From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 36: Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

Reclaiming archive


Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History brings together a diverse group of international feminist scholars to examine the intersections of feminism, history, and feminist theory in film. Editor Vicki Callahan has assembled essays that reflect a range of methodological approaches-including archival work, visual culture, reception studies, biography, ethno-historical studies, historiography, and textual analysis-by a diverse group of film and media studies scholars to prove that feminist theory, film history, and social practice are inevitably and productively intertwined.

Essays in Reclaiming the Archive investigate the different models available in feminist film history and how those feminist strategies might serve as paradigmatic for other sites of feminist intervention. Chapters have an international focus and range chronologically from early cinema to post-feminist texts, organized around the key areas of reception, stars, and authorship. A final section examines the very definitions of feminism (post-feminism), cinema (transmedia), and archives (virtual and online) in place today.

The essays in Reclaiming the Archive prove that a significant heritage of film studies lies in the study of feminism in film and feminist film theory. Scholars of film history and feminist studies will appreciate the breadth of work in this volume. — Amazon


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When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

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When Women Wrote Hollywood: The Movies – First in a series – Fanchon, the Cricket by Frances Marion

An on-going series highlighting the women screenwriters of early Hollywood.

When I was first asked to create a history course for a new MFA focused on the mission of bringing more female voices and female-centric stories to Hollywood, I knew we had to start at the very beginning, when women ran Hollywood. No other course I had ever taken or been asked to teach focused on these women, some of whom I had been reading about since the summers of my childhood in Cleveland, Ohio. Back then, I went to the library once a week to collect a stack of memoirs by women I had seen interviewed on The Merv Griffin Show, women like Anita Loos and Adela Rogers St. Johns. Their stories introduced me to moguls like Louis B. Mayer or Jack Warner, who make up most of the history courses I later found in academia. Knowing better, I found most of those courses, and their accompanying textbooks, glossed over these women with a paragraph if they mentioned them at all. I conceived a course that would begin with these women who began Hollywood and culminate in research by each graduate student into the life and career of one particular early female screenwriter. That is what you find here. A collection of herstories about how these women lived, loved and created the stories that gave their audiences reasons to live and love in their own lives. — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Editor. When Women Wrote Hollywood

When Women Wrote Hollywood: The Movies - First in a series - Fanchon, the Cricket by Frances Marion

Fanchon, the Cricket (1915) - 1.jpg
By Paramount Pictures – Variety (Apr. 1915) on the Internet Archive, Public Domain, Link

Fanchon, the Cricket is a 1915 American silent drama film produced by Famous Players Film Company and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is based on a novel, La Petite Fadette by George Sand. It was directed by James Kirkwood and stars Mary Pickford, now working for Adolph Zukor and Daniel Frohman. A previous film version of the story was released in 1912 by IMP (later Universal) and directed by Herbert Brenon.[1] Wikipedia

Frances Marion(bornMarion Benson Owens, November 18, 1888[1]– May 12, 1973) was an American screenwriter, journalist, author, and film director, often cited as one of the most renowned female screenwriters of the 20th century alongsideJune MathisandAnita Loos. During the course of her career, she wrote over 325 scripts.[2]She was the first writer to win twoAcademy Awards. Marion began her film career working for filmmakerLois Weber. She wrote numeroussilent filmscenarios for actressMary Pickford, before transitioning to writingsound films. — Wikipedia


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!


When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

22 Modern-Day Vampires from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute)

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22 Modern-Day Vampires from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch

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In honor of Halloween – and in service to my teaching philosophy —

“Words Matter. Writers Matter. Women Writers Matter.”

I presented this holiday lecture “When Women Write Horror” on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. Researching the many, many women who have written horror stories – in novels, films and television – brought new names to my attention who I am excited to start reading. I hope you will be, too!

Transcript:

We also then, of course, know about The Vampire Diaries. Julie Pleck put that out, but now she has Legacies which is a sequel to that and Origins which is another one. Interesting because here she’s also turning them more into the sexy dudes and we’re starting to talk about that concept. The problem behind it is at what point does the super-sexy guy really become a way to hide the toxic romance that’s going on when we think about vampires, because vampires are, in fact, capable of killing you. This is a boyfriend who can kill you and you are agreeing to be with him knowing how dangerous that is. That’s a definition of domestic violence in its own way and yet we’re turning it into pop culture hot oh boy which one do I pick? Which team are you on? Right? so is that, again, defanging them, or is that accidentally empowering those kinds of relationships?

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 1: The aesthetic independence of the screenplay by M.-R Koivumki

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


The aesthetic independence of the screenplay by M.-R Koivumki
  
The aesthetic independence of an artwork is usually defined by the direct relationship between the viewer and the artwork. The screenplay, however, is actualized for the viewer only via cinematic performance. Therefore, we should ask how the viewer experiences the performance and to what extent this experience is created by the contribution of the screenplay, and especially which elements are realized in the presentation and contribute to building up the performance for the viewer to experience.The approach I am leaning on, and through which I am hoping to gain new insights into the aesthetic independence, is dramaturgical and thus practice-based. The common hermeneutic approach in artistic research usually defines what the artworks are and how they exist in our world as cultural phenomena. Through the dramaturgical approach I explore how the screenplay functions within the presentational process.I discuss the contribution of the screenplay as a literary artwork by asking how the literary characteristics of the screenplay appear in a film and their function in the performance. I also explore the screenplay’s contribution from the viewer’s point of view. Here I am not leaning on the perception theories; instead I am using my own observation of the cinematic performance. Lastly, I discuss the dramaturgical process as an interpretive continuum that leads from the screenwriter to the viewer.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

21 Truffaut and The Auteur Theory from Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered [Video] (56 seconds)

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21 Truffaut and The Auteur Theory from Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered

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Transcript:

So how did this happen in a town called Hollywood where we thought we were all about filmmaking and caring about writers and all of that. Few directors are as fair as JOhn Carpenter, who basically said “It is a collaborative effort. All I take credit for is the directing.” That’s the kind of guy we need more of, right? We don’t have enough of that. The problem was, I blame France, not to insult anyone who might be here from France, but it was, in fact, Francois Truffaut, early in his career as a film reviewer her came up with what we call “The Auteur Theory,” which told us that directors were the “auteur”, the author, the writer of the film and that was the end of that. From that point on that’s how people referenced films and this is a deep problem. He was writing for this — Cahiers du Cinema — and this is where the auteur theory was born. To me the biggest mistake ever made.

A Note About This Presentation

A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.

To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.

Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.


 

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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Panel Discussion: More Than A Period: Writing Girls Coming of Age Stories For TV – Wed, August 12, 2020, 430pm PDT

Stephens College MFA. in TV and Screenwriting

For each Workshop the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting hosts a panel with the Writers Guild Foundation which takes place at the Guild offices in Los Angeles. For this August it will be on Zoom which means many more attendees can RSVP to join us – and we hope you will because this panel is extra-special. 

It’s the second year in a row we’ve been able to invite an MFA alumna to be a panelist because they have become a working writer. Last year it was Class of 2019’s Sahar Jahani (who has written for Ramy and 13 Reasons Why) and on this panel we’ll be welcoming Class of 2020’s Christina Nieves to discuss Writing Girls Coming of Age Stories thanks to her new position as a staff writer on Generation.

We hope you can join me, Dr. Rosanne Welch, Executive Director of Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting as I moderate the discussion.

Panel Discussion: More Than A Period: Writing Girls Coming of Age Stories For TV - Wed, August 12, 2020, 430pm PDT

Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

More Than A Period: Writing Girls Coming of Age Stories For TV

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
4:30 PM  6:00 PM

Beyond The Book Panel - Writers Guild Foundation

We at the WGF may have hit a pause on our live events, but thanks to technology, we’re aiming to provide more access to advice and knowledge from film and TV writers while we’re all social distancing. Over the last few months, we’ve been hosting free Zoom panels about craft and all things relevant to writers.

For this session, we team up with Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for a discussion about crafting girls’ coming-of-age stories. The panel of writers will share how their shows address this formative period for its characters, how their own experiences informed their writing, and why coming-of-age stories are an endless source of stories.

Panelists:

Sonia Kharkar – Executive Story Editor, On My Block, Never Have I Ever
Christina Nieves – Staff Writer, Generation
Ilana Peña – Creator, Diary of a Future President
Moderated by Dr. Rosanne Welch, Director of Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting.

Panel starts at 4:30pm Pacific time.

Space is limited so RSVP now. After signing up, you’ll receive information on how to access the Zoom panel.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at events@wgfoundation.org.

For anyone who was unable to RSVP for the panel, we will record and post it at a later date

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 35: The Collected Lorna Moon

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The

 

For the first time, The Collected Lorna Moon brings together her much acclaimed novel Dark Star, collected short stories Doorways in Drumorty, and a selection of her previously unpublished letters and poetry to offer a fresh perspective on this unusual woman: a woman who travelled a long distance from Scotland and yet, imaginatively, took Scotland with her and re-fashioned the experiences of her early years. The life story of Lorna Moon from her escape from Scotland, a series of romantic adventures, to a career as a script writer in the early days of Hollywood, presents the wildest challenge to our expectations for a woman in rural Scotland in the early twentieth century. Her writing, in equally dramatic fashion, takes the conventional subject of Scottish small-town life, and reshapes it through a combination of satirical analysis and melodramatic romance that no other writer from the north-east has achieved. The Collected Lorna Moon is an enchanting collection, edited and introduced by Glenda Norquay, scholar of Scottish fiction and featuring a foreword by Richard de Mille, the illegitimate son of Lorna Moon and Hollywood director Cecil B. de Mille’s son William, in order to provide insight into the life of an extraordinary woman.  — Amazon


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!


When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

21 Buffy and Masculinity from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 9 seconds)

Watch this entire presentation

21 Buffy and Masculinity from When Women Write Horror with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Rosanne’s Channel and receive notice of each new video!

 

In honor of Halloween – and in service to my teaching philosophy —

“Words Matter. Writers Matter. Women Writers Matter.”

I presented this holiday lecture “When Women Write Horror” on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019. Researching the many, many women who have written horror stories – in novels, films and television – brought new names to my attention who I am excited to start reading. I hope you will be, too!

Transcript:

The other thing that was going on with Buffy and a couple of other shows we’ll talk about, is that we’re taking vampires who were the other and the scary and the bad and we’re making them sexy and hot, which is a female perspective but then we have to ask ourselves is that good or is that bad? Is that good because in a way when you make the men the objectified sexual object are you taking power away from them and therefore giving that power to the women? That’s a question because you can’t deny David Boreanaz was hot. This is all there is to it. He’s still hot. I know through Buffy through Bones and through Seal Team that man just… but I think it’s a great credit to this actor. We have to recognize he could manage to be deeply, deeply masculine while not being the most important person in the story. He could be the supportive man beside her and that made him all the more man and that’s a different way to define what manhood is and that’s I think a really important thing we’re seeing in some newer literature. So that I think is fascinating.

Rosanne Hosting Screenwriting Discussion at The Athena TV Lab

Athena film festival logo

Rosanne Hosting Screenwriting Discussion at The Athena TV Lab Via Zoom

Rosanne Hosting Screenwriting Discussion at The Athena TV Lab Via Zoom

Many thanks to the many great MFA mentors who are doing double duty as mentors to this year’s Athena TV Lab. You can find them on the last two lines of this (now familiar) Zoom grid (starting on the 3rd tier/4th spot): Dawn Comer Jefferson, Jon Vandergriff, Rashaan Dozier-Escalante (also alumna of the MFA Class of 2018), Amy Straus, and Laura Brennan. And there are 2 MFA alums here, too (Sydney Haven and Pam Winfrey).

The Athena Film Festival Virtual Writers Lab

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College Virtual Writers Lab is for emerging women writers who have not had a feature-length narrative script produced within the past 10 years. Writers must submit a screenplay that includes a woman or women characters in a leadership role or position at the center of the story. Scripts must be feature-length narratives (between 80 and 120 pages).

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College Virtual Writers Lab provides women identified storytellers with training, skills, and a robust supportive network. Participants will have several one-on-one mentoring sessions with experienced screenwriters as well as peer-to-peer and group sessions.

The Athena Film Festival at Barnard College Virtual Writers Lab will also include industry events where participants will learn about how to navigate the industry as well as a keynote conversation from an established filmmaker. Past panels have included: The Fluidity of Writing, How Does Representation Work, and The Art of Pitching and past keynotes have come from Gina Prince-Bythewood and Kat Candler.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 1: Competitive writing: BBC Public Service television light entertainment and comedy in the 1970s and 1980s by Heather Sutherland

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Competitive writing: BBC Public Service television light entertainment and comedy in the 1970s and 1980s by Heather Sutherland

Comedy has always been the least plausibly public service genre. It is entertaining and consequently seen as trivial, closest to commercial and often close to vulgar. Yet comedy remains the key to attracting audiences and is the aspect of programming most greedily eyed by the BBC’s competitors. This article examines how, facing severe competition during the 1970s and 1980s, in the shape of ITV and the arrival of Channel 4 in 1982, the BBC responded to the challenges of this competitive landscape, highlighting the Corporation’s approach to comedy writers and writing as a key competitive tactic. Whilst ITV and Channel 4 had their successes, the BBC, through its emphasis on organic as opposed to formula comedy forms, was able to articulate clearly the differences between its light entertainment and comedy scripts and those of the competitors. For instance, the absence of a commercial break allowed the development of more intricate plots and sub-plots, alongside in-depth characters; the structure of joke-telling adopted a more dramatic form, bringing to light wider themes, and resulting in comedic work that could inform, educate and entertain all at once. Furthermore, the nurturing approach experienced by writers working for the Corporation allowed the encouragement of new writers (to address new niche audiences) and the taking of risks in writing (particularly those under the heading alternative comedy), ultimately enabling writers to produce scripts that allowed the BBC to not only match its competitors, but to exceed them, principally with regard to the idea of what is termed here popular quality programming. As such, the history of the BBC’s approach to comedy writers and the styles and forms of BBC comedy writing can be a means of access to the core debates about what the BBC should do and produce as a public service; here is one strategy that was key to the Corporation’s defence of its public broadcaster status and its funding by licence fee. Its comedy department, scriptwriters and scripts act as an illustration of the shifts and tensions being experienced behind the scenes in the Corporation overall at this particular point in time.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!