06 Inside The Writers Room from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (43 seconds)

06 Inside The Writers Room from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV

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 happens with writers rooms because this is the place where work gets done. Where stories get told, created, honed, in a particular way. The very beginning, this is what everybody thought. This is a writer’s room because comedies did use them. Comedians, we’re used to having three or four guys — generally, always guys — who travel with them and help them make funnier jokes. In America that was best seen in the Dick Van Dyke Show which you can see on youtube in a million different ways and Sally Rogers was the only woman anybody ever saw who wrote television which was kind of shocking but many women who came later defined her as a role model because that told them they could get in a room someday right? If they found the right kind of guys who would let them in.

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We need this message… via Instagram

We need this message... via Instagram

Great TV and Movies are built around the theme, you have to have friends. You have to have friends you can trust.

Look how powerful that has been. We need that message.

We go to movies and television shows – we go to stories – to learn that message.

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Storytelling in Bhutanese cinema: Research context and case study of a film in development by Shohini Chaudhuri, Sue Clayton

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


 

Storytelling in Bhutanese cinema: Research context and case study of a film in development by Shohini Chaudhuri, Sue Clayton

Screenwriter and director Sue Clayton and academic Shohini Chaudhuri consider storytelling structures in Bhutan, a country that has, until recently, been relatively culturally isolated but is now moving towards entering the global stage. As in the rest of South Asia, the dominant cinematic model in Bhutan is that of Bollywood, yet Buddhism, the oral tradition and supernatural beliefs form a rich repertoire of stories that screenwriters of the emerging film industry are increasingly attempting to mine. In this article, we show how cinematic storytelling in Bhutan functions as a kind of ‘secondary orality’ through our analyses of an earlier international co-production Travellers and Magicians (2003), two local DV films, and the film project that Clayton is developing in dialogue with Bhutanese writers, Jumolhari. We argue that Bhutan’s Buddhist, animist and oral traditions challenge and transform classically established cinema conventions of story structure, decentring individual human subjectivity as the controlling force and producing an altogether different kind of hero’s journey.

 


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!

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)” episode on the Zilch Podcast’s Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

When I finished writing the book and going to book signings or conferences where I could keep talking about The Monkees I thought I was done.  Then Sarah Clark, PhD emailed and asked me if I’d like to do a segment called “Monkees 101” where we both put our PhD hats and talked about each episode in terms of how it fit into the world in which it aired – sociologically, ideologically and even sometimes politically – covering what was going on in the news the week the show aired and covering the lives of the crafts people who came together to make the show.  How could I say no?  Here’s our latest installment, “Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)”.

Drs. Rosanne Welch and Sarah Clark discuss The Monkees “Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)” episode on the Zilch Podcast's Monkees 101 Series [Audio]

Zilch #161 Monkees 101-10 “Here Come the Monkees (Pilot)” Zilch talks The Monkees TV show, Season 1 Episode 10 In the series pilot which aired November 14, 1966. “The group auditions for the Sweet Sixteen Party, and Davy falls for a sweet 16-year-old.” Aired 1/7/21

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05 Women Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (27 seconds)

05 Women Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (27 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:

Women writers have always mattered. They certainly matter to me but we do not teach them very often and that’s a choice of the people who put classes together 50, 60, 80 years ago and didn’t mention the women. So I mention them a lot. These are women that you should know. These are women from American film history. There are women in English film history equally important. Hopefully, you’re having that covered in your classes.

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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

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Female fantasy and postfeminist politics in Nora Ephron’s screenplays by Roberta Garrett

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


Female fantasy and postfeminist politics in Nora Ephron’s screenplays by Roberta Garrett

The article examines and re-evaluates Nora Ephron’s screenplays; it argues that Ephron’s popularity with female viewers, and her association with the derided category of ‘chick-flicks’, has caused critics to overlook her important contribution to female screenwriting in the last twenty years. Since the late 1980s, Ephron has created a number of highly successful mainstream, popular screenplays that skilfully articulate and express the conflicting pressures experienced by young women, while still offering a positive view of ‘feminine’ culture. Through an analysis of key features of Ephron’s romantic comedies – such as the characteristics of the Ephron heroine, the use of parallel narrative and the symbolic significance of mother/daughter relationships, the article argues that Ephron’s narratives offset specific negative cultural stereotypes of single and professional women from the 1990s and noughties through a sympathetic, feminist-influenced approach to contemporary gender roles, expectations and courtship rituals. Ephron’s screenplays offer an uplifting vision of feminine culture and attributes in which patriarchal attitudes are countered and defeated by the optimism, resourcefulness and integrity of the female heroine.


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!

“Let us simply celebrate good television” and Bridgerton [Opinion]

“Let us simply celebrate good television” and Bridgerton [Opinion] by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Leave it to NPR to get it right, which is why I’m posting this piece they did on Bridgerton (Netflix), the new show executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and created for television by Chris Van Dusen from the romance book series by Julia Quinn.

See ‘Bridgerton’ Is A Delicious, Raunchy Tale Of One Very Hot Family

Far beyond explaining the show’s popularity, this article interested me because it understood instantly that what works best and most binge-ably about this show is that

“Let us simply celebrate good television, made by a shop run by a woman who loves good television and written by people who are experienced in television.”

Bridgerton and

In fact, I found one of the cleanest, clearest descriptions of the difference between movie screenplays and television screenplays while listening to this.

“Writing television requires writing to the rhythm of the episode, not just the season. An episode must have its own shape, its own rise and fall… Obviously, in a serialized story, one episode will not be complete on its own when it comes to plot, but it should work on its own structurally. It should have a beginning, middle, and end.”

You could spend a whole semester in a writing class and not yet be able to define it so cleanly – or create a piece that demonstrates having digested that delightfully delectable tidbit. 

I also appreciated the note about how we may think streaming services invented binge-watching but

“Remember, binge-watching really came of age with DVDs, which didn’t have the Netflixian boosts of the auto-play and the credits-skipping and the part where they almost bodily shove you from one episode to the next episode. If you watched 10 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on DVD, it was because you affirmatively said yes, over and over.”

I would go so far as to say TV in general invented that because before streaming it had to make characters and stories so compelling you would remember to be in front of the TV set at the same time every week in order to keep up.

That’s quite a lot of television writing (and history) information to glean out of one short public radio piece. Kudos to NPR pop culture correspondent Linda Holmes. And because we learn so much from any writer’s origin story – don’t miss her story at the end of the online post:

“She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living-room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

Holmes was a writer and editor at Television Without Pity, where she recapped several hundred hours of programming — including both High School Musical movies, for which she did not receive hazard pay. Her first novel, Evvie Drake Starts Over, will be published in the summer of 2019.”


Rosanne Welch serves as Executive Director of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting. Television credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, Nightline and Touched by an Angel. Award-winning publications include When Women Wrote Hollywood, runner up for the Susan Koppelman Award for best edited book in feminist studies and Women in American History, named Outstanding Reference Source and added to the list of 2017’s Best Historical Materials, by the ALA.

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.

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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

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V3 Issue 2: Giving credit where credit is due: Frances Goodrich Hackett and Albert Hackett and The Thin Man by Dr. Rosanne Welch

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


Giving credit where credit is due: Frances Goodrich Hackett and Albert Hackett and The Thin Man by Dr. Rosanne Welch

This article addresses the long-lived literary and popular culture assumption that the beloved characters of Nick and Nora Charles in the MGM film The Thin Man (1934) were representations of the relationship between novelist Dashiell Hammett and his lover, playwright Lillian Hellman. However, in a comparison of the screenplay to the novel, the screenplay’s specific dialogue and plot changes incorporated by married screenwriters Frances Goodrich Hackett and Albert Hackett can lead to a different conclusion. I will explore the Nick and Nora marriage that has served for so many years as a benchmark in romantic comedy relationships and propose that, in fact, this relationship was based largely on the marriage shared by the Hackett’s. The results of my exploration suggests credit to the screenwriting couple and serves as evidence that some screenplay adaptations often prove more enduring than their original source material.


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!

03 Why Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (41 seconds)

03 Why Writers Matter from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (41 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, writers are important. Writer comes before director when people are writer-directors because writers are more important. You cannot direct nothing. You cannot direct some people walking around a room right? Somebody has to say why they’re there and what they’re doing. So writers are very important and women writers — well this is one of my reasons why writers are important too — when you talk to friends about a movie you love, you do not generally say “remember the camera angle in scene five.” You say “remember the dialogue.” You quote dialogue to your friends. That’s the writer. That’s why the writer is more important. That’s why more people should want to be writers.

Watch this entire presentation

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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