His background as a history teacher helped Jeremy Pikser hook up with writer-director-star Warren Beatty in the early 1980s when the latter was developing his epic biopic of journalist John Reed. He assisted Beatty in locating many of the "witnesses" who appeared on-screen in the film offering testaments and reminiscences of Reed, Louise Bryant and the early Communist Party. "Reds" proved a fruitful ground for Pikser: he later collaborated on a book with screenwriter Trevor Griffiths (1987's "Real Dreams and Revolution in Cleveland") and contributed to the script of the pallid Diane Keaton vehicle "The Lemon Sisters" (1990). Beatty, however, provided the writer with one of his best opportunities, tapping him to collaborate on the script for the political satire "Bulworth" (1998), about an unhappy US Senator who hires a hitman to kill him and then has second thoughts after meeting a beautiful and outspoken young woman. While the film was not the box-office champ it was hoped it would be, it did pull in many favorable notices from critics. At the year's end, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association cited the script for "Bulworth" as the year's best, sparking talk of an Oscar nomination.