08 A Star Is Born (1937) from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

08 A Star Is Born (1937) from

Transcript:

In a nutshell, what do we see in the first version of A Star Is Born?” We have this ambitious actress. We have a drunken actor, not a director. They do marry and he is jealous of her despite how bad that makes him feel. We have this classic scene where she wins an Academy Award and he shows up drunk and destroys and humiliates the evening right? We have this classic line “Can I have one more look at you”, right before I kill myself but you don’t know that’s what I’m about to do right? We have the husband committing suicide off-screen. We’re going to see him walk off into the ocean. We’re not going to see him dead on our screen and of course, we’re going to have this ending where she defends him to the society that destroyed him — to Hollywood — by saying “I am Mrs. Norman Maine” and there’s a lot — we’ll talk about this a little if we have some time — there’s some argument. My undergrad students nowadays will say they hate that line and they’re seeing it as her stepping back and losing her identity and I don’t think that’s how it was intended. I think if we think again about the time period, this was her asserting this man meant something and you people ruined him and I will not forget him right? So it’s an interesting line to see. Everything changes as we move through society and we bring our own baggage to what we watch. So we have to think about that. It was intended to be a monument to him and not a detriment to her at this point.

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Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

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47 Selling Your Nightmares from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

47 Selling Your Nightmares from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

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:

What I learned from being in a writer’s room is the things you need to do most are the things you learn in English and Humanities classes. First of all, you’re selling your nightmares. What are the worst things you can imagine happening? Make stories out of that. They’re the what-ifs of your life. That whole Down Syndrome baby thing. I was pregnant when I wrote that. You have no idea when you’re going to have a kid right unless you get all the tests and even if you get all the tests you’re not sure until the day the kid shows up and you imagine all the awful things that might happen right? So I was in the middle of that when I wrote that episode. So that was my true emotion that was happening. I wrote an episode once about what if your husband committed suicide. I’ve got all kinds of episodes. I just thought what are the worst things that could happen to me and bam they became episodes over and over again right? So you’ve got to mine your nightmares and manage them.

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* 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

13 Fuller and Her Relationships from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

13 Fuller and Her Relationships from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

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Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Rosanne:…and it fascinates me because they’re also having relationships in their lives because Anita had been married to someone else and she ran away with Garibaldi. Her husband was an abuser and a terrible guy and then he eventually died. So they were able to get married but they had a couple kids outside of wedlock.

Tammy: That sounds familiar yeah

Rosanne: Exactly and yeah hello Margaret’s going to show up right with Ossoli who’s a beautiful gorgeous man who’s also fighting for Italy and they’re not married but they do get that little secret marriage in before the baby’s born because that’s very careful.

Tammy: As long as everything’s legal right like that’s that that’s actually what matters yeah.

Rosanne: Well because you know we forget nowadays because it’s not a big deal to us but it was all about inheritance, If you were not the legal child, you would not inherit any of the father’s money or land or title in this case. So you know she definitely wanted to make — I assume she wanted to make sure her child would be given all that he was owed.

46 The Importance of Pronouns from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

46 The Importance of Pronouns from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

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:

So that was fine. Renoly was marvelous and we had a marvelous time working on that. One of the things I learned was remembering the importance of words. The simple act of in one scene, of course, he gets shot, right — because he’s in a gang — they had to go to the hospital and all I had to do was write “The doctor walks in and SHE says…” and they hired a lady as the doctor. If I had not used that pronoun they would have hired a man because that’s what an extra casting director would simply have gone to — his stereotype. Doctors are boys, right? So just because of the word she I got a woman a job and little girls in America the chances to know that doctors are girls. Now y’all, as I said better over here right because that’s very cool but that’s what Shonda Rhimes has built her whole career on right, colorblind casting and gender blind casting. Let’s just get in good actors to do these parts and see where we go from there, which I think is a really brilliant thing and what she’s built her whole thing on.

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* 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

“I mean, who doesn’t love Capt. Jack?!” via Instagram

“I mean, who doesn’t love Capt. Jack?!” via Instagram

I had a great time a speaking on Why Torchwood Still Matters at San Diego Whocon.

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07 More On Dorothy Parker from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

07 More On Dorothy Parker from

Transcript:

Also has been said about her, her stories feature female characters trying to square exhilarating new choices with the enduring bold constraints of social expectation. The social expectation in A Star Is Born is that a man should be more successful than his wife. That is something that happened in any particular level of the society at the time. Also, her heroines are lovelorn and there are always suicidal alcoholics in so many of her pieces and this appears in other films she wrote without Alan. They did effect eventually split up and get divorced. So she wrote for Hitchcock. He specifically sought her out. He wanted a writer as famous as she and she got an Oscar nomination both for A Star Is Born and for Smash-Up, the story of a woman which was about a female alcoholic. So clearly these are all pieces of her little ingredient book that she threw together into A Star Is Born.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



12 Fuller and Garibaldi from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

12 Fuller and Garibaldi from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

Watch this entire presentation

Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Tammy: So she gets to Italy and like what is her assignment? To like write every week or just whenever she wants or…

Rosanne: Whatever dispatches. So because of course, we don’t have as fast communication as one would love. So you’ve got to get whatever you get when you get it. you have to get to a place where you can transmit that information in the midst of there’s little battles happening everywhere you know. She’s just in Reiti, which is right outside of Rome and that’s where Giuseppe Garibaldi — who is the man who united Italy right — that’s his thing and that’s where I came more modern-day.

Tammy: Ooo look at that.

Rosanne: Yeah I was actually…

Tammy: I feel like during this conversation you should just be like and this is the book I wrote and then this is the book…

Rosanne: Well this one I was asked to do a historical novel based on Garibaldi who is this hero in Italy for organizing and what happened was he and his wife Anita — who’s a Brazilian woman — because he left Italy. He went to Brazil. Tried to get some stuff happening in Brazil. Didn’t work. He failed but he learned so much and there were a ton of Italian people living in brazil and they knew that his goal was to unite Italy, their home country, and so his wife Anita came with him to do that and she’s another fascinating woman and the fact that she and Margaret are going to become friends because they become nurses together taking care of the soldiers who fall in this battle.

Tammy: Wow

Rosanne:…and that fascinates me.

45 Casting and Production Issues from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

45 Casting and Production Issues from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

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:

But now I had to deal with everybody else and their stereotypes. One of which was oh so the gang should clearly be Black or Hispanic and I was like no no we’ve done that too much. In my neighborhood, they were Armenian gangs at the time. Not that you want to pick on any one group but you know it was a new group that hadn’t been picked on too much on TV. I argued for a good solid two days in that room why it should be an Armenian gang and I kept getting flack about America doesn’t understand that. They only understand these two groups blah blah and I was losing that battle and one of the producers told me to shut up and I kept talking because I didn’t want to lose that battle until finally, the person who usurped me was the casting director who knew that was the storyline we were playing with and he came in the room and he said I don’t have an Armenian actor who could be a guest star but I have this guy Renoly Santiago who had just done Hackers, Conair and oh the Michelle Pfeiffer movie where she’s a teacher and she used to be the military. it’s not Stand and Deliver… Dangerous Minds. He had just started all three of those movies and he was willing to do a television episode. So the casting director came in and said we got him. He’s Hispanic. That’s the gang and I lost the argument based on the popularity of the guest actor they could get.

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

06 Dorothy Parker from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

06 Dorothy Parker from

Transcript:

So that’s the writing credits but I will say that it was her voice that did it and this in fact is one of the quotes that makes me — gives me evidence for that. Somerset Maugham, a very, very famous writer in his own time. A novelist so much better than a movie writer. Much more literate and important and he recognized right away she had this gift for finding something to laugh at in the bitterest tragedies of the human animal and that is exactly what this story is — the bitterest tragedy of life that someone you love cannot deal with the fact that you are having more success or luck in life than they are and that is the saddest thing or one of the saddest experiences that they could imagine. So I think that’s important for us to keep in mind when we think about her voice and how it appears in this particular piece. I love her. As we said, her wittiness is there. She was talking about a time when the Motion Picture Academy was trying to create a union for writers and this is what she had to say about having them watch “…was like trying to get laid in your mother’s house. Somebody was always in the parlor watching.” They couldn’t trust them obviously. So this wit and this sadness I think very interestingly connects inside this story..

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



11 Underestimated? from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

11 Underestimated? from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

Watch this entire presentation

Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Rosanne: …and here’s the person to send in terms of what Horace Greeley may be thinking. I mean she knows how many languages? So she’s going to be comfortable anywhere and maybe a woman can get more information from people — can get into different parts of society right? A general — a military guy — maybe not.

Tammy: Because she’s not intimidating in a separate country where they don’t know all of the stuff that she knows. Like her reputation does not precede her. She’s just a woman. She’s in skirts.

Rosanne: Right.

Tammy: You know why don’t I tell her all my secrets you know.

Rosanne: Exactly. Exactly and you know but of course she’s also an excellent writer and that again is what he needs. You’re going to get there. You going to get the information quick. You’re going to give it to me so I can have it in the newspaper and that will I have the scoop right? It’s all about who gets the scoop first.

Tammy: Yeah well and so she’s documented as the first female like international correspondent and war correspondent right?

Rosanne: Exactly and again now she even parallels the transcendentalists we could parallel a little bit with the Algonquin round table because Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber are just a couple of the only women allowed in that circle.