eBook Editions Now Available – When Women Wrote Hollywood

eBook Editions Now Available – When Women Wrote Hollywood

When Women Wrote Hollywood eBook Editions Now Available

 

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This collection of 23 new essays focuses on the lives of female screenwriters of Golden Age Hollywood, whose work helped create those unforgettable stories and characters beloved by audiences–but whose names have been left out of most film histories. The contributors trace the careers of such writers as Anita Loos, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Lillian Hellman, Gene Gauntier, Eve Unsell and Ida May Park, and explore themes of their writing in classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ben Hur, and It’s a Wonderful Life.

When Women Wrote Hollywood – 20 in a series – Lois Weber

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


When Women Wrote Hollywood – 20 in a series – Lois Weber

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 20 in a series - Lois Weber

Lois Weber (June 13, 1879 – November 13, 1939) was an American silent film actress, screenwriter, producer, and director, who is considered “the most important female director the American film industry has known”,[1] and “one of the most important and prolific film directors in the era of silent films”.[2][3] Film historian Anthony Slide asserts that: “Along with D.W. Griffith, Weber was the American cinema’s first genuine auteur, a filmmaker involved in all aspects of production and one who utilized the motion picture to put across her own ideas and philosophies.”[4]

Weber produced an oeuvre which Jennifer Parchesky argues is comparable to Griffith’s in both quantity and quality,[5] and brought to the screen her concerns for humanity and social justice in an estimated 200 to 400 films,[2][6] of which as few as twenty have been preserved,[7][8] and has been credited by IMDb with directing 135 films, writing 114, and acting in 100.[9] Weber was “one of the first directors to come to the attention of the censors in Hollywood’s early years”.[10] Wikipedia 

Watch a movie by Lois Weber

A clip from The Blot

More about Lois Weber


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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

Books for Sale! – When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Launch Event via Instagram

Books for Sale! - When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Launch Event via Instagram

Books for Sale! – When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Launch Event

Many thanks to the essay contributors who joined us and spoke so eloquently about the women writers they had researched: Toni Anita Hull, Laura Kirk, Amelia Phillips, Sarah Phillips, Julie Berkobien, Khanisha Foster, Lauren Smith, and to Cari Beauchamp, who wrote the Forward to the collection.

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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

When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Launch Event – August 11, 2018 [Photos]

When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Launch Event - August 11, 2018 [Photos]

See the entire collection of photos

In honor of the launch of our book of essays – When Women Wrote Hollywood – Jake Flynn, Communications Director for Councilmember Bob Blumenfield presented us this Certificate of Recognition from the Los Angeles City Council for “bringing students from throughout the country to Los Angeles and pairing them with mentors in the heart of the entertainment business…

The flexibility of the program allows for a diverse student body which in turn promotes the telling of stories that have not been heard before.” One certificate will return home to Stephens College with Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian, who flew out to attend the launch, and the other two will stay with Ken and I here in Los Angeles.

Many thanks to the essay contributors who joined us and spoke so eloquently about the women writers they had researched: Toni Anita Hull, Laura Kirk, Amelia Phillips, Sarah Phillips, Julie Berkobien, Khanisha Foster, Lauren Smith, and to Cari Beauchamp, who wrote the Forward to the collection.


Buy a signed copy of when Women Write Hollywood

or Buy the Book on Amazon

 

* 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

Rosanne Moderates the Women Comedy Writers Panel for the Writers Guild Foundation and Stephens College

Rosanne Moderates the Women Comedy Writers Panel for the Writers Guild Foundation and Stephens College
Pictured:  Gail Parent, Njeri Brown, Rosanne Welch, Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Christine Zander and Ken Lazebnik pose before the Women Comedy Writers Panel

I had a great time moderating another panel for the WGA Foundation and enjoyed meeting all these female comedy writers. We talked about the power of comedy to force us to face the issues of our day and the pure fun of finding your place in a writers room.

I took the opportunity to ask Gail Parent (of The Carol Burnett Show, and The Golden Girls) to sign my used copy of her novel Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York so now I have another book to add to my autographed shelf! 

It was wonderful to feel the reverence in the room whenever she spoke – coming from the audience as well as the panel. That kind of reverence for those who came before us is usually reserved for men, which made experiencing it so much more powerful.

Rosanne Moderates the Women Comedy Writers Panel for the Writers Guild Foundation and Stephens College

See all the pictures in this set on the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting and Television Facebook Page

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 1 in a series – Lived, Loved and Created

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood - 1 in a series - Lived, Loved and Created

“A collection of herstories about how these women lived, loved and created the stories that gave their audiences reasons to live and love in their own lives.”

Rosanne Welch, PhD


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or Buy the Book on Amazon

 

* 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

In Conversation With Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood via Instagram

In Conversation With Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood via Instagram

In Conversation With Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood

My Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting students are in town for the next 20 days and we are diving into our work.

This is a low-residency program where most of the work is done online but each cohort (1st year and 2nd year) comes to LA twice each year and meets for 10 days of intense workshops and research at the Jim Henson Studio (originally the Chaplin Studio) in the heart of Hollywood.

This week is the first workshop for our new class of 2020. 

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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

When Women Wrote Hollywood – 19 in a series – Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino, Written for the screen by June Mathis

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


When Women Wrote Hollywood – 19 in a series – Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino, Written for the screen by June Mathis

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 19 in a series - Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino, Written for the screen by June Mathis

Blood and Sand is a 1922 American silent drama film produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee and Nita Naldi. It was based on the 1909 Spanish novel Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand) by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez and the play version of the book by Thomas Cushing.

Juan Gallardo (Valentino), a village boy born into poverty, grows up to become one of the greatest matadors in Spain. He marries a friend from his childhood, the beautiful and virtuous Carmen (Lee), but after he achieves fame and fortune he finds himself drawn to Doña Sol (Naldi), a wealthy, seductive widow.

They embark on a torrid affair with rather sadomasochistic overtones, but Juan, feeling guilty over his betrayal of Carmen, tries to free himself of Doña Sol. Furious at being rejected, she exposes their affair to Carmen and Juan’s mother, seemingly destroying his marriage. Growing more and more miserable and dissipated, Juan becomes reckless in the arena. He is eventually killed in a bullfight but does manage to reconcile with Carmen moments before he dies.

There is also a subplot involving a local outlaw whose career is paralleled to Juan’s throughout the film by the village philosopher: Juan’s fatal injury in the bullring comes moments after the outlaw is shot by the police.  Wikipedia  

Watch Blood and Sand

More on Blood and Sand

* 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

More about June Mathis


Buy a signed copy of when Women Write Hollywood

 

* 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

Working with MFA Students via Instagram

Working with MFA Students via Instagram

Working with MFA Students

My Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting students are in town for the next 20 days and we are diving into our work.

This is a low-residency program where most of the work is done online but each cohort (1st year and 2nd year) comes to LA twice each year and meets for 10 days of intense workshops and research at the Jim Henson Studio (originally the Chaplin Studio) in the heart of Hollywood.

This week is the first workshop for our new class of 2020. 

Follow Me On Instagram

When Women Wrote Hollywood – 18 in a series – June Mathis

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


When Women Wrote Hollywood – 18 in a series – June Mathis

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 18 in a series - June Mathis

June Mathis (January 30, 1887 – July 26, 1927) was an American screenwriter. Mathis was the first female executive for Metro/MGM and at only 35, she was the highest paid executive in Hollywood.[1] In 1926 she was voted the third most influential woman in Hollywood, behind Mary Pickford and Norma Talmadge.[2] Mathis is best remembered for discovering Rudolph Valentino and writing such films as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and Blood and Sand (1922).

Mathis was determined to become a screenwriter and, accompanied with her mother, she moved to New York City, where she studied writing and went to the movies in the evenings.[6] She entered a screenwriting competition; but despite not winning, her entry was so impressive it did bring job offers. Her first script, House of Tears, would be directed by Edwin Carewe in 1915 and led to a contract in 1918 with Metro studios, later to be merged into MGM. As one of the first screenwriters to include details such as stage directions and physical settings in her work, Mathis saw scenarios as a way to make movies into more of an art form. Much of the standard screenwriting styles can be attributed to her. Mathis later credited her success to a strong concentration on plot and theme: “No story that did not possess a theme has ever really lived…. Occasionally one may make money and perhaps be popular for a time. But in the end it dies.”[6]

By 1919 Mathis and her mother had moved to Hollywood. After only a year of screenwriting, she had advanced to the head of Metro’s scenario department.[7] She was one of the first heads of any film department and the only female executive at Metro.[8]

During her early years, she had a close association with silent star Alla Nazimova. Their films together can be said to be marked by over-sentimentality; what little praise these films received was due to Nazimova’s acting rather the conventional romantic stories.[6] Wikipedia 

Watch a movie by June Mathis

More about June Mathis


Buy a signed copy of when Women Write Hollywood

 

* 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