The “Capra Touch” and Writers from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

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The “Capra Touch” and Writers from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

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

Transcript:

Frank Capra, who — you all know the Robert Riskin anecdote? He turned in 200 blank — he was the screenwriter behind much of Capra’s work and Capra had a famous “Capra Touch” and he would run around town discussing “well, that movie has the ‘Capra touch.’ That’s why it’s successful.”So Robert Riskin had a deadline for this screenplay for Capra and he handed in 200 pages of blank nothing and he said: “Put your fucking touch on that!” Because you cannot direct what does not exist and that’s and important — now it may be an anecdote. We’re not sure, but (unknown) it’s a reminder of the truth. So here we have this Pulitzer Prize-winning set of writers who students have never heard of. You have to look at the book that their nephew wrote about them. You only get the story if someone “puts you in the story.” Luckily their nephew did and it is a really fun little book about their life in Hollywood and New York.

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

Follow Dr. Rosanne Welch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosannewelch
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drrosannewelch/

5 Lessons from the Doctor Who Season Finale

Even if you don’t watch Doctor Who, watch this 5 minute clip of the regeneration of Peter Capaldi into Jodie Whitaker for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a popular culture breakthrough moment where an iconic hero character will now be a female
  2. It’s a writer saying goodbye to probably the coolest job he will ever have – in the form of the monologue he gives the character of The Doctor to perform as he regenerates – so when the character says things like “It’s a treadmill” and “Yes, yes I know, they’ll get it all wrong without me” he is, of course, speaking for himself.
  3. It’s also a writer using his podium to shout out his philosophy of life (which makes a nice New Years Eve kind of message:  “Never be cruel. Never be cowardly. Hate is always foolish and love is always wise.” THAT’s why we all want to be writers – to teach empathy whenever we can. 
  4. It’s an actor at the top of his game getting the kind of Shakespearean death few actors have the chance to perform
  5. It’s the moment the character switches from Capaldi to Whitaker and her first line upon seeing a female face is “Ah, brilliant” – which is one writer (Steven Moffat) complimenting another (Chris Chibnall) who had the creativity and hutzpah to finally make a choice that had been in discussions for 40 years.

Finally, If you follow Moffat’s writing at all, you’ll have noticed that throughout his tenure as the showrunner he continually focused on the importance of fairy tales to a society – even naming this episode “Twice Upon a Time”. 

Check it out!

5 Lessons from the Doctor Who Season Finale

A History of Screenwriting 50 – How To Write Photoplays by John Emerson and Anita Loos – 1920

A History of Screenwriting 50 – How To Write Photoplays by John Emerson and Anita Loos – 1920

A History of Screenwriting 50 - How To Write Photoplays by John Emerson and Anita Loos - 1920A History of Screenwriting 50 - How To Write Photoplays by John Emerson and Anita Loos - 1920

Maybe the first book written about screenwriting, How To Write Photoplays is co-written by one of the most important screenwriters of the silent era, Anita Loos. She wrote the novel “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and much much more.

You can read the entire book online or as a downloadable PDF.


Learn More About Anita Loos with these books

† 

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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available at the LA Public Library

02 How TV Gave Gidget Her Groove Back from How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017 [Video]

02 How TV Gave Gidget Her Groove Back from How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017

02 How TV Gave Gidget Her Groove Back from How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto - Dr. Rosanne Welch - SRN Conference 2017

Watch this entire presentation

 

Transcript:

So I am talking about Gidget. So we’re at the SRN Conference and we’re very excited about that and because we’re talking about fact and fiction, that’s why I cam to this. My title is very long. I laugh about that. So, it’s “How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto” and I’m sorry to use that word, but it is a negative word in the United States, but I like the alliteration of the words and I think it is a real problem because you’ll see, of course, the film began — the adaptation began as a film starring Sandra Dee and as far as Americans are concerned, Sandra Dee is kind of a bubble gum, cutesy pie, blonde WITH NO real serious — nothing but the superficiality of her being cute and a babe on the beach, right and so that is what I was thinking about when I thought about doing this and it came to me that it’s TV that gave Gidget her her groove back so I should have shrunk the title but it was too late for the publication.

At this year’s 10th Annual Screenwriting Research Network Conference at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand I presented…

“How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto by Accident (and How We Can Get Her Out of it): Demoting Gidget: The Little Girl with Big Ideas from Edgy Coming of Age Novel to Babe on the Beach Genre Film via Choices made in the Adaptation Process.”

It’ a long title, as I joke up front, but covers the process of adapting the true life story of Kathy Kohner (nicknamed ‘Gidget’ by the group of male surfers who she spent the summers with in Malibu in the 1950s) into the film and television series that are better remembered than the novel. The novel had been well-received upon publication, even compared to A Catcher in the Rye, but has mistakenly been relegated to the ‘girl ghetto’ of films. Some of the adaptations turned the focus away from the coming of age story of a young woman who gained respect for her talent at a male craft – surfing – and instead turned the focus far too much on Kathy being boy crazy.

Along the way I found interesting comparisons between how female writers treated the main character while adapting the novel and how male writers treated the character.


Gidget


Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.


SRN logo red

The Screenwriting Research Network is a research group consisting of scholars, reflective practitioners and practice-based researchers interested in research on screenwriting. The aim is to rethink the screenplay in relation to its histories, theories, values and creative practices.

Writers Have Been Lost In Film History from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

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Writers Have Been Lost In Film History from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

Writers Have Been Lost In Film History from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

 

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

Transcript:

So why are we studying this? Because I believe and we can prove that writers have been lost in the history of film. If you look at this, what do we call know? We all know this movies is by who? Frank Capra! Right? Right. Look at this — no, no, no, — Screenplay by Frank Capra. You can’t read this from there. I can barely read this from here. This movie which plays perennially at Christmas a million times was written by them. Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. A married screenwriting time that worked for 35 years together until she died. They were the highest paid screenwriting team and they’re nothing to sneeze at because they got a Pulitzer for the play, The Diary of Anne Frank and then they adapted it into a film and it kills me that children — they know Anne Frank. They know It’s a Wonderful Life and they know Frank Capra.

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

Follow Dr. Rosanne Welch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosannewelch
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drrosannewelch/

A History of Screenwriting 49 – Mabel’s Married Life – Mabel Normand – 1914

A History of Screenwriting 49 – Mabel’s Married Life – Mabel Normand – 1914

A History of Screenwriting 48 - Mabel's Married Life - Mabel Normand - 1914

Mabel’s Married Life (1914) is an American comedy silent film made by Keystone Studios starring and co-written by Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand, and directed by Chaplin. As was so often the case during his first year in film, Chaplin’s character is soon staggering drunk. —Wikipedia


Learn More About Mabel Normand with these books

* 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 at the LA Public Library

01 Introduction from How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017 [Video]

01 Introduction from How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017 How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto - Dr. Rosanne Welch - SRN Conference 2017 [Video] (23 mins) 

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Transcript:

Hi everybody! It’s so wonderful to have you here. I’m going to be talking about a book and a film and a television series and I think the trajectory from serious to bubblegum back to slightly serious is what’s interesting to me and it’s all about the adaptation of something and how the true person’s story can get lost along the way and I believe TV allows a chance to tell longer stories — you can tell a hundred hours in the life of a person instead of two hours and so I think we’re going to end up discovering that TV was the better place for this story to house itself.

At this year’s 10th Annual Screenwriting Research Network Conference at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand I presented…

“How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto by Accident (and How We Can Get Her Out of it): Demoting Gidget: The Little Girl with Big Ideas from Edgy Coming of Age Novel to Babe on the Beach Genre Film via Choices made in the Adaptation Process.”

It’ a long title, as I joke up front, but covers the process of adapting the true life story of Kathy Kohner (nicknamed ‘Gidget’ by the group of male surfers who she spent the summers with in Malibu in the 1950s) into the film and television series that are better remembered than the novel. The novel had been well-received upon publication, even compared to A Catcher in the Rye, but has mistakenly been relegated to the ‘girl ghetto’ of films. Some of the adaptations turned the focus away from the coming of age story of a young woman who gained respect for her talent at a male craft – surfing – and instead turned the focus far too much on Kathy being boy crazy.

Along the way I found interesting comparisons between how female writers treated the main character while adapting the novel and how male writers treated the character.


Gidget


Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.


SRN logo red

The Screenwriting Research Network is a research group consisting of scholars, reflective practitioners and practice-based researchers interested in research on screenwriting. The aim is to rethink the screenplay in relation to its histories, theories, values and creative practices.

Teaching Character and Structure from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

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Teaching Character and Structure from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Teaching Character and Structure from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

 

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

Transcript:

I think when you teach slient films and early films of course your teaching character because that is where all these archetypes came from. Yes, we can go back to France and we can go back to Aristophanes. They came from way back then, but on the film they came from this time period and we find all these characters in these early films.Sometimes in more simplistic ways which helps students understand how to back to the simple part of their story — who wants what and what’s getting in their way and you see that in this sort of film. You can teach structure in teaching silent films because we all know the purpose of having 3 acts is because you had reels and you had 1 reel and then 2 reels and then 3 reels and began to write in terms of that. It was also Paul Gulino’s sequence approach which is just about each reel. You have 8 reels, 8 sequences. They visualize, ‘Oh, this is why they do it this way because they had to to — oh, I get it!” It helps students understand the history of this profession. I love that Warren calls it a profession because that is what it is.

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

Follow Dr. Rosanne Welch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosannewelch
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drrosannewelch/

America’s Never-ending Conversation About Race: Telecasting The Civil Rights Movement by Rosanne Welch, Written By, January 2018

America’s Never-ending Conversation About Race: Telecasting The Civil Rights Movement by Rosanne Welch
Written By Magazine, January 2018

I have an article about how the Civil Rights Movement was reflected on the TV shows of the 1960s and 70s – “America’s Neverending Conversation” in the current issue (January 2018) of Written By which is out today with revolving covers (like TV Guide does with special issues) featuring Lena Waite and/or Jordan Peele. 

I had the wonderful experience of interviewing Jim Brooks about Room 222, a show I watched incessantly in my childhood before I knew what an ‘ideology’ was and that I was being offered one – and I spoke at length with Nancy Miller at length about Any Day Now – a show that relished highlighting the brave men and women who worked in the Civil Rights Movement – and still do.

You can read the whole issue digitally at this link.

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By 1968, the Civil Rights Movement had celebrated many accomplishments, among them the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas ruling in 1954, the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those milestones were discussed often on the evening news then and are common topics in history classrooms today.

Less common was mention of the movement or evidence of its existence on fictional television shows. While big movies such as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967, written by William Rose) appeared at the height of the movement, in many cases they were preaching to the choir since audiences had to choose to pay to see the films.

That left the small screen to bring the conversation about civil rights into American living rooms—in places where the message might not be wanted…often without warning. This made the exposure to the message that much more potent. Viewers could be confronted with issues they’d otherwise avoided in their daily lives. Unlike today, with social media’s virulent “fake news” and insular websites bolstering extremist interpretations, there was no sane way to deny documented reality other than turning off the set—then, as now, a difficult choice for most people.

 

Read the entire article — America’s Never-ending Conversation About Race: Telecasting The Civil Rights Movement by Rosanne Welch

31: A New Monkees Album and Conclusion : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power [Video]

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

Watch this entire presentation (45 mins)

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.”

31: A New Monkees Album and Conclusion : “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Power

 

Transcript:

Just this last year, in honor of their 50th Anniversary, they put out a 50th Anniversary album which has been a pretty good seller. It’s called ‘Good Times” and there are some marvelous songs on there. They got a series of young, modern-day, songwriters. Guys from big groups that we all know about from winning Grammys and they got them to write songs for The Monkees and they play really well. Hearing their harmonies and, of course, they did a tour and I went to a couple of the concerts and it was beautiful to see them play in public again and to see how the fans really have supported them all these years and they give fans a show that they paid for. It’s pretty long and they play all the hits which sometimes you go see somebody and they play new music. Jean: I want the hits. Rosanne: That’s what I’m paying for. So they respect their audience and they always did and I think that’s why they’ve had such longevity in that way. Jean: All right, now Rosanne has so many things to say and we’re running out of time here, but I want you to tell everyone how they can learn more about you, learn more about your books and just start rambling off all the ways to find Dr. Rosanne Welch. Rosanne. Obviously like everybody I have a blog that’s RosanneWelch.com. Jean: No “E” in Rosanne by the way. Rosanne: No my name is spelled ROSANNE and Welch is WELCH. So RosanneWelch.com is my blog. Of course, if you Google it you’ll find it all.I have a YouTube channel. Ido lectures on The Monkees which I’ve recorded but I also do lectures on Doctor Who and several other things that I’ve done for my classes so they’re kind of all available there. Both 20 or 30-minute lectures and little kid of 2-minute snippets that give you a sense of what it’s about. Those are on my YouTube Channel. I have a Facebook Page for the book. It’s Called “Why The Monkees Matter.” So that’s the Facebook Page. I tend to continue to post things that have to do with the television show and the history. I post things I’ve found in my research whether they’re clips from YouTube or whether they are articles that I’ve read and connections like that. I like to kind of keep people in touch and then there’s a marvelous podcast called Zilch: A Monkees Podcast. I have nothing to do with that except I’ve guested on it a couple of times, but it is a great place to learn more about The Monkees and I am doing a guest bit in an upcoming episode. We had a lovely roundtable where we discussed how the actors guest starred in other shows pre and post The Monkees and what that did for their careers and also about the… Rosanne: So, yes, they are still out there touring and I think it’s really fabulous that they’re still bringing this positive message. The other reason they were so popular is there were a lot of negative things going on in the 60’s but their music was very popular and it was very uplifting and that’s also something — I say, as I look at their various careers and how they grew and changed eventually Davy Jones was opening at Disneyland special events they had there but when The Monkees first came out they would have been too controversial with the long hair for Disneyland — they say the joke several times on the show, if you have long hair you can’t get into Disneyland. They wouldn’t let you in. Jean: It’s not even that long people. We’re talking Beatles Mop Tops here. Rosanne: It’s an interesting look American culture and how we’ve grown over the years. Jean: Right. Well, I love talking about this. I could talk about it all day. I love things about Hollywood but this book is fascinating. If you want to nerd out Monkees, on vintage TV, on producing, directing, counterculture. This is the book for you. Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture by my friend, Dr. Rosanne Welch. Get this book. It’s super awesome and thank you again, Rosanne, for coming on. Rosanne: Oh it’s been great. Are you kidding? Jean: And sorry for the previous audio situation. Bye!

Get your copy today!

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.