From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 2: Off goes the telly: Writer discourse on the Life on Mars franchise finales by Christine Becker

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


Off goes the telly: Writer discourse on the Life on Mars franchise finales by Christine Becker

The British original Life on Mars, the spin-off Ashes to Ashes, and the American remake of Life on Mars offered divergent endings to the same premise, and each series finale divided viewer opinion to varying degrees. This article discusses these three different endings and considers how the writers of each series framed explanations for their creative decisions in discourse surrounding the finales. The article’s analysis illustrates that the series writers strove to justify their narrative resolutions strategically at various points in each series run to account for potential public reaction and to frame their writing decisions as driven primarily by creative motivations, not industrial ones. As such, the article suggests that writers of television finales, particularly those that close off serialized shows, have more opportunity and pressure than ever before to enter into dialogue with emboldened audiences about the production process.

Off goes the telly: Writer discourse on the Life on Mars franchise finales by Christine Becker


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! 

26 Controversy Scares Broadcasters from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

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

26 Controversy Scares Broadcasters  from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

Controversy scares broadcasters because it of course the word broad means they need the biggest audience possible because they’re selling advertising time and promising the biggest eyeballs on your ads. So if you do something controversial they’ll get less viewers and then the ad people will want to pay them less. So they have a bigger you know a bigger obligation to make the advertisers to not scare the audience away. Which is why you get stuff that’s much more progressive on cable and then eventually in streaming.

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.

52 Conclusion from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

52 Conclusion 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:

…and if you don’t think novelists are writers who collaborate think about the fact that all these guys hung around with each other in a writer’s group and read stuff to each other and took notes from each other and made changes based on those notes. Those were writer’s rooms. The Eagle and whatever that pub is called I haven’t gotten to yet …that was a writer’s room right and from that room not only did we get those books. We got this collaboration. Phil Jackson is great. I love him. He’s brilliant. He does great stuff. He doesn’t do it alone. He’s just the guy who’s willing to do the interviews. His wife doesn’t care to do interviews. I don’t know what’s wrong with her but she’s making me crazy right because we’re forgetting that two women co-wrote this movie. That’s what makes it so much better for our times right? They got the best-adapted screenplay award. Two women and a guy made The Lord of the Rings into what it is. I think that’s really important. So who remembers what I said my teaching philosophy was

three things matter

Words matter, Writers matter, and Women Writers matter.

Thank you very much. You’re listening. This thing is good. All right and this is important to me. It’s not just what I know. It’s spreading that around this is my first graduating classroom at Stephen’s MFA. As I said it was an all-female college. So it’s about spreading the word. Writers are teachers with a giant podium. What’s your opinion of how this world should work? Put it out there and the bigger audience you get the more influence you get. Forget YoutTube and who does makeup well. Those aren’t influencers. People who tell stories — I seriously — they’re not — people who tell stories are influencers because stories teach us to feel and that’s what you get paid to do which I love. So again these are a bunch of books I use when I’m just thinking about putting this together. So if you’re interested in reading about showrunners, those are a bunch of books that do interviews with them, and of course, this is the bunch that I’ve written and that’s all I have to say. So I guess we’re doing a q a now right? so if people have questions, I am totally open to your things.

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 2: Guest and returning writers in American television drama series: The two Davids by Tom Steward

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


Guest and returning writers in American television drama series: The two Davids by Tom Steward
  
The article uses two distinct historical case studies to argue in favour of the agency of guest writers and returning episode writers of American television drama series in terms of their ability to create thematically and stylistically distinctive episodes with an individual voice. In the first, I look at writer-director David Mamet’s episode of Hill Street Blues (NBC, 1980–1987) entitled ‘A Wasted Weekend’ and in the second I discuss several episodes written by writer-director-producer David Chase for The Rockford Files (NBC, 1974–1980). I explore the case studies in relation to existing critical literature on American television drama authorship and comparison to more recent examples of guest and returning episode writers. Using in-depth textual, script and production analysis, I argue that the tone, content and style of certain episodes of American television drama series are unique to the individual writer. I contend that the production roles of guest writer and returning episode writer, while different at different times, offer scope for writers to distinguish their work in American television. In addressing these particular screenwriting roles, I challenge the overemphasis on the production hierarchy in terms of critical accounts of creativity within American television drama and probe the exploitation of writers in cultural validations of television.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 2: Guest and returning writers in American television drama series: The two Davids by Tom Steward


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!

25 More On Network Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

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

25 More On Network Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

The idea was that the little boy would want to be popular in school and he would stumble on some internet pornography and print it and hand it around at school so the bigger boys would think he was cool and then, of course, he would have to pay the price for that and get suspended for a couple of days. His parent would be upset. We’d have to talk about the problem with pornography and what it does to the way people believe – think about women and all of that. And the network came back and said they thought it would be more engaging if the little boy didn’t copy what he found on the internet, but he created his own and I about wanted to go kill myself because I did not believe in that family — that boy — whatever — had that inclination, but I wasn’t running the show. I was just selling an episode then and the Executive Producer, Jeff Melvoin, did argue and argue, and that one we didn’t win. So, in that episode, the boy actually takes a picture of someone who’s naked on the Internet and puts his teacher’s face on it and it’s like Oooo, look he photoshopped it before there even Photoshop, I think, and I hated that so much, but I didn’t have any control to change it, so you just had to got with it and make sure that the ending — there was a big discussion about how and why that was wrong and how depressed the father was that his son would behave in that fashion and it really showed that there wasn’t anything cool or wonderful about what he had done. So we had to sort of overwrite the ending to make up for a beginning that we didn’t appreciate, but you know, it was their — they had enough — it was only the 3rd season of that show so they still had a chance to say no and they often did.

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.

Alice Burton Russell Micheaux: “Breaking Barriers on Two Fronts” — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, November 2021

Alice Burton Russell Micheaux: “Breaking Barriers on Two Fronts” -- Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, November 2021

 

Film history texts often neglect female screenwriters and completely omit the names of women of color such as Alice Burton Russell Micheaux, wife of filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Script contributor Dr. Rosanne Welch rightly so celebrates the female screenwriters who came before us with attainable insight about filmmaker Alice Burton Russell Micheaux.

Read Alice Burton Russell Micheaux: “Breaking Barriers on Two Fronts” — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, November 2021


Read about more women from early Hollywood


51 Teacher Make Good Writers from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

51 Teacher Make Good Writers 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:

For me, teachers make good writers. Right? Obviously Icatered this to where I have come and been happy to be. I actually — went too fast — this was my facebook post the other day. I don’t like a lot of words on the screen but I couldn’t resist this because I’ve never been to Oxford before.

So I found this little church just off Wharton Road where he was once a congregant and I had to find the picture and send it back to my husband and the cat just found me which I thought was cute but seriously I mean how long has the guy been dead and I’m still fascinated by the things he wrote? They still mean something to me and my family. Likewise, writers make good teachers.

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 2: Judging authorship in divided cultural work: Broadcast series formats in mid-century idea law by Josh Heuman

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


Judging authorship in divided cultural work: Broadcast series formats in mid-century idea law by Josh Heuman

In the mid-twentieth century, US courts and legal commentators confronted increasingly prominent problems of idea protection. While not unique in raising such problems, the maturing radio and television broadcasting industry intensified and complicated them – in the unruliness of its idea markets, and the distinctive relation between idea and expression implied in broadcast series formats. Idea law offers a revealing scene of discourse about mid-century broadcast writing – a scene for making sense and value from often ambiguous and ambivalent writing practices. In particular, problems of idea protection and copyright’s idea–expression dichotomy draw out tensions across divisions of writing labour. This article explores how mid-century idea law struggled to account for the economic and cultural value of ideas, in arguments that compose particular but provocative discourses about broadcast authorship. It also points towards some of the broader interest of those arguments – as a particular case study in the fragmentation of authorship, and as a provocative but neglected antecedent for contemporary concerns like amateur participation, recombinatory creativity and even the ‘creative economy’.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V6 Issue 2: Judging authorship in divided cultural work: Broadcast series formats in mid-century idea law by Josh Heuman


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!

24 Network Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

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

 

24 Network Notes from Worry and Wonder | The Courier Thirteen Podcast [Video]

Transcript:

Host: Was there a specific instance where you had written an episode of a television show and the networking was like, we don’t like this. We don’t like this. We don’t want this and you had to be like, No and how did you do — how did you do that? How did you go about that?

Rosanne: That actually happened in my actually my second episode was a show called Picket Fences which was by David E Kelly who’d come off of LA Law and he’s done a million things since then. Quite brilliant. He wasn’t there anymore. He left the show to another producer named Jeff Melvoin who’s quite another wonderful producer in town — writer/producer — and he’s got Emmys and whatnot is brilliant, but came in to do that and it was a show about small-town America. Dad was a cop — sheriff — and mom was a doctor. So you kind of had the mix of cop and doctor shows all in one. You could decide what the episode would be and I thought that was brilliant. They had three kids right they lived in a small town and we had done — I was still a partner then — we did an episode where the younger boy, who’s about 10-ish or 11, wanted to be popular in school and we were looking at the internet and wanting to say the good and the bad. So overarching dramatic question is the internet a good influence or bad influence and of course, there’s much good about it. You can watch all kinds of educational things. You can be exposed to all kinds of things from the past that we didn’t know about. We can learn so much more about history, other countries, like I just said about Netflix shows all of that, but we wanted to balance that with okay what are the problems?

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.

50 Collaboration Is Required from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video]

50 Collaboration Is Required 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 hope you learned from me today is that a writer’s room requires collaboration. It’s always about sharing and talking with the other people to make the product better and participation. You can’t just sit in a corner. You have to be part of that conversation or your perspective will not be included and that’s bad for you and anybody else who looks like you. It’s your job to represent when you’re in the room. So you need to be able to do that. Plus I love this quote of Einstein’s — Imagination. You’re selling your imagination. Who gets to do that? What job do you get to do that in except writing? I think that is the coolest thing in the world.

 

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