Patrick Horton – Q&A with Richard Walter on

Interview with Richard Walter, Chair of the UCLA Screenwriting Program
By Patrick A. Horton, PhD
the story coach / wind & thunder productions

I met with Richard Walter, legendary chair of UCLA’s screenwriting program in anticipation of the release of his new book, Essentials of Screenwriting (available in stores now). The notion of interviewing him came up in a telephone conversation about trends in the industry in teaching, creating, and promoting story as well as his impending return as a revered speaker at the Screenwriting Expo in October. I looked forward to the encounter in its own right, and felt privileged to be able to help promote one of the enduringly influential and important voices in our industry – in part because I very much agree with so much of what he has to say and think it important to be heard.

Anyone who has ever spoken with him knows in advance, it was a wide ranging and occasionally careening conversation with an expansive mind at its peak and a heart so full of passion for what he does. He often speaks with hands raised and gesturing as though conducting a symphony of words and images, a genuine love of story filling the room. I share the following portions of that conversation not so much just to promote a single book (as singularly important as it is), but as a reminder of the importance of the voice behind it and as an additional reminder to heed its timeless and timely dedication to story, craft, and the enduring essentials of narrative. All I can say is, you should have been there. This is truly a man who takes delight in story, our industry, and guiding others through their intertwined personal and professional journeys of life, craft, and creativity.

Read the full interview with Richard Walter.

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