Create Now Founder and former CEO Jill Gurr began writing stories, poems and articles starting at seven-years-old. She has published three books and written a library of screenplays. Several were optioned and two were produced with well-known actors. Her scripts have placed as finalists in several screenwriting competitions.
Jill graduated with a B.S. in Broadcasting & Film from Boston University, then traveled all over the world, She’s fluent in Spanish, French and Italian. She worked for 25 years as a script supervisor on award-winning feature and TV productions with A-list actors and directors in exotic locations.
Her life changed when Jill worked as a script supervisor on the movie Menace II Society, the same time as the L.A. Riots in 1992. Jill taught a screenwriting workshop to 30 incarcerated teenage boys at Optimist Youth Homes in Highland Park. These teenagers learned how to read and write through her classes. Many wanted to go to college. One gang leader even had loyalty tattoos removed from his neck and hands.
Jill was later compelled to teach a second screenwriting workshop with a group of coed teens at a different juvenile detention facility, and the impact was just as powerful. She shared her stories with another screenwriter who told her professor Leslie Stevens (creator of The Outer Limits) at the AFI about her programs. Impressed by Jill’s passion to help these youth, Leslie donated $5,000 for her to start a nonprofit organization. She has dedicated 25 years of her life to building Create Now from the ground up.
Jill’s been featured on national media and has given presentations to international diplomats through the U.S. State Department. In 2010, Jill was invited by the British Council to participate in a Global Xchange program with 25 other leaders from six countries. She spent six weeks in Durban, South African and Belfast. In 2011, she initiated a 12-week visual arts program called Arts xChange in Rwanda where Hutu and Tutsi youth came together to discuss conflict and acceptance through drawing, painting and sculpture. Several of them got college scholarships.
Jill has decided to step aside as the CEO of Create Now to return to her writing career. She is joining the Board of Directors and providing her skills and knowledge to keep assisting the organization. She’s currently editing her memoir What You Give Is What You Get while also promoting her other books and screenplays. She’s excited to be included in the upcoming coffee table book, “100 Making a Difference,” along with Steven Spielberg, Oprah, Michelle Obama, George Clooney, and many other celebrities. It will be available on Amazon later this year, with proceeds shared amongst all the featured charities.
Watch Jill's TEDx Talk in Beverly Hills about why she founded Create Now and visit her website at jillgurr.com.