headshot photo of Robert Naturman

Robert Naturman

Lecturer
Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

Biography

From New York originally (being from New York is not where you’re from, it’s what you are), Long Island specifically, Robert Naturman went to NYU his freshman year to study acting with Lee Strasberg, before transferring to UCLA.  After school, he returned to New York, performing in plays and on soap operas and commercials. Naturman wrote several plays, including Close Enough to Touch, and a one-man show, Waking Up Thirty which he performed at several theaters and performance spaces all over New York and the east coast.  This would eventually transition into standup comedy - which was great until his daughter, Isabel, was born, and spending five days at places like the Comedy Hole in Poughkeepsie kind of lost its allure.  Pretty soon, he was spending far more time writing and far less time performing.  He wrote a TV spec script which a manager friend sent to his client, a producer of a show in Los Angeles who suggested strongly that Naturman come out to Los Angeles and pursue television writing.  He was hired as a writer’s assistant and pitched a show which they had him write, but the program was cancelled, having only aired twelve episodes, and not the one he wrote.   

He heard about a job where people actually got paid for reading scripts (?!) and soon began working in the industry as a script reader/story analyst, then development person and consultant.  About ten thousand scripts, novels, treatments later, Naturman continues to work with studios, agencies, production companies and writers.  On the side, he worked as a personal trainer, working mostly with actors and other creative professionals, and soon began to incorporate the motivational techniques and goal oriented ethos of physical training with the creative process. Science has now proven, as he always suspected, that exercise most certainly works effectively in the process for the writer.  The program he developed is called Script Gym, which is a 90-day program to get writers and their scripts in the best possible shape.

After graduate school at USC, where he wrote and directed over a dozen short films, including the award-winning, Open Mike (2005), Naturman continued to work with companies, directors and writers from around the world.  Divorce Invitation (2013) with Elliott Gould, Paul Sorvino and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, which he wrote was a co-production with an Indian-based production company, a Tollywood-based writer and U.S. cast. He is currently working with an Italian production team on an American-based horror film. 

Naturman continues to write and consult for production companies, and most of his writing time is as a script doctor, working on scripts in development or production that usually need some work.  His greatest satisfaction has always come from, and continues to come from teaching, which he has done for several years. The greatest thing he hopes to find from students and in scripts is to be surprised, to go above expectations, to make him and everyone else see things differently than they ever have before.  He continues to find that and it makes reading, writing, and teaching scripts continually exciting.