Kevin Willmott is located at Kansas University, much farther than Los Angeles and he’s come in through Skype. Where he’s not gonna fly up to LA. So we can get guest speakers who are current working writers. We need to do more of that. in the second year, we go into looking at screenplays right — so William Goldman is the head guy there and I’m happy to use books that I found out about from my coming to these conferences and also I wanted to expand their studies so — because I’m — my grandparents were Italian so that’s how come I get to call myself Italian, so I said “Oooo let’s do some Italian films. What’s my excuse? Global neo-realism affected American film so let’s study that!” So this turned out to you great piece because there are essays by followers in many countries so it’s also pretty international which is also something made for me to bring to the Americans. We aren’t the only ones who do movies. Sometimes we pretend we are but we should not think that way and we learn a lot from international films. So I do that.
But the beauty of both my books (I hope) is the fact that they bring much needed attention to writers and performers who weren’t necessarily lauded in their own time. —Rosanne
You know how you are going to lecture on topics from your new book and then something happens in the big old world that touches on your previous book?
Such is happening to Rosanne Welch, who is a writer and adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.
She is scheduled to give one of the Faculty Noon Time Talks in CSUF’s Pollock Library from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. These events are based on faculty research, which in Welch’s case is partly encapsulated in her most recent book, When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry (McFarland & Co., 2018).
However, on Feb. 21, actor/composer/musician Peter Tork, who is best known as the bass player/keyboardist with the Monkees, passed away, which prompted the re-release of something Welch had said about him:
“The lesson learned by this emerging scholar is that researching with the goal of establishing factual history of who, what, when, where, and why is a serious responsibility and details cannot be taken for granted.
The longer litany of errors begins at the end, with one of Heerman’s obituaries, published by Variety November 7, 1977. Film Pioneer Victor Heerman Dies reads, “His wife, the former Sarah Mason, shared his Little Women writing chores and the Oscar.”
The Six Degrees of Sarah Y. Mason and Victor Heerman by Pamela L. Scott
What’s interesting about video game companies is they’re not just doing the games. They’re doing the cinematics you can look up online little five and six minute movies based on the characters and their games. Those are entirely written by film and television writers They do digital comic books and they do novels. They do an entire world built around these games. That is very successful. They told us in the meeting that when a movie in Hollywood opens and 100 million dollars is a big deal. When they drop a new game, it’s five hundred million so why aren’t we looking at this business and where our students can go, so it’s great. Now y’all aren’t from Los Angeles. That’s no fun but you’re can have guest speakers all the time on skype. So many people are willing to come in. We brought in English writers who were willing to sit at slightly 2:00 in the morning and talk to my students you know in our time. So I highly recommend you look around and do that.
“Harrison’s last partnerships with Hitchcock was a return to the war film in 1942’s Saboteur, which tells the story of an innocent man framed for an act of terror and trying to clear his name. Harrison’s first feature without Hitchcock was Dark Waters, in which she wrote and served as associate producer. In the film a woman, recovering from a boating accident, in which she was the sole survivor, seeks refuge from relatives but finds there is an insidious plot to murder her for her inheritance.”
Joan Harrison: Redefining Femininity in Film Noir and Hollywood by Chelsea Andes
This time I’ll discuss the women in my 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 – but 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.
Cari Beauchamp wrote “Without Lying Down” which was one of the first books to have covered entirely the career of Frances Marion and all these women I’m speaking of. This textbook does not appear in any film history course that I have found in Los Angeles or around the United States and yet it covers all these important women. Cari comes in as well. She lives in Los Angeles. So I am lucky. I’ve also expanded recently to invite the writers of video games because that is a whole new area for our students to move into. A very important area. These gentlemen were early writers of half-hour children’s shows and they moved into video games and now they run the development for Blizzard which is a very major video game company. They do Overwatch.
“Dorothy Rothschild, however, was not long concerned with embodying society’s ideal for young ladies. Her transformation into Dorothy Parker likely began with her admittance to Miss Dana’s highly exclusive school for girls – both “a finishing school and a college-preparatory one, quite progressive for its time”
The Intimately Unknowable Dorothy Parker A Study of her Life and Art by Elizabeth Dwyer
I also love what you guys said about early film — the music — that we have to study the visual. So we do go back to the silence and talk about them from the very start. We chronologically do this course so you understand the visual is as important as the verbal. In the first year, I used several textbooks. This one I learned about through the Journal of Screenwriting, yea, so it is a very handy thing to have as the teacher. I also use Writers in Hollywood and this lovely book of Anita Loos’ early screenplays as they were first written. They’re written mostly in prose. You can read the stories and why should she stood out back in the day. So that’s a set of them. Then I also use Framework which we mentioned the other day and one of the keynotes and I’m also lucky that I am in Los Angeles so we can have guest speakers come in and this of course is Thomas Stemple we mentioned the other day.
“Sadly, the modern era has brought forth no better understanding of the writer or her subjects from certain circles. John Zmirak of Crisis Magazine states, ‘Hellman’s depiction of self-serving viciousness and callous lying might seem like the keen insight of a literary moralist — until we sat down next to Lillian on the divan and got to know her a little better…'”