Tom Stempel, Friend of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and his blog, Understanding Screenwriting

Friend of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, Tom Stempel, (historian and author of one of the textbooks used in our MFA – Framework: a History of Screenwriting) has a blog – Understanding Screenwriting — where he analyzes the work of recent screenplays, many of which you may have just seen.

His latest post…

Stempel tomUNDERSTANDING SCREENWRITING: Ladies of All Kinds
Tom Stempel reviews Downton Abbey, Hustlers, and the lineup of this Fall 2019 Television Season.

Welcome Back, Lady Mary, Lady Edith, and the Dowager Countess.

Downton Abbey (2019. Screenplay by Julian Fellowes, Characters by Julian Fellowes. 122 minutes)

A letter is signed in flowery handwriting. It goes to the post office. It goes on the Night Mail train to northern England (we know it is the Night Mail train because this montage bears more than a passing resemblance to the great 1936 documentary of the same name). The letter goes into the post office van, then the post office. A postal employee rides on a bicycle through the countryside . He goes up a familiar path to…Downton Abbey. He gives the letter to Andy, one of the footmen at the Abbey, who looks at the letter and says, “Blimey.” Andy takes the letter to Barrow, the head of household staff, who takes it to Robert, the Earl of Grantham. Robert opens the letter and tells his eldest daughter, Lady Mary, the contents. Lady Mary’s reply is, “What?”

Read Tom’s entire article


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Jan Marino Scholarship: A Scholarship To The Stephens College MFA In Television And Screenwriting For Women Over 45

We at the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program are excited to announce that we have lowered the required age for applicants of the Jan Marino Scholarship to 45 from 55 years old, opening the honor up for even more of our applicants. 

The deadline for applying to the MFA program ,in order to qualify for the scholarship, is March 31st, 2020.

The awardee, will be announced May 1st, at SeriesFest held in Denver in April. There I will have my own honor, that of granting the scholarship to the student who will be a featured guest at the event. — Rosanne


Jan marino

Jan Marino Scholarship
A Scholarship To The Stephens College M.F.A. In Television And Screenwriting For Women Over 45

SeriesFest is honored to partner with the Stephens College MFA. in TV and Screenwriting for the third year on the Jan Marino Scholarship, designed to support women over 45 who are students in the Stephens College MFA in Television and Screenwriting program. 

Named to honor author Jan Marino, the mother of M.F.A. student Betsy Marino Leighton, the scholarship nurtures the power of strong, independent female storytelling in television and film. 

Stephens College MFA. in TV and Screenwriting


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Event: Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television – Writers Guild Foundation – Friday, January 12, 2019

I’m so excited to announce the next panel I’ll be moderating at the WGA has been announced. Even more exciting — alum Sahar Jahani will be on the panel!  It will be my first chance to announce one of our students as a working writer. Join us as we discuss the delicate ways in which we can write about sex on television. — Rosanne


Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television – Writers Guild Foundation – Friday, January 12, 2019

We’re teaming up with Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting to pull the covers back on a topic that still makes viewers blush: sex. On this special evening, our panel of TV writers and producers share how they approach writing about sex, from intimate scenes to revealing dialogue, and the nuances they consider when crafting stories about sex and sexuality.

Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television - Writers Guild Foundation - Friday, January 12, 2019

Friday, January 10, 2020
7:30 PM  9:00 PM

Writers Guild of America West/Writers Guild Foundation
7000 W. 3rd St., 2nd floor
Los Angeles, CA 90048
United States

GET TICKETS

Event: Between the Sheets: Writing About Sex on Television - Writers Guild Foundation - Friday, January 12, 2019

Panelists:

  • Michelle Ashford – Masters of Sex, The Pacific
  • Cindy Chupack – I’m Dying Up Here, Divorce, Sex and the City 
  • Sahar Jahani – 13 Reasons Why, Ramy
  • Stay tuned for more panelist announcements!

Moderated by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

Doors open at 7:00pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.

All events advertised on our Events page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket—not just WGA members!

In the case the event is sold out, we will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event.

Proceeds benefit the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

Got a question about events? E-mail us at events@wgfoundation.org.

#MentorMonday 7 – Jon Vandergriff – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Today’s the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting #mentormonday goes out to Jon Vandergriff! (IMDB)

VandergriffJon Vandergriff received his MFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California and immediately segued into professional sitcom writing with his debut freelance script for the ABC hit show, Coach.

That was followed by a six-year stint on the even bigger ABC hit, Home Improvement, where he rose from staff writer to supervising producer. He attained the title of co-executive producer on the popular WB show Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Along the way, Vandergriff wrote sitcom pilots for NBC and The WB and also has had two screenplays optioned by Hollywood-based production companies.

A lifelong lover of board games, Vandergriff also is a board game inventor who has had three games published, including Anger Management and A Way with Words, which also is an app and was recently picked up by Electronic Arts to publish on their website, pogo.com.


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#MentorMonday 6 – Jennifer Maisel – Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Jennifer Maisel (IMDB) is our featured mentor at the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting for #mentormonday this week!

#MentorMonday 6 - Jennifer Maisel - Stephens College MFA in TV and ScreenwritingJennifer Maisel most recently developed an original pilot called “The 626” with Super Deluxe and adapted two Jane Green novels—Tempting Fate and To Have and to Hold, which aired in June. She currently is working on a two-hour about campus rape and institutional betrayal with Just Singer Entertainment. Her screenplay “Lost Boy” was filmed starring Virginia Madsen. She wrote The Assault and The March Sisters for Mar Vista Entertainment and Double Wedding for Jaffe Braunstein. She has written movies for NBC, ABC, MTV and Lifetime, was a staff writer on the television series Related, wrote a pilot for ABC Family and an animated feature for Disney. Maisel has developed original pilots with Bunim-Murray, Ineffable, Stun Media and MomentumTV and co-created the critically acclaimed web series Faux Baby with Laura Brennan and Rachel Leventhal. The screenplay adaptation of her play The Last Seder won Showtime’s Tony Cox Screenwriting Award, meriting her a month’s stay in a haunted farmhouse at the Nantucket Screenwriter’s Colony. A graduate of Cornell University and NYU’s Dramatic Writing program, Maisel is also an award-winning playwright whose Eight Nights will premiere at Antaeus Theatre in October 2019; the play is currently part of a nationwide event called 8 Nights of Eight Nights, raising funds and awareness for HIAS.


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Jule Selbo, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program guest lecturer, garners great play reviews

Congratulations to Friend of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program and frequent guest lecturer Jule Selbo (author of Film Genre for the Screenwriter – the topic on which she’ll lecture this January) for the great reviews her play BOXES has been garnering in its East Coast premiere.

Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program guest lecturer, Jule Selbo, garners great play reviews

The Good Theater’s production of Jule Selbo’s BOXES offers a taut psychological study of manipulation and longing, misconceptions about self and love, all carefully crafted into a thriller with rapid twists and turns that compels the audience’s attention for its brisk ninety-minutes. The boxes of the title are literal props used in a clinical psychological research study, but they are really metaphors for the constraints that shape our views of selfhood and for the inscrutable containers of dark secrets.

Read BWW Review: Containers of the Mind- East Coast Premiere of BOXES

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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!
† Available from the LA Public Library

New Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting One Sheet – Please Post and Share!

Here is our latest one sheet for the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program.

Applications are now open, so please share this flyer with our interested friends, family and students!

New Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting One Sheet - Please Pos and Share!

Download a PDF Version – New Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting One Sheet

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DTLA Film Festival panel discussion, Privileged Characters: How to recognize and avoid implicit bias in your screenwriting via Instagram

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DTLA Film Festival panel discussion, Privileged Characters: How to recognize and avoid implicit bias in your screenwriting.

DTLA Film Festival panel discussion, Privileged Characters: How to recognize and avoid implicit bias in your screenwriting via Instagram

The importance of having material on the internet that helps tell people what you do and how well you do it came to my attention again last month.

I received an email invitation to moderate a panel at the Downtown LA Film Festival (DTLA) (https://www.dtlaff.com/) on the subject of “Implicit Bias” and how screenwriters can keep their scripts clear of their own and society’s implicit bias. Happily, I was able to invite one of our favorite Stephens mentors – Maria Escobeda – to be a panelist so we gave them a double-dose of Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting magic.

 

Dawn Comer Jefferson, Mentor with Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting at Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival

Dawn Comer Jefferson, Mentor with Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting at Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival

Enjoy this short clip of Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting mentor Dawn Comer Jefferson (right) moderating a conversation with Monroe Steele (left) and J’na Jefferson (middle) about skin bleaching after the screening of “Skin” (produced by Beverly Naya) at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival.

Reel Sisters & Stephens College MFA in TV & Screenwriting Present Skin Screening – Oct. 20, 2019 from African Voices/Reel Sisters on Vimeo.

On Oct. 20, 2019, 4 pm, Reel Sisters and Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting hosted the closing night film Skin produced by Beverly Naya and directed by Daniel Etim Effiong. A documentary set in Lagos, Nollywood actress Beverly defines Black beauty and explores the practice of skin bleaching in African culture. Emmy-nominated, award-winning writer Dawn Comer Jefferson moderated the discussion with acclaimed culture, fashion and beauty journalists Channing Hargrove, J’na Jefferson and Monroe Steele.

This screening ass free and sponsored by Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting.

 

Reel sisters 1

Reel sisters 2

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DTLA Film Festival panel discussion, Privileged Characters: How to recognize and avoid implicit bias in your screenwriting via Instagram

Follow Rosanne on Instagram!

DTLA Film Festival panel discussion, Privileged Characters: How to recognize and avoid implicit bias in your screenwriting.

DTLA Film Festival panel discussion, Privileged Characters: How to recognize and avoid implicit bias in your screenwriting via Instagram

Video of this panel coming soon