Host: Like what do you think are like the principles of good television writing that you try to teach your students? Like what’s the things you want them to get from your classes.
Rosanne: Well I want them to think that whatever they’re writing is a message. So I think they should start with a theme. What is the message you want to put out in the world and what’s a story that’s like the metaphor or that’s the parable that will tell that idea? Plant that idea in people’s minds? I think you always — you have your own life philosophy. I don’t care how old you are. You don’t have to be old or young to have it right? You have some ideas and those make everything stronger. The stuff you really like is because you really agreed with what was being said about how to live or how to treat other people right and so you really have to think about those things and that’s going to make whatever you do richer. So I like to start from a place of theme and of course then tv is all about characters because I need someone I’m going to want to come and meet over and over again either 20 hours in a row or 20 weeks in a row however I choose to do that. So I need to find someone that I can connect with and I think that’s something that in the movies you know you could do a lot of explosions, fun stuff, tent poll movies and all that. Although I suppose my son would say Transformers were characters he really cared to watch right but they’re a little different than you know the kind of people you’d see let’s say on Grey’s Anatomy speaking of Shonda Rhimes.
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.