2021 Fine Arts: Paul Scott

Paul has a passion for filmmaking and its transformative effects. He went through sort of a transformation himself after diverging from his first college path; he had enrolled at Cal State Fullerton but left after his mother passed away. He began studying at Cypress College after a hiatus and began working toward a Film, TV, Electronic Media AD-T and Creative Writing certificate. He will continue his education at Cal State Long Beach, where he will continue to transform and grow.

Film student Paul Scott poses in front of the campanile in graduation regalia.

Please tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests? What is your story?

I started singing, acting and writing as young as 5 years old. I took acting classes and went to writing camps as soon as a could-about 9 years old. I went on to be successful in the choir and drama programs at Los Alamitos High School, while pursuing performance into college. After a few years at CSUF in the Theatre program, I dropped out after my mother suddenly passed away, and decided to work in the industry. After a year, I (re)discovered my passion for writing and filmmaking, so I signed up at Cypress to complete my education.

What are you most passionate about? Why?

Any and all art- mine tend to be photography, filmmaking, writing, acting, and singing. The way art can move individuals and inspire change- that is what drives me.

Why did you choose Cypress College?

I knew the theater program was wonderful, so I hoped the film program would also be thriving (it is). Plus it was close enough I could take the bus.

What have you been involved in at Cypress College? How has your path unfolded?

I was an active participant as a gallery student. After my work was accepted into the student show my first year, I decided to take gallery studies for two semesters, and loved learning the ins and outs of an art gallery. I also was President of the Creative Club for one semester. My final semester I joined the theater department’s musical production of Edges, which was so much fun.

Film student Paul Scott stands on the balcony of the College Complex building.

Share a memorable event or experience while you’ve been a Cypress College student.

Last year Janet Owen Driggs asked me curate an exhibition for the Dan Stevens gallery. I ended up creating “Heating Up,” an immersive experience taking guests into the streets of Climate Crisis protests that were happening around the globe, with a focus on Greta Thunberg and the Native American experience.

Who are the faculty and staff (in your major, an academic or other support program, etc.) who have helped you get where you are today?

Janet Owen Driggs and Ian Holmes.

How has Cypress College supported you throughout your time at the college?

Cypress allowed me to be my full creative self with excellent guidance from both professors and faculty.

What are your immediate plans after completing your studies at Cypress College (at your transfer institution, in the workforce, etc.)?

I was accepted into the film program at CSULB. This summer I will be working as a writing tutor at a writing camp, as well as taking on a filming project with the city of Buena Park as director and editor of their Youth Theatre “Broadway Idol.”

What are your long-term goals? What do you aspire to?

Make films and plays and music that move people the way art has moved me (and maybe an Academy Award or two).

Student Paul Scott wears sweatshirt from CSULB where he will transfer in this fall.

What are you most proud of?

My perseverance and resilience. It may have taken me almost a decade to get this degree, but I have never felt happier or stronger than today. The journey was a long one, but we took it together.

What one bit of advice would you give to current and future Cypress College students?

Don’t give up on your dreams and passions. At the end of the day, no one can live your life but you, and your path is no one else’s but your own.

How have you been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? What has gotten you through and/ or what have you learned from it?

Art is so collaborative, so making films has been tough. Creativity is endless though, and art is a mirror. Without my self-expression through my art during this time, I would have only felt more isolated and alone.

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to thank?

My mom and grandpa, who can’t be here to see this moment, but I know they both would have been very very proud.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

School can seem hard when it’s all about grades and worrying about the future. Cypress helped me embrace the process, enjoy the growing, and enabled me to see school is more about the progression, not perfection.