Staged review – Michael Sheen and David Tennant get meta via The Guardian

Why are the Brits so much better about creativity in challenging technological times – AND at making fun of themselves? In this short Zoom-filmed set of 15 minute shorts we find Tennant and Sheen (of Good Omens) playing exaggerated versions of themselves as two actors who are forced to rehearse an upcoming play (Pirandello’s “6 Characters in Search of an Author”) on Zoom due to the lockdown. — Rosanne

Staged review – Michael Sheen and David Tennant get meta via The Guardian

It is not, overall, a great time to be an actor. Or a director, or a musician, or a writer for the stage or indeed almost anyone involved in the creative arts. The practical effects of the pandemic – and its gross mismanagement – on planned productions (postponed indefinitely), theatre finances (which depend on packed, not socially distanced, houses) and freedom to gather, rehearse, collaborate and generate ideas are already being felt, but their ramifications have hardly begun.

Individual actors have found ways to continue to provide entertainment and add to the cultural conversation (Samuel West, for example, began a series of beautiful and restorative poetry readings requested by followers on his Twitter account, to which more and more actors have added their voices as the weeks have passed), but the brightest chink of light in the darkness so far, and reaching the widest audience, has been offered by the small screen.

Read Staged review – Michael Sheen and David Tennant get meta via The Guardian

Text of Rosanne’s Keynote at 10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

I’m happy to post this ebook of papers presented at the10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

I gave the opening lecture entitled, “Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered” which appears here in English, though the rest of the papers (naturally) are in Portuguese.  It was an honor to be asked to do the lecture and privilege to spend time with Professor Glaucia Davino and her students who made me feel very welcome in their city.

Words matter. Writers matter and women writers matter in this world. It is important to consider writers because the word writer comes before the word director when you describe a filmmaker who can do two things. They are writer-directors, they are not director-writers. That tells us something. The vision of a movie cannot exist without the screenplay. A director cannot direct nothing. There must be an idea. There must be a philosophy. There must be a theme. There must be a story. This proves that the writer is of equal importance. We must remember writers have to be equal partners and I think we realize that without realizing it. When people talk about movies to their friends they don’t say “I loved the camera angle in scene 7.” They quote dialogue from their favorite movies whether they are from a Pixar film or a Disney one, they quote the dialogue and that is the work of the writer. That’s the person who should be given credit, yet often at the start a class I ask students to list their two or three favorite films, who directed those films and who wrote that film. They very often cannot name the person who wrote the film they claim to adore. How can you study to be a writer if you don’t remember writers yourself? Hence the reason to study Screenwriting. Hence researching screenwriters has always mattered.

When actors Frances McDormand won her Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri she said of the screenwriter Martin McDonagh, “He did not sketch a blueprint. That’s an insult to a screenplay. He didn’t string together a few words. He wrote, meticulously crafted, a tsunami, and then he allowed his troupe of actors to surf it into the shore.” (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sag-awards-three-billboards-takes-top-honors-at-a-show-women-took-center-stage-1076726) She credited the writer in a way that many people do not.

Stories – and therefore screenplays and therefore screenwriters — are important because they transmit culture around the world. The United States has had a corner on that market for far too many years but now we’re beginning to see other stories permeate our culture, a good and beneficial thing for a country made of immigrants and the ancestors of immigrants. Stories have always transmitted culture far back to the cave paintings of many ancient cultures, through Gilgamesh, and the griots of Africa. Humans have used stories to move culture forward. Movies are the most current version of doing that so why do we forget to study the storytellers? Now is the time to fix this glaring omission both in casual discussions of films and in academia.

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Read and Download The Entire Why Researching Screenwriters (has Always) Mattered Presentation in PDF Format

Text of Rosanne's Keynote at 10th Screenwriter Stories Seminar: Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.
Download the Portuguese PDF 

Watch the the entire presentation here

Photos from the event

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil. Screenplay-X at the Université Presbytériènne Mackenzie in São Paulo, Brazil.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V1 Issue 2: The physical and emotional threads of the archetypal hero’s journey: proposing common terminology and re-examining the narrative model by Craig Batty

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


The physical and emotional threads of the archetypal hero’s journey: proposing common terminology and re-examining the narrative model by Craig Batty

This article will discuss how, in mainstream film screenplays, the protagonist undergoes both an actual, physical journey and an internal, emotional journey, pulled together by the invisible hand of the screenwriter in order to create the complete narrative experience. Central to the article is an evaluation of how character transformation (arc) is positioned against physical action (plot), arguing that the two can be mapped out as individual yet symbiotic threads of a narrative: the physical and the emotional journeys.After mapping the territory of what is already written on this subject, the works of Joseph Campbell and his protg Christopher Vogler (Clayton 2007: 210) will be drawn together to offer a re-examination of the model of the Hero’s Journey. Assessing these two narrative threads (physical and emotional) as both distinct and symbiotic, it will be clear that a special relationship exists between plot and character, where character transformation is encouraged to take place within the frame of the physical action of the plot. The substance of such a transformation, the emotional core of the narrative experience, is what lives on in the audience, post-text; the physical action of a film story may frame emotion, but emotion has the power to break the frame and take on a life of its own.


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!

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Alumna Sarah Phillips Batchelder (Class of 2017) in Drama Series Competition at SeriesFest

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Alumna Sarah Phillips Batchelder (Class of 2017) in Drama Series Comeptition at SeriesFest

Congratulations to alumna Sarah Phillips Batchelder (Class of 2017).

The pilot she wrote and directed this year — Supplements — is in the Drama Series competition in SeriesFest, which starts online this Thursday.

Don’t forget to vote for Sarah and her team for Audience Award!

Watch the Supplements trailer on YouTube.

SeriesFest 2020

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 30: “Frederica Sagor Maas, 1900 – 2012 on Notebook.” MUBI. David Hudson

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 30: “Frederica Sagor Maas, 1900 – 2012 on Notebook.” MUBI. David Hudson

From The

“Frederica Sagor Maas, a pioneering female screenwriter who scored her first big success with The Plastic Age, a smash hit for ‘It Girl’ Clara Bow in 1925, died Jan 5.” She was 111. Mike Barnes in the Hollywood Reporter: “Because she was a woman, Maas was typically assigned work on flapper comedies and light dramas. Her efforts includes such other Bow films as Dance Madness (1926), Hula (1927) and Red Hair (1928); two films featuring Norma Shearer, His Secretary (1925) and The Waning Sex (1926); the Greta Garbo drama Flesh and the Devil (1926); and the Louise Brooks film Rolled Stockings (1927)…. In 1927, she married Ernest Maas, a producer at Fox, and they wrote as a team but struggled to sell scripts…. The pair, interrogated by the FBI for allegedly Communist activities, were out of the business by the early 1950s. Ernest Mass died in 1986 at age 94. In 1999, at the urging of film historian Kevin Brownlow, Maas published her autobiography, The Shocking Miss Pilgrim: A Writer in Early Hollywood. She was 99 at the time.”

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When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* 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 V1 Issue 2: The constructive use of film genre for the screenwriter: mental space of film genre first exploration by Jule Selbo

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


The constructive use of film genre for the screenwriter: mental space of film genre first exploration by Jule Selbo

This article aims to examine components of film genre that may be of practical use to the screenwriter in the creative ideation process as well as in the construction of a screenplay. The varying uses of the term genre has led to a misunderstanding of its efficacious place in the screenwriter’s toolbox and it is my intent to forge beyond genre studies of historical, marketing, iconographic and thematic perspectives and focus on the implications of film genre in the development of a screenplay. To achieve this objective, film genre will be explored in relation to the philosophical constructs proposed by Gilles Fauconnier and George Lakoff, specifically the idea of mental space as it relates to the building of a film narrative into an idealized cognitive model that appeals to and attracts a specific audience.


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!

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 29: Eighty Odd Years in Hollywood: Memoir of a Career in Film and Television by John Meredyth Lucas

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 29: Eighty Odd Years in Hollywood: Memoir of a Career in Film and Television by John Meredyth Lucas

From The

John Meredyth Lucas, son of silent screen star and screenwriter Bess Meredyth (Ben-Hur, The Sea Beast, When a Man Loves, Don Juan) and stepson of renowned Hungarian-born director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Life with Father), came of age in Hollywood during the 1930s. Lucas went on to an impressive career of his own as a writer-producer-director. He made films with Hal Wallis, Ross Hunter, Walt Disney, and others, and he wrote, produced, and directed such classic television series as Mannix, The Fugitive and Star Trek. Completed shortly before his death in 2002, Lucas’ memoir is filled with never-before-told recollections of many Hollywood greats and features previously unpublished photographs. With Lucas, we go behind the scenes, onto the studio lots and into the parties with family friends John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn and Jack Warner, to name just a few. It’s a boy’s-eye-view of Hollywood in a time of glamour, decadence, and the golden years of filmmaking. — Amazon


Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!


When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* 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 V1 Issue 2: Collaboration and control in the development of Janet Green’s screenplay Victim by Jill Nelmes

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


Collaboration and control in the development of Janet Green’s screenplay Victim by Jill Nelmes

This article discusses the draft screenplays and correspondence held in the Janet Green collection concerned with the writing of Victim (1961), one of three social issue films that Green wrote for producer Michael Relph and director Basil Dearden. Victim was the first film to openly depict homosexuality in Britain and went through a long and difficult development process. From the letters we find out about the complex relationship between those developing the film and the tensions during the writing of the different drafts. The collection is especially interesting because the correspondence not only allows a study of the writer and the producer/director/writer relationship but also, in the case of Victim, the role of the British Board of Film Censors as well as the participation of Green’s husband, John McCormick and lead actor Dirk Bogarde. The complex mix of argument, negotiation and collaboration suggests a struggle for control of ideas in the development process between the players involved. How decisions are made as to the content of each draft is recorded in the letters, allowing a fascinating picture to build up about the creation of the screenplay, which, as Janet Green explains, was written with the shadow of the censor’s axe (JG 10/6: 25/10/60).


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!

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 28: Narrative ‘Confidence Games’: Framing the Blonde Spectacle in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925) and Nights at the Circus (1984)

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.

From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives 28: Narrative ‘Confidence Games’: Framing the Blonde Spectacle in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925) and Nights at the Circus (1984)

From The

From The

“So tomorrow we will be in England bright and early. And I really feel quite thrilled because Mr. Eisman sent one a cable this morning, as he does every morning, and he says to take advantage of everybody we meet as traveling is the highest form of education.” Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)

What makes Lorelei Lee from Anita Loos’s novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Gm) on appealing is her ability to manipulate her own image and effectively become miswess of her own grand confidence game. Throughout the novel, it is clear that Lorelei is aware of herself as an image, and she constantly adjusts this image whew “take advantage. of the situation aromd her. In effect, she is smaner than she looks, and she uses this to her rhetorkal (and financial) ad-vantage. Recently. Christina Britzolakis has questioned the viability of reading the”ferninine spectacle” as a particularly feminist undertaking? Although Brit-zolakis is right to point to the patriarchal underpinnings that inform the male gaze,’ argue that the rhetorical construction of the wise-cracIdng, self-reflexive blonde often enacts a critique on the system of commodification and ob-jectification that she appears to uphold, thus meriting more critical and schol-arly attention.’ More specifically, tlotestigste the parallel rhetorical strategies in Anita Loos’s novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Angela Carter’s Nights at Me Circus to reveal the self-reflexive and ultimately subversive nature oft de-liberately constructed blonde spectacle.’ In contrast, the main character in Dorothy Parker’s then story “Big Blonde.. Hazel Motes. is not in control of her own narrative and thus her “performance” as a blonde has disastrous re-sultn a brief analysis of Parker’s use of the blonde spectacle will provide a use-fid contrast to Loos’s Lorelei Lee and Carter’s main character, Sophie Fevvers. Loos and Carter draw our Mention to the image ofblonde beauty as a valuable

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Buy “When Women Wrote Hollywood” Today!


When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

Help Support Local Bookstores — Buy at Bookshop.org

* 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 V1 Issue 2: The early screenwriting practice of Ernest Lehman by Ted Nannicelli

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


The early screenwriting practice of Ernest Lehman by Ted Nannicelli

This article analyses Ernest Lehman’s early screenwriting practice and argues that there are essential commonalities between it and his prose fiction writing practice. In the first section, I highlight the similarities between Lehman’s working notes for his abandoned novel, You Scratch My Back , and his unfinished screenplay for the MGM project, Labor Story. In the second section, I look at the ways in which Lehman’s prose fiction writing practice influences the composition of his first screenplay, for Executive Suite, as well as the composition of his screenplay for Sweet Smell of Success, and argue that in his prose fiction writing and screenwriting, Lehman uses language in the same aesthetically relevant ways.


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!