A clip from my presentation at the 11th Annual Screenwriting Research Network conference. Held on the campus of the beautiful Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.
In the presentation, I covered the reasons writers have been marginalized – and the reasons they oughtn’t to be so disrespected. Then I talked about how my course works, what books I assign, what guest speakers I invite, what research the students do – and ended on a high note by introducing ‘When Women Wrote Hollywood’ – the book of essays from our inaugural class which has now been published by McFarland.
So how I teach it. That’s why I teach I want respect to come back to writers. That seems simple right? How I do it. I start in the very beginning when women were the major writers of Hollywood films. There were 50 percent of the films are in by women if not more and they made more money. This is Gene Gauntier from Ireland, this is Anita Loos and Jeannie Macpherson working with Cecil B. DeMille. She wrote every one of his financially successful films and when they stopped working together, his movies stopped making money. That’s the end of Cecil B. DeMille. How I teach it. I start by asking students very quick questions. What are your first five favourite films? Who directed those films? They always know. Who wrote those films? and the look of humiliation on their faces when they sit in a screenwriting class and cannot name the people who wrote their favorite films is ridiculous to me.
Watch the entire presentation
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