A History of Screenwriting 48 – The Engagement Ring – Mabel Normand – 1912

A History of Screenwriting 48 – The Engagement Ring – Mabel Normand – 1912

Alice has two persistent suitors, one rich, one poor. Each buys her an engagement ring; the rich man pays cash, but the poor man must pay on installments. He has trouble making the payments, but then he’s injured in an auto accident and the settlement allows him to pay off the ring and propose to Alice.


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More On Women in Early Filmmaking from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

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Women in Early Filmmaking from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

More On Women in Early Filmmaking from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.

Transcript:

 In Beauchamp’s book, you’ll see all these famous women. My great joy is that one of my students, who teaches directing, found Lois Weber in my class who wrote and directed her films back in the day and now incorporates her into the set of directors that he teaches as examples because she had that kind of career back in the day. Eve Unsell ran her own production company for Universal for 10 years. Made a ton of movies that are very very successful in the day. She also allows us to go into the place where we discuss the problems with films whether it is back them or today because she was involved in what, back then, were yellow race films which were anti-Asian-American films and so that’s something students should understand about. So, again that goes back to to the title of what we are talking about and I talk fast because I’m Sicilian. I also don’t want to eat up all the time.

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

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Writers in Hollywood, 1915-1951 Hardcover by Ian Hamilton | Gifts for the Screenwriter #7

Writers in Hollywood, 1915-1951 Hardcover by Ian Hamilton | Gifts for the Screenwriter #7

Writers in Hollywood, 1915-1951 Hardcover by Ian Hamilton | Gifts for the Screenwriter #7

I found Ian Hamilton’s book long before I had any inkling that I would ever be involved in creating a course on The History of Screenwriting (as opposed to History of Film, which always means History of Directors).  I enjoyed his look into the personalities that made up the earlier eras of the screenwriting colony here in Los Angeles, many of them transplanted New Yorkers from the journalism or playwright world drawn to the other coast for the fast money – and sometimes faster lifestyles – Hollywood was known for back then. Hamilton’s coverage of the era from 1915-1951 is both entertaining and educational. – Rosanne

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Writing the Pilot by William Rabkin | Gifts for the Screenwriter #6

Writing the Pilot by William Rabkin | Gifts for the Screenwriter #6

Writing the Pilot by William Rabkin | Gifts for the Screenwriter #6

Bill Rabkin understands what makes writing a pilots different from writing  regular episodes of a continuing series and explains that all in this clear, concise book. Having worked in television for a solid couple of decades on many fan favorites, Rabkin should know. – Rosanne

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A History of Screenwriting – 47 in a series – City Lights – Charlie Chaplin (1931)

A History of Screenwriting – 47 in a series – City Lights – Charlie Chaplin (1931)

A History of Screenwriting - 47 in a series - City Lights - Charlie Chaplin (1931)

City Lights film.jpg
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City Lights is a 1931 American pre-Code silent romantic comedy film written, produced, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. The story follows the misadventures of Chaplin’s Tramp as he falls in love with a blind girl (Virginia Cherrill) and develops a turbulent friendship with an alcoholic millionaire (Harry Myers).

Although sound films were on the rise when Chaplin started developing the script in 1928, he decided to continue working with silent productions. Filming started in December 1928 and ended in September 1930. City Lights marked the first time Chaplin composed the film score to one of his productions and it was written in six weeks with Arthur Johnston. The main theme, used as a leitmotif for the blind flower girl, is the song “La Violetera” (“Who’ll Buy my Violets”) from Spanish composer José Padilla. Chaplin lost a lawsuit to Padilla for not crediting him.

City Lights was immediately successful upon release on January 30, 1931 with positive reviews and box office receipts of $5 million. Today, many critics consider it not only the highest accomplishment of Chaplin’s career, but one of the greatest films of all time. In 1991, the Library of Congress selected City Lights for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it 11th on its list of the best American films ever made. In 1949, the critic James Agee called the film’s final scene “the greatest single piece of acting ever committed to celluloid”.[2] — Wikipedia


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† Available at the LA Public Library

28: Coslough Johnson and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power [Video] (0:52)

Rosanne Welch talks about “Why The Monkees Matter” with Jean Hopkins Power

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Jean Powergirl takes the host reigns and welcomes her guest Rosanne Welch, PhD to the show! They’ll be discussing Roseanne’s book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture.”

28: Coslough Johnson and The Monkees : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power

 

Transcript:

Rosanne: And then Coslough Johnson is the nicest man. He is the brother of Artie Johnson from Laugh-In and he, in fact, went on to work on Laugh-In and won 2 Emmys for being part of that.

Jean: It’s a great show. My parents love that show.

Rosanne: Everybody got started on that show. And so Coslough was great. He was a freelancer and he wasn’t on staff but he did several episodes. He wrote the episode some people will remember where Liberace guest starred and he bashed a piano to pieces with a sledgehammer. Very silly. Unexpectedly adorable and I asked him did someone recommend that and he said “No. I was just thinking one day about funny things to have happen and what musicians could do and he came to mind.” And they took that Idea to Liberace and he agreed to do it.

Jean: I’m glad he was game to do that.

Rosanne: Partially he knew it was smart to appear on a show that appealed to teenagers because he wanted that audience. So Coslough is quite marvelous and wonderful. 

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A hit television show about a fictitious rock band, The Monkees (1966-1968) earned two Emmys–Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement 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 Rider and Five Easy Pieces.

Rosanne Welch, PhD has written for television (Touched by an Angel, Picket Fences) and print (Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space). In the documentary world she has written and produced Bill Clinton and the Boys Nation Class of 1963 for ABC NEWS/Nightline and consulted on PBS’s A Prince Among Slaves, the story of a prince from West Africa who was enslaved in the 1780s, freed by order of President John Quincy Adams in the 1820s and returned to his homeland.

Screenplay: Building Story Through Character | Gifts for the Screenwriter #5

Screenplay: Building Story Through Character | Gifts for the Screenwriter #5

Screenplay: Building Story Through Character | Gifts for the Screenwriter #5

Screenwriter Jule Selbo created  Building Story Through Character after years of writing on successful television shows and films and then creating the MFA in Screenwriting at California State University, Fullerton where she teaches those skills to up and coming writers. Her focus on character and her 11 Steps of Story Structure streamlines ideas from other screenwriting gurus whose lists are longer and (to my mind) more contrived. You can take Selbo’s 11 Steps and apply them to stories as old as Gilgamesh and as modern as  Wonder Woman – as she does in the book so that the reader can see the pattern repeat itself over and over again.- Rosanne

Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale by Russell T. Davies | Gifts for the Screenwriter #4

Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale by Russell T. Davies | Gifts for the Screenwriter #4 It is nearly impossible to ‘teach’ a student how to become an executive producer/head writer but this collection of emails between Russell T. Davies and reporter, Benjamin Cook encapsulates a year in the life of Davies as he wrapped out the Doctor Who tenure of David Tennant . One watches a story idea go from a simple sentence about ‘water being dangerous’ to a full-fledged script called “Waters of Mars” in a matter of weeks while also reading the difficulty in planning characters for guest stars who end up changing their schedules and dropping out of a project. Those kinds of real moments make this book a must-read for aspiring television writers on either side of the pond. – Rosanne

Women in Early Filmmaking from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Watch this entire presentation

Women in Early Filmmaking from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Women in Early Filmmaking from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.

Transcript:

So I teach history and I start in the silent film world, so I disagree with Warren. I go chronologically. This is a period they have never heard of and all the movies are free on YouTube. Nothing like telling them they can watch whatever they have to watch for free. That works, right? And so here they meet Anita Loos, Gene Gauntier — the first women — the first person to do filming on location. She went to Jerusalem to film the story of Jesus Christ — the first time it was put on film and it’s a really beautiful film you can see, for free, on YouTube. Then Jeanie MacPherson who wrote all of Cecil B. DeMille’s early movies that were successes. When she stopped working for him all his stuff failed. Nobody knows her name and she’s quite brilliant. So I thinks it’s important for women students today to know that women once ran Hollywood so all this discussion about “I don’t know if women should direct a movie” is not worth having, because they did and they were. They were the highest paid people in this town, so I think that’s important an important think for them to remember. 

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosannewelch
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Sense and Sensibility: The Screenplay and Diaries | Gifts for the Screenwriter #3

Sense and Sensibility: The Screenplay and Diaries | Gifts for the Screenwriter #3

Sense and Sensibility: The Screenplay and Diaries | Gifts for the Screenwriter #3

For me this on set diary by a writer who also starred in the film and had to make script changes in the evenings after a full day of filming is a wonderful look at the real life of working writer/performer. The bonus fact iis that it is written by Emma Thompson about her work on Sense and Sensibility – a most marvelous movie to view and study.

 

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