Screenwriting

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Home > Faculty > Julie Chambers

Julie Chambers

Lecturer

Married couple Julie Chambers and David Chambers have worked extensively in primetime and cable television for more than 30 years and are lecturers at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Between them they have sold half-hour comedy pilots to ABC, CBS, Fox, Showtime and TV Land, and have run primetime series. They have written books, screenplays and documentaries, and have worked on the writing staffs of more than a dozen shows, including the Emmy-winning The Wonder Years, Frank’s Place and The Simpsons, for which they earned a WGA Award nomination. They also have Golden Globe and Emmy nominations and have won a Humanitas Prize. Along the way they’ve written for many comic luminaries, from Mel Brooks to Tom Hanks. They helped launch and continue to teach for the Syracuse University in Los Angeles program. Recently they contributed two chapters to author Linda Venis’ Inside the Room: Writing Television with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

Currently, the Chambers are writing their own book about creating the original comedy pilot and continue to write for and pitch ideas to the industry.

Their greatest collective achievement, however, is their creation of two highly rated children.

Faculty

Home > Faculty > David Chambers

David Chambers

Lecturer

Married couple David Chambers and Julie Chambers have worked extensively in primetime and cable television for more than 30 years and are lecturers at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Between them they have sold half-hour comedy pilots to ABC, CBS, Fox, Showtime and TV Land, and have run primetime series. They have written books, screenplays and documentaries, and have worked on the writing staffs of more than a dozen shows, including the Emmy-winning The Wonder Years, Frank’s Place and The Simpsons, for which they earned a WGA Award nomination. They also have Golden Globe and Emmy nominations and have won a Humanitas Prize. Along the way they have written for many comic luminaries, from Mel Brooks to Tom Hanks. They helped launch and continue to teach for the Syracuse University in Los Angeles program. Recently they contributed two chapters to author Linda Venis’ Inside the Room: Writing Television with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

Currently, the Chambers are writing their own book about creating the original comedy pilot and continue to write for and pitch ideas to the industry.

Their greatest collective achievement, however, is their creation of two highly-rated children.

Faculty

Home > Faculty > Iris Yamashita

Iris Yamashita

Lecturer

Iris Yamashita was nominated for an Academy Award for her screenplay, “Letters from Iwo Jima.” Directed by Clint Eastwood, “Letters” received a Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for four Academy Awards. She has optioned or written on assignment for various production companies, and is currently developing an action film to be directed by Takashi Miike (“13 Assassins,” “Audition”). She has also been commissioned to work on an original resort show for Disney Imagineering. In the past, Ms. Yamashita has acted as a panel judge for contests and festivals sponsored by various organizations including the Writers Guild of America, Film Independent, the Korean Film Council and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Ms. Yamashita graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.S. in Bioengineering and a minor in Literature and Writing. She received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley. She teaches an advanced screenwriting class at TFT.

Faculty

Home > Faculty > George Gary

George Gary

Lecturer


George Gary is a lecturer in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media where he teaches courses on screenwriting and directing.

He has written numerous produced screenplays including the animated Goglo 13, Wild Orchid 2, Love Is Like That, Home and Tomb.

He has received numerous awards including the AFI Video Award, the Jack Nicholson Award for Screenwriting, the Philips Award for Screenwriting and the 2011 Best Script Award from Amazon Studios.

Gary received his B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Vanderbilt University and his M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Faculty

Home > Faculty > John Sweet

John Sweet

Lecturer

John SweetJohn Sweet has been teaching screenwriting and writing for television at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television since 2007. His script, The Affair of the Necklace, which he completed while a graduate student in the screenwriting program at UCLA TFT, was made into a 2001 feature film starring Hilary Swank, Christopher Walken and Adrien Brody. He has also sold and written other feature scripts for Warner Bros., Sony and Disney studios.

Prior to entering the M.F.A. program, Sweet was a working TV writer. Apart from writing network assignments, he was under contract for two years as a staff writer for RHI Entertainment’s development division. His television credits include the original pilot Braxton for RHI Entertainment; episodes of RHI’s Learning the Ropes and Fox’s Mr. President; and the Hallmark Hall of Fame movies of the week Face to Face (for CBS) and The Great Elephant Escape (for ABC).

In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students at UCLA TFT, Sweet also teaches working professionals enrolled in UCLA TFT’s Professional Programs.

News

Home > Feature Stories & News > News Deep Waters

Recent grad Matt Wheeler lands major studio writing gig

Goldwyn winner will adapt Thomas Perry's "The Informant"

Matt Wheeler and Samuel Goldwyn Jr.

Posted on February 2nd 2012 in Press

Deadline reports exclusively that recent TFT screenwriting graduate Matt Wheeler MFA '10 will adapt "The Informant," the third in a popular series by novelist Thomas Perry ("Vanishing Act") about an assassin known as Butcher’s Boy.

"Matt Tolmach will produce. Tolmach is also producer on this year's "The Amazing Spider-Man." "The Informant" revolves around a hit man avenging his father's death and a Department of Justice official who wants to dismantle the mafia. The two become involved in a cat-and- mouse game when they realize they're after the same people."

PHOTO: Matt Wheeler, second from left, with fellow winners and producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., at the 2010 Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards presentation. Todd Cheney/UCLA Photography.

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Faculty

Home > Faculty > Tim Albaugh

Tim Albaugh

Lecturer

Writer and producer Tim Albaugh teaches numerous screenwriting courses in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media.

He wrote the 1997 film Trading Favors, starring Rosanna Arquette, Devon Gummersall and Cuba Gooding, Jr. His students have sold scripts to numerous studios, producers and production companies including John Cusack’s New Crime Productions, the Coen Bros., Michael Bay, Wendy Finerman, Nickelodeon Films, Gough/Millar, New Regency Prods., HBO, Mandalay Entertainment, Showtime, Lifetime and all the major television networks. Screenwriter Scott Kosar wrote the script for the 2004 feature film The Machinist, starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh, in one of Albaugh’s classes at UCLA TFT.

Albaugh has also taught screenwriting courses at UC Irvine, Hollins University, Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Feature Animation.

In November 2011, he was named director of the Hollins University graduate program in screenwriting and film studies.

Albaugh received his undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and his M.F.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

Faculty

Home > Faculty > Richard Walter

Richard Walter

Associate Dean, Student Affairs; Area head, MFA Screenwriting Program

Richard WalterProfessor 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.

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 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).

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, Walter is also a leading expert witness in intellectual property litigation.

Faculty

Home > Faculty > Paul Chitlik

Paul Chitlik

Paul Chitlik, B.A., screenwriter/producer/director has written for all the major networks and studios. He was story editor for MGM/UA’S “The New Twilight Zone,” and staff writer for Showtime’s “Brothers.” He has written features for Rysher Entertainment, NuImage, Promark, Mainline Releasing, and others. He received a Writers Guild of America award nomination for his work on “The Twilight Zone” and a GLAAD Media Award nomination for “Los Beltran.” He recently won a Genesis Award for a Showtime Family movie. He also teaches screenwriting at Loyola Marymount University and ESCAC, the film school of the University of Barcelona, Spain.

Faculty

Home > Faculty > Paul Castro

Paul Castro

Paul CastroScreenwriter Paul Castro, a member of the Writers Guild of America for almost a decade, has extensive professional experience in film, television and digital media. He has been a hired-gun writer for the top studios in town. While still a UCLA MFA grad student, Paul landed a three picture, million-dollar deal sparked by co-chair Richard Walter. That deal included two of his original screenplays, one of which became the Warner Bros. feature film hit, “August Rush,” starring Robin Williams, Kerri Russell, Freddie Highmore,Terrence Howard and Jonathan Rhys-Myers. That same year Paul directed two music videos for RCA records and was awarded The Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Grant Award. Legendary Oscar-winning actress Shirley MacLaine heralded Paul Castro as one of the best screenwriters she’s ever worked with in her fifty years of movie making. Paul’s original screenplay “Eileen’s Ice,” starring Ms. MacLaine, will begin production in 2009. Paul wrote it in co-chair, Richard Walter’s 434-screenwriting class in 2000. Paul has been part of the UCLA family as a student and faculty member for twelve years.