From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: Re-writing Paul Laverty’s screenplay – The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) by Jill Nelmes

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Re-writing Paul Laverty’s screenplay – The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) by Jill Nelmes

This article analyses two drafts of Paul Laverty’s screenplay The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2004b, 2005), pointing out that the changes from the first draft to the second draft focus on a single protagonist and emphasize the narrative drive, prioritizing these over informational detail and scenes which do not have a clear narrative function. In this study, I argue, re-writing acts as a refining and filtering process, in which only the essential parts of the story are retained while the model of ‘cause’ then ‘effect’ is applied to ensure the linearity of the action.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* 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!

The Civil War On Film – 2 in a series – “…movies not only wear history at best as a loose garment…”

The Civil War On Film - 2  in a series -

As historian Thomas Cripps said, “movies not only wear history at best as a loose garment, but their makers care more for following well tested recipes for making good grosses than for the niceties of history” (Cripps 1995). There is no movie genre where this is this more true than Civil War movies.

Movies profiled in this book:

Write the emotions you know… via Instagram

Write the emotions you know... via Instagram

Writers are often told to “write what you know.”

Instead, we should write the emotions we know.

These are universal.

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Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival Script Breakdown Session with Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dawn Comer Jefferson – Sunday, October 25, 2020

Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival Script Breakdown Session with Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dawn Comer Jefferson - Sunday, October 25, 2020

As the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is one of the sponsors of the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival I’ll be hosting (along with MFA mentor Dawn Comer Jefferson) a free script breakdown and Q & A with Nicole Ballivian (writer-director) for her 10 minute short Joe and the Shawl described as the story of “an adorable tow truck driver who really digs Kelli, a fellow North Carolinian, when he meets her as he changes her dead car battery. But Joe’s interest takes a sharp right turn when he learns that Kelli is a Muslim.”

If you’d like to virtually attend the event, register and join us

Sunday, October 25th
1pm-2:30pm (Pacific Time)
FREE
Register Here

For more information on the Joe and the Shawl, check out the film’s website

Joe & The Shawl: Bernie Sanders Teaser from Nicole Ballivian on Vimeo.

Joe & The Shawl – Official Trailer from Nicole Ballivian on Vimeo.

When Women Wrote Hollywood: The Movies – 11 in a series – The Beloved Blackmailer (1918), Wr: Clara Beranger

When Women Wrote Hollywood: The Movies - 11 in a series - The Beloved Blackmailer (1918), Wr: Clara Beranger

When Women Wrote Hollywood: The Movies - 11 in a series - The Beloved Blackmailer (1918), Wr: Clara Beranger

The spoiled, somewhat “mama’s boy” young son of a railroad magnate and the pretty young daughter of the magnate’s partner set out to stop their respective fathers from their constant quarreling. In the process they find themselves falling for each other. – IMDB

More about Lorna Moon


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!


When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* 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

“If we censor the storytellers…” via Instagram

If we censor the storytellers, we are censoring the stories.

If we censor the stories, we are censoring the culture.

If we censor the culture, we are censoring the people and their struggles.

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The Civil War On Film – 1 in a series – Introduction

Civil War On Film - 1 in a series -

 Our culture’s most powerful ideas about the past come, not from books written by professional historians, but from popular images and mythologies, including those that come from films written by screenwriters. Screenwriters write Civil War movies for mass audiences, who tend to believe what they see. And films, unlike books, don’t get relegated to the back shelves of libraries.

Movies profiled in this book:

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V2 Issue 2: Britain’s First Suicide Bombers – The script and the screenwriter in dramatized documentary for television by Garry Lyons

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


Britain’s First Suicide Bombers – The script and the screenwriter in dramatized documentary for television by Garry Lyons

This article centres on a drama-documentary developed by the author, an experienced screenwriter, producer and academic. The project in question was a major featurelength film for the BBC about the first suicide attack carried out by UK citizens. Aside from the significant difficulties posed by the subject matter, the mixed-genre nature of the film made its development problematic, falling between two distinct and contrasting traditions of programme-making. This case study locates the project in the context of a rising fashion for dramadoc within the BBC post 2000, identifies unforeseen difficulties with screenwriting that arose with the use of the form, and illustrates how those difficulties became amplified in this particular production. The analysis deals with the status of the screenwriter in a process where the script is no longer sovereign, raising questions of authorship, division of labour and collaborative exchange. It contributes to the ongoing debate between documentary values of sobriety and objectivity as opposed to dramatic ones of inner truth and emotional understanding, and makes the case for an ‘accumulation of voices’ as a justifiable representation of reality in contrast to a linear expository narrative. Finally, it commends further study of mixed genre drama/ documentary as a way of reappraising orthodox screenwriting theory, offering as it does production methodologies that frequently dispense with the formal screenplay.


The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



* 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!

Now Available: The Civil War on Film (Hollywood History) by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier via Instagram

Now Available: The Civil War on Film (Hollywood History) by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier via Instagram

Now Available: The Civil War on Film (Hollywood History) by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier via Instagram

My newest book The Civil War on Film (co-written with my colleague Peg Lamphier as part of ABC-Clio’s Hollywood History series) was published today.

Peg and I discuss 10 Civil War films based on their accuracy and cultural context. It is no surprise that we agree with a collection of historians that the most accurate of all the films of the Civil War is Glory (written by Kevin Jarre), though even that film makes the ‘mistake’ of omitting the fact that Harriet Tubman served as a spy for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.

As we say about many of the films, one film can’t encapsulate the entirety of a historical event (though Free State of Jones (written by Gary Ross) does try, and here we admit that that attempt to do it all makes for a long and plodding film, which is sad since it is a thorough portrait of Reconstruction, which is nearly never covered in films as they all prefer ending when the war ends).

As always it was a pleasure to work with Peg. We’re in the middle of our second book for this series – chronicling how Women’s History is covered in films coming sometime in 2021.

* 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!

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From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 45: Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage by Stanley Cavell

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The

* 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

During the ’30s and ’40s, Hollywood produced a genre of madcap comedies that emphasized reuniting the central couple after divorce or separation. Their female protagonists were strong, independent, and sophisticated. Here, Stanley Cavell names this new genre of American film―“the comedy of remarriage”―and examines seven classic movies for their cinematic techniques and for such varied themes as feminism, liberty, and interdependence.

Included are Adam’s Rib, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, It Happened One Night, The Lady Eve, and The Philadelphia Story. – Amazon


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!


When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* 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