02 Why Study Women Screenwriters from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

02 Why Study Women Screenwriters from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

Transcript:

Host: Our guest today is Rosanne Welch. She’s a former screenwriter and historian and a professor at the MFA program in Screenwriting and TV writing at Stephens College. She’s the editor of the book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” as well as the author of numerous other books that you can check out but welcome. Thanks for joining us today Rosanne.

Rosanne: Thanks for asking me. I love to talk about women screenwriters.

Host: That’s great yeah so we’re going to focus on a sub-topic within the book you edited When Women Wrote Westerns. How do we see the history of tv and film differently when we learn about these women screenwriters who are often forgotten and perhaps why were they forgotten in the first place.

Rosanne: The why is always sad to learn but we’re learning it in all of our history classes no matter what we teach in this country and we’re getting very good at that right? We’re learning that the people who told the stories were the winners and in fact, there were many many more stories that were left on the cutting room floor if you will. So having different people write – in this case, we’re discussing women – another gender looking at this perspective of the experience they had right? All those men didn’t come West by themselves. They generally brought women with them or met women here right because nobody wants to be alone for 20 years of their life right? So they have a different perspective of what happened and including them in the story makes the story richer because we need to understand who really were the founders of our country and who were the people who caused the trouble when they came out here right? If we’re colonizing an area that was already inhabited women were part of that too. So women have to take a shot about that and recognize that in their own privilege they came and thought this place belonged to them.

 

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories.  Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that.  Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”

I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras.  If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. — RMW Rosanne Signature for Web


What this entire presentation

As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.

Find more information at the Autry Museum of the American West

Nickelodeon, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

Nickelodeon, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

Follow me on Instagram

DeMille Office, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram

Visit The Hollywood Heritage Museum

17 My Favorite Actors and Movies from In Conversation with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

17 My Favorite Actors and Movies from In Conversation with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Transcript:

Rosanne: I love introducing students to classic films they’ve never seen and they think they know the whole story because so they saw they saw the one James Cameron directed and gee-whiz nobody knows about who wrote the thing and I can’t even quote that off the top of my head because I don’t actually like that movie so… yes but i know the 1920s the Cameron one? Did he write it?

Host: Yeah. I think he may have done. I think I would like to fact check someone fact-check us out but I’m not a big fan of that movie and but the one with Barbara Stanwyck is really cool.

Rosanne: Yeah that’s a really good version of that and Brackett got the Oscar for that so there’s reason for the Oscar and also it was one of the early movies of a young Robert Wagner and I was a big Robert Wagner fan when I was a kid watching his tv shows and whatnot. So seeing him as like a 19-year-old. I loved old movies for that reason. You’d see all these actors, in fact, I was kind of the geeky kid at my all-girl Catholic school and there was a kid who always liked to beat up on me – like verbally not physically – and I remember one time she asked me on the bus going to school who my favorite actor was and without thinking that it would be stupid I said Jimmy Cagney and like half the bus didn’t know who he was and half that did were like oh what’s wrong with you. He’s 85 and I was like I mean from the movies I’ve seen. He’s like really 30 and never mind yeah.

Host: Brilliant. I love Jimmy Cagney. I like the fact that he was able to do those gangster roles and then musicals and then come back later in life and be like a really gnarly gangster again.

Rosanne: When he had done he had done dancing with his sister on broadway so he was really a dancer and that kind of works in the gangster world because there’s that bouncy like you’re always a boxer and dancers and boxers have a lot in common.

One of the benefits of attending conferences is that you can meet the editors from the companies that have published some of your books face to face. That happened at the recent SCMS conference where I met Intellect editor James Campbell and he invited me to be a guest on his InstagramLive show.

We chatted about my work with the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and then my work with co-editor Rose Ferrell on the Journal of Screenwriting’s special issue on Women in Screenwriting (Volume 11, Number 3) that came out recently and which featured articles about an international set of female screenwriters from Syria, Argentina, China and Canada (to name a few).

We even had time to nerd out on our own favorite classic films across the eras which brought up fun memories of Angels with Dirty Faces, Back to the Future, Bonnie and Clyde, and of course, all things Star Wars from the original 3 to The Mandalorian. It’s always so fun to talk to fellow cinephiles.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

Watch this entire presentation

 

With Intellect Books Editor James Campbell (@IntellectBooks)

Speaking with Dr. Rosanne Welch, Author, teacher, and television screenwriter. Today we cover everything from women in screenwriting to our favorite Jimmy Cagney movies and Friends.

Journal of Screenwriting Cover

Props, costumes, and set decorations from “The Ten Commandments” (1956) Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

Props, costumes, and set decorations from “The Ten Commandments” (1956) Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

Follow me on Instagram

DeMille Office, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram

Visit The Hollywood Heritage Museum

11 Other Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

11 Other Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

Film reviewers are lousy unreliable narrators because they claim every movie belongs to a director right? So in this case we’re crediting how wonderful this Academy Award-winning adaptation is and they never once mentioned Sarah or Victor for that matter. Give him a break right? I blame these film reviewers. As we all know it was Francois Truffaut who helped create the whole authorship theory in his journal and of course Bogdanovich built on that because he loved it so much and by hearing the idea that directors own films we lose writers and we doubly lose women writers. We also blame Ben Hecht a little bit as a joke because he was an early writer and he didn’t care about credits. He just was used to working as a writer for hire. You know in the early days the original Copyright Act said that author shall include employer. So the studios are going to take credit as the authors of these films which begins to erase the names of these women who worked on them. All these studio heads are terrible unreliable narrators. They never credit the women that worked for them for many years and as we know when they started to take monetary control over the business they took women like Francis Marion and Anita Loos and they told them they could be junior writers if they wanted to stay on at the studios and so they left right? They wrote themselves out of history because of the behavior of these gentlemen. They thought of course that movies were like assembly lines and so who could trust that there was one author. There were many authors which ruined everything. They felt the playwright sold the product and a screenwriter sold a service.

 

 


Watch this entire presentation

Overboard Costume Exhibit, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

Overboard Costume Exhibit, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

Follow me on Instagram

DeMille Office, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram

Visit The Hollywood Heritage Museum

01 Introduction from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

01 Introduction from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

 

Transcript:

It’s really sad to think that many of these early women writers – and there were more women writing films in the early silent days than there were men – it was a wild west of a job and so we always let women in the beginning and then when it becomes a business we say oh no no this is now a place where men can make money. You ladies should leave

VO: From the Autry museum located on Tongva homelands in Los Angeles California join us in asking “What is a western?

(Western Music)

 

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories.  Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that.  Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”

I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras.  If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. — RMW Rosanne Signature for Web


What this entire presentation

As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.

Find more information at the Autry Museum of the American West

16 A Few Good Stories from In Conversation with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

16 A Few Good Stories from In Conversation with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Transcript:

Host: I mean you seem to be such a knowledgeable person who comes to film history, do you have any favorite stories or have you met any maniacs, you know? Have you met any of these great the great directors of the great auteurs or have you had any experiences worth sharing.

Rosanne: I have – gosh – there’s so many stories. I worked in television for 20 years so there are good and bad stories. I don’t need to recount the bad ones but one survives all those and moves forward. That’s what you want to do and it’s been interesting to study the greats and introduce them to students and see how they respond. It’s so interesting because yes we teach Preston Sturges of course because he comes from the screenwriting world. There was a new book a couple years ago based on Charlie Bracket’s diaries and Charlie Brackett wrote with Preston but also wrote with Billy Wilder and that was a big you know. That’s a really interesting pair to piece up because Billy Wilder came to this country and didn’t speak English yet and Charlie Brackett had gone to some Ivy League college so of course he did and yet you know you got the ideas from one and the sort of quippy dialogue from the other until the one caught up to the – you know language is different in every country even between the states and the UK right we have different phraseology. So it was important to catch up to that and then Billy Wilder could go off and write on his own but then Charlie Bracket gets forgot sort of in history but he got an Oscar for writing the “Titanic” that happened in the 1950s with Barbara Stanwick which is a really great version of Titanic.

One of the benefits of attending conferences is that you can meet the editors from the companies that have published some of your books face to face. That happened at the recent SCMS conference where I met Intellect editor James Campbell and he invited me to be a guest on his InstagramLive show.

We chatted about my work with the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and then my work with co-editor Rose Ferrell on the Journal of Screenwriting’s special issue on Women in Screenwriting (Volume 11, Number 3) that came out recently and which featured articles about an international set of female screenwriters from Syria, Argentina, China and Canada (to name a few).

We even had time to nerd out on our own favorite classic films across the eras which brought up fun memories of Angels with Dirty Faces, Back to the Future, Bonnie and Clyde, and of course, all things Star Wars from the original 3 to The Mandalorian. It’s always so fun to talk to fellow cinephiles.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

Watch this entire presentation

 

With Intellect Books Editor James Campbell (@IntellectBooks)

Speaking with Dr. Rosanne Welch, Author, teacher, and television screenwriter. Today we cover everything from women in screenwriting to our favorite Jimmy Cagney movies and Friends.

Journal of Screenwriting Cover

10 Three Women Of Color from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

 

10 Three Women Of Color from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

They don’t tell the story of people like Marion E. Wong all right. Without having the material, these stories disappear. She’s just really coming into the textbooks now. She was from San Francisco. She only made one film which was “The Curse of Kwon Guan.” She tried to get it distributed and she was turned down by almost every distributor in New York. She traveled from San Francisco to New York with her parents and they could not get the movie sold. So they went bankrupt on it and they continued running their restaurant in San Francisco.

Jeannie Louise Toussaint Welcome was a famous African-American screenwriter in the early silent days. She worked out of Chicago. She comes from a famous family to the extent that her brother was a Harlem Renaissance photographer and her parents worked for President Ulysses S. Grant. We have advertisements of the work that she did and the films that she made but none had been preserved. So we do not have things to study right? So the archives can’t tell us the whole story because these women do not have their words in those archives. We have advertisements for what they did. That’s how we know that they worked. The same is true with Tressie Souders who worked out of Kansas, We have listings from movies that were made and distributed in black-owned theaters and those kinds of things and Eloyce King Patrick Gist. We know of course more about Zora Neil Hurston because she was doing documentary work through the WPA. So and because of her novels she’s a name that we recognize but these other people were all working in this time period and forgotten because they don’t exist in our archives.

 

 


Watch this entire presentation

DeMille Office, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) 2 via Instagram

DeMille Office, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) 2 via Instagram

Follow me on Instagram

DeMille Office, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram

Visit The Hollywood Heritage Museum