Host: Speaking of screenwriting technique, I feel I should ask you to tell us a little bit more about your career as a practicing screenwriter. Yeah, what have you been working what what what have you worked on, and are you working on anything at the moment?
Rosanne: Yes I come out of the world of – I came out in LA from Cleveland. I was a kid from Cleveland and I moved out here for the purpose of working in television and had to do the whole – I was an English teacher – high school – that was my out of college job and luckily I got hired on as a writer’s assistant because I could spell, which was the funny joke like I could clean up their spelling which I thought was funny. So I was an assistant for probably about five years and everyone and when I tell students that they sort of cringe because they think they’re going to get the job and then they’ll get hired as a writer and they have to say you know it’s about networking. It’s about meeting people and then meeting people who like the things you’ve written. You have to write a lot of spec scripts and keep showing them to people who are willing to read them. They have to decide the stuff is good enough and then they’ll offer you a freelance script. That’s one season. You’re still the assistant while you’re doing that and then if they think it’s good enough and the show doesn’t get canceled they’ll offer you, perhaps, a staff – you know it’s all so much of that as part of it. I would get offered scripts on shows for the second season and it would cancel at the end of the first season. So not only are you scrambling for a job to pay the rent but you now lost that hope and so you’re in a new place with new people. You convince them you’re pretty good. They give you a freelance on their show and the next season they’re canceled.
One of the benefits of attending conferences is that you can meet the editors from the companies that have published some of your books face to face. That happened at the recent SCMS conference where I met Intellect editor James Campbell and he invited me to be a guest on his InstagramLive show.
We chatted about my work with the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and then my work with co-editor Rose Ferrell on the Journal of Screenwriting’s special issue on Women in Screenwriting (Volume 11, Number 3) that came out recently and which featured articles about an international set of female screenwriters from Syria, Argentina, China and Canada (to name a few).
We even had time to nerd out on our own favorite classic films across the eras which brought up fun memories of Angels with Dirty Faces, Back to the Future, Bonnie and Clyde, and of course, all things Star Wars from the original 3 to The Mandalorian. It’s always so fun to talk to fellow cinephiles.
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Speaking with Dr. Rosanne Welch, Author, teacher, and television screenwriter. Today we cover everything from women in screenwriting to our favorite Jimmy Cagney movies and Friends.