“Where’s HER Movie” posts will highlight interesting and accomplished women from a variety of professional backgrounds who deserve to have movies written about them as much as all the male scientists, authors, performers, and geniuses have had written about them across the over 100 years of film. This is our attempt to help write these women back into mainstream history. — Rosanne
Lupe Victoria Yolí Raymond (23 December 1936 – 29 February 1992), better known as La Lupe, was a Cuban singer of boleros, guarachas and Latin soul, known for her energetic, sometimes controversial performances. Following the release of her first album in 1961, La Lupe moved from Havana to New York and signed with Tico Records, which marked the beginning of a prolific and successful career in the 1960s and 1970s. She retired in the 1980s due to religious reason — Wikipedia
Rosanne is speaking at the 2021 SCMS Conference on Thursday, March 18, 2021. If you are attending the conference virtually, please tune into this collection of excellent presentations on the “unreliable narrator” and more.
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.
All right, so. what I wanted to do for about half a minute is describe this woman. Visually describe this character. Her name is Erin Brockovich. You may or may not have seen this movie all right. So we might know something about her from the movie but visually — and she’s Julia Roberts, you can tell — quickly how would you describe her if you’re writing that action line in your script? If nothing else, think of three adjectives. We always start with that. Style comes from what you do in the action lines because the dialogue has to sound like your characters but the action lines sound like you alright. Shy doesn’t work in the writers’ room. If you don’t have an idea, I’ll stop paying you a contract and you go home. I always tell my students when they have to pitch, you better have an idea right away because you’re turning down $38,000 because if there’s a new script and we need one done next week and you don’t do it your friend just got that much money. That’s a lot of money to turn down because you’re too shy to open your mouth. So school is when you practice not being shy.
Watch this entire presentation
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While Anita, the abbess and Margaret managed the medical care of the soldiers, Giuseppe rode into Rome to attend the National Assembly with the dream of seeing Rome finally declared a republic. He soon learned that politics takes longer than battle and requires a different set of talents and strategies.
There are many exciting steps along the way to having a chapter you’ve written about a beloved television show accepted into a book collection.
First you see the Call for Submissions, have an idea and send in an abstract.
Then they tell you they like your idea and want to include it in their collection.
Then you write the chapter and they send back minimal notes.
Then (that’s today) they send you the artwork for the cover and you smile all over again knowing other fans of the show will be reading your ideas as they consider the importance of the show to our culture.
All those steps (except the cover page) happened recently on a couple of upcoming collections I’m contributing to but the other day this cover came along for Doctor Who: New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whitaker Era and I couldn’t be more excited that a show I originally watched on PBS back in Ohio and followed all these years then made their lead character a female and then I had the chance to write about how a writer could go about making such a culturally important change.
My essay is entitled ‘She is wise and unafraid’: writing the first female Doctor and a diverse universe for her to protect
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
This article proposes a new way of looking at the screenwriting process and at the pedagogical instruction of screenwriting. It proposes an alternative to the industrial model of screenwriting – one that allows for the possibility of creating film scripts that might lie on the borders of narrative. Starting with a research process, this method uses the deconstruction of an art source to develop the writer’s point of view in hopes of creating modern works of unusual complexity and resonance. Citing examples from Bach, Munch and Melville, and films by Francois Girard, Peter Watkins and Claire Denis, the article suggests a method for screenwriters using the limit of an original artwork’s form to generate a unique narrative structure, and building on that structure by bringing the writer’s own contemporary perspective to the content concerns. It contends that this process works to renew the writer’s connection to form and, by working with an artwork the writer admires, pushes the writer into deeper engagement with her own point of view.
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.
As the twenty-first century began to mature, so too did Americans’ ideas about who qualified as heroes of the Civil War. While conflicts over taking down statues of old Confederate generals roiled southern cities, artists around the country started making art that glorified the anti-Confederates, and films were no different. This climate bred Free State of Jones, the story of a Confederate army deserter who organizes his own interracial militia of formerly enslaved people and lower-income farmers, all dedicated to ending the war, though for differing reasons.
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When the folks hosting the conference announced their theme as “Screen Narratives: Chaos and Order” the word ‘chaos’ immediately brought to mind writers rooms. I offered a quick history of writers rooms (the presentations are only 20 minutes long) and then quoted several current showrunners on how they compose their rooms and how they run them.
Always good to see everybody here. We’re all like on different time schedules so I’m still — I think it’s three in the morning in Los Angeles but that’s okay. Yes, we’re going to talk about this concept of chaos in writers’ rooms, which are really run in chaos, at least the ones in the United States. Just a quick background on who I am. I was in the business for several years. I wrote Picket Fences, Beverly Hills 90210 — which is a show that won’t die because they just did a live show or is just a little crazy and Touched By An Angel for a long time. So this is where I came from in television. This is what I’ve done in academia and writing. My favorite new book is a collection of essays written by many of my students about female screenwriters from the early days and giving us their backgrounds so I’m all about finding more women that we can write about and talk about in our classes. I think that’s important. I’m also the book review editor of the Journal of Screenwriting so if you have any books you’d like to review please let me know. I’d love to get you a free copy and get your review in the journal and also I’m on the editorial board for the Written By Magazine, which is the magazine of the Writers Guild of America. You can access that for free digitally online if you go to writtenby.com or go to wga.org and they’ll have a link to it, but every month we do interviews with either a film person or a television person or whole writer’s room from a show and I think it’s a great way to bring guest stars into a classroom from all over the world. Again, they’re obviously Americans although I interviewed Russell Davies several years ago so we do have some other folks come on into the magazine but it’s pretty cool.
This new “A Woman Wrote That” post is an echo of the Writers Guild campaign of a few years ago (“A Writer Wrote That”) where they noted famous movie quotes and credited the screenwriter rather than the director. The difference here being that we will be posting lines from films written by female screenwriters. Feel free to share! — Rosanne
People are particularly stupid today. I can’t talk to any more of them.