Screenwriting vs Novel Writing with Filmmaker Richard Schall

We are beyond excited to have award winning filmmaker, Richard Schall on the blog today! Richard is a gifted entertainer and writer (who once worked for the WWE!) 

Richard recently sat down with Glass House Press for an exclusive interview on screenwriting vs novel writing, the writing process, and The Goonies, because... I mean... THE GOONIES!

Filmmaker and Author Richard Schall

1) Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Richard Schall. By day I am a special education teacher in Brooklyn New York but my real passion is that I am also an award-winning filmmaker. I specialize in short films that are family friendly. I’ve been a part of over twenty different film festivals and have won fifteen awards. My latest film, Lost in Manhattan: The Love Story of Hymie and Thelma has just been released on iTunes.

Along with being an entertainer, I also manage my sister’s stand-up comedy career. She was named one of the “Top 5 Comics to Watch in NYC” by, and together we’ve been producing the show “Ladies Night” at Caroline's on Broadway in Times Square.

Personally, I have lost and kept off almost 100lbs since Dec 2015, which has been my biggest accomplishment to date. Next up: finishing my book! I can’t wait to tackle this new project. I’ve always been a storyteller, so being able to tell a story on the page instead of on the screen is very exciting for me.

2) How do you think the writing process and film making process are alike/different?

Creating a story is the same in any form. You start with an outline and go from there. I started my novel the same way I start any of my scripts. Building something entertaining is the key, and plotting out what the real plot twists will be is always important. The real difference is that I get to pretend I have a million-dollar budget for the book and have to limit myself when I make movies.  

3) As a filmmaker, do you write your own scripts or do you shoot what someone else has written? If you write your own, describe how script writing is different from book writing.

The writing process is very different. As a filmmaker, I usually write my own script. But even then, I I have to leave it up to the director, crew, and actors to create my world visually. If something doesn't work, it gets changed. When you are writing a book, you need to put the all the visuals in the reader's mind. Your imagination is the only really the limitation in books--you don't have to worry about that pesky reality of whether something can be done or not!

4) What are your favorite types of stories to write... and do they correlate to the movies you like to make (are they the same genres)?

I always love a happy ending, as you'll be able to tell by my movies and soon-to-be-finished series, Lee Farenheit and the Gracian Pirates. I am always geared more toward  family friendly movies and books. I want to make you laugh then cry, and then maybe get a sandwich-and laugh some more. In my award-winning short film, The Last Prank, I wanted to make it family friendly, but still have a certain edge, which all ages would enjoy. 

5) What is your absolute favorite movie of all time? What is your favorite book of all time?

My favorite movie of all time is The Goonies, and my favorite book is The Monster at the End of this Book. What can I say, I am a child at heart and I love a happy ending!  

BONUS QUESTION: Do you think the SCREEN versions or the BOOK versions are better ;) 

The book versions are always better. As I stated before, your imagination is the only limitation. You always have a million-dollar budget when you are reading a book. As an author, you never have to limit yourself. The reader always takes your words and makes them their own in their mind. The movies always run the risk of not doing the book justice, and alienating the reader who has grown to love the words on the page just as their mind sees it. 

We would like to thank Richard for his time, and we are so excited to get to work with him on future projects!

You can find Richard on Facebook and watch his amazing videos on YouTube.

Happy Reading,


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