Jennifer Van Sijll has an MFA from USC's Department of Cinematic Arts. She consults on screenplays, videos, marketing campaigns and commercials. Her clients include film studios, corporate venues, ad agencies, and independent writers and producers. Representatives clients include Google, Pixar, Universal Studios, China Central Television, Juniper Networks, Seagate, Microsoft, Attik, and Nestle.
"After taking Jennifer's class, I rewrote the first 30 pages of my screenplay like a madman,
without lifting the pen from the paper."
--- Michael Tierno, Writer-Director,Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters
She is a writer, story consultant, and the author of Cinematic Storytelling. She was a senior lecturer at San Francisco State where she taught screenwriting for 15 years.
Her paradigm-shifting book became an overnight bestseller and has been translated into 10 languages. It is a staple text at top film schools around the world including USC, UCLA, Columbia and NYU. It has also contributed to the explosive growth of the new 'visual literacy' courses that have become a requirement for all undergraduates at many US universities.
"Van Sijll challenges the notion of writing as limited to the Aristotelian staples of character,
structure and plot. Her book Cinematic Storytelling delivers a foundation for the understanding
of a new form of literacy as important as reading and writing with words."
-- David Tames, Program Director, The Center for Digital Imaging Arts, Boston University.
Most recently she worked at China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing contributing to 50+ TV shows as
story editor and script consultant. She also delivered seminars to CCTV producers, directors, camera operators and on-air talent.
Her new book, Story Code, will be will be published by Michael Wiese in 2015.
Jennifer is a Canadian citizen who has lived in California for more than 20 years. She has lived in Toronto,
Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Paris, The Netherlands, Shanghai, and Beijing. She speaks conversational French, Dutch and Mandarin taxi-speak.
She earned her Bachelors of Arts from Queens University in Canada, Certificate de Langues et Literature from the Sorbonne in Paris, and MFA in Film Production and Screenwriting from USC's Department of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. She also did graduate studies in history at the University of Toronto. Her independent thesis was on the history of advertising.
She is the parent president and lead fundraiser for M-A FIRST Robotics Team766 (501c), the charity that provides fiscal support to the team. Previously, while living in Shanghai, she initiated a Books for Love campaign and collected over 1000 books for school children in Anhui province, China.