M.A., professional story analyst for companies such as Amblin, Imagine and New Line. Referring trained story analysts to production companies, he is a UCLA Extension Outstanding Instructor in Screenwriting and story editor of a Peabody Award winning program.
Becoming a paid story analyst for producers, agents or development executives requires two skills: knowing what elements make up a successful screenplay, then being able to turn that knowledge into concise synopses and comments. By studying several famous screenplays and a number of video clips throughout the course, students become knowledgeable about what comprises the structure of virtually any three-act story. Students also write actual coverage, giving them an opportunity to analyze films they love and hate the most, as if the scripts had just come across their desks. By the last class, each person should be able to write brief but detailed synopses and cogent comments, feeling comfortable using such terms as "plot-driven," "act breaks" and "ticking clocks," putting their coverage on the level of the professional reader. The atmosphere of my classes is always supportive with lots of humor, while remaining on course in terms of following the syllabus. Outside work involves analyzing several screenplays and films on video, in addition to writing and rewriting samples of coverage.