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I read once that Tennessee Williams, who’s a famous playwright in the United States, had said that most writers work from the emotions of the first six years of their life and some people laughed at that and I laughed at that and then I realized that in many episodes that I had written, a recurring theme that I tend to go to is that — to be a father is the most important job in your life and you should take it seriously. My father left when I was six years old. Until looking backward at things that I had written I did not notice the repetition of that theme. Clearly, it means something to me. Everybody doesn’t have that experience but everybody has been abandoned in some way or another. We recognize that emotion of loss and that’s what we sell
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A Note About This Presentation
A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.
To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.
Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.
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