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Writing Thrillers and Horror Movies: The Secret Patterns to Creating Fear

What do you NOT see, and when do you NOT see it? That's a crucial question for writing a thriller OR a horror movie, and the techniques of thrills for both are clearly laid out in this lecture. These two genres have much in common, but we also show you the crucial differences, show you classic horror and thriller patterns, and the secret tools the best creators in these genres use to create their effects, including Friend of the Monster and Limited Point of View. Warning- we show you how to create gore. Not a class for the squeamish!


The first hour of the class is $5.00

For the FULL three-hour class with video download, it's $20.00

This class is taught by Peter Russell. 

For over 14 years, Peter Russell & Cecilia Russell have taught story development, worked as Hollywood script readers and have read 5,000+ screenplays for major film and television giants including Imagine Entertainment, Participant Productions, HBO, CBS, Walden Entertainment and dozens of others.  Together, they have helped independent producers configure their scripts into hits.  In 2009, Peter Russell received UCLA Extension’s Instructor of the Year for Film & Television, as his intense study of movie storyline has provided unique, original insights into each of Hollywood’s major genres.


“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

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  • John S.

    Peter was impressive. I valued the specific film scene examples of how to build tension and thrills. Film Antics is shooting a feature (thriller), end of March, and his tips were helpful. I learned screenwriting at UCLA, and Peter was as good, and better than many of my professors. And I love his passion for films. Best buck I have spent in a while.

    February 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately I couldn't attend last minute. Will this meetup happen again?

    February 11, 2014

  • Tom L.

    Very good. Peter has excellent observations and understanding of how scripts work, and techniques to help writers improve their own work. EAch meeting provides more tools for us to use and bring our scripts to the level we want them to be.

    February 10, 2014

  • Saverio R.

    It has been great!

    February 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd love to be there, but time isn't convenient. Can I purchase it for download? Cheers, Lena

    February 6, 2014

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