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Melissa Rosenberg

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Melissa Anne Rosenberg (born August 28, 1962)[1] is an American screenwriter. She has worked in both film and television and has been nominated for two Emmy Awards, and two Writers Guild of America Awards. She won a Peabody Award. Since joining the Writers Guild of America, she has been involved in its Board of Directors and was a strike captain during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. She supports female screenwriters through the WGA Diversity Committee and co-founded the League of Hollywood Women Writers.

She was a writer on the short-lived Birds of Prey TV series, based on the DC Comics series of the same name, and in 2011 was tapped to bring Marvel's Alias series to television as A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

Early lifeEdit

Rosenberg was born in Marin County, California.[2] Her father is Jack Lee Rosenberg, a psychotherapist and the founder of integrative body psychotherapy. Her mother was Patricia Rosenberg, a lawyer. She was the second of four children by her father's first marriage and another by his second.[3] Rosenberg's father was Jewish, and her mother was of Irish Catholic background.[4]

As a child, Rosenberg enjoyed presenting plays and recruiting other neighborhood children to perform in them.[3] She attended a "massive public high school with a crowd of people bunched in a classroom and expected to learn" in Southern California. She later moved to New York City to join a small theatre company before moving again to Bennington, Vermont to attend Bennington College.[5] She originally aspired to work in Dance and Choreography; she says she began too late, however, so she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in the film industry instead. She graduated from the University of Southern California's (USC) Peter Stark Producing Program with a Master of Fine Arts degree in film and television producing.[2][5]

CareerEdit

Rosenberg's first project was a dance film commissioned by Paramount Pictures that was ultimately never made.[2] She then shifted to television writing. She first wrote for Class of '96 in 1993, and went on to work on shows including Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1995–1996), Dark Skies (1996), The Magnificent Seven (1998), Ally McBeal (2001) and Birds of Prey (2002) before she came to join the writing staff of The O.C. in 2003. Leaving The O.C. at the conclusion of its first season, she was hired to write her second screenplay, the 2006 dance film Step Up.[6] (Later, she was also offered the job of writing the sequel, Step Up 2 the Streets, but turned the offer down as she was busy with other projects.)[7]

Summit Entertainment, the production company which had produced Step Up,[8] offered Rosenberg the chance to adapt Stephenie Meyer's bestselling novel Twilight, which she accepted.[6] Her primary inspiration for the adaptation was Brokeback Mountain, which she described as a "great model" of forbidden love alongside Romeo and Juliet, and thought its adaptation from short story to film was "beautiful".[9][10] She wrote a detailed 25-page outline in August 2007, expecting to have another two months to write the actual screenplay, but had only five weeks to finish the script before the commencement of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.[11] After the release of Twilight, she was hired by Summit to adapt the sequels New Moon and Eclipse, and later the finale, Breaking Dawn.[12]

Rosenberg went on to write for the television series Love Monkey (2006) and Dexter (2006–present). Her job on Dexter, which is broadcast on Showtime, was her first on a show written for cable—she stated in 2007, "Cable is the place to be ... it's just wonderful."[13] Rosenberg initially worked as a consulting producer and writer on the first season. She and the other members of the Dexter writing staff were nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for best Dramatic Series at the February 2008 ceremony for their work on the first season.[14][15] She gained a staff position as co-executive producer and writer for the second season in 2007 and continued in this role for the third season in 2008. The writing staff was again nominated for the WGA award at the February 2009 ceremony for their work on the third season.[16] As part of the senior production team she was also co-nominated for the Outstanding Drama Series award at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards.[17] She was promoted to executive producer for the fourth season in 2009 and continued to write episodes. She was nominated for the WGA award a third consecutive time at the February 2010 ceremony for her work on the fourth season of Dexter.[18]

In July 2010, Rosenberg left her role of writer and executive producer on Dexter, explaining that "For the past four years I've been writing Dexter and one Twilight or another." She had been hired to adapt the final novel in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, which would be split into two films, but she said, "I can do one Twilight and Dexter, but I couldn't do two." She was regretful about leaving the series and called it her favorite television experience to date.[19] She has recently signed on to write the script for a relaunch of the Highlander film franchise, with Justin Lin (Fast Five) directing.[20]

Rosenberg was on the Writers Guild of America's Board of Directors for five years before stepping back because "you can get really, really wrapped up in it". She was very active, however, in the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, standing on the line as a strike captain.[11] She is currently involved in the WGA Diversity Committee supporting female screenwriters, but is more active in the League of Hollywood Women Writers, which she and several other women set up while on strike, aiming to fight the "boys' club mentality" in television writing rooms.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Rosenberg's mother died when Rosenberg was a teenager, after her father had remarried to Lynn MacCuish; he later married again to fellow therapist Beverly Kitaen-Morse. She has an older sister, Andrea (born 1960), younger brother and sister Erik and K. C. (twins, born 1963), and a younger half-sister, Mariya (born 1981), by her father's second wife.[3]

Rosenberg lives in Los Angeles with her husband Lev L. Spiro, a television director, and their dog Zuma.[21] She joked that "At our wedding, half the attendees were shrinks, the other half, their clients," after explaining that "My sister is a dance therapist; my other sister is in graduate school to become a therapist. My husband's parents are both shrinks. His uncle, two aunts and sister are shrinks."[22]

FilmographyEdit

FilmsEdit

Year Title Credit Note(s)
2006 Step Up Writer
2008 Alyx Writer; executive producer Television movie
Twilight Writer
2009 The Twilight Saga: New Moon Writer
2010 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Writer
2011 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Writer
2012 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Writer

TelevisionEdit

Year(s) Title Credit Note(s)
1993 Class of '96 Writer; story editor Episodes: "Midterm Madness", "The Adventures of Pat's Man and Robin"
1994 Party of Five Writer; supervising producer
1995–1996 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Writer Episodes: "One Touch of Nature", "If You Love Someone...", "Reunion"
1996 The Outer Limits Writer Episode: "The Sentence"
Dark Skies Writer; story editor
1996–1997 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Writer Episodes: "Mummy Dearest", "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs"
1998 The Magnificent Seven Writer; co-producer Episodes: "Working Girls", "Witness"
2000 Boston Public Consulting producer Episode: "Chapter Two"
2001 Ally McBeal Writer Episode: "Hats Off to Larry"
The Agency Writer; consulting producer
2002 Birds of Prey Writer; consulting producer Episodes: "Slick", "Sins of the Mother", "Nature of the Beast"
2003–2004 The O.C. Writer; co-executive producer Episodes: "The Outsider", "The Rescue", "The Third Wheel"
2006 Love Monkey Writer; co-executive producer Episodes: "Confidence", "Coming Out"
2006–2009 Dexter Writer; executive producer 8 episodes; one Emmy Award nomination; two WGA Award nominations
2012- A.K.A. Jessica Jones Writer

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. According to the State of California. California Birth Index, 1905–1995. Center for Health Statistics, California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, California. Searchable at http://www.familytreelegends.com/records/39461
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dawes, Amy "The XX Factor" Creative Screenwriting Magazine, November–December 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Itten, Theodor; Fischer, Martin (ed.) Jack Lee Rosenberg: Celebrating a Master Psychotherapist, Itten Books, 2002
  4. Jewish Journal artice
  5. 5.0 5.1 Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg '86 crafts sharp characters for film and TV, Bennington College
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Twilight Lexicon’s interview with Melissa Rosenberg
  7. Exclusive Interview: Twilight's Melissa Rosenberg' ShockTillYouDrop.com, August 19, 2008
  8. 'Twilight' Countdown: Melissa Rosenberg defends 'Breaking Dawn', Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2008
  9. 'Twilight' Tuesday: Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg Was Inspired By 'Brokeback Mountain', MTV News, September 16, 2008
  10. Melissa Rosenberg Takes a Bite Out of Twilight, MovieMaker, November 14, 2008
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Exclusive Interview: 'Twilight' Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, Premiere, September 16, 2007
  12. "'Twilight' film franchise looks ahead" The Hollywood Reporter, November 14, 2008
  13. Douglas, Pamela, Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV. California: Michael Wiese Productions, 2007. pp.127–130
  14. 2008 Writers Guild Awards Television & Radio Nominees Announced, Writers Guild of America, December 12, 2007
  15. "WGA announce TV, radio nominees" Variety, December 12, 2007
  16. 2009 Writers Guild Awards Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced, Writers Guild of America, 2008
  17. 2007–2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, July 18, 2008
  18. 2010 Writers Guild Awards Television, Radio, News, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced Writers Guild of America, 2009
  19. Work Hard, Twihard, Writers Guild of America, West, July 2, 2010.
  20. [1]
  21. Alumni News, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Fall 2001
  22. Eramo, Steven, "Dark Tales," Xposé. September 1997. pp.50–53
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