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Richard Walter

Richard Walter is a celebrated storytelling guru, movie industry expert, and longtime chairman of UCLA’s legendary graduate program in screenwriting. A screenwriter and published novelist, his latest book, Essentials of Screenwriting, is available July 2010. His previous published works include the novels Escape from Film School and Barry and the Persuasions and screenwriting books The Whole Picture: Strategies for Screenwriting Success in the New Hollywood and Screenwriting: The Art, Craft and Business of Film and Television Writing.

He has written numerous feature assignments for the major studios and has sold material to all three major networks. He has also written many informational, educational and corporate films. Richard lectures on screenwriting and storytelling throughout North America and the world. He has conducted master classes in London, Paris, Jerusalem, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Beijing and Hong Kong.

Students from Richard’s screenwriting program at UCLA have written more than ten projects for Steven Spielberg alone, plus dozens of other Hollywood blockbusters and prestigious indie productions, including two recent Oscar winners for best screenplay: Milk and Sideways.

Richard is a widely viewed pop culture critic and media pundit who has appeared multiple times on The Today Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball, ABC Primetime, Scarborough Country, CBS News Nightwatch, NPR, KABC-Talk Radio and numerous independent television and radio stations. More than a hundred newspaper and magazine articles have described his work and the program he directs at UCLA.

In addition to his stature in the media and academic world as a writer of substantial professional experience, Richard is also a leading expert witness in intellectual property litigation.

Products by Richard Walter

Articles by Richard Walter

Hang Out With Writers To Succeed!

Our Reader Mark McC from Canyon Country (not too near Hollywood), CA writes:
Coming to L.A. has not at all been what I expected. I've tried to follow the experts' advice, like get a job in a production company, but that was impossible. My boring job in property management is not why I left St. Louis. How am I going to morph into a working screenwrit... (read more)

Richard Walter's Greatest Hits Or The Reader's Backflip

When I speak to screenwriters they remind me of rules I wrote in my first screenwriting book. The following rules - principles, actually - come from my 27 years chairing the graduate Screenwriting program in the film school at UCLA:

1. It's quite possible to succeed in what is in fact a thoroughly democratic enterprise; from my perch in Westwood I see i... (read more)

Winning Spec Scripts

Our Reader Allen Ventura from Springfield, IL writes: I am a professional writer who has recently turned his hand to screenwriting. Can you give me the insider's view of "spec scripts?" Is this a sound way to proceed or are there better ways to get my scripts noticed?

Richard Walter responds: Writing spec scripts is not only the most traditional journe... (read more)

Pop Culture to the Rescue

Our reader, Kathy from West Hollywood asks: How I can hold the executive's interest who's already read a million screenplays? By now, most probably hate to read!

Richard Walter replies: Place yourself in the mind of the reader. That's what you do when you write, isn't it? You create persons and place them in situations, and also give them words (d... (read more)

Write a Worthy Script

Our reader, Jimmy Pearson of Minneapolis, MN asks:

I've got 3 scripts under my belt. How can I get someone to read my work?

Professor Richard Walter, longtime Screenwriting Chairman of the
legendary UCLA Film School, answers:

Writers never stop asking me how they can get read by agents, managers and producers. My response is always... (read more)

What's More Important: Character or Story?

Doesn’t it seem as if a new screenwriting book is published every twenty minutes?

I bear no small portion of the blame, as my third such tome burdened bookstore shelves just last year. What’s left for me now to write except a book about writing screenwriting books?

My longtime pal, beautiful Viki King, author of the timeless read more)