Are Bad Students Better Artists? by Chapman University Professor Paul Joseph Gulino

Film Courage: I was watching a video the other day from an art professor speaking about how good artists tend to be bad students and he talked about how the ones who sit in the front row that are super smart and raise their hand (he says) may not be the best artists. He says it’s the one in the back with the hangover and the tortured love affair that kind of has his head down is actually really going to be fantastic. I’m wondering if the same is true for writers?

Paul Joseph Gulino, Associate Professor at Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media ArtsWell, I wouldn’t recommend having a hangover, okay? For the young people who are listening don’t self-medicate.

Film Courage: Or a tortured love affair?

Paul: Yeah…tortured love affair…a couple.

Film Courage: Get a couple under your belt and then?

Paul: Then go easy on those. But the type of student…what is interesting about that? In terms of screenwriting, in terms of the students I’ve had…I’ve had the gamut. I’ve had the ones that are on time, with their assignments…well I sit around a table so I don’t know if they’re in the front row? They are kind of in the front row and they turn in their work and really apply themselves and learn. They could be Fulbright scholars or something.

And then I’ve had the ones that are quirky and wind up surprising you with What? Where did that come from?

I think the key to a successful artists maybe comes from (and I don’t know exactly what that person was talking about) but people who take…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).



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