SUSAN J. EMSHWILLER (Screenwriter) was born in Levittown, Long Island to Ed Emshwiller (an avant-garde film and video artist) and Carol Emshwiller (a novelist). She received her B.F.A. at Syracuse University in printmaking and painting and a Masters from California Institute of the Arts, where she studied filmmaking.
Emshwiller has worked in the film industry as a set decorator for over seventeen years, often for director Robert Altman. As an actress, she was featured in Altman's "The Player." Her short film "Breakfast Messages" won numerous awards at film festivals, and was aired on A&E in addition to being screened at the American Film Institute Festival and the Museum of Modern Art.
In addition to co-writing "Pollock," Emshwiller has adapted several other film scripts, including "Dogtown," for actor Amy Madigan, and "Hole in the Day" and "A Few Days with Me," for actor Bill Pullman. She has written many original screenplays, including "Mother's Day," "Cowboy Fiction," "Cement Shoes," "Burger World," "Blind Sight," and "The Furnace."
Emshwiller has directed numerous plays, including the critically acclaimed Brush Strokes, which consisted of six short plays inspired by Edward Hopper paintings. For Brush Strokes, she won a Drama-Logue award for directing. Her additional directorial credits include several productions at the MET Theater, the Friends and Artists Theater, the Loretta Theater, the Industry Showcase, and the Gardner Theater. As a director of film, her additional credits include "The Desk Soldier" and "Mother's Day Teaser."
Emshwiller lives with her husband, actor Chris Coulson, on their ranch in Canyon Country, California.