Accomplished Instructors from UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Provide Insider Tips in Books for Aspiring Film, TV Writers

“Cut to the Chase” and “Inside the Room” Debuting in August 2013

From 24 successful film and TV writers who teach in the country’s largest screenwriting program come two unprecedented and entertaining how-to books on writing film and TV scripts and launching and sustaining a career in today’s tumultuous entertainment industry.

Cut to the Chase: Writing Feature Films with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program” and “Inside the Room: Writing TV with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program” are filled with rare insights and practical advice from writer-teachers whose hundreds of produced credits include “The Simpsons,” “Mad Men,” “House M.D.,” “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” and “Liar Liar.”

Edited by Linda Venis, director of the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and who has guided the growth of the Program for more than two decades, “Cut to the Chase” and “Inside the Room” are published by Gotham Books (August 2013).  All proceeds from the sale of the books will support the Writers’ Program.

“Millions of people dream of writing a screenplay or television script, but they either don’t know how to get started or have scripts in process but need specific tips on to how to move forward and get to the end. These books do both—plus offer honest, sometimes provocative career advice,” said Venis. “We know our training has a positive impact—it’s apparent in the success stories of our alumni” whose credits include “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” “Spiderman 2,” “Twilight,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” (Academy Award nominee), “Parks and Recreation,” “The Following,” and “Entourage.”

Among those successful alumni is writer-executive producer Carol Barbee (“Hawaii Five-O,” “Jericho”), who found this comprehensive how-to book a worthy successor to her classroom training: “‘Inside the Room’ should be required reading for anyone embarking on or dreaming of a career in television. Like the classes I took at UCLA Extension when I was starting out, it demystifies the process of becoming a working television writer and tells you how to go about it. Most of all, it lets you know it’s possible.”

Additional early praise comes from Kirkus Reviews, which describes “Inside the Room” as: “A practical guide to how TV is made, from bright idea to syndication…an accessible and useful guide for anyone with the dream and the drive who needs to know, practically, what to do.”  Kirkus has similarly positive words for “Cut to the Chase,” which it calls “A well-organized soup-to-nuts manual for aspiring Nora Ephrons and Charlie Kaufmans, from the faculty of a notable screenwriting program…a readable writer’s how-to that goes down smoothly.”

As part of the book launch, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program is releasing author interviews and have several live author chats planned. Details will be announced on the Writers’ Program website:

About the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

The Writers’ Program is the nation’s largest open-enrollment creative writing and screenwriting program. In addition to more than 250 on-site courses each year, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program offers more than 175 annual online courses, short-course workshops and a variety of writing-related events throughout the year to give students a chance to interact with a wide range of aspiring and professional writers.