Peter R.J. Deyell is an American filmmaker, with a diverse background in movies, television, radio and theatre, including acting, writing, directing and producing. He grew up wanting to learn everything about show business so he has credits in many different areas.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Deyell began his career in show business as a child, when he auditioned for the role of Tiny Tim, in an NBC musical version of A Christmas Carol, starring Basil Rathbone as Scrooge. Deyell did not get the part, but Rathbone was so impressed with the youngster that he put him in touch with his talent agent. That introduction eventually led to roles for Deyell on the New York stage with the likes of Steve Allen, Eve Arden, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Ethel Merman, Nat "King" Cole, Edward Mulhare, Mary Martin, Victor Borge, Robert Q. Lewis, Pat Boone, Patrice Munsel, and Jimmy Rogers.
During the last phase of live television in the late 1950s, Deyell performed on the NBC series Frontiers of Faith including Moon Flight #1, and Above All Liberties. He appeared in many TV commercials and skits on the NBC broadcast of The Patti Page Show. He also played the Son, in the live television series Sid Caesar Invites You, which starred Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, and was written by Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks and Neil Simon.
Deyell's first feature film, as an actor, was Paramount Pictures' That Kind of Woman with Tab Hunter and Sophia Loren, produced by Carlo Ponti and directed by Sidney Lumet. On NBC's Shirley Temple's Storybook series, Deyell performed in productions of Kim, The Prince and the Pauper, and Madeline. As a young adult, he portrayed Peter on the TV series Mr. Novak starring James Franciscus. He had his first screen kiss in the Sam Katzman feature of the Hank Williams biopic Your Cheatin' Heart, which co-starred George Hamilton and Susan Oliver. He also had a recurring role as the character Mr. Muscles on the Emmy Award-winning TV series Dusty's Attic (a.k.a. Dusty's Treehouse).
When Deyell was a teenager, he moved with his family to Los Angeles, and began working on an independent film with a group of friends. A story about the project in The Hollywood Reporter caught the attention of a young director named Steven Spielberg. Spielberg contacted Deyell, and hired him as assistant director on a short film that Spielberg was directing, Slipstream, starring Tony Bill. Slipstream was never completed, but through that association, Deyell introduced Spielberg to cinematographer Allen Daviau, who later teamed up with Spielberg to shoot several critically acclaimed films such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Color Purple, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and others.
Deyell continued acting, and was signed as a contract player at 20th Century Fox Television. While there, he shot a test pilot for the original TV series Batman, in which he auditioned for the role of Robin, with Lyle Waggoner as Batman. Unfortunately for Deyell, the role of Robin went to actor Burt Ward, although Deyell's screen test can still be seen in the documentaries Holy Batmania and Hollywood Screen Tests: Take One produced by Kevin Burns. Warner’s Home Entertainment is releasing a BluRay version. Later, Deyell was cast in the recurring role of the Delivery Boy on the long-running prime time soap opera Santa Barbara. He also appeared on the hit TV series Newhart. Deyell's acting career was temporarily interrupted when he served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, eventually working his way up to the rank of First Class Petty Officer. He later accepted a commission and served with distinction as a U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Officer. Deyell is a life member of the Reserve Officers Association.
He is an Eagle Scout with Palms and is a Life Member of the National Eagle Scouts Association.
In his 20s, Deyell began to transition from acting to production jobs behind the camera, including positions in make-up, assistant directing and directing. At age 20, he was the youngest vice president of production in motion picture history at Cinevest International, one of several production companies at General Service Studios in Hollywood. There, he was responsible for up to five feature films in development and production simultaneously.
Deyell's first experimental film, The Diabolical Destiny, starred Elizabeth Baur (Ironside) Jonathan West, ASC (director of photography for Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Janice Fisher (writer of Lost Boys). For Deyell's first feature film, he produced, adapted and directed Elaine May's Not Enough Rope starring Zalman King (Red Shoe Diaries), Florence Lake (Lassie), and Sandy Brown (General Hospital). Other feature films included Zoo Ship, The Ghost Dance, and the documentary Meet John Wooden. Deyell directed the feature film Lucky Angel, starring Betsy Monroe (Mrs. Doubtfire), Robert Abrams (Hot Springs Hotel), and Ted Kurtz (Howard the Duck) which was released theatrically in Europe. Another feature was The Kidz Who Knew Too Much for Phantom Scotsman Films LLC, for producers George McIndoe (The Bank Job) and Heidi Crane (Thirteen Conversations About One Thing). As one of the producers of the feature film Road to Nowhere, Monte Hellman (Two Lane Blacktop) was awarded a Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival.
As a writer, producer and director, Deyell has worked on over 100 commercials and music videos with musical artists such as The Commodores, WAR, Electric Light Orchestra, Paul Anka, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Smoky Robinson, Michael Jackson, Rufus, Chaka Kahn and Helen Reddy. His network television credits include Chips, Hunter, Remington Steele, Matlock, as well as movies of the week and mini-series such as World War III, Rage and Evita: First Lady starring Faye Dunaway. Additionally, Deyell has sold a total of 13 screenplays. His novel, Quest for the Golden Griffin was published and he is working on his second novel, A Brenda Bodacious Mystery: Death at Dawn.
Deyell served as president of the Panamanian production company PanAm FilmWorks, for which he packaged a series of horror/adventure features to be filmed in Panama. He had also been working with Panamanian officials to develop an international film school to be based in Panama City. He currently serves as Chief Creative Officer and President of WorldWide Production at American Biograph Films. Their latest project is a documentary on Milt Larsen, Mr. Magic Castle.
Deyell is a member of SAG-AFTRA, Actors Equity Association (AEA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Directors Guild of Great Britain, the Directors Guild of France (Société des Réalisateurs de Films,) Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (Broadway), the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP.) In his capacity as a member of the DGA, Deyell served on the organizations Special Projects Committee, the Creative Rights Committee, and the Contract Negotiations Committee. He was one of the charter founders of The Artists Rights Foundation, with J. Paul Getty, Jr., Steven Spielberg, Allen Daviau,ASC, Frank Pierson, Arthur Hiller, Sydney Pollack, Gene Reynolds, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese. The Artists Rights Foundation has since merged with Martin Scorsese's The Film Foundation.
Deyell is the former artistic director of Center Stage Theatre in Los Angeles, where he helmed sold-out productions of A Funny Thing Happened On The WayTo The Forum, Anything Goes, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Once In A Lifetime, A Shot In The Dark, and Plaza Suite. He has been a guest lecturer/director at the American Film Institute and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Deyell's projects have garnered many nominations, awards and honors including The Walter Elias Disney Award, The Atlanta Film Festival, The Chicago Film Festival, The Bronze Eagle Award, The Bronze Halo Award, the 1995, 1996, and 1997 International ANGEL Awards (for Motion Picture Screenplay), and the 1996 International TELE Award for Music Video.
His friends and mentors have included Steven Spielberg (Jaws), Frank Capra (It’s A Wonderful Life), Frank Capra, Jr.(CEO of EUE Screen Gems), David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia), Arthur Hiller (Love Story), Elliot Silverstein (Cat Ballou), John Frankenheimer (Ronin), Andre de Toth, (House of Wax – best 3-D movie) Allen Daviau, ASC (E.T.) Sheldon Leonard (The Andy Griffith Show), and Robert Wise (West Side Story). Additionally he has worked with Alfred Hitchcock (Torn Curtain), Franklin J. Schaffner (Planet of the Apes), Marvin J. Chomsky (Evita: First Lady), and Robert Butler (Remington Steele).
His films have been screened at film festivals around the world including: Cannes International Film Festival, France Venice Film Festival, Italy Viennale, Austria Brisbane International Film Festival, Australia Palm Springs International Film Festival, USA, Off Screen Film Festival, Belgium CPH:PIX, Denmark Buenos Aires Independent International Film Festival, Argentina Bildrausch Film Fest Basel, Switzerland Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czech Republic Galway Film Festival, Ireland Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, South Korea Oldenburg International Film Festival, Germany Sitges Film Festival, Spain Ljubljana International Film Festival, Slovenia Cineuropa Film Festival, Spain Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijon, Spain Unknown Pleasures American Film Festival, Germany Riviera Maya Film Festival, Mexico National Arts Festival, South Africa LINKS:
Peter Deyell () at the Internet Movie Database
Holy Batmania () at the Internet Movie Database
Hollywood Screen Tests: Take One () at the Internet Movie Database
Lyle Waggoner/Peter Deyell Screentest for Batman TV Series (?v=7Vpl-eO6Tik)
Don't Do Drugs music video (?search_query=sane+kids+say+no+to+drugs+and+gangs&se arch_type=&aq=f)
Robert Wise's 90th birthday celebration (http://www.dga.org/news/dgamonthly1104/evnt_wise-1104.php3)
Director's Guild tribute to Costa-Gavras (http://www.dga.org/news/v27_6/images/dganews_mar03/gravras_full.html)
List of celebrities and other famous people who served in the U.S. Coast Guard (http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/celeb.html)
Imagiflix Studios ()
Tanja L. Couch. 100 Careers in Film and Television. Barron's. ISBN 0764121642.
Vincent LoBrutto. Principal Photography: Interviews With Feature Film Cinematographers. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275949559.
Meet John Wooden
Film (Documentary) Production manager Add a Plot »
Film (Horror and Thriller) Miscellaneous Crew Racism collides with corporate greed when nine strangers - one of whom has a bomb - become trapped in a Wall Street elevator.
Road to Nowhere
Film (Romance and Thriller) Production manager There's a murky tenuous balance between reality and fiction; particularly when it involves a beautiful young woman, murder, a powerful politico, a missing fortune and suicide. A passionate filmmaker creating a film based upon a true crime casts an unknown mysterious young woman bearing a disturbing resemblance to the femme fatale in the story. Unsuspectingly, he finds himself drawn into a complex web of haunting intrigue, obsessed with the woman, the crime, her possibly notorious past and the disturbing complexity between art and truth. From the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to Verona, Rome and London, new truths are revealed and clues to other crimes and passions, darker and even more complex are uncovered. Written by Anonymous
Television (Drama and Reality-TV) Production manager Each season, series producers choose a diverse group of seven to eight people in their late teens to mid-20s to live together in a major city. The series presents their spontaneous, unscripted interactions with one another and the world around them, focusing on a different group and city each season. Written by Eric Sorensen
The Real World Awards Bash
Film (Reality-TV) Production manager Add a Plot »
The Three Amigas
Film (Short, Comedy and Romance) Producer Julie, Allison and Anna meet for drinks after Anna's horrific date. A few 'shots' and bad dating stories later, Prince Charming walks in and the girls are revived, but only for a moment.
Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 1
Film (Documentary) Archive footage Add a Plot »
The Annual Artists Rights Foundation Honors Martin Scorsese
Film (Reality-TV) Producer Add a Plot »
Film (Comedy) Director A young man moves to Los Angeles, and after finding it tough to make it there, he decides to board with his rich uncle. Comedy ensues when the young man learns what his uncle does for a living!
The Annual Artist Rights Foundation Honors Steven Spielberg
Film (Reality-TV) Producer Add a Plot »
Film Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Add a Plot »
The Annual Artists Rights Foundation Gala
Film (Reality-TV) Producer Add a Plot »
Television (Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery and 1 More) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Detective Sergeant Rick Hunter and his partner, Sergeant Dee Dee McCall, are homicide investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department. Often they must go undercover to catch a variety of L.A.-style villains. "Sporty" James, a helpful police-informant, occasionally provides a bit of humor in this action-drama T.V. series. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Film (Documentary and Short) Archive footage Using behind-the-scenes footage, home movies and rare TV commercials and network promos, this video profiles Batman through the years from its beginnings as a comic book to the successful 1960s TV series.
Television (Drama and Romance) Actor In Santa Barbara, California, the fascinating and tumultuous life of the rich Capwells around who gravitate other families, from the Lockridges, the rival family, to the Andrades or the Perkins, more modest families but which destinies know the same torments. Written by Anonymous
Television (Crime, Drama and Mystery) Miscellaneous Crew "Matlock" features criminal defense attorney Ben Matlock seeking to prove the innocence of his client as he takes on his/her case, of which most involve murders. He does this with the help of a team of people, which changed from season to season but included over the years Conrad McMasters, daughter Charlene Matlock, and Cliff Lewis. Written by grwallace
Film (Sci-Fi) Production manager A spaceship carrying specimens from all over the universe--a sort of alien "Noah's Ark"--crash-lands on Earth.
Pray for Death
Film (Action, Crime, Drama and Thriller) Production manager Akira Saito, a Japanese businessman lives in Tokyo with his Japanese-American wife Aiko and their children, Takeshi and Tomoya. When the family has a chance to move to the United States so that Aiko can teach the children about their American heritage, they pack up and head for Houston, Texas and run a restaurant. This is where the trouble begins. A band of crooked cops store stolen goods in the back room of the restaurant and unknown to the Saitos family, a priceless necklace (the Van Atta necklace), is wanted by a local syndicate. When one of the dirty cops decide to take the necklace for himself, the syndicate goes after the previous owner of the restaurant, then after the Saitos'. When one of the boys is kidnapped by top thug Limehouse, Akira quietly rescues him. However, when Aiko and Tomoya are run down by Limehouse in an effort to get the necklace, Akira has had enough. For years, Akira has kept a dark secret. Akira finally decides to unleash his dark side. Written by kinnikuman12195
World War III
Film (Drama and Thriller) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director In 1987, Soviet paratroopers drop into Alaska to sabotage the oil pipeline in retaliation against a United States grain embargo. A skirmish occurs at a pumping station, lightly defended by Col. Jake Caffey and a National Guard recon unit. A stalemate ensues while the possibility of World War III hangs in the balance. The danger escalates as the Soviet premier and the U.S. President play a cat-and-mouse game. Written by Herman Seifer <email@example.com>
Television (Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime and 4 More) Production manager Private eye Laura Holt grudgingly accepts a new partner when a mystery man assumes the identity of her fictitious boss, Remington Steele. Together, the two battle crime as their feelings for each other. Written by Melissa Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Ghost Dance
Film (Horror and Thriller) Producer The spirit of a long-dead warrior possesses the body of an Indian medicine man and turns him into a homicidal maniac.
Film (Drama and History) Production manager Aspiring actress Eva Duarte rises from a minor celebrity to the wife of a powerful Argentine dictator, but her all consuming fiery rage, ambition, and hatred eventually become her downfall.
Television (Crime, Drama and Mystery) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director "CHiPs," which stood for California Highway Patrol, followed the daily beats of two state motorcycle patrolmen as they patrolled the freeway system in and around Los Angeles. Officer Jon Baker was the straight, serious officer while Frank "Ponch" Poncherello was the more free- wheeling member of the duo; both reported to Sgt. Joe Getraer, who gave out assignments and advice in handling the cases. Each episode saw a compilation of incidents, ranging from the humorous (e.g., a stranded motorist) to criminal investigations (such as hijackings) and tragic incidents (such as a fiery multi-car pile-up with multiple deaths. Other aspects of Ponch and Jon's daily work were highlighted as well; the social lives of both officers (they were both single) often provided the lighter moments. On occassion, Ponch and Jon were assisted by a female "Chippie" at first, the very beautiful Sindy Cahill; and later, the more wholesome Bonnie Clark. In 1982, Ponch got a new partner, Bobby Nelson (series star... Written by Brian Rathjen <email@example.com>
Film (Drama) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director In an attempt to be rehabilitated, a rapist goes to therapy while in prison.
Nick and the Dobermans
Film (Crime and Drama) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Add a Plot »
The Clonus Horror
Film (Horror, Romance and Sci-Fi) Producer A young man escapes from a government-run project called 'Clonus' only to find out that Jeff Knight (Peter Graves), a presidential candidate, is conspiring to keep Clonus a secret. Top government officials are aware of it and support the super-secret project, because they are cloning themselves to live longer and better lives at the expense of their slave-like clone counterparts. Ethical and moral values are explored as the escapee known as Richard (Tim Donnelly) returns to Clonus, only to find his girlfriend lobotomized for government security purposes. Written by Mary Lou Tringali / G3K
Film (Action, Crime, Drama and War) Makeup Department After being left for dead, the man is rescued by two Japanese soldiers, living on a remote island, who teach him the ways of the samurai. Upon returning to the USA, he quickly exacts a bloody revenge on his tormentors and reunite with his wife and son.
KNBC-It's Your Turn
Television (News) Producer Add a Plot »
Massacre at Central High
Film (Drama and Thriller) Makeup Department David is the new kid at Central High. The only person he knows is Mark, who runs with the local toughs led by Bruce. Mark and David share a bond from years before when David came to Mark's aid when Mark was being beaten by school bullies. David keeps his distance, preferring not to join the "club." He tries to convince the other students not to be pushed around, and intervenes once too often on their behalf. When he directly becomes a victim of Bruce's gang, David orchestrates a plan that causes an attrition problem among the members of the clique. Mark worries for his safety, even though he and David were once friends. Written by Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Film (Drama) Makeup Department Mature, stable Jesse, his nutty and impulsive longtime best friend Pat, Jesse's caring fiancé Kathy, and Pat's fragile gal pal Jo Ella all decide to embark on a cross country road trip in a Winnebago prior to facing the challenges of encroaching adulthood. Relationships between everyone become increasingly strained as things take a turn for the worse and the journey turns into a severely bum trip for everyone involved. Written by Woodyanders
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
Film (Action, Adventure and Sci-Fi) Makeup Department Brent is an American astronaut, part of a team sent to locate missing fellow American astronaut, George Taylor. Following Taylor's known flight trajectory, the search and rescue team crash lands on an unknown planet much like Earth in the year 3955, with Brent being the only survivor of the team. What Brent initially does not know, much like Taylor didn't initially know when he landed here before Brent, is that he has landed back on Earth in the future, in the vicinity of what was New York City. Brent finds evidence that Taylor has been on the planet. In Brent's search for Taylor, he finds that the planet is run by a barbaric race of English speaking apes, whose mission is in part to annihilate the human race. Brent eventually locates some of those humans, who communicate telepathically and who live underground to prevent detection by the apes. These humans, who are in their own way as barbaric as the apes, want in turn to protect their species. Brent has to figure out a way to save ... Written by Huggo
Film (Western) Makeup Department A woman tracks down the three men who raped her, helped by an Apache.
Film (Drama) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Bikers terrorize a small town.
Television Actor A live action series featuring "Dusty" and his puppet friends as they embark on their weekly adventures. Periodic guests also show up.
Ice Station Zebra
Film (Adventure and Thriller) Makeup Department Commander James Ferraday, USN, has new orders: get David Jones, a British civilian, Captain Anders, a tough Marine with a platoon of troops, Boris Vasilov, a friendly Russian, and the crew of the nuclear sub USS Tigerfish to the North Pole to rescue the crew of Drift Ice Station Zebra, a weather station at the top of the world. The mission takes on new and dangerous twists as the crew finds out that all is not as it seems at Zebra, and that someone will stop at nothing to prevent the mission from being completed. Written by Steve Fenwick <email@example.com>
Planet of the Apes
Film (Adventure and Sci-Fi) Makeup Department Taylor and two other astronauts come out of deep hibernation to find that their ship has crashed. Escaping with little more than clothes they find that they have landed on a planet where men are pre-lingual and uncivilized while apes have learned speech and technology. Taylor is captured and taken to the city of the apes after damaging his throat so that he is silent and cannot communicate with the apes. Written by John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Film (Short) Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Short story about group of people addicted to drug,fans of rock group Slipstream.
Film (Action, Adventure, Drama and War) Makeup Department Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their own sadistic commander than from the rebellious Arabs. Written by Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Film (Thriller) Makeup Department Professor Michael Armstrong is heading to Copenhagen to attend a physics conference accompanied by his assistant-fiancée Sarah Sherman. Once arrived however, Michael informs her that he may be staying for awhile and she should return home. She follows him and realizes he's actually heading to East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain. She follows him there and is shocked when he announces that he's defecting to the East after the US government canceled his research project. In fact, Michael is there to obtain information from a renowned East German scientist. Once the information is obtained, he and Sarah now have to make their way back to the West. Written by garykmcd
Television (Drama) Actor The experiences of a young, tough-minded, idealistic high school English teacher on his first job provided the stories in this series. John Novak begins at Jefferson High School in Los Angeles under Principal Albert Vane, who doesn't always agree with Novak's approach, but admires his dedication to teaching. Eventually, Vane is elected to state superintendent and Martin Woodridge becomes the new principal. Stories centered on the life of Novak, student-teacher relationships, and the struggles of other young teachers. Written by Amy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Your Cheatin' Heart
Film (Biography, Drama and Music) Actor The story of the country and western singer Hank Williams.
Shirley Temple's Storybook
Television (Family, Fantasy and Romance) Actor Shirley Temple's Storybook is an American children's anthology series hosted and narrated by actress Shirley Temple.
That Kind of Woman
Film (Drama, Romance and War) Actor In June 1944, Kay and Jane travel on an overnight train from Miami to New York, accompanied by Harry. Kay is the mistress of "The Man", a rich industrialist, whom they are to meet so that they can help entertain an important general. Red, a young paratrooper on leave, picks up Kay in the club car, while his buddy Kelly goes off with Jane. Kay assumes she will not see Red again, but Jane gives Kelly their New York address. Kay is smitten with Red as they spend the day in New York, and Red invites her to meet him on the evening train to visit his family. Written by Will Gilbert
Frontiers of Faith
Television Actor An NBC network live broadcast from their studios at Rockerfeller Center, New York City, dramatizing non-denominational stories of faith.
Sid Caesar Invites You
Television (Comedy) Actor Add a Plot »
The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show
Television (Music) Actor The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show was a variety TV series including musical acts hosted by Patti Page. The series ran for one season from 1958-1959.
Film (Thriller) Producer While observing the Presidential election in Romania, a U.S. Congressional staff member is kidnapped by Communist rebels and held captive in the Carpathian Mountains. The victim's boss, Congressman Richard Thompson, learns the abduction may be linked to the theft of an historic object from the U.S. Capitol. As he investigates, Thompson becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which lines between good and evil are blurred. With the control of Eastern Europe hanging in the balance, the idealistic Thompson discovers a dark side of international politics, and is forced to compromise his values in an effort to save a life, and perhaps much more.