Lewis R. Hunter (born July 18, 1935) is an American screenwriter, author and educator and is chairman Emeritus and Professor of Screenwriting at the UCLA Department of Film and Television. Over half of the Oscar winning scripts over the past twenty years have been written by students of Hunter. He is commonly referred to as the best screenwriting teacher in the United States.
His former students and advocates include such people as Adrienne Parks, Allison Anders, David Koepp, Mike Werb, Sacha Gervasi, Dan Pyne, David Titcher, Diane Saltzberg, Michael Colleary, Don Mancini, Kathy Stumpe, Darren Star, Alexander Payne and Tom Shadyac. Other students include Chuck Loch, Paige Macdonald, Robert Wolfe, Joel Schumacher, Megan Steinbeck, Robert Roy Poole, Lon Diamond, Laurie Hutlzer, Pamela Gray, William Missouri Downs, Robin Russin, Brad Silberling, Greg Widen, and many others. Steven Spielberg has called Hunter "the best screenwriting teacher going".
Hunter lives in the small town of Superior, Nebraska where he teaches seminars for aspiring screenwriters. Every winter, Hunter returns to UCLA to teach his Screenwriting 434 course to graduate students in the screenwriting MFA program, the modern form of which he helped create. In 1998, nine of the ten top-grossing films were written by graduates of UCLA's screenwriting MFA program. His bestselling book on screenwriting is entitled Screenwriting 434.
A native of Nebraska, Hunter has a bachelor's degree and honorary doctorate from Nebraska Wesleyan University (where he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity) and has master's degrees from Northwestern University and UCLA.
Hunter helped to found the American Screenwriters Association and has been inducted into its Hall of Fame.
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