our mission. We believe in our students, and we extend that unwavering belief to you.

Our Famous Alumni Return to Teach

Since those early days in 1971, numerous luminaries have emerged from Gary Shusett’s tutelage, including Sylvester Stallone, James Cameron, Jerry Zucker, Matt Groening, Paul Haggis, Nancy Meyers, and Todd Durham. Shusett’s esteemed brother, the renowned screenwriter Ronald Shusett, contributed to blockbuster films like Alien, Total Recall, and Minority Report.

Expressing their gratitude for the invaluable start Sherwood Oaks provided, many of our accomplished alumni joyfully return to impart their wisdom through teaching. Their motivation is to give back the same guidance and support they once received. This perpetuates a circle of creativity and success that resonates through Hollywood to this very day.

Christine Owens and the Future of Sherwood Oaks

Chris Owens woman with long blonde hairsmiling headshot

Christine “C.E.” Owens collaborated closely with Gary Shusett for many years. Drawing inspiration from Shusett’s principles, she founded the new non-profit Sherwood Oaks Film School, channeling the same dedication he embodied for nearly half a century. Owens has orchestrated numerous highly popular courses at the school, receiving numerous requests for their continuation. Renowned for her adept event organization, these courses delve into the core of what Sherwood Oaks’ students truly desire and need to learn.

Her fervent desire to witness students achieve success positions her as the ideal leader and successor to carry forward Sherwood Oaks’ mission. Owens shares Shusett’s altruistic spirit for those aspiring to thrive in the entertainment industry. She is passionate about realizing Shusett’s dream of connecting creatives with producers and directors, ensuring the legacy of Sherwood Oaks thrives under her dedicated guidance.


Familiarity creates recognition. Attend courses often. Become known as an up & coming creative!

Questions? Write to us.


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