10 Things Hollywood Writers Must Know with Dr. Rosanne Welch – Best in Fest Podcast Ep #23 – La Femme Film Festival

10 Things Hollywood Writers Must Know with Dr. Rosanne Welch - Best in Fest Podcast Ep #23 - La Femme Film Festival

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is one of many sponsors of the LaFemme Film Festival which supports and nurtures the artistic entertainment productions of women. Their President and Director, Leslie LaPage, hosts the Best in Fest podcast and recently invited me on to talk about the 10 Things Hollywood Writers Must Know.

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Dr. Rosanne Welch is a writer and university professor of Humanities in the (IGE) Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; and screenwriting for two MFA in Screenwriting programs (Cal State, Fullerton and Stephens College). Her current books include Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture (McFarland Publishing, 2017) and Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection (ABC-CLIO, 2017), which she co-edited with her CalPoly Pomona colleague and officemate, Dr. Peg Lamphier. 

In her previous life, Welch was a television writer/producer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences and Touched by an Angel and ABC NEWS/Nightline. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

In this episode, Leslie and Rosanne discuss 10 things Hollywood writers must know. For example, how to write what you emotionally know, how to work in a writer’s room, the do’s and don’ts of pitching, when to use a pitch deck and when it’s a horrible idea and much more.

Review: Stories from the Epicenter Podcast, California History Journal, Dr. Rosanne Welch

I was pleased to be asked to join the Editorial Team for California History journal and am always impressed by the work of editor Mary Ann Irwin when each new issue comes out. 

As their expert on the popular culture of our State I have the chance to vet articles in that area – and to review books that cover it as well.  For this issue there was yet another new request – review a podcast “Stories from the Epicenter” that explores the experience and memory of the Loma Prieta Earthquake through oral history records and interviews with current residents of Santa Cruz and Watsonville.  A co-creation of the University Library at UC Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and Santa Cruz Public Libraries I found it fascinating to hear. — Rosanne

You can listen to it here

Epicenter banner

Daniel Story, series producer. Stories from the Epicenter. University Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Podcast website: https://library.ucsc.edu/StoriesFromTheEpicenter
Listen on major podcast platforms or at https://anchor.fm/storiesfromtheepicenter
Podcast companion resource: https://arcg.is/04mPTG

Stories from the Epicenter is a ten-part documentary podcast that explores the experience and memory of the Loma Prieta Earthquake through oral history records and interviews with current residents of Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Coproduced by the University Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in partnership with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and Santa Cruz Public Libraries, this production shows its pedigree across the episodes sampled by this reviewer, herself a fan of such high-caliber podcasts as BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time and Thinking Allowed and popular culture podcasts such as Today I Found Out and The Dinner Party Download.

With so many new forms of distribution, the very definition of “podcast” needs to be reconsidered. Podcasts first emerged when MTV host/announcer Adam Curry wanted a self-loading iPod, and computer programmer Dave Winer invented the RSS feed, a computer program that allowed users to keep track of and subscribe to many different websites. Together Curry and Winer developed a way to allow RSS feeds to carry audio and video files, so that users could download files automatically to their iPods each time they synched to a computer. Cell phones with broadband connectivity negated much of the technical need for official podcasts, but the many eclectic early podcasts whetted audience desire for independent, non-gate-kept productions. Now the term refers broadly to radioand television-style shows delivered over the Internet. Audiences can subscribe to podcasts or find them on YouTube, which emerged at the same time as RSS feeds to offer yet another model of distribution.

As with all new forms of media, once established outlets began using them, they naturally gained more respect. Now many history-based podcasts can be found, like the esteemed British Library’s Curator’s Corner and Curators on Camera, or American History Tellers from Wondery, the network behind Tides of History and Fall of Rome.

On October 17, 2020, Stories from the Epicenter released ten episodes recorded in the aftermath of the Loma Prieta earthquake, a magnitude 3.5 earthquake that occurred nine miles from San Francisco at 5:04 P.M. on October 17, 1989. Damage included the collapse of a section of the double-deck Nimitz Freeway in Oakland that killed forty-two people. Three more were killed by the collapse of buildings along the Pacific Garden Mall in Santa Cruz. While many Californians felt the effect of the earthquake as it began, audiences elsewhere also learned of it almost immediately through the 1989 World Series, then airing live from Candlestick Park. The video signal broke up just after sportscaster Al Michaels announced the event.

The episodes follow chronologically from the opening, “Pacific Garden Mall,” which covers the growth of the area in the years before the quake, through “The First Thirty Days,” which involves the emergency response in Santa Cruz, and then to “The Politics of Rebuilding.” Among the ten main episodes, series producer Madeline Maria’s “The Kids Are Alright” stands out for looking through the eyes of those who were children at the time. Recording the voices and memories of teenagers paints the event in a particularly emotional way that stays with the listener long after the twenty-six-minute segment ends.

Aaron Zachmeier, fifteen at the time, recalls how his five-year-old sister stayed under a table for a few hours after the quake while he went skateboarding around town, surveying the damage. “It was exciting and interesting to watch things change … and when they settled down it was a disappointment.” Zachmeier felt he had discovered a magical place “that was then taken away from me, but maybe that was perfect because magical places don’t persist”—because, to his eyes, media outlets ignored Santa Cruz and instead focused on San Francisco. In an aside that will be familiar to contemporary readers experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, Zachmeier admits that “it was weirdly joyful to experience normal life being put on hold, which created an interesting space in which to exist.”

Another story Maria researched concerned a homeless nine-year-old who recalled waking up in her parents’ tent and watching the sidewalk move in waves. The segment ends with an interview with Kevin Waggoner, a six-year-old during the earthquake, whose father was the single park ranger assigned to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, the actual epicenter of the earthquake. Kevin had the chance to visit the epicenter with his father because his Campfire Kids group wanted a tour of the spot, to which his father agreed. His father had been in the park during the earthquake and declared that it felt milder than in the more urban part of the city, illustrating how nature is better prepared than the built environment to withstand such temblors.

Also of interest is episode 7, “A Tale of Two Newspapers,” which follows the ways that such disasters affect professionals charged with documenting them in real time. Episode 8, “The Memory Remains,” focuses on bringing back some UC Santa Cruz graduates whose experiences were recorded right after the quake; producers asked them to listen to portions of their original testimonies and to comment on how their earlier thoughts survived the test of time. Each episode utilizes the vast variety of music from the area, including excerpts from “El Sonido de la Vida” by Silva de Alegria and “Cinema Pathetic” by Blue Dot Sessions.

While Stories from the Epicenter is reminiscent of an extended National Public Radio series focused on a very personal, very seismic, and very geographically specific event, the episodes somehow manage to be universal in their coverage of the emotions that all listeners likely connect to events experienced in their own homes. The benefit of such podcasts to historians is obvious. There is great value to such oral histories being available online to researchers, sparing them the expense of traveling to distant archives. The downside to podcasts, in some cases, is an “amateur” quality—but the same can often be said of radio, television, and other media. At a time when inclusivity is more important than ever, podcasts like these offer individuals the chance to share their voices and, simultaneously, to facilitate wide sharing of experiences, ideas, and emotions.

Well executed history podcasts like these suit our times perfectly.

Rosanne Welch

And of course you can check out the California History journal at your local library.

California History Cover

Dr. Rosanne Welch Talks Worry and Wonder in Screenwriting on the Courier 13 Podcast [Audio] [Video]

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


Dr. Rosanne Welch Talks Worry and Wonder in Screenwriting on the Courier 13 Podcast [Audio] [Video]

Courier 13 podcast

Listen to the audio version of this podcast

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.

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “Monkee Chow Mein” episode on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

My co-host, Dr. Sarah Clark and I usually host a segment on Zilch: A Monkees Podcast where we break down episodes of The Monkees in terms of history and popular culture of the time in which is was written, filmed and aired. 

For this episode, however, we tackled the problem with an episode we consider to be a sad outlier to the usual mix of positive energy and creativity. The title alone will tell you the problem with the episode –  Monkee Chow Mein. Sadly, against the show’s youthful promise to celebrate how “we’re too busy singing to put anybody down” the title tells you laughs were wrung from doing exactly that so in this discussion Dr. Clark and I try to understand how that happened.

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Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “Monkee Chow Mein

Monkees News and “We need to talk about monkee chow mein”. Farewell tour, it looks like this is it.

Dolenz Sings Nesmith, a collection of songs featuring Micky paying tribute to the songbook of Michael Nesmith.

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Get Rosanne’s Monkees Book – Why The Monkees Matter!

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” episode on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

In the latest installment of Monkees 101 – a segment of the Zilch: A Monkees Podcast which I co-host with Dr. Sarah Clark. We’re covering all 58 episodes of the show one at a time. 

In this show we analyze “I’ve Got a Little Song Here”  (written by the amazing, future Emmy-winning Treva Silverman), which aired November 28, 1966.

In the story Mike writes a new song, but the publishing company he tries to sell it to tries to rip him off and his musician pals come to his rescue.  Lots of fun meta-moments for all the cast.

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Drs. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “I’ve Got a Little Song Here” episode on the Zilch Podcast's Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

The Zilch Staff drops Tour News AND the “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” track lists before a double-header episode! First up Sarah talks to Nashville musician Walter Cherry about his ambitious 5(!) album Monkees cover project, and then it’s time for Monkees 101! Sarah and Rosanne talk I’ve Got a Little Song here, which aired November 28, 1966. Mike writes a new song, but the publishing company he tries to sell it to tries to rip him off.

Aired 3/22/21

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Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “Monkees A La Carte” episode on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

It’s time for another Monkees 101, co-hosted by myself and Dr. Sarah Clark on the Zilch podcast. This time we discuss and debate “Monkees A La Carte” where the show spoofs all the classic gangster characters.  I always enjoy chatting with Dr. Clark since she’s the Monkees music uber fan to match my TV show uber fan-ness – all with a dash of the kind of research we both do in our day gigs as professors!

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Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “Monkees A La Carte” episode on the Zilch Podcast's Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

Zilch & The PTFB Team, Sarah Clark, and Tim Powers are co-hosting a Stranger Things Have Happened Zoom Listening Party on FEBRUARY 13 AT 4:00 Eastern, featuring appearances by Glenn Gretlund, Mark Kleiner, James Lee Stanley, and others!

Register Here

After Tim and Sarah plug the listening party (and get a little silly), Sarah and Rosanne discuss “Monkees a la Carte, which aired November 21, 1966. “A gangster has taken over the boys’ favorite Italian restaurant, so they disguise themselves as The Purple Flower Gang.”

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Stephens College MFA Alumni Chase Thompson and Michael Burke Talk About Their MFA Experience on the Starcatcher Podcast [Audio Except]

In this clip from a recent Starcatcher podcast film professor (and MFA alum) and host – Chase Thompson – interviews Tech Theatre professor (and MFA alum) Michael Blake about their time as MFA candidates in our Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting program. 

They both mention the great feedback they received from their writing mentors, which made me thankful for the dedication of the many marvelous mentors in our program. Then the part that made me smile the most… They each reflected on how important it was in the History of Screenwriting courses to learn about all the female screenwriters who founded Hollywood and how often those women were left out of mainstream histories of the era.

It’s a very powerful example of how history takes time — and deep research — or someone(s) will be left out.

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Stephens College MFA Alumni Chase Thompson and Michael Burke Talk About Their MFA Experience on the Starcatcher Podcast [Audio Except]

Join me for a conversation with Stephens College’s Director of Production, Michael Burke. A former graduate of the Stephens Theatre program, Michael talks about his path to production, his background, why Theatre majors are so good at saying thank you, and his predictions on where the road Theater is heading after the pandemic is over.

Listen to this excerpt

Listen to the entire Starcatcher Podcast Episode

Screenwriter Jennifer Maisel from The March Sisters at Christmas, and Tempting Fate from the How I Wrote That Podcast [Audio]

Listen to the latest How I Wrote That Podcast with Tera Hernandez of The Big Bang Theory [Audio]

Screenwriter Jennifer Maisel from The March Sisters at Christmas, and Tempting Fate [Audio]

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Jennifer Maisel most recently developed an original pilot called “The 626” with Super Deluxe and adapted two Jane Green novels—Tempting Fate and To Have and to Hold, which aired in June. She currently is working on a two-hour about campus rape and institutional betrayal with Just Singer Entertainment. Her screenplay “Lost Boy” was filmed starring Virginia Madsen. She wrote The Assault and The March Sisters for Mar Vista Entertainment and Double Wedding for Jaffe Braunstein. She has written movies for NBC, ABC, MTV and Lifetime, was a staff writer on the television series Related, wrote a pilot for ABC Family and an animated feature for Disney. Maisel has developed original pilots with Bunim-Murray, Ineffable, Stun Media and MomentumTV and co-created the critically acclaimed web series Faux Baby with Laura Brennan and Rachel Leventhal. The screenplay adaptation of her play The Last Seder won Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenwriting Award, meriting her a month’s stay in a haunted farmhouse at the Nantucket Screenwriter’s Colony. A graduate of Cornell University and NYU’s Dramatic Writing program, Maisel is also an award-winning playwright whose Eight Nights will premiere at Antaeus Theatre in October 2019; the play is currently part of a nationwide event called 8 Nights of Eight Nights, raising funds and awareness for HIAS. She has taught playwriting at University of Southern California and guest-lectured around the country.

On adapting novels “I like the puzzle of taking something that’s epic, novels are epic, even not great novels are epic, and you have to figure out how to find the essential spine to it and give shape to it as a writer.” — Jennifer Maisel

Presented by Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting


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#MentorMonday 8 - Dawn Comer Jefferson - Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Mentoris Project Podcast: Dark Labyrinth: A Novel Based On The Life Of Galileo Galilei With Author, Peter David Myers

Mentoris Project Podcast: Dark Labyrinth: A Novel Based On The Life Of Galileo Galilei With Author, Peter David Myers

Mentoris Project Podcast: Dark Labyrinth: A Novel Based On The Life Of Galileo Galilei With Author, Peter David Myers

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From hero to heretic, would he live to see honor again?

Enchanted by the labyrinth of stars above, Italian professor Galileo Galilei was determined to unearth the mysteries held within. It was 1609 and inspired by the newly invented “perspective glass,” which magnified objects on land up to three times their size, Galileo designed prototype after prototype until he achieved an unheard of 20x magnification. He pointed his invention to the heavens and the world would never be the same.

He was the first to see the moon’s craters, Jupiter’s moons, and Saturn’s rings, but when Galileo dared challenge the commonly held belief that the earth was the center of the solar system, the darling of the Medicis and Italy’s elite salon scene was assailed by the most dangerous men and powerful institution of all time. Swift and ruthless, the Inquisition had Galileo in its sights. His crime? Questioning authority and defending a truth he—the rebel later known as the Father of the Scientific Method—had proven.


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Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss “Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth” on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss “Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth” on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series

As you know I always LOVE talking television so when fellow Dr. Sarah Clark of Zilch Nation asked me a while back if I’d like to cohost an ongoing segment of Zilch where we analyze each of the 58  episodes of The Monkees — I jumped at the chance.

Even though I did a lot of this work in the book – I couldn’t cover all the episodes so this segment allows us to take one at a time and do our own critical studies and popular culture coverage. 

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss “Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth” on the Zilch Podcast's Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

Monkees 101 with Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss the 8th episode of “The Monkees” -“Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth”,  Anthony Pomes reviews the new Micky & Mike Live CD, Bob & Bethany Kriger Thies Do a song dealing with C-19 as only Monkees fans could. We dedicate this episode to Adam Schlesinger Singer-songwriter and Producer, Thank you for being part of The Monkees story and understanding them and us.

Listen to this episode


Want to learn more about The Monkees? Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

 

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement in Comedy.

Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.

This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.

Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Riderand Five Easy Pieces.

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?

Order Examination Copies, Library and Campus Bookstore orders directly from McFarland

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