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Preston Mather DeFrancis

Part-Time Lecturer

Preston DeFrancis is a screenwriter, an award-winning director, and an educator.

Preston came to Los Angeles via his hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia. He began his career in development at HBO/Cinemax, where he contributed to dozens of projects, including the THE KNICK from director Steven Soderbergh and OUTCAST from Robert Kirkman. He then worked as a writer on Cinemax’s acclaimed period drama QUARRY and as script coordinator on MANHUNT: UNABOMBER, a new drama for the Discovery Channel.

He and his longtime screenwriting partner, Trysta Bissett, have collaborated on numerous screenplays and television shows, including: A TEACHER’S OBSESSION, a feature-length thriller produced by Mar Vista Entertainment that aired on Lifetime; and RUIN ME, which is also Preston’s feature directorial debut. They are currently writing AFTER THE SUMMER, a supernatural thriller.

Preston’s University of Southern California thesis film, THE BIG PRODUCTION, won a Student Emmy for Best Comedy, was selected to screen at the DGA in a program of USC’s best six films of its year, and has played at film festivals worldwide.

While at HBO, Preston won the Richard D. Parsons Award for his work with the Young Storytellers Foundation, helping underserved youth find the power of their voices through screenwriting.