Chris Roessner visits the TV Writers Studio

Screenwriter and Iraq veteran Chris Roessner visited the LIU TV Writers Studio to share how he transformed his combat experience into writing the acclaimed war film SAND CASTLE.

Roessner, who served 14 months in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, has said that his primary objectives in writing SAND CASTLE were to “avoid hero-worship, convey the incompleteness of OIF I, and show the courage of both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi people.”

Director of the TV Writers Studio, Kenneth LaZebnik has been inspired to try to write more fully human portrayals of soldiers and their families ever since his son went to West Point. His son has now served two deployments in Afghanistan with the 75th Ranger Regiment and is currently a Captain with the 101st Airborne.

Chris Roessner has said of serving in combat: “Obviously serving in a war time military is the toughest thing you can do – it is clearly emotionally taxing. But the difference is that in the military you are serving alongside people who are focused intently on a common goal that is bigger than themselves. You don’t realize how rare that is.” Ken LaZebnik adds, “In a small way, that is the allure of making television or movies - you are part of a team working toward a shared goal, and a fellowship results that is extraordinary.”

Watch SAND CASTLE on Netflix.

Hear some of the pearls of wisdom Chris shared with our cohorts - check out this video.