Host: I mean how do you — how did you do it? How do you practice on your schedule? Do you like time limit yourself. You’re like, oh like one month or like one week to do three acts or something like that.
Rosanne: Well you get into a pattern when you do it. I mean the Writers Guild offers two weeks to write a script. That’s what if you’re a freelance writer they have to give you two weeks to go home but when you’re on a staff they expect you to write it in one week. They expect you to be able to write 10 to 15 producible pages a day. So that’s where you have to get yourself to if you’re really going to take it seriously. So yeah this took two months. This takes one month and you get it down to three weeks and two weeks and the best you can. You have to find the times a day that works for you. Some people are night writers. I am not but some people can work really great from 10 in the evening till two in the morning and then sleep from three to ten right? Okay then you have to know that and then you need to build a day job that allows you to do that right because that’s gonna do the most work. Some people — I go from like 6 am to like 2 p.m and then I make phone calls and do other kinds of email work and stuff like that because then I sort of run out of my creative excitement or whatever. So I have to make sure that I don’t do anything else until later. I don’t take meetings or do things like that until later in the day. If you don’t do that when you finally approach your computer to start writing something, it will take you so much longer and it will be so much more frustrating that you won’t get to the point you want and you might turn away right? So you have to be in a comfortable place to do that and you know this town is full of different kinds of jobs you can make work for that whatever is the time frame that you need.
It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.
Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).
We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.
Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.
Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!
The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.