A History of Screenwriting – 25 in a series – Excelsior! Prince of the Magicians (George Méliès, France, 1901)
The magician appears upon the stage with his assistant. Taking a handkerchief from his pocket, he causes an empty jar to suddenly appear under it. He places the empty jar upon the table and seizing his assistant by one arm, begins pumping, when lo! a stream of water emits from the mouth of the assistant and fills the dish. One by one he takes six fishes from the mouth of his assistant and places them in the dish.
Directed by Georges Melies
Produced by Georges Melies
Release Date: 1900
Production Co: Star-Film
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I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus. As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch