Faculty: Screenwriting

Faculty

TIM ALBAUGH

Tim is a writer-producer and a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's MFA Screenwriting Program. He has taught screenwriting there as well as at UC Irvine, Hollins University and Pixar Animation Studios. As a writer, he has sold or optioned scripts to various studios and production companies. His credits include Trading Favors, starring Rosanna Arquette, Devon Gummersall and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Under their Popular Films banner, Albaugh and producing partner Sean Sorensen have projects in development at Warner Bros., HBO, Reason Pictures, Hudson River Entertainment and Echo Lake Productions. The original screenplays Weasel (by Steve Bagatourian) and Croak (by Rich Davis) were written in Albaugh's classes and subsequently set up as co-productions between Popular Films, Hudson River Entertainment and Echo Lake Productions. Some of Albaugh's other students have sold scripts to studios, producers and production companies including John Cusack's New Crime Productions, the Coen Bros., Michael Bay, Wendy Finerman, Nickelodeon Films, Gough/Millar, New Regency Productions, HBO, Mandalay Entertainment, Showtime, Lifetime and all the major television networks. The film The Machinist, starring Christian Bale, was written by Scott Kosar in Albaugh's UCLA class. The latest film written in his class to be produced is Balls to the Wall, written by Jason Nutt and directed by Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World).

MARC ARNESON

Before coming to Los Angeles, Marc earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia. He is a graduate of both the UCLA MFA and Professional Screenwriting Programs, and has won numerous honors including: the UCLA Screenwriters Showcase, the Jack Nicholson Prize in Screenwriting, the Harmony Gold Screenwriting Award, the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in Screenwriting and the Showtime/Tony Cox Screenwriting Award, as well as being selected writer-in-residence at the prestigious Nantucket Screen Writers Colony. He has since developed and sold online, television and film projects including the independently produced feature Just Peck (written while a UCLA MFA student), starring Academy Award nominee Brie Larson. Marc has been a screenwriting instructor at UCLA since 2011, teaching Professional Program students as well as visiting filmmakers from the Accademia Nazionale Del Cinema, Bologna, Italy. Additionally, he was a Visiting Professor of Screenwriting at the Hollins University MFA Graduate Program and currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

image021Deborah Baron

Deborah has written feature scripts on assignment for 20th Century Fox, Columbia, Interscope, MGM, UA, various independent production companies, and actors Richard Dreyfuss and Meg Ryan. She was a staff writer for CBS' Hunter and Legwork and has also written for CBS' Major Dad and Cagney & Lacey as well as various episodes for one-hour series on NBC, ABC and UPN. She has taught in the MFA screenwriting programs at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, USC Cinematic Arts and AFI; and in graduate programs at universities in Santiago, Chile and Calcutta, India (both funded by Fulbright grants). She has also worked as a "testimony reviewer/writer" for the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation.


PHIL GUIDRY

Phil has won three Emmy Awards for his work as a producer and writer. He has written, produced and developed projects for NBC, Fox, NFL Network, ESPN, Time Warner, ABC, Tapestry Films, 42 Entertainment, and Walt Disney Imagineering. He co-wrote and co-produced the feature film Savageland, which premiered at the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival. His documentary projects include The Timeline: America’s Game and the Iran Hostage Crisis, produced with George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures, and the Emmy-winning JFK: The NFL Story of That Day in Dallas. His published work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Outside and Conde Nast Traveler, as well as anthologies by Hyperion Press and Nelson Thornes Press.  A graduate of UCLA’s screenwriting M.F.A. program, he also has a B.A. from USC and has taught at UCLA, UC Irvine, Northwestern University, and the Himalayan Film School in India.

SIMON HERBERT

Simon is the co-writer/director/producer (with fellow UCLA screenwriting alums Phil Guidry and David Whelan) of the horror feature Savageland-- released by Terror Films, internationally. Savageland has screened at numerous festivals including: Comic-Con; Morbido Festival, Mexico; and FilmQuest Film Festival, Utah. It has won eight awards including: Best Director at the New Orleans Horror Film Festival; and Best Feature in: Nevermore, NC; Independent Filmmakers festival, CA; Eerie Horror Fest, PA; and the Atlanta Horror Film Festival, GA. Simon usually writes solo, and has won the Harmony Gold Award in Excellence. He has no fear of any genre; but knows that he is terrible at comedy (his one ‘comedy’ script – unfunny at a sub-atomic level - was buried in a lead container in the Mariana Trench; where rotations of freestyle aquatic pit bulls, 11,00 meters down, still guard it bravely from the gaze of innocents), which frees him up for darker stuff. Noir. Horror. Thriller. Simon hates people that get “your” and “you’re” mixed up (and will visit your house to explain the difference), but otherwise has a sunny disposition. He models his screenwriting classes on the fine example of R. Lee. Ermey in Full Metal Jacket, and you will give him twenty. He is repped by Management 360.

DAVE JOHNSON

Dave Johnson is a produced television and feature film writer with over a dozen years of professional experience.  He has developed and sold feature films for Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, New Regency, Dreamworks, Universal Studios, Fox Animation, Sony Animation, and many more.  Dave has worked closely with acclaimed actors such as Robert Deniro and Christopher Walken, but has also co-written a farting dog movie for Paramount Studios.   Johnson is a proud member of the UCLA family, having graduated in both the MFA and Professional Program in Screenwriting.  While a student, he was the recipient of the Jack Nicholson Award in Screenwriting, the Harmony Gold Award of Excellence, and a winner of the Screenwriter Showcase.  Dave has been a screenwriting instructor at UCLA since 2006, and has watched many of his students achieve great success in both television and film.

CHRIS KYLE

Chris Kyle has written screenplays, teleplays and commercials for production companies, networks and studios, and he co-wrote Jody, which appears in the second season of the Black List Table Reads. He’s developing an animated TV series with Cosmic Toast Studios, and he won the award for best screenplay at the British Animation Film Festival. Chris received his MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, where he received the Jack Nicholson, Abraham Polonsky, and Samuel Goldwyn awards. Chris studied English and Latin at Duke.  “He’s a pretty good guy," says one source who wasn't willing to go on-the-record.  Chris lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two daughters.  And dog.

WEIKO LIN

Recipient of a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, finalist of both AMPAS Nicholl Fellowship and Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, Weiko has written for production companies such as The Mark Gordon Company, Reason Pictures, Madhouse Entertainment, Ivanhoe Pictures, Don Mischer Productions, Wanda Pictures, and The Unison Company. His Chinese language romance comedy film 100 Days was released nationwide in Taiwan and was an official selection at the prestigious Golden Rooster Hundred Flowers Film Festival in China. As producer and original story writer, Lin is following up his next Chinese language film with an action thriller for China-based Wanda Pictures. He has previously taught at Northwestern University and Taipei National University of the Arts as Fulbright Senior Specialist. 

JENNA MCGRATH

Jenna has spent the past six years working as a screenwriter. Shortly after graduating from the UCLA MFA Screenwriting Program, she landed her first feature film assignment. She has written for Strike Entertainment, Universal, MGA and Disney XD. Together with her writing partner, she wrote seven episodes of the Disney XD series "Packages from Planet X." McGrath began teaching screenwriting in 2007. In 2010, she traveled to Uganda to serve as a screenwriting mentor in the Maisha Film Lab, a program that fosters local filmmaking communities in East Africa. In her spare time, McGrath is member of the U.S. Freediving team and holds two national records for breath-hold diving. She believes that writing, like diving, rewards the brave.

STEPHANIE MOORE

Stephanie received her MFA in Screenwriting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. She won the Harve Bennett "Written By" Prize in Screenwriting and the Harmony Gold Screenwriting Award. She has taught screenwriting at UC Irvine, UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting, and Hollins University's MFA Program, and was a guest lecturer at Pixar University. Moore's students have been winners of several screenwriting awards, including the Nicholl Fellowship and the UCLA Professional Program Screenwriting Competition. Her students have also had their scripts optioned and sold, such as Marc Maurino's sale of Inside the Machine to CBS Films, a script written in Moore's Professional Program in Screenwriting Online class. Moore co-wrote Life-Size, starring Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan, an original movie for ABC's Wonderful World of Disney. She was hired by Disney to co-write Life Size 2.

BRIAN PRICE

Brian received his BA in Theatre and Film from Yale University and his MFA in Screenwriting from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he won the Harve Bennett "Written By" Prize, the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Screenwrtiting Prize, and the Screenwriter's Showcase. While still in school, Price was featured in Script magazine when The Many Lives of Bobby Ivers, his first spec, was optioned by Universal Pictures. Since then, he's written numerous feature and television scripts for both studios and indies, including Blaspheme Pictures, Warner Bros., Scanbox Entertainment, Big Paw Productions, and Hudson River Films. As a director, Price has lensed award-winning commercials, as well as the feature comedy Bottomfeeders, which won numerous festival awards including the Indie Spirit at Toronto's Planet Indie and the Audience Award at the DC Independent Film Festival. Brian has taught in the UCLA MFA program, at UCSB, the Brooks Institute of Photography, and at Yale University. He is particularly proud that his students’ scripts have begun appearing on the silver screen, one even receiving a Golden Globe nomination this year.

LISANNE SARTOR

Lisanne Sartor received her BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of both the Professional Program in Screenwriting and the MFA Screenwriting Program at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. While at UCLA, she won the Samuel Goldwyn Award one year, placed third another, won the Jack Nicholson Prize in Screenwriting and the Harmony Gold Screenwriting Award. Her original screenplay, Cleaverville, was produced by Alexander/Enright Productions and aired on Lifetime Television. She’s developed projects with Hearst TV, the DeAngelis Group, Roth/Arnold Productions and more. Before becoming a screenwriter, she was a DGA assistant director via the DGA Assistant Director Training Program. She wrote and directed the award-winning short film Six Letter Word via the AFI Directing Workshop for Women. Six Letter Word has screened at over fifty film festivals around the world, including the Telluride Film Festival and the American Pavilion at Cannes. She wrote the feature version of Six Letter Word and will direct it with producer Tani Cohen producing.  She is board president of The CineStory Foundation, a screenwriting nonprofit dedicated to nurturing new screenwriting talent through writers retreats and fellowships.

JIM STRAIN

A veteran screenwriter (Jumanji, Bingo, Summer of the Monkeys, Space Warriors), Jim is a native of Denver, Colorado. He’s written for virtually every major studio in Hollywood, dabbled in theater, contributed to magazines and newspapers, and published a few books. He wears many other hats including that of a lecturer, consultant, and sometimes artist. With Stephen Chiodo, Jim co-wrote Alien Xmas, a children’s book which won a special recognition Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. His screenplay for a stop-motion animation feature based on the book is being developed by Chiodo Bros. Productions. He holds an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA and an MA in journalism from the University of Missouri. In addition to teaching in UCLA’s Professional Program, Jim serves as an adjunct member of the university’s MFA screenwriting faculty.

WENDALL THOMAS

Since receiving her M.A. in English in 1986 from the University of North Carolina, Wendall Thomas has worked in Los Angeles as a casting director, director’s assistant, script reader, story editor, development executive, entertainment reporter, script consultant and screenwriter, writing and developing projects for companies including Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, Showtime, PBS, RKO, A&E, NBC, and Scottish Screen. In addition to writing and consulting, she is in her nineteenth year as Adjunct Professor of Screenwriting in the Graduate Film School at UCLA, has been a Star Speaker for the annual Los Angeles Screenwriting Expo, and runs the Living Room Lecture series. She has consulted for the Atelier du Cinéma Européen Producing Program in Paris, served as Writer’s Mentor for Screen South’s Good Foundations program 2005-2007, and directed the LA FEATURES writer’s mentorship program in the UK for 2007-2009.  She also consults for Australia’s Film Victoria and The New Zealand Film Commission, and directs Screen Queensland’s SQ PROJECTOR program for emerging feature filmmakers (2015/2016). As a lecturer, she has worked throughout Europe for the Arista Screenwriting Workshops and in the U.K. for the Welsh and Northern Irish Film Commissions, Northern Film and Media, the Folkstone Literary Festival, and Screen South. She has also presented a series of dialogue and rewrite workshops for the New Zealand Film Commission and was opening speaker for the Santa Fe Screenwriting Conference in 2009.  She has presented her Wendall Thomas Talks Scripts series at the Melbourne International Film Festival since 2011. Recent student/client projects include The Water Diviner (Warner Bros. , Web Therapy (Spanish language version ), Killing Joan (Todfilm), The Republic of Rick (official selection Slamdance Festival ), Any Day Now (winner Audience Award Tribeca, Music Box Films), The Republic of Two (Winner Chris Brinker Award San Diego Film Festival, official selection Hollywood Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Circus Road Films), The Space Between (Official Tribeca Selection, USA Films), The Truth Below (MTV Films), and The Most Fun You Can Have Dying (NZFC ).

LINDA VOORHEES

Linda Voorhees is an award-winning writer who has worked for ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, Lifetime, USA and Disney Channel. She has been or is currently in development with Columbia, Universal, Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures. As a student at UCLA TFT, she was the recipient of the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award and a four-time finalist for the Diane Thomas Award. Her 1997 movie of the week, Two Mothers for Zachary, received the GLAAD Award for positive portrayals of gay and lesbians in the media. Her 1991 made-for-cable movie, Crazy From the Heart, was the winner of the Imagen Award for positive portrayals of Latinos and Hispanics in the media and was the winner of the Columbus Award. The screenplay was nominated for an ACE Award.

DAVID WAGNER

David began his career in the entertainment industry at 10 years of age performing in numerous musicals, including "The King & I" with Yul Brynner. Wagner went on to become the 1984 vocal champion on Jr. Star Search with Ed McMahon. He also voiced the character of Linus Van Pelt in the CBS Special "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", and recorded the Peanuts album "Flashbeagle." Wagner graduated with a BA in Film with an emphasis in screenwriting from CSUN, and completed two years of UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting where he won the "Best Screenplay" competition. Wagner went on to write several movies including "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" with Ryan Reynolds, and "The Girl Next Door" with Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert.

IRIS YAMASHITA

Iris was nominated for an Academy Award® for her first produced screenplay, Letters from Iwo Jima. Directed by Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima received a Golden Globe award as Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for four Academy Awards. Currently, Yamashita is in development on an original script to be directed by Shekhar Kapur, who previously directed Elizabeth and The Four Feathers.

KRIS YOUNG

Kris received his MFA in screenwriting from UCLA (’98) where he was a finalist in the Screenwriting Showcase and placed second in the Samuel Goldwyn Awards.  He has written six movies for Disney Channel including Teen Angel (Jason Priestley and Jennie Garth) and Teen Angel Returns. He has also written pilots for CBS and Nickelodeon, as well as features for Columbia, Trimark and producers Richard Pryor, Terence Chang and Bill Badalato. His micro-mini movie, Mosquito Cupid, was produced for ABC-Touchstone. Young was also a staff lyricist for five years for Grammy-winning R&B producer Freddie Perren (I Will Survive) where he wrote for Grammy Award winning and nominated artists such as Tavares, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Peaches & Herb, The Spinners and Johnny Gill.  (A music career highlight for Young was having a song performed on Soul Train.)  Young was a founding member of the WGA Asian-American Committee, co-chairing from 2006 to 2013.  He’s been with the Professional Program since 2001 and has taught the undergrad senior concentration in screenwriting for UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television since 2005. He’s also taught for L.A. Film Studies Center, UCLA’s Summer Arts Program for teens, Visual Communications, East-West Players and the L.A. Juvenile Probation Center in Watts.

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310.825.6124
professionalprograms@tft.ucla.edu