September 14, 2017, 7:00 PM

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

The SCA Alumni Screening Series and The Orchard invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

Super Dark Times

Directed by Kevin Phillips
Written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski
Produced by Jett Steiger and SCA Alumnus Edward Parks
Executive Produced by USC Alumnus Niraj Bhatia
and SCA Alumnus Daniel Burks
Co-Produced by SCA Alumna Rachel Ward

Followed by a Q&A with Kevin Phillips, Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski, Edward Parks, Jett Steiger, Daniel Burks, and Rachel Ward

7:00 P.M. on Thursday, September 14, 2017
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


WINNER: Narcisse Award for Best Film, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2017

OFFICIAL SELECTION: Tribeca Film Festival 2017

In Theaters on Friday, September 29th, and On Demand and digital on Tuesday, October 3rd.

About Super Dark Times

A harrowing but meticulously observed look at teenage lives in the era prior to the Columbine High School massacre, SUPER DARK TIMES marks the feature debut of gifted director Kevin Phillips, whose critically acclaimed 2015 short film Too Cool For School premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Zach (Owen Campbell) and Josh (Charlie Tahan) are best friends growing up in a leafy Upstate New York suburb in the 1990s, where teenage life revolves around hanging out, looking for kicks, navigating first love and vying for popularity. When a traumatic incident drives a wedge between the previously inseparable pair, their youthful innocence abruptly vanishes. Each young man processes the tragedy in his own way, until circumstances grow increasingly complex and spiral into violence. Phillips dives headlong into the confusion of teenage life, creating an evocative atmosphere out of the murky boundaries between adolescence and adulthood, courage and fear, and good and evil.

Provided courtesy of The Orchard. Not rated. Running time: 102 minutes.

Visit the Official Website:
Visit the Facebook Page:
Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Instagram:


About the Guests


Kevin Phillips was born in 1982 as the second son of a chocolatier. He graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006 with degrees in Film and Photography. He is well known for his work as a cinematographer, having collaborated with musical artists such as Grimes, Childish Gambino and Hozier and global brands like Levi's, Nike, Adidas, Dior, Jimmy Choo and Beats by Dre. In 2015 he directed the short film "Too Cool For School," which premiered at Semaine De La Critique in the Cannes Film Festival. SUPER DARK TIMES is his feature debut and premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2017.

EDWARD PARKS (Producer, SCA Alumnus)

Edward Parks is the co-founder and executive producer of HIGHER CONTENT, a production company founded in 2015 with the goal of fostering bold new talent, character-driven stories, and collaborative filmmaking. He formerly founded RIVAL PICTURES, where he produced several award-winning films such as SPECIAL, LUV, CAUCUS and SPACE STATION 76. In 2011, he won the Producer’s Guild Award for the documentary BEATS RHYMES and LIFE, which was also nominated for a Grammy. He has produced two films being released in 2017: Indie thriller SUPER DARK TIMES will be released by The Orchard and THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN, a western starring Bill Pullman, Jim Caveziel and Peter Fonda will be released by A24 in December. Currently Edward is in post-production on the feature DARKNESS VISIBLE, a thriller that was shot in Kolkata, India with the support of the British Film Institute.

In between films he returns to his alma mater, the University of Southern California, where he teaches graduate classes in producing.


Jett Steiger is an award winning producer and Sundance Creative Producing Fellow. He has produced feature films: THE WOODS, GOATS and IN A WORLD; all of which screened at film festivals internationally including Sundance, Cannes and SXSW. His latest project Lake Bell’s new film I DO … UNTIL I DON'T? Starring Bell, Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, Amber Heard and Wyatt Cynac is in theaters now. SUPER DARK TIMES, directed by Kevin Phillips comes out Sept 29.

In addition to his film work, Steiger has produced commercials for global brands like Visa, Land Rover, Beats by Dre, Levi’s and Sony. He has produced music videos for bands like 30 Seconds To Mars, Liars, Yeasayer, Noah & The Whale and Cults. In 2015 Steiger won the ‘Best Music Video’ Grammy for producing Pharrell Williams’ iconic "Happy" video.

NIRAJ BHATIA (Executive Producer, USC Alumnus)

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Niraj Bhatia was born with a fascination for business and a passion for entertainment. During high school, Bhatia developed a keen interest in financial planning and analysis, both on the macro and micro levels. These interests lead him out to Los Angeles, where he earned his degree in Economics from the University of Southern California.

Upon graduation, Bhatia immediately followed his entrepreneurial spirit by founding and collaborating with a number of startups, varying in size and industry. Included with these companies is the Santa Monica-based production company, Om Films, Inc., which Bhatia founded in 2004,for which he serves as President. Bhatia has executive produced multiple award-winning films such as the short film "Placebo" (for which he also created the story), "Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest", "Space Station '76", "Meet the Patels", and "Super Dark Times".

Bhatia splits his time between Marina Del Rey, CA and Dallas, TX.

DANIEL BURKS (Executive Producer, SCA Alumnus)

After high school, Burks headed west to study filmmaking at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. Upon graduation, Burks worked on such films and TV shows as "National Treasure" , "My Blueberry Nights" , "The West Wing" , "CSI: Miami, and "The Comeback"

In 2005, Burks wrote and directed "Placebo", a dark comedic short produced through Om Films, Inc. - the  production company he co-founded with fellow USC alumnus Niraj Bhatia. The short went on to play at numerous festivals, including the AFI Dallas Film Festival.

Through Om, Burks has gone on to produced and executive produced multiple award-winning films including the Grammy and PGA nominated Beats, Rhymes, and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, Mortified Nation, Space Station 76, Caucus, and Super Dark Times. In addition to producing Lefty Brown, Burks was also the 2nd Unit Director.

Burks lives in Santa Monica, CA with his wife, Julia Wood, and daughter, Barrett. When he's not on set or in the writer's room, you can find Burks in the Pacific Ocean catching tasty waves.

RACHEL WARD (Co-Producer, SCA Alumna)

Upon earning her Bachelor’s degree at USC in 2000, Rachel explored many facets of film production before landing in development, where she discovered a passion for recruiting and collaborating with emerging writers and directors.  Since then she’s been a producer on six feature films that have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, South By Southwest, and Tribeca, all of which have been sold to major distributors and released theatrically. Titles include SPACE STATION 76 starring Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson, BEATS RHYMES AND LIFE which won the PGA award for Best Documentary, and the documentary MORTIFIED NATION for Netflix. As a co-founder of production company Higher Content she is currently engaged with 2017 releases SUPER DARK TIMES and THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN, as well as DARKNESS VISIBLE which is in post-production. Most recently she produced two music videos for Shabazz Palaces and SubPop Records.

About the SCA Alumni Screening Series

The School of Cinematic Arts invites you to an exciting free screening series featuring a dynamic selection of new feature films by SCA alumni and faculty throughout 2017. All screenings and events will be free of charge and open to the public, although we do ask for an electronic reservation for each screening, which can be made through the website for each individual screening.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC 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 6:30 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 $12.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Ave. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Matthew Meier