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How great relationships work on Screen: & Bring a log line and shape your story

Bogie and Bacall.  Scarlet and Rhett.  Redford and Streisand. Jolie and Pitt.

Movies relish a good relationship.  It’s not just love.  You’ll find magic in the interplay between Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson or Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig.
What makes two more than the sum of their parts?  Why does an audience get overheated when lovers begin their dance of attraction?

Come this Sunday, November 10 at 11 AM to learn exactly how great relationships work on screen -- or even in books, TV shows and plays.

We’ll breakdown the great Oscar-nominated movie, Silver Linings Playbook starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.  You’ll see how to write great characters who belong together--but don’t -- until they do again.  

Plus, at the end of the lecture, we’ll answer your questions about your story.  If you have a log line or a story and need help, come along.  We’ll keep your idea in confidence and give you the benefit of some of the BEST story help there is.


 If you've seen Peter speak before, you know he'll make it exciting. Cecilia's story doctoring abilities are legendary, and they've just helped two students sell projects to Paramount and Universal this year -- and they are proud to announce that Ceci sold one of their pitches in the room to a hot independent production company specializing in indie comedies. Selling a screenplay is not the same thing as teaching how to write a great screenplay (we know many genius screenwriters who can't explain or show what they do) but Peter and Ceci do both! 

They understand the market and they understand how to shape YOUR story into a vivid original story.

Come see and let them prove it!


Peter Russell is a master story teacher and script doctor who has helped shape film story for Brian Grazier and Ron Howard at IMAGINE "Einstein Project", Alex Schwartz and Cary Granat at WALDEN FILMS "Chronicles of Narnia", Sunta Izzicupo at CBS Television Movies of the Week, as well as PARTICIPANT MEDIA, "Ocean Warrior", VIACOM, and many others.

In 2005, Peter discovered a true passion when he began teaching film and television story at UCLA's Entertainment Division of the Extension School.

Peter's energy, entertaining style and true passion for his subject won him UCLA's Teacher of the Year in 2009.

In 2009, Peter created HOW MOVIES WORK a film school that now teaches film classes all over the world, as well as in classrooms in Venice and Beverly Hills, California. Recently HMW has begun to offer movie classes online as well, at Screenwriters who have graduated from HMW include Vladimir Nagorney and Hal Oszan,  both of whom credit HMW for helping them sell screenplays to major producers here in LA and to international studios in 2012.

Peter's book HOW MOVIES WORK, is coming out in 2013 on Focal Press.

In Peter's earlier career as a script reader he read over 5,000 scripts for the studios and developed a set of tools based on the patterns that he saw in the very best of these stories. Peter's seminars have become legendary because he teaches using these original tools -- and believes that the best way to teach them is to show how the greatest contemporary moviemakers use them. Peter's classes use many clips from recent hit movies to illustrate his points. The proof, he believes, is in the pudding -- and showing students how the patterns he's discovered actually work in movies like

DJANGO UNCHAINED and INCEPTION, in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and ONCE, are the best way to drive home his lessons.

In fact, there is nothing Peter loves more than showing aspiring movie story makers just how hit movies work. It's his true passion. In his classes, people tell always tell him "I finally get it!" His students take the same class two or three or four times. His lectures get read, and re-read, viewed and re-viewed, time after time. Because they work. Because the patterns he shows his students help them make original stories.

There's no higher compliment Peter could receive than that. He loves his work!

And making his students love their own work, and up their own storytelling game, is his ultimate pleasure.

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  • JM

    I was watching the vid of Peter speaking about the main character changing in stories. Gave me much to think about. The film example he used was 'Juno.' My kid and I watched that film lots of times when she was a teenager. How funny that is to me now that she's in college. I think I'd like to take one of his online courses. Gee, I hope I am not too tired to make it here tomorrow and the AFI fest. (Sighing)

    November 9, 2013

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