A History of Screenwriting – 24 in a series – What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting by Marc Norman

A History of Screenwriting – 24 in a series – What Happens Next: A History of American Screenwriting by Marc Norman

Screenwriters have always been viewed as Hollywood’s stepchildren. Silent-film comedy pioneer Mack Sennett forbade his screenwriters from writing anything down, for fear they’d get inflated ideas about themselves as creative artists. The great midcentury director John Ford was known to answer studio executives’ complaints that he was behind schedule by tearing a handful of random pages from his script and tossing them over his shoulder. And Ken Russell was so contemptuous of Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay for Altered States that Chayefsky insisted on having his name removed from the credits.

Of course, popular impressions aside, screenwriters have been central to moviemaking since the first motion picture audiences got past the sheer novelty of seeing pictures that moved at all. Soon they wanted to know: What happens next? In this truly fresh perspective on the movies, veteran Oscar-winning screenwriter Marc Norman gives us the first comprehensive history of the men and women who have answered that question, from Anita Loos, the highest-paid screenwriter of her day, to Robert Towne, Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Kaufman, and other paradigm-busting talents reimagining movies for the new century. 



* 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! 


I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

Treva Silverman and Women Characters from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (0:28)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Treva Silverman and Women Characters from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing

 

Transcript:

And she won Emmys for writing the episode where Lou Grant wife asks him for a divorce, which was huge in the early 70’s. That was a crazy idea and James Burrows, who was the producer of The Mary Tyler More Show in several book son the show has said that Treva was the feminist heart of that show. So, she had that idea on Mary Tyler More or course she had that on The Monkees, too. So in those rooms when they talked about the girl friends, she made sure they were 3-dimensional, interesting women.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

 

Quotes from “Why The Monkees Matter” by Dr. Rosanne Welch – 63 in a series – Narrative Style

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Quotes from

The Monkees kept their audiences guessing by varying the narrative style each week in a way few other programs were ever able to swap genres on such a regular basis. Star Trek: The Next Generation could sometimes tell stories in the western genre or the private eye genre through the use of the holodeck but that is a rare opportunity. 

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch —  Buy your Copy today!

 Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

  

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

05 : Girls, The Beach House and The Monkees: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

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.”

05 : Girls, The Beach House and The Monkees: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

 

Transcript:

Jean: So they had this beach house and this was cool and there are these single boys now, but they did kind of keep it kind of wholesome. Now did they have girls spending the night over at the beach house or anything like that?

Rosanne: They did not. When I came to study the show because I loved it as a kid and when I decided to study it I thought, “Oh, well a show about rock-and-rollers. It’s going to be every week about who’s have sex with which girl and maybe as a kid, I didn’t remember that. And then I watched all 58 episodes in an era when I’m also watching The Big Bang Theory because that’s the number one comedy of our day and that’s of course about 4 scientists who spend their days discussing who they’re going to have sex with and it turned out, of course, because of the rules of what you could and couldn’t do on television at the time that The Monkees couldn’t do that. So when they had girlfriends we always saw that the girls left before the boys had time in their beach house. They never spent the night.

Jean: So it wouldn’t offend the sensibilities of the parents that are watching this television show with their teenagers and things like that.

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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.

From The Research Vault: Davy Jones of The Monkees: A towering multimedia star By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY

From The Research Vault: Davy Jones of The Monkees: A towering multimedia star By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY

Davy Jones

Davy Jones was not a tall man. But what a long pop-culture shadow he cast.

Standing about a head shorter than his mates in The Monkees — the nation’s first made-for-TV boy band — the 5-foot-3, British-born singer had the winning personality of his mop-topped alter ego Paul McCartney, the teen-idol dreaminess of a Justin Bieber and the distinctive voice of a genuine hitmaker.

Jones, 66, died Wednesday of a heart attack near his home in Indiantown, Fla. The news rocked the surviving Monkees.

“This is an enormous event in my world,” Monkee Peter Tork tells USA TODAY. “I have been thinking about his talent and his heart. What is the saddest thing in the world is that not everyone was able to see the range and depth of his heart. He was about as heartfelt a man as anyone I have ever met in my life. … In all his glory as a musician and performer, Davy was in the top rank.”

Read the entire article – Davy Jones of The Monkees: A towering multimedia star


Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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A History of Screenwriting – 23 in a series – The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916)

A History of Screenwriting – 23 in a series – The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916)

This movie is insane, and I love it. Coke Ennyday, a cocaine-shooting detective parody of Sherlock Holmes injects himself with opium from a bandolier of syringes worn across his chest and liberally helps himself to the contents of a hatbox-sized round container of white powder labeled “COCAINE” on his desk. A clock-like sign on the wall divides time between EAT, DRINK, SLEEP, and DOPE. He observes visitors at his door on what appears to be a closed-circuit television called a “scientific periscope”. The super-sleuth helps the police and discovers a contraband of opium (which he eagerly tastes) transported with “Leaping Fishes”, and the blackmail of a mysterious man who wants to marry the “fish blower” girl.

It stars the acrobatic Douglas Fairbanks as the odd action hero and Bessie Love as The Little Fish Blower, was directed by Christy Cabanne and John Emerson, and was written by Anita Loos, Tod Browning, and D. W. Griffith. — Change Before Going Productions

 



* 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! 


I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus.  As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era  who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order  to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch

Women Writers and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing [Video] (0:54)

This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne

Watch this entire presentation

Women Writers and The Monkees from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing

 

Transcript:

And my theory is, watching those women as a child made me want to grow up to be somebody of value because that’s how you caught yourself a Monkee, not by being a dizzy-headed cheerleader. All right? But who knows if that what’s your looking at when your six, seven or eight, that’s when you’re deciding who you want to be. So, I think that’s a really important message that the show carried and might not have known they were carrying it except if you credit writers, which is what Ido a lot of in the book. I interviewed all the writers on the show and to me, that was really interesting. One of them is Treva Silverman. She was the first female writer in television to write alone on a comedy. Other women had male partners. So the fact that she came onto the show and had these ideas about being a feminist. She was from New York. She had come out to LA to be a TV writer. That’s a crazy idea even back then and it’s a crazy idea today and she left The Monkees when the show went off the air. She joined The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today!

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

 

Quotes from “Why The Monkees Matter” by Dr. Rosanne Welch – 62 in a series – Costuming

** Buy “Why The Monkees Matter” Today **

Quotes from

Keeping them all individual as opposed to forcing them into matching uniforms ala Paul Revere and the Raiders helped the audience distinguish them and possibly helped the band members manage their own personalities on the show and in concert.  

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch —  Buy your Copy today!

 Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

  

McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

Keeping them all individual as opposed to forcing them into matching uniforms ala Paul Revere and the Raiders helped the audience distinguish them and possibly helped the band members manage their own personalities on the show and in concert.

04 – Monkee Metatexutality: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power [Video] (1:02)

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.”

04 - Monkee Metatexutality: “Why The Monkees Matter” Interview with Jean Hopkins Power

 

Transcript:

Rosanne: These techniques weren’t necessarily being used by shows like George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. They would eventually be in things like Dream On and many other shows later would use those kinds of old footage, but now that I bring up George and Gracie. What they did is that they spoke to the audience, which is another thing these guys did.They broke the 4th wall of theater by speaking to the audience and admitting to the audience that we know we’re a show and you’re watching us, which is meta-narrative if you want to get all professorial about it, but it made them — it gave them a chance to get closer to the audience and it connected the kids to them.

Jean: So, by doing that there’s a lot of current shows — and I’m going to kind of nerd out with you on this — like The Office for example or these mockumentary type things where they say they’re aware that we’re going to be watching them the Monkees had already been doing that.

Rosanne: They’d already been doing that. Exactly and it made them very hip and cute to the children watching because they were the generation who hadn’t been paid much attention to yet and now these boys were paying attention to them.

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.

From The Research Vault: The Monkees’ FBI File via FBI Vault

From The Research Vault: The Monkees’ FBI File via FBI Vault

This is the actual file the FBI kept on The Monkees, as they were worried about subversive ideas the show generated. Silly to see they spelled the name wrong on the cover – makes me wonder about the thoroughness of the agency back in the day.  It does seem, though, that the agents in charge of this investigation understood more than some viewers as they noted the show’s “denouncing the U.S. policy in the war in Vietnam”. They describe the ‘young men’ on the show as dressing as ‘beatnik types’ (perhaps the word hippie had not permeated the agency yet) and report that during concerts “subliminal messages” appeared on a ‘device’ known as a screen behind the performers.

Check it out!

From The Research Vault: The Monkees' FBI File via FBI VaultFrom The Research Vault: The Monkees' FBI File via FBI Vault

Read more of The Monkees’ FBI File via FBI Vault


Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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