06 Inside The Writers Room from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (43 seconds)

06 Inside The Writers Room from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV

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:

What happens with writers rooms because this is the place where work gets done. Where stories get told, created, honed, in a particular way. The very beginning, this is what everybody thought. This is a writer’s room because comedies did use them. Comedians, we’re used to having three or four guys — generally, always guys — who travel with them and help them make funnier jokes. In America that was best seen in the Dick Van Dyke Show which you can see on youtube in a million different ways and Sally Rogers was the only woman anybody ever saw who wrote television which was kind of shocking but many women who came later defined her as a role model because that told them they could get in a room someday right? If they found the right kind of guys who would let them in.

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44 Samantha! from Brazil from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

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44 Samantha! from Brazil  from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

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Transcript:

In watching Brazilian television I found Samanta! which I thought is adorable. I’m amazed we haven’t copied that in the United States yet because this experience of being a child star is something that is, sadly, universal and I think that it’s important to realize that a program can travel to many cultures because themes are universal and that’s why when we start writing from a theme we know that it’s something that going to work. We talked about Harry Potter this morning. It amazes me that we’re talking about a billion-dollar piece of merchandise that is entirely built around the theme, you have to have friends. You have to have friends you can trust. That’s all. That’s the theme of every single book and every single movie and look how powerful that has been. We need that message. We go to movies and television shows, we go to stories, to learn those messages.

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A Note About This Presentation

A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.

To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.

Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.


 

* 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

05 Women Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (27 seconds)

05 Women Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (27 seconds)

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:

Women writers have always mattered. They certainly matter to me but we do not teach them very often and that’s a choice of the people who put classes together 50, 60, 80 years ago and didn’t mention the women. So I mention them a lot. These are women that you should know. These are women from American film history. There are women in English film history equally important. Hopefully, you’re having that covered in your classes.

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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

43 Murdoch Mysteries from Canada from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

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43 Murdoch Mysteries from Canada from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute)

 

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Transcript:

This is a police program it’s from the police — it’s a period drama. So it’s the police in 1902 in Toronto, Canada and so they don’t have guns and for an American to watch a policeman who can arrest people without putting a gun in their face is an amazing experience because we’re far too used to shoot-’em-ups right? So i am pleased with the idea that a younger generation of children are watching people do this job without violence and he’s the most famous detective. It’s the number one show in Canada. So i love the idea that you know you would think that we know a lot about Canada. The other funny thing is because it’s a period drama, they introduce us to famous Canadians in history — people who grow up to be Prime Ministers or one was the first woman lawyer in Canada and we never study Canadian history in the United States, so we’ll watch the program and that’s how I’ve learned more Canadian history in my life.

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A Note About This Presentation

A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.

To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.

Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.


 

* 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

Top On Screenwriting and Media Blog Posts for 2020

Top On Screenwriting and Media Blog Posts for 2020

04 Down With The Auteur Theory from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (54 seconds)

04 Down With The Auteur Theory from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (54 seconds)

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:

Writers. Really. Matter. I think it’s really true The Auteur Theory — and I don’t want to pick on the French — hopefully, there’s no one french in here — I’m picking on you — not my probably looking at your French friend, right — many people are now tearing down the Auteur Theory because it’s ridiculous. The director is not the only person responsible for why a film works. It has always begun with a writer. Yes, it moves to a director but that’s a collaboration and we made a mistake. Some people have written about the fact that in the early days of film critique critics couldn’t go through two or three names of writers so they went to the director’s name because it was the only one person named and slowly that became the idea of who the auteur was right? It’s not true. Vince Gilligan, very famous in America for Breaking Dad. Really considered one of our best showrunners — one of our best television writers — pretty much says it and I agree with him.

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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

42 Sharing Culture Internationally from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (50 seconds)

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42 Sharing Culture Internationally from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (50 seconds)

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Transcript:

When I was in Italy last visiting my cousin he has a little daughter named Carlotta which is Charlotte in English and he had never heard of Charlotte’s Web as neither the book nor the movie. So we bought a copy to show his daughter when she gets a little older and it was so beautiful to see the title of this book that I had always known in another language and then to know that they would share that story together with her and now we have this connection across the ocean that her — their child and my son knew the same story right? So it’s the culture. It’s the stories that teach our culture. This is a program from Canada that airs in the United States because of Netflix and I always have to say, people think Canada and the United States are the same place but we’re not. The Canadians have an entirely different culture which is often so much nicer than ours. So much more peaceful.

Watch this entire presentation

A Note About This Presentation

A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.

To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.

Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.


 

* 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

03 Why Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (41 seconds)

03 Why Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (41 seconds)

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:

Likewise, writers are important. Writer comes before director when people are writer-directors because writers are more important. You cannot direct nothing. You cannot direct some people walking around a room right? Somebody has to say why they’re there and what they’re doing. So writers are very important and women writers — well this is one of my reasons why writers are important too — when you talk to friends about a movie you love, you do not generally say “remember the camera angle in scene five.” You say “remember the dialogue.” You quote dialogue to your friends. That’s the writer. That’s why the writer is more important. That’s why more people should want to be writers.

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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

41 UK TV In The US from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (39 seconds)

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41 UK TV In The US from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (39 seconds)

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Transcript:

Just in the United States, this show finished a six-season run. It’s from England and we’d always had programming from England because we had that in our national channel always brought in stuff from England because in the United States we think the English folks are smarter and more intellectual than we are right? We think that they’re just better because they have Shakespeare and we don’t. So we like English programming but what I liked was it taught me about a book series I had never heard of right? So I was exposed to some literature from another country that way. likewise, this is from years ago but this book series was a tv show in England that aired in the United States which I liked a lot.

Watch this entire presentation

A Note About This Presentation

A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.

To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.

Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.


 

* 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

Learn more about the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting in this Q&A with Executive Director, Dr. Rosanne Welch

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alex Miller, the Senior Director of Admissions at Stephens College the other day to talk about our MFA in TV and Screenwriting.

Alex had collected some of the basic questions asked by applicants so we answered them over this short 10 minute video. 

If you’d like to know what sort of activities fill the days during our 10 day residency intensive or wonder about the composition of our cohorts, or what type of classes we offer that are unique to our program — here’s the place to find out. — Rosanne

Learn more about the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting in this Q&A with Executive Director, Dr, Rosanne Welch

Learn more about the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting in this Q&A with Executive Director, Dr, Rosanne Welch

Learn more about the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

and

Apply Today!