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CFDb Interview with Christopher Shawn Shaw & Susan Shearer

Familiar Spirits Poised To Deliver A Faith-Based Suspense/Horror Punch


An Interview from FaithLauncher with Christopher Shawn Shaw & Susan Shearer

Award-Winning Filmmakers, Susan Shearer and Christopher Shawn Shaw, are teaming up with FaithLauncher at, to raise their production budget for the faith-based, Supernatural, Suspense/Thriller film, Familiar Spirits. FaithLauncher’s Casandra Moreno Lombera, jumped at the chance to chat with Susan and Christopher to give CFDb readers delectable insider details about the movie starring sixteen year old, Christine Galyean.


FL: Where did the story for Familiar Spirits originate from?

Susan & Christopher: Christopher heard a story nearly two decades ago about a mother who believed she was being visited by the ghost of her deceased son, only it turned out to be a familiar spirit, which – in a nutshell – is a deceiving spirit with the intent to lead people astray. He thought it would make a great short and we wanted to work together on something. We did not locate the original story via online research, so we brainstormed and, over the next 6 months, co-wrote our own version of a similar premise. Although the original story Christopher heard may have been an urban legend, we know the supernatural realm to be very real, and we wanted to tell a story that reveals that — as well as the element of faith and prayer and how that effects the supernatural realm. As far as the title, Pastor (and nationally-known Comedian) Thor Ramsey, who served as one of our script consultants, came up with the title.


FL:  How would you describe the movie?

S & C:  We’ve had numerous discussions about this, as this story delves into a number of genres, but more succinctly, Familiar Spirits is a human (and spiritual) interest story that deals with deep grief over the loss of a loved one and how unseen forces can take advantage of and isolate people in such an overwhelming, grief-stricken state. There’s definite suspense and thriller elements to the film, as well as exploring the truly irrefutable reality and power of faith and prayer…and their spiritual impact.

“When I first read the script it gave me goose bumps. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.” – Richard Brian Galyean, @NDpendentFilms

FL:  Tell us about your team: writer, producer, director, talent etc. 

S & C:  We co-wrote and are producing the film together and Christopher is directing. Christine Galyean is portraying the deceased daughter, and – pending her availability – Jenn Gotzon is co-starring as her aunt in the film. (A few roles have not been finalized at the time of this interview.) Eric Blackburn of BLACKBURNfilms is our Director of Photography, and Ron Lucarelli is our Art Director. We’re very honored to have Jurgen Beck on board as our composer. Award winning editor, Mike Vlasaty, plays an important part in telling our story. Chris Jones is our Line Producer and our two Co-Producers are Richard Brian Galyean and Steve Ausburne.


“It’s not very often that I get a handed a script and immediately fall in love! The story is so gripping, but most importantly the overall message is what fully captured me. I can’t wait to wait to work with Christopher Shawn Shaw and Susan Shearer to make this film come to life!” -Christine Galyean, @CKGalyean

FL:  What brought you together to make this film?

S & C: We know each other and each other’s work through the 168 Film Project, a faith-based, speed-filmmaking competition in which teams from around the world have 168 hours (7 days) to shoot, edit, and turn in a finished short film. It’s a phenomenal hands-on experience in filmmaking as well as a huge networking opportunity. We have both worked on multiple projects with people we’ve met through the 168 family of filmmakers and talent.

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FL:  Are there any challenges, blessings, or interesting stories about this journey you’d like share?

S & C:  Honestly, the biggest challenge thus far has been funding, as neither of us are made of money. So, we’re thankful for our partnership with you and the FaithLauncher team (and to those who support and share our project) to help get our crowdfunding campaign videos in front of as many eyeballs as possible. We truly believe that every little bit helps…and adds up fast…when people give. Think about it, if a million people saw our campaign video and gave just a buck…we could do a feature-length film. So, the potential in crowdfunding through FaithLauncher is great. Plus, we’re asking for small potatoes compared to that size budget!

FL:  Who is your audience and why will they want to help make this film happen?

S & C:Honestly, our audience can cover a wide gamut – from practically anybody who likes compelling stories that deal with both human and spiritual interests to people who like suspense, thriller, and a cup of scary.



FL: How can they get involved?

S & C: Primarily, people of faith can pray for us, the team, and the project. We’d also greatly appreciate contributions to the production budget – both large and small – via our FaithLauncher crowdfunding campaign site, as well as sharing that same Familiar Spirits crowdfunding website with their various spheres of influence – E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Remember, every little bit helps and adds up!

“Let me tell you the real reason why you need to invest in ‘Familiar Spirits’… because of the producers behind it. Susan Shearer and Christopher Shawn Shaw have the most ambitious, entrepreneurial hearts that I’ve ever seen people have. And the reason why is that their short film, the way they develop synergy and excitement was having a Table Read, and table reads are normal to movies, but they had it at CBS Radford, which is a major studio where movies are shot, television shows are shot. And then they invited everyone. They had over a 100 people attend their short film (reading). And these people got excited about the movie. And they got to learn feed-back and notes on how to better make this short film so an audience can enjoy it. And so when you see people be ambitious in this type of manner, those are the people you want to invest in. Because they’re going to take this story and take it out there and your money is going to be well spent. Almost as a ministry, sowing into the ground what reaps a good fruit and harvest. Invest in ‘Familiar Spirits.’”  – Jenn Gotzon, @JENNGOTZON


FL: Are there any special rewards for supporters that you’d like to mention?

S & C: Some of the rewards are copies of the finished DVD, signed scripts, phone calls from the filmmakers, various Producer credits, bracelets like Christine will wear in the film, and more! Check out our perks here!


FL: What social media sites are available for Familiar Spirits fans to engage with you and get updates on the film/campaign?

Through our Facebook and Twitter pages:

Facebook Page:

Twitter: (@FSMovie);

Twitter – Susan Shearer (@susanshearer);

Twitter – Christopher Shawn Shaw (@directorCSS);

Twitter – CK Galyean (@CKGalyean);

Twitter – NDpendent Films (@NDpendentfilms)


FL: When will the movie be released?

S & C: We plan to shoot in February 2014, then move promptly into post-production. Stay tuned for more details!


About FaithLauncher: FaithLauncher’s vision is to build the most collaborative online community who is passionate about advancing the success of faith-based projects. Their mission is to empower all enterprisers of excellent work in business, entertainment, technology, humanitarian aid, education, and ministries everywhere to take action and influence our culture while building God’s Kingdom.

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1 Comment

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  1. 04 December 13, 11:20pm

    What an honor to be interviewed for CFDb! Thank you so much for helping Christopher Shawn Shaw and me get the word out about “FamiliarSpirits” and our crowdfunding campaign.
    We hope to plant seeds and create dialogues about spiritual issues that point our audience back to Christ.
    We are praying that God will rise up people to come along side us, to donate to our movie so we can minister to our audience’s hearts. Please prayerfully consider donating at FaithLauncher
    Thank you.

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