MY MOTHER THE MOVIE STAR

My sister and her husband are actors. A couple of decades ago, while living in Los Angeles, they went to New York for an extended stay in order to star together on Broadway in Neil Simon’s then-new play: Rumors. Upon their arrival in Gotham a huge party was held in their honor, welcoming them to the city. […]

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GEORGE

He was a short, nerdy, geeky, scratchy-voiced little guy, and the most powerful genius I have ever known. The last time I saw him was forty years ago at a party at Randal Kleiser’s house up Laurel Canyon on a street appropriately named Wonderland. Randal, a consummately sweet, decent fellow after all these years, is […]

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Fire, Bloodshed, and Parking

It’s not an official faculty meeting, a former dean remarked at a UCLA film department gathering, until someone complains about parking. For me, having joined the faculty forty years ago, the cost of parking has risen from about ninety bucks a year to about twelve-hundred. That’s a hike of more than a thousand percent. If […]

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REAL VS. REEL – Richard Walter Commentary in The Script Lab

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece Mark Oppenheimer writes (appropriately enough on July 4th) of symbolism run amok: he complains specifically about flag-waving replacing true and thoughtful patriotism. [Full disclosure: At my house on national holidays and—displaced New Yorkers that we are—also on September 11th we proudly fly stars and stripes.] In the late ‘80s when the […]

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WalletHub Interviews Richard Walter for “2016 Oscars By The Numbers”

In a new story published by WalletHub, writer John S Kiernan shares: “The film industry has come a long way from the days of black and white, yet as the outcry over the 2016 Academy Award nominations illustrate, equality remains a work in progress in the minds of many. But between the amazing films that were […]

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A Letter to The New York Times on ‘Capturing Steve Jobs’

In a recent issue of The New York Times – you’ll find a published letter to the editor by Richard Walter (Chair of the MFA Screenwriting Program at UCLA) in which he shares: “Judging even from Joe Nocera’s criticism of the film ‘Steve Jobs,’ it is clear that the screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin, fulfilled his charge most […]

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My Favorite Film Critic

I rarely read movie reviews. Here and there I may peek at a review, but never one that treats a movie I have not yet seen. My reluctance is not because I want to avoid spoilers. The reason is this: if a reviewer loves a film, I’m likely to find it disappointing. Conversely, if a […]

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LONELY AT THE TOP – A DIRECTOR’S NARCISSISM

Not the director but the writer is film’s first artist, if for no other reason because she’s first. There’s no use for upscale stars, fancy effects, and sophisticated equipment without a worthy script. – Richard Walter LONELY AT THE TOP – A DIRECTOR’S NARCISSISM Heave a sigh of relief. If you’ve been losing sleep worrying about […]

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Lost in Translation: Killing In Beijing

A privilege I have enjoyed now over several decades is to travel the world lecturing, teaching master classes, and consulting on film and screenwriting issues to international audiences. I’ve taught and advised and counseled writers and producers and studio executives and national film development corporation officials all across North America and also in London, Paris, […]

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Why I Love Cold Callers

I know it’s a cold call, designed to sell me some product or cause, even before the caller speaks. Indeed, more often than not the caller doesn’t speak at all. The equipment in telephone boiler rooms dials multiple phone numbers simultaneously. The software connects with the first one that answers, hanging up on the others. […]

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