20 Screenwriting: Television Vs. Film from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Watch the entire presentation – Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 here

20 Screenwriting: Television Vs. Film from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

You know, the difference between TV, obviously, and movies — movies you are going to tell me the most interesting 2 hours in someone’s life. What are the most crazy, interesting 2 hours and we’re done. Maybe there’ll be sequels, of course, blah, blah, blah — but, in general, that’s what you’re going for. In a TV show — especially a pilot — you need to give me enough fodder to understand that there are at least 20 hours — nowadays with streaming, 40 — used to be 100 — in order to get to syndication — but that there’s that much interesting embedded conflict among this group of people that I’m going to be constantly interested in watching them overcome whatever their problem might be. Whatever their issue might be. So, every show has what we would call an overarching dramatic question that is trying to be answered. It’s like — and it can be — it should be — the bigger it is, the more universal. So, for me, an easy example is Bones, right, which some people realize what was — she’s uber-smart and autistic and he’s uber-Catholic and, you know, goes for the emotion. Which, of course, is a flip to what we think gender-wise. It should be the dude being super-logical and the girl being super-emotional, but they flipped it so that’s interesting. But really it’s a show about science versus religion and the 2 characters represent those 2 points of view and there’s never going to be an answer to that question. Except if you accept that the answer is you need them both and that’s how they solve their crimes is the 2 of them together are better than each separately. So, you’re overarching question every week is being addressed. The individual question each week is simply who committed this murder. That’s always going to be solved but the overarching dramatic question can never be solved or your show’s over.

It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.

Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).

We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.

Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!

The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.

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.

Watch this entire presentation

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† 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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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 1: Scriptwriting as paradox and process: The complex case of Eric Rohmer by Fiona Handyside

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


Scriptwriting as paradox and process: The complex case of Eric Rohmer by Fiona Handyside
 
This article discusses the creative working processes of Eric Rohmer (1920–2010). It argues that his method, of working on film subjects for decades, and carefully preparing every aspect of his films, contrasts with a deliberately ‘amateur’ and improvisational approach, influenced to a certain extent by ethnographic film. Rohmer provides an unusual and fascinating case study, combining approaches to scriptwriting that are usually seen as diametrically opposed.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 1: Scriptwriting as paradox and process: The complex case of Eric Rohmer by Fiona Handyside


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!

Dr. Rosanne Welch’s Chapter in Doctor Who – New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era from Manchester University Press Now Available

Dr. Rosanne Welch's Chapter in Doctor Who - New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era  from Manchester University Press Now Available

I’m happy to announce the publication of Doctor Who New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era for which I was invited to write a chapter. 

My focus was on the delicate work showrunner/writer Chris Chibnall had to do in realizing this new Doctor so it’s called “She is Wise and Unafraid” Writing the First Female Doctor and a Diverse Universe for her to Protect

I touch on the myriad decisions a showrunner makes in creating a character from costuming to sidekicks (called companions in the Whoniverse) to dialogue.   I was excited to have been invited to contribute to this collection and proud to showcase the way screenwriters work.

I know academic books can be expensive but you can always ask your local or college library to order a copy for you to read!  

 

Doctor Who – new dawn explores the latest cultural moment in this long-running BBC TV series: the casting of a female lead. Analysing showrunner Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker’s era means considering contemporary Doctor Who as an inclusive, regendered brand. Featuring original interview material with cast members, this edited collection also includes an in-depth discussion with Segun Akinola, composer of the iconic theme tune’s current version. The book critically address the series’ representations of diversity, as well as fan responses to the thirteenth Doctor via the likes of memes, cosplay and even translation into Spanish as a grammatically gendered language. In addition, concluding essays look at how this moment of Who has been merchandised, especially via the ‘experience economy’, and how official/unofficial reactions to UK lockdown helped the show to further re-emphasise its public-service potential.

P.S. You can check out the trailer for Jodie’s upcoming 3rd season here:

19 Bingability from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Watch the entire presentation – Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 here

19 Bingability rom Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

HOST: They do a really good job of holding the tension for you to keep watching on to the next episode and I think that’s really well done yeah so.

Rosanne: We used to think when streaming came along that wouldn’t be as important because the idea of leaving a show with a bit of a cliffhanger was so you’d wait a week and you’d remember to come back the next Thursday at nine o’clock or whatever that was and then we’re like oh streaming. You just binge right through it you don’t need it but of course, Netflix will say no no now we need what they’ll call the binge-ability factor. Oh yeah, we need you to see the thing that says next episode and click that right away. We want you to watch five in a row. That’s just as important as coming back next week and I think that’s really a funny — we thought there was a change there and it’s not necessary at all.

HOST: Yeah just because it’s on this platform where you can binge it doesn’t mean that people will automatically just go to the next episode if you don’t make it enticing for them to do so. I mean I’ve watched a lot. I’ve started a lot of shows on Netflix and I didn’t move on to the next episode like you didn’t

Rosanne: It didn’t catch you.

HOST: — I don’t see the reason.

It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.

Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).

We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.

Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!

The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.

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

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 1: From ‘What Can be Seen and Heard’ to ‘What Can be Sensed and Thought’: Almodovar’s moving textuality in the screenplay of Todo sobre mi madre/All about my Mother (1999) by Christian Abes

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


From ‘What Can be Seen and Heard’ to ‘What Can be Sensed and Thought’: Almodovar’s moving textuality in the screenplay of Todo sobre mi madre/All about my Mother (1999) by Christian Abes

A screenplay is a text in transit and in constant tension between the written and the audio-visual dimensions, resulting in a process of a great potentiality. Such a phenomenon can be perceived in Pedro Almodóvar’s screenwriting, in which a distinct idea of style and creative process emerges. The screenwriting of objectivity and exteriority gives way to a generous, dynamic and expressive text. This study highlights how the screenplay can be shaped within a peculiar and poetic textuality, mixing technical references with insight and more abstract comments, i.e. presenting itself simultaneously as a perceptual and as a conceptual text. What if the effects resulting from the audio-visual metaphors of Almodóvar’s screenplay for Todo sobre mi madre/All about my Mother (1999) were ‘present’ only in the screenplay? What if such deviation from classical rules engenders an experimental space within screenwriting that eventually expands the very idea of ‘screenplay’ itself?

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 1: From ‘What Can be Seen and Heard’ to ‘What Can be Sensed and Thought’: Almodovar’s moving textuality in the screenplay of Todo sobre mi madre/All about my Mother (1999) by Christian Abes


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!

18 Murdoch Mysteries from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Watch the entire presentation – Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast | Episode # 29 here

18 Murdoch Mysteries from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

Rosanne: The Murdoch Mysteries? The one about the cops…

Host: I think so yeah.

Rosanne: Canada’s got some interesting tv. Interesting business there too. It’s called Murdoch Mysteries. It’s on Netflix for a few seasons. It’s run for ten seasons. It’s about a constable. It is what they call their police in Canada in the turn of the century 1900. So you’re getting a period piece and his girlfriend, who becomes his wife later on, is the coroner because she was a rich woman who learned to be a doctor but nobody will trust you to be a doctor. So she basically cuts up cadavers and helps solve crimes and what they did beautifully is they’re very interesting little you know detective stories but they have a lovely cast of surrounding characters and eventually they married these two people and in the States if you marry characters the show’s over right? Bones they got married shows done. Castle they got married shows done. We don’t understand that the day after you get married like that’s when the story starts.

Host: Yeah there’s this trope that marriage and then that’s the end game. Like the end game was getting married but there’s nothing after that yet yeah.

Rosanne: Whereas they’ve been I think married for four or five seasons now and you know they’re perfectly interesting and fun and work together.

It’s always fun to sit down with students and share stories about entering the television industry and how things work at all stages and I had that opportunity the other day.

Daniela Torres, a just-graduated (Congratulations!) student of the Columbia College Semester in LA program asked me to guest on a podcast she had recently begun hosting with another college student she met during her internship (good example of networking in action!).

We could have talked all morning (the benefit of a 3 hour class session) but we held it to about an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Hopefully, along the way I answered some questions you might have about how the business works. So often it amounts to working hard at being a better writer and gathering a group of other talented, hard-working people around you so you can all rise together.

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a television writer with credits that include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. She also teaches Television Writing and the Art of Film at San Jose State University.

Rosanne discusses what made shows like Beverly Hills 90210 compelling, what to do and not to do when attempting to pitch a show to broadcast or streaming, what most young writers neglect in their writing process, and much more!

The Courier Thirteen Podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, and Audible.

44 Sneaky Methods from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

44 Sneaky Methods 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:

Well, first of all, I wanted to pitch a show. I’d read an article about a priest in LA who worked with gang kids who were also parents and I wanted to do something where a boy had to pick whether he should be — oh look it’s a father episode — more devoted to the family he created or to the gang that was his fake family right? He had to learn that the gang wasn’t real but his own family was real.

I wanted to pitch that but I knew that one of the other episode guys– one of the other writers — didn’t like to do things with gangs. I was like well that’s stupid that’s writing out a whole sort of storyline. So I had to get my boss alone and the boss on this show happened to be a female and interestingly enough there’s one place that a girl writer could follow a female producer that none of the boys could follow us — the loo — ladies and gentlemen, so I waited until she went to the bathroom one day and I followed her in and while I was washing my hands very vigorously I said “Martha I’ve just read this marvelous article about this priest who works with gang boys and I thought what if he did an episode about a teenage gang dad,” and she was like “Well that’s marvelous. We should do that. Let’s talk about it,” and we went back into the room, where there were two guys I knew didn’t want to do anything about gangs and she pitched it and they can’t say no to the boss. So I got it.

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