42 Pitching Against Cliche from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

42 Pitching Against Cliche 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:

This particular episode was called “A House Divided.” It didn’t have Robin Williams in it. That’s from which movie? Mrs. Doubtfire, right, because I read an article about Mrs. Doubtfire. I wanted to do an episode about teaching parents not to teach their — make their child a weapon in their divorce right and because that’s the story of divorce. It’s like you love me more than you love him. My problem was i knew that my boss’s answer would be the parents — like The Parent Trap — should get married again at the end. That’s the answer that our show should give but i had read an interview with Robin Williams that had taken place several years earlier. When he agreed to do Mrs. Doubtfire, he put in his contract that the film could not end with he and Sally Field getting married again because he would not lie to his own children because he was divorced twice by then and he knew he was never getting back together with his first wife. So he would not do a movie that lied to his own children and that really struck me. So the way they fixed it was they made Sally Field already connected to Pierce Brosnan right?

Watch this entire presentation

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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

Contract or No Contract, Bess Meredyth Made Movie Magic — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, September 2021

Contract or No Contract, Bess Meredyth Made Movie Magic -- Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, September 2021

Bess Meredyth is one more name to add to that list of Silent Hollywood’s most prolific and respected screenwriters yet few textbooks mention her name – or her work as both a writer and producer in that period. In fact, when her son John Meredyth Lucas wrote a memoir of his own screenwriting career he never thought to interview her about her career. That’s how easy it can be to be forgotten and why it is so important to highlight these stories today.

Read Contract or No Contract, Bess Meredyth Made Movie Magic — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, September 2021


Read about more women from early Hollywood


03 What Price Hollywood from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

03 What Price Hollywood from

Transcript:

Jane Murphin also wrote on this original “What Price Hollywood. Jane Murphin had a long screenwriting career. You don’t hear a lot about her. This is — I love this picture — Strongheart was her own personal dog. She also was the woman who invented the dog movie before Rin Tin Tin and Lassie there was Strongheart. Believe it or not, the franchise of Strongheart created dog food which was available up to about 10 years ago. Even though obviously the dog and she are long gone. So two women wrote on that piece. In a nutshell, what is “What Price Hollywood?” It’s an ambitious actress, a drunken director, who she doesn’t marry. She marries a polo player. A very famous man who’s jealous of her fame. Her friend the director commits suicide and she travels to Paris and reconnects with the husband who left her because he was jealous. Kind of the bones of “A Star is Born” but not exactly.

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



08 Smart Women and Transcendentalism from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

08 Smart Women and Transcendentalism from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

Watch this entire presentation

Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

It’s such an interesting thing because they — they spouted ideas about equality but it’s a different thing to have the intellectual idea that women should be and then here’s like — you use the word intimidated — and I think that is the perfect description because imagine like well I said it could happen but I didn’t know I’d run into someone who’s going to challenge my — I’m the smart guy in the room — like you get that right? You can — you can see how that would have, it would have shocked them and maybe their own wives had that capacity but weren’t given the ability to show it off.

15 Stumptown from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

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

15 Stumptown from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

Host: Yeah, it seems like your not — not that into — not that engrossed in American television. Which, I mean, I do understand on a level.

Rosanne: I do agree. Now there was a great show like two years ago now, which got canceled too soon called Stumptownand it was the story of a woman who became a detective because she kind of couldn’t do anything else very well and she lived in Portland where there were reservations and Native American casinos and so she was sort of working in that world. She had a friend who ran a bar who was a former convict, so that was an interesting characterization and then they made a deal right away that they would never have a love relationship. They were just going to be friends and that was lovely to watch and that was really good because it was about real people going through problems.

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.

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “One Man Shy” episode on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series 

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “One Man Shy” episode on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series 

Even though my book is now 5 years old, I’m still always happy for any excuse to talk about The Monkees TV show – and my Monkees 101 co-host gives me that opportunity once a month as we work our way through each episode (mostly) chronologically.  We cover the news of the day when each episode aired, the Top 5 on the Billboard Charts (which often includes a Monkees tune), and all the meta things about the production (from the writing to the casting choices choices to the props and sound departments).  It’s quite a fun way for 2 lady doctors (the Phd kind) who found each other online over our Monkee-fandom can spend our time.

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “One Man Shy” episode on the Zilch Podcast's Monkees 101 Series 

It’s time for Monkees 101! Tim Powers and Sarah Clark host the show and talk Monkees current events in 2021, then Sarah and Rosanne talk “One Man Shy”, which aired Dec 5th 1966. Bashful Peter tries to win the heart of lovely debutante Valerie Cartwright (Lisa James) while dealing with her haughty boyfriend Ronnie Farnsworth (George Furth).

Songs: “I’m a Believer”, “You Just May Be the One” (original version)
1967 reruns: “I’m a Believer” was replaced with “Forget That Girl.”
Saturday mornings: “I’m a Believer” was replaced with “If I Knew.” 

Listen to this episode


Want to learn more about The Monkees? Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

 

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement in Comedy.

Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.

This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.

Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Riderand Five Easy Pieces.

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?

Order Examination Copies, Library and Campus Bookstore orders directly from McFarland

McFarland Company logo

41 It Never Hurts to Ask from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

41 It Never Hurts to Ask 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 to their credit, everybody in the room is kind of like “Oh duh yeah, why didn’t we think of that. Okay,” but a production problem. Della Reese was actually a minister in a church in Los Angeles and we filmed this in Utah. So she was given every Friday to fly back to LA to run her church for the weekend and then she’d come back Monday morning. So she didn’t work a day and a half of every week and so she couldn’t be in as many scenes as Roma Downey could. So immediately the supervising producer who’s in charge of scheduling shot that down and said “No we can’t do it,” and I thought damn, make me mad. I’m going to have to call my friend and say You’re going to hate this episode. Don’t watch it.” right and then I said “What if we asked Della if this particular week she would work a couple of extra days for the chance to play this character instead of that character” and they’re like “It can’t hurt to ask,” and you know to not play a maid she gave us another couple of extra days. So it was a move in the right direction right that had to be brought up. You have to think about it. Then you have to talk people into it. Persuasive speech is a good class to take if you want to be a writer in a writer’s room.

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

02 Women Writers Matter from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

02 Women Writers Matter from

Transcript:

Teaching philosophy. Words Matter. Writers Matter. Women Writers Matter and they’ve been far too often forgotten in history. So I love this movie to talk about because we’re going to talk about a very important female writer in Hollywood and yes this is coming out of practice for a chapter that I’m creating on this book on this movie and how it really relies on the female input to make it work in each of the iterations and we will see all of those women in all of those iterations and as Jacob mentioned we’ll notice the last movie is the only one without a female creative in the writing team which is interesting. Anyway, it all begins with Adela Rogers St Johns. She was a journalist out of San Francisco. She moved to Hollywood and she began to write short stories and sometimes scripts. She wrote mostly prose stories that were transformed into films. One of which is a thing called What Price Hollywood and it starred Constance Bennett who was a very very high-end female performer at the time and it’s a really interesting piece but it is not the first Star Is Born. There are parts of it that are similar and we will see the parts that change. She’s quite a fascinating person. If you ever want to read about her, she wrote a couple of memoirs and she used to appear in television shows. You can find her interviews on YouTube. She’s quite cool. She lived for a long time and she was the mother confessor to the stars of Hollywood because she wrote for the Hearst syndicate and so people in scandals would call her and say “you’ve got to come to my house and tell me how to deal with the press because they’re going to kill me because someone just died in my house” right? So she’s a pretty cool lady.

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



07 Emerson and “The Dial” from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

07 Emerson and

Watch this entire presentation

Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Tammy: When it comes to the transcendentalist one of the big things is also The Dial right? That’s the biggest magazine. That’s the thing that sort of cements the idea of the transcendentalists and all these writers get published there and Emerson had asked her to be the main editor and he said that he was going to pay her and then he never ended up paying her.

Rosanne: Exactly. She didn’t even get a free place a cabin on his land to live

Tammy: Right right like his friend you know uh but I and and you know he would always put her up in his house whenever she wanted to come visit concord. She had an open invitation but you know his wife Lidian didn’t necessarily appreciate it and it wasn’t the best of relationships. So I and I feel like Margaret was never really maybe comfortable in the Concord world because they the guys here just didn’t understand how to deal with her.

Rosanne: Nor did the women right because you have to imagine they were probably — had they had some education — they knew they could do more but weren’t allowed to and then here’s this woman who’s getting to so there’s going to be this under you know layer of kind of jealousy but I don’t want to be jealous but I want that but I can’t have it.

14 International TV from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

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

14 International TV from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

Host: Is there a show on today that you think is really good at capturing those really human moments and I mean is there a show that you really adore that does that does that? That accomplishes that well?

Rosanne: I watch such a wide variety of tv. I must say what i love for y’all’s generation is the existence of Netflix means that you can watch television from a variety of different countries beyond which all the various things being made here and of course between cable and streaming and whatnot, we laugh now there’s something like 420 new shows out in the world. So it’s almost impossible to keep track of all of them. I learn so much when students come in and want to pitch a show I’ve never heard of then I have to go watch it and figure out what’s going on with this right? So I watch such a variety of things it’s hard to say. I’ve been watching a lot of stuff out of New Zealand and I’m a huge Doctor Who fan and any kind of science fiction is fun because it is looking at modern-day problems but in that science fiction world. So it’s kind of fun to watch and go oh they’re having… this is a problem they’re dealing with but it’s happening to aliens instead of you know humans or something. So that’s fantastic. I watch a lot of Australian tv. A lot of English tv. A lot of the kind of murder mysteries they do where it’s not all about the gore. It’s not about CSI where’s all the blood and all the stuff I have to put under microscopes. It’s about again people and how come that person seems guilty but no and it turns out the red herring is that it’s because they knew they were having an affair but they’re not the one who killed him. So it’s like puzzles and I find that really interesting and I find they can make more real people in shows like that. So sadly in terms of what I think about you know American tv.

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.