What Screenwriting Skills Are Hard To Learn But Pay Off Later? by Chapman University Professor Paul Joseph Gulino

Film Courage: What screenwriting skills are hard to learn but will pay off later down the line (and pay dividends)?

Paul Joseph Gulino, Associate Professor at Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts: What will make you rich? Let me tell you…Actually in the last chapter of that new book I said How George Did It, I did an analysis of STAR WARS, the title chapter was ‘How George Did It’ or ‘Can I Make 4 Billion Dollars Too.’ Or something like this but I put an asterisk ***Results Not Guaranteed.

Okay, what skills are the hardest to learn?

Film Courage: And will pay off later and not necessarily monetarily.

Paul: Pay off in terms of your artistic abilities? What’s wrong with that? A skill that is hard?

Film Courage: Maybe it’s just taking notes? Sorry, I’m interjecting.

Paul: Taking notes in terms of people giving you notes?

Film Courage: Yes, is that it’s own skill?

Paul: Well that involves listening in two ways. There is a difference between an analysis and response. Someone who gives you notes is often giving you a response. Well this didn’t work for me. And then you have to take that and filter it through analysis and figure out why isn’t it? And that certainly takes skill.

But the skill I think that’s really…it’s learning how to flesh out a character. I think that takes longer for most. Some they start with character right away. But to develop techniques by which you get a sense of who a character is and really portray them in a vivid way, that’s a skill…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Schema is like a cake with candles on it, party favors, balloons – birthday party. It’s a conceptual framework. But you have to learn those things and then they become…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


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