Writing Nostalgia: When the Past Sings, Make it Zing

Writing Nostalgia: When the Past Sings, Make it Zing

Monday, November 16, 2015

Who doesn’t like nostalgia?

But nostalgia for one person might be ancient history for another. But good nostalgia can strike a chord with many people.

Nostalgia can liven fiction and stand on its own. If given the proper treatment, it can become an “evergreen.”

We will look at the writings and the process of several notable writers, veterans in the field of nostalgia.  They have preserved a world and within those words are inspiration, fascination, humor, and pathos, and since it is all based on real events, often from known names, we can relate to the universals.

The many horror stories, success stores, emotional upheavals and poignant aftermath of events past, take on a personal meaning in the world of nostalgia.

We will explore:

  • The all-important legal aspects
  • Why the writers chose nostalgia
  • How they researched and found permissions
  • The ways the dynamics change when real people and families are involved
  • Approaches for bringing out and working with the strengths of the all-important story
  • Fleshing out the facts with created but authentic personality
  • The perks and benefits
  • What NOT to do, as illustrated in stories from real life
  • Estate considerations if it becomes a perennial hit.
  • And more

Our stellar panel will include:

Hank Rosenfeld

Hank Rosenfeld

HANK ROSENFELD is author of two as-told-to memoirs: “The Wicked Wit of the West” by Irving Brecher about Hollywood, “Memorie” by Benjamin Mandil about the Holocaust.

The new book he is writing for Chimayo Press is: “Walky Talky: Conversation Tips from a Folk Journalist.”

His stories have appeared inThe Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, California Lawyer, Premiere, Village Voice, PAPER, The NY Post, Jerusalem Post, the Forward and other publications.

He has contributed humor and essays to NPR shows like All Things Considered, Marketplace and Off-Ramp on KPCC and some can be heard at HankRosenfeld.com/links

Jordan R Young

Jordan R Young

JORDAN R. YOUNG Jordan R. Young is a show business historian, playwright, theatre critic and travel writer whose work has appeared in “The LA Times,” “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” “LA magazine,” “Westways” and other publications.

Jordan’s books include “Spike Jones Off the Record;” “Reel Characters: Great Movie Character Actors;”” The Laugh Crafters: Comedy Writing in Radio and TV’s Golden Age;” “Acting Solo: The Art and Craft of Solo Performance;” “The Beckett Actor;” “Dalí, Disney and Destiny;” “The Nostalgia Entertainment Sourcebook;” “John Ford’s The Quiet Man: The Making of a Cult Classic;” and “King Vidor’s The Crowd: The Making of a Silent Classic.”

Jordan’s plays have been produced in Hollywood and Off Off Broadway.

Jordan has written special material for the Grammy Awards and has served as a consultant for BBC Radio and Rhino Records. He is a sought-after speaker and talk show guest, and has been featured on CNBC, CNN and E! TV; CBS, KABC, KUSC, WNYC, WGN Chicago, and BBC Radio; YesterdayUSA.com and TheCommentaryTrack.com.

Herbie J Pilato

Herbie J Pilato

Writer/producer HERBIE J PILATO is the author of “Glamour Gidgets and the Girl Next Door,” “The Essential Elizabeth Montgomery,” “The Bionic Book,” “The Kung Fu Book of Caine,” among others.

He’s written about nostalgic pop-culture for “Starlog” and “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazines, and has produced, consulted and appeared on classic TV and DVD documentaries for A&E, TLC, Bravo, Syfy, and more.

Pilato writes “The Retro Report” for ForcesOfGeek.com and contributes to Emmys.org and presides over Television, Ink. (a TV, film and literary production company), and founded the Classic TV Preservation Society (a nonprofit dedicated to the positive influence of classic television).

Robert Bader and Groucho

Robert Bader and Groucho

ROBERT S. BADER is the curator of the Bing Crosby Archive, the archivist and the licensing director for Daphne Productions and The Dick Cavett Show, and he also works with the estates of Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Jackie Gleason, and the Marx Brothers.

For PBS, Bader produced The Legendary Bing Crosby, Dick Cavett’s Watergate, and Dick Cavett’s Vietnam .Other writing and production credits include the CBS special The Honeymooners 50th Anniversary Celebration, and documentaries on John Fogerty, Johnny Mercer, and the Chicago Cubs. He’s produced DVD material about the early TV shows of Groucho and the Marx Brothers, Dick Cavett, Danny Kaye, Johnny Carson, Tom Snyder, Bill Cosby, and much more.

Bader edited the anthology Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales. His next book is devoted to the Marx Brothers’ stage career and will be published in 2016



Robert S Birchard

Robert S Birchard

ROBERT S. BIRCHARD is a former award-winning film editor who brings an insider’s perspective and a great affection for the people who work in the picture business to his chronicles of the movies.

Birchard is the author of “Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood,” “Silent-era Filmmaking in Santa Barbara,” “Early Universal City,” and “King Cowboy: Tom Mix and the Movies” and a contributing writer to the omnibus volumes “M-G-M When the Lion Roars,” “Don Miller’s Hollywood Corral,” “The Encyclopedia of Early Film and Hollywood: The Movie Factory.”

His articles on Hollywood filmmakers have appeared in “American Cinematographer,” “Statement,” “Film History,” “The Moving Image,” “Griffithiana,” “Daily Variety” and “Los Angeles Times Calendar.”

He is also co-editor and co-publisher of the journal POP Twenty, which is devoted to 20th century popular culture.

He is a past president and board member of the preservation organization Hollywood Heritage, Inc. and is current president of The Society for Cinephiles/Cinecon which presents the annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival and contributes to film preservation projects.