15 1976…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

15 1976...from

Transcript:

1976 comes along and this is Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. So 54 or jump into 76. It’s kind of like once every generation there’s an interest and a need for this movie. Partially because female creatives, whether they be writers or actresses, see this as a great piece to work from and a great way to reflect on their moment in culture right? So this is a big fancy deal. Look at these great photographs. Let me tell you, this is going to be written by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunn. They are a married couple who write their own novels as you see here and work out of New York. They get hired to do this and Joan is going to have her own imprint on it. We’re going to see that in a second. I also want to highlight the fact that John Gregory Dunn wrote this marvelous book if you’ve never read it called Monster: Living Life Off the Big Screen. It’s about the writing of this film Up Close and Personal, which was meant to be the story of Jessica Savitch, an anchorwoman who died when she was high on cocaine and drove her car into a lake and drown and by the time they were done it had nothing to do with her at all and so this tells you the eight-year struggle to get the movie made out of the Disney company. It’s a really a good inside look at how writers and producers work with studios.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

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26 Controversy Scares Broadcasters from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Watch the entire presentation – Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 here

26 Controversy Scares Broadcasters  from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

Controversy scares broadcasters because it of course the word broad means they need the biggest audience possible because they’re selling advertising time and promising the biggest eyeballs on your ads. So if you do something controversial they’ll get less viewers and then the ad people will want to pay them less. So they have a bigger you know a bigger obligation to make the advertisers to not scare the audience away. Which is why you get stuff that’s much more progressive on cable and then eventually in streaming.

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.

52 Conclusion from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

52 Conclusion from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

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.

Transcript:

…and if you don’t think novelists are writers who collaborate think about the fact that all these guys hung around with each other in a writer’s group and read stuff to each other and took notes from each other and made changes based on those notes. Those were writer’s rooms. The Eagle and whatever that pub is called I haven’t gotten to yet …that was a writer’s room right and from that room not only did we get those books. We got this collaboration. Phil Jackson is great. I love him. He’s brilliant. He does great stuff. He doesn’t do it alone. He’s just the guy who’s willing to do the interviews. His wife doesn’t care to do interviews. I don’t know what’s wrong with her but she’s making me crazy right because we’re forgetting that two women co-wrote this movie. That’s what makes it so much better for our times right? They got the best-adapted screenplay award. Two women and a guy made The Lord of the Rings into what it is. I think that’s really important. So who remembers what I said my teaching philosophy was

three things matter

Words matter, Writers matter, and Women Writers matter.

Thank you very much. You’re listening. This thing is good. All right and this is important to me. It’s not just what I know. It’s spreading that around this is my first graduating classroom at Stephen’s MFA. As I said it was an all-female college. So it’s about spreading the word. Writers are teachers with a giant podium. What’s your opinion of how this world should work? Put it out there and the bigger audience you get the more influence you get. Forget YoutTube and who does makeup well. Those aren’t influencers. People who tell stories — I seriously — they’re not — people who tell stories are influencers because stories teach us to feel and that’s what you get paid to do which I love. So again these are a bunch of books I use when I’m just thinking about putting this together. So if you’re interested in reading about showrunners, those are a bunch of books that do interviews with them, and of course, this is the bunch that I’ve written and that’s all I have to say. So I guess we’re doing a q a now right? so if people have questions, I am totally open to your things.

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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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

14 What Changed?…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

14 What Changed?...from

Transcript:

So let’s look at what changed. First, we’ve got to move her into it being a musical star because this is Judy Garland. She’s going to have to sing musical numbers in this particular remake. We’re still going to have our drunken actor and they’re going to marry and he’s going to be jealous. This is something that remains the same all the way until we get to Bradley Cooper and we’ll talk about why that changes. We’re going to have our Academy Award moment because musicals were things that earned Academy Awards back in the day of course. He’s going to commit suicide off-screen. He’s going to walk off into the ocean as the noble man that he is and she too will introduce herself as Mrs. Norman Maine. So these things remain exactly the same. When the Writer’s Guild arbitrates a script to decide who should get final credit, they look at all versions of a script. They have a blind group of writers who sign up to do this and they get the scripts –writer one, writer two, writer three. You don’t get any names and then you decide statistically how much of a percentage of this person’s original work made it to the end and that’s how they decide credit. So I am looking at this as if I’m arbitrating the various versions of this script to see how much credit Dorothy Parker still deserves. In this case, I think a lot right? They’re borrowing a lot of what she did.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



On The Writers of Casablanca

On The Writers of Casablanca

While it is fun to look back at this review of Casablanca from when it was released – before anyone knew it would become the classic it is and be voted one of the greatest screenplays of all times – it’s also a reminder of my pet peeve. The reviewer never once names the screenwriters – twins Julius Epstein and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch – in the whole review.

On The Writers of Casablanca

Howard koch

He mentions the producer and the director in the first paragraph. Yet he writes: “through these people, the story of Casablanca is told with expert intensity.” And about the love story, he says: “the triangle is intelligently developed.” And in praise of the director, he notes “the wealth of contributing material that was placed at his disposal” without ever acknowledging the writers who did all of that.

As a final coup de grace he names each of the heads of departments and their “long list of technical achievements”… but never once mentions the writers who envisioned it all – Julius and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch. So I am mentioning them many times in this rant. Jacob and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch created the Casablanca we still watch, love, and teach 80 years after it was written by Jacob and Philip Epstein and Howard Koch.

Read ‘Casablanca’: THR’s 1942 Review from the Hollywood Reporter

13 1954 Credits…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

13 1954 Credits...from

Transcript:

Where, first of all, let’s look at these credits. One of the things I want to make point of so here’s Moss Hart. He takes full credit for the screenplay but it is based on the one that Dorothy did with Alan and Robert right? So this is how our credits read properly. What’s interesting about this is he says when he’s asked during his rewrites about some things he did not change at all and he didn’t for this very reason. He felt they were perfect the way they were. They were perfect the way she wrote them. He could not top those lines. So the 1954 version is still an echo and a mimic of Dorothy Parker in my opinion based on Moss Hart’s confession. If you want to put it that way and Moss Hart if you’ve never read Act One, this is his autobiography of growing up poor in New York, working in some summer camps that are very much like dirty dancing summer camp, and eventually making it on Broadway. It’s quite a good book if you’re interested in that period. Of course, the joke is how much of it is true and how much did he elaborate on. We will never really know. There is then obviously a real biography of him if you are interested but here’s the man who’s rewriting this version of A Star Is Born, so I will say though it is written solely by a man, it is a man relying on and reusing the words of a woman’s. The female imprint is still highly there in this version.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



25 More On Network Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Watch the entire presentation – Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 here

25 More On Network Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

The idea was that the little boy would want to be popular in school and he would stumble on some internet pornography and print it and hand it around at school so the bigger boys would think he was cool and then, of course, he would have to pay the price for that and get suspended for a couple of days. His parent would be upset. We’d have to talk about the problem with pornography and what it does to the way people believe – think about women and all of that. And the network came back and said they thought it would be more engaging if the little boy didn’t copy what he found on the internet, but he created his own and I about wanted to go kill myself because I did not believe in that family — that boy — whatever — had that inclination, but I wasn’t running the show. I was just selling an episode then and the Executive Producer, Jeff Melvoin, did argue and argue, and that one we didn’t win. So, in that episode, the boy actually takes a picture of someone who’s naked on the Internet and puts his teacher’s face on it and it’s like Oooo, look he photoshopped it before there even Photoshop, I think, and I hated that so much, but I didn’t have any control to change it, so you just had to got with it and make sure that the ending — there was a big discussion about how and why that was wrong and how depressed the father was that his son would behave in that fashion and it really showed that there wasn’t anything cool or wonderful about what he had done. So we had to sort of overwrite the ending to make up for a beginning that we didn’t appreciate, but you know, it was their — they had enough — it was only the 3rd season of that show so they still had a chance to say no and they often did.

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.

Alice Burton Russell Micheaux: “Breaking Barriers on Two Fronts” — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, November 2021

Alice Burton Russell Micheaux: “Breaking Barriers on Two Fronts” -- Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, November 2021

 

Film history texts often neglect female screenwriters and completely omit the names of women of color such as Alice Burton Russell Micheaux, wife of filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Script contributor Dr. Rosanne Welch rightly so celebrates the female screenwriters who came before us with attainable insight about filmmaker Alice Burton Russell Micheaux.

Read Alice Burton Russell Micheaux: “Breaking Barriers on Two Fronts” — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, November 2021


Read about more women from early Hollywood


51 Teacher Make Good Writers from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

51 Teacher Make Good Writers from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

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.

Transcript:

For me, teachers make good writers. Right? Obviously Icatered this to where I have come and been happy to be. I actually — went too fast — this was my facebook post the other day. I don’t like a lot of words on the screen but I couldn’t resist this because I’ve never been to Oxford before.

So I found this little church just off Wharton Road where he was once a congregant and I had to find the picture and send it back to my husband and the cat just found me which I thought was cute but seriously I mean how long has the guy been dead and I’m still fascinated by the things he wrote? They still mean something to me and my family. Likewise, writers make good teachers.

Watch this entire presentation

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

 


* 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

12 Here Comes Judy…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

12 Here Comes Judy...from

Transcript:

1937. Huge Movie. It winds awards. It has everyone paying attention. Janet Gaynor is a very important actress. So, it’s a big deal. 1954 comes around. There is a movie we can remake and remember that in the era when they were remaking these films, there were no DVDs. There was no streaming. The film was done after it played in a theater for 2 weeks or 10 weeks — however successful it was. You would never see that film again. 1954. There’s no TV reruns of that film. That’s it. If your mother saw it in ’37, that’s it. Nobody has seen it since then. So remaking a movie made some sense. So, we’re going to come into this with a guy named Moss Hart. He’s a very famous Broadway playwright. He worked with George S. Kaufman, but he also worked on his own and he is invited to come and re-do this for Judy Garland as the star and it’s going to be a comeback film. She’s had trouble (Oh no) with drugs and alcohol AND it’s affected her career. So she needs a big vehicle and this is recognized as a showpiece for a female performer, but she’s Judy Garland, so we’ve got to change something.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web