Introduction from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 min)

Introduction from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.

Transcript:

I teach the history of screenwriting, not film, to an MFA program for Stephens College, a low residency program. We do workshops at the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood for 10 days twice a year and then the students do the rest of their work online. I’m also an adjunct at Cal State Fullerton, so I’ve had the pleasure of teaching all three of these gentlemen. So that’s been a lovely thing but I don’t teach this class there, so they haven’t actually seen me do this. With them, I’ve done screenwriting and workshopping, but here I’m going to talk about why I teach this class for a couple of reasons and I gave it this particular name, “Giving Voice to Silent Films…and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them” – you’ll see that one of those books is by Carrie Beauchamp and it is, “Without Lying Down.” The life story of Frances Marion and the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood in the entire Silent and early talkie period and none of my students have ever heard of her and I think it is very important that we hear about her and Anita Loos and a bunch of other important women.

I was pleased to be asked to participate in a panel designed by former student (and current kick-ass professor) Warren Lewis. The panel included two other former students from the MFA in Screenwriting program at CSUF: David Morgassen and Lucas Cuny. For the panel’s theme — “What Else Do We Teach When We Teach Screenwriting: Context And Controversy: Strategies For Teaching Film And Television History And Current Events To Screenwriters” — I chose to present on: “Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them”.

It involves the fact that when teaching screenwriting history, I begin chronologically. In essence I force students to watch the classic films of the silent era (happily accessible for free on YouTube) first because that is when women ran the town as evidenced in Cari Beachamp’s Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood”.) Beauchamp’s book is on my reading list so that they can encounter the careers of Frances Marion, Anita Loos, Lois Weber, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Eve Unsell and a host of other women who ran their own production companies for many years.

Secondly, knowing women once ran Hollywood makes it harder for today’s executives to wonder if today’s women can do the same.

Third, I have learned that teaching silent films reminds modern students that in screenwriting the visual is as important as the verbal.

Fourth, recognizing the birth of major iconic archetypes helps them recognize those archetypes in modern films and develop their own characters more three-dimensionally.

Fifth, I had to embarrassingly realize that in my zest to focus on forgotten females, I forgot to cover the careers of forgotten men and women of color and so expanded my viewing list to include the work of Oscar Mischeaux and other artists of color from the era.

Finally, I stretch back to the silents as a reminder that all artists stand of the shoulders of those who came before them – be they women or men.

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

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About Dr. Rosanne Welch

Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.

Welch teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting. Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences,ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Dr. Welch also presented, “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP. Watch it here.

How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017 [Video] (23 mins)

How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017 [Video] (23 mins)

How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto - Dr. Rosanne Welch - SRN Conference 2017 [Video] (23 mins)

 

At this year’s 10th Annual Screenwriting Research Network Conference at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand I presented…

“How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto by Accident (and How We Can Get Her Out of it): Demoting Gidget: The Little Girl with Big Ideas from Edgy Coming of Age Novel to Babe on the Beach Genre Film via Choices made in the Adaptation Process.”

It’ a long title, as I joke up front, but covers the process of adapting the true life story of Kathy Kohner (nicknamed ‘Gidget’ by the group of male surfers who she spent the summers with in Malibu in the 1950s) into the film and television series that are better remembered than the novel. The novel had been well-received upon publication, even compared to A Catcher in the Rye, but has mistakenly been relegated to the ‘girl ghetto’ of films. Some of the adaptations turned the focus away from the coming of age story of a young woman who gained respect for her talent at a male craft – surfing – and instead turned the focus far too much on Kathy being boy crazy.

Along the way I found interesting comparisons between how female writers treated the main character while adapting the novel and how male writers treated the character.




Gidget


Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.


SRN logo red

The Screenwriting Research Network is a research group consisting of scholars, reflective practitioners and practice-based researchers interested in research on screenwriting. The aim is to rethink the screenplay in relation to its histories, theories, values and creative practices.

21: Peter Tork and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power [Video] (0:55)

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”

21: Peter Tork and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power

 

Transcript:

Jean: All right, we have one more Monkee to discuss. Who is this gentleman here — the guy right there.

Rosanne: This is Peter Tork and he has quite a following. He is, I would say, as cute as Davy and had Davy not shown up he himself might have been a teen idol.

Jean: He might have been singing the love ballads, right?

Rosanne: Seriously and he said in his later career that he wasn’t pushy enough. When they offered up songs he kind of stood in the background and didn’t jump on them.

Jean: I noticed in this town, in this industry, you’ve got to, you cannot be bashful, right? or you will lose.

Rosanne: No, That is very true and yet he was considered, he was quite polite and he was quite the true hippie of the day. He really believed in the message of peace. He also believed in the message of Buddhism, actually, so he wasn’t a pushy guy. Now as they have toured in later years he tends to sing all of the songs Davy sang in concert and he is quite proficient at them. So it’s kind of sad that he didn’t get into the mix more deeply himself.

Get your copy today!

 

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement 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 Rider and Five Easy Pieces.

Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.

From The Research Vault Extra: Tom Petty and The Monkees

In honor of the loss of Tom Petty, I was reminded of his love for Monkees music in this quote I used in Why The Monkees Matter. He will be missed by many. — Rosanne

Tom petty

“In 2013 Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers liked to open concerts with a double dose of Monkee-themed material by playing the Byrds’ 1967 classic “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” back to back with “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone.” — Roberts, Randall.  “Review: Deep cuts from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at the Fonda.


Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

 

Order Your Copy Now!

From The Research Vault: Have yourself a merry atheist Christmas! By Penn Jillette, CNN, 2012

From The Research Vault: Have yourself a merry atheist Christmas! By Penn Jillette, CNN, 2012

 

 From The Research Vault: Have yourself a merry atheist Christmas! By Penn Jillette, CNN, 2012

 

[…]

The Monkees were on TV. They appealed to the broadest audience possible. The Monkees were sanitized. My mom and dad would watch the Monkees with me, and other than their stupid haircuts, Mom and Dad weren’t bothered much by the Pre-fab Four.

Mom and Dad bought me Monkees records. I read Monkees interviews and through them, learned about a guy named Jimi Hendrix who was their opening act in cities I couldn’t get to. I saw Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention on the Monkees TV show and in their movie, “Head,” and soon I’d moved from the innocuous to full blown dangerous rock ‘n’ roll. Things that are for everyone sometimes suck us into things that aren’t for everyone.

[…]

Read the entire article

 

 

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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A History of Screenwriting – 40 in a series – The Son of the Sheik – Frances Marion

A History of Screenwriting – 40 in a series – The Son of the Sheik – Frances Marion

A History of Screenwriting - 40 in a series - The Son of the Sheik - Frances Marion

The Son of the Sheik is a 1926 American silent adventure/drama film directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Bánky. The film is based on the 1925 romance novel of the same name by Edith Maude Hull, and is a sequel to the 1921 hit film The Sheik, which also stars Rudolph Valentino.[2] The Son of the Sheik is Valentino’s final film and was released nearly two weeks after his death from peritonitis at the age of 31.

In 2003, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.[3]

At the time of the film’s release, Rudolph Valentino was attempting to make a comeback in films.[4] He rose to international stardom after the release of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and The Sheik in 1921, both of which were box office hits and solidified his image as “the Great Lover”.[5] By 1924, however, Valentino’s popularity had begun to wane after he appeared in two box office failures, Monsieur Beaucaire and A Sainted Devil, both of which featured him in roles that were a departure from his “Great Lover” image. He also squabbled over money with Famous Players-Lasky, the studio he was signed to, which eventually led to him walking out on his contract. Famous Players-Lasky eventually released Valentino from his contract and he signed with United Artists in 1925.[4] In an effort to capitalize on the success that Valentino had achieved with The Sheik, United Artists’ president Joseph M. Schenck bought the rights to Edith Maude Hull‘s novel Son of the Sheik and cast Valentino in the dual role of father and son.[2][6]

The novel was adapted for the screen by Frances Marion and Fred de Gresac.[2] The film was shot on location in California and in the Yuma Desert in Arizona.[7] Wikipedia



* 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! 


I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

20: Even More on Davy Jones and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power [Video] (0:57)

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”

20: Even More on Davy Jones and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power [Video] (0:57)

 

Transcript:

 

Rosanne: Sadly, he passed away of a heart attack in about 4 years ago and the band had been talking about having a 50th Anniversary Tour. So after he died, the three of them did get together and do a short tour and it went well, so they did actually a longer tour the next year and actually they did a big 50th Anniversary Tour last year that was only Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork.

Jean:…but they won’t replace Davy right?

Rosanne: No, they chose never to replace him because he was unreplacable. When he died it was announced on television that the episode — he did a guest spot on The Brady Bunch, which was a big sitcom — a couple of years after the movie and that turns out to be — according to ABC News — the most rerun episode of television ever of any show in the years of reruns. He was that popular.

Jean: I remember that like when Davy Jones shows up on The Brady Bunch.

Rosannne: Marsha wanted him to sing at her prom because she was the president of the Davy Jones Fan Club and he shows up.

 

Get your copy today!

 

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement 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 Rider and Five Easy Pieces.

Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.

From The Research Vault: The Changing Portrayal of Adolescents in the Media Since 1950 by Patrick Jamieson and Daniel Romer.

From The Research Vault: The Changing Portrayal of Adolescents in the Media Since 1950 by Patrick Jamieson and Daniel Romer.

 

 

Adolescents are eager consumers of mass media entertainment and are particularly susceptible to various forms of media influence, such as modeling, desensitization, and contagion. These once controversial phenomena are now widely accepted along with the recognition that th media are a major socializer of youth

During the economic boom of the post-World War II era, marketers and advertisers identified adolescents as a major audience, which led to the emergence of a pervasive youth culture. Enormous changes ensued in the media’s portrayal of adolescents and the behaviors they emulate. These changes were spurred by increased availability and consumption of television, which joined radio, film, and magazines as major influence on youth. Later, the rapid growth of the video game industry and the internet contributed to the encompassing presence of the media. Today, opportunities for youthful expression about to the point where adolescents can easily create and disseminate content with little control by traditional media gatekeepers.

In The Changing Portrayals of Adolescents in the Media since 1950, leading scholars analyze the emergence of youth culture in music and powerful trends in gender and ethnic-racial representation, sexuality, substance use, violence, and suicide portrayed in the media. This book illuminates the evolution of teen portrayal, the potential consequences of these changes, and the ways policy-makers and parents can respond. — Amazon

 
 

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

Order Your Copy Now!

A History of Screenwriting – 39 in a series – The Poor Little Rich Girl – Frances Marion

A History of Screenwriting – 39 in a series – The Poor Little Rich Girl – Frances Marion

A History of Screenwriting - 39 in a series - The Poor Little Rich Girl - Frances Marion

 

The Poor Little Rich Girl is a 1917 American comedy-drama film directed by Maurice Tourneur. Adapted by Frances Marion from the 1913 play by Eleanor Gates.[1] The Broadway play actually starred future screen actress Viola Dana.[2] The film stars Mary Pickford, Madlaine Traverse, Charles Wellesley, Gladys Fairbanks (returning from the play) and Frank McGlynn, Sr.

The film was shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey when early film studios in America’s first motion picture industry were based there at the beginning of the 20th century.[3][4][5] In 1991, The Poor Little Rich Girl was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Wikipedia



* 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! 


I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

19: More on Davy Jones and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power [Video] (0:44)

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”

19: More on Davy Jones and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power

 

Transcript:

 

Rosanne: So between the two of them — Micky Dolenz sang most of the leads on the rock songs and Davy sang most all the ballads the girls remember and anything that had a girls name in it because that’s why the girls would by it because Davy was singing to them.

Jean: Singing to them personally.

Rosanne. Exactly. So he was — and it was funny in driving to your house today I didn’t realize that the exit off the freeway is 7a and that’s the phrase at the beginning of Daydream Believer which is his big hit. They have a little snippet of conversation on the album and he says ‘What number is this?” 7a is the number that they are recording at the time which is Daydream Believer so that’s known in Monkee circles as a very important number. I thought that was very — it said something about destiny of doing this recording.

Jean: It was meant to be.

 

Get your copy today!

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement 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 Rider and Five Easy Pieces.

Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.