A Table Reading: “Mount Wilson: 4-hour mini-series based on a book about the life of Edwin Hubble” – SeriesFest 2022 – Denver, CO

Mount Wilson Observatory

I’m happy to announce the public table reading of a new script I’ve co-written with 3 alums of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting (Betsy Leighton, Misty Brawner, Adam Parker).  We were all involved in a mini-writers room earlier last year to come up with the outline for a 4-hour mini-series based on a book about the life of Edwin Hubble (of Hubble Telescope fame) – and we did.  Then the 4 of us wrote the pilot. Now we’ll all be attending the reading at the Gates Planetarium in Denver as part of SeriesFest.

Seriesfest

In honor of that project Douglas and I recently visited Mt. Wilson once again in this almost-post pandemic world and took photos of things like Hubble’s desk, and the wooden ladder they used to reach the platform – and, of course, the 100-inch telescope from which he made his major discoveries about the galaxy. 

What were these discoveries?  Well, you’ll have to attend the table reading – or watch the series when it sells – to find out.

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Dr. Rosanne Welch at Broadcast Educators Association (BEA) 2022

Broadcast Educators Association (BEA) 2022

I attended my first Broadcast Educators Association (BEA) conference last weekend on the invite of Dr. Ed Fink, my former department chair, and greatly enjoyed hosting a pitchathon for graduation bachelor students interested in creating their own television shows. 

My co-panelists included two fun colleagues who have become good friends  –  Jon Vandergriff (Stephens College) and David Morgassen (CSUF).  We gave feedback on 9 different pitches and followed it up with a Q&A about the world of being a professional writer.  The audience was so interested and engaged that after our session ended, we all grabbed a table together and kept talking until we closed the venue down for the night.

Dr. Rosanne Welch at Broadcast Educators Association (BEA) 2022

Meeting potential MFA candidates is one reason to attend events like this one – but mostly it’s to make new friends in the academic world and strengthen the friendships you’ve already created; to learn how they approach the teaching of screenwriting or media history and bring those ideas back to my own classrooms. 

On this trip, I met professors from Illinois and Michigan and reconnected with folks I’ve worked with at CSUF and elsewhere.  Having lunch and hashing over which films or television shows to teach and how to best help students learn to analyze these in order to improve their writing is the heart of such a conference.  Meeting the students and hearing their ideas is the icing on the cake.

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

01 Introduction from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

01 Introduciton from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

 
Transcript: That was marvelous and I’m so excited about this panel because we’re all talking a little bit about everything which is really nice. Yes, love men. Don’t want to pick on men. Married to a man. Have a son but there you go. We’re going to talk about how men forget women in the archives. First, I would like to acknowledge that I am speaking from the traditional lands of the Tongva people and I want to respect their elders and their people that came before us. This was the ground of Los Angeles all the way out to the Catalina islands and I think it’s something worth people studying. Very briefly about me. I was a television writer for 20 years. So I wrote on 90210 and Picket Fences and Touched by an Angel. Currently, I’m kind of using words from my book When Women Wrote Hollywood which is about the early silent screenwriters – female screenwriters – and how they have been forgotten. I also am the book review editor for the Journal of Screenwriting. So if you ever want to write a review or have a book that needs reviewing, let me know because I’d love to do that and I’m on the editorial board for Written By magazine which I always suggest people read. It is free digitally online about every six weeks the Writer’s Guild comes out with it and there are some wonderful interviews with movie star – movie writers and tv writers. So that’s kind of the world I’m in. I am the executive director of the Stephens College TV and Screenwriting MFA and our mantra is Write, Reach and Represent because I think that’s what writing is all about. The school is actually in Missouri but it’s a low residency program so people come to LA and we work at the Jim Henson Studios. So talk about Mabel Normand who worked at Charlie Chaplin studios with him. This was originally Charlie Chaplin Studios before A&M Records and Jim Henson. So it’s a beautiful piece of Hollywood memorabilia.

Our intrepid panel leader, Christina Lane (author of Phantom Lady – the new biography of writer-producer Joan Harrison) kept us connected across the time.  Other panel participants included Philana Payton (UCLA) who is researching the memoirs of Eartha Kitt and Vicki Callahan (USC) who covered the career of Mabel Normand.  I was happy to highlight the many female screenwriters whose histories were left on the cutting room floor thanks to the unreliable narrators of their work who included directors, film reviewers, and husbands – all who left the female writers out of their own memories.


Watch this entire presentation

New Presentation: “She is Wise and Unafraid”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect, Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2021, Oxford, UK

New Presentation: “She is Wise and Unafraid”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect, Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2021, Oxford, UK

New Presentation: “She is Wise and Unafraid”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor  and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect, Screenwriting Research Network Conference 2021, Oxford, UK

For this year’s SRN (Screenwriting Research Network) conference – which had to be online due to the continuing pandemic – I presented a short discussion of the chapter I wrote for a new book an old favorite show – Doctor Who.

The book is called Doctor Who New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era and my chapter is titled “She is Wise and Unafraid,”: Writing the 1st Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect.”


 

I cover the ways in which I believe executive producer/showrunner Chris Chibnall used the tools of his writing trade to create the first female Doctor in the show’s over 50-year history. Those included casting and costuming, dialogue and diversity. In my opinion, Chibnall made a promise to diversify the show on all levels (not just by changing the gender of the lead character) and by hiring a diverse slate of writers who created stories under his direction I believe he kept that promise.


15 The Operation of a Writer’s Room Part 2 from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

15 The Operation of a Writer's Room Part 2 from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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

 

 

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.

Transcript

…and she tells a lovely story about one scene in which she had two — this is, of course, about the pre— the days of the Czar — and so you have lovely rich people fencing. Two lovely young men having a fencing match — a practice — and at the end of it they take off their attire and they put on their nice shirts with the lace and they walk away. And the men in her writing room — the Russian men — said “well, the scene is over when we know who won the match,” and she said “No, this is a soap opera. The scene is over when the women see their chests.” So, she was teaching them what you need inside a soap opera. So they wanted a teaching writer’s room and that’s what she was able to provide.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


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* 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!

14 The Operation of a Writer’s Room from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

14 The Operation of a Writer's Room from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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

 

 

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.

Transcript

I wanted to talk about what it’s like. What’s the “operation” of a writer’s room and I love that this game is, of course, based on Rick & Morty, a TV show. So, we’re blending TV into all these other mediums now. You have to think about what kind of writer’s room you’re working. There are different kinds we’ve had experience with. My friend, Lisa Seidman, is a writer from Los Angeles. Some Russian producers came to Los Angeles. They wanted a woman –a person — who had written soap operas — both afternoon and evening soap operas — who could speak Russian and who had been a screenwriting teacher, because they wanted that person to move to Russia for a few years, start the show, Anastasia, Poor Anastasia, and teach a writing room how it should work. So that she could then leave and they could manage it themselves.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


Ready to present my talk yesterday at the Screenwriting Research Conference here in Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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* 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!

13 Something’s missing in writer’s rooms from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

13 Something's missing in writer's rooms from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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

 

 

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.

Transcript

Something’s missing in these early writer’s rooms. What’s — who’s not in that picture? Audience: Women. Uh-hum. it’s kind of obvious, you know, so we had these shows that we admire greatly but they didn’t have a female perspective. Hello? They were missing and their opinion is missing and I think that’s a problem. But then along came Buffy and Buffy had a staff that included many female writers — some of whom are now credited with giving it the feminist bent that it had. Joss Whedon may have started the show but now we also know that — like Woody Allen — there are things we don’t like about him. So it seems it was the women on the staff who maintained that feminist idea right up to the point where they credited the first lesbian couple on television, Tara and Willow — and that was a big step in American television. So, Buffy’s a big step. Now, here we have a room for Orange is the New Black, which has many females, but it’s missing something different. Audience: People of color. A person of color, exactly, and yet the show itself was filled with women of color as characters. So, again, we have to address that issue. We’re not getting all the perspectives we can.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


Ready to present my talk yesterday at the Screenwriting Research Conference here in Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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* 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!

12 Kenny Johnson from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

 from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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

 

 

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.

Transcript

Kenny Johnson brought science fiction more seriousness, right? So he started The Bionic Woman. He moved on to The Incredible Hulk, then V, and then Alien Nation. A beautiful show about an alien nation and assimilation into new cultures all done through science fiction. So he brought social justice to science fiction and that was a very distinct way that his voice worked. I got to be his assistant for a while.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


Ready to present my talk yesterday at the Screenwriting Research Conference here in Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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* 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!

11 Donald Bellisario from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

11 Donald Bellisario from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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

 

 

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.

Transcript

Don Belisario gave us the military on television and that is a very distinct voice in America. It speaks to a part of the population that doesn’t feel they’re serviced by television right which they think is all run by liberal elites. So to glorify our military is the thing that is very popular in some parts of the country and that’s because Don Belisario was from the military. So he wanted to express that part of his life in writing.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


Ready to present my talk yesterday at the Screenwriting Research Conference here in Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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* 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!

10 Steven Bochco from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

10 Steven Bocbco from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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

 

 

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.

Transcript

Then, of course , we have Steven Bochco, who gave us — he, as was said in the keynote, the multi-level story, many characters with different goals. He brought that to television in a way that hadn’t existed before. Adam-12 is a very basic, two guys do cop things all day. This was now groups of people. Here we had the policemen with their own personal lives at home. Later will have LA Law. The lawyers with their own personal lives and NYPD Lue. So that was what Bochco brought to television.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


Ready to present my talk yesterday at the Screenwriting Research Conference here in Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Follow me on Instagram



* 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!