I had a lot of fun on my first Twitter Chat last Sunday. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman of #Scriptchat had invited to talk about how to behave in a writers room alongside what are the benefits of an MFA in TV and Screenwriting (such as the one we offer from Stephens College).
Happily, I had just interviewed Gloria Calderon Kellet who had an MFA and who had said so astutely that no one requires that in Hollywood but taking 2 years to invest in herself and her craft meant she had material that was truly of high enough quality to offer up when future producers offered to read her work. So that was nice!
As to Twitter, I knew being short and concise is the bread and butter of Twitter but… wow… I’m clearly a much longer storyteller and kept running over the limit and having to use ellipses to extend a sentence or a thought. But folks seemed to enjoy it and even said I had ‘dropped pearls’ so that was nice to hear as well.
Check out #Scriptchat every Sunday night at 5pmPST/8pmET for more fun guests.
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.
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.
Explore the low-residency MFA in TV + Screenwriting with Executive Director Dr. Rosanne Welch. Our mission is to increase the impact of women and other under-represented voices in television and film. Our faculty and mentors include some of the best working writers in Hollywood, and our curriculum includes an in-depth look at the business side of TV and screenwriting.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Alex Miller, the Senior Director of Admissions at Stephens College the other day to talk about our MFA in TV and Screenwriting.
Alex had collected some of the basic questions asked by applicants so we answered them over this short 10 minute video.
If you’d like to know what sort of activities fill the days during our 10 day residency intensive or wonder about the composition of our cohorts, or what type of classes we offer that are unique to our program — here’s the place to find out. — Rosanne
The WGF may have hit a pause on our live events, but thanks to technology, we’re aiming to provide more access to advice and knowledge from film and TV writers while we’re all social distancing. Over the last few months, we’ve been hosting free Zoom panels about craft and all things relevant to writers.
For this session, we team up with Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for a discussion on transitioning to TV writing from other careers. Learn how our panel of TV writers and producers made the jump to television, how their previous experiences inform their writing, and how that lens impacts their approach in the writers room.
Join our program director, Dr. Rosanne Welch, for a virtual open house to learn more about our Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting. As we prepare to welcome the 2021 cohort in fall 2021, we invite you to learn about the program, hear how the admissions process works, and an open Q&A to get all your questions answered.
Write Reach Represent
Online Open House with Program Executive Director Dr. Rosanne Welch and Director of Admissions Alexandra Miller
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
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
Laura Brennan’s eclectic writing career includes television, film, theater, web series, fiction and news. Behind the scenes, she has helped production companies develop movies, TV pilots and limited series. She has taught pitching workshops to executives at Netflix and Film Victoria, as well as MFA programs and undergraduate classes at universities including Stephens College, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Boston University and National University.A graduate of Yale University, Brennan has won awards for journalism, television writing and fiction. Her children’s book, Nana Speaks Nanese, tackles the confusing changes brought on by dementia in a reassuring and straightforward way. She hopes it will help families facing a diagnosis of dementia open up a conversation with their young children. Her web series Faux Baby is also for parents, but it is definitely not for children—or even safe for work.
“You are not everything to everyone. And you shouldn’t try to be. You should figure out what you do best and double down on it. Learn the stuff that you’re not great at so that you are comfortable and confident but narrow down what it is you really bring to the table ” -Laura Brennan