Screenwriting and The Dreadful Weight of Truth

Art, Picasso tells us, is the lie that tells the greater truth. Screenwriters need to learn how to lie through their teeth. As a screenwriting educator and script doctor I have seen more scripts brought down by a writer’s wrongheaded devotion to some idealized, romanticized, self-conscious, narcissistic, pie-in-the-sky notion of The Truth. In script consultation […]

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On the Oscars & American Hustle

The LA Times recently rounded up the annual Oscar nominees with their predictions. On deserving films for this year’s Academy Awards, here’s my view: I loathed American Hustle. O’Russell is hugely, vastly over-appreciated in my never-humble view. Like his similarly over-praised Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle is a lot of yelling and screaming and repetition. […]

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WGA Vs. The Studios: Why I Blame the Studios

In more than forty years of WGA membership, it seems there’s a strike threat with the expiration of every contract as talks between the studios and the WGA went into a two week recess in mid-February. Nobody ought to be surprised that I blame the studios. An ancient movie executive characterized writers as “schmucks with […]

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Richard Walter Commentary in LA Times: “Losing Brad Pitt’s Plan B puts focus on Paramount Pictures’ strategy”

In the December 12, 2013 issue of the LA Times’ story, “Losing Brad Pitt’s Plan B puts focus on Paramount Pictures’ strategy”, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television professor Richard Walter commented: “Paramount’s paradigm is a different model. It’s a business organization run by MBAs, and I am not saying that in a pejorative way.” To […]

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