Second Annual Young Guns of the USC Mafia

September 16, 2015, 7:00 PM

SCA 112

The USC School of Cinematic Arts Production Track Presents:

Second Annual Young Guns of the USC Mafia:  An Evening with Trojan Producing Superstars

Wednesday September 16th at 7pm in SCA 112
Light refreshments to follow.

Open to all students.

Come enjoy a night with SCA recent graduates who have turned their degrees into success in the worlds of indie film, the studio world, and television.  

Panelists will participate in a moderated discussion about the transition from school to the "real world," getting projects off the ground, producing-as-career, and career longevity.  

Q&A to follow!


Jason Berman  

Jason Michael Berman is the Vice President of Mandalay Pictures, where he is responsible for structuring financing for Mandalay's slate of independent films, in addition to packaging projects. Jason has produced feature films that have debuted at premiere film festivals around the globe, including the Sundance Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, Tribeca, Berlinale, and Edinburgh. Berman was named by Variety in 2011 as one of the Top Ten Producers to Watch, and by Deadline Hollywood in 2012 as one of the Top Ten Producers to Watch at Sundance. 

Berman recently wrapped and is in post-production on Nate Parker's BIRTH OF A NATION starring Armie Hammer, Nate Parker, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, and Penelope Ann Miller; about the true life story of the Nat Turner slave rebellion. Jason is also in post-production on Mark Elijah Rosenberg's AD INEXPLORATA starring Mark Strong. 

Jason most recently produced Jonas Carpignano's MEDITERANNEA in Calabria, Italy, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Andrew Renzi's FRANNY starring Richard Gere, Dakota Fanning and Theo James, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, and Sara Colangelo's film LITTLE ACCIDENTS starring Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, and Jacob Lofland which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Nicolaas Bertelsen

Producer Nicolaas Bertelsen is originally from Ames, Iowa, and became interested in film during elementary school when he discovered that his grandfather played a small part in THE GODFATHER: PART II - which opened the door to the idea of working in film later in life. Since then Nicolaas has produced 14 films (shorts and features) that have made 49 appearances at 36 different film festivals and competitions. Nine of these festivals have invited two or more of his films.

Nicolaas has over 20 years of physical production experience – starting as a Production Manager on commercials and corporate communications, then as a Business Manager for the Iowa branch of the largest rental house in the Upper Midwest, and now as a Producer on feature films. Most recently, Nicolaas was involved in the debut films for two of his USC comrades; producing Joselito Seldera’s END OF FALL and executive producing Steven Caple Jr.’s THE LAND. He also produced three feature-length films for James Franco’s RabbitBandini Productions: YOSEMITE, MEMORIA, and THE LABYRINTH.

Nicolaas has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Cinema/Television Production from the School of Cinema Television at the University of Southern California, and a BA in Electronic Media Studies from Iowa State University.

Anna Halberg

Anna is a proud graduate of The School of Cinematic Arts program at USC where she majored in Film and Television Production (BFA) and minored in Communication in the Entertainment Industry. 

Since graduating, Anna has worked as a 1st AD for networks such as NBC and Cartoon Network, has produced music videos for artists such as Lupe Fiasco and Patrick Stump, and has produced content for major brands such as American Express, Pizza Hut, Chevy, Verizon, Tropicana, McDonalds, Spin Magazine, Smirnoff, State Farm, Jamba Juice and HTC Phones.

In 2010, Anna and fellow USC alumni, Spenser Cohen, formed their own production company, Six Foot Turkey Productions. Shortly thereafter, Big Surprise, a non-scripted series they created, aired on E! with talent such as Macklemore and Nick Cannon.

In 2013, Anna sold an Untitled Drone pitch to Lakeshore. She also set up a spec with Good Universe, Extinction, which Joe Johnston (Captain America: First Avenger) is attached to direct. The script made the 2013 Black List and Hit List. Additionally, Anna co-produced and line produced Inner Demons, a feature film that premiered at the 2014 LA film festival and was distributed through IFC. Anna is currently attached to produce two features – Coercion, an action / thriller at Voltage Pictures (300, The Hurt Locker) and High Value Target, an action / thriller at Millennium Films (The Expendables). This year Anna has sold two scripted television projects. She just wrapped production on Stay, a horror series at ABC Family starring Skeet Ulrich. Anna is EPing alongside Jon Turteltaub, who also directed the pilot. The other series, Mythos, is set up at USA. Anna is EPing alongside Charlize Theron and UCP. She also sold a feature film pitch to FilmWave, which Adam Berg is attached to direct.

Julie Pifher

Julie Pifher, B.A. Production '07, is an award-winning filmmaker, specializing in both documentary and scripted content. She’s premiered three short documentaries at the Cannes International Film Festival, one of which won Best in Short Documentary. Her feature length documentary, Burning Man & The Meaning of Life, is streaming on Hulu, itunes and Amazon. She is currently the Director of Development at Workaholic Productions, and she recently created and executive produced TLC's hit show "My Giant Life."  

Shyam Balse

Shyam Balsé has been working as a producer, writer and director in Los Angeles for the last 17 years. He began his career as an intern working at National Geographic Television on feature documentaries which aired on NBC. Since then he’s produced dozens of hours of non-fiction television for NBC, Bravo, Travel Channel, Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, HGTV, and more. Shyam has also worked on Hollywood blockbusters like Robert Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol, and he’s produced and written several independent feature films. Shyam took time out of his career to get his MFA from the USC production program where he wrote and directed the critically acclaimed short film Monsoon that played in over 30 film festivals and won 16 awards. Since graduating Shyam has been a Supervising Producer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser for the last 5 seasons. Currently he is Co-Executive Producer on a new reality dating show called First Dates with executive producer Ellen Degeneres. The series is set to air on NBC in early 2016. 

SCA Poster CollectionView the SCA Poster Collection Photo Gallery »

Contact Information

Name: Mary Posatko