Singer, songwriter, and the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. The fourth of five children, Aretha Franklin was raised in Detroit, Michigan, where her father was the head of the congregation of the New Bethel Baptist Church. Often in the presence of popular singers, both gospel and secular, she was influenced by performers such as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Dinah Washington. Gospel great Mahalia Jackson was also a visitor to the Franklin household. Franklin was first recorded as a gospel artist at age 14.
Mathematician and U.S. Navy rear admiral Grace Murray Hopper was a pioneer in computer science. Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and developed the first compiler for computer programming language. She helped to create UNIVAC I, the first commercial electronic computer, and the naval applications for COBOL, or com- mon business-oriented language. She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging.” Her nickname “Amazing Grace” came from the scope of her accomplishments and her naval rank.
I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus. As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch
Annabelle (Whitford) Moore performs one of her popular dances. For this performance, her costume has a pair of wings attached to her back, to suggest a butterfly. As she dances, she uses her long, flowing skirts to create visual patterns.
Civil rights and labor activist Dolores Clara Fernandez Huerta has made a life’s work of advocacy for farmworkers, immigrants, women, and the American Hispanic (Latino/a) community. Huerta is the co-founder of three major civil rights organizations, including the Stockton, California, chapter of the Community Service Organization (1955); the Agricultural Workers Association (1960); and the National Farm Workers Association (1962) with Cesar Chavez (1927–1993), which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW).
The first woman to break the sound barrier and the director of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS), Cochran was born near Muscogee, Florida, and orphaned as an infant. Raised in northern Florida by a poverty-stricken foster family of migrant sawmill workers, she went to work in the mills early in life.
Distinguished Chinese American experimental physicist and the “First Lady of Physics,” Chien-Shiung Wu is best known for the Wu experiment, which proved that the law of conservation of parity does not hold for weak subatomic interactions. Dr. Wu was an expert in the subject of beta decay and played an important role in the Manhattan Project.
Gypsy Rose Lee is the most renowned striptease artist in the golden age of burlesque. Classy and intellectual, she talked as she disrobed, peppering her act with literary references and witticisms. She became a favorite with New York’s intelligentsia, moving beyond the world of burlesque. The musical Gypsy, based on her 1957 autobiography, has kept her in the public eye decades after her death.
As the show was winding down this second season, the occasions for recognizing themselves as actors in a television program, often referenced as being trapped inside the program, become more pronounced, giving evidence of the growing conflict between the artists and the front offices of the studio and network.
Frances Perkins, the first woman appointed to a U.S. presidential cabinet, served during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration as his secretary of labor, piloting both the New Deal and the creation of the Social Security Administration. Perkins was the primary force behind unemployment insurance, minimum wage, a shorter workweek, and federal laws that regulate child labor and worker safety.
This is a huge thing to adapt and what I think is fascinating is This guy over here, Steve Kloves, he did 6 of the 7 Harry Potter movies. He actually quit after the 3rd movie. He’s like “Well I have to go focus on my own work” and his son said — his son was 10-years-old — “Dad, there’s no cachet in being the son of the guy who used to write the Harry Potter movies.” So he took on the next one and he did all the rest of them. He created a great friendship with J. K. Rowling to the point where they could talk often about things she hadn’t released yet. He was privy to new things coming up and books that had yet to be published and it was a very deep secret — you can’t tell anybody, blah, blah, blah. Really kind of fascinating, but to study the work they did — and one of the great things he said in several interviews — was that they had to look at these giant books and think of the theme. Which is what we teach people to do when their writing films. It’s all about theme. Start with a theme and any storyline that is tangential to that theme has to be thrown away. We can’t waste our time on that.
About this talk
Dr. Rosanne Welch (RTVF) speaks on the craft of history of film adaptations from the controversy of the silent film Birth of a Nation (protested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1915) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to which author Truman Capote famously said, “The only thing left from the book is the title”) to The Godfather . Naturally, the behemoth in adaptation – Harry Potter (which depended on the relationship created by adapter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling) will be discussed, as will the subject of this month’s celebration: Dune.
Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm
About Dr. Rosanne Welch
Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona. In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University. She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.
Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on 3rdPass.media, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”