20 Screenwriting: Television Vs. Film from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Watch the entire presentation – Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 here

20 Screenwriting: Television Vs. Film from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

You know, the difference between TV, obviously, and movies — movies you are going to tell me the most interesting 2 hours in someone’s life. What are the most crazy, interesting 2 hours and we’re done. Maybe there’ll be sequels, of course, blah, blah, blah — but, in general, that’s what you’re going for. In a TV show — especially a pilot — you need to give me enough fodder to understand that there are at least 20 hours — nowadays with streaming, 40 — used to be 100 — in order to get to syndication — but that there’s that much interesting embedded conflict among this group of people that I’m going to be constantly interested in watching them overcome whatever their problem might be. Whatever their issue might be. So, every show has what we would call an overarching dramatic question that is trying to be answered. It’s like — and it can be — it should be — the bigger it is, the more universal. So, for me, an easy example is Bones, right, which some people realize what was — she’s uber-smart and autistic and he’s uber-Catholic and, you know, goes for the emotion. Which, of course, is a flip to what we think gender-wise. It should be the dude being super-logical and the girl being super-emotional, but they flipped it so that’s interesting. But really it’s a show about science versus religion and the 2 characters represent those 2 points of view and there’s never going to be an answer to that question. Except if you accept that the answer is you need them both and that’s how they solve their crimes is the 2 of them together are better than each separately. So, you’re overarching question every week is being addressed. The individual question each week is simply who committed this murder. That’s always going to be solved but the overarching dramatic question can never be solved or your show’s over.

It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.

Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).

We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.

Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!

The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.

TARDIS Console Display via Instagram

TarTARDIS Console Display via Instagram

From a lovely interactive TARDIS console on display at #sandiegowhocon

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46 The Importance of Pronouns from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

46 The Importance of Pronouns 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:

So that was fine. Renoly was marvelous and we had a marvelous time working on that. One of the things I learned was remembering the importance of words. The simple act of in one scene, of course, he gets shot, right — because he’s in a gang — they had to go to the hospital and all I had to do was write “The doctor walks in and SHE says…” and they hired a lady as the doctor. If I had not used that pronoun they would have hired a man because that’s what an extra casting director would simply have gone to — his stereotype. Doctors are boys, right? So just because of the word she I got a woman a job and little girls in America the chances to know that doctors are girls. Now y’all, as I said better over here right because that’s very cool but that’s what Shonda Rhimes has built her whole career on right, colorblind casting and gender blind casting. Let’s just get in good actors to do these parts and see where we go from there, which I think is a really brilliant thing and what she’s built her whole thing on.

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Gallifreyan Writing on the TARDIS Console Time Rotor via Instagram

Gallifreyan Writing on the TARDIS Console Time Rotor via Instagram

From a lovely interactive TARDIS console on display at #sandiegowhocon

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“I mean, who doesn’t love Capt. Jack?!” via Instagram

“I mean, who doesn’t love Capt. Jack?!” via Instagram

I had a great time a speaking on Why Torchwood Still Matters at San Diego Whocon.

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07 More On Dorothy Parker from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

07 More On Dorothy Parker from

Transcript:

Also has been said about her, her stories feature female characters trying to square exhilarating new choices with the enduring bold constraints of social expectation. The social expectation in A Star Is Born is that a man should be more successful than his wife. That is something that happened in any particular level of the society at the time. Also, her heroines are lovelorn and there are always suicidal alcoholics in so many of her pieces and this appears in other films she wrote without Alan. They did effect eventually split up and get divorced. So she wrote for Hitchcock. He specifically sought her out. He wanted a writer as famous as she and she got an Oscar nomination both for A Star Is Born and for Smash-Up, the story of a woman which was about a female alcoholic. So clearly these are all pieces of her little ingredient book that she threw together into A Star Is Born.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 1: Scriptwriting as paradox and process: The complex case of Eric Rohmer by Fiona Handyside

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


Scriptwriting as paradox and process: The complex case of Eric Rohmer by Fiona Handyside
 
This article discusses the creative working processes of Eric Rohmer (1920–2010). It argues that his method, of working on film subjects for decades, and carefully preparing every aspect of his films, contrasts with a deliberately ‘amateur’ and improvisational approach, influenced to a certain extent by ethnographic film. Rohmer provides an unusual and fascinating case study, combining approaches to scriptwriting that are usually seen as diametrically opposed.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 1: Scriptwriting as paradox and process: The complex case of Eric Rohmer by Fiona Handyside


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

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!

12 Fuller and Garibaldi from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

12 Fuller and Garibaldi from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

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Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Tammy: So she gets to Italy and like what is her assignment? To like write every week or just whenever she wants or…

Rosanne: Whatever dispatches. So because of course, we don’t have as fast communication as one would love. So you’ve got to get whatever you get when you get it. you have to get to a place where you can transmit that information in the midst of there’s little battles happening everywhere you know. She’s just in Reiti, which is right outside of Rome and that’s where Giuseppe Garibaldi — who is the man who united Italy right — that’s his thing and that’s where I came more modern-day.

Tammy: Ooo look at that.

Rosanne: Yeah I was actually…

Tammy: I feel like during this conversation you should just be like and this is the book I wrote and then this is the book…

Rosanne: Well this one I was asked to do a historical novel based on Garibaldi who is this hero in Italy for organizing and what happened was he and his wife Anita — who’s a Brazilian woman — because he left Italy. He went to Brazil. Tried to get some stuff happening in Brazil. Didn’t work. He failed but he learned so much and there were a ton of Italian people living in brazil and they knew that his goal was to unite Italy, their home country, and so his wife Anita came with him to do that and she’s another fascinating woman and the fact that she and Margaret are going to become friends because they become nurses together taking care of the soldiers who fall in this battle.

Tammy: Wow

Rosanne:…and that fascinates me.

Dr. Rosanne Welch’s Chapter in Doctor Who – New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era from Manchester University Press Now Available

Dr. Rosanne Welch's Chapter in Doctor Who - New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era  from Manchester University Press Now Available

I’m happy to announce the publication of Doctor Who New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era for which I was invited to write a chapter. 

My focus was on the delicate work showrunner/writer Chris Chibnall had to do in realizing this new Doctor so it’s called “She is Wise and Unafraid” Writing the First Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect

I touch on the myriad decisions a showrunner makes in creating a character from costuming to sidekicks (called companions in the Whoniverse) to dialogue.   I was excited to have been invited to contribute to this collection and proud to showcase the way screenwriters work.

I know academic books can be expensive but you can always ask your local or college library to order a copy for you to read!  

 

Doctor Who – new dawn explores the latest cultural moment in this long-running BBC TV series: the casting of a female lead. Analysing showrunner Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker’s era means considering contemporary Doctor Who as an inclusive, regendered brand. Featuring original interview material with cast members, this edited collection also includes an in-depth discussion with Segun Akinola, composer of the iconic theme tune’s current version. The book critically address the series’ representations of diversity, as well as fan responses to the thirteenth Doctor via the likes of memes, cosplay and even translation into Spanish as a grammatically gendered language. In addition, concluding essays look at how this moment of Who has been merchandised, especially via the ‘experience economy’, and how official/unofficial reactions to UK lockdown helped the show to further re-emphasise its public-service potential.

P.S. You can check out the trailer for Jodie’s upcoming 3rd season here:

19 Bingability from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Watch the entire presentation – Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 here

19 Bingability rom Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

HOST: They do a really good job of holding the tension for you to keep watching on to the next episode and I think that’s really well done yeah so.

Rosanne: We used to think when streaming came along that wouldn’t be as important because the idea of leaving a show with a bit of a cliffhanger was so you’d wait a week and you’d remember to come back the next Thursday at nine o’clock or whatever that was and then we’re like oh streaming. You just binge right through it you don’t need it but of course, Netflix will say no no now we need what they’ll call the binge-ability factor. Oh yeah, we need you to see the thing that says next episode and click that right away. We want you to watch five in a row. That’s just as important as coming back next week and I think that’s really a funny — we thought there was a change there and it’s not necessary at all.

HOST: Yeah just because it’s on this platform where you can binge it doesn’t mean that people will automatically just go to the next episode if you don’t make it enticing for them to do so. I mean I’ve watched a lot. I’ve started a lot of shows on Netflix and I didn’t move on to the next episode like you didn’t

Rosanne: It didn’t catch you.

HOST: — I don’t see the reason.

It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.

Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).

We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.

Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!

The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.