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?”
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 Scholarship A Scholarship To The Stephens College M.F.A. In Television And Screenwriting For Women Over 45
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
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.
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
Jon 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.
Jennifer 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.
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.
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.
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.