Learn about “America’s Forgotten Founding Father” This Independence Day! – 2 FREE Chapters

Most Americans are familiar with the cast of the American Revolution — John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock. Some learned these names from history books, others from the fabulous musical 1776. Then came Hamilton and now Alexander Hamilton’s name will always be added to that list. But there was yet another man who did as much as all the others combined — and whose name has been lost. Until now.

Filippo Mazzei immigrated from Italy to England, where he met Benjamin Franklin over the purchase of an authentic Franklin stove. That chance encounter led Mazzei to the colonies. Intending to purchase a plantation in the southern part of Virginia for the cultivation of a vineyard, plans changed when his traveling party stopped for dinner at Monticello and he met Thomas Jefferson. Soon, Mazzei was buying the plantation next door and agitating for American freedom through the writing of pamphlets sympathetic to the colonists who wanted to break away from England. Along with his other soon-to-be-famous neighbors – James Madison and James Monroe – Mazzei joined the local militia by day and joined Jefferson at night to write essays advocating for the break away from England.

Among his achievements Mazzei is now credited with coining the phrase “All Men are Created Equal”, which Jefferson found so inspiring he added it to his Declaration of Independence. Over 200 years later a Joint Resolution of the 103rd Congress in October 1994 clarified: “the phrase in the Declaration of Independence ‘All men are created equal’, was suggested by the Italian patriot and immigrant Philip Mazzei.”

Read Joint Congressional Resolution on Mazzei

As the Revolutionary War waged on, Jefferson and other Virginia Founding Fathers asked Mazzei to return to Europe and solicit funds, weapons and other support from the leading countries of Europe, which he gladly did, though it separated him from the beloved country he had adopted. As an activity for your 4th this year,

Read the first two chapters of America’s Forgotten Founding Father

 

At the ‘She Called Action’ 35 Pilot Table Read Contest

At the ‘She Called Action’ 35 Pilot Table Read Contest

At the 'She Called Action' 35 Pilot Table Read Contest

My Second-year MFA candidate Randi Barros and I spent the morning on set at the Manhattan Beach Studios watching a filmed table read of Barros’ script “Springtime in September.” A winner of this year’s ‘She Called Action’ 35 Pilot Table Read Contest, the script concerns a suddenly single mother dealing with dating in the new era.

This “She Called Action” event was created by Cheryl Rodes of the women-owned production company Rodes Unpaved, dedicated to putting women as the heroes of the story.

That’s something the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting can certainly support!

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Quote from “America’s Forgotten Founding Father” by Dr. Rosanne Welch – 60 in a series – Madame Lavoisier

Learn more about the American Revolution through the eyes of an important, Italian Immigrant, Filippo Mazzei. Read his story today!

Quote from

“Filippo said sadly, “I have seen many Assemblies, but none so lax as this one in France.” 

Madame Lavoisier, spoke in their defense. “Dear Mr. Mazzei, you are doubtless referring to some other Assembly than the one on which my husband sits.” 

She was not to be taken lightly. But as a woman she was not a member of the Assembly and so had her information second hand, through her husband and his particular bias.”

From America’s Forgotten Founding Father — Get Your Copy Today!


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From America’s Forgotten Founding Father — Get Your Copy Today!

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Want to use this book in your classroom? Contact the Mentoris Project!

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08 Nora Ephron from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute 9 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

Watch this entire presentation

08 Nora Ephron from

 

Transcript:

But for her, it started with Heartburn which is the novel she wrote about her own divorce from Carl Bernstein — the Carl Bernstein of All The President’s Men because he had an affair behind her back when she was pregnant. So she dumped him and then she wrote a book about it which became a movie starring Meryl Street and Jack Nicholson. From that, she went on to write Silkwood which is a brilliant film you should check out. Meryl Streep. It’s based on the real-life woman named Karen Silkwood who is about to give secrets to the government about how her nuclear facility was being mismanaged and she ended up crashed on the side of the road dead and nobody knew exactly how that happened. So that’s a brilliant — so she went from drama, drama, to comedy and then, of course, we know the other movies. My Blue Heaven is one of my favorites that got dismissed because didn’t make a lot at the box office but it is quite charming. It’s the witness protection program and it’s Steve Martin as a mafiosi in the program right and Rick Moranis is his his watcher and he doesn’t play by the rules he’s supposed to play and t’s funny as heck. So she’s Nora Ephron. She’s really she’s so brilliant that’s a Nora Ephron Prize you can win if you’re a screenwriter at the Tribeca Film Festival. That’s how important she is to the business right?

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars.  Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


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“When Women Wrote Hollywood” Now at the Los Angeles Public Library!

Do you know about these women screenwriters? Many don’t. Learn more about them today! 

Read it from the Los Angeles Public Library Today!

Happy news!  

When Women Wrote Hollywood is now available at the Los Angeles Public Library thanks to our friend, Wendy Horowitz. 

If you have friends who were interested in reading but low on cash, tell them to check it out. 

And this is a reminder that if you want your local library to carry a copy, you need to ask a librarian. They have a form you can fill out that requests what books you’d like in their stacks. You can also send or give them this flyer with all the pertinent information!

When Women Wrote Hollywood Flyer (PDF)

Ask today so someone else can read tomorrow!


Get When Women Wrote Hollywood Today

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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

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 32 in a series – Anita Loos – Prolific Scenario Writer

Do you know about these women screenwriters? Many don’t. Learn more about them today! 

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood - 32 in a series - Anita Loos - Prolific Scenario Writer

Get “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!

After The New York Hat, Loos continued to sell scenarios to Biograph such as A Girl Like Mother, Saved by Soup, The Little Liar among many.  

According to an interview in Everybody’s Magazine in 1917, Loos would “write 200 scenarios before she ever saw the inside of a studio.”

Anita Loos: A Girl Like Her
by Toni Anita Hull


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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
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Why The Monkees Matter: Even 50 Years Later with Dr. Rosanne Welch – Denver Pop Culture Con 2019 [Video] (48 Minutes)

From Denver Pop Culture Con 2019.

Wherever you go, you find Monkees fans and the Denver Popular Culture Con was no different.  Amid rooms full of caped crusaders and cosplay creations, I was initially not sure how many folks would attend a talk on a TV show from the 1960s – but happily I was met by a nice, engaged audience for my talk on Why the Monkees Matter  – and afterward they bought books!  What more could an author ask for?



Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Acheivement in Comedy.

Capitalizing on the show’s success, the actual band formed by the actors, at their peak, sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, and set the stage for other musical TV characters from The Partridge Family to Hannah Montana. In the late 1980s, the Monkees began a series of reunion tours that continued into their 50th anniversary.

This book tells the story of The Monkees and how the show changed television, introducing a new generation to the fourth-wall-breaking slapstick created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers.

Its creators contributed to the innovative film and television of 1970s with projects like Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Laugh-In and Welcome Back, Kotter. Immense profits from the show, its music and its merchandising funded the producers’ move into films such as Head, Easy Riderand Five Easy Pieces.

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?

Order Examination Copies, Library and Campus Bookstore orders directly from McFarland

 

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05 Mary Shelley and The Evil Novel from The Sisterhood of Science Fiction – Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute)

Watch this entire presentation

The Sisterhood of Science Fiction: A Walk Through Some Writers and Characters You (Should) Know And Love

05 Mary Shelley and The Evil Novel from The Sisterhood of Science Fiction - Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 minute)

 

This one allowed me to riff on some of my favorite female science fiction writers across time, whether they be novelists or television writers. It also opened up a good conversation on what art we support and include in our lives – and what that art says to us and about us. — Rosanne

Transcript:

So Frankenstein is fascinating but tell me, what you notice about these two copies of this book? What’s different? The covers are different in what way? {Audience: The font is a little more sinister.) True. True. The font is a little more sinister. There’s also a big difference. (Audience: Her name isn’t on it) In 1818 they’re not gonna publish a book written by a woman because not only were women not supposed to write novels — they weren’t supposed to read novels because they’ll rot your brain and damage your interior organs such that you can’t have children. Yes. Which is kind of what we say about video games these days. So every new piece of media is going to rot your brain and destroy you. Now we say destroys the boys as well as the girls but still there was this idea that women should not dabble in that business of novels. They were very bad for you, which is kind of hilarious cuz now I’m telling you to read a novel over the summer. It will be good for you.



* 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! 

Audience at “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Panel, Denver Pop Culture Con

Audience at “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Panel 

Audience at “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Panel, Denver Pop Culture Con

Dr. Rosanne Welch and writers from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” at the Denver Pop Culture Con 

 

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Remember to Credit The Screenwriter!

Remember to Credit The Screenwriter!

While we at Screenwriting Research Network strive to force a focus on screenwriters, we need allies in the non-academic world to properly credit them.

In that vein, I recently wrote to the Guardian’s film critic about a moment in his review of ‘Gangs of New York’ where he credited the director for a visual moment that occurred, clearly and firstly, in the original script — something that happens far too frequently. Often, such letters yield nothing outside of getting the issue off my chest, but today I received this response:

“Dear Dr Welch: many thanks for your email, which has been passed on to me. Your comment is entirely fair: I should have credited this moment to the screenwriters: Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan. With all good wishes,”

I received this response after sending this email to The Guardian’s film desk:

“As a professor of Screenwriting History for an MFA program in the U.S. I greatly enjoy sharing your reviews of American films with my students, so I hope you don’t mind my noting a small mistake I found while researching your review of Gangs of New York – but again, being a professor of Screenwriting History (not film history because film history is the history of directors) I found you fell victim to one of the age-old issues of the old auteur theory. You credited a visual moment to the director when, in fact, it had existed in the original script, therefore the credit ought to have gone to the writer(s) and their imaginations and use of quality research.” 

“The streets erupt in a saturnalia of lawlessness, to which the director adds an inspired touch: an escaped elephant from Barnum’s circus trumpeting down the rubble-strewn streets.”

Yet that elephant was in the script (which I researched at the WGA Library in Los Angeles) all along, as you can see:

“116 EXT. CANAL STREET DAWN

The first thing we see is an ELEPHANT, who trumpets fearfully at the sudden sound of the shattered door. The gang stops, wary of this huge refugee from Barnum’s Museum, but the animal is more frightened of them. It hurries on down the street…”

I only make this point because those kinds of errors lead to the continued idea that directors are the only authors of a film – an idea most film programs are debunking by the day. I hope critics (since they are also writers) will remember screenwriters more prominently in their work in the future. I have taken to reminding people that, when you speak of your favorite films you rarely recount memorable camera angles, but in fact you recount your favorite dialogue and that is the realm of the writer. Often, as in this instance, many of the visuals credited to directors were first imagined by writers as well.

Dr. Rosanne Welch