Contact: Call Peter: 310 774 1276


'Peter ghostwrote a script for me that I sold six months ago - a serial police procedural. He was with me the entire six month process -- essentially not only guiding me to finish the tv pilot, but also teaching me how to structure and write it as we went along. (I've written and produced  a movie, but am new to TV.) Peter got us to the finish line. He knows more about story that I'll ever know. I want to remain anonymous for obvious reasons -- but you should know that I have contracted with him to write another pilot in the same genre. Peter knows how to do this. He's the best, and his enthusiasm takes me forward even when I'm running on empty.'

TV producer

November 2017


“Guys, I thought you would be pleased to know (as my Obi Wan) that yours truly will have two feature comedies produced this winter, both with major Russian studios with A-list cast. I’m kicking some major ass over there! And I must give you credit for giving me tools for writing that one script in just three days and then rewriting in another three, setting a new record among local screenwriters. Thank you guys!”

Vladimir Nagorny




“The best teacher I have ever had (not only at UCLA, but yes, even compared to France).”

Vincent Blin

French filmmaker



“The best seer of story I have ever run across – he beats Trouby, McKee, Snider – because the patterns Peter and his partner Ceci have discovered are astounding – and they take you far beyond plot, into truly original character. I have read all the books and their stuff is far beyond – every week of class was a revelation, and made my story 1000 percent better! My fantasy/coming of age story has been optioned now by a major indie producer (yes, I’m bragging, it took me years to get here!) and I owe much of it to them. I am happy to recommend them.”

Michael Hayes

December, 2014



“There are only a very few times in one’s life when a ‘light bulb’ comes on — and a complete grasp of a subject is obtained.  Peter Russell has the extraordinary knack for conveying the principles and elements behind Hollywood hit movies in a way that makes obvious, deep sense – and which gives you the perfect tools to deeply grasp what makes a story good or bad for a film or TV project.  I feel extremely well versed and confident in my ability to both create and also critique and give notes to screenwriters after taking Peter’s class.  I strongly recommend that anyone serious about making a mark in the film industry study his absolutely brilliant approach.”

Carron Allen

Creative Executive, CAA



“I thought I knew story until I took Peter’s class.  The simplicity with which he teaches allows for so much to be retained . It was the most valuable course I have ever taken – I mean that sincerely – and the knowledge he gave me I will carry with me throughout the rest of my career . Peter is my hero!

Gregg Moscot

Creative Executive, Eclectic Pictures



“I’ve been taking writing classes for over a decade and wish I’d found Storymaker years ago!  Peter and Ceci have a way of looking at writing that’s understandable, entertaining and informative.  I’ve enjoyed every class that Peter’s taught – he’s smart, creative and really fun to learn from.  Ceci takes the best of what other books and classes have to offer and puts everything into perspective to get you to stop thinking and start writing from a place that’s connected to story and heart.  She’s a master at beating the resistance that comes up during the writing process – I’ve watched work through it with writers of all levels and am happy and grateful to say that it worked for me.”

Michaline Babich

Director and Executive Producer



“Peter Russell’s approach to teaching Hollywood story structure crystalizes the fundamental script elements that can make a movie   great.  With a firm grasp of these elements in hand I am confident in my ability to identify, analyze and develop great scripts.  He is a passionate, eloquent, entertaining teacher who makes every moment of class not only deeply informative – but great, great fun.”

Adrian Roup

Writer/ Director of Photography



“Using clips from two major movies each session, Peter demystifies the characters and characteristics of nine major genres, revealing the marks we newbies will have to hit in order to compete and proving that satisfying genre expectations can yield wonderfully original and successful motion pictures.  Then, under Ceci’s expert and caring guidance, each week one writer’s bare-bones concept gets nudged and teased and brain-stormed into a full-fledged concept, complete with provocative characters whose wants and needs are strong enough to push the concept from “fade in” to “fade out.”  It’s just the coolest experience — and it’s even better later, when you pull it off on your own stories.  The magic of Cecilia Russell as a teacher is that she makes learning to write a blast.  She goes beyond teacher and is truly a mentor, guiding each student through their writing journey. She is a constant source of information, inspiration, and motivation.”

Judy Potocki




“I applied for a special new media program that the USC School of Cinematic Arts is holding over the summer and is sponsored and co-produced by YouTube/Google.  I had to submit a 2 minute video and write two essays to be considered by YouTube and USC staff.  I knew the video I submitted was good, but I was really nervous about the essays since those are so subjective in what they could be looking for exactly.  One essay was ‘Describe the most emotional moment in your life.’  So I basically took the BMOC model I learned in your class and I applied it directly to the essay from a first-person perspective, and even with a 600 word maximum, I was able to pull it off pretty nicely.  So after the acceptance consideration process, the verdict was–I got accepted as 1 of the 10 in the nation for the USC program, and it starts this Wednesday!  I really appreciate how great your writing class was for me, I still want to continue to take more classes from you once this program...Read more

Bryan Robbins




“When I first heard of the class, I hesitated, thinking ‘Well I can always buy a book about genres.  I only want to learn specific genres anyway.’   But I learned so much more than just the difference between comedy and drama–I learned the basic tools of storytelling, which every writer should know.  Peter’s contagious enthusiasm makes you absorb the material earnestly.  Cecilia’s weekly writing exercises flexed my creative muscle as I collaborated with other students in class.  It’s a perfect set-up for a writer to learn AND do.  I highly recommend this class to my fellow writers.”

Stacey K




“Storymaker 101 reignited my love affair with writing!  I’ve been doing it for years, and have had my work on tv, but Cecilia and Peter’s unique and ridiculously fun approach taught me ground breaking techniques that stick!  I can’t help applying what I’ve learned every time I see a movie now!  Their incredibly positive attitudes coupled with their vast knowledge of screenwriting, plus their memorable techniques for applying what I’ve learned make this class a must for anyone interested in screenwriting.”

Denice Sealy

Actress, Writer, Producer



“I was always interested in movies and film. One afternoon my fiancé and I decided to check out one of Peter and Cecilia’s introductory seminars. My fiancé could already tell after just a few minutes that I was interested in signing up for the full class and finally start getting my ideas onto paper. Having starting out as just a fan of film and not familiar with the actual art of writing screenplays, Peter and Cecilia’s technique has made it easier for a “noob” like myself get a firm grasp on story development and the importance of knowing the rules of genre. I consider Peter and Cecilia to be mentors of mine with regard to my screenwriter endeavors (and hopefully career) and know I will continue to refer to their methods to further my stories along. If you are looking to get a grasp on writing scripts and better understanding the craft of screenwriting I cannot recommend Peter and Cecilia’s classes enough; they are fun and you get a chance to brainstorm a bunch of...Read more

Ryan Gavan




“For my money, Peter and Ceci’s Storymaker class is  the best investment a developing screenwriter can make . It cuts months from the analysis of genre requirements, opens new doors for creative exploration and demonstrates — repeatedly — how much fun it can be to break solid, character-driven stories in any genre.  Peter and Ceci have turned script-analysis expertise into a breakthrough for screenwriters.  And for writers living outside SoCal, the online version is super!”

Judy Potacki,




“I’m an actor who’s never written a script in my life.  For the past 4 years I’ve been pregnant with an idea for a screenplay but had no idea how to tell the story.  After taking Storymaker 101, I am now in labor with my first script.  Woo-hoo!  The labor pains are gone. Cecilia and Peters passion make it so easy to write.  I’ve been telling all my writer friends who still haven’t sold a script yet, they need to come learn how to tell a story.”  😉

Taji Coleman




“Peter not only lays out all the different structures of each of the nine Hollywood genres in a way that let me quickly improve my script, he was entertaining, charming, funny as can be, and passionate as hell doing it.  He’s a legend at UCLA and I now see why.  When you are in a three hour class, you better have a genius entertainer showing you how it all works. Watching Peter is better than watching TV – he’s sugar to help the fantastically great but sometimes difficult medicine go down.”

Mark Thomas




“Anyone can say a movie is ‘bad’ or ‘great’ but it is much more difficult to determine why a film succeeds or fails.  Peter Russell gave me the tools to analyze every aspect of a screenplay in order to successfully identify the weaknesses and strengths.  Of course, these lessons are tremendously useful for an aspiring story analyst.  But everything here would be of immeasurable value to anyone passionate about screenwriting, film criticism or just understanding why movies work.  If a screenplay is a body, Peter Russell is an anatomist.  He will teach you how to dissect a story and figure out how all the parts work together.  This is an utterly fascinating approach to understanding the mystery behind successful storytelling.   You will be a better reader, writer, watcher and maker of films after taking Peter’s class!”

Katherine MacDonald,

Writing/Directing candidate, UCLA Film School