Neil Landau

Neil Landau is the Associate Director of UCLA’s Department of Film Television & Digital Media’s Screenwriting MFA program and their Graduate Professional Program in Writing for Television. His film and TV credits include the cult teen comedy Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead starring Christina Applegate; Melrose Place, The Magnificent Seven, Doogie Howser, M.D., The Secret World of Alex Mack, Twice in a Lifetime, MTV’s Undressed, The Young & the Restless, Monarch Cove, and one-hour drama pilots for CBS, ABC, ABC Family, Warner Bros., Disney, Lifetime, and Freemantle.  Neil also served for several years as Executive Script Consultant in the international divisions of Sony Pictures Television and Columbia Pictures.  His animated movie projects include the animated feature Tad: The Lost Explorer (aka Las Adventuras de Tadeo Jones) for which he earned a Spanish Academy “Goya” Award and Cinema Writers’ Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (2013). Tad2 is in production for a 2016 release, also from Paramount.  Neil co-wrote and served as Co-Executive Producer on the animated feature Capture the Flag for Paramount; and the animated movie, Sheep & Wolves, for Wizart Animation (The Snow Queen), which is scheduled for a 2016 release.  

Neil received his BA in Motion Picture/Television at UCLA in 1985.  He joined UCLA’s MFA in Screenwriting faculty in the Department of Film, Television & Digital Media in 2001, and was an instructor in UCLA’s Professional Program in Screenwriting since its inception, and teaches a TV development course in the UCLA MFA Producers’ Program.  He has also taught screenwriting classes in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and served as a Faculty Advisor in the low residency MFA in Creative Program at Goddard in Vermont.


Neil is the author of the bestselling books: 101 Things I Learned in Film School (Grand Central Publishing, 2010); The Screenwriter’s Roadmap (Focal Press, 2012); and The TV Showrunner’s Roadmap (Focal Press, 2014). He’s been a member of the Writers Guild of America west, since 1987; is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and sits on the advisory board of “Direct-to-Series” via the film and TV branch of the Consulate General of France. Neil gives lectures and hosts workshops around the world on the art and craft of screenwriting, including La Femis in Paris, University of the Andes in Santiago, and the Alexander Mitta Film School in Moscow. His new book, TV Outside the Box: Trailblazing in the Digital Television Revolution, will be published in January by Focal Press/Taylor & Francis, and sponsored by NATPE as the premiere book in their new educational book series.