bio and credits
SHORT BIO: Peter Hanson is the director of films including the documentary "Tales from the Script," the author of three books about cinema, and the screenwriter of upcoming projects including "Two Fathers." He is also a film instructor at Pepperdine University and UCLA Extension, a contributing editor at "Written By" magazine, and a script consultant. A Michigan native, Hanson did his undergraduate film studies at NYU and earned his MFA in screenwriting at UCLA.
LONG BIO: A native of East Lansing, Michigan, Peter Hanson studied film and screenwriting at New York University, then earned his MFA in screenwriting from UCLA. After working extensively in student journalism during his undergraduate years, he began a ten-year career as a writer/editor for various publications in upstate New York. His first book, "Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel,” explored the title subject's screenwriting oeuvre, which includes "Roman Holiday" and "Spartacus." Originally published in 2001, the book was a finalist for the National Theatre Library Association Award. In 2007, "Dalton Trumbo" was reissued as a paperback in the U.S. and republished (as a translated edition) in Japan. Hanson's follow-up book, "The Cinema of Generation X,” appraised the early work of filmmakers including Kevin Smith, Steven Soderbergh, and Quentin Tarantino through the prism of generational identity. “Generation X” was published in 2002.
Hanson's professional filmmaking debut was a 2002 documentary short about the interaction between high-school students in Columbia County, New York, and their filmmaking advisor Courtney Hunt (Oscar nominee for "Frozen River"). Hanson’s featurette was shown at the 2002 FilmColumbia festival. That same year, Hanson made the feature-length documentary "Every Pixel Tells a Story." To launch the film and to amplify its theme of digital filmmaking unifying the community of independent filmmakers in and around Albany, New York, Hanson organized the well-attended Capital Region Digital Film Expo. The feature version of “Every Pixel Tells a Story” screened at regional festivals, and an hour-long version appeared on PBS affiliate WMHT.
In 2003, Hanson relocated to Los Angeles, where he has completed numerous freelance screenwriting assignments and served as a consultant and/or educator for many aspiring and professional screenwriters. He analyzed scripts for Film Independent’s Filmmaker Labs, and he was on the producing team of the Saturn Awards for several years. Hanson cowrote the independent narrative feature “The Last Round,” which was completed in 2005, then founded production company Grand River Films (as well as this website) the following year. In 2007, Hanson wrote and directed the comedy/drama short "Stagehand," and in 2008, he wrote and line-produced several promotional videos for Mini Movie Channel. Soon afterward, Hanson created the monthly column "Beyond the Page" for "Script" magazine, and from 2010 to 2012 he wrote about movies for Yahoo! Voices, earning a Yahoo! Contributor Award.
In early 2010, Hanson completed a major book/movie project about screenwriting. The book, titled "Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories," was issued by HarperCollins Publishers. The accompanying documentary, simply titled "Tales from the Script," was released by First Run Features and then streamed on Netflix for several years before shifting to its current streaming home on Amazon Prime. Also in 2010, Hanson and cowriter Thomas Curley sold their action/horror script "Savage" to independent production company Picture Road. Later the same year, Hanson launched the daily blog "Every '70s Movie," featuring original reviews of nearly 3,000 movies released from 1970 to 1979. (To visit the blog, which has notched more than 4.5 million views since launching, click here.) Hanson's other projects include the 2011 comedy short "Closure," starring Scott Krinsky of the NBC TV series "Chuck," and the 2014 comedy short "The Pre-Interview," both of which he wrote and directed. In 2018, Hanson wrote the award-winning dramatic short "Exposure" for producer/director J.D. Funari. That same year, Hanson was named a contributing editor at "Written By" magazine, for which he has interviewed such film/TV notables as Guillermo del Toro, Damon Lindelof, and Aaron Sorkin.
In addition to teaching screenwriting at Pepperdine University and film studies at UCLA Extension, Hanson is a freelance screenwriting consultant. For information on his services, click here.
Hanson lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Leslie.
Dark West. Action/drama TV series. Cocreator/co-executive producer (in development)
The Eulogist. Drama feature. Writer (in development)
Illegal Guardian. Comedy/drama feature. Cowriter (in development)
Two Fathers. Action/drama feature. Writer (in development)
Exposure. HD short. Writer/associate producer (2018)
The Pre-Interview. HD short. Writer, producer, director (2014)
Closure. HD short. Writer, producer, director (2011)
Advice for New Screenwriters. Featurette. Writer, producer, director (2010)
The Gospel According to Bill. Featurette. Writer, producer, director (2010)
More Tales from the Script. Extended featurette. Writer, producer, director (2010)
Tales from the Script. Nonfiction book. Author, editor, photographer (2010)
Tales from the Script. Documentary feature. Writer, producer, director (2009)
Stagehand. DV short. Writer, producer, director (2007)
The Mourning Queen. Novella (2006)
The Mysterious Kid. Series. Treatment for client (2006)
Personal Injury. Pilot. Teleplay for client (2006)
The Last Round. Feature. Cowriter (2005)
Deathtracks. Feature. Rewrite for client (2004)
Chatham High School Film Project: Behind the Scenes. Featurette. Writer, producer, director (2002)
The Cinema of Generation X. Nonfiction book. Author (2002)
Every Pixel Tells a Story. Documentary feature. Writer, producer, director (2002)
Dalton Trumbo, Hollywood Rebel. Nonfiction book. Author (2001)