Thanks to the gracious invitation from my Screenwriting Research Network colleague Paolo Russo – and a grant he was able to procure (and in the before-Covid time) I was able to spend a week at Oxford Brookes University working with the screenwriting masters students in Paolo’s course. At the culmination of the week, I gave this lecture on how writers rooms worked in the States.
Now. Lack of women. Ta-Da. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Thank god, although we’ve discovered in the states that Joss Whedon, who ran the show and got all kinds of points for being a feminist was, in fact, having sex with every other girl he could meet so apparently not such a feminist. His wife has now left him — ta-da — but I academically am going to interpret to you that the reason the program maintained its level of feminist theory was because of all the women who he hired in his writer’s room. So perhaps subconsciously he knew he was a jerk and he wasn’t going to interpret this right and he wanted to get a room full of people who could give him a real interpretation of what it was like to be a girl in high school who was othered — who was different in this way. So Buffy is a pretty breakthrough and I highly recommend that show
Watch this entire presentation
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