LOS ANGELES—Spending his Tuesday office hours meeting individually with each student in his Screenwriting II class at the University of California, Los Angeles, part-time lecturer Sam Albrecht, 33, told reporters that the eagerness and optimism in his students’ gazes had become too much for him to bear. “There’s this earnest twinkle in their eyes when they look at you, like they really believe they have a chance, and—I’m sorry, but it just tears me to pieces,” said the man who has written 20 screenplays but never had one produced. “I really don’t know if I can keep it together through another four hours of these kids talking about the third-act problems they’re so sure they can work out.” At press time, Albrecht was reportedly choking back tears as he forced himself to indulge a sophomore’s speculation about which Hollywood actors she imagined in her script’s roles, and to agree that Steven Soderbergh could indeed be a good choice for directing it.