After Berkeley, Jessica gained an M.F.A. in Film & Television from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts (2002).
While at Berkeley, she made a film on the Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva, which premiered in Dwinelle Hall to the audience of Berkeley Slavic students. She made her professional directorial feature debut with Speak, based on the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson. The film premiered at Sundance in 2004 and was later simulcast on Lifetime and Showtime. Speak was nominated for a Writers Guild Award and a Directors Guild Award in 2005. Sharzer has written screenplays for Universal, Showtime, HBO Films, Endgame Entertainment and for television. In 2007, she was a director for Showtime’s drama The L Word. In 2012 she won the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award for her screenplay, “The Afterbirth,” an episode of the FX Cable Series “American Horror Story.”