News from 2011
USC Games Gets Hands On
First Joint Demo Day Held at USC
December 13, 2011
The USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Viterbi School of Engineering are known for their ability to make visions a reality, particularly in the design and production of video games. On November 7th, SCA’s Interactive Media Division and Viterbi’s Computer Science Department hosted Demo Day, a presentation and hands-on demonstration of the new student-produced games of 2011.
SCA Family Stories: From the Archives
Sandra Joy Aguilar and Dino Everett discuss their lives in the archives
December 7, 2011
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is home to many incredible resources for artists and scholars of the moving image. Two of the greatest resources are the Warner Bros. Archives and the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive.
Poster Girl Brings Home Award
Professor Wins IDA Award
December 6, 2011
Poster Girltells the story of Robynn Murray, a woman who served in Iraq and returned with posttraumatic stress disorder. The film was directed by first time director Sara Nesson and produced by Peter Stark Producing Program adjunct professor Mitchell Block. The film was recently awarded the International Documentary Association’s Award for Best Short Documentary and is also nominated for the Academy Award.
Trojan Vision Marks Banner Year
SCA’s Television Channel Marks First Year in HD
December 5, 2011
In 1997, the face of media making at the USC School of School of Cinematic Arts changed forever when Trojan Vision signed on the air. Since then, the channel has remained at the forefront of student television production. In 2011, Trojan Vision produced the largest amount of content in the fourteen-year history of the channel and, on November 29th, Executive Director Don Tillman spoke to the SCAN-NATOA conference on the success of the students who run Trojan Vision.
Hef @ SCA
Legendary Publisher Visits Students
November 30, 2011
When it comes to the topic of censorship, Playboy publisher, founder and Chief Creative Officer Hugh M. Hefner is never at a loss for words. On November 29th, Critical Studies Division professors Dr. Rick Jewell and Dr. Drew Casper hosted the iconic American businessman in their censorship class for the eighteenth year in a row.
SCA Family Stories: Michael Koerbel and Anna Elizabeth James
Majek Pictures Founders Discuss Their Process
November 28, 2011
Many things can be said to introduce Anna Elizabeth James and Michael Koerbel. They are MFA students in the Production Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, they were speakers on the emergence of iPhone filmmaking at the TED@USC conference and they are successful entrepreneurs with their company Majek Pictures.
Comedy and Art
Comedy@SCA Kicks Off with a Three-Day Festival
November 22, 2011
Paul Feig ‘84 is a respected filmmaker. He executive produced the beloved show Freaks and Geeks, dozens of episodes of the Emmy Award-winning The Office and the summer blockbuster Bridesmaids but, when he was a student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the 80s, it was a different story.
SCA Family Stories: Joe Wallenstein
Head of Physical Production Talks with SCA
November 16, 2011
Joe Wallenstein has many names among the students of SCA. He’s known as the safety seminar guy, the permit guy, Professor Wallenstein and even, lovingly, Chairman Joe. The Head of Physical Production recently sat down with SCA Family Stories to talk about his long career in the entertainment industry, how students can navigate his office and his new book, Practical Moviemaking: A Handbook for the Real World.
From the Abyss to SCA
Werner Herzog Visits with Students
November 14, 2011
When filmmaker Werner Herzog visits the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the students can expect brutal honesty mixed with sound advice. On November 9th, when the legendary filmmaker spoke at a Q and A after a screening of his new documentary Into the Abyss, he was as candid as ever.
A Picture Perfect Award
Professor Linda Brown wins Kodak Educational Award
November 11, 2011
On October 27th, associate Producer Linda Brown took home the Kodak Education Award for her work teaching the next generation of filmmakers in the art and science of cinematography.
SCA Family Stories: Imran Shafi
Recent Animation Grad talks about the Festival World
November 10, 2011
Taking the first step after graduation can be a daunting task for any graduate. Like many grads, Imran Shafi ’10 went the festival route after graduation from the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts. Shafi works as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany and attended the prestigious 2011 Varna World Festival of Animated Film on behalf of SCA.
An Evening with the Prosecutor
SCA Hosts the International Criminal Court’s Luis Moreno-Ocampo
November 9, 2011
Most presentations at the School of Cinematic Arts feature a media maker, scholar or executive fielding questions from the student body. When SCA hosted the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo on November 6th, the tables were turned when the prosecutor began the evening by issuing a challenge to the students to help him explain to the public how the International Criminal Court was changing the paradigm of global human rights and how the moving image was effecting the process.
John Carpenter Emerges from the Archives
Legendary Horror Director’s Student Film Found
November 9, 2011
All SCA students know John Carpenter’s canonical horror film Halloween. A masked man descends on a quiet, suburban home to kill his former babysitter. In the coming years, thanks to the efforts of SCA’s archivists, future generations will know John Carpenter’s first student film Captain Voyeur which features a masked man following his co-worker home to spy on her.
SCA Family Stories: Ted Braun
SCA Professor talks about his upcoming event
November 2, 2011
Professor Ted Braun can be described many ways. He’s an award winning writer/director whose film Darfur Now shaped the international conversation about Sudan, he’s a sought after professor, known for his passionate and detailed style, whose classes fill up quickly and always have a waiting list and he’s a proud SCA alumnus.
The (Cinematic) Art of Play
Playstation visits SCA Campus
October 31, 2011
The USC School of Cinematic Arts has been at the forefront of studying the theory and practice of video games for years. On October 31st through November 2nd. Sony’s Playstation Company will visit campus to speak to students about the future of the games industry and unveil the new game Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception.
Just Seen it Hitting Big
Alumnus-run Web Show Picking Up Steam
October 13, 2011
It’s impossible to come through the USC School of Cinematic Arts without viewing and analyzing dozens, if not hundreds, of films. Alumnus David Freedman (2010) took the natural skills that students posses and turned it into a new web show Just Seen It, where “Industry Students” discuss films and TV shows they’ve just seen.
SCA Forges Partnership with Department of State
American films will be used to engage international audiences
October 13, 2011
Every student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts knows the power of film. Films are used to entertain, educate, inspire and on October 10th, it was announced that the State Department would be teaming up with SCA to use the medium for diplomacy.
John Singleton on Abduction
Alumnus/Director Visits SCA
October 11, 2011
John Singleton knows film history. His new film Abduction might seem like a straightforward action film but, when Singleton visited students on Friday, October 7th, he stated that his inspiration for the film goes back to Hitchcock.
Getting “Perspectives” With Mark Harris
Oscar Winning Faculty Member Hosts New Show
October 5, 2011
School of Cinematic Arts Professor Mark Harris has a long history in documentary filmmaking. He has been awarded three Academy Awards for documentary filmmaking in 1968, 1997 2001 for his films Redwoods, The Long Way Home and Into the Arms of Stranger: Stories from the Kindertransport. This Wednesday, Harris will be hosting the new show Perspectives on the documentary channel with the airing of Beah: A Black Woman Speaks on October 5th. Harris curated the films and will be appearing on camera in the series.
Shawn Levy Gets “Real”
Alum/Real Steel Director visits Leonard Maltin’s Class
October 4, 2011
Real Steel is a story about massive robots that fight in a future world where mechanics have replaced boxers. When Leonard Maltin began the discussion of the film, Real Steel director/SCA alumnus Shawn Levy joked, “I wanted to make a small, intimate film.”
SCA Family Stories: Chris Rowe
IML Student Discusses His Work with the Shoah Foundation Institute
September 30, 2011
The USC Shoah Foundation’s Student Voices Film Competition is currently accepting submissions. The project involves students using the Shoah Foundation’s amazing archive of Holocaust survivor testimony to create a new film which discusses the topic of genocide.
Honoring a Legend
SCA Establishes the Cecil B. DeMille Chair
September 27, 2011
When it comes to Hollywood history, no names stand taller than that of Cecil B. DeMille and, on September 26th, the USC School of Cinematic Arts honored his legacy with the establishment of the Cecil B. DeMille Chair for the Study of Silent Film, one of the highest honors in academia. Leaders of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, guests including CeCe Demille-Presley and Gretchen Wayne and students from the Critical Studies Division gathered in the Mary Pickford Lobby to share memories of his amazing work and life. Before the reception, an honorary screening of DeMille’s silent masterpiece The Cheat was held at Norris Theatre, followed by a Q and A with DeMille-Presley.
Don Hall Honored by Editor’s Guild
SCA Professor to Receive Fellowship and Service Award
September 16, 2011
SCA Professor Don Hall’s resume is long. In addition to being a respected and sought after lecturer and mentor to countless SCA students and graduates, he has more than ninety credits, an Emmy, a Peabody, a BAFTA Award, an MPSE Career Achievement Award, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jon Bonner Medal of Commendation. On October 15th, he will be adding the Editor’s Guild’s Fellowship and Service award to his long list.
In Memoriam: John Calley
Studio Head, Producer, Member of SCA Board of Councilors
September 15, 2011
John Calley, former head of Warner Brothers, United Artists, and Sony, as well as a successful producer and recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Irving G. Thalberg Award for lifetime achievement, passed away on September 13 at the age of 81.
Trojans at the Emmys
2011 is a Big Year With Over Fifteen Noms
September 13, 2011
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
63rd Primetime Emmy Award Nominations
Stark Turns the Big Three-Oh
Alumni Gather for Program’s Birthday
September 12, 2011
In Hollywood, turning thirty can fill a person with dread. Fortunately, the Peter Stark Producing Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts has a long list of accomplishments to look back on as it enters its third decade. On September 11, 2011, the Stark Program celebrated thirty years of success with a cocktail reception in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lobby at SCA.
SCA Family Stories: Steve Boman
Author of Film School/SCA Alumnus talks to SCA Family Stories
September 6, 2011
Every journey through the USC School of Cinematic Arts yields a story and, in Steve Boman’s case, it yielded a book and a television series. Boman graduated from the Production Division at SCA in 2009 and immediately went to work on the CBS Television series Three Rivers.
Granddaughter of Jack Warner Visits Archives
Anne Terrail and her son Felix Bergeret visited Warner Bros. Archives
September 1, 2011
Many students who dig through the Warner Bros. Archives at the USC School of Cinematic Arts have feeling of being connected with the long history of Hollywood. On August 22nd, two visitors to the archives had the rare experience of digging through the archives and feeling more connected with their own family's history. The granddaughter of Jack L Warner, Anne Terrail and her son Felix Bergeret visited Warner Bros. Archives for the first time last month from Paris.
SCA Alumnus Jim Whitaker Screens Doc
August 23, 2011
SCA alumnus Jim Whitaker’s directorial debut Rebirth, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2011. The full-length documentary is the result of a decade-long process of interviewing and collecting footage from survivors of 9-11 and watching the reconstruction of the disaster site.
The Nina Foch Course
Beloved SCA Professor's Course on DVD
August 23, 2011
August 22, 2011
Thanks to everyone who made orientation a success this year!
The Legend of Pancho Barnes Flying High
Eight SCA Faculty and Alumni win Emmy
August 11, 2011
Awards season is underway in Los Angeles and the documentary The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club is an early bright spot for SCA. On August sixth, the film which includes nine SCA alumni and faculty in key positions won the Los Angeles Area Emmy for Arts & Culture / History.
A Breakout Summer Short
SCA Writer/Producer/Director Wins a String of Awards
August 5, 2011
Winning awards isn’t everything for the student filmmaker, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. This summer, recent alumnae Mitsuyo Miyazaki ’11 continued the long tradition of award winners from SCA with her short film Tsuyako.
SCA Family Stories: Elliot Grossman
Alumnus/animator gives advice to aspiring animators
August 3, 2011
Elliot Grossman: ’07 is part of a new generation of graduates from the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts who are leaving their mark on the world of animation. His thesis film Breaking the Ice won several awards on the festival circuit and helped him transition into the world of commercial animation with the company Heavy Iron Studios.
The Brave New World of DIY Films
The Summer Program Hosts Micro-budget Filmmakers
August 2, 2011
Predicting trends in filmmaking is a risky business. For every new craze that hits the entertainment industry, there are dozens if not hundreds of false predictions. One trend that has been on the horizon for years and is starting to shape the way that films are made is “Do it yourself” or DIY filmmaking. This semester, Jason E. Squire hosted the producers and director/writer/star of the indie film I am I as part of his class CTPR 428 "Under the Radar: Marketing and Distribution in the DIY Digital World.” They spoke to the class about the new phenomenon of crowd funding and what it takes to get a film made in the world of micro-budget filmmaking.
SCA Family Stories: Sheldon Larry
The Directing Track Professor Talks about his Process
July 21, 2011
At the School of Cinematic Arts, many students’ goal is to make a groundbreaking student film which will launch a long career in the entertainment industry. For many, the professor with them every step of their productions is Sheldon Larry.
A Return to China
Jason E. Squire lectures at Beijing Film Academy
July 20, 2011
SCA Professor Jason E. Squire’s teachings have touched almost every aspect of the entertainment industry. His former pupils are executives, writers, technicians and all other types of storytellers in the film industry. This summer, Squire’s influence broadened internationally when he travelled to Beijing to teach classes for Chinese and multi-national industry professionals at the Beijing Film Academy.
SCA Family Stories: Kathy Smith
A Conversation with the Chair of SCA’s Animation Division
July 6, 2011
Kathy Smith, the Chair of the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts (Hench-DADA) at the USC School of Cinematic Arts is a respected artist and beloved educator whose work has been featured internationally and whose students have gone on to hold key positions in the animation and visual effects industry.Kathy Smith, the Chair of the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts (Hench-DADA) at the USC School of Cinematic Arts is a respected artist and beloved educator whose work has been featured internationally and whose students have gone on to hold key positions in the animation and visual effects industry.
SCA Complex Wins Architecture Award
Grand Prize at Los Angeles Architectural Awards
July 1, 2011
The School of Cinematic Arts Complex has been the birthplace to many award-winning works of art. Each year, films, video games, scholarly articles and works from other media go on to win accolades from the entertainment industry. On June 30th, the building itself became joined the ranks of SCA award-winners, being named the Grand Prize winner at the 41st Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards.
Imagineering a Better Future
SCA students win Best in Show at Disney design contest
June 29, 2011
USC School of Cinematic Arts students have won awards for writing, directing, cinematography, editing, game design, scholarship and just about every other aspect of storytelling for the moving image and, on June 17th, three students added imagineering to the list by winning “Best in Show” for innovation at the Disney Imagineering’s ImagiNations Competition.
SCA Creates “Games for Change”
USC Video Games Featured in NYC Festival
June 21, 2011
In the past, video games were the realm of big guns, speeding cars and aggressive empire building but, in the constantly evolving environment of interactive media, that perception is changing. The USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division is consistently on the cutting edge of new technology and experiences in interactive game design. At the 8th Annual Games for Change Festival, three games with IMD students and staff on their design crews were recognized for pushing the paradigm of video gaming.
SCA Family Stories: Jenova Chen
IMD Grad talks to SCA about the world of Indie Games
June 20, 2011
The world of independent video games is constantly changing and, like all of the art forms taught at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, is a place of great opportunity for SCA students.
The Man Behind the Name
McG Visits with SCA
June 15, 2011
McG, the director of Charlie’s Angels, We Are Marshall and Terminator: Salvation, followed the path of many filmmakers who made the transition from music videos to feature films in the late nineties including Spike Jones, David Fincher and Hype Williams. When he visited the USC School of Cinematic Arts on June 14th to speak as part of the YouTube Creator Institute, he drew parallels between the DIY aesthetic of music videos in the nineties and the content creators of YouTube today.
In Memoriam: Laura Ziskin ‘73
Pioneering Producer and Philanthropist
June 13, 2011
Producer's Guild of America Visionary Award-winning producer, philanthropist, SCA Board of Councilors’ member and alumnae Laura Ziskin '73, died at her home in Santa Monica after a long battle with breast cancer. She was sixty-one.
Turning SCA into a “Fun Lab”
Microsoft Hosts the Kinect for XBOX360 Innovation Event
June 10, 2011
Three institutions of the interactive gaming design industry, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference, the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Microsoft’s Kinect Group, came together on Wednesday, June 7th to host the Kinect for XBOX 360 Innovation Event at the SCA Compex on the USC Campus. Attendees included creative director of the Microsoft’s Kinect, Kudo Tsunoda, Interactive Media Division Chair Scott Fisher, incoming chair of the Interactive Media Division Tracy Fullerton and members of the media.
Choreography on the Page
Dexter/Twilight Writer Melissa Rosenberg Visits SCA
June 2, 2011
Melissa Rosenberg has reached a level of success that most writers can only dream of. She has written all three adaptations of the wildly successful Twilight films, the original film in the Step Up series and is the showrunner/ executive producer on the Emmy award winning television show Dexter.
The Path from Film School to Pandora
Avatar Producer/SCA Alum Jon Landau Speaks on Campus
May 26, 2011
Jon Landau, the producer of blockbusters Titanic and Avatar, is a very busy man. In addition to being writer/director James Cameron’s producing partner for seventeen years and heading production on the next two sequels to Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time, he is overseeing construction of a massive Manhattan Beach studio, the MBS Media Campus which will house the production of the two films. Landau took time out of his hectic schedule on Wednesday, May 25th to speak to students as part of the YouTube Creator Institute’s speaker series.
May 23, 2011
Photos from the 2011 School of Cinematic Arts Commencement.
For IMD Students, Success is “Semi-Automatic”
SCA games featured at the first annual UCLA Event
May 19, 2011
iPad games are the bane of most student’s productivity but, for students of the Interactive Media Division at the School of Cinematic Arts, designing games for the iPad is serious academic work. On May 19th, IMD students Sam Farmer and Asher Vollmer’s game Semi-Automatic was showcased at UCLA’s First Annual Intramural Game Carnival.
Education: Now in 3D
SCA Alumni Represent Half of Panasonic/DirectTV 3D Contest
May 17, 2011
If there was any doubt about the future of 3D filmmaking, Avatar, a film produced by SCA alum Jon Landau, proved that the technology is here to stay. This summer, six finalists were chosen to take a class using the state-of-the-art technology through the 2011 DIRECTV n3D Film Invitational Presented by Panasonic. Among the six, three were graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
SCA Family Stories: Quinn Saunders
Award Winning Director/Alum sits with SCA
May 17, 2011
Writer, director and SCA alumnus Quinn Saunders is on a bit of a roll. His 2010 film Cherry was recently an official selection at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Charleston Film Festival and won Best Producer honors at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
May 11, 2011
Photos from the First Look Film Festival 2011
SCA’s Complex Begins Final Stage
New Building Will Break Ground in August
May 3, 2011
USC’s School of Cinematic Arts is no stranger to collaboration. Each year, hundreds of students work together to produce films, video games and academic projects, relying on each other to bring in the best results. Five years ago, when Dean Elizabeth M. Daley began the project of constructing the new SCA Complex she had the help of a stellar group of alumni and peers from the entertainment industry by her side.
God of Thunder Takes SCA by Storm
Alumnus/Thor Producer Kevin Feige Visits Students
May 2, 2011
Kevin Feige is the President of Marvel Studios who has been on the production team for twenty-two superhero films; more than any other executive in history. Before he was the man that deadline.com referred to as the “mastermind” of Marvel studios, he was a student at the School of Cinematic Arts following his dreams.
The “Casual Genius” of John Williams
Composer for Star Wars and Jurassic Park Honored with Soundstage
April 27, 2011
Legendary composer John Williams has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards. He has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, seven BAFTA Awards, twenty-one Grammys, is a member of the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and is tied with Hollywood legend Alfred Newman for the second most nominated person in Oscar history behind Walt Disney.
SCA Professor Takes “Deep Blue Breath”
Short film to debut at the Make a Film Foundation
April 26, 2011
Making a film is a challenging prospect for any aspiring storyteller. In addition to writing a compelling narrative, being mindful of budget and corralling creative types into a schedule, middle-school aged writer/actor Clay Beabout had to undergo thirty-nine surgeries for Vertebral, Anal, Trachel-Esophigal and Renal Syndrome while planning the short Deep Blue Breath with the Make a Film Foundation.
SCA Family Stories: Chera Kee
Critical Studies Ph. D. talks to SCA
April 22, 2011
Chera Kee grew up in the suburbs of Oklahoma City and got her master’s degree from Harvard in East Asian Studies. In 2004, she joined the Critical Studies division at SCA. In 2006, she started her Ph. D. and was recently hired to be an assistant professor of film and new media at Wayne State University where she will be teaching film studies, including a class very similar to the popular 190 at SCA.
Tales From the Art Department
Pixar Art Director Ralph Eggleston Visits SCA
April 20, 2011
Pixar is known for being on the cutting edge of the technology and art of animation but, according to Academy Award winning director and art director Ralph Eggleston, the business model at Pixar harkens back to the old studio system. Eggleston spoke to students on May 15th about the importance of trial and error, the role of technology in animation and the art of working in an art department.
First Look Reunion
All Fifteen Years of First Look Reunite
April 19, 2011
First Look Festival participants from the entire history of the event came together to celebrate fifteen years of SCA student filmmaking last Thursday, April 14th. The First Look Reunion Party was hosted by the SCA Office of Student-Industry Relations and sponsored by Fotokem. The event welcomed alumni from all of SCA’s student film festivals to the Harold Lloyd Lobby and Gallery in the School of Cinematic Arts complex, who mingled and took the opportunity to catch up on each other’s career developments and latest projects.
A View from the Top
Fox CEO and Co-chairman Jim Gianopulos Visits SCA
April 15, 2011
Jim Gianopulos is the co-chairman/CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment and has had unprecedented success by greenlighting Avatar and Titanic. Along with longtime business partner Tom Rothman, Gianopulos was named Premiere magazine’s most powerful man in Hollywood but, as he told a group of School of Cinematic Arts students on April 12th, he would happily go back to school.
SCA Family Stories: Lydia Green
IML Graduate Named Fulbright Scholar for Work in Linguistics
April 12, 2011
Lydia Green graduated from the SCA Institute for Multimedia Literacy’s Honors in Multimedia Scholarship program in 2009 with a B.A. in Linguistics. While still a student, she traveled to remote areas of Alaska to study and document a native language spoken by roughly 10,000 people. She recently caught up with SCA Family Stories via email to tell us about how technology is bringing academic disciplines to the public sphere.
SCA Family Stories: Drew Casper
Critical Studies Professor Talks About His Career and New Book
April 11, 2011
If there were a Mount Rushmore of SCA Professors, Dr. Drew Casper’s face would be front and center. Casper is the Alma and Alfred Hitchcock Chair of American Film in the Critical Studies division and the author of several books on cinema, which are widely used in film courses around the country.
Tommy at TED
Student Produced Video Games and Films at TEDxUSC Conference
April 11, 2011
The USC School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media Division has been a leading advocate for video games to deliver both entertainment and an emotional experience since their inception. With the re-release of the “Apps for Healthy Kids” winning game Trainer, developed by twelve USC students, IMD has pioneered the use of video games as a means to deliver a positive message about nutrition.
The Oscar Winner’s Speech
The Writing Division Hosts King’s Speech Writer
April 8, 2011
David Seidler arrived in Hollywood at the age of forty when, as he put it, “most sane people leave.” Thirty-three years later, he became the oldest person to be awarded the Oscar for best original screenplay for The King’s Speech. He visited the School of Cinematic Arts on April 5th to speak to students about the relationship between reality and narrative story telling as the closing event of the Writing Presents speaker series.
“In Captivity” Set Free
Student Film at 32nd Annual College Television Awards
April 1, 2011
In today’s world of social media and twenty-four hour news, sometimes it seems like people live their lives under constant observation. The student film, In Captivity, which tells the story of the first man to live his life as part of a museum exhibit, takes the concept to extremes.
Fox Sets the “Stage” for Dedication
20th Century Fox Dedicates Campus Sound Stage
March 30, 2011
The School of Cinematic Arts complex is full of iconic names from the history of film. Students hold production meetings in the Mary Pickford Lobby, study the history of film technology in the Hugh M. Hefner Archives and analyze films in the Walt Disney Studios Screening Room. On Wednesday the 30th, 20th Century Fox added their name to the list of iconic institutions and artists affiliated with the School of Cinematic Arts at the dedication of the 20th Century Fox Sound Stage.
SCA Family Stories: Eric Ruiz
Writer/Director/Producer of Tribunal Talks About His Process
March 28, 2011
Eric Ruiz was born in the Bronx and grew up in San Diego. At the age of eight, he told his mother he was going to be making movies one day. In 1999, Eric graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts with a BA in Production. Twelve years later, his first feature film, the detective thriller Tribunal is set to debut at the Montalban Theater in Los Angeles.
Sony Partners with SCA
Students and Faculty receive laptops and cameras
March 28, 2011
Technology and filmmaking have gone hand in hand since the beginning. Sony, with the support of Intel, is making sure the filmmakers of tomorrow have the technology that they need to tell the stories that they want to tell without financial burdens. On March 25th, the Sony Electronics Scholarship Program awarded laptops, cameras and MP3 players to seven SCA students and faculty members.
Trojans a “Natural Selection” at SxSw
SCA Graduates’ Film Wins Seven Awards
March 24, 2011
In the world of filmmaking, it’s rare when the audience and the critic’s award are in sync. This year at the South by Southwest film festival, SCA alumnus Robbie Pickering ‘06 wrote and directed Natural Selection which took home seven awards including Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Breakthrough Performance for both Rachael Harris and Matt O’Leary, Best Score and the Audience Award for best Narrative Feature. Stark alumnus Brian Hambel ‘06 produced the film.
A Dialogue with Aaron Sorkin
Professor Jason E. Squire hosts Oscar Winning Writer
March 23, 2011
Writer/producer Aaron Sorkin has won one Oscar, Four Humanitas Prizes, three Emmys, three Producer’s Guild Awards and two WGA Awards but he still considers himself a Hollywood outsider. He used these emotions to channel the portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for The Social Network.
Unkrich Continues Win Streak
Director of Toy Story 3 Takes Home First Oscar
March 23, 2011
SCA alumnus Lee Unkrich was humble as always as he accepted his first Oscar at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards on Sunday for Toy Story 3. Unkrich won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was a
Animation and Music Take Miami
SCA Students and Faculty Produce 15 Pieces for Symphony Building Opening
March 18, 2011
Thirteen students and alumni from the USC School of Cinematic Arts Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, five massive screens, two established animation directors/professors, and one world-class conductor came together at the Grand Opening Gala for the New World Symphony’s new structure January 29th in Miami.
Redstone and Unkrich to Speak at Graduation
Oscar winner and media titan to send students into the real world
March 18, 2011
There are many ways to address Sumner Redstone which are accurate; founder of Viacom, entertainment legend, board member of the Paley Center and Senior Executive at CBS. On May 13th, he will be able to add School of Cinematic Arts commencement speaker to his long list of honors. SCA alumni and Oscar winner Lee Unkrich will receive that Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the ceremony.
Southern Cal in Central France
SCA has strong showing at Clermont-Ferrand FIlm Market
March 14, 2011
The short film has been the corner stone for aspiring storytellers at SCA since the school was founded. This year, at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, USC crossed a milestone in the medium by representing ten percent of the American films at the world’s largest international short film market.
From Subs to Storytelling
SCA Partners with Subway to Produce Web Content
March 11, 2011
Subway sandwiches have been a long time staple in all night editing sessions at the School of Cinematic Arts and now, the sandwich maker has joined into a partnership with SCA to produce short series for the web called the Subway Fresh Artist Filmmakers Project.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Get “Social”
Oscar winning composers visit SCA
March 11, 2011
The musical score for The Social Network won both the Oscar and the Golden Globe for best musical score this year but according to composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, it almost didn’t happen. When the two Oscar winners visited Jason Squire’s class on March 8th to speak to students about their process and the importance of music in film, Reznor revealed that when he was first approached with the project, he passed.
YouTube Partners with SCA
SCA and CCC Launch The YouTube Creator Institute
March 11, 2011
The School of Cinematic Arts is the alma mater to many masters of storytelling for the big screen. This summer, a group of ten contest winners will get the opportunity to study storytelling for the small screen. On March 10, YouTube, the School of Cinematic Arts and Columbia College Chicago announced the new YouTube Creator Institute program, which will give a small group of aspiring storytellers the chance to create content for the video-sharing giant.
Interactive Media Division Ranked #1 for Second Year
March 10, 2011
For the second year in a row, GamePro Magazine and The Princeton Review have designated USC’s Interactive Media Division (IMD) as the top game design program in North America.
Replay: Game Developers Conference 2011
IMD has landmark year in San Francisco
March 10, 2011
Students, faculty and alumni from SCA’s Interactive Media Division joined a record-setting audience of 19,000 for the 25th edition of the Game Developers Conference (GDC), held at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center. The five-day conference, which featured over 450 panels, lectures and discussions, several of which were led by IMD/USC faculty or alums, is the largest and longest event of its kind.
In Memoriam: Eugene Moriarty
SCA Alumnus/Lecturer and WWII Veteran
March 8, 2011
USC School of Cinematic Arts alumnus and lecturer Eugene Moriarty ‘47 passed away on March 2, due to complications from cancer. He was 91.
SCA Family Stories: Mary Sweeney
Writing Division Professor Discusses Her Intuitive Process
March 8, 2011
Mary Sweeney, the interim chair of the Division of Writing for Screen and Television, has had a long and varied career as a writer, director, producer, editor, and educator. Most recently, Sweeney has been hitting the festival circuit as the producer, director and writer of the indie hit Baraboo about a dilapidated resort in Wisconsin and its unique inhabitants.
Writing Division Gets "Modern"
Writing Division Hosts Modern Family Writing Staff
March 2, 2011
Students, alumni and guests of SCA’s Division of Writing for Screen & Television got the chance to see the inner workings of an Emmy Award-winning show as part of the Emmys from the Trenches speaker series.
Award Season Roundup
The SCA Family scores big with over Fifty Noms
February 24, 2011
Read the list of School of Cinematic Arts alumni were nominated for awards this season.
Bringing Little Movies to Big China
SCA Professor Teaches Film Course in Guangzhou
February 23, 2011
When most people think of Chinese cinema, the last thing that comes to mind is intimate indie films but, according to USC School of Cinematic Arts professor Jason E. Squire, that’s going to change very soon. Squire recently traveled to Guangzhou, Ch
Danger Copter to the Rescue
Interactive Media Students Take Third in Design Competition
February 18, 2011
Interactive media design took a big step forward earlier this month and five students from the USC Interactive Media Division were front and center. Danger Copter, a game utilizing both real and generated visuals, placed third in the 2010 Augmented Reality Developer Challenge. Qualcomm, a developer of 3G and next-generation mobile technologies, sponsored the event.
The Annual SCA Freshmen Video Awards
Welcome Home takes the Grand Prix Award
February 14, 2011
The winners of the SCA Alphies 2010 were announced in November following a brief presentation and screening of all submissions. The Annual SCA Freshmen Video Awards are open to all SCA freshmen. Participants were challenged with the creation of a two-minute visual story based on the theme, “Expect the Unexpected.”
WCA Holds First Annual Film Festival
Event Showcases Young and Veteran Storytellers
February 11, 2011
The Women of Cinematic Arts held their first WCA Film Festival on Saturday, February 5th at the School of Cinematic Arts. The event featured eight short films and a screening of Sundance darling On the Ice with a Q and A with Lynette Howell, the producer of the film
SCA Brings Home "Mad" Awards
Multiple Awards for Multiple Trojans
February 10, 2011
The 2011 Writers Guild of America Awards was a big night for the SCA family with two wins for Erin Levy ‘05 for her work on Mad Men and one win for Matthew Weiner ‘90 who executive produces the show. Levy’s episode, “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” won for TV Episodic Drama and Mad Men won for Best Drama Series.
Pug Attack Scores Big at Superbowl
USC Alumni Awarded One Million Dollars for Superbowl Win
February 7, 2011
SCA alumni and students scored big at the Superbowl with the number one ranked USA Today Ad Meter commercial “Pug Attack.” The commercial was produced as part of the Doritos Crash the Superbowl contest and makes history as the first consumer-created commercial to top the Ad Meter list.
Oscar Race Begins
SCA Scores Big with Academy Award Nominations
February 3, 2011
The SCA family has continued its run of award-season success, with four alumni receiving nominations for Academy Awards. Since 1973, not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Oscar.
Trojans at Sundance
USC Finds Success in Park City
February 1, 2011
Braving the Park City cold, SCA alumni, staff and students attended both the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals to showcase their latest projects and network with industry leaders from the world of independent cinema. Several SCA-related films were screened as part of both festivals.
Pug Attack at the Superbowl
SCA Alums Produce Finalist Doritos Commercial
January 19, 2011
A team of SCA alumni’s Doritos commercial Pug Attack has placed as a top five finalist for a Doritos/Frito Lay “Crash the Superbowl” competition. The winning commercial will play nationally during this year’s Superbowl game on Sunday, February 5th.
SCA Alumnus Lee Unkrich Wins Golden Globe
Toy Story 3 Receives Best Animated Feature Award
January 18, 2011
Alumnus Lee Unkrich was awarded the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature for Toy Story 3 on January 16th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Unkrich directed the film and accepted the award on behalf of everyone at Pixar.
Katzenberg Honored by Shoah Foundation
CEO Named as Ambassador for Humanity
January 11, 2011
A spray of stars and supporters of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute came together on Dec. 9 in Hollywood’s famed Kodak Theatre to honor American film producer, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, philanthropist and humanitarian Jeffrey Katzenberg.
In Memoriam: Daniel Pfisterer
Respected Director of Photography, Class of 98
January 5, 2011
Daniel Pfisterer, who graduated from SCA in 1998 and had a successful career as a cinematographer and camera operator, passed away this week. Pfisterer worked as a cinematographer in both film and television, with credits including The Oprah Winfrey Show and Undercover History. He was known for his work on socially conscious documentaries and his calm presence on set.