Associate Dean, Student Affairs; Co-area head, MFA Screenwriting Program
Professor Richard Walter is a celebrated storytelling educator, movie industry expert and longtime co-chairman of the graduate screenwriting program at UCLA TFT.
A screenwriter and widely published author, his books include the novels “Escape From Film School” and “Barry and the Persuasions” and the non-fiction works “The Whole Picture: Strategies for Screenwriting Success in the New Hollywood,” “Screenwriting: The Art, Craft and Business of Film and Television Writing” and his most recent, “Essentials of Screenwriting.” The latter is available also in Mandarin from its Chinese publisher.
Professor Walter has written numerous feature assignments for the major studios and has sold material to broadcast networks. He has also written many informational, educational and corporate films. He lectures on screenwriting and storytelling throughout the world. He has conducted master classes in London, Paris, Jerusalem, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Beijing, Sydney and Hong Kong.
Students who participated in Professor Walter’s screenwriting program classes have gone on to write dozens of prestigious indie productions as well as Hollywood blockbusters (including more than 10 projects for Steven Spielberg). Two of his former students, Alexander Payne and Dustin Lance Black, earned Academy Awards in screenplay categories: Payne’s “The Descendants” (2011) and “Sideways” (2004) and Black’s “Milk” (2008).
Professor Walter is a pop culture critic and media pundit who has appeared multiple times on NPR and KABC-Talk Radio, on numerous independent television and radio stations and on “The Today Show,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hardball,” “ABC Primetime,” “Scarborough Country” and “CBS News Nightwatch.” More than a hundred newspaper and magazine articles have described his work and the program he directs at UCLA TFT.
In addition to his stature in the media and academic world as a writer of substantial professional experience, Professor Walter is also a leading expert witness in intellectual property litigation.