Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.
The first full-length study of the authorial and cross-media practices of the English novelist Elinor Glyn (1864-1943), Elinor Glyn as Novelist, Moviemaker, Glamour Icon and Businesswoman examines Glyn’s work as a novelist in the United Kingdom followed by her success in Hollywood where she adapted her popular romantic novels into films. Making extensive use of newly available archival materials, Vincent L. Barnett and Alexis Weedon explore Glyn’s experiences from multiple perspectives, including the artistic, legal and financial aspects of the adaptation process. At the same time, they document Glyn’s personal and professional relationships with a number of prominent individuals in the Hollywood studio system, including Louis B. Mayer and Irving Thalberg. The authors contextualize Glyn’s involvement in scenario-writing in relationship to other novelists in Hollywood, such as Edgar Wallace and Arnold Bennett, and also show how Glyn worked across Europe and America to transform her stories into other forms of media such as plays and movies. Providing a new perspective from which to understand the historical development of both British and American media industries in the first half of the twentieth century, this book will appeal to historians working in the fields of cultural and film studies, publishing and business history.
The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting program teamed up with the Writers Guild Foundation to pull the covers back on a topic that still makes viewers blush: sex. On this special evening, our panel of TV writers and producers share how they approach writing about sex, from intimate scenes to revealing dialogue, and the nuances they consider when crafting stories about sex and sexuality.
Michelle Ashford – Masters of Sex, The Pacific
Cindy Chupack – I’m Dying Up Here, Divorce, Sex and the City
Sahar Jahani – 13 Reasons Why, Ramy
Dayna Lynne North – Insecure, Single Ladies, Lincoln Heights
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This one allowed me to riff on some of my favorite female science fiction writers across time, whether they be novelists or television writers. It also opened up a good conversation on what art we support and include in our lives – and what that art says to us and about us. — Rosanne
My favorite picture of her is always this moment, where she breaks him down with no weapon just her mind and her courage. She’s like screw you dude. I could smell you when I walked in the room. Too bad right? That diplomat. That person who could do it with their voice and their inner strength. That’s the character that I like to remember better but you’re mostly gonna see these pictures and you know I didn’t put up the picture of her in the bikini and Jabba the Hutt because that’s just overdone — overdone and sad to say — much as I like George Lucas — pretty cool in many things he’s done, she does throw out reference in the book when she showed up as a 19-year-old all alone in England to film this movie with a bunch of dudes who are older than her. She’s not wearing a bra under that thing and when she asked George Lucas why he said there are no bras in the 25th century and it wasn’t till later in life she was like these guys just wanted to see me bouncing around without a bra. All the men on the crew just wanted to watch me without a bra. What do you mean there are no bras in the 25th century?! Who are you? You’re not the guy who invented that! So you know that’s kind of sad and kind of bums me out, but this is the Princess Leia that I like to remember. I think she’s powerful.
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After our WGA panel on Writing sex scenes for television, Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks to panelist (and Stephens College MFA alum) Sahar Jahani (Ramy, 13 Reasons Why) speak with Intimacy coordinator Mia Schachter.
Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne
A case study on Urban Gad’s German shooting script for Die Filmprimadonna (The Film Primadonna, 1913) reviews the screenplay in the production process shortly after the emergence of multiple-reel feature films. In the dramatic story of the rise and fall of a film prima donna, a fictitious screenplay plays an idiosyncratic function in filmmaking that sketches, for the cinematic audience of that time, a specific idea of how and why an appropriate script has to be made. The article offers an analysis of Gad’s preserved script and demonstrates that this screen-idea contrasts with the value and agency of screenplays in the historic mode of production in 1913. Inasmuch as the plot of the movie simply highlights the function of acting, Die Filmprimadonna as a script itself functions as a complex and highly composed agent in the process of filmmaking – as both a narrative and, equally, a production schedule for the film.
The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice.
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Then we have this lady who I think is fascinating if you’re a Star Wars fan. Leigh Brackett. She’s mostly did all these kinds of space operas they called them right but she got hired to write the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back because George Lucas wanted her sci-fi brain on his property. The problem is she wrote the script — which there you are — and she died of cancer. So Lawrence Kasdan who I adore was hired to do the next draft in the next draft and Lawrence Kasdan becomes the writer we know from Star Wars but when you think about the Han Solo character, Leigh Brackett made him the cowboy that he is because she did cowboy movies and space operas. That’s the perfect blending of Han Solo. So she gave us that character in the incarnation that we know him in — which i think is cool.
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.