Suzanne Lyons'
Showbiz Newsletter


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In This Issue
Photo Gallery
November Preview
10 Tips To Creating A Mission Statement
Private Career Coaching
Indie Film Workshop
Suzanne's Bio
Suzanne 3 
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Seance Suz Adrian
 "I have worked on many productions over the years and one of my most pleasant experiences was working on "Seance" with Suzanne.  I would work with her again in a heartbeat."
-Adrian Paul, Actor
"Suzanne is a wonderfully engaging speaker and 'teacher'.  She knows feature producing inside and out, and in her Low-Budget Film Workshop she presents every step with complete clarity."
-Becky Smith, Director 
Photo Gallery


Suzanne with Alfred Molina
"Undertaking Betty"


Brenda Blethyn
"Undertaking Betty"

Chris Walken MusicMan

Christopher Walken
"Undertaking Betty" 

  James Caan 

James Caan
"Jericho Mansions"


Naomi Watts
"Undertaking Betty"

Winona Ryder

 Winona Ryder
"The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things"
Dean Cain
Dean Cain
"Bailey's Billions"

James Caan

 Peter Fonda
"The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things"


 Jennifer Tilly
"Bailey's Billions"
Candy Stripers
Deanna Brooks, Serria Tawan, Natalie Horton
"Candy Stripers"

Kevin Dobson

Kevin Dobson
"Thank you for being such an incredible leader and mentor.  You blew us away with your chutzpa, humor, stories and encouragement to 'flash forward' with our goals."
-Gwen Gnazdowsky
Head Coach, Vancouver Flash Forward
"You are a bubbling fountain of energy, enthusiasm and knowledge."  
-Kerry O'Quinn
"I was Queen of Pitching Paralysis, and now I actually have fun at it!"
-Murielle Hamilton
"I learned more in the first hour of your workshop than I've learned in 27 years at business seminars.  Thank you!"
-Ethel Pitchford
"You provided my students with optimism and a "can do" spirit that can't be discovered in a text book.  You changed lives that day and I am forever grateful." - Jerry Giggs, Curry College Faculty, Massachusetts 
Speaking Engagements

"You are a big part of why the Latino Producers Academy 2009 was an unforgettable experience for all of us."  -- Kathryn F. Galan, Executive Director, NALIP

I have spoken at nearly 50 industry-related groups and organizations including ---

~Directors Guild of America ~ UCLA ~ USC ~ American Film Institute ~ Film Independent Network ~ Women In Film (Los Angeles) ~ Women in Film and TV (Toronto) ~ Women in Film and Video (Vancouver) ~ Alameda Writers Group ~ IWOSC ~ The Table ~ Chapman College ~ The Actors Network ~ National University ~ Creative Actors Alliance ~ Sherwood Oaks College ~ Academy of TV Arts and Sciences ~ WGA ~ SAG ~ Filmmakers Alliance ~ Cinema Arts Tech ~ New Brunswick Film Industry Summit ~ Filmmakers Collaborative (Boston) ~ Latino Producers Academy (NALIP) (Tuscon and Santa Fe) ~ American Pitch Fest ~ Learning Annex (Los Angeles) ~ Scriptwriters Network ~ Action/Cut Filmmaking ~ IFP West ~ California Institute of the Arts ~ Hollywood Film Festival ~ Film Specific ~ REEL Ladies ~ Gary Goldstein ~ AFCI Cineposium (Association of Film Commissioners International) - New Mexico Filmmakers Conference - The Black Film Festival - InkTip Writers' Summit

For information regarding speaking engagements, please call me at 818-558-5917.



Next month, I'm going to focus on the topic of 'communication.'  Probably more important than a flu shot... a good shot in the arm of tips and techniques on how to improve on and up the level of
communication.  I think I can safely say we are all pretty sloppy in this area.  So I really request that you stay in the inquiry with me for the next month.  Just be conscious as to how you're communicating (in every way) and how you're listening to family, friends and colleagues.  Don't do anything about it, just be in the inquiry.  Have a great October.  

Until then, stay present, be conscious and dream big!

To purchase the audio recording of my Teleconference Call on "Financing Your Indie Film",  Click Here 

Three E-Booklets are now complete! 
"10 Tips to Networking and Creating Relationships in the Entertainment Industry," 
"10 Tips to Pitching Your Projects and Yourself," 
"10 Tips for a Killer Sales Presentation for your Indie Film." 
All include great quotes from Industry experts.  Plan to have them on my site and by late October. 

Dear Friends:


It's fall... can you believe it?  I blinked and the summer was gone.  It was a great summer and it's going to be a fantastic fall.  October is one of my favorite months of the year.  Okay, so it's my birthday month and I love getting presents.  But it's also the cool weather, the kaleidoscope of colors, the delicious smells, the pumpkins and of course, Halloween, which happens to be our wedding anniversary.


Just because it's one of my favorite months, doesn't mean I'm going to give you time off.  In fact, I've got a great job for you.  Writing your Mission Statement!  Trust me, you'll thank me when it's over. 


When I started doing the research I asked an actress friend of mine about her mission statement and she said "I never thought of myself as a business so I didn't think I needed one."  EVERYONE should have a mission statement.  Business, personal, it doesn't matter... it's important.


I wrote my first mission statement during a workshop in the mid 80s and I declared in my mission statement that I was the best daughter in the world.  I realized after I wrote it that I hadn't called my mom in three weeks.  What a great wake up call.  I grabbed my daytimer and wrote a note in every Wednesday and Sunday, "call mom."  I also came up with other ideas that would ensure I was "the best daughter in the world."


My company's mission statements have literally shaped and molded the way I do business.  Mission statements are invaluable.  Here are "10 Tips" to help you create yours.  


"10 Tips to Creating a Mission Statement"





1) WHAT IS A MISSION STATEMENT?  A company mission statement (as stated in "wikipedia") is "a written statement of the purpose of a company.  It should guide the action of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making."  It provides "the framework within which the company's strategies are formulated."  According to Nightingale-Conant a personal mission statements is "a purposeful promise that carries you toward your goals... giving you the focus, direction, and accountability you need to accomplish your career, financial and personal goals." 


2) WHY WRITE IT?  Author Janel M. Radtke believes we should write it because it explains why our organization exists and what it hopes to achieve in the future.  He says "it must express the companies' purpose in a way that inspires commitment, innovation and courage."   Randall Hansen ( says the company mission statement is designed to provide direction and thrust to an organization.  When my film partner and I were writing our mission statement for Snowfall Films it really helped us not only define our company, but impacted the design of our company, our company's future, even the benefits for those who joined us.  One sentence states, "Snowfall Films provides the opportunity for people to excel, expand, risk, laugh, be nurtured, and have creative breakthroughs." 


3) WHAT SHOULD IT INCLUDE?:  Radtke suggests we look at three specific areas when drafting our company mission statement.  1) Purpose - what are the opportunities or needs that we exist to address?  2) the Business - what are we doing to address these needs?  3) The Value - what principles or beliefs guide our work?"  In nearly every article I read on mission statements the same suggestions were repeated:  What are your companies core values, core purpose and visionary goals?  


4) BRAINSTORM AND BREAK IT DOWN: I find it really helps to brainstorm with my business partners, friends and colleagues, talking 'out loud' about the purpose, the value, the vision, what's the future, what are my  goals, the possibilities, the big picture... it all helps me get clear and formulate my commitments.  Another suggestion is to break it down into sections.  For example Starbucks' mission statement is "to inspire and nurture the human spirit - one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time."  Then they go on to break it down covering all aspects of their business... "our coffee"... "our partners"... "our customers"... "our stores"... expanding on each category.     


5) GET INSPIRED:  Read other companies' and individuals' mission statements.  When I taught the Flash Forward workshops (a workshop that was for people at all levels and facets of the entertainment industry) part of the homework was to write a mission statement.  I had people stand and read their mission statement and that inspired everyone else.  When my Flash Forward Institute partner and I were designing our company mission statement we got inspired by others.  Here is a line from ours (written back in 1994) "The Flash Forward Institute is an educational institution founded to nurture enterprising talent in every aspect of the entertainment industry.  Our programs bring forth integrity, excitement, generosity, leadership and vision."  Go online now, find companies you admire and check out their mission statements.   


6) WRITING YOUR PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT:  For me, writing a personal mission statement is magical.  Creating, drafting, designing and writing it forced me to look at the 'bigger picture'.  It helped me create a powerful vision inside a context instead of the day to day content of life.  As you emphatically state and declare statements describing yourself it literally alters who you are in the present.  You get to create from your commitments and passion and there are no restrictions... no limitations.   I can't think of a better reason to write a mission statement. 


7) CONSIDER ALL ASPECTS:  I have seen mission statements that are one sentence or one short paragraph and that is absolutely fine.   However, I feel that if you are going to be in the inquiry and then drafting one, why not address a variety of aspects of your life:  Family, friends, romance, community, health, spirituality, personal growth, finances, home, relaxation, fun, etc.  As I mentioned earlier, in designing mine, just looking at myself as a daughter was a great revelation.  So why not touch on all arenas.  I got to see that who I was being as a daughter was insufficient with my commitments and who I was now declaring myself to be.  I noticed similar characteristics in a number of areas of my life.


8) THE FIVE STEP PLAN:  Randall Hansen suggests "the five-step plan."  1) "Identify Past Successes.  Look at past success in recent years (in all areas) and identify a common theme and write them down.  2) Identify Core Values.  Develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are.  Once complete, narrow your values to five or six that are the most important values to you and then see if you can choose the one core value that really resonates.  3)  Identify Contributions.  Make a list of the ways you could make a difference (in any and every area you want to contribute).  4) Identify Goals.  Think about your priorities in life and the goals you have for yourself.  You can list goals in the short term and in the long term.  5) Write your Mission Statement.  Based on the first four steps and the better understanding you now have of yourself, begin writing your personal mission statement." 


9) USE POSITIVE LANGUAGE: Be careful to use only positive words when referring to yourself.  When I was teaching the section on mission statements during the Flash Forward workshops, is was amazing how many people would stand up and read theirs using sentences like, "I'm not going to be late any more. I'm someone who is committed to being on time."  Leave out the first part of that sentence!  Watch yourself here, it's not about fixing anything.  It's more about designing, creating, defining and declaring who you are... who YOU SAY YOU ARE.   There is no judging, no apologizing, no fixing, no evaluating.  Use only statements that light you up... that inspire you!    


10) KEEP IT VISUAL:  The title says it all.  Given that we are all human beings we do tend to fall back on our old ways.  Our actions are often a result of our beliefs which are only based on habitual thoughts.  So it may take a little practice and a little rewiring.  That's why keeping your personal and company mission statement on your vision board on framed on your wall is so important.  Don't forget to read it from time to time.  You will be amazed at how you will inspire yourself!  










Feel free to forward this newsletter to all your friends and colleagues.  They can go to to sign up for the next issue.

Sessions: $150 per hour
or book 5 sessions and save $100!
To Register: Call 818-558-5917
 or email 
Indie Film Producing
Private Session over the Phone or in Person
 I will literally guide you through the entire process of making your film.  From my own hands-on experience on my last few films (specifically CANDY STRIPERS, SÉANCE and PORTAL) I will be taking you through every detailed facet of filmmaking.  
BONUS: You will also receive the BINDER which has well  over $15,000 worth of contracts, business plans, sales presentation, deal memos and much more!
The cost of this course NOW, will save you thousands and thousands of dollars on your film LATER!
COST: In Person - $575.00 (One 4 hour Session)
COST: By Phone - $375.00 (One 1 and 1/2 Hour Session) 
Contact: Snowfall/WindChill Films at 818-558-5917 or email Suzanne Lyons directly at
"Suzanne has that rare ability to combine artistic creativity and smart business sense... she's proven that by taking a SAG ultra low budget and somehow squeezing out a quality film that looks like it cost a million!"
-Mark L. Smith, Writer/Director "Séance", Writer "Vacancy"
Suzanne's Bio 
alien suz
On the set of "Candy Stripers" with Deanna Brooks.
SUZANNE LYONS has over 25 years experience in television and film.  She was VP of Marketing and Promotions for a Canadian TV Network and while there she created, produced and directed news and series programming and has won numerous awards for her work.   Suzanne moved to Philadelphia in the early 90's and worked in sales and distribution selling both film and television internationally.  Ms. Lyons then established herself in Los Angeles in the mid 90's and co-founded the Flash Forward Institute.  She has led hundreds of entertainment industry seminars to thousands of participants in both the U.S. and Canada.  
In 1999 Ms. Lyons co-founded Snowfall Films and in the last eight years Snowfall has produced or executive produced eight movies:  A British comedy UNDERTAKING BETTY (aka "PLOTS WITH A VIEW") with actors Brenda Blethyn, Alfred Molina, Naomi Watts, Lee Evans and Christopher Walken and British director Nick Hurran. Miramax is the domestic distributor.  UNDERTAKING BETTY has won a BAFTA award.  Snowfall Films produced a British/Canadian co-production thriller titled JERICHO MANSIONS staring James Caan, Genevieve Bujold, Maribel Verdu and Jennifer Tilly with Spanish director Alberto Sciamma.  JERICHO MANSIONS was an official selection at the Montreal Film Festival.
Snowfall Films Executive Produced the British/Canadian family comedy BAILEY'S BILLION$ which stars Dean Cain, Laurie Holden, Tim Curry, Jennifer Tilly and Jon Lovitz as the talking dog, directed by David Devine.  Snowfall is an Executive Producer on writer/director Asia Argento's THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS which is based on the novel by J.T. LeRoy staring Asia Argento, Marilyn Manson, Winona Ryder and Peter Fonda. The film premiered during the Directors Fortnight at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and screened to high acclaim at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival.  
Snowfall Films is in the process of developing and producing family films.  Suzanne is developing a World War I family drama titled SCOUTS HONOR which won best screenplay at La Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles.  Ms. Lyons is working with Byng Productions in Nova Scotia on an animated Christmas feature film, OMARR THE CAMEL.  Suzanne has interst from both Randy Travis and Amy Grant.  She just completed post-production, co-producing a family film with the WWE titled THE CHAPERONE.  It was directed by Stephen Herek ("Mr. Holland's Opus") and was shot in New Orleans. 
Suzanne has partnered with New York based theatrical producer, Monica Tidwell on a play titled MIND GAME by U.K. writer Anthony Horowitz ("Foyle's War", "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker").  The play is being adapted as a screenplay with U.K. based Ken Russell ("Tommy", "Altered States") currently attached to direct.   Suzanne is also in development on THE CALLING (adapted from a best selling Canadian novel) and on a thriller, THE WOUND with James Cotten attached to direct.
WindChill Films, Inc., a genre division, was launched in 2005 and CANDY STRIPERS, the first film in the slate of thriller/horror movies sold to Screen Gems for U.S. DVD distribution.  The second picture in this slate, produced in the spring of 2006, is titled SÉANCE with writer/director Mark L. Smith (VACANCY) and actor Adrian Paul ("Highlander" TV Series).  LionsGate is distributing SÉANCE which won Best Picture at the Shockerfest Film Festival.  The third WindChill film, PORTAL, stars Kevin Dobson and Chris Conrad and is being distributed by LionsGate.  Next on the slate is MOST LIKELY TO... 
The goal at Snowfall Films is to produce high-quality films and TV Series that entertain, delight, inspire and inform.  They have consistently accomplished that goal and take great pride in their reputation for operating with creativity, integrity and an undauntable stand for quality and fun.  They are committed to ensuring a creative environment for every person who works on their projects. They recognize that the production team from cast to crew is the cornerstone of the enterprise, and they value each and every member of the team. 
Suzanne 6
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has a genius, power and magic to it.  
-- Goethe