Comedy@SCA Presents: New Outlets for Comedy

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November 20, 2011, 1:30 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

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

New Outlets for Comedy

A panel discussion about web comedy featuring Mike Farah (Funny or Die),  Brian Hunt (Yahoo!), Oren Katzeff (Cracked), Michael Rousselet (5 Second Films), Aaron Simpson (Mondo Media) and Steve Woolf (blip.tv), moderated by SCA Professor Dave Goetsch.
 
                                    1:30 P.M. on Sunday, November 20th, 2011

                                      
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
                                         George Lucas Building, SCA Complex
                                   900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

                                   FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
 
  
          
                          

About the Guests

MIKE FARAH is the President of Production for Funny or Die, overseeing the creative day-to-day operations for the premiere comedy site, along with Funny or Die's television and feature projects. With Funny or Die for nearly three years, Farah has the produced the award-winning video "Prop 8: The Musical", the Ron Howard directed "Presidential Reunion", and Marion Cotillard's "Forehead Tittaes", among many others. Under Farah's leadership, Funny or Die's creative team produces over 20 original videos a month.

Farah, 32, also produced the feature film Answer This!, starring Chris Gorham, Arielle Kebbel and Chris Parnell, written and directed by his brother, Chris Farah. Answer This! was acquired by Wrekin Hill and is currently in its theatrical release.

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Indiana University, Mike began his career at United Talent Agency, and headed up feature film development for Craig Brewer and Stephanie Allain at their Paramount based production company. In November 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Farah one of the top 35 Hollywood executives under 35.

http://FunnyOrDie.com

BRIAN HUNT is the Head of Creative Development for Yahoo!. Brian works with both the Yahoo! Studio team and a range of third party production partners to conceive, develop and bring to life original video programming that builds Yahoo’s audience, resonates with brands and pushes creative boundaries. This past month, Brian oversaw the launch of a premium slate of women’s lifestyle programming to join Yahoo’s roster of leading shows. Currently, Yahoo! boasts 12 of the top 12 most-watched original programs on the Web.

Prior to heading up development, Brian was the company’s Sr. Creative Director, running the company’s Creative Solutions department and launching the first Branded Entertainment organization at the company. His work in the online space began over twelve years ago as one of the original employees for web pioneer, DoubleClick, where he served as the company’s Creative Director. After DoubleClick, Brian functioned as a creative consultant for CNN Money, Theorem, and L’Oreal among many others.

In addition to his day job, Brian co-founded the independent record label Wondermore Records, and has published several children’s books for Scholastic. He received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College.

OREN KATZEFF, Cracked.com vice president and general manager, oversees day-to-day operations of the award-winning, smart and irreverent online destination and brand extension of the American humor magazine, Cracked. Katzeff's responsibilities include managing the creation of high quality, intelligent text and video content, and identifying, evaluating and structuring content monetization and distribution opportunities.

In 2010, Cracked.com became the most visited humor website and expanded its media reach with the New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Selling book, You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News.

Prior to joining Cracked.com, Oren was Senior Director of Business Development for the Yahoo Media Group, where his primary focus was negotiating all business deals for Yahoo News and Yahoo Finance. Within this role, Oren negotiated and managed over fifty key partnerships, including those with The Associated Press, Reuters, ABCNews, FOX, USA Today, The Weather Channel, CNN, Gawker, Huffington Post, and many others. Prior to joining Yahoo, Oren practiced law at a small firm in San Mateo, California, gaining experience in both the litigation and business transactions side of the profession.

Oren holds an undergraduate business degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and a JD from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He has written over ten short screenplays, seven of which were filmed and submitted in film competitions (a few of them were award winning), and sometimes feels the itch to give stand-up comedy one last try.

http://Cracked.com/

MICHAEL ROUSSELET is a graduate of the USC Screenwriting Program and an original member of 5secondfilms.com, an online comedy group that has delivered a new 5-second film every Monday-Friday for the past 3 years. With almost 1,000 films on the website it is needless to say that he is very very tired. Michael is also blamed as being "patient-zero" in starting the cult film movement behind The Room, he is very sorry for the damages he has inflicted upon cinema and he is working very hard to rectify it.

http://5SecondFilms.com/

 

AARON SIMPSON, VP of Animation and Business Development at Mondo Media, has over 10 years of experience in both television production and digital animation development, along with a considerable presence within the online animation community. Simpson, an Emmy-nominated TV producer, was a producer on a recent animated pilot for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions titled Gay Robot, intended for broadcast on Comedy Central. Prior to that, Simpson produced over a dozen development shorts for KidsWB! and was a key player in the development of Johnny Test for the 2005-2006 season. Prior to Warner Bros., Simpson was Senior Producer of Original Content at Sony, where he helped architect a forward-thinking entertainment portal, Screenblast. Simpson has also held the position of Vice President, Animation at JibJab Media. Additionally, Simpson is the founder and editor of ColdHardFlash.com and Lineboil.com, two popular animation blogs that consistently unearth and promote new talent and properties.

http://MondoMedia.com/
http://ColdHardFlash.com/
http://Lineboil.com/

 

STEVE WOOLF has been working in online media for over a decade as a producer, writer, and technologist. He co-founded and serves as Managing Director for Smashface Productions, a Los Angeles-based production company that develops original online video brands, creates productions with traditional media, builds and cultivates online communities, and executes large-scale immersive entertainment experiences that cross multiple forms of media.

He's won two Webby Awards and received four nominations for writing, directing, and producing the web show Epic Fu, which he also co-created. The show is considered a pioneering example of an entertainment property built around an online community, and became one of the most well-known shows on the Internet from 2007-2009, accumulating more than 30 million views from over 150 countries. Steve was also honored with a Streamy Award in 2009 for his work on Epic Fu.

Steve has produced and directed several national television commercials, and developed numerous other projects for new media and television. He also co-founded Pixelodeon, the semi-annual festival in Los Angeles for web video content creators, and has been interviewed for his expertise in content creation and social media by CBS Radio, the TV Guide channel, and G4 along with numerous other publications and blogs.

He's delivered keynotes and spoken on numerous new media panels at conferences across the United States, is an inaugural member of the Academy of Web Television, and sits on the PBS Engage Advisory Board. Steve graduated from Pratt Institute in New York City as a painting major and has exhibited his work across the country. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Zadi Diaz.

http://blip.tv/
http://sleeplessnights.com

 

About the Moderator

DAVE GOETSCH is a co-executive producer of The Big Bang Theory. Previously, he was a writer on 3rd Rock from the Sun for five years. He teaches a webisodes class at USC.

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

Comedy@SCA is the School of Cinematic Art’s 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 http://cinema.usc.edu/ComedyFestival

Check & 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 1:00 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.

Parking

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. Free 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 www.usc.edu/visionsandvoices

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu