Dr. Rosanne Welch with her WGA Panel Participants from “Crafting Strong Female Characters”

One attendee comment made my evening, “This panel was both inspirational and aspirational!”

Dr. Rosanne Welch Moderates WGA Panel: Women Warriors: Writing Strong Female Protagonists – August 16, 2017

I’m so honored to have been asked to moderate this exciting panel coming up next Wednesday August 16, 2017: WOMEN WARRIORS: WRITING STRONG FEMALE PROTAGONISTS with a panel that includes Allan Heinberg (WONDER WOMAN), and Moira Walley-Beckett (ANNE WITH AN E), Amy Berg (COUNTERPART), Liz Flahive (GLOW), Carly Mensch (GLOW).

Dr. Rosanne Welch Moderates WGA Panel: Women Warriors: Writing Strong Female Protagonists - August 16, 2017

Unfortunately, this event is sold out.

‘Featuring a Strong Female Lead’ is more than just a Netflix category; it marks an evolution of film and television characters that have shown us the world from varied female perspectives. From Scarlett O’Hara and Norma Desmond to Maude Findlay, Buffy Summers and Wonder Woman, our favorite female heroines (and anti-heroines) have paved the way for modern explorations of the female experience.

On this special evening, our panel of writers explores the process of crafting strong female protagonists, how they navigate through archetypes and stereotypes, and how writers are challenging (and changing) the way female characters are depicted on TV and film.

Panelists:

Amy Berg – Amy is a writer and executive producer for film and television. She’s written for a multitude of shows including DA VINCI’S DEMONS, PERSON OF INTEREST, EUREKA, LEVERAGE, and THE 4400. She also created the award-winning digital series CAPER. Along with her feature work, she’s currently co-showrunning the upcoming Starz series COUNTERPART starring J.K. Simmons and consulting on a series for Hulu.

Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch – Creators of Netflix Original Series GLOW

Allan Heinberg – Allan is the screenwriter of the film Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins. His television writing and producing credits include The Naked Truth, Party Of Five, Sex And The City, Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Grey’s Anatomy, Looking, and Scandal. Most recently, Heinberg developed, wrote, and ran ABC’s The Catch, starring Mireille Enos and Peter Krause. For Marvel Comics, Heinberg created and wrote Young Avengers and its sequel, Avengers: The Children’s Crusade with co-creator/artist Jim Cheung. For DC Comics, Heinberg co-wrote JLA: Crisis Of Conscience with Geoff Johns (art by Chris Batista), and re-launched Wonder Woman with artists Terry and Rachel Dodson.

Moira Walley-Beckett – Moira is a multiple award winning screenwriter. She is currently the Series Creator and Executive Producer of the Netflix drama “ANNE (with an E).”

Recently, Moira created “Flesh and Bone,” a critically acclaimed Limited Series for STARZ. The drama received multiple nominations (including a GOLDEN GLOBE and a WGA nod) and won a SATELLITE AWARD, a GRACIE AWARD, and a WOMEN’S IMAGE (WIN) Award. Before creating “Flesh and Bone,” Moira spent six years as a writer and Co-Executive Producer on the critically acclaimed AMC series “Breaking Bad.” For her work on that show, Moira has won a total of three EMMY AWARDS, three WRITERS’ GUILD AWARDS, three AFI AWARDS, three SATURN AWARDS, two PGA AWARDS, a GOLDEN GLOBE, a PEABODY, and received a PEN LITERARY AWARD nomination. Before her tenure as a writer on “Breaking Bad,” Ms. Walley-Beckett wrote on the NBC dramas “Raines” and “Eli Stone,” and “Pan Am” for ABC.

Currently, Moira has a feature film, The Grizzlies, in post-production with Kennedy/Marshall and Northwood Productions. Ms. Walley-Beckett hails from Vancouver, Canada but resides in Los Angeles.

Carrie Fisher’s “The Princess Diarist” [Book]

Carrie Fisher's

Thought I’d read Carrie Fisher’s “The Princess Diarist” for some frothy relaxing fun this weekend and found myself dazed by what a brilliant writer she was at 19. Her opening chapters are all from the recent past year (who knew it would be her last?) and sound like the distinct voice she became as a writer, but her journal entries from the filming of Star Wars are a distinct voice as well, capturing the thrill of obsessive first love better than many authors I’ve read (and I’ve read a LOT of them from Jane Austen to Judy Blume). 

The quality of the poem she wrote about her infatuation with Harrison (how nice to know she was as human as the rest of us and couldn’t resist the smuggler in the Cantina – AND that she had the opportunity to live our ALL our fantasies, so she “Tried not, she DID) will sadly be ignored — both for being written by a celebrity (hey, wasn’t F. Scott a celebrity?) and for being written by a young girl (hey, wasn’t Mary Shelley 19 when she wrote Frankenstein?).

I’d teach this book in a high school literature class if I was still teaching one. For now I recommend it as: ‘can’t put down even though I have scripts to read and grade’.

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Rosanne quoted in Titan: The Magazine of California State University, Fullerton, Winter/Spring 2017

Rmw csuf titan 1

“FOR SCREENWRITER Rosanne Welch, the ripple effect of being the woman in the room begins like this: “The doctor walks in …” All I have to do is write She says… and they have to hire a female. That’s how power-ful it is to have a female voice in a room,” says the lecturer of cinema and television arts. Female leaders are trending — on TV. And, much like in real life, it’s taken decades to rewrite the script, says Welch. We need more women writers in the room and more female role models at the helm, at the corporate table, in the judge’s chair, in political office — and not just on TV, she says. “We do know that it’s highly influential,” she says of TV. “We need to kind of know something’s real and then we highlight those  existences in TV, and the public sees it more often, and then it becomes more real.”

Read the entire article

Photo: “Women Write Now: Breaking Barriers In Film, TV And The Web” – Tue, November 29, 2016

From Rosanne…

Here is a photo of the complete panel from this event.


Photo:

The WOMEN WRITE NOW: BREAKING BARRIERS IN FILM, TV AND THE WEB — In order left to right: Kirsten Smith (10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, LEGALLY BLONDE), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Different World, Love and Basketball, Secret Life of Bees), Jessica Mecklenburg (STRANGER THINGS, BEING MARY JANE), Deborah Schoeneman (HAND OF GOD, GIRLS, THE NEWSROOM), Lauren Schuker Blum (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK), Rebecca Angelo (Control Alt Delete), Dr. Rosanne Welch

Women Write Now: Breaking Barriers In Film, Tv And The Web

As the landscape of storytelling on film, television and the web evolves and changes, more women are leading the charge in breaking down gender walls in the industry. Each has her own story and a perspective about the challenges that women face as writers and creators in the field.

The Writers Guild Foundation and Stage 32 are partnering on this special event, which invites writers to discuss their careers and their experiences working as a woman in the industry, from where they started and how they got their material noticed to what the future for women in media looks like and what inspires them to write every day.

Event: Dr. Rosanne Welch Moderates “Women Write Now: Breaking Barriers In Film, Tv And The Web” – Tue, November 29, 2016 – Writers Guild

From Rosanne…

I’ll be moderating this panel at the Writers Guild. Hope to see you there!


Stage32 250x250

Women Write Now: Breaking Barriers In Film, Tv And The Web

As the landscape of storytelling on film, television and the web evolves and changes, more women are leading the charge in breaking down gender walls in the industry. Each has her own story and a perspective about the challenges that women face as writers and creators in the field.

The Writers Guild Foundation and Stage 32 are partnering on this special event, which invites writers to discuss their careers and their experiences working as a woman in the industry, from where they started and how they got their material noticed to what the future for women in media looks like and what inspires them to write every day.

Panelists:

  • Lauren Schuker Blum (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK) 
  • Jessica Mecklenburg (STRANGER THINGS, BEING MARY JANE)
  • Deborah Schoeneman (HAND OF GOD, GIRLS, THE NEWSROOM)
  • Kirsten Smith (10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, LEGALLY BLONDE)
  • More panelists to be announced. Stay tuned!

Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm. A networking reception will follow directly after the panel from 9pm to 10pm.

Stage 32 is dedicated to educating and empowering creatives from all walks of life, and as a continued commitment, we will provide every attendee with a free Stage 32 Next Level webinar (a $49 value), to help sharpen your skills and pave your trail in the industry.

About Stage 32:

“Stage 32 is LinkedIn meets Lynda for film and TV creatives” – Forbes Magazine

Stage 32 is the online platform connecting and educating film and TV creatives worldwide. Stage 32 provides over 1,000 hours of online education taught by some of the industry’s most prominent development, executives, managers, agents and producers.

All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library and archive and other outreach programs

A Woman’s Voice in the Writers’ Room – An In-Depth Interview with Dr. Rosanne Welch in Creative Screenwriting Magazine

A Woman’s Voice in the Writers’ Room - An In-Depth Interview with Dr. Rosanne Welch in Creative Screenwriting Magazine

A Woman’s Voice in the Writers’ Room

Rosanne Welch on writing for female characters, changing the pronoun in a script, and the power of research.

Rosanne Welch is a TV writer, author, professor, and feminist, who’s able to combine her passion in one place thanks to her current position as an adjunct professor at Stephen’s College (the oldest women’s college in the U.S.) for its screenwriting M.F.A. program.

The Stephen’s College screenwriting M.F.A. program is certainly unique: it’s the first low-residency program specifically for TV and screenwriting, and is explicitly designed to increase the number and impact of women working in film and TV. It’s the perfect fit for Welch, who teaches all four of its History of Screenwriting courses, from the Silent Era throughout modern day, as well as a One Hour Spec Script course, and Writing the One-Hour pilot.

Senior Hall, Stephen’s College. Image by HornColumbia (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia CommonsSenior Hall, Stephen’s College. Image by HornColumbia, via Wikimedia CommonsThe idea for the program came from Ken LaZebnik, who Welch had met decades earlier when they both wrote for Touched By An Angel.

According to Welch, “Ken LaZebnik came up with the idea for the program, to create a Master’s program for screenwriting, opposed to extension or continuing education screenwriting programs where there is no degree at the end of it, you just have the experience of writing in the program.

“He needed someone to do curriculum, he needed someone who had a PhD on staff, and he also only wanted to hire writers who were part of the Writer’s Guild, because he wanted the students taught by working writers and writers who had experience.”

Fortunately Welch fit the criteria. “I was really excited because a lot of Master’s programs focus on directing or film production or being a master of all trades, and he just wanted to focus on screenwriting.”

Welch’s current life as an academic is a far cry from her days as a secretary at Stephen J. Cannell productions, back when he was the biggest independent TV producer with shows like The A-Team and 21 Jump Street.

Read the entire interview on Creative Screenwriting

Save the Date: Rosanne Hosts “Women Who Run The Room: A Conversation with Showrunners” – Sat. Aug. 6, 2015

Dr. Rosanne Welch will be hosting this WGA panel discussion sponsored by Stephens College MFA in Television and Screenwriting, where she teaches The History of Screenwriting and Writing the One-Hour Drama.

rmw-panel

Women Who Run The Room: A Conversation with Showrunners

Sat, August 6, 2016
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

On this special Saturday event, a panel of female showrunners discusses their experiences of running a room and the impact of increasing female voices in television.

Panelists:

Alexa Junge – GRACE AND FRANKIE, UNITED STATES OF TARA, FRIENDS
Check back for more panelist announcements.

StephensCollege_PeformingArtsSponsored by Stephens College MFA in Television and Screenwriting.

Doors open at 1:30pm. Event starts at 2:00pm.

All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library and archive and other outreach programs.

 

Tickets:

General Admission Ticket $20.00
WGA Member / Student Ticket $15.00
with Membership card or Student Identification

From The Research Vault: Comedy Writer Treva Silverman Interview from the Emmy Foundation

One of my favorite parts of researching and writing the book was the fact that I met such interesting and wonderful writers from television’s golden age of sitcoms, the shows I watched as a kid and rewatched in reruns across most of my life.  

While we often become enamored of the actors and actresses we see in our favorite shows, I never forgot that the things they were doing and saying came from the imaginations of those other, elusive creatures known as writers. The chance to meet so many of them and hear their stories was precious.  

Here is an excerpt from the Television Academy’s oral history interview with writer Treva Silverman about her time working on The Monkees, Room 222 and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Comedy Writer Treva Silverman Interview from the Emmy Foundation 

Writer Treva Silverman – known for classics like Room 222 and the Mary Tyler Moore Show – broke into televsion when lady scribes were virtually nonexistent. Enjoy this excerpt from her Archive of American Television interview.

Read this entire interview


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

 

Order Your Copy Now!

Previously in Out of Research Vault:

Writer, Ken LaZebnik, talks “Hollywood Digs” on This American Wife Podcast [Audio]

This american wife

Here’s a fun new podcast I’ve discovered called This American Wife (all pun intended toward This American Life).

I found it because this episode contains an interview with my friend and colleague (at both Touched by an Angel and now in the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting program) Ken Lazebnik.  

Ken talks about the MFA program he conceived and built from scratch as well as his deeply delightful book of essays:  Hollywood Digs: An Archaelogy of Shadows — about the oddities of living and working in modern Hollywood.  His interview starts at 19:42.

Listen to this episode

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This American Wife is a “public radio” podcast from producer Eric Martin.Every other week, the show presents a compelling mix of stories and interviews with fascinating and frequently famous folks, in a frankly familiar format. Also, our sister program All Things Ill-Considered presents hard-hitting and award-deserving journalism. Stay with us.