Conservatory of Performing Arts

Screenwriting Major Learns the Craft of Writing a Script and Storytelling at Point Park

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Pictured is screenwriting major Paige N. Staudt. Photo | Shayna Mendez

Meet Paige N. Staudt

MajorScreenwriting
Expected graduation: May 2018
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa. 
High school: Fox Chapel Area High School
Internship held: Literary Intern, Pittsburgh CLO
Scholarship from Point ParkArtistic Achievement Award
Hobbies/interests: Writing, singing, acting, blogging, musical theatre and anything that's related to Disney.
LinkedInPaige Staudt

"Paige is one of the most talented students we've ever had in the program. Hardworking, smart, funny and serious, a fine writer and dedicated to her craft. She is a pleasure to teach and I predict great things for her future."

-- Steve Cuden, assistant professor


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"The screenwriting program at Point Park has taught me so many important, intricate details on not only the craft of writing a script, but the craft of storytelling as a whole, as well as how the cinema industry works."

-- Paige Staudt


What factors led you to pursue a degree in screenwriting at Point Park University?

As a childhood fan of movies and writing, I found screenwriting to be my calling. Finding universities with a degree in that specific field is rather limiting, especially when you're all the way across the coast from most of the universities that offer it. Not only finding, but being accepted into Point Park — a school close to my hometown that offered my major — was as much of a relief as it was an exhilarating moment in my life.

As a junior, tell us about key experiences you've had in the screenwriting program.

Some of my favorite moments from my freshman and sophomore years include:

  • Writing a 10-page script for Production 3 submissions in Intermediate Screenwriting.
  • Completing a full-length feature film in Advanced Screenwriting (if you didn't have time-management skills prior to this class, you certainly did by the end).
  • Learning how to operate camera and lighting equipment in order to film three short films in Production 1.

Gaining these hands-on experiences during my first two years at Point Park is preparing me for my future career.

What have been some of your favorite classes?

Writing for TV Animation with Steve Cuden and The Writer's Life with Elise D'Haene, hands down.

Animation has had a huge impact on me, and being able to practice writing for TV shows I grew up with — and understand how the format differs from regular screenplays — has been incredibly beneficial to my career goals, not to mention how fun it was to work on.

The Writer's Life has been an incredible workshop experience in which I was exposed to formats of writing I hadn't even considered, and being able to converse with my professor and classmates on ideas for new media to write for was an incredibly fun experience.

What are you looking forward to most in the screenwriting program this year and next?

I'm currently in Production 3, so that's been a wild ride. I can't wait to work with my crew and see the finished product at the end of this semester. I believe it will be one of the most satisfying feelings I'll get out of this program. I'm also looking forward to Rick Hawkins' Writing the Situation Comedy and Writing the Hour Drama courses. Being able to learn how to write for a variety of formats has been a blessing, and I can't wait to get out there and learn more.

What advice do you have for a student considering the screenwriting program?

Do it, do it, do it. The screenwriting program at Point Park has taught me so many important, intricate details on not only the craft of writing a script, but the craft of storytelling as a whole, as well as how the cinema industry works. The feedback you get from your professors and your peers really opens your eyes to possibilities in not only your story, but how you can become a better writer in general. Having this feedback and being able to learn where my mistakes are in my writing and figuring out how to fix them has been crucial to my career as a writer.

What are some of your favorite things to do for fun on campus?

I love attending events the clubs on campus throw. Last year, there was a giant pizza party where everyone just walked around and tasted pizza from around the city. The year before that, there was an event in the park where you could get free crepes and balloon animals. Not to mention for film lovers, the John P. Harris society holds movie nights on Thursdays and Sundays. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Don't be afraid to talk to your professors, advisors and classmates. We're all in this together, and if you give them the respect they deserve, you shall receive the same. Also, paper clips are your best friends.

Photo by Shayna Mendez, a senior photojournalism major

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