Comedy@SCA Presents: An Afternoon with Paul Feig and Gabe Sachs

November 19, 2011, 4:00 P.M.

Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall

Comedy@SCA and Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative invite you and a guest to attend

An Afternoon with Paul Feig & Gabe Sachs

SCA Alumnus Paul Feig will discuss his career, including directing the recent Universal comedy, Bridesmaids and creating the critically acclaimed TV show Freaks and Geeks, in conversation with SCA Alumnus Gabe Sachs (writer, Freaks and Geeks, Diary of a Wimpy Kid).

4:00 P.M. on Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall
Followed by a catered reception in Queen's Courtyard.

About Paul Feig

Paul Feig (Director/Executive Producer) is a three-time Emmy-nominated writer/director and a DGA Award-winning director. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, Feig was a winner of the school's Jack Oakie Memorial Award for Comedy in Film in 1984.  After film school, Feig worked as a script reader for producer Michael Phillips (Taxi Driver) until he went on The $25,000 Pyramid and won $29,000 ("I always was an overachiever," jokes Feig).  The winnings allowed Feig to leave his job and pursue his long-time dream of being a professional stand-up comedian.

His stand-up career soon led to a successful career as a character actor in which he appeared as a series regular on the television series Dirty Dancing, Good Sports, The Jackie Thomas Show, The Louie Show and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He also appeared in such films as Paul Maslansky's Ski Patrol, Disney's Heavy Weights and Tom Hanks' That Thing You Do!

It was only after being abruptly written out of the series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch that Feig began to sour on the actor's life. This drove him to write, produce and direct his first independent feature film, Life Sold Separately. It played on the festival circuit and was ultimately chosen by Movieline to tour college campuses across the United States.

While out on tour with his film, Feig wrote a spec pilot script for a television series about a high school set in the 1980s called Freaks and Geeks, which he then sold to DreamWorks Television through his longtime friend, producer Judd Apatow. NBC ended up making 18 episodes of the show and Feig served as the show's creator and co-executive producer. Feig was nominated for two comedy-writing Emmy Awards: one for the pilot episode and one for the series finale, which he also directed. The series continues to be a top-selling DVD set and has recently begun re-airing on IFC.

After the cancellation of Freaks and Geeks, Feig went on to write and direct the film I Am David, which was based on the Danish book of the same name by Anne Holm.  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees sponsored the film. The organization called it one of the most accurate depictions of a refugee child they had seen on film. The film stars James Caviezel and Joan Plowright and is the uplifting story about an 11-year-old boy in 1952, who escapes from a Bulgarian labor camp and makes his way across Europe in search of his family and identity. The film went on to win the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival, a Crystal Heart Award from the Heartland Film Festival and Best Picture awards at the San Diego Film Festival and the Kansas City FilmFest.

Feig's third feature was the Warner Bros. family comedy Unaccompanied Minors, which was based on an episode of This American Life. The film stars Wilmer Valderrama, Lewis Black and Tyler James Williams. The film was nominated for a Taurus World Stunt Award and received the 2006 Parents Television Council Seal of Approval.


Feig has also directed multiple episodes of the television series Arrested Development, The Office, Nurse Jackie, Bored to Death and Weeds, as well as episodes of 30 Rock and Mad Men. He also served as a co-executive producer on both The Office and Nurse Jackie.  In 2008, Feig's work on The Office earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for the hour-long episode "Goodbye, Toby" and, in January of 2009, he won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series for the episode titled "Dinner Party."

In addition to his film and television work, Feig is the author of two comedic memoirs released by Random House: "Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence" and "Superstud, Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin." The latter book became New York Times and Los Angeles Times best sellers. He is also the author of two young-adult science-fiction novels "Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut!" and "Ignatius MacFarland 2: Frequency Freak-out!" both published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers. He also has a short story, "My Parents Give My Bedroom to a Biker," from the young adult humor collection "Guys Read: Funny Business" published by Walden Media and Harper Collins.

Feig lives in Los Angeles and New York with his wife, Laurie, and his two Scottish Terriers.


About Gabe Sachs

Gabe Sachs (Writer/Producer) is a graduate of the USC School of Cinema-Television. He has worked with writing/producing partner Jeff Judah for the past 16 years. Sachs-Judah have been writer/producers on a number of projects, including Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Just Shoot Me, Life As We Know It and more recently the movies Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. They are in development on two movies that they will be directing and producing next year and just turned in their movie that they will be producing with Working Title Films.


About the Comedy@SCA Festival, November 18th - 20th, 2011

Comedy@SCA is the School of Cinematic Arts' initiative to become the destination institution for students who are serious about Comedy. We intend to fill a gap in University Education with instruction in the writing, directing, editing, shooting and producing of Comedy. Our unique curriculum will allow students to focus their film studies toward the Comedy genre. In addition to our distinguished faculty of comedy professionals, we work to create interaction between students and the leading comedy talent of our day. It is our goal to foster a greater appreciation of the difficult art of comedy, and to recognize, preserve and pass on the legacies of great figures in Film, Television and future media of Comedy. Courses will be open to USC students campuswide beginning Spring 2012.

Join us as we kick off the initiative with a comedy festival from November 18th - 20th, 2011, featuring screenings and discussions with leading figures in contemporary comedy.

View the full schedule for the festival at

Check-In & Reservations

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a photo ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 3:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

About Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan, to communicate USC's core values to students, and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

For more information, visit

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago