Introduction from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (1 min)

Introduction from Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.

Transcript:

I teach the history of screenwriting, not film, to an MFA program for Stephens College, a low residency program. We do workshops at the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood for 10 days twice a year and then the students do the rest of their work online. I’m also an adjunct at Cal State Fullerton, so I’ve had the pleasure of teaching all three of these gentlemen. So that’s been a lovely thing but I don’t teach this class there, so they haven’t actually seen me do this. With them, I’ve done screenwriting and workshopping, but here I’m going to talk about why I teach this class for a couple of reasons and I gave it this particular name, “Giving Voice to Silent Films…and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them” – you’ll see that one of those books is by Carrie Beauchamp and it is, “Without Lying Down.” The life story of Frances Marion and the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood in the entire Silent and early talkie period and none of my students have ever heard of her and I think it is very important that we hear about her and Anita Loos and a bunch of other important women.

I was pleased to be asked to participate in a panel designed by former student (and current kick-ass professor) Warren Lewis. The panel included two other former students from the MFA in Screenwriting program at CSUF: David Morgassen and Lucas Cuny. For the panel’s theme — “What Else Do We Teach When We Teach Screenwriting: Context And Controversy: Strategies For Teaching Film And Television History And Current Events To Screenwriters” — I chose to present on: “Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them”.

It involves the fact that when teaching screenwriting history, I begin chronologically. In essence I force students to watch the classic films of the silent era (happily accessible for free on YouTube) first because that is when women ran the town as evidenced in Cari Beachamp’s Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood”.) Beauchamp’s book is on my reading list so that they can encounter the careers of Frances Marion, Anita Loos, Lois Weber, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Eve Unsell and a host of other women who ran their own production companies for many years.

Secondly, knowing women once ran Hollywood makes it harder for today’s executives to wonder if today’s women can do the same.

Third, I have learned that teaching silent films reminds modern students that in screenwriting the visual is as important as the verbal.

Fourth, recognizing the birth of major iconic archetypes helps them recognize those archetypes in modern films and develop their own characters more three-dimensionally.

Fifth, I had to embarrassingly realize that in my zest to focus on forgotten females, I forgot to cover the careers of forgotten men and women of color and so expanded my viewing list to include the work of Oscar Mischeaux and other artists of color from the era.

Finally, I stretch back to the silents as a reminder that all artists stand of the shoulders of those who came before them – be they women or men.

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

Follow Dr. Rosanne Welch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosannewelch
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drrosannewelch/

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

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.

Welch teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting. Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences,ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Dr. Welch also presented, “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP. Watch it here.

How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017 [Video] (23 mins)

How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto – Dr. Rosanne Welch – SRN Conference 2017 [Video] (23 mins)

How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto - Dr. Rosanne Welch - SRN Conference 2017 [Video] (23 mins)

 

At this year’s 10th Annual Screenwriting Research Network Conference at Otago University in Dunedin, New Zealand I presented…

“How Gidget Got Into the Girl Ghetto by Accident (and How We Can Get Her Out of it): Demoting Gidget: The Little Girl with Big Ideas from Edgy Coming of Age Novel to Babe on the Beach Genre Film via Choices made in the Adaptation Process.”

It’ a long title, as I joke up front, but covers the process of adapting the true life story of Kathy Kohner (nicknamed ‘Gidget’ by the group of male surfers who she spent the summers with in Malibu in the 1950s) into the film and television series that are better remembered than the novel. The novel had been well-received upon publication, even compared to A Catcher in the Rye, but has mistakenly been relegated to the ‘girl ghetto’ of films. Some of the adaptations turned the focus away from the coming of age story of a young woman who gained respect for her talent at a male craft – surfing – and instead turned the focus far too much on Kathy being boy crazy.

Along the way I found interesting comparisons between how female writers treated the main character while adapting the novel and how male writers treated the character.




Gidget


Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch teaches the History of Screenwriting and One-Hour Drama for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.

Writing/producing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. In 2016 she published the book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop; co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia; and placed “Transmitting Culture Transnationally Via the Characterization of Parents in Police Procedurals” in the New Review of Film and Television Studies. Essays appear in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television and Doctor Who and Race: An Anthology. Welch serves as Book Reviews editor for Journal of Screenwriting and on the Editorial Advisory Board for Written By magazine, the magazine of the Writers Guild.

Watch Dr. Welch’s talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the 2016 TEDxCPP.


SRN logo red

The Screenwriting Research Network is a research group consisting of scholars, reflective practitioners and practice-based researchers interested in research on screenwriting. The aim is to rethink the screenplay in relation to its histories, theories, values and creative practices.

The Latest Journal of Screenwriting is HERE!

Journal screenwriting v8i2 cover

Journal screenwriting v8i2 mastheadJournal screenwriting v8i2 toc

Click for larger images

It was quite satisfying to receive my copy of The Journal of Screenwriting yesterday (Issue 8.2) with my first efforts as the Book Reviews Editor.

The issue also contains the conference report I co-wrote on the 9th Annual Conference, held in Leeds last year. I really enjoyed participating in the writing of that report because it gave me a chance to mention the many wonderful paper presentations that I saw. It also happens to include a wonderful article by my friend Rose Ferrell from Australia (who just completed her Phd thesis which you can access here) about the concept of National voice and how much of our national voice filters into our writers voice

Of course my mind is already rolling with ideas about how to write about this most recent conference at a Otago University. Right now I will enjoy this copy of the Journal looking at the book reviews and the articles with a new kind of focus. The new goal is to find reasons to bring students to read these types of academic journals and discuss them in class — and to find more college libraries that will subscribe so they can have the Journal on hand for their screenwriting students!

If you work for a university – give The Journal of Screenwriting a read!

Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (17:44)

Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them with Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

A recording of my presentation at this year’s University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2017 conference.

I was pleased to be asked to participate in a panel designed by former student (and current kick-ass professor) Warren Lewis. The panel included two other former students from the MFA in Screenwriting program at CSUF: David Morgassen and Lucas Cuny. For the panel’s theme — “What Else Do We Teach When We Teach Screenwriting: Context And Controversy: Strategies For Teaching Film And Television History And Current Events To Screenwriters” — I chose to present on: “Giving Voice to Silent Films and the Far From Silent Women Who Wrote Them”.

It involves the fact that when teaching screenwriting history, I begin chronologically. In essence I force students to watch the classic films of the silent era (happily accessible for free on YouTube) first because that is when women ran the town as evidenced in Cari Beachamp’s Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood”.) Beauchamp’s book is on my reading list so that they can encounter the careers of Frances Marion, Anita Loos, Lois Weber, Adela Rogers St. Johns, Eve Unsell and a host of other women who ran their own production companies for many years.

Secondly, knowing women once ran Hollywood makes it harder for today’s executives to wonder if today’s women can do the same.
Third, I have learned that teaching silent films reminds modern students that in screenwriting the visual is as important as the verbal.

Fourth, recognizing the birth of major iconic archetypes helps them recognize those archetypes in modern films and develop their own characters more three-dimensionally.
Fifth, I had to embarrassingly realize that in my zest to focus on forgotten females, I forgot to cover the careers of forgotten men and women of color and so expanded my viewing list to include the work of Oscar Mischeaux and other artists of color from the era.

Finally, I stretch back to the silents as a reminder that all artists stand of the shoulders of those who came before them – be they women or men.

Books Mentioned In This Presentation

Follow Dr. Rosanne Welch

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosannewelch
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drrosannewelch/

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

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.

Women in American History : A Social, Political and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection

My ABC-CLIO catalog arrived while we were off in New Zealand at the Screenwriting Research Network Conference and inside it was this page for my latest encyclopedia — which is now available for purchase. Please take am moment to recommend it to your local librarian.

Women in American History : A Social, Political and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection

Click for larger image

Purchase from ABC-CLIO Web SIte

Purchase from Amazon.com

 

Dr. Rosanne Welch’s Latest Essay Appears in “OUTSIDE IN MAKES IT SO: 174 New Perspectives on 174 Star Trek TNG Stories by 174 Writers”

Dr. Rosanne Welch’s Latest Essay Appears in “OUTSIDE IN MAKES IT SO: 174 New Perspectives on 174 Star Trek TNG Stories by 174 Writers”

My essay is on the 3rd Season, premiere episode “Evolution” by Michael Piller – because I was his script typist when he wrote that as a freelancer and it became his path into getting the job and eventually running the show. But I also get to comment on Beverly Crusher as part of the evolution of working moms on TV – and Will Wheaton as an example of evolving his brand over the course of a long career. — Rosanne

Dr. Rosanne Welch's Latest Essay Appears in

This item will be released on September 28, 2017.

PRE-ORDER NOW

Celebrating 30 years of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Outside In Makes It So is a collection of 174 reviews, one for every story of the show, the four movies and a few bonus extras. Well, we say “reviews,” but we mean that loosely: within these pages, you’ll find scripts, recipes, a Monty Python sketch, a psych test, gossip columns, newspaper ads, a sitcom, a eulogy and a daily log from Riker’s beard, not to mention insightful and thoughtful articles examining Picard-era Star Trek from just about every angle imaginable…and then some!

 

An Evening with Helen Estabrook at Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting was excited to host an interview with Helen Estabrook, producer of Whiplash and Casual – who was interviewed for the “How I Wrote That” podcast, hosted by Khanisha Foster on Thursday night.

An Evening with Helen Estabrook at Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

“Honey, You Know I Can’t Hear You When You Aren’t in the Room: Now free online from Gender and the Screenplay Journal

“Honey, You Know I Can’t Hear You When You Aren’t in the Room: Now free online from Gender and the Screenplay Journal

My article “Honey, You Know I Can’t Hear You When You Aren’t in the Room: Key Female Filmmakers Prove the Importance of Having a Female in the Writing Room” published today in a special issue called Gender and the Screenplay: Processes, Practices, Perspectives in the journal: Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network (Vol 10 No 2 (2017). 

“Honey, You Know I Can’t Hear You When You Aren’t in the Room PDF Version

The article provides a quick historical survey of the work of several prominent female screenwriters across the first century of filmmaking, including Anita Loos, Dorothy Parker, Frances Goodrich and Joan Didion. In all of their memoirs and other writings about working on screenplays, each mentioned the importance of (often) being the lone woman in the room during pitches and during the development of a screenplay. Goodrich summarized all their experiences concisely when she wrote, ‘I’m always the only woman working on the picture and I hold the fate of the women [characters] in my hand… I’ll fight for what the gal will or will not do, and I can be completely unfeminine about it.’ Also, the rise of female directors, such as Barbra Streisand or female production executives, such as Kathleen Kennedy, prove that one of the greatest assets to having a female voice in the room is the ability to invite other women inside. Therefore, this paper contributes to the scholarship on women in film and to authorship studies.

The title is a riff on a series of one-act plays I worked on in college called “Honey, You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running” written by Robert Anderson (author of the plays Tea and Sympathy and was Oscar-nominated for the screenplays A Nun’s Story and I Never Sang for my Father.)

You can read and download the entire journal, edited by Louise Sawtell, Stayci Taylor, which includes other fine articles have a global reach, covering questions of gender in screenwriting practice; reflections on the Irish film industry; Female Screenwriters and Street Films in Weimar Republic; Narrative and Masculinity in The Long Goodbye; How Hollywood Screenplays Inscribe Gender.

The editors had also asked all contributors to create video abstracts for each piece. Thanks to Doug’s help, mine came out pretty good:

 

 

 

 

Cal Poly Pomona Golden Leaves Presentation to Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier

Cal Poly Pomona Golden Leaves Presentation to Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier

Celebrating my 2017 Award-Winning Books 

Here my co-editor (and the funnest office mate ever) Dr. Peg Lamphier are smiling besideLibrary Dean Dr. Ray Wang at the Cal Poly Pomona Golden Leaves Award ceremony celebrating professors who have published in the past year.  

For us it was our 3-years-in-the-making “Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia” – then I earned a second award for my 2-years-in-the-making Monkees book “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture”.   

A History of Screenwriting – 19 in a series – The boxing cats (Prof. Welton’s)

 A History of Screenwriting – 19 in a series – The boxing cats (Prof. Welton’s)

A History of Screenwriting - 19 in a series - The boxing cats (Prof. Welton's)

Title
The boxing cats (Prof. Welton’s)

Other Title
Boxing cats

Summary
From Raff & Gammon price list: A very interesting and amusing subject. $10.00.

Contributor Names
Dickson, W. K.-L. (William Kennedy-Laurie), 1860-1935, production.
Heise, William, camera.
Welton, Henry, cast.
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Hendricks (Gordon) Collection (Library of Congress)
Created / Published
United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., [1894]

Subject Headings
– Cats–Training–United States
– Boxing–United States
– Animal fighting
– Animal trainers–United States

Genre
Novelty films
Peep shows (Motion pictures)
Silent films
Nonfiction films

Notes
– Copyright: no reg.
– Featuring: Henry Welton.
– Camera, William Heise.
– Duration: 0:20 at 27 fps.
– MAVIS 179897; The boxing cats (Prof. Welton’s).
– Filmed ca. July 1894, in Edison’s Black Maria studio.
– Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 104-5; Raff & Gammon. Price list of films, ca. June 1895, p. 1 [MI].
– Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
– Received: 1994-05-13; viewing print; preservation; Hendricks (Gordon) Collection.
Medium
viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (ca. 33 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location
FEC 8057 (viewing print)

Repository
Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D. C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mbrsmi/edmp.4020

Library of Congress Control Number
00694112

Online Format
image
video

Description
From Raff & Gammon price list: A very interesting and amusing subject. $10.00.

LCCN Permalink
https://lccn.loc.gov/00694112

Additional Metadata Formats
MARCXML Record
MODS Record
Dublin Core Record 


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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