Powers Cameragraph projector, c. 1904-06, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

Powers Cameragraph projector, c. 1904-06, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

From Curator, Richard Adkins…

“This is a Powers Cameragraph projector, c. 1904-06. It is without its original housing, which would have been a metal box not unlike the Powers projector that is on display to the right of this mechanism. It comes from the estate of Richard Nederhauser, a projectionist who later was in charge of all technical updates for the Metropolitan Theatre chain.”

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Vintage Film Camera, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

Vintage Film Camera, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

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DeMille Office, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram

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Vintage Film Projector, Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

Vintage Film Projector, , Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

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3-strip Technicolor Film Camera , Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

3-strip Technicolor Film Camera , Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

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Props, costumes, and set decorations from “The Ten Commandments” (1956) Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn) via Instagram [Photography]

Props, costumes, and set decorations from “The Ten Commandments” (1956) Hollywood Heritage Museum (Lasky-DeMille Barn)

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A TED Talk Worth Watching – “Saving the World Vs Kissing the Girl” by Lindsay Doran

I am quite a fan of TED Talks – for their content and the spiffy way they illustrate a talk should go in a quick 20 minutes or so.  I often show students one of my favorites – Chimamanda Adiche’s “The Danger of a Single Story” and show my friend, Art Benjamin’s TED Talks in some of my humanities courses.  I was deeply pleased to be asked to give my own TED Talk, “A Female Voice In The Room”,  when CalPolyPomona hosted their own TED@CPP event a few years ago.  So when I find a new one worth sharing – I share it. 

The latest TED Talk to catch my attention was given by film producer Lindsay Doran in 2012.  “Saving the World Vs Kissing the Girl” is a fascinating look at how ‘action’ movies end on the announcement of the success to someone the protagonist is in a relationship with, making the culmination of the relationship more important than the ‘saving the world’ part. 

For instance, at the end of Rocky he doesn’t say “Yo, Adrian, I won” because he doesn’t win the fight.  He only survived it. The movie ends with Rocky and Adrian struggling to get to each other in the crowd. When they reach each other, they clutch each other saying, “I love you” over and over again. THAT’s the win.

A TED Talk Worth Watching -  “Saving the World Vs Kissing the Girl” by Lindsay Doran

Using Dirty Dancing, Karate Kid, and The King’s Speech she explains how positive relationships are more important than positive accomplishments in films.  They always end with the healing of a primary relationship. Heroes who don’t win their fight (Rocky in Rocky, George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird) are so inspirational because they win their relationships. 

Then she says that women don’t need to learn that relationships are more important than accomplishments in life – men do.  So perhaps these action films are women’s way of teaching that lesson that no man is a failure who has friends.

I LOVE that idea!

01 On Giving Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 [Video]

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

01 On Giving Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 [Video]

Transcript:

I always tell people you get hired to write on a television show. Look at them. They have eight episodes now or 12 maybe. You’re gonna write one and you’re going to have to give good notes on the other 10 or 11 for people who want you to stick around. It’s your job to make their work better so the show doesn’t get canceled and you don’t keep your job. So notes are one of the most important things to understand how to do.

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.

Celebrating the Female Screenwriters Who Came Before Us by Dr. Rosanne Welch — Script Magazine, March 2021

It seems quite appropriate that in March, the month we set aside to commemorate all the many marvelous contributions women have made in the arts, I’ve begun a monthly column for Script Magazine celebrating famous female screenwriters of the past.  The first column posted today. Come along and learn the names of the many wonderful women who wrote Hollywood. 

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I’m pleased to begin this new column in March, the month we set aside to commemorate all the contributions women have made – and will continue to make – as writers in media forms ranging from silent films to talkies to television to video games.

People often ask me why I created a series of History of Screenwriting courses and not courses on the History Film. I tell them that the History of Film most often becomes the History of Directors which in turn becomes the History of Great Men and I am done with that version of history. I’m also done with the auteur theory that came from French film critics deciding directors were the ‘authors’ of the movies – a theory that has been disproven over and over again but still refuses to die. The word writer comes before director in the job title writer-director because when people talk about the film and TV shows they love they rarely recollect a director’s camera angles but they always quote the writer’s dialogue.

I spent my childhood in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, an only child who watched TV and read books so I could spend my summer days with newfound friends. I read every book about Hollywood I could find in my tiny local library. Most of them written by men but some, some precious few, were the memoirs of women who had written movies before and during the Golden Age: Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Dorothy Parker (who I only knew as a poet), Ruth Gordon (who I only knew as an actress), and many more who became my mentors. Yet when I went to college and studied film history (there wasn’t any TV history) I never found their names in the textbooks my professors assigned me. In fact, many of my (mostly male) professors had never heard these women’s names.=

I won’t let that happen to you. I firmly believe we need to know the names – and the bodies of work – of the women on whose shoulders we stand as we build our writing careers. Novelists study those who came before them. Screenwriters need to do the same. Women especially need to know the names of the women who founded filmmaking — and those who founded the Writers Guild to protect their interests — so that whenever some modern studio executive wonders whether they can risk big budgets when women writers aren’t usually given such power, the women can list off the names of all the women who came before them whose films made millions – and won Oscars – long before these (mostly male) studio executives were born.

Word matter. Writers matter. Women writers matter. Follow this column to learn not only their names but the themes of their work. Each month I’ll introduce you to women who took the lemons of love and loss in their lives and turned them into art that lasts across decades. Follow me and soon women like Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), Jeanie Macpherson (Ten Commandments), Elinor Gwyn (It), Frances Goodrich (The Thin Man), and Dorothy Parker (A Star is Born) will be your friends and mentors, too.

Read Celebrating the Female Screenwriters Who Came Before Us on the Script web site

(L-R) Dorothy Parker, Jeanie Macpherson and Anita Loos

Directing on the page…On Screenwriting – 7 in a series

Directing on the page...On Screenwriting - 7 in a series

 

Some like to teach that writers shouldn’t “direct on the page.”

But in fact, most of the screenwriters who sell and win Oscars are people whose voice on the page is recognizable.

Those are the screenplays that sell because a person at a studio has to read the script and envision the movie. If they don’t see it, they don’t buy it.

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47 More On Screenplays As Literature from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (51 seconds)

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47 More On Screenplays As Literature from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (51 seconds)

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Transcript:

In my family, we like A Christmas Carol — Dickens’ A Christmas Carol — and it’s been made into movies several times and for us, the best version is the one made by The Muppets because in that version Gonzo the muppet gives the action dialogue — the narration — that you would not see in any other version of the film but he narrates — he walks around town — as Dickens narrating. So you hear language that you miss in the other movies. So, to me, that’s what’s happening when people start reading actual screenplays. They’re seeing the craft as it exists on the page. Yes, of course, we’d like it made into a film and we want to see the beautiful vistas and we want to see actors who are wonderful but I just really need the story. That’s enough for me. That’s gonna make me feel something.

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A Note About This Presentation

A clip from my keynote speech at the 10th Screenwriters´(hi)Stories Seminar for the interdisciplinary Graduation Program in “Education, Art, and History of Culture”, in Mackenzie Presbyterian University, at São Paulo, SP, Brazil, focused on the topic “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered.” I was especially pleased with the passion these young scholars have toward screenwriting and it’s importance in transmitting culture across the man-made borders of our world.

To understand the world we have to understand its stories and to understand the world’s stories we must understand the world’s storytellers. A century ago and longer those people would have been the novelists of any particular country but since the invention of film, the storytellers who reach the most people with their ideas and their lessons have been the screenwriters. My teaching philosophy is that: Words matter, Writers matter, and Women writers matte, r so women writers are my focus because they have been the far less researched and yet they are over half the population. We cannot tell the stories of the people until we know what stories the mothers have passed down to their children. Those are the stories that last. Now is the time to research screenwriters of all cultures and the stories they tell because people are finally recognizing the work of writers and appreciating how their favorite stories took shape on the page long before they were cast, or filmed, or edited. But also because streaming services make the stories of many cultures now available to a much wider world than ever before.

Many thanks to Glaucia Davino for the invitation.


 

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