13 Characters and Susannah Grant from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (56 seconds)

13 Characters and Susannah Gra from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (56 seconds)

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:

All right, so. what I wanted to do for about half a minute is describe this woman. Visually describe this character. Her name is Erin Brockovich. You may or may not have seen this movie all right. So we might know something about her from the movie but visually — and she’s Julia Roberts, you can tell — quickly how would you describe her if you’re writing that action line in your script? If nothing else, think of three adjectives. We always start with that. Style comes from what you do in the action lines because the dialogue has to sound like your characters but the action lines sound like you alright. Shy doesn’t work in the writers’ room. If you don’t have an idea, I’ll stop paying you a contract and you go home. I always tell my students when they have to pitch, you better have an idea right away because you’re turning down $38,000 because if there’s a new script and we need one done next week and you don’t do it your friend just got that much money. That’s a lot of money to turn down because you’re too shy to open your mouth. So school is when you practice not being shy.

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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.

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Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier Talk Women In American History on the College of Education and Integrative Studies Podcast [Video]

Here’s a fun interview of my friend and frequent collaborator Peg Lamphier and I on the podcast hosted by the Dean of the College of Education and Integrative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona.

Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier Talk Women In America History on the College of Education and Integrative Studies Podcast [Video]

He invited us to discuss the two awards given to our 4 volume encyclopedia on Women in American History.  (It was named to both the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List and the 2018 list of Best Historical Materials, by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association) and our current book contracts.

Thanks to Ashley Jones, the Communications Specialist at Cal Poly Pomona, who plans podcasts for helping to highlight the work of adjuncts on our campus.  If we can’t get ‘the big bucks’ it’s nice to have our scholarship acknowledged by the larger community. 

We filmed this before campus closed down in March so we end up saying our new book on Fact Checking Hollywood History will be out in April… which of course hasn’t happened since most college libraries continue to be closed.  We expect it to be released in another couple of months.

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

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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

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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.

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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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Listen to the latest “How I Wrote That” Podcast with Screenwriter Dawn Comer Jefferson from Our Friend Martin, and South of Nowhere

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Dawn Comer Jefferson is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer. On television, Comer Jefferson wrote on the CBS family drama Judging Amy, served as writer/consulting producer on MTV’s teen drama, South of Nowhere, freelanced on the CBS hit NCIS, and developed a drama pilot at NBC Universal Studios. She was nominated for an Emmy for writing the Fox-animated family film, Our Friend, Martin, and for the last nine years has written Emmy-winning arts programming for PBS, performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

As a non-fiction writer, Comer Jefferson has written about children, families and public policy issues for national print and online media including Garnet News, Working Mother, Fit Pregnancy Magazine and MomsRising, and her essays have been featured in the anthologies A Woman Alone (Seal Press) and Go Girl (Eighth Mountain Press). She adapted, produced and directed the eight-part NPR radio series adaptation of the biography Maggie’s American Dream, co-wrote the nonfiction book Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work, and Family, and the African American historical children’s fiction, The Promise. Visit her website. 

“My first piece of advice is to recognize that you are a writer and a storyteller.  A lot of people are hesitant to own that yet you really need to be in that mind space.  And then remember that your first draft is not your only draft. There are probably 15 or 16 more and you’re not really done until your done… and even then, you’re not done.“

-Dawn Comer Jefferson

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

Listen to the latest “How I Wrote That” Podcast with Screenwriter Deborah Starr Seibel from Sisters and 21 Jump Street

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Deborah Starr Seibel is a multiple award-winning journalist and screenwriter.  For the past eight years, she has been an instructor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in the John Wells Division of Writing for Film & Television.  In addition, she serves as a mentor for Stephens College’s MFA in Screenwriting program. In prime time television, Deborah recently sold two pilots to CBS and is credited with four years on staff.  During those years, she wrote six episodes for the final season of NBC’s Sisters and spent three additional years on the staff of Promised Land, the spin-off to CBS’s Touched By An Angel.  She has also written episodes for Mysterious Ways and 21 Jump Street.

As a television reporter, Deborah won a George Foster Peabody award for investigative journalism, two Emmy Awards and First Place from the Associated Press for one of her documentaries.  As a print journalist, she has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Parade and USA Today. In addition, she is a long-time national correspondent for TV Guide.

In 2010, Deborah was awarded a USC Annenberg Fellowship to receive her Master’s Degree in Specialized Journalism/The Arts.

“If there isn’t a kernel of truth you shouldn’t be writing. You get to know the people in a writers’ room better than your family, because you have to bring yourself, your stories, your history, your family experience into that room or you have nothing to contribute because nobody on this planet has lived the life you’ve lived and if you don’t bring that into the writers’ room, what good are you?  What we are as artists are people who are trying to allow other people to feel that they are not alone.”” Deborah Starr Seibel

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

Listen to the latest “How I Wrote That” Podcast with Screenwriter Julie Hébert from ‘American Crime’ and ‘Man in the High Castle’

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Julie Hébert started her creative life as a theater director and playwright (Ruby’s Bucket of Blood).  She’s written and directed for the Magic Theater, Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, LaMaMa, The Women’s Project, Cornerstone and many more.  Her plays were honored twice with the Pen Award for Drama. Moving into television, Julie has written and directed for some of the most respected shows in television including American Crime, The Good Wife, Boss, Numb3rs and The West Wing. Her films have been praised as “intriguingly complex” (Variety) and “pulsing with veracity” (LA Times), with “a raw power that is impossible to dismiss” (Roger Ebert).  She blogs occasionally at JulieHébert.com.

“I honor the depth inside and the stories that really want to be told because often in television you can get away with topline chatter, but to really hit on something that has meaning for you, that will have meaning for someone hearing the story, it has to come from a deeper place.” -Julie Hébert

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