jD M. SHAPIRO is an award winning writer/director and stand-up comedian. Most of those awards are great. One…not so much.
jD grew up poor in a one bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC with his dad, and in a small, rundown house with one bathroom in North Jersey with his mom and three sisters. Again, one bathroom three women and jD. The trees hated him, the delapidated garage became jD’s sanctuary and his imagination his playing field.
jD has sold over a dozen screenplays to almost every major Hollywood studio including, Warner Brothers, Disney, New Line, Miramax, Paramount & Twentieth Century Fox.
Although jD writes in many genres, Mel Brooks called jD, “One of the greatest comic minds I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.”
jD has been The Creative Consultant on many movies, He has done rewriting and punch ups, as well as watched rough cuts and given editing notes as well as scenes to reshoot or shoot. Many of these movie have gone on to become big block busters, some have won prestigious awards, two received Oscar nominations.
jD’s television deals include Fox, Big Ticket and Spelling Entertainment.
From 3 August to 29 August 2022 at 9pm every night jD performed the world premiere of his one man show I’M with STUPID at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in The Gilded Ballon. IwS is storytelling with humour about events in his life growing up and in the entertainment business. He and the show received many great reviews and (as well as some bad ones) and the audience response was amazing (most nights). He is presently figuring out his schedule to see when he will go on tour with IwS as well as performing stand up.
jD wrote, then co-directed with Alfonso Antolín, Eva’s Comet. It's the story of two broken women, different in just about every way who, and end up helping each other move on with their lives. It has been honoured at many festivals in Spain, winning awards for Best Movie and Best Actress for Elisabeth Larena & Kimberly Tell.
jD wrote the screenplay for Four Days’ in April. It’s based on the true story of a Norwegian woman living in Sweden during WW2, who ends up changing the course of the war and helping defeat the nazis. The stripes was inspired by the historical novel, "Fyra Dagar I April" by renown Swedish novelist Magnus Alkarp. Development was funded by Swedish Film Productions. The movie was about to go into official pre-production then Covid19 hit. Like many projects just prior to Covid1 it’s in a holding pattern. jD has the rights to bring on other partners and, if a deal can be struck, SFP will give all the rights back to him.
jD wrote & directed the short movie, Un Viaje. Shot in LA, Malibu, NYC, Madrid, Marbella, Lisbon and Venice, almost entirely on an iPhone, it was accepted as an Official Entry in several festival including, The Madrid Art Festival, 2018.”
jD finished his first book, “The Cat in The Hat”. He liked it so much he decided to write one of his own. Think Like a Man: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need was published by Austin Macauley Publishers in June, 2019. It is on several Must Read lists. It’s available in most book stores, including Barnes & Nobel. It’s a guide to how men think, thus giving women the tools to use to get a man in a way a man will love. No tricks or gimmicks like so many other books on this subject which never work for a long lasting, real relationship. The book is also funny. The comment’s jD gets the most is the book is “Empowering”.
From 2002 to 2016 jD was creative partners with comic book legend Stan Lee. Together they created comic book content.
jD is very proud that Stan called him his “Protégé.” Stan became like a grandfather to jD and talk to him about lots of things he didn’t discuss with many people and are not public knowledge. jD is thinking about a book (with the idea of it becoming a limited TV series) about his time with Stan; especially dealing with one of their projects in particular called: “The NHL Guardian Project” because of how the business side killed a “sure thing” due to incredibly stupid decisions, ego and embezzling a majority of the money meant for the project to use to pay for their personal expenses, as well as sex workers, cocaine and gambling. The name of that project is called A Beautiful Lie.
Because the job of God was already taken, jD wrote, directed & starred in We Married Margo. Shot on 35mm film in 17 days for $280,000 We Married Margo won the Audience Award for Best Film at The HBO Comedy Festival.
We Married Margo caught the eye of George Lucas. Lucas invited jD to Skywalker Ranch for a free sound mix and great advice.Besides the HBO Festival, We Married Margo was in completion at other prestigious festivals including: Slamdance, NY Film Festival, and The LA Comedy Festival, and the Pi Phan Film Festival. We Married Margo won many awards for the movie, the writing, the directing and one for jD’s acting. New Line acquired Margo for release.
We Married Margo
jD was the original writer of the infamous Battlefield Earth. Considered, and agreed upon by jD, the worst movie ever made. jD’s draft got John Travolta attached to play Johnny Goodbye Tyler. jD left the project due to creative differences with the studio, MGM. Travolta went on to play the Terl and BE went on to win the infamous, “Razzie Award: Worst Movie of the Decade.” To find out how Battlefield Earth became a mess read jD’s humorous NY Post piece:
To see the speech jD gave at the 2010 Razzie Awards:
After sort of graduating university jD moved to LA and wrote, on spec, Robin Hood: Men In Tights. MIT sold to Mel Brooks & Twentieth Century Fox. jD was heavily involved in production. He convinced/fought with Mel to hire the than unknown Dave Chappelle. jD wrote all the lyrics to all the music in MIT.
jD was accepted into HB Studios and studied with legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen, becoming one of her favorite students to yell at (Considered a badge of honor. Supposedly).
jD overcame his fear of public speaking and mixing up sentences due to being Dyslexic and started performing stand-up in 2007. One of the people who talk jD into doing stand up was a chance encounter with Robin William, who ever the years finally convinced jD to go for it. jD was made a Made Man (paid regular) by Mitzi Shore at The World Famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles in record time (He’d been doing standup for about 14 months). jD is also a paid regular at Stand Up NY in NYC. Prior to most performances, jD can be seen pacing, hyperventilating and wondering why the fuck he’s doing this. But his love of this art-form pushes him past his fear and onto the stage.
jD has had articles he’s written published in The NY Post and Written By Magazine. There have also been articles written about jD in The USA, U.K, Spain and Sweden. He has given lectures & seminars on writing, directing and acting at universities and events throughout the United States and in Spain. jD has been asked to speak at Harvard Business School. jD has judged several film festivals in the United States & Europe Spain.
SOME OF THE SCRIPTS jD SOLD & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Daddy’s Girl: A comedy about an over protective dad who has to learn to let go of his 18 yr old daughter, who has to learn to grow up. Optioned by NewLine (2005)
Working Class Hero: An action/drama about a cop trying to make up for a past mistake. Co-written w/ Jimmy Cummings. Sold it to Gale Anne Hurd (2004)
Salvage: A post-apocalyptic script set up w/ Gear Head Productions. Dan Myrick (The Blair Witch Project) was set to direct and jD was set to play the co-lead (2004)
Super Cops: The true story of two highly decorated Vietnam vets turned Super cops, and how they became the only two LAPD police officers to face the death penalty. Developed w/ Jimmy
Cummings for Nittolo Entertainment (2000)
Blast Off! Action story about a group of men who take over the space shuttle. An ex astronaut needs to overcome his intense fear of flying-- or not only is the world in peril, but so is his wife, who is the captain of the shuttle. Wrote this on spec and sold to Interscope Films (1997)
Fear: Dark thriller about a man who is looking for the murderer of his wife only to find out it was he. Based on a L. Ron Hubbard Novella and starring John Travolta. Written it for Miramax (1996)
Signed, Sealed & Delivered: Action/comedy about a woman who gets trapped inside a post office when terrorists take it over. She learns she is much more capable than she ever realized. Betty Thomas was attached to direct and Glenn Close interested in playing the lead. It was co-written w/ Aaron William Dozier on spec. Sold to Disney’s Touchstone Pictures (1995)
Solo To Mars: Sci-fi about a man who travels into space and, due to the stress and loneliness, befriends a fly trapped onboard. Starring Corbin Bernsen. Written for Paramount (1994)
The Final Frontier: Sci-fi thriller about an astronaut who finds a way to travel to the most uncharted territory not known-- death. Written on spec and optioned to Warner Brothers (1991)
Toy Soldiers: This Action/comedy was the first script jD ever sold. It’s about a group of kids who have to use their video game skills to save the day when a real life situation arises. Shortly after arriving to LA jD was commissioned to write this by an independent producer whose office was possibly the trunk of his car (1990)
Freakydeak Skylark: jD created, directed and executive produced this animated series for the Internet division of NBC (2007)
Inside/Out: jD developed this TV series w/ Paul Rieser’s Nuance Pictures for jD to star in. A drama/comedy about an attorney who loses it, checks into Bellevue and decides it is saner in there then out in the “real” world (2006)
Cupid’s Turn: jD developed this script about a man who finds out he is Cupid. He set it up at Disney as a producer (1998)
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS. SORT OF
Cristiano Ronaldo Ad: Creative Consultant. One of the most watched ads online ever (2016)
Pucked: jD co-starred in this stinker. The good guy is played by Jon Bon Jovi. Cary Elwes and jD are the bad guys (2005)
jD created the character and played it in a SUNKIST PISTACHIO NUT COMMERCIAL. It went on to win Best Commercial in the commercial section of the Cannes Film Festival (2005)
The Strand Venice: jD played a talent agent in this ensemble web series created, directed and executive produced by Dan Myrick (co-creator & co-director of The Blair Witch Project) (2004)
Women in Film Awards: jD was the first ever MC for the first ever awards ceremony, which took place at The Sundance Film Festival in 2001.
jD was in several Independent movies no one has ever heard of and several theatre productions no one really cares about.
jD has been offered three reality TV series and turned all three down. He was, however, on The Osbournes. But not by choice. (The Annoying Neighbor episode. Yeah, that's jD & his friends) They did not know nor give them permission to use them in the episode. Uber LA Attorney Bert Fields wanted them to sue due to it being a precedent setting case (use of voice) but they let it go.
jD has been a judge for several film, script and short story festivals including: The Roswell Short Story Award and Showing Film Awards.
jD is a representative and sits on the board of TheCreators2030 UN SDGs Arts Initiative. It’s a sub initiative of ListenGive partner with the United Nations for Sustainable Development Goals. jD’s main task is to head up the fight on Climate Change and mentor young artists on how they can use their art to create positive change. jD is a member of Who’s Who in America.
jD has been interviewed on TV & radio shows, including: E!, Showtime, Comedy Central, IFC Bravo, MTV, PBS, The Mike & Juliet Show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, Bizz Buzz, Movie Talk, MTV, The Bob & Tom Show, The Joey Reynolds Show on WOR.