School of Cinematic Arts Directory Profile

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Richard Parks

Part-Time Lecturer

Affiliated Divisions:

John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television

Rick Parks was born and raised in an idyllic small town in Vermont.   Son of songwriter C. Carson Parks (Somthin’ Stupid, Cab Driver) and nephew to screen composer and maestro Van Dyke Parks, Rick landed circuitously in the literary world, by way of a career as an actor/director/fight choreographer, in both classical and political theater.

A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University (A ‘80), Parks worked with Joe Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival, the Pittsburgh Public, The Virginia and New Jersey Shakespeare festivals, as well as numerous Off-Broadway productions.

In the 80’s he co-founded an East-Village political theater group, PINK, performing with more talented friends in New York, Edinburgh, and throughout Europe.

In 1987 he began writing for film and television, partnering with writer/director Andy Tennant, beginning with half hour television and progressing to the feature world, with the sale of CUPID to Robert De Niro’s TriBeCa film company, followed by BLABBERMOUTH (DG ent.) and THE RHYTHM METHOD (Fox).

Their first credited work was for EVER AFTER (Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston)

Due to Writer’s Guild restrictions, Parks’ extensive unaccredited writings, (with Tennant), include the Pilot for SLIDERS, TNT movie KEEP THE CHANGE (Billy Peterson, Jack Palance), IT TAKES TWO (The Olsen Twins), FOOLS RUSH IN (Matthew Perry, Salma Hayek, Jill Clayburgh), ANNA AND THE KING (Jodie Foster, Chow Yun Fat), SWEET HOME ALABAMA (Reece Witherspoon), HITCH (Will Smith), and FOOL’S GOLD (McConaghy/Hudson).

Rick (and Tennant) sold a feature to Universal Studios (for Witherspoon) called AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DATES, for which the pair was flown around the world, for months of “research”.  They've since completed THE SUMMER PEOPLE, PIPER, TILL' DEATH, HIGH CALIBER, GAP YEAR, LOVE IN MANHATTAN, and THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF SNOWBALL MCNINCH...

After co-writing an un-makeable film called THE FARTISTE, with his dear friend and USC alum Trey Callaway (CSI-NY), Rick and Callaway sold SMOKE ON THE WATER (aka Full Throttle) first to Outlaw Productions, then to Thunder Road, Rick’s also worked with fellow CMU alum, Charlie Peters (Music From Another Room).

Rick also sold the animated feature DOWN UNDER to Amazon, and has just completed THE DEBT and SMALL WORLD.

He and Tennant have recently penned drafts of NORTHERN LIGHTS and THE SECRET (Robt. Court), and are pitching TV series’ like Pez dispensers: VISIBLE, TRUST, GENESIS, TINSELTOWN, ALICE IN NEVERLAND...

An avid believer in the power of paying it forward, Rick has taught and guest lectured at the University of Texas in Los Angeles, and Carnegie Mellon. He currently teaches short film, beginning screenwriting and advanced character study at USC.