Contact: russell310@mac.com Call Peter: 310 774 1276

Peter Russell Script Doctor

27

May'14

The Secrets of Writing Dramas

 Drama is for adults. That’s the most exciting thing you can say to an adult — a story about me! About love, life, happiness and the problems and solutions to life. Not laser fights or fantasy warriors — but real truths. Come learn the great secrets of the greatest dramas, including the E=MC2 central organizer of all great drama, a Tool that will not only guide your entire drama, it will suggest original scenes, new characters and completely organize and shape every line of dialogue and moment of your hit movie. Movies covered in this class: SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, AMERICAN BEAUTY, LARS & THE REAL GIRL, THE BLIND SIDE, THE WRESTLER, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, CRASH Sell Tickets through Eventbrite

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23

May'14

An Embarrassing Confession

As story doctors, as teachers, as folks who stand up in front of people and dramatically gesture in front of movie clips that reveal what might look like biblical truth, I have to confess something… I don’t know anything for sure really. I know patterns of hit movies and tv, mostly because I’ve watched movies and tv shows over and over again — it’s not like I’m smarter than anybody else. I found some stuff these hit movies share, is all. So – I capitalize the ‘P’ in Patterns to make them look really important. And we have some Tools that I immodestly claim nobody else has. That’s it for the knowledge. After that? I  can now hold your hand and say ‘attaboy’. I’m pretty good at that, too. And I can read your drafts and say ‘that’s fab, but why didn’t you do this?” And…that’s it. There’s a famous writer, Michael Oakeshott, who said there are two kinds of knowledge, practical and technical. The technical are things like ‘specs’ of a machine, or ‘statistics.’ But practical knowledge is what people actually have to know to MAKE something real. I.e., you can tell people technical stuff, and you can even tell them practical stuff, but then they have to learn it for themselves. I lead you to water — but you gotta drink. This is why when you ask ten top screenwriters ‘how they do it’ — they give you completely contradictory answers. One loves ‘outlining’ a story, the other ones makes vomiting noises about ‘planning anything’! So. We give you Patterns that we’ve seen work in top hit stories. We also give you some carpentry Tools that we think we’ve designed pretty cleverly to shape story. You take them into a workshop and you do whatever the hell gives you pleasure. That’s the only way it works. Bless you.

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17

May'14

Come Join Our ON LINE TV class – starting Monday, May26th

Alas, enrollment has filled for our live TV class (we have limited classroom space) but you can still take the ONLINE version of this same class, which gives you two hour long, personal live ‘one on one’ sessions with Peter to shape YOUR TV pilot personally — plus you get recorded versions of the TV lectures (portions of which Peter gave today at A.F.I. in Hollywood) – you get ALL the TV lectures as video downloads that you can view and keep permanently (better than live.) These include all the structure and plot patterns of the major drama and comedy forms. Sign up and receive the PDF’ versions of these lectures – including plot patterns – as well. The ONLINE version of our TV class comes with the same personal attention to your story as the live version – and there’s no beach traffic to Venice! Just look up at the top of this screen over to the right and click on the ‘CLASSES AND COACHING’ tab, then select either LIVE or ONLINE to sign up for our four week TV CLASS ONLINE. We wish we had a bigger classroom for the live class, and thanks for your interest. Again, the ONLINE version of the class comes with the same live ‘one on one’ sessions to shape YOUR TV story as the live class does, PLUS permanent, video on demand of all TV lectures. (Click on the tab as described above for more details.) Warmly, Peter & Cecilia

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15

May'14

Building Characters Who Change – The Real Secret

Building Characters Who Change “You get rewarded in public for what you practice intensely in private.” “People’s lives are a direct reflection of their peer group.” “The past is not the future unless you live there.” – Tony Robbins, best-selling author and inspirational speaker One of the things I love about “Silver Linings Playbook” are its characters. They are original, funny, and they change. So much of why we love story right now — on television or in movies — is because of character change. Audiences are so much more sophisticated today than they were ten years ago. Our best movies and television shows reflect this. Characters that truly surprise are what keep people tuned into David Russell’s movies — and into Game of Thrones, where last Sunday an amazingly complex little person took the stand in his own defense against his father and had a melt down which may have cost him his life. (Don’t worry if you aren’t a fan, we aren’t going to go on and on about GOT in this article.) Great characters have original traits and they change in surprising but satisfying ways. They help us see our life’s challenges and ourselves more clearly. There are lots of ways of looking at character. Some writers’ programs have you write 30 random traits for your character. My question about this technique is always – well, do you just pick these traits out of a hat? WHY does your character, for example, love eggs? This technique has always seemed just too random for me. Other books suggest that you look at myths to find your characters core. This can be wonderful, since it provides you with a list of character traits INSIDE classic characters — traits that someone, in the past, has decided all go together in one person. I like this technique better, as it seems to be describing real people, taken from the collective wisdom of human beings. It’s like your canny, smart mother telling you “see that person — the one who is always so quick to judge others? She’s hiding a big secret inside herself– she probably doesn’t have great character herself.” That’s ZEUS, by the way, the supreme Greek God in their pantheon, but a guy with questionable ethics and values. It’s folk wisdom about how people who do one thing probably also do another. This ‘trait goes with trait’ folk wisdom …

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05

May'14

Learn the Secrets of Writing Mystery Thrillers

Mystery Thrillers are tense, twisty, unpredictable, dark, & moody stories that ALWAYS have a shocking surprise.  You know you love Mystery Thrillers if you like movies like… SALT, LA CONFIDENTIAL, CHINATOWN, TRAINING DAY  This most complicated of genres is also one of the most wonderfully fun to write. Every great mystery thriller has three different plots, and most feature a hero who has a very particular emotional change that helps them solve the mystery. We show you how shapeshifters rule in this genre, how to weave all three plots, when and where to place them, and give you thorough patterns that will guide you all along your journey (this is a genre where you NEED a road map!)   You’ll learn things like: – How to structure a mystery thriller – The characters that will help you create surprise – The essential emotional arcs of mystery thrillers – How to surprise your audience with a big twist – Why dark, twisted and disturbing secrets work best in this genre… And MUCH MORE! This is a great lecture you won’t want to miss! Online event registration for The Secrets of Writing Mystery Thrillers powered by Eventbrite

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30

Apr'14

Learn the Tools of Writing Comedy Scripts

Whether your comedy is total farce or total realism, you’ll find essential tools to help you write funny, smart and connect with the audience. In this lecture you’ll learn the one absolutely always important Tool that unites every comedy, it drives every character, every storyline and every theme in comedy. Plus, we’ll give you the patterns of all seven kinds of Hollywood comedy and show you the shapes of each storyline. And, we also show you a tool called “The Confessional.” Clever writers use this one to create sympathy in even the most unsympathetic comic hero. As a bonus, we will show you the easiest path to creating a comedic story, using the secrets of the ‘Parody.’ (You can write this type simply sitting around with funny friends). Movies to see for class: THE OTHER GUYS, BRIDESMAIDS, SUPERBAD, KNOCKED UP, LIAR LIAR Sell Tickets Online through Eventbrite

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About Peter Russell Movie&TV Script Doctor

Think of me as a writer, teacher and story consultant with over 15 years experience working with studios. From this experience, I have developed a great class list that focuses on many areas in the business. Peter Russell Script Doctor offers a large variety of classes, so be sure to check back often to see if there is an offering for you. Find Out More...

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