I thought I ought to share it with the whole community, so here it is… — Rosanne
As established members of the entertainment community, we are frequently asked to speak to aspiring filmmakers. And with the success of our book, The Hollywood Pitching Bible, the number of speaking invitations has greatly increased. We are now regularly invited to speak at numerous entertainment industry events, festivals, film schools and conferences.
No matter what the topic of the event, inevitably the dialogue with the audience veers onto our views about the industry in general and life in the biz. Overwhelmingly, there’s one question we get asked more than any other: “How do I get an agent?”
Often the question is asked with such intense interest that we sometimes wonder if the rest of our lecture has been “filler” for the audience who are just waiting to get to this topic. Because of the overwhelming concern with this question, we are presenting this in-depth, three-part article on the topic for the benefit of LA Screenwriter readers.
Here’s a great Forbes article by Shelley Zalis that our Dean recently shared about the power of women supporting women in their professional worlds.
It illustrates ideas already in place within the alumni and current students in our Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting from “Finding your Squad” to “Amplifying other Women” to “Taking the ‘work’ our of ‘Networking’”. — Rosanne
I always say a woman alone has power; collectively we have impact. Traditionally we have been taught to be competitive with one another, because there was such a scarcity of jobs at the top. It’s so clear that strategy doesn’t work. The truth is that raising each other up and channeling the power of collaboration is truly how we’ll change the equation—and have a lot more fun along the way.
There is a boys’ club where women never felt comfortable, so we decided to create a Girls’ Lounge more than six years ago where everyone feels like they belong. We discovered two things:
There is power in the pack. You realize your strengths make the table better.
It was a double-header for the 2nd year MFA candidates when they were visited by two writers from The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon on consecutive nights this week. On the first night, Eric Kaplan (also a former David Letterman staff writer) came at the invitation of student CJ Ehrlich.
As any writer does, we invited a technical consultant – Dr. Marissa Stevens – to give the teams some historical background in the culture of ancient Egypt before they broke into groups to brainstorm their new ideas.
Cindy Chupack has won two Emmys and three Golden Globes as TV writer/producer whose credits include “Sex and the City,” “Better Things,” “Divorce,” “Modern Family,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and most recently Showtime’s darkly comic hour “I’m Dying Up Here.” She is the author of two comic memoirs: the New York Times bestseller The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays, and The Longest Date: Life as a Wife. Last year she directed her first episode of television for “I’m Dying Up Here,” and her first feature, OTHERHOOD, starring Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, and Felicity Huffman. OTHERHOOD is a comedy Chupack co-wrote that premiered this week in select theaters and on Netflix.
It feels very paint by numbers so it seems so easy – but it’s not. As soon as I get good and comfortable I want to take a risk. To challenge myself.
Wherever you go, you find Monkees fans and the Denver Popular Culture Con was no different. Amid rooms full of caped crusaders and cosplay creations, I was initially not sure how many folks would attend a talk on a TV show from the 1960s – but happily I was met by a nice, engaged audience for my talk on Why the Monkees Matter – and afterward they bought books! What more could an author ask for?
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.
I thank them for being so honest and real about describing the way they balance the lives they love and the work they love. It’s never easy for any of us and sometimes that’s the best lesson of all. Though each of the writers talked about how the skills of being a mother are so perfectly attuned to the nurturing and multitasking required of showrunners in television.
We also learned about offices that have nurseries provided for their writing staff and the fact that, as with all things in life, moms have to make tough decisions between being on set when your pilot is filming or catching your 2nd grader’s talent show… But we also all admitted that it’s a privilege to make the stories that are watched by other people’s children – and to share stories with your own children all their lives. — Rosanne
Talking TV writing and motherhood with writers/producers and working moms Julia Brownell (THIS IS US), @jamiedenbo (AMERICAN PRINCESS), Valentina Garza @totalvaligirl (JANE THE VIRGIN), and moderator @RosanneWelch.
Thanks to producer/writer Rob Lazebnik for showing our students around and explaining what makes a good Simpsons script – a story that involves the whole family, which is hard to come by after being on the air so many wonderful years…