How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television, Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (22 Minutes)

A full recording of my presentation at this year’s Screenwriting Research Network conference (at the lovely Universidade Católica Portuguesa) in Porto, Portugal.

“How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television, Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (22 Minutes)

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When the folks hosting the conference announced their theme as “Screen Narratives: Chaos and Order” the word ‘chaos’ immediately brought to mind writers rooms. I offered a quick history of writers rooms (the presentations are only 20 minutes long) and then quoted several current showrunners on how they compose their rooms and how they run them.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


Ready to present my talk yesterday at the Screenwriting Research Conference here in Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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Video Montage, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, September 2019

This video montage gives you a quick impression of what it is like to attend one of the Screenwriting Research Network‘s annual conferences.

The 2020 conference will be Oxford, UK. 2021 will be in Vienna, Austria and 2022 will be my event, held at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

Video Montage, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, September 2019

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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From The Journal Of Screenwriting 3 : Re-writing theatrical documentaries: The broadcast version

Highlighting the articles in the latest edition 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


Re-writing theatrical documentaries: The broadcast version
Phoebe Hart

In the funding matrix for major theatrical documentaries, television networks are often sought out as commissioners, particularly in territories such as Australia, where a plan in the form of distribution agreement and/or broadcaster pre-sale is required to access screen agency funds. As part of the deals with the broadcaster, there are mandated deliverables in the form of a ‘broadcast version’ of the documentary film, typically one hour in length or as a series. For producers, this arrangement raises much-needed production finance and capitalizes on the property’s reach and earning potential by exploiting the various distribution windows available. However, these deals lead to vexatious practical concerns in re-versioning for broadcast as documentary screenwriters are challenged to make changes while attempting to maintain the tone of their work. This research delves into the creative and cognitive processes as experienced by screenwriters who must ‘cut down’ a theatrical version of a documentary for broadcast. The research presents three case studies drawn from in-depth interviews, which are examined via a thematic analysis methodology to understand the processes of re-writing, including changes to narration, tone, style, character and narrative arcs, and thematic treatment. The research examines what is sacrificed due to time restrictions and viewer sensibilities, and whether or not the key intentions of documentary screenwriters can be preserved.

Journal of Screenwriting Cover

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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From The Journal Of Screenwriting 2 : The screenplay as boundary object by Rosamund Davies

Highlighting the articles in the latest edition 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


The screenplay as boundary object
Rosamund Davies

Described by Pasolini as a ‘structure that wants to be another structure’, the question of what kind of thing-in-itself the screenplay might be has produced a range of answers. Screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière has used the metaphor of the chrysalis – of vital importance in the process of the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly – but useless and empty once the butterfly, or film, has emerged. Film scholar Claudia Sternberg has considered the screenplay’s status as a ‘second rank’ text, in relation to the ‘first rank’ film performance. The idea of the screenplay as blueprint is common. Meanwhile, scholars (e.g. Maras, Millard, Price) have raised issues with such definitions, pointing out their limitations. In this article, I propose the notion of the ‘boundary object’ as a useful way of thinking about the role and nature of the screenplay within the development and production of a screen narrative. My starting point is sociologist Susan Leigh Star’s concept of the boundary object, defined as an object that allows different individuals or groups with heterogeneous skills, knowledge and interests to cooperate towards a common goal by creating a ‘shared space’, situated at the boundaries between their habitual spheres of practice. I propose that, avoiding the problems inherent in an analogy such as the blueprint, the concept of the boundary object offers a useful starting point for understanding and analysing the role of the screenplay in audio-visual production.

Journal of Screenwriting Cover

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. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Dr. Rosanne Welch Joins The Executive Committee of the Screenwriting Research Network

Rosanne Joins The Executive Committee of the Screenwriting Research Network Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Presenting my talk at most recent SRN Conference in Porto, Portgual

I’m pleased to announce that I am beginning the first year of a two year term on the Executive Committee of the Screenwriting Research Network.  I will assist with editing the newsletter and meet via Skype once a month with some of the most wonderful colleagues I’ve had the chance to work with so far in my career. 

The Screenwriting Research Network was established in 2006 by Ian Macdonald when it became clear that there was interest across the world towards research on screenwriting, but individual scholars tended to be isolated. I’ve been a member since I attended my first conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Since then I’ve presented at – and listened to fascinating presentations – in such wonderful international locations as Leeds, New Zealand, Milan and Porto, Portugal – with Oxford and Vienna next on the list. 

And I’m most excited about the fact that the 2022 conference will be held at my home campus of Stephens College!

Presenting my talk “How the chaos of collaboration in the writer’s room created the golden age of television” at the Screenwriting Research Conference in Porto, Portugal

Presenting my talk “How the chaos of collaboration in the writer’s room created the golden age of television” at the Screenwriting Research Conference in Porto, Portugal

Presenting my talk “How the chaos of collaboration in the writer’s room created the golden age of television” at the Screenwriting Research Conference in Porto, Portugal

** We have returned from Porto and I am streaming out our photos over the next few weeks.

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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An amazing table via Instagram

An amazing table

An amazing table via Instagram

Places settings at BH Foz for SRN Conference dinner. Wow!

This was the restaurant for a shared evening conference dinner with a large group of attendees. They took very good care of us and the sangria flowed freely.

** We have returned from Porto and I am streaming out our photos over the next few weeks.

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
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Another night, another sunset, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Another night, another sunset, Porto, Portugal

Another night, another sunset, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Sunset from BH Foz Restaurant at evening dinner during the recent Screenwriting Research Network Conference.

** We have returned from Porto and I am streaming out our photos over the next few weeks.

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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* 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!

Chatting with conference attendees before my talk at the Screenwriting Research Conference in Porto, Portugal

Chatting with conference attendees before my talk at the Screenwriting Research Conference in Porto, Portugal

Chatting with conference attendees before my talk at the Screenwriting Research Conference in Porto, Portugal

A great way to encounter these international friends I only see in person once a year at the 2019 Screenwriting Research Conference.

** We have returned from Porto and I am streaming out our photos over the next few weeks.

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

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* 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!

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Chatting with Rose Farrell, Ronald Geerts and others at this reception on the beach. A great way to encounter these international friends I only see in person once a year.

A great way to encounter these international friends I only see in person once a year at the 2019 Screenwriting Research Conference.

** We have returned from Porto and I am streaming out our photos over the next few weeks.

Opening Reception, Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal via Instagram

Follow me on Instagram



* 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!