From The “When Women Wrote Hollywood Archives: Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood by Robert S. Birchard

Months of research went into the creation of the essays in “When Women Wrote Hollywood.” Here are some of the resources used to enlighten today’s film lovers to the female pioneers who helped create it.


Cecil B. DeMille was the most successful filmmaker in early Hollywood history. Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood is a detailed and definitive chronicle of the screen work that changed the course of film history and a fascinating look at how movies were actually made in Hollywood’s Golden Age. Drawing extensively on DeMille’s personal archives and other primary sources, Robert S. Birchard offers a revealing portrait of DeMille the filmmaker that goes behind studio gates and beyond DeMille’s legendary persona. In his forty-five-year career DeMille’s box-office record was unsurpassed, and his swaggering style established the public image for movie directors. DeMille had a profound impact on the way movies tell stories and brought greater attention to the elements of decor, lighting, and cinematography. Best remembered today for screen spectacles such as The Ten Commandments and Samson and Delilah , DeMille also created Westerns, realistic “chamber dramas,” and a series of daring and highly influential social comedies. He set the standard for Hollywood filmmakers and demanded absolute devotion to his creative vision from his writers, artists, actors, and technicians.


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26 Margaret Atwood from The Sisterhood of Science Fiction – Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (48 seconds)

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The Sisterhood of Science Fiction: A Walk Through Some Writers and Characters You (Should) Know And Love

26 Margaret Atwood from The Sisterhood of Science Fiction - Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (48 seconds)

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This one allowed me to riff on some of my favorite female science fiction writers across time, whether they be novelists or television writers. It also opened up a good conversation on what art we support and include in our lives – and what that art says to us and about us. — Rosanne

Transcript:

Margaret Atwood more people know today than might have a little while ago. She had a book that was read a lot in high school sometimes. Sometimes not. Of course now as an Emmy-winning show on Hulu — The Handmaid’s Tale, which again looking at now issues of misogyny and how society treats women into the future and what could change in the world right? A few laws here. A few laws there change and suddenly people lose rights they used to have. We kind of have to remember in the United States we live by the laws of the Constitution but they can be revoted, right? So women only have the right to vote because we have an amendment. We took prohibition and we undid it and we repealed it. We can repeal any of those amendments. So it is important to think about right who’s in charge because things could change and that’s what she’s discussing there. She wrote that book 35 years ago — 35-40 years ago.



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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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28 Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne from “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (43 seconds)

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

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28 Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne from

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Transcript:

I love Joan because she also wrote some wonderful novels. This novel was written by her husband, John Gregory Dunn, Living Off The Big Screen. If you want to know anything about how a movie gets made. It took them eight years to make Up Close And Personal. How many rewrites? How many notes from the various Studios. That is the best — it’s a nice slim little book but it walks you through the process of everything that had to do until that movie was finally made. It started out as the story of a famous news anchor who had died of a heroin overdose and Disney wanted to make the movie and one of the notes they got was “Does she have to die in the end?” to which Joan Didion said “Well if she’s not named Jessica Savitch she doesn’t have to” and they changed it and they made it a love story. So there you go, but going through the the gyrations they went through is fascinating.

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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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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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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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.

 

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25 Marge Piercy from The Sisterhood of Science Fiction – Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (46 seconds)

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The Sisterhood of Science Fiction: A Walk Through Some Writers and Characters You (Should) Know And Love

25 Marge Piercy from The Sisterhood of Science Fiction - Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

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This one allowed me to riff on some of my favorite female science fiction writers across time, whether they be novelists or television writers. It also opened up a good conversation on what art we support and include in our lives – and what that art says to us and about us. — Rosanne

Transcript:

I really like Marge Piercy. In one of our classes we sometimes teach her book He, She, and It” which is the story of a Jewish female scientist in the future working with AI right and dealing with the concept of when will they become human and when won’t they and this stuff is getting more and more realistic on a real world. There was a country can’t remember which it was a couple years ago that offered citizenship to an AI robot. So yeah it’s a little crazy. So we’re getting into this place where science fiction used to play and now we’re talking about it in a real world. So March Percy did that like 30 years ago and I just love a lady with a cat. Come on now. She looks like an author. Ladies that have cats they must write books, I don’t know, but Marge Piercy is very very interesting in she’s sort of world understanding and world building and the rest is like “oh my gosh what do now?” That right that’s pretty good — like that book.



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How Do We Get Hidden Histories Out Into The World with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (3 minutes 46 seconds)

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How Do We Get Hidden Histories Out Into The World Q&A

Dr. Rosanne Welch answers Susan LaTempa’s question during Q&A time after readings from Paperback LA writers

How Do We Get Hidden Histories Out Into The World with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video] (3 minute 46 seconds)

I talk about Eve Unsell and other forgotten women screenwriting pioneers and how I am working to make their stories better known in both Hollywood and around the world using my other book, When Women Wrote Hollywood.

I was among 5 writers highlighted in the Paperpback LA 3 Issue Trilogy and did a reading from my article “Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees!” which was reprinted in Paperback LA #3

It was a great night, with great writing and reading and with a full house of people.


Buy Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture

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

Want to use “Why The Monkees Matter” in your classroom?

Order Examination Copies, Library and Campus Bookstore orders directly from McFarland

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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

Video of this panel coming soon