18 Russell T Davies and Doctor Who from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 seconds)

18 Russell T Davies and Doctor Who from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 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:

I got a beloved chance to interview Russell Davies who came to the states to do the fourth season of Torchwood and the editor Written By knew how much I love Doctor Who, so he asked me if I’d like to interview him? Which I did and this was something that he said that meant a lot. Again you probably know he’s an openly gay man and it bothered him what he was seeing on television. So obviously, he invented Queer As Folk, and from that, he invented and revived Doctor Who and invented Torchwood, which allowed us, Captain Jack. it was just so adorable. I can’t stand it, but not on my team. So there you go. So this is really important. He was recognizing that in what he was creating for television and again made the programming more inclusive.

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18 Where Are The Women? from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 seconds)

18 Where Are The Women? from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 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:

Kenny moved into The Incredible Hulk really the first superhero show on tv that ever survived and then he did “V” which was redone a few years ago and then he did Alien Nation which is where I met him. I worked on that show. So but in all these early drama rooms, there’s something missing. Who’s not in that picture? Audience: Any woman. Thank you. There you go. That’s the problem because most all these stories are being funneled through the minds of guys and you can’t blame a person for writing about what they know and what means something to them. That’s what writers do and that’s why a room wants as much inclusivity as possible right? So we don’t have any girls.

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17 The Bionic Woman from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (56 seconds)

17 The Bionic Woman 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:

And better than, that she was the last episode of the first season of this show and the studio killed her so that there’d be a great tragic ending and Kenny, who was a young writer then, said this is like the middle of the second wave of the feminist movement. You can’t kill the most engaging woman that you have had on your program and the network said yes we can. Nobody wants a love interest for the lead character because women want to imagine he’ll fall in love with them and they don’t want to get in some of the girl’s way. That’s rude, right? So they killed her and the mail — because there wasn’t yet email — that they got complaining that they had the audacity to kill the most accomplished woman who had ever appeared on that show meant that miraculously at the beginning of season two she wasn’t actually dead. They had bionically saved her and then she got her own program and Kenny became an Executive Producer of his own program because of his creativity because he had come up with that character. He now owned that character.

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Dr. Rosanne Welch Presents “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

Dr. Rosanne Welch Presents

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



 

16 Producer, Kenny Johnson from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (51 seconds)

16 Producer, Kenny Johnson from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (51 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:

Kenny Johnson is a guy I worked for as an assistant. He invented The Bionic Woman — again writer’s voice. He was on staff at Universal. They came in one day and they said “Hey we’re doing the Six Million Dollar Man. We need a storyline” and he said — which is a nice tip — know the classics — we fall back on classics all the time. Sons of Anaarchy is Hamlet on motorcycles. That’s how they got pitched right? Empire is King Lear in a rap record recording studio. Seriously, knowing Shakespeare does you well in life. I promise you. The Bionic Woman that’s that’s the Bride of Frankenstein. He walked in the room and said you’ve created Frankenstein. Why doesn’t he have a bride?

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† Available from the LA Public Library

15 More On Writers-Producers from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (51 seconds)

15 More On Writers-Producers from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (51 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:

Likewise, we have Stephen Bochco who really started the idea of multiplicity in storylines in Hill Sreet Blues which is a very famous show. We have Dick Wolf who gave us the Law & Order franchise that was on for 19 years. Didn’t quite make 20. This show’s made 21. I saw it just airing on Sky TV the other night so it’s something available in Britain and of course, there was a British version of Law & Order. They actually did one where they took early scripts and they transferred them here. Didn’t do great but what do you know? Don Bellisario gave us basically military heroes which were pretty big in the states but he himself had been in the military during Vietnam War and so he came out. People may not know it but the Magnum story was that right? He was a Vietnam War vet and then as Bellisiario moved through and these shows all ran a good ten years apiece. so long-running programs.

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† Available from the LA Public Library

14 Writers-Producers from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (56 seconds)

14 Writers-Producers 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:

The writer-producers and again they were mostly guys in the 80s and early 90s right mostly guys. I did a big article on these gentlemen as well because I had once worked for Kenny Johnson who’s a marvelous man in the corner with the Incredible Hulk. He did the first tv superhero which was the Incredible Hulk show back in the day. So all these guys came out of the Universal writer’s pool right? Stephen Cannell was so beloved that when he died he was NOT running a show called Castle which ran for nine years on network television but the people who ran this show had been trained by him and when he died at the ending of their program, they ran this logo which was how his tv shows in the 70s and 80s used to end and in honor of him they ran this and called him a colleague, a mentor, and a friend. That’s a big deal in Hollywood where mostly we say nasty things about people. So it tells you something about his personality.

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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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Event: When Women Wrote Hollywood presentation for the Empire State Center for the Book – Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – 7 pm EST

Event: When Women Wrote Hollywood presentation for the Empire State Center for the Book - Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – 7 pm EST

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – 7 pm EST

MFA Executive Director Dr. Rosanne Welch will give a Zoom presentation on “When Women Wrote Hollywood” for the Empire State Center for the Book, the New York State affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. This event begins at 7 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Central on Tuesday, March 9, and is free and open to the public. 

Dr. Welch will discuss many highly successful female screenwriters of early Hollywood and explain why they don’t appear in most mainstream histories of the era.

Join the Zoom Call — Passcode: 120524

Visit Empire State Center for the Book Web Site

Rosanne and front window display of “When Women Wrote Hollywood” before reading and Signing event at Skylark Bookshop

Dr. Rosanne Welch Speaks at the 2021 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference – Thursday, March 18, 2021 [Event]

Rosanne is speaking at the 2021 SCMS Conference on Thursday, March 18, 2021. If you are attending the conference virtually, please tune into this collection of excellent presentations on the “unreliable narrator” and more.

Dr. Rosanne Welch Speaks at the 2021 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference - Thursday, March 18, 2021 [Event]

V14 Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator

THURSDAY, MARCH 18
SESSION E – 12:00 PM Central Time

  • Chair: Christina Lane, University of Miami
  • Co-Chair: Vicki Callahan, University of Southern California
  • Vicki Callahan, University of Southern California, “Still Looking for Mabel Normand”
  • Philana Payton, University of Southern California, “Eartha Kitt vs. Eartha Mae: Black Women, Self-Fragmentation, and the Politics of Hollywood Stardom”
  • Rosanne Welch, Stephens College, “When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”
  • Christina Lane, University of Miami, “Alternative Writing Strategies: Notes on Discovering the ‘Women Who Knew’ Joan Harrison”

See more upcoming events