Remembering Screenwriter Jeanie MacPherson on her birthday – When Women Wrote Hollywood

“The resounding mythology around the start of Macpherson’s film career is that she, with immeasurable pluck, simply walked into D.W. Griffith’s office and waited for him for days on end. Finally, the assistant asked about her. “I told him my stage experience. He ignored it, scorned it. ‘We want to know what you can do before a camera,’ he said.”

Jeanie Macpherson: A Life Unknown by Amelia Phillips


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Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 28 – in a series – Frances Marion

Do you know about these women screenwriters? Many don’t. Learn more about them today! 

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood - 28 - in a series - Frances Marion

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For over twenty years, no writer was more sought after than Frances Marion. With her versatile pen and a caustic wit, she was a leading participant in one of the most creative eras for women in American history. She is credited with writing more than 300 scripts covering every conceivable genre and she also directed and produced half a dozen films.


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Quote: “I was a fan from the beginning at the age of six when the show debuted on NBC” from “Why The Monkees Matter” Book Signing – 9 in a series

Quote:

“I was a fan from the beginning at the age of six when the show debuted on NBC and caused what I often teased was the first great choice of a childhood lived without benefit of DVR. Should I watch The Monkees or Gilligan’s Island? Both aired at the same non Bat-Time on the same non Bat-Channel. I used that question as the thesis to an essa when, many years later I applied to film school and I’m amazed at how it still resonates with others of my generation.

from How It All Began from Why The Monkees Matter Book Signing, Book Soup, Hollywood

Watch this clip

Watch this entire presentation – “Why The Monkees Matter” Book Signing

 


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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 Acheivement 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 Riderand Five Easy Pieces.

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

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Latest Project from Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier – “The Civil War On Film” — Coming in 2020

Latest Project from Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier -

Latest Project from Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier -

Here’s the project for my summer — finishing my chapters in Peg and my next effort for ABC-Clio:  The Civil War on Film — part of their Hollywood History series. 

I’ll be covering Gone With the Wind, Friendly Persuasion, Gettysburg, and Gangs of New York.

Look for it in 2020!

RMW PHD signature 2015

Additional Books I Have Written and Edited for ABC-CLIO

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Pioneer Screenwriter Lois Weber’s Birthplace Honored With Pennsylvania Historical Marker

It has taken too long but finally many of the female screenwriters that appear in our collection are being recognized – and often honored. Such is the case with Lois Weber who birthplace has now been given a historical marker. She deserves it.

Read more about her in Chase Thompson’s chapter on Weber in When Women Wrote Hollywood. — Rosanne


Senator Costa Announces New Historical Marker in Pittsburgh

220px LoisWeberPittsburgh, Pa. − March 29, 2018 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. today announced the addition of an official Pennsylvania Historical Marker in Pittsburgh: film director Lois Weber.

Lois Weber was the first American woman film director and a pioneer in early film making.

In the era of silent films, she mastered superimposition, double exposures, and split screens to convey thoughts and ideas rather than words on title cards. She also used the nude female figure in the 1915 film Hypocrites and took on progressive and provocative topics, inciting both censorship and artistic praise.

“Lois Weber was a trailblazer for women and all filmmakers in the early 20th century,” said Senator Costa. “She is a worthy addition to this exclusive list.”

Her historical marker will be placed at 1230 Federal Street in Pittsburgh, in front of the new Carnegie Free Library Allegheny. She was born three blocks south of the spot and her childhood home was one block east.

The new markers, selected from 51 applications, will be added to the nearly 2,300 familiar blue-with-gold-lettering signs along roads and streets throughout Pennsylvania.

Read Senator Costa Announces New Historical Marker in Pittsburgh


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Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

03 Women Writers Get Lost In History from “When Women Wrote Hollywood”, Dr. Rosanne Welch, Cal State Fullerton

Part of the California State University, Fullerton Faculty Noon Time Talks at the Pollak Library.

Watch this entire presentation

03 Women Writers Get Lost In History from

 

Transcript:

We’re gonna talk a little bit about why women get lost behind in history and see if we can think about fixing that in our own work — our own writing — our own conversations. I’m also the book editor for The Journal of Screenwriting. So I do book reviews — I hire book review people for that. So that’s always something I’m interested in getting folks who want to do and I’m on the editorial staff of Written By magazine which is the magazine the Writers Guild so we decide who gets interviewed and every month it’s either a famous TV writer or a film writer and I think it’s a wonderful way to stay involved because if you have those people come into your class and the guest speaker so that’s all the stuff I do.

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.


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Dr. Rosanne Welch Appears Twice at Denver Pop Culture Con, May 31, 2019 – June 2, 2019

Dr. Rosanne Welch Appears Twice at Denver Popular Culture Con, May 31, 2019 - June 2, 2019

I’m happy to announce that I will be appearing on two panels at next month’s Denver Pop Culture Con in Denver.  

For the 1st session, I’ll be moderating a panel of contributors to When Women Wrote Hollywood covering female screenwriters of Hollywood’s early days.  

For the 2nd session, I’ll be discussing the subjects of my first book,  Why the Monkees Matter.

Hope to see you there!  RMW PHD signature 2015


DENVER POP CULTURE CON

Friday-Sunday May 31-June 2, 2019
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, Colorado

Saturday June 1, 2019 :: 12:30 pm to 1:20 pm

When Women Wrote Hollywood: A History of Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry
ROOM 504 – Reel Heroes (sm) 
Dr. Rosanne Welch, Amy Banks, Mikayla Daniels, Toni Hull, Laura Kirk, Kelley Zinge

Did you know that in the early days of Hollywood there were more women writers than men?  And they made more money than most men while essentially inventing the iconic stories that have filled our movie screens ever since? Many of them ran their own production companies but their names have been left out of the textbooks.  Help us bring their names back into the conversation by joining Dr. Rosanne Welch as she moderates a panel of writers – Amy Banks, Mikayla Daniels, Toni Hull, Laura Kirk, Kelley Zinge – who researched the lives of these creative female writers you need to know.  

Sunday June 2, 2019 :: 2:30 pm to 3:20 pm

Why the Monkees Matter – Even 50 Years Later
ROOM 504 – Reel Heroes
Dr. Rosanne Welch

Whether you’re a fan of The Monkees as a television show or a band – or both – come join Dr. Rosanne Welch as she discusses how they changed television by bringing new ideas about identity, celebrity and popular culture to the teenagers of their day – and all the generations that followed  — all in the span of the 2 season run of their wildly influential program.

Denver Popular Culture Con – Complete Schedule

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Dr. Rosanne Welch Appears Twice at Denver Popular Culture Con, May 31, 2019 - June 2, 2019

Quotes from When Women Wrote Hollywood – 28 – in a series – Telling Film’s Her-story

Do you know about these women screenwriters? Many don’t. Learn more about them today!

 

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These Stephens College MFA candidates (now, graduates), found research in huge archives such as the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and in tiny tidbits in hometown newspapers scanned into digital copies for the information age. The goal was to provide a clearing house of information on which other future historians can continue to build so that they can find new facts, and even contradict some of these, as is the way of history – and herstory.


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Dr. Rosanne Welch Reads from “Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees” at Paperback LA 3 Launch Party [Video] (5 minutes 19 seconds)

It was marvelous to be asked to read a portion of my contribution to Paperback LA #3  (“Hey Hey They Wrote The Monkees”) at the launch party on Sunday. 

Dr. Rosanne Welch Reads from

 

Rosanne Reads at Paperback LA 3 Launch Party [Photos]

Rosanne Reads at Paperback LA 3 Launch Party [Photos]

Rosanne Reads at Paperback LA 3 Launch Party [Photos]

See the entire collection of photos from the event

Editor Susan La Tempa hosted all the local contributors at the event space in the Helms Bakery district, which gave us a chance to check out that lovely landmark.  Then I had the chance to meet Lisa See – author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of 4 generations of her Chinese-American family living in Los Angeles and running a factory, an antique shop and a restaurant popular with the Hollywood crowd of the 1930s and 40s.  We had first heard of her book when Doug and I were docents at the Autry Western Heritage Museum in Griffith Park and they had a whole exhibit dedicated to telling the story of the book (which it turns out Lisa curated!) It was so popular an exhibit that it hung around long enough for Joseph to be born and to become old enough to play in the little mini restaurant they set up with pots and plates and menus.  So it was wonderful to hear Lisa read an excerpt from the book and then to talk to her during the book signing segment of the afternoon.

I was also deeply impressed by the way Susan opened the event with a native Tongva greeting – something I had only seen done at the public events we attended in New Zealand where everyone began events with the traditional Maori greeting where you introduce yourself in terms of what is your mountain, your river, and your ancestry.  Beautiful! So hearing it in Los Angeles was a lovely idea we all ought to emulate.

 

Rosanne Reads at Paperback LA 3 Launch Party [Photos]
Then the super cool thing was that several friends made the trip down to Culver City – thanks Duke and Dena Jackels and Dan and Liz Forer – and Euphemia – for coming to the reading, and for buying books!

“When Women Wrote Hollywood” selected as runner-up for the Popular Culture Association’s Susan Koppelman Award

The Popular Culture Association has named When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry runner-up for the Susan Koppelman Award, given to the best anthology, multi-authored, or edited book in feminist studies in popular and American culture.  

Congratulations to all the writers who contributed chapters and many thanks to Cari Beauchamp for her wonderful Forward!  It was a pleasure putting this collection together and continues to be a pleasure sharing the stories of these trailblazing women with the world.  Thanks to McFarland for believing in this project from the start.