Richard Walter

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Easiness 5.0/ 5
Clarity 1.0/ 5
Workload 5.0/ 5
Helpfulness 1.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Summer 2021 - Today’s class was a big meandering lecture, with frequent stops to discuss narrative in the bible, Walter’s speaking to Christian groups, a rambling recollection of the various types of writing he’s done, including as a political writer for a neighbour who was running for mayor in LA previously, a recap of his academic career, noting his doing all but submitting for his PhD, having a terrific academic career anyway, erratic non sequitur anecdotes about life and Queens, people he’s down since the first grade, messy, chaotic discussions about Breaking Bad and other produced Hollywood or streaming (Netflix, etc) products, with very little actual instruction into the art and craft of writing screenplays. He barely comments upon the student-submitted scripts. Wastes class time by talking about non-screenwriting concepts. Think he may have pretty advanced cognitive decline. Continues to be the worst screenwriting class that I have ever taken. Richard Walter is talking about the Dodgers and money, he says that “everything is connected to everything,” (first thing that he’s said that is synchronistic, as I just was reading about the book "The Salt Eaters" which has a theme that everything is connected, the healing of the individual is connected to the healing of the community and world). Part of me is angry at wasting money, and part of me is horrified at being in the virtual “room” with this expert and getting no quality instruction, and part of me feels terribly sorry for him, his wandering lecture, lost trains of thought, and inability to communicate a quality screenwriting craft lecture. Currently, he’s repeating last week’s instruction to avoid parenthetical, to avoid directing in the action and dialogue, to avoid characterization that is not needed such as a tall character when that information is not relevant to the plot and story narrative. He advocates taking stuff away. He’s just finally getting into saying something valuable to the course, pointing out the need to learn to love throwing stuff away, cutting info, cutting out parenthetical info, the need to lose unneeded dialogue such as “we think” in the lines above where Churchill is speaking about a visit to your old school pal in Tehran. He stresses the need to minimize text including dialogue. Cutting and tightening the dialogue to get out of the writer’s way, finding the jewel of dialogue within the dialogue that is written, by cutting/cutting/cutting. This course was an utter waste of time and money. If this guy were on Yelp I would review him there to encourage people to STAY away. Do NOT spend $1650 for his screenwriting course. Good luck!
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