Susan O'Connell has been in the film industry for fifty years. She studied theatre, film and television at UCLA. In 1971, while still at UCLA, she co-founded Video Studios, Inc. She also designed and constructed a mobile, four-camera video van for Leon Russell and Shelter Records. Simultaneously she worked as a professional actress and guest-starred in over a dozen television episodes (for example, IRONSIDES, FBI, and HAWAII FIVE-O.) as well as in four feature films (including Sam Peckinpah's THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE) and played Tara on the New York soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN.
In 1977 she, along with two other associates, formed a feature film production company, Godmother Productions, Inc. They produced the award-winning film TELL ME A RIDDLE, starring Melvyn Douglas, Lila Kedrova and Brooke Adams and directed by Lee Grant. Saul Zaentz was the Executive Producer. Her company also executive-produced a TV Movie of the Week for ABC and Columbia Pictures Television called THE OKLAHOMA CITY DOLLS.
O'Connell worked with private investors to create several partnerships to develop and package high-quality feature films, including SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT by Rita Mae Brown. At the request of George Lucas and with Francis Coppola she optioned the screenplay BORN WITH A TRUNK by Gen Le Roy, for Michael Smuin to direct. This project was invited to the Sundance writing and directing workshop.
In 1989 she founded Pacific Film Fund Management Inc., a venture capital management company specializing in high-quality, low budget films. She Executive Produced 3 films: SKELETON WOMAN, directed by Vivi Letsou; a Soviet-American dramatic feature film about the Chernobyl accident, called RASPAD, and an independent film STEAL AMERICA.
In 1993, she assisted Bumbershoot Productions in selling the film rights to the Pulitzer Prize winning novel A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES to Paramount Pictures and is attached as Co-Producer. O'Connell has served as a fundraiser and/or consultant for a dozen other independent filmmakers across the country.