22 Getting What You Want In The 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”

22 Getting What You Want In The Room from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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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.

Transcript:

In all of them, I learned something about how a room should be run, and one of the first things I teach my students is that you have to — you should take a class in psychology. You need you need to know how to read a room and know how to behave in the room with people and that’s something that sometimes people don’t know. So it’s a silly thing but it’s true. This — on this episode, Smokescreen, we have two people, Roma Downey who is an Irish-American woman and Della Reese, who is an African-American woman. They would pretend to be other people in people’s lives. In this particular episode, Roma always did more work because she was younger and Della only worked three days a week because she was in her 70s. They were going to have Roma portray this gentleman’s lawyer and Della portray his maid and I understood how upsetting that would be to my African-American friends if yet another maid character was portrayed by an African-American woman. So I said we shouldn’t do that. What if we switched it and the problem was production, Della didn’t have many hours in the week to do that filming. So we could have ended the idea there but I was a little pushy then and and I wanted the movement and i suggested we ask her, would she be willing to work an extra day that week for the chance not to play a maid and guess what she said. Exactly.

 

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


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34 Margaret Nagle and Warm Springs from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

34 Margaret Nagle and Warm Springs 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 Margaret Nagle came off of Boardwalk Empire. She’s a pretty brilliant writer in many ways. She started her career — she was an actress. She moved into writing and she knew she needed to write something powerful and different. You’ve got to find something that hasn’t been done million times before and Warm Springs was the story of Franklin Roosevelt and the time he spent at a spa when he had polio. We’ve seen a million Franklin Roosevelt stories in America because he’s one of our big heroes right? We’ve seen the relationship with Eleanor. We’ve seen the relationship with his mistress. We’ve seen World War II in any different way you can figure it out. Nobody had done the story of how a rich boy dealt with being diagnosed with polio. What did he do and how did he survive and it was in the spa full of other people who weren’t famous or rich and he had to meet people he had never met in his normal life and that’s what formed the man who became the president who created all the programs that helped us survive the depression and the war and so that was a brilliant idea for us and it was just reading history and she stumbled on that thought. Why have i never seen this story? I’ll write it. What a lovely idea. Reading history is a brilliant thing to do.

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† Available from the LA Public Library

21 In The Room Where It Happens 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”

21 In The Room Where It Happens 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:

Tina Fey obviously has run a couple of shows quite well and I like what she has to say about what happens in the room.

Her voice is always so clear. You know that’s her — that humor she can’t keep away from. That’s really kind of interesting and they run the room together — and a married couple — that’s a unique and interesting way to run a room right and that’s true for 30 Rock and Kimmy Schmidt and he did the music for her broadway play on Mean Girls. Now when I was on Touched by Angel, we had a whole lot of other things that we learned. I began in the business as a receptionist and then I became a writer’s assistant on these shows, so I sat in these rooms as these ideas were being broken. I got to watch the evolution of that job which was a new thing letting someone in the room with the writers. They hadn’t done that before but with the advent of computers, they wanted someone to keep a log of who said what. So we always had that information. So that was interesting to me. Then I was I did freelance writing and all the shows before I got on staff.

 

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
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Online Panel Discussion: It’s All Relative: Writing Diverse Television Families, Friday, August 6, 2021, 5:30 PM 7:00 PM – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Online Panel Discussion: It's All Relative: Writing Diverse Television Families, Friday, August 6, 2021, 5:30 PM  7:00 PM - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

It’s All Relative: Writing Diverse Television Families
Friday, August 6, 2021
5:30 PM  7:00 PM

Online – RSVP Required

At every MFA Workshop we host a panel of writers in a joint event between the Writers Guild Foundation and the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting.

Our next will be focused on Writing Diverse Television Families.

Join us on Zoom on August 6th to hear from these writers:

  • Moderated by Dr. Rosanne Welch, Executive Director of Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting
  • Sheryl J. Anderson – Creator and Executive Producer, Sweet Magnolias
  • Lang Fisher – Co-creator and Executive Producer, Never Have I Ever
  • Marja-Lewis Ryan – Executive Producer, The L Word: Generation Q
  • Anthony Sparks – Executive Producer, Queen Sugar.

Online Panel Discussion: It's All Relative: Writing Diverse Television Families, Friday, August 6, 2021, 5:30 PM  7:00 PM - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

33 Terence Winter and Boardwalk Empire from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

33 Terence Winter and Boardwalk Empire 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:

Terence Winter on Boardwalk Empire. He came off of The Sopranos so he had a very good pedigree and then he moved into Boardwalk Empire and the idea of how you parse out the story and this comes from structure. At what point to do give out what information. How do you string the audience along. I think that’s really interesting. That’s a whole other conversation.

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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

20 A-Not-So Safe Space on Friends 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”

20 A-Not-So Safe Space on Friends 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

Friends provides an interesting case study because they were sued by the writer’s assistant who said that the room was unsafe to her. She didn’t like the kind of sexual conversation that went on. She did not win that lawsuit because it was understood that your presumption going into that job — a show about a bunch of single people in New York — is that we’re going to be discussing these things and you should be comfortable in that — or take a different job on a different show. so that was an interesting — how do we run a room? — Safe but open and I don’t that we’ve found a perfect answer to that yet. I think they got away with what they did because they were all new. It was their first show. Look at how young they were. This is them nowadays, right? So, it — they weren’t sure how to run things, right? They were working the best they could.

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!

19 Make It A Safe Space 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”

19 Make It A Safe Space 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

In terms of Handmaid’s Tale, they talk about how much work ahead of time they have to do and how much he wants the whole staff to contribute. He doesn’t want to be the full runner of the show — Bruce Miller — he wants everyone to be part of what he’s creating because he recognizes he’s a man running a show about women being oppressed in this Margaret Atwood future. So he has a particular take there and of course, we’re back to Vince Gilligan who I love greatly. He’s talking about making people feel comfortable, which I said, and I think comfort is very, very important. It has to be a safe place so that everyone is willing to tell their story. I laugh because my first days on Touched by an Angel the way they got all the writers to know each other was everyone had to tell the story of how they lost their virginity and once you told that to a room full of strangers you were willing to tell anything else. So it was an interesting first day of work to be sure. I’m not sure that qualifies as safe anymore but we’ll see.

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!

32 Writer’s Room As Dinner Party from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

32 Writer's Room As Dinner Party 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:

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is in charge of Riverdale. Was that here yet? Based on The Archie comics which is kind of funny. First season, pretty good. Second season, getting a little sillier. Third season, getting a little sillier. Not very good but the idea that a writer’s room is like a dinner party and you’re just kibitzing with people and having a good conversation and from that people go “Oh wait. i like that and I like what you said. I’m gonna put all these things together and we’re gonna end up with a story which we all like.” Love Tina Fey. Tina Fey is a great example of going from acting because of the strength of her writing becoming the first woman to run the evening report the weekend update on SNL. Then of course she did Mean Girls. She got hired from her comic chops to write Mean Girls. May or may not know that was recently nominated for Tony because she turned it into a Broadway show. Writers own the product throughout all of its lifespans. Directors do not right? The director of the movie Mean Girls was not invited to direct the musical but she was invited to write it. So I think it’s powerful. So her and her husband. Robert Carlock is her husband so they’ve worked the last two tv shows together and that’s their opinion. Again, diversity in the room with lots of things even educational status is an important thing.

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

31 Drama is about making a choice from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

31 Drama is about making a choice 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:

On Orville. I don’t know if this is transferred to England yet but it’s — who’s seen Galaxy Quest — Alan Rickman. I love Galaxy Quest. That is a movie that is survived by the writing. It could have been a silly piece of nonsense that was just a couple of gags joined together but the story is so strong, the movie is actually really good and Alan Rickman is of course always wonderful but Seth McFarlane talks about this idea. You have to tell the stories of your life. You stumble upon things by saying this happened and that happened or I had a friend to whom this happened right? One of my early episodes of Touched by an Angel had to do with a couple who was going to having a baby and they found out it was going to have Down’s Syndrome and then they had to make the decision were they capable of being the parents of a handicapped child and of course there was a moment where they could have chosen abortion. They did not but they had that discussion right because drama’s built around making a choice and that’s probably the biggest choice a person could ever make right? So that was built on the fact that somebody in the room one day, that was happening in their cousin’s family and they were talking about it and how they’ve been on the phone with them and we thought oh my gosh that’s an excellent story to try to move into and why would you what are the possible reasons you would make this choice? What are the reasons you would be talked out of making this choice? How do you deal with that problem? It just came up in personal conversation. So being a good conversationalist makes you a good writer because you can tell stories about your life and your friend’s lives.

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

18 Fresh Off The Boat 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”

18 Fresh Off The Boat 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

So for me what’s interesting and important about a writer’s room is what you have to do. In this case, this show called Fresh Off The Boat. It’s based on the memories of an Asian-American man and his immigrant family and for their room they wanted to make sure all the people they hired had an outsider perspective. People who understood what it was like to go to a new place and be different and how do you manage that balance of I’m an American-Korean but my parents are truly Korean and in moving to another country the parents have given away part of the knowledge of their children because they won’t share the same kind of childhood. So that was an important aspect that Nahnatchka Khan wanted to bring to her show and really interesting that she’s not a Korean American and she’s running the show. So it’s about an experience she shares emotionally not the same ethnic experience and so I think that’s an interesting movement forward — which is pretty good.

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!