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Confessions of a Hollywood Script Doctor with Peter Douglas Russell
Today’s guest is screenwriter and Hollywood script doctor Peter Douglas Russell. I wanted to go deep into the back alleys of what Hollywood script doctors actually do in the business. Peter’s conversation was eye-opening, to say the least.
Peter Russell sold two television pilots in 2017. He enjoys working on projects both as a ghostwriter and as a consultant. And he can both write and teach what he knows. So many successful screenwriters and producers have no idea how to teach what they do, and so many teachers can’t actually sell stories. But Peter does both.
Peter was UCLA’s Teacher of the Year in 2009. He invented (along with his then partner Cecilia Najar) a process called The Storymaker which you can use to quickly develop an original, complex, vivid story from a single idea — and the Storymaker is helping scores of his students shape wonderful stories.
Peter started as a story analyst in the 1990s and has read over 6,000+ screenplays for major film and television giants including Imagine Entertainment, Participant Productions, HBO, CBS, Walden Entertainment and dozens of others.
As he read these scripts, he started seeing deep, hidden patterns in the best stories. He wrote these down and started getting jobs FIXING writer’s stories. He got good at it — really good.
Peter was invited to teach at UCLA in 2004, and it became a passion, too. He has now been invited to teach television pilot and film story creation at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College Screenwriting MFA program, at Story Expo in LA and New York, and many others. Meanwhile, Peter has turned The Storymaker into the most powerful tool for helping storytellers create original vivid stories. Simply and quickly.
Enjoy my conversation with Peter Douglas Russell.
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