01 Introduction from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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01  Introduction from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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When the folks hosting the conference announced their theme as “Screen Narratives: Chaos and Order” the word ‘chaos’ immediately brought to mind writers rooms. I offered a quick history of writers rooms (the presentations are only 20 minutes long) and then quoted several current showrunners on how they compose their rooms and how they run them.

Transcript

Always good to see everybody here. We’re all like on different time schedules so I’m still — I think it’s three in the morning in Los Angeles but that’s okay. Yes, we’re going to talk about this concept of chaos in writers’ rooms, which are really run in chaos, at least the ones in the United States. Just a quick background on who I am. I was in the business for several years. I wrote Picket Fences, Beverly Hills 90210 — which is a show that won’t die because they just did a live show or is just a little crazy and Touched By An Angel for a long time. So this is where I came from in television. This is what I’ve done in academia and writing. My favorite new book is a collection of essays written by many of my students about female screenwriters from the early days and giving us their backgrounds so I’m all about finding more women that we can write about and talk about in our classes. I think that’s important. I’m also the book review editor of the Journal of Screenwriting so if you have any books you’d like to review please let me know. I’d love to get you a free copy and get your review in the journal and also I’m on the editorial board for the Written By Magazine, which is the magazine of the Writers Guild of America. You can access that for free digitally online if you go to writtenby.com or go to wga.org and they’ll have a link to it, but every month we do interviews with either a film person or a television person or whole writer’s room from a show and I think it’s a great way to bring guest stars into a classroom from all over the world. Again, they’re obviously Americans although I interviewed Russell Davies several years ago so we do have some other folks come on into the magazine but it’s pretty cool.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 1: expensive words, cheap images: ‘Scripting’ the adapted screenplay by Alex Munt

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


expensive words, cheap images: ‘Scripting’ the adapted screenplay by Alex Munt

This article explores ‘scripting’ the adapted screenplay for budget film models, including microbudget features, DIY film-making and creative practice-led research. It highlights the lack of attention given to the adapted screenplay in the field of adaptation studies, and works with notions of intermediality, and transmediality, to privilege the screenplay as the primary site for creative interaction in the adaptation process. In the context of small-scale, budget film-making practices the focus is towards modes of scripting that rely on working with images, both as part of the screenplay form/format and more directly, in ‘writing’ with moving images, with the screenplay situated within production. This article argues that in consideration of the adapted screenplay, for budget film-making, the relationship between words and images is realigned. The impact of digital media culture together with the advance of digital film-making will accelerate this. Two case studies are presented. The first is Mala No he (1985), the debut feature film of Gus Van Sant, based on the novella by Walt Curtis. The second is LBF (2011), the author’s own debut feature film, based on the novel Living Between Fucks (2006) by Cry Bloxsome. This article aims to engage screenwriting researchers, independent/budget film-makers and creative arts practitioners.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 1: expensive words, cheap images: ‘Scripting’ the adapted screenplay by Alex Munt


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!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

49 Appreciating The Voice Of The Writer from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute 2 seconds)

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49 Appreciating The Voice Of The Writer from Why Researching Screenwriters Has Always Mattered [Video] (1 minute 2 seconds)

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Transcript:

So now, in reading screenplays, people can appreciate the voice of the writer in a way they were never able to before. So we see this movement going on which is very important to me. Again, why does this matter? Because we stand on the shoulders of all the people who came before us in this business. We owe them understanding who they are and what they had to offer. In my mind, we have to honor them the same way he honors his ancestors in this movie. That’s what we’re all about if you ask me. So when i teach in this program, this is why these words mean something to me. WRITE, so you can REACH other people and REPRESENT the cultures and the stories that have not been told before. That, to me, is something that we should be very excited about. That’s why researching screenwriters has always mattered. I’m Rosanne Welch I approve this message. Thank you very much.

Watch this entire presentation

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.


 

* 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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

A Woman Wrote That – 15 in a series – Clueless – Wr: Amy Heckerling

This new “A Woman Wrote That” post is an echo of the Writers Guild campaign of a few years ago (“A Writer Wrote That”) where they noted famous movie quotes and credited the screenwriter rather than the director.  The difference here being that we will be posting lines from films written by female screenwriters.  Feel free to share! — Rosanne

A Woman Wrote That - 15 in a series - Clueless - Wr: Amy Heckerling

AMBER

Ms. Stoeger, my plastic surgeon doesn’t want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose.

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

Watch this entire presentation

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.

Watch this entire presentation

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.


 

* 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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

A Woman Wrote That – 12 in a series – Private Benjamin (1980) by Nancy Meyers

This new “A Woman Wrote That” post is an echo of the Writers Guild campaign of a few years ago (“A Writer Wrote That”) where they noted famous movie quotes and credited the screenwriter rather than the director.  The difference here being that we will be posting lines from films written by female screenwriters.  Feel free to share! — Rosanne

A Woman Wrote That - 12 in a series - Private Benjamin (1980) by Nancy Meyers

JUDY

Look at this place. The army couldn’t afford drapes?

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Development of a fundamental ’19-Sequence Model’ of screenplay and narrative film structure by Melvyn P. Heyes

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


Development of a fundamental ’19-Sequence Model’ of screenplay and narrative film structure by Melvyn P. Heyes

To understand the utility and value of sequences in the construction of screenplay narratives and the emotional experiences of audiences, I developed and utilized composite definitions of ‘sequence’ and ‘scene’ to quantify the sequence content of 133 feature-length Hollywood-style and independent films made between 1941 and 2010 that were produced in the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Germany and Japan. The 3-Act Model was used as familiar reference points. I also contrasted the results to Frank Daniels’ 8-Sequence Model as described by Gulino. I argue the results directly support a fundamental 19-Sequence Model of screenplay and film narrative structure. I propose that sequences expand vicarious and empathic emotional experiences of audiences into ‘contextual emotional meaning’, where significant autonomous emotions are generated that create the enjoyable and satisfying experience of what the story means to both the characters and viewer.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Development of a fundamental '19-Sequence Model' of screenplay and narrative film structure by Melvyn P. Heyes


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!

Where’s Her Movie? Civil Rights Activist, Rose Matsui Ochi – 6 in a series

“Where’s HER Movie” posts will highlight interesting and accomplished women from a variety of professional backgrounds who deserve to have movies written about them as much as all the male scientists, authors, performers, and geniuses have had written about them across the over 100 years of film.  This is our attempt to help write these women back into mainstream history.  — Rosanne

Where's Her Movie? Civil Rights Activist, Rose Matsui Ochi - 5 in a series

Ochi broke barriers as the first Asian American woman to serve as a Los Angeles Police Commission member and as an assistant U.S. attorney general

she particularly cherished her contributions to the successful campaigns to win recognition and redress for the mass incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II — including her and her family.

from The Los Angeles Times

Where’s Her Movie? Civil Rights Activist, Elizabeth Peratrovich – 5 in a series

“Where’s HER Movie” posts will highlight interesting and accomplished women from a variety of professional backgrounds who deserve to have movies written about them as much as all the male scientists, authors, performers, and geniuses have had written about them across the over 100 years of film.  This is our attempt to help write these women back into mainstream history.  — Rosanne

Where's Her Movie? Civil Rights Activist, Elizabeth Peratrovich - 5 in a series

By Source, Fair use, Link

from Wikipedia…

Elizabeth Peratrovich (née Elizabeth Jean Wanamaker, Tlingit name: Kaaxgal.aat; July 4, 1911 – December 1, 1958)[1] was an American civil rights activist, Grand President of the Alaska Native Sisterhood,[2] and member of the Tlingit nation who worked for equality on behalf of Alaska Natives.[3] In the 1940s, her advocacy was credited as being instrumental in the passing of Alaska’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, the first state or territorial anti-discrimination law enacted in the United States.

In 1988, the Alaska Legislature established February 16 as Elizabeth Peratrovich Day “for her courageous, unceasing efforts to eliminate discrimination and bring about equal rights in Alaska”.[2][4] In March 2019, her obituary was added to The New York Times as part of their “Overlooked No More” series,[5] and in 2020, the United States Mint released a $1 gold coin inscribed with Elizabeth’s likeness in honor of her historic achievements.[6] The Peratrovich family papers, including correspondence, personal papers, and news clippings related to the civil-rights work done by Elizabeth and her husband, are currently held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.[7]

04 Down With The Auteur Theory from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (54 seconds)

04 Down With The Auteur Theory from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (54 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:

Writers. Really. Matter. I think it’s really true The Auteur Theory — and I don’t want to pick on the French — hopefully, there’s no one french in here — I’m picking on you — not my probably looking at your French friend, right — many people are now tearing down the Auteur Theory because it’s ridiculous. The director is not the only person responsible for why a film works. It has always begun with a writer. Yes, it moves to a director but that’s a collaboration and we made a mistake. Some people have written about the fact that in the early days of film critique critics couldn’t go through two or three names of writers so they went to the director’s name because it was the only one person named and slowly that became the idea of who the auteur was right? It’s not true. Vince Gilligan, very famous in America for Breaking Dad. Really considered one of our best showrunners — one of our best television writers — pretty much says it and I agree with him.

Watch this entire presentation

Subscribe to Rosanne’s Channel and receive notice of each new video!

 


* 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!
† Available from the LA Public Library