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

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

 

Transcript:

It’s really sad to think that many of these early women writers – and there were more women writing films in the early silent days than there were men – it was a wild west of a job and so we always let women in the beginning and then when it becomes a business we say oh no no this is now a place where men can make money. You ladies should leave

VO: From the Autry museum located on Tongva homelands in Los Angeles California join us in asking “What is a western?

(Western Music)

 

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

10 Three Women Of Color from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

 

10 Three Women Of Color from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

They don’t tell the story of people like Marion E. Wong all right. Without having the material, these stories disappear. She’s just really coming into the textbooks now. She was from San Francisco. She only made one film which was “The Curse of Kwon Guan.” She tried to get it distributed and she was turned down by almost every distributor in New York. She traveled from San Francisco to New York with her parents and they could not get the movie sold. So they went bankrupt on it and they continued running their restaurant in San Francisco.

Jeannie Louise Toussaint Welcome was a famous African-American screenwriter in the early silent days. She worked out of Chicago. She comes from a famous family to the extent that her brother was a Harlem Renaissance photographer and her parents worked for President Ulysses S. Grant. We have advertisements of the work that she did and the films that she made but none had been preserved. So we do not have things to study right? So the archives can’t tell us the whole story because these women do not have their words in those archives. We have advertisements for what they did. That’s how we know that they worked. The same is true with Tressie Souders who worked out of Kansas, We have listings from movies that were made and distributed in black-owned theaters and those kinds of things and Eloyce King Patrick Gist. We know of course more about Zora Neil Hurston because she was doing documentary work through the WPA. So and because of her novels she’s a name that we recognize but these other people were all working in this time period and forgotten because they don’t exist in our archives.

 

 


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20 The Costume 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!

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

 

Transcript:

So of course we have to talk about the costume a little bit. Of course, he decided on that hello. I know there was a lot of chit-chat about what is that? That’s not a great outfit. Here I am wearing it. I did like the one she was introduced in but all black is not good for lighting guys. It’s not exciting to look at on-screen for too long but see this is where I think he was smart. I’ve never noticed earlier doctors changing as much and I think whether he took cosplaying into consideration or whether he just wanted to make sure she had more things to do I really appreciate it because I’ve seen the welding cosplay at a couple of cons. I love the tuxedo and that she’s wearing the pants. I mean come on she’s not gonna wear a dress. She can’t run around and do important things and like save the world in a dress. So I think that they did some really interesting stuff and I like the way that he homages different people. Again Peter’s in here and you know Tom is in here. Every time you got to think about how’s this person going to look? What are they going to wear on a regular basis? So you know I think he did the best he could right there. Could I have designed something else? I don’t know.

 

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11 Equal Relationships from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [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

11 Equal Relationships from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

If you think about it but he’s an equal partner. Again in children of earth this marvelous bit. They’re carrying these children away together. They’re saving them. He’s just as much a hero. He doesn’t have to have a job that defines him as a hero. He’s one in his heart right and so I think he’s a marvelous character that we don’t necessarily see again on American television. Still, when there are women who achieve a lot they aren’t partnered. We’re not seeing this kind of balanced marriage and I see it much more in UK shows and actually shows in Canada. We watch a lot of Canadian tv. One is the number one detective show in Canada is called Murdoch Mysteries and she’s a coroner and he’s a cop. It’s in like 1910 Toronto and they dated for a series of years and then they got married and in an American show like on Bones – I got married shows over. Show’s done. Nobody cares anymore right? Here they’ve been married for the last four or five seasons and they still both do their cool work and they have this equal relationship.

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09 Friends & Archives As Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

09 Friends & Archives As Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

Friends can be unreliable narrators. Salka Viertel was an early screenwriter. She wrote several Greta Garbo films and was in fact sidelined when Greta decided to stop making films. Her home in the Hollywood Hills is a big salon. The new book out “The Sun and Her Stars” is all about that but men who write about her write about her chocolate cake. The only man to write about her as a writer that he respected was Christopher Isherwood the playwright who she rented her guest house to with his lover Don Bachardy and so he respected her work enough to mention that but her friends – her male friends – all thought about her cooking. Archives don’t want to be unreliable narrators but they can be if women don’t send their work to them. If other people don’t preserve the work of women. So as much as we adore these places they don’t tell the whole story either. I don’t think it’s their fault.

 

 


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19 More On Diverse Characters…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!

19 More On Diverse Characters…from The Difficulties and Delicacies of Writing the First Female Doctor in 50+ years [Video] [Doctor Who]

Transcript:

We even had a female Jadoon right? That’s like okay I forget – I mean they’re ugly elephant rhino characters right but there are females in there somewhere. No one ever mentioned that before. So he’s really thinking about it all the way and I’ve never forgot how cool it was – I had never heard of Noor Inayat Khan, right? I had never heard the story and now I know right? I know that there were women who were doing radio operations and all this stuff in World War II. I wouldn’t have known that except he decided to include her as an example of a female hero. So I think he’s really going wide to give us these stories and that impresses me.

 

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10 Gwen & Rhys from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [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

10 Gwen & Rhys from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

What’s beautiful about Gwen right is that she’s beautiful but she’s powerful. She’s smart. We eventually get around the fact that she has a baby and she’s still gonna be as empowered and smart as she is and she’s gonna keep her job and because she has a family that will help that happen right? So we have actually not just that she’s powerful but she’s in a balanced marriage. She’s in a marriage with someone who’s her partner, not someone above her or below her right? They’re equals and they’re sharing in their business and finally, I’ve got a couple of friends like this. One’s a lawyer at a big law firm and she got partner and her husband didn’t at his firm so when they decided to have a baby it was like well who’s going to stay home? The lady who’s making all kinds of money or the guy who’s not. I think it’s the guy and he was totally cool with that because they’re making tons of money and he gets to be with the baby but we’re still looking at that like it’s an oddity when it needn’t be. It’s what’s best for this family right and this balanced family came to us in Torchwood. This idea that a man would be okay with his wife having this more exciting life.

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08 Bess Meredyth from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

08 Bess Meredyth from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

Bess Meredyth had the same thing happen. Her husband Michael Curtiz pretty much neglects to mention her. He of course directed Casablanca and the Epstein brothers are fond of saying that whenever there was a problem on the set Michael Curtiz would say I have to go figure this out and they knew he went to the office and he called his wife at home and she would solve the story problem and he would come back to the set and say he’d figured it out but the Epstein’s knew that he couldn’t figure it out. It was Bess who was doing it for him from home. Sadly her son did the same thing to her. In his own memoir about his television writing career, he didn’t bother asking his mother much about what she did because what could she really have done that was very important right? She was a girl. So by accident he dismissed his own mother and her career which was quite long and quite famous.

 

 


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18 Diverse Characters…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!

bbc,chibnall,doctorwho,history,screenwriting,television,thedoctor,tv,video,Whittaker,whoniverse,women

 

Transcript:

Again he promised that all the stories would be more gendered in terms of more female-focused and so think about the people we met along the way all right. Obviously, they decided to do the Rosa story which I find interesting from an American perspective because here’s a large piece of American history we’re going to see how it is envisioned by another country right? I loved when they asked Ryan what do you know about her –– like she was a bus driver. Why should he –– like he doesn’t have to know that. We know that because we teach it to our kids more often in the same way that if we asked about certain kings I’m not sure which one did what/ Who signed the Magna Carta again? I don’t know. Do we teach that in the states as much as they you know… So it was a lovely moment to go the whole world isn’t America focused right? There’s a bigger world out there but again a great choice to do her as a character.

 

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09 Gwen Cooper from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [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

09 Gwen Cooper from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

Of course, one of the reasons that I love Torchwood is Gwen Cooper, right, and this comes directly, again, from Russell. One of the quotes he gave me was your know, I never see good gay representation. I never see good African-American representation, but what really stinks is how badly women are represented on television and that’s an amazing thing for a guy to recognize, but that is, of course, who he is. He’s a writer. He’s an artist. He’s thinking about people as whole beings and it’s true, right? I mean that’s why there’s a show on American TV now called “Kevin Can Go F*** Himself.” They’ve taken – because, for years, as I’ve watched comedies, you know, sitcoms, when I was a kid you were always like why is that really useless man married to that really excellent woman? I don’t believe for 3 seconds that he’s forgotten their anniversary for 12 years in a row and she still puts up with it. Like why am learning that’s how I’m supposed to accept my mate. This is nonsense and that’s what that show is about now. She actually – you get two versions. You see the sitcom scenes and then see her alone in a scene where she’s planning to murder him because he deserves it. And you’re like Wow, Ok. So Russell recognized he wanted to bring forth a real;y interesting woman and you can’t necessarily see a million of those yet on TV. We still don’t see as many empowered women – in this case, Gwen Cooper.

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