52 Conclusion from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

52 Conclusion from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

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.


…and if you don’t think novelists are writers who collaborate think about the fact that all these guys hung around with each other in a writer’s group and read stuff to each other and took notes from each other and made changes based on those notes. Those were writer’s rooms. The Eagle and whatever that pub is called I haven’t gotten to yet …that was a writer’s room right and from that room not only did we get those books. We got this collaboration. Phil Jackson is great. I love him. He’s brilliant. He does great stuff. He doesn’t do it alone. He’s just the guy who’s willing to do the interviews. His wife doesn’t care to do interviews. I don’t know what’s wrong with her but she’s making me crazy right because we’re forgetting that two women co-wrote this movie. That’s what makes it so much better for our times right? They got the best-adapted screenplay award. Two women and a guy made The Lord of the Rings into what it is. I think that’s really important. So who remembers what I said my teaching philosophy was

three things matter

Words matter, Writers matter, and Women Writers matter.

Thank you very much. You’re listening. This thing is good. All right and this is important to me. It’s not just what I know. It’s spreading that around this is my first graduating classroom at Stephen’s MFA. As I said it was an all-female college. So it’s about spreading the word. Writers are teachers with a giant podium. What’s your opinion of how this world should work? Put it out there and the bigger audience you get the more influence you get. Forget YoutTube and who does makeup well. Those aren’t influencers. People who tell stories — I seriously — they’re not — people who tell stories are influencers because stories teach us to feel and that’s what you get paid to do which I love. So again these are a bunch of books I use when I’m just thinking about putting this together. So if you’re interested in reading about showrunners, those are a bunch of books that do interviews with them, and of course, this is the bunch that I’ve written and that’s all I have to say. So I guess we’re doing a q a now right? so if people have questions, I am totally open to your things.

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