William R.

Tarzana, CA


1100 Five Star Reviews! Top 100 Tutor Nationwide for 2015

3500+ Hours
Background check passed as of 4/13/15
5.0 average from 1239 ratings
unbelievably great teacher!
— Nicholas, La Canada Flintridge, CA on 10/18/16


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Harvard College


Harvard College (English)

USC (Master's)

About William

Holidays 2017/2018: I'm in India, Nepal, Thailand until Jan. 14. Available to work on-line, but please excuse gaps in internet access.

SEPTEMBER, 2017: Congratulations to my 5 students who got 750 or above in Reading/Writing on the August SAT!!!

Spring 2017: Congratulations: Tryggvi-- $50,000 scholarship to Columbia University School of Journalism! Lydia-- acceptance: Dartmouth, NYU! Tina-- acceptance at UC Berkeley! Joey-- Gallatin/NYU!

April, 2016: Congratulations to my college counseling students accepted at Brown, Georgetown, UCLA, and UC Berkeley! JULY 2016: Congratulations to Nick: 5 on AP Euro!

Summer 2015: Congratulations to two students who got 4 and 5 on AP Euro and Lit! April 2015: Congratulations to Miye on acceptance at WILLIAMS! And to Emaan, on acceptance at UC BERKELEY!

March 20, 2015: Congratulations SAT students Alice and Lisa on acceptances at Dartmouth and Northwestern.


Dec. 28. Congratulations to two students who have received over $50,000 in scholarship offers!!

May, 2014: Congratulations Marcia on acceptance at Claremont-Mckenna! Congratulations Rachel on full tuition at UC SD!


February, 2014: Congratulations Erica on $40G scholarship to NYU!

Oct. 24, 2013: Congratulations to Gor on perfect 800s on both SAT Critical Reading and Writing!!!

Aug/Sept. 2013: 200 mile monsoon trek in the Nepal Himalayas..

June 2013: Congratulations Marcia on 5s -- AP US History and AP English Language.
June 2013: Congratulations J. on transfer to Carnegie Mellon!

Feb. 2013: One of my 8th graders just got a 2270 on the real SAT--perfect 800 on Critical Reading!

Great test scores are terrific-- and I love helping kids get them-- but if students devote their teen years only to cramming for tests, when are they going to have time to become remarkable individuals, unique, creative, and fun? Indeed, when are they going to become the kind of students top colleges actually want?

The truth is, one of the best ways to score well on standardized tests is to be a person with great intellectual curiosity, with wide interests, who reads a broad range of challenging subjects. The best kind of tutoring isn't about narrowing a student into a robot, but about opening him/her up into a thinker.

About me:

After graduating in English from Harvard, I worked for a talent and literary agency in Hollywood, reading screenplays for the agents of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Ridley Scott. Later, I was in charge of literary development for a producer at 20th Century-Fox, where I worked with the writers of plays like "The Producers" and scripts like "Spiderman." Meanwhile, I was developing my own skills as a writer, eventually launching a film of my own, starring Oscar winners Patricia Arquette and Frances McDormand, which was released by Columbia Pictures and nominated for the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

I moved to Europe for 13 years, where I worked as a translator for Art History books and for television. I continued to work in the film industry; for five years I was under contract to New Line Cinema, writing for the Executive Producer of "Lord of the Rings." Returning to the States, I have spent the past several years developing an original drama about Robert Kennedy in consultation with several of the late Senator's closest friends and colleagues.

In order to have the means necessary to write independently of a film studio, I launched a second career as an educator. I am now Associate Professor at Columbia College Hollywood, a WASC Accredited film school, where I teach advanced college writing and courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences. I'm also Secretary of the Academic Council.

Having been blessed with great students, I have been blessed with wonderful letters from them:

You happen to be one of the most intelligent, well-spoken, and funny teachers I have ever had the privilege of studying under." "Your class was aimed to raise creative blending and thinking." "Since taking your class I can honestly say that I am a better person, intellectually and spiritually." "You inspired me to try many new things!"

Alongside my college lecturing, I have developed a thriving tutoring business. In 2012 I was one of the top 100 tutors at Wyzant-- out of 40,000 nationwide.

I do not teach "tricks." I expect the student to be ready to work. The SAT is not an intelligence test; it is a test of a set of intellectual skills which can be developed by the average student. These skills are not especially "difficult" on a cognitive level, but a certain degree of motivation and application is essential.

Alongside the SAT, I tutor ACT, AP History (Euro/U.S.), English, Art History, and have had excellent results providing editing/consultation for my students' College Applications. I will not write your essays, but I can steer you towards a presentation which can give you your best shot. In my own case, I was not rejected from any of the colleges to which I applied, and was accepted by Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Stanford, and U.C. Berkeley. (O.K, I was wait-listed at Princeton.)

I am fluent in Italian and work regularly as a translator. My clients have included major film/TV producers and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I am an avid photographer, and have worked professionally; the highlight was two tours with the Irish rock band, U2. I've traveled extensively in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Pacific and Asia, in 2013 completing one of the first circuits of the remote and rugged Tsum Valley/Manaslu regions of the Himalayas during the monsoon.
Holidays 2017/2018: I'm in India, Nepal, Thailand until Jan. 14. Available to work on-line, but please excuse gaps in internet access.

SEPTEMBER, 2017: Congratulations to my 5 students who got 750 or above in Reading/Writing on the August SAT!!!

Spring 2017: Congratulations: Tryggvi-- $50,000 scholarship to Columbia
Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 30 miles of Tarzana, CA 91356
Background Check: Passed

"unbelievably great teacher!"

- Nicholas, La Canada Flintridge, CA on 10/18/16

"Transformed my essays for the better!"

- Jennifer, West Hills, CA on 11/28/17

"A brilliant instructor"

- May, Richmond, VA on 11/17/17

"Knowledgeable SAT tutor"

- Shonney, Valley Village, CA on 10/9/17

"Excellent tutor! Results are amazing!"

- Tanya, Studio City, CA on 5/31/17

"Extremely knowledgeable and fantastic tutor"

- Lily, Los Angeles, CA on 5/1/17

"Very Helpful"

- Jill, San Marino, CA on 4/22/17

"Great and knowledgeable tutor!"

- Dani, Santa Clarita, CA on 11/22/16

"Efficient and knowledgeable!"

- Nnogo, Marina Del Rey, CA on 11/2/16

"Excellent tutor"

- Shirley, Whippany, NJ on 8/10/16

"Great and very experienced Tutor"

- Randa, Westlake Village, CA on 8/7/16


- Ana-maria, North Hollywood, CA on 7/28/15

"Versatile, experienced tutor"

- Benjapon, Stevenson Ranch, CA on 7/7/15

"Beyond expectation :)"

- Anjalee, Malibu, CA on 4/7/15

"A Renaissance Man!!"

- Juan, Beverly Hills, CA on 3/5/15

"Exactly what I need"

- Janet, Westlake Village, CA on 5/9/14

"Perfect Tutor"

- Gor, Reseda, CA on 11/24/13

"Very effective tutor!"

- Susan, Woodland Hills, CA on 5/1/13

"Worth his weight in gold!"

- Daniel, Agoura Hills, CA on 11/3/12

"William is an excellent SAT and English tutor."

- GS, Oak Park, CA on 10/8/12
Music History
Art History, Photography
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, Grammar, Literature, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Reading, College Counseling,
SAT Reading, SAT Writing
Italian, Reading, Writing
American History, Art History, European History, Music History,
World History, Writing
Special Needs:
Elementary Education:
Grammar, Reading, Vocabulary, Writing

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

College Counseling

I have over five years experience counseling students on the college application process, from test prep to college selection, as well as guidance on the essay. I consider the college selection process as a part of education itself. When a student views the many programs of study available, it can open him/her up to the many possibilities life itself offers.

Too often today students are not even aware of the tradition of liberal arts education, falling into a pattern of applying only to "brand names" they or their parents are already familiar with.

That said, students I have advised have been accepted at Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Amherst, Williams, U. Penn, Columbia, Carnegie-Mellon, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Claremont McKenna, and other top schools.

Music History

I teach Humanities courses at the college level-- including the history of Romanticism, which includes the music of Berlioz, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius, and Mahler. I have personally met some of the most important figures in classical music of the past half-century, including Artur Rubinstein (considered by many the greatest Chopin interpreter of the 20th Century, friend of Ravel and Stravinsky), Yehudi Menuhin (perhaps the greatest violin prodigy of the 20th century, who collaborated with Sir Edward Elgar and many others). I have attended concerts by all of the most important orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and Concertgebouw of Amsterdam. I have personally discussed both composers and performance practice with such leading contemporary figures as Esa Pekka Salonen, Helene Grimaud, Andrew Von Oeyen, and Emmanuel Villaume, music director of the Dallas Opera and popular conductor also at the Lyric Opera, Chicago, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Met. At the Village at Northridge I have led a popular course on Romanticism in Music for over 4 years. I studied the piano in my youth, but was content to quit after learning Mozart's 23rd Piano, Concerto, which remains perhaps my favorite work. At Wyzant, I am one of the top tutors in Los Angeles; indeed, during the first week of May, 2015, briefly I was #1 out of more than 4,000. I have more than 600 five-star ratings.


My photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including TIME, PREMIERE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, ROLLING STONE, and CONDE NAST TRAVELER. My photographs of the Indian subcontinent and the Himalayas of Nepal were exhibited in a one-man show at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. I've worked on film sets and music videos with Oscar winner Frances McDormand, Emmy winner Patricia Arquette, Aerosmith, Madonna, Val Kilmer, Grace Jones, U2, and many others. One of my photos of Bono is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Also, my photography of U2 is a significant part of the beautiful coffee table book: U2 SHOW.

As a production still photographer, I have worked on film sets from Italy to Malaysia. These days I mostly shoot nature, most recently (2011/2012) in the Greek Islands, Swiss Alps, Burgundy, the Eastern Sierra, and the Yasawa Islands, Fiji. I'm a good teacher-- and have led several filmmaking classes with kids for Star Education, a leading provider of Enrichment Services and Gifted/Talented programs.

Harvard College


Harvard College (English)

USC (Master's)

unbelievably great teacher!

William is able to communicate the key concepts of AP European History and AP US History to my teenage son in a conversational tone that captivated him. Our son got a 5 on the AP European History exam after 2 months with William. (US history is for 2017)

— Nicholas, La Canada Flintridge, CA on 10/18/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $105.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

William will travel within 30 miles of Tarzana, CA 91356.