News: WGA Presentation to students of FAMU Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts of Prague

On Wednesday January 7th I had the great pleasure of attending a special lecture given by writer-producer Jeff Melvoin to the students of Pavel Jech, Dean of the world renowned FAMU Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. What fun to spend a morning discuss the differences in how our two countries prepare writers to work in these areas!

News: WGA Presentation to students of FAMU Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts of Prague

Jeff gave a great presentation on A Day in the Life of an American Showrunner, based on lectures he gives for the Showrunner program he helped found at the Writers Guild of America, West. Then we all walked over to the 3rd Street Farmers Market for lunch and casual conversation.

I was particularly interested because my father was Czechoslovakian but since he left when I was so young, I’ve never learned much about the country or its history (in fact most of what I learned I learned from reading the memoir former Secretary of State Madeline Albright wrote – Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948). So it was interesting to meet with students who could have been me had my father’s parents never emigrated to the U.S.

The whole day was arranged by Ken Lazebnik, Director of the new MFA in TV and Screenwriting for Stephens College, with whom I am proud to be working to get this new program up and on its feet.

Video: Who is the most feminist companion? from Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse

A clip from this longer presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Watch this entire presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Transcript:

First of all, the question of the day is going to be — who is the most feminist companion ever on Doctor Who? Right? We have to think about that. Everyone’s going to have an idea. We are going to come and see if we all come to the same one. Be thinking. Who it might be. We’ll see if we all agree or not. We’ll have a little expert discussion here online about someone, an expert, who has an idea. Meanwhile, you’re not going to find out until then. Y’all have a personal opinion and with any media your personal opinion is probably correct, because you have given your own evidence for that opinion, but I am going to show you some ideas along the way. Now, first we have to define feminism. Which, if you saw Emma Watson’s speech to the UN, it was a very lovely thing and if you haven’t you should watch it. It is nice short thing and it’s a very good explanation of the fact that feminism does mean that we hate dudes. We happen to like dudes, very much. We would just like to make the same amount of money they making doing the cool jobs they do. So, it’s not any kind of crazy man-hating thing and we don’t see that evidence in The Doctor either.

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

Video: An Introduction – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A clip from this longer presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Watch this entire presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Transcript:

Well, it’s lovely to see all of you folks here to talk about The Doctor and this particular aspect. We’ve done this a couple times. We’ve talked about culture. We’ve talked about race on Doctor Who. Today, we’re talking about the “F” Word, but not the four letter one, but some people treat it that way. So we need to think about that. We need to think about what messages we get from the television that we watch and the films that we watch. In this case, it’s Doctor Who. Something I happen to adore and have adored for a long time. If you notice on the back table there, I’ve got books that date back to the 1970’s. Because you used to be able to watch this program on PBS like 4 years after it aired in England, because that was before everyone got very cool with how things are done, right? Now, you can watch it the day that its aired and, if course, when they did the 50th Anniversary Special, you could watch it the moment — the very time — it was aired. So it has really been something that’s spread across this cultural divide we used to have with England and so today I want to focus on the concept of the women who’ve travelled with The Doctor and what they tell us about feminism across the years that this program has been on the air.

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

Video: It’s all about heart from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

It's all about heart from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

Now, I laugh because I think between these two writers, it’s all about heart. It’s all about being interested in the emotions of these characters. That’s what writers do. The best stuff is not about the fancy monsters and the explosions and all that stuff. It’s about watching human beings learn to feel and be comfortable with their feelings. That’s what both of these writers, I think, do very well. Inside the trappings of everything else that they are trying to do, I think that really shows up and, I think, that is the last things I intend to say about the two of them.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Video: Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

Video: More on the importance of children from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Video: More on the importance of children from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

Now the other thing I think Steven does a really interesting job of is looking at the world through children’s eyes and treating children as very important creatures. Now, especially in a show originally geared for children. he’s now using the children a major, major characters. Obviously, when we meet Amy Pond, we meet her at the age of 7. We don’t meet her as a grownup. He does that marvelous time travel hopping that no other writer did before. I do believe  Steven plays with the concept of the show much better. He allows this — if you could time travel wouldn’t you go back and tell yourself not to date that jerk? Why would you not use the…really? So he allows his characters to do this, but it’s significant in the very first episode that Matt Smith is introduced to us, he meets Amy as a child and he promises the child that he will take her on a trip around the world and to see the universe. Then, it’s his own miscalculation that he shows back up and she’s already 24 years old, but he plays with the necessary considerations that should be made to children. And I think that is a very interesting aspect of his writing.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Moffat and the Importance of Children from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Moffat and the Importance of Children from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

Now the other thing I think Steven does a really interesting job of is looking at the world through children’s eyes and treating children as very important creatures. Now, especially in a show originally geared for children. he’s now using the children a major, major characters. Obviously, when we meet Amy Pond, we meet her at the age of 7. We don’t meet her as a grownup. He does that marvelous time travel hopping that no other writer did before. I do believe  Steven plays with the concept of the show much better. He allows this — if you could time travel wouldn’t you go back and tell yourself not to date that jerk? Why would you not use the…really? So he allows his characters to do this, but it’s significant in the very first episode that Matt Smith is introduced to us, he meets Amy as a child and he promises the child that he will take her on a trip around the world and to see the universe. Then, it’s his own miscalculation that he shows back up and she’s already 24 years old, but he plays with the necessary considerations that should be made to children. And I think that is a very interesting aspect of his writing.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: A Fairytale Marriage from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Video: A Fairytale Marriage from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

The other fable that Steven plays with, rather interestingly, is the concept of the fairytale marriage — the fairytale wedding. First of all, he gives us the first married couple to travel in the TARDIS, which was a really, really, really, really cool thing to provide and it’s a really interesting marriage. We’re going to have Amy. We’re going to have Rory. First of all, what does he call Rory? What’s Rory’s name? Rory Pond. But that’s Amy’s last name. That’s not his last name, but once they get married the Doctor continuously refers to him as Rory Pond and when Rory argues about that he says “Give it up. That’s true. That’s who you are.” And Rory accepts it. You’re right. As a matter of facet it really doesn’t matter who changes their name and why does she have to change her name. It’s a ridiculous old habit. So, that’s one. So Steven has been hit with the idea that he is a misogynist and I see some evidence of that, but then I see this other argument against it and so I find it a very interesting dance that he seems to be playing. But by giving us Rory and Amy, he’s showing us a working marriage where the woman happens to be more dominant than the man. She’s more adventurous. She’s more — they’re of equal intelligence, but really Rory should be smarter than her because he’s trained to be a nurse. She really has no formal training. She didn’t go to college. She had all the crazy stuff happen because she saw the Doctor when she was a little girl. So I think its very interesting the balance that he strikes here and also the fact that Rory is always strong emotionally for Amy and that’s the power that he has in that relationship and that’s Steven Moffat’s of what a real mariage should be. Interestingly enough, he and Sue Vertue, who helped produce these episodes and produces Sherlock with him — that’s his wife. So, they are of equal importance in their particular professional worlds. She has the power to greenlight his work and to make it come to fruition — to protect his work from the network. So he gets the vision he wants. They’re a very important team. So, I tend to see that there is more — oddly enough — feminism in Steven Moffat than is necessarily always recognized. Mostly because of them. 

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: More on Moffat and Fairytales from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

More on Moffat and Fairytales from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

Stephen Fry. What does he have to do with Doctor Who? He’s never guested on the program. He’s never done anything like that. However, I disagree with him, which is why his picture’s there.

He said, when he described Doctor Who in the media — and he was talking about Doctor Who and Merlin actually — “They’re very good children’s programs — don’t get me wrong — they’re wonderfully written, but they are not for adults.”

And I disagree. I think that Steven (Moffat) disagrees. I think that he believes fairytales and fables have things to teach grownups and so he treats his characters in that fashion. So, as much as I love Stephen (Fry) and all the many things he has done, I disagree. Now, Steven (Moffat) says this to us in almost every one of his episodes. This is when they are discussing “We’ll see you again…”, this is the second appearance of the Weeping Angels. “I’ll see you again when the Pandorica opens.” And the answer from the Doctor is, “That’s a fairytale.” And according to River Song, “Aren’t we all?” That’s a lovely little Ohhhhhh. That’s how I see the world. All of us are part of a story and we have the power to make the story that we want to make. Which I think is Steven’s message. So, we see that often in his work.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”

Video: Stephan Moffat and Fables from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A short clip from the longer presentation, “Doctor Who Regenerated”

Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty from the Department of Interdisciplinary General Education is back by popular demand with a new lecture on Doctor Who and Television!

This time, the Doctor will focus on a deeper look of the themes of the writers behind “Doctor Who.” Above and beyond race and gender, they include social justice and the power of childhood.

View the entire presentation

Stephan Moffat and Fables from Doctor Who Regenerated with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Transcript:

When we get around to thinking about Stephen Moffat, I think that one of Stephan Moffat’s major themes is he sees the world as a fable — as a story being told in which we are portraying characters that may or may not have control over where our story goes. I have Dickens up here because his quote was “In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected. Everyone who has considered the subject knows full well that a nation without fancy, without some romance, never did, never can, never will hold a great place under the sun.” So, fairy tales and stories have been very important to civilization across time. And in Moffat’s reign, I believe he shows that. He gives that to us often, often, often.

“Natalie Lopez at the CalPoly University Library invited me to do a presentation for National Libraries Week on Doctor Who and Culture so that’s why a group of Whovians from both CalPoly and CSUF gathered in the Special Events room on April 16th.  It was wonderful to look out over a sea of t-shirts and other Doctor paraphernalia present among the crowd as I pontificated about what makes Who great – mostly giving me a chance to present a case for the fact that writers make Doctor Who and therefore writers make culture.”