17 Tressie Souders from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (49 seconds)

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

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17 Tressie Souders from



The hardest thing to do now — we’re having trouble reviving some of these female names but it is far more worse reviving African-American female names because these folks have had no paperwork left about them and even the men they worked with haven’t been cataloged in a way that we can look to them for information. Tressi Souders, we only have through newspaper accounts of films of hers that were opening in African-American neighborhoods. So we can see advertisements that she had product but the product doesn’t exist. You can’t find it even on — most of the women I’m gonna mention, the Caucasian women — the European women — and you could find some of their movies on YouTube because stuff has been kept in the Library of Congress. Sadly some has been saved because of men it’s connected to but at least it’s been saved. These women, none of their work exists anymore and that’s one of the most depressing things.

Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her 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.  Yet, she 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.

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At the ‘She Called Action’ 35 Pilot Table Read Contest

At the ‘She Called Action’ 35 Pilot Table Read Contest

At the 'She Called Action' 35 Pilot Table Read Contest

My Second-year MFA candidate Randi Barros and I spent the morning on set at the Manhattan Beach Studios watching a filmed table read of Barros’ script “Springtime in September.” A winner of this year’s ‘She Called Action’ 35 Pilot Table Read Contest, the script concerns a suddenly single mother dealing with dating in the new era.

This “She Called Action” event was created by Cheryl Rodes of the women-owned production company Rodes Unpaved, dedicated to putting women as the heroes of the story.

That’s something the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting can certainly support!

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Semester In LA Writers Round Table Class – Columbia College of Chicago

Semester In LA Writers Round Table Class - Columbia College of Chicago

Semester In LA Writers Round Table Class

Here’s a great photo of my current (and nearly graduated) Columbia College Writers Round Table class together with the marvelous actors who joined us for the last 3 weeks. The did table reads of all 9 student scripts. The actors are: Erron Jay (on the right in the back row), Khanisha Foster (2nd row #6 from the left/standing next to me), Juan Villa (last one on the right in the 2nd row) and Christina Nieves (in the middle in the front row). Kudos to Khanisha for gathering them all for us because they went above and beyond the call of duty by giving great notes for the (inevitable with all writing) rewrites to come. All in all, a fun and productive 3-week collaboration!