Shawn Levy: A Captivating Creative

If the filmmaker bug was an energy drink or the energizer bunny, Shawn Levy, at a young age, was miraculously bitten by it and drank it all the way to the bank. I first became aware of the Canadian native due to 2003’s Cheaper by the Dozen. I knew this man was someone to look out for with great interest and admiration when he directed 2006’s Night at the Museum. I enjoyed the film and the insights Levy provided in his DVD audio commentary. Following his interview with Life After Film School, I knew I liked him. He seems to love his job so much; he enjoys every part of making a movie. It is a great attitude to have and when you listen to him, it shows. It makes sense when you find out he acted in small roles and produced films. It shows.

I was surprised Shawn Levy directed the episode(s) of television shows like Animorphs (Yep.. that happened) The Famous Jett JacksonPepper DennisLast Man StandingUnbreakable Kimmy SchmidtShadow and Bone, and Stranger Things. I was obsessed with the book series Animorphs and loved the adaptation. I would hear rave reviews of how iconic Jett Jackson was for Disney Channel. Levy seems to be a magnet for being part of great projects.

Levy directed hit comedies like Just MarriedThe Pink Panther, and Big Fat Liar. Not only are they funny films but they include talented performers like Frankie Muniz, Amanda Bynes, Paul Giamatti, Ashton Kutcher, Brittney Murphy, Steve Martin, Tom Welling and Bonnie Hunt. It is a recipe for success. They have a lot of heart with the right amount of whimsy, which is infectious.

I started admiring Shawn Levy when Night of the Museum was released in 2006. A night guard works at a museum, and everything comes to life at night. I knew instantly it was going to be a fun time. I was so happy he got to direct a trilogy of these films and see Robin Williams shine so bright. He proved he can break the mold of family comedies. Levy managed to make hits out of Date Night, Reel Steel, The Internship, and This is Where I Leave You. He can still create effortless comedic moments but Reel Steel and This is Where I leave You had some fantastic dramatic beats that paid off. It doesn’t hurt to have Hugh Jackman and Jason Bateman in your cast.

Eleven tries to protect her friends in the television series Stranger Things.

I was once again surprised Levy was a producer on films I enjoyed; good films seem to find him. From The Spectacular Now, Arrival, Fist Fight, Table 19, Love and Monsters, and The Darkest Minds, Levy is not afraid to dip his toe into any genre and make it as innovative and enjoyable it can be. Stranger Things on Netflix is probably his crowning achievement. A show packed with action, horror, humor, suspense, heart, raw emotion, and 80s nostalgia makes the perfect blend of blockbuster and home entertainment. I believe this is the culmination of years of Levy working successfully with comedy, drama, special effects, movie, and television production.

Jon Favreau–The Architect of Wonder

There is no mountain in Hollywood Shawn Levy can’t climb. After wrapping production on two movies, he directed starring Ryan Reynolds and working on maybe the darkest season of Stranger Things 4, Levy continues to love what he does, and it shows. He tested the limits of his creative juices and it’s nice to be enjoying the fruits of his labor. He embraced that saying: “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. 

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