13 Writer Precedes Director from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

13 Wrier Precedes Director from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

Transcript:

Host: Usually the directors become the heroes of film history. What’s different between the history of screenwriters and the history of directors or actors or actresses in what gets remembered?

Rosanne: Of course. We always grant you that people go first to see an actor or an actress. They fall for that person. That’s who they are going to see the movie for. That’s just the truth. The whole writer-director thing makes me crazy. Back in the day, they recognized writers more. Writers were in “Photoplay” magazine when they had marriages or they were taking vacations. We read about people like Lorna Moon and Anita Loos, obviously. All these people and then what happens is the “Auteur Theory” shows up and the “Auteur Theory” blows us away because François Truffaut over there in France decides directors are the real author of a movie. Even though they don’t write anything unless they’re writer/directors and I always tell my students the word Writer still comes before Director in that phrase.a

 

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories.  Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that.  Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”

I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras.  If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. — RMW Rosanne Signature for Web


What this entire presentation

As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.

Find more information at the Autry Museum of the American West

31 Conclusion from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

It was great to be able to attend this year’s SD WhoCon in San Diego and present this lecture on “The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years” in which I discuss how successful I think showrunner Christopher Chibnall was in making that transition.

It gave me a chance to talk about the creative work of a showrunner/screenwriter while also reconnecting to some friends we had met at this same convention some 3 years ago – and to talk about one of my favorite subjects – Doctor Who!

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

31 Conclusion from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

Transcript:

Writing of your own work and the rewriting of other people is a very important part of your job and I think this quote sticks with me from “Rosa” and I don’t know if Mallory Blackman wrote it or if Chibnall wrote it but “Tiny things can change the world” which is that lovely moment at the end of Rosa. So it’s not just a story about history in the United States because now there is this meteor named after her right? So the idea of the bigness of all of this right and they were all part of the same planet which really goes back to “Star Trek” again and we should all come together. I think that’s so truly a part of Doctor Who that he caught he captured in that line. I just love that moment. I think it’s so beautiful and I think amazing the way that stories we see on television affect our lives and help us make choices and ideas and think about who we are. So that to me is the biggest job that he did. Again he had to cast this room full of these people and I think he did a good job of all of those. So I really think he did a good job. I know we’re not all completely always happy with him but I think he made a promise and he came through on it and to me that’s pretty successful. When you’re handed a franchise that’s 50 years old and what new thing are you going to come up and do with it. So that’s my story on Chris Chibnall. Thank you all for coming.

you

 

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22 Sandman from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

 

22 Sandman from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Transcript:

So, now that we have that happening, gee whiz, Neil Gaiman is doing “Sandman” in London and he’s brought over Alan Heinberg who’s an American writer who’s been in Shondaland for many years. He’s done several of her shows and then was the writer hired to write the first “Wonder Woman” movie. So, he’s an American guy through and through but Neil Gaiman was like “That’s the guy I need on my show.” So now, Allan has moved to London for the last nine months working with Neil, and what a – just as it was an honor for Jane to want Russell to work with her, Allan felt that way about Neil Gaiman choosing him. So, we’re going to have the two sensibilities in this one piece and this stuff didn’t happen in the past either, right? This is a new idea that we can do that. Partially that’s also built up with Netflix and the idea that we’re now watching more international television. It’s not just American shows going everywhere and Americans now have this access to newer things. So I just think that’s pretty amazing. All of this to me comes from Torchwood.

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12 LGBTQIA+ in The West from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

12 LGBTQIA+ in The West from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

Transcript:

…and then really in the very modern-day what I think is really interesting is there’s a show on Sci-Fi called “Wynonna Earp” and it’s out of Canada. So we have a Canadian, Emily Andrus, and so female writer. She’s taking a western icon, Wyatt Earp and she’s flipping it and giving his great-granddaughter the job of using his big rifle – which is called Peacemaker – and killing the ghosts of all the bad guys that Wyatt Earp was once up against because they come back. All right? So oh what a flip of our story, right? I think that’s a really cool and people sort of dismiss it but it also has a really lovely LGBTQ storyline because they give Wynonna a sister who’s gay and she and the sheriff – who’s a girl – are a partnership and you’re like whoa – girl Sheriff having a relationship. The whole thing is like so all this new stuff and yet there’s a really cool book called “Roaring Camp.” It’s about the Gold Rush by Susan Johnson. Using primary documents she documented all these people who truly lived in the Gold Rush and I remember this great team of two men who ran a restaurant for like 40 years together and they lived together. Of course, there’s no paperwork that says they were a couple because nobody’s going to write that down in the day but you know that’s what was going on. It’s like all these people occupied the west and we don’t talk about them and for whatever reason, maybe because women are forgotten a lot, they also like to look for those other forgotten stories and bring them to life. So I think Emily’s a pretty cool person and I’m really interested in a Canadian looking at American history. Very interesting.

 

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories.  Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that.  Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”

I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras.  If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. — RMW Rosanne Signature for Web


What this entire presentation

As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.

Find more information at the Autry Museum of the American West

30 more On From Idea to Execution from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

It was great to be able to attend this year’s SD WhoCon in San Diego and present this lecture on “The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years” in which I discuss how successful I think showrunner Christopher Chibnall was in making that transition.

It gave me a chance to talk about the creative work of a showrunner/screenwriter while also reconnecting to some friends we had met at this same convention some 3 years ago – and to talk about one of my favorite subjects – Doctor Who!

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

30 2more On From Idea to Execution from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

Transcript:

Right and even there’s a moment who’s discussing The Waters Of Mars” where but it’s not special enough. It’s just another episode but it’s one of these you know hour and a half ones. I got to do better. What would make it better? And then he writes, what if The Doctor knows all these people have to die and he can’t tell them? Now there are stakes. Now it means something. Now it’s a special and he literally – so it’s a really cool. It’s called “The Writer’s Tale.” Again it’s really thick but it’s great. You’re literally reading the on-time ideas coming through their head and then to the very end and some of the stuff when he’s doing “Torchwood Children of Earth” he’s talking about and then at the very end when he writes his last episode and they go to the table read and then he goes home and he’s like now what do I do? Like now what do I do?

 

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21 Jane Espenson and Working in America from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

21 Jane Espenson and Working in America

Transcript:

What worked with that – at least in terms of how television is produced – is that he was producing across the pond – across the ocean. It was a cross-cultural thing, right? So he came here both to include some American actors and, for me, to include American writers which I think is really interesting right and he really wanted to do that. He actually came specifically to work with Jane Espenson who I adore brilliantly from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” but she’s done many many things. Right now she’s on “The Nevers” and he talked about, when I met him, he talked about how he’d watched her work for so many years and it was his dream to come here and create a writer’s room, which is different from what they do, again, in England. They usually have their set guides. You’re all gonna write two or three episodes. Go home and do it. You and I will meet over lunch and chat but here, of course, we get together every day and sit around the table and talk and talk and talk and he wanted that experience. He wanted – that’s one of the reasons he came here and he wanted it with her, which is really kind of cool and she adored working with him. She admits that the show didn’t exactly work but adored the experience.

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11 Edna Ferber from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

11 Edna Ferber from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

Transcript:

I think we sometimes have to think about women who wrote western novels which were then adapted by men but the core characters are going to have come from the female perspective. So for me, that’s Edna Ferber and it’s always weird that she wrote you know “So Big” and “Cimarron” and “Giant” which is a huge sprawling thing and she’s an easterner. She’s a member of the Algonquin Round Table. She hangs around with you know Harpo Marx and you know Alexander Wolcott and she’s doing all that witty New York stuff but she’s writing about this period. Which is to me reminiscent of the fact that Teddy Roosevelt right is just a straight New Yorker but he comes out here and becomes I’m the West dude and I’m gonna do all that stuff. So anyone can claim to sort of own the West because it becomes our American Myth and everybody wants to be tied to that. Which is why I think Edna Ferb is someone I think you should read.

 

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories.  Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that.  Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”

I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras.  If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. — RMW Rosanne Signature for Web


What this entire presentation

As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.

Find more information at the Autry Museum of the American West

29 From Idea to Execution from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

It was great to be able to attend this year’s SD WhoCon in San Diego and present this lecture on “The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years” in which I discuss how successful I think showrunner Christopher Chibnall was in making that transition.

It gave me a chance to talk about the creative work of a showrunner/screenwriter while also reconnecting to some friends we had met at this same convention some 3 years ago – and to talk about one of my favorite subjects – Doctor Who!

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

29 From Idea to Execution from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

 

Transcript:

Now I think it’s really important to think about how then the writer/showrunner has to decide which of these episodes will be mine and what do I want to say with mine and even when it’s not mine, I’m going to do the final rewrite. I’m going to do the polish to make sure it sounds like all these episodes are coming from one voice, right, which is really why all of Russell’s stuff sounds like Russell. In fact, anyone here ever read “The Writer’s Tale” which is his book –– oh my gosh i should have brought a copy of it. It’s really thick. A journalist named Benjamin Cook asked him in the last season of the David Tennant era “Could I email you and ask you questions about where you’re at with your stories and then we’ll publish a book out of it” and Russell was like sure whatever. So what you get are things like, okay so what are you thinking about tonight and Russell will go “I don’t know. It just occurred to me what if water was like acid and could kill you? Can I play with that?” and a few pages later it’s like “You know what? I’m trying to do an episode on Mars. What if martian water is actually what could kill you before you know it you get to he’s writing “Waters of Mars.” So you literally watch from the idea through the execution of the story.

 

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20 Lower 10%, Classism, and Death from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

20 Lower 10%, Classism, and Death from Why Torchwood Still Matters (2021) with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Transcript:

My favorite line in all of “Children of Earth” is “What are the school tables for? and you’re like “Oh my god. Like we do rank people all the time.” Here would be a perfect chance to say, Sorry you didn’t get your SAT score. Bye-bye. I just – yeah it was very it was chilling how real it felt for being obviously such a surreal and not real instance and also the line when all the leaders around the table and the woman says “Well certainly none of the children that belong to anyone here but wait I don’t have children but I have nieces and nephews. What about them? and suddenly you start seeing what little deals are we gonna have to play. Yeah, I think it was chilling. So I think that bingeability that was a big thing you brought to it. Now I’ve said before not a fan of “Miracle Day.” Largely because I think he didn’t check the idea that never dying isn’t inherently a problem. I mean they tried to make it a problem because yeah too many people on the earth will be a problem but actually like isn’t that what everybody wants? Nobody wants to die. So it seemed odd that like we were supposed to not like it. I don’t know it didn’t seem to me he thought his way through.

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10 Women Writing Westerns from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

10 Women Writing Westerns from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

Transcript:

Host: When you look at all of the histories and biographies that you learned about of women screenwriters are there a couple in particular that you wish more people knew? Maybe these are some of the ones you’ve mentioned already, but are there a couple that you just want to sort of shout from the rooftops? This is a classic. This is a person who should be on the marquee.

Rosanne: Oh, yeah. Well, obviously I did mention Frances Marion. She wrote a series of westerns for her husband, Fred Thomson, who was a western star, right? He was right up there rivaling William S. Hart moving into the talkie world. The problem is he died young and when he died she lost her interest in writing westerns because, of course, it was too reminiscent of him. They were right up there with Pickford and Fairbanks except they were a writer/actor team. So I think that Frances Marion is someone who people have to look more into. I love Jeannie MacPherson and she wrote several westerns. Always about a woman going out west and having experiences and surviving the West. Which is really a western story. A lone person – doesn’t have to be a boy or a girl – a long person challenges themselves and succeeds. So I think she is a really big name.

 

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories.  Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that.  Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”

I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras.  If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. — RMW Rosanne Signature for Web


What this entire presentation

As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.

Find more information at the Autry Museum of the American West