In Memoriam: Ian Sander
Television Professor Passes Away at Sixty Eight
May 5, 2016
Longtime television development, directing and production professor Ian Sander passed away on May 3rd. He is remembered by faculty, staff, alumni, and students of the School of Cinematic Arts as a true role model and educator who cared deeply for students, and who always had an open door for both current students and alumni of his classes. Sander co-taught a course on television with his wife Kim Moses Sander.
May 4, 2016
Jason E. Squire delivers keynote on the history of English-language comedy and visits the China National Film Museum
Mark Burnett Endows Chair to Support the SCA Summer Production Program
David Weitzner installed as first Mark Burnett Endowed Chair
April 28, 2016
Mark Burnett, Emmy–winning producer and President of MGM Television and Digital Group, was honored on April 27th at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for the establishing The Mark Burnett Endowed Chair at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). The endowment will support the School’s Summer Production Program and it’s first chair holder is the program’s Director, SCA Professor David Weitzner.
April 26, 2016
Filmmaker Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) will deliver the commencement address, and producer Susan Downey (Sherlock Holmes, The Judge) will receive the prestigious Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the 2016 USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) graduation ceremony Friday, May 13 at the Shrine Auditorium.
April 19, 2016
Tim Story gives the Oakie Masters of Comedy lecture at SCA
April 12, 2016
Director Juan Pablo Rothie’s adaptation of Shooting An Elephant will play Tribeca this weekend.
April 11, 2016
For the second consecutive year, a team of USC Games students won the BAFTA Ones To Watch Award.
April 8, 2016
Alum Jason Reitman spoke to students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts after a screening of his 2009 film Up in the Air on April 5th in the Ray Stark Family Theatre. The talk was sponsored by USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Ars, the Writing for Screen & Television’s Writing Presents Speaker Series, and Movies We Love. The Q & A was hosted by USC alum and screenwriter Tim Dowling.
April 8, 2016
Kate Powers ’07 recently discussed her beginnings as a writer, her thoughts on the evolving relationship between TV and its audience, and her journey as a staff writer on the highly acclaimed television drama series Rectify.
USC Brings Student Films to Major Agencies
First Look Film Festival Changes Format
April 8, 2016
Film Festivals are the chance for new Trojan graduates to take their student films into the real world and show agents, managers, producers, and distributors what they’ve got. This year, the School of Cinematic Arts’ Industry Relations has made it even easier for agents to see student work.They won’t even have to leave their buildings.
April 7, 2016
With graduation quickly approaching, Jonathan Fudem ‘16 reflected on his experiences as a MAP student, his time spent working at Trojan Vision and his role as a research assistant.
April 6, 2016
Alumnus Tim Story to be honored with the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Master of Comedy Lecture Series
April 6, 2016
See the faculty for the USC Comedy Initiative at the School of Cinematic Arts
April 6, 2016
Back in 2010, three long time comedy professionals, SCA professors Jack Epps, Barnet Kellman and David Isaacs, had a dream. To launch an initiative to create an SCA Academy of Comedy. In 2016 the dream has become a full functioning reality.
March 22, 2016
SCA’s Director of Programming and Special Projects brings the world of cinema to campus screens.
A new club, focused on the possibilities of Virtual Reality introduces whole new worlds
March 16, 2016
Virtual Reality (VR) is a burgeoning industry and the big media companies - Google, Facebook, and Microsoft among them—already have money and experts engaged in figuring out how VR will impact our lives. Last spring, School of Cinematic Arts students launched their own expedition through a new club, VRSC (Virtual Reality SC), to explore virtual reality together with their peers from Viterbi, Marshall, and Annenberg, who are also passionate about this groundbreaking new medium for storytelling.
March 7, 2016
LGBT Film Showcase Explores The Nexus of Religion and LGBT Identity.
March 7, 2016
Yo-yo Lin and Will Cherry’s Ricerca is featured in South by Southwest's Digital Domain program.
March 3, 2016
Beginning with his creative journey as an undergraduate at Harvard University, Philip Hodges ’11 has evolved into a multi-talented filmmaker, directing story-driven music videos and utilizing puppetry for effective storytelling. Hodges discussed the details of his filmmaking path, including how his acclaimed SCA thesis project landed in film development at Disney.
March 3, 2016
Influenced by the many strong women in her life, Felicia Hilario ’16 is pushing the boundaries of the male-dominant world of crime thrillers. Hilario writes with conviction and a clear vision to empower women of all ethnicities by challenging the gender norms of the thriller film genre. She recently shared her “flavored” storytelling journey and her hopes for the future.
February 26, 2016
Legendary Disney animator Andreas Deja visits the School of Cinematic Arts with new book.
February 24, 2016
“Before there was IMDB, or any way to find out who did anything,” said SCA alum Matthew Weiner (MFA ’90), “We all knew the name of one movie writer: and it was Robert Towne.”
February 23, 2016
Producers Sev Ohanian and Natalie Qasabian’s romance first sparked at the School of Cinematic Arts. Both are now considered industry up-and-comers, and have been making their alma mater proud with highly regarded projects that have won numerous awards at festivals nationwide.
From the First to the Fiftieth Draft
School of Cinematic Arts Professor Jack Epps Jr. publishes a guide to screenwriting rewrites.
February 17, 2016
Every screenwriter knows that the first draft is just the beginning; that there will be edits and maybe even complete rewrites. This knowledge, however, doesn’t make rewriting any easier. Especially hard is answering that first, most important question: Where to start.
February 17, 2016
The 16th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA), the peer-awarded highest honors in video game development, has named Director of USC Games and Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division this year's recipient of the GDC Ambassador award on February 16th in San Francisco.
February 4, 2016
Film & Television Production Professor Jeremy Kagan is exploring that subject in his new dramatic feature film, SHOT, now in postproduction. He recently sat down with SCA to talk about the filmmaker’s role in covering social issues.
February 4, 2016
With a deep understanding of the power of visual storytelling, Ashley York ’06 has helmed documentaries that reflect her passion to shed light on social issues confronting us today.
February 4, 2016
A true example of compassion and perseverance, Grazyna Kolondra ’16 has dedicated her work to raising awareness of global violations of human rights.
January 7, 2016
With the inspiration of Walt Disney propelling her forward, Heather Blodget ’07 is living her dream, working at Walt Disney Animation Studios and creating positive, uplifting films. Blodget recently shared her creative growth since graduation, discussed finding her dream job, and offered advice to SCA students to be open to all opportunities.
January 7, 2016
As a newly minted Fall graduate, Ayana Baraka ’15 reflected on her time as an SCA student and on lessons learned about creativity, life, and the elusive nature of “success.” Baraka also shared her experience as a cinematographer on The Hunting Ground in which she was able to help young women tell their stories of rape culture on college campuses.
CREED Comes Home to SCA
SCA welcomes Ryan Coogler & collaborating alumni
December 8, 2015
Ryan Coogler and a team of five other fellow Trojans returned to the School last week for an unforgettable screening and Q&A of the new critically acclaimed Rocky spin-off with special appearance from Rocky himself!
December 8, 2015
Continuing to learn the ins and outs of the television business, David Freedman ’10 has made great strides as a producer and writer since graduating from SCA and has successfully headed Just Seen It, a movie and TV review show screened on the nationwide network PBS. Freedman recently shared about his start in the television industry, his experience as the show runner of Just Seen It, and his plans for the coming year.
December 8, 2015
Pursuing her passion of photography and storytelling, Angelique Molina ’16 is currently earning her Masters Degree in Production at SCA. Molina shared about her continued growth as a filmmaker through her experiences as an SCA student, her time with the Diatribe Art Collective in San Francisco, and as a member of the SCA Graduate Student Government.
SCA Goes “Back to the Future”
School Hosts Marathon of Films with Q & A
December 7, 2015
Assuming that our timeline hasn’t been altered by time travelers Marty McFly and Doc Brown, USC School of Cinematic Arts alum Robert Zemeckis’ iconic sci-fi comedy Back to the Future hit the big screen thirty years ago this year. To celebrate the anniversary of the film, SCA hosted a marathon of the Back to the Future trilogy in Frank Sinatra Hall in the Eileen Norris Cinema Complex on December 6th followed by a Q and A with alum/screenwriter Bob Gale, Production Designer (Part II, III) Rick Carter, and actor Christopher Lloyd.
December 4, 2015
Professor Alex McDowell's The Leviathan Project and Professor Tracy Fullerton's Walden, a Game will premiere at Sundance's 10th annual New Frontier program.
December 2, 2015
CTWR-431 — Loners, Stoners, Mean Girls, and Jocks: Writing the High School Story — now open to all USC students!
December 1, 2015
On Monday, November 30th, the popular Television Symposium class invited a very special guest, Conan O’Brien, for a Q&A following screenings of his work. O’ Brien’s work includes writing for HBO’s Not Necessarily the News, Late Night, and Saturday Night Live. He also hosted The Tonight Show and the Annual Primetime Emmy Awards twice. He now produces, writes, and hosts his own talk show, CONAN, which premiered in 2010. Earning himself a high-esteemed reputation as a comedian by audiences worldwide and praise from Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, Conan O’Brien is a true icon of the comedy world.
House on Pine Street Returns
Indie Horror Film by USC Alumni Screens in LA
November 17, 2015
After an international festival tour that earned rave reviews and racked in multiple awards, the notable indie horror flick THE HOUSE ON PINE STREET is returning to Los Angeles for a special one-night-only screening, Thursday, November 19th at 7:30 PM at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theater by Laemmle.
Frank Sinatra Honored at SCA
Artist, Icon, and Humanitarian Recognized on Centennial
November 9, 2015
Frank Sinatra’s artistic career is completely unique and practically unrivaled. Sinatra reached the top of the music industry, Hollywood, Broadway, Vegas and just about everything else he undertook. He has been honored as an actor, singer, arranger, and humanitarian with awards including the Golden Globe, the Oscar, countless Grammys, and a Kennedy Center Honors. As Frank Sinatra reaches the centennial mark (Sinatra was born in 1915), his daughters Tina and Nancy and the Frank Sinatra Family Foundation are honoring his memory by creating the Frank Sinatra Endowed Fund for Student Support at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
MISC & Saks Talk Mental Health
SCA hosts first Mental Health Awareness Festival
November 6, 2015
On October 30, the School of Cinematic Arts' Media Institute for Social Change and the Gould School of Law's Saks Institute joined forces to host USC's first ever Mental Health Awareness Festival.
November 5, 2015
Shortly after graduating from the Peter Stark Producing Program, Lindsay Kerns ’12 has taken great strides toward her goal to become a filmmaker who not only “surprises people,” but also provides her audience with opportunities to engage with the world around them through comedy. Kerns shared about her time as a writer and creative producer at Funny Or Die and her thoughts on the growing presence of women in the industry.
Teaching the New Model
Professor Jason E. Squire hosts DIY Panel
October 30, 2015
Everyone has noticed that the entertainment industry is changing. Gallons of ink have been spilled about the tech revolution in film in television with regards to Virtual Reality, online networks, the smallest pocket-sized cameras, and the largest IMAX films.
October 28, 2015
On Friday, October 23rd, the Ray Stark Theater hosted an eventful evening recognizing the world-renowned director, Hou Hsaio-hsien, with the SCA Eisenstein Award. Named after the early Russian director and film theorist Sergei Eisenstein—a man who traversed the boundaries of theory and practice and took film into other forms of language, narrative and musicality—the award has been presented only three times before, in 2003 to French filmmaker Agnès Varda, in 2007 to Costa-Gavras, and in 2011 to Pedro Almodóvar. The award was presented following the sneak-peak screening of Hou Hsaio-hsien’s upcoming film, The Assassin, which recently earned him the title of Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.
George Lucas and Mellody Hobson Give to Diversity
George Lucas Family Foundation Endows Scholarship Fund
October 27, 2015
With an endowment of ten million dollars, the George Lucas Family Foundation has given a tremendous boost to the The School of Cinematic Arts’ mission to recruit talented students from communities that are underrepresented in the entertainment industry. The gift will establish the The George Lucas Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity at the School.
James Franco Enters The Labyrinth
SCA Anthology Plays on Campus
October 26, 2015
The Labyrinth, a feature film produced in the SCA class co-taught by Academy Award nominated actor James Franco had its premiere SCA screening Friday and was followed by an open-floor Q&A with the directors. This is the second premiere of the film, which had it’s international debut at Screamfest on October 18.
October 20, 2015
A group of talented young women come together to share their artistic visions, collaborate, hone their craft, and leave a mark on the world. They overcome financial pressures, inner-group fighting, and creative differences, finally becoming stronger as artists and closer as friends in the process. Is it the incoming class of the USC School of Cinematic Arts? No, it’s the new film Jem and the Holograms directed by SCA alumnus Jon Chu, written by alumnus Ryan Landels, photographed by alumnus Alice Brooks, camera operated by alumnus Andy Waruszewski, and gaffed by alumnus Jay Murankana. The film was screened pre-release on October 18th in Frank Sinatra Hall in the Norris Cinema Complex and was followed by a Q & A moderated by alum Tim Dowling and attended by Chu, Landels, Brooks, Muranaka, and executive producer/head of Blumhouse Productions Couper Samuelson.
October 16, 2015
GoPro and SCA announce partnership.
October 15, 2015
Former Chair of the Writing for Screen & Television Division and USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Howard A. Rodman has been elected President of the Writer’s Guild of America West. This marks the first presidential term for Rodman after a long career in leadership in the WGA including his most recent role as Vice President. The term is for two years. as
October 6, 2015
The director of the American classic and top-grossing movie musical Grease, Randal Kleiser ’74 has crossed narrative boundaries and has stepped into the world of virtual reality with his sci-fi series Defrost. Since his graduation, Kleiser has had a lasting impact on the industry, beginning with his master’s thesis film Peege, which was the second student production ever to be added to the National Film Registry. Kleiser shared about his time at USC and his recent endeavors with virtual reality.
October 6, 2015
SCA alum, Sam Regnier, is one of five people across the globe to win the 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Regnier graduated from SCA in 2006 with a B.F.A. in Screenwriting, and has gone on to dedicate his time to writing. Regnier won the Nicholl Fellowship for his sports drama, Free Agent, which follows a female NBA executive for the Golden State Warriors who pursues the biggest free agent of her career while also managing a messy divorce and a complicated relationship with a younger colleague and his teenage sister. The rights to the script were pursued and acquired by CBS Films shortly after Regnier was announced as a finalist.
October 6, 2015
With roots in Alabama and Mississippi, Xavier Neal-Burgin ’16 hopes to utilize his work as an avenue of positive social impact. During his time at SCA, Neal-Burgin was selected out of 40 students to direct a film fully funded by SCA (Olde E). He recently discussed his experience directing Olde E, his creative and technical growth as a filmmaker, and also offered advice to fellow SCA students.
Movies We Love Presents: Tommy Boy
Pete Segal, David Spade and Fred Wolf Visit SCA
September 21, 2015
In the Spring of 1995, man-child Tommy Callahan III got off a plane in Sandusky, Ohio, to take over the loading dock of his father’s company and was greeted by uptight executive Richard Hayden. One of the greatest comedy duos in film history was born. Twenty years later, at a sold out screening of Tommy Boy in the Frank Sinatra Hall at USC, alum/director Pete Segal, star David Spade, and writer Fred Wolf shared with students the stories of how the unlikely classic made its way to the screen through nervous breakdowns, unfinished scripts, and a deer that simply wouldn’t be trained.
September 8, 2015
A native of Beijing, China, Guan Xi ’15 brought her award-winning photography skills and passion for filmmaking to SCA as a MFA Production student. She was the co-Director of Photography for the documentary Looking at the Stars directed by Alexandre Peralta ’14, which won this year’s Student Academy Award for Best Documentary. In addition, Xi’s thesis project Mandala has been accepted and awarded by several film festivals. Xi recently reflected on her time at SCA and shared her creative and technical growth as a filmmaker.
September 8, 2015
Embarking on her last year as an undergraduate, Jen Enfield-Kane ’16 discovered the power of storytelling as an avenue to reach the world during her time at SCA. Enfield-Kane served as an integral part of several successful miniseries and web series, including CON and The Supernatural Enthusiasts Club. She recently shared her transformation as a screenwriter, her experiences writing and directing miniseries, and her thoughts on the future of web-based creative platforms.
John Cacavas Honored at SCA
Man known for sweeping television scores remembered
August 31, 2015
The halls of the USC School of Cinematic Arts are filled with the names of multi-hyphenates and renaissance women and men who changed film, games, and all other media in America and beyond. On August 30th, John Cacavas, who passed away in 2014, joined the names Hitchcock, Pickford, Lloyd, Lucas, Spielberg
Introducing CTWR 432 -- Shonda Rhimes: The Reinvention of Network Television
Open to all USC students, open registration, and counts towards the Minor in Screenwriting
August 17, 2015
"Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation"
SCA Network Event Recap
August 5, 2015
Last Wednesday, members of the SCA Network once again congregated at The Grove Pacific Theater for the second sneak preview screening and Q&A in as many weeks, this time for a glimpse of the critically acclaimed fifth installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise: Rogue Nation. Producers David Ellison and Don Granger stuck around for the post-screening Q&A.
August 5, 2015
Born in the Philippines in 1954, Mar Elepano '80 arrived at SCA in 1975 as a Film Production major. He has played a significant role in his many years at SCA, teaching in the MFA in Animation Program since 1993 and serving as the production supervisor of the program. Elepano recently discussed his time as an SCA student and professor, and shared his take on the widely known motto of SCA: “Reality Ends Here.”
August 5, 2015
It’s rare that a college class becomes iconic. Even at the School of Cinematic Arts, the list is probably less than five classes long. Any list of iconic classes from the USC School of Cinematic Arts would be incomplete without Professor Leonard Maltin’s CTCS 466: Film Symposium. Leonard Maltin recently sat down with cinema.usc.edu to discuss his course, what students can expect when they enroll, and how sometimes Film Symposium becomes bigger than even the medium of film.
July 30, 2015
For the third consecutive year, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has been named the number one film school by the Hollywood Reporter.
July 24, 2015
Wednesday night at The Grove, SCA Network members enjoyed a preview screening of this weekend's upcoming Pixels followed by a Q&A and beer & wine reception with the film's writer, Tim Dowling.
SCA Family Stories: Michael Starr
Trojan Recipient of Silver Telly Award Chats about his Process
July 17, 2015
Increasingly, the moving image is being used to forward missions beyond entertainment at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. From the Media Institute for Social Change, the new Minor is Social Change, and the new Major in Games for Health from the Interactive Media
July 15, 2015
The art and industry of animation is changing. What used to be thought of as entertainment for children, has now moved into serious dramatic storytelling, visual art, serious games, a blend with live action, a demonstration tool for scientists and architects and much more.
July 8, 2015
Inspired by the power of film to impact social and cultural perceptions, Mahin Ibrahim ’14 hopes to tell stories about race, religion, and identity in her films. In a recent interview, Ibrahim shared with us her experience as one of the student directors of Don Quixote, her growth as a filmmaker during her time at SCA, and also offered her advice to current SCA students.
June 29, 2015
Watch a video of USC Games' Demo Day
SCA Family Stories: Producers of the Land
An interview with recent grads on producing their first film
June 17, 2015
Blake Pickens and Stephen Love Jr. (both Stark ‘14) are two young alumni who are in the trenches of the film world, both indie and studio. Their first feature film, The Land, begins filming in Cleveland this summer and, to give back to the University, the two sat down with SCA Family Stories to discuss their roles as producers, why they chose to work on the Land, and to give advice to students considering becoming film producers.
Commencement Speaker Jay Roach Welcomes New Graduates
June 4, 2015
On May 15th, the 2015 graduating class from the USC School of Cinematic Arts came together with parents, friends, family, faculty, and staff to celebrate the milestone at the Shrine Auditorium across the street from USC
June 3, 2015
Isabella (Bella) and Olivia (Olie) Cohen ’18 both radiate an infectious enthusiasm for providing a platform for strong and multi-dimensional female characters in their work. Having finished their first year at SCA, the Cohen twins reflected on their freshman year, their shared passion for screenwriting, and their work with the “Humans of USC” project.
June 2, 2015
With his vibrant passion for honest and genuine storytelling evident in his work, Aneesh Chaganty ’13 is the director of the Google Glass short film Seeds and currently a member of the Google Creative Lab Five team. Chaganty recently shared his experience as an SCA student and a Google Fiver, and also discussed the power of a good story.
May 27, 2015
Linda Brown's documentary, You See Me, which is about the scars that family secrets can leave, premieres at the festival.
May 8, 2015
Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, commemorated The Simpsons’ 25 years on the air by creating a statue of Bart’s masked alter-ego, Bartman, who first appears in the show’s second season in the episode, “Three Men and a Comic Book.” The statue is now a permanent installation in the Harold Lloyd Lobby in the Steven Spielberg Building.
May 8, 2015
Starting in the 1980s speculative-fiction writers created a subgenre—cyberpunk—that not only predicted but also helped shape the future. On April 24th the School of Cinematic Arts hosted the USC Visions and Voices event Cyberpunk: Past and Future that feature some of the genre’s most interesting voices including Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker, Nalo Hopkinson and Mark Pauline.
May 7, 2015
The Game Innovation Lab at the School of Cinematic Arts has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for projects directed by Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) chair, Tracy Fullerton.
May 6, 2015
With her own game design studio, Flying Mollusk, and an award-winning game to her name, Erin Reynolds ’12 has made great strides in the gaming industry shortly after graduating from SCA. Reynolds recently discussed her time as a student at SCA, her thoughts on the future of game design, and her blossoming career and accomplishments as a game designer.
May 4, 2015
Kevin Feige, known as the Mastermind of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), has achieved incredible success with the comic book franchises he oversees. As President of Marvel Studios, he has produced every film in the MCU, including Iron Man, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, and now, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opened at midnight on April 30th and quickly became the No. 2 biggest US box office opening of all time at $191.3M, second only to its predecessor, The Avengers. With hit after hit, Marvel’s impressive streak of blockbuster successes are due in no small part to Feige’s unflagging dedication to making great films, and his clear creative vision for MCU’s eclectic army of superheroes.
April 28, 2015
2014 is a huge year for SCA student, Jean Canellas. Not only is the IMGD senior graduating in May from the #1 ranked games program in the country, he’s also founded his own production company and signed a development and distribution deal with Adult Swim for his 2D action-RPG, Death’s Gambit. We caught up with Jean during his whirlwind year to talk about his breakthrough in the games industry, his creative and artistic vision for games, and what he’s learned along the way.
April 22, 2015
On February 13, 2015, SCA hosted an exclusive presentation of Return to Oz (1985) as part of the "Movies We Love" screening series. The showing was followed by a Q&A moderated by Alex Ago with Academy Award-winning director Walter Murch and Producer Paul Maslansky.
In Memoriam: Richard L. Bare
Alum, Professor, and Iconic Director
April 21, 2015
The School of Cinematic Arts reflects on the life of Richard Bare, part of SCA's first generation of students and perhaps the School's first true success story, with over 120 directorial credits through his prolific career. He died at the age of 101.
April 21, 2015
Alumni, Hollywood studios, technology companies, parents and friends have given more than $175 million for endowed faculty chairs, student scholarships and state-of-the-art facilities as part of the Campaign for USC.
April 20, 2015
Luis Iga, an M.F.A. candidate in Film & Television Production slated to graduate in May, wrapped principle photography in early March for a micro-budget horror film for the Latino market. With the working title, Murder in the Woods, the feature was written by Latina USC alum, Yelyna de Leon, and is fully casted with Latino and minority talent. The film is Iga’s debut directing and producing a feature.
April 17, 2015
The Mellon Mentoring Awards, given annually at the University of Southern California, honors faculty members who have shown exceptional commitment to mentorship. The distinguished professors who receive it have helped to create a culture of academic and professional support throughout the University, whether that is offering one-on-one guidance to students or to other faculty. This year, two such professors from the School of Cinematic Arts were recognized for their dedication to mentorship: Mary Pickford Endowed Chair Doe Mayer and Broccoli Endowed Chair for Producing, John Watson.
Master Class: SPIKE JONZE
A Recap of Writer/Director Spike Jonze's Visit to SCA
April 14, 2015
The "Master Class" series looks back on great visits to SCA classrooms. Today, we examine Spike Jonze' visit to Jason Squire's case study class "Art and Industry of the Theatrical Film" (CTPR 386).
April 14, 2015
On February 6th, 2015, Academy Award-winning director of such acclaimed films as The Exorcist and The French Connection, William Friedkin, gave a fascinating talk about his varied and exceptional career in Hollywood, following a screening of his 1977 classic, Sorcerer.
April 13, 2015
Graduating from SCA in 2014 with an M.F.A. in Film & Television Production, Jordan Ledy has since been premiering his documentary thesis film, It’s Better in Italian, at film festivals across the country. Ledy is a New York native who has performed in all aspects of filmmaking. He graduated in 2008 from Columbia University with a B.A. in English Literature and Jazz Studies and went on to shoot and edit several international documentary films during his time at USC.
SCA Family Stories: Paisley Smith and Genie Deez
Two Trojan Scholarship Winners Chat with SCA
April 10, 2015
Paisley Smith and Genie Deez are two students in the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Production Division who, in addition to their school work, found time to make their own web series for children Hangin’ with Genie.
April 10, 2015
Otherworld Interactive, a Los Angeles-based virtual reality content studio co-founded by 3 SCA alums, is breaking down boundaries while building brand new worlds. Andrew Goldstein, Robyn Gray, and Michael Murdock, the visionaries behind Otherworld's impressive slate of virtual reality experiences, met as students in the master's program in SCA's Interactive Media & Games Division.
April 9, 2015
On February 8th, 2015, SCA hosted an exclusive screening of The Duff at the Ray Stark Family Theatre as part of the SCA Alumni Screening Series. A Q&A session with the film's director, SCA alum Ari Sandel, followed the screening.
April 8, 2015
With her beginnings as a performer in her back pocket, Tracy Oliver ’10 has found her greatest passion in writing. Already boasting the success of her wildly popular web series, Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, Oliver recently completed her first studio feature, Barbershop III, and continues to write for the Starz show, Survivor’s Remorse. Oliver recently discussed her transition from a performer to a writer and producer and also shared the lessons she has learned while maturing as a writer herself.
April 8, 2015
What Makes a Monster, an expansive exhibit that spans 5 libraries across USC’s campus, from its primary location in Doheny Memorial Library to its satellite exhibitions in the Helen Topping Architecture & Fine Arts Library, the Norris Medical Library, the Science and Engineering Library, and the VKC Library for International and Public Affairs, explores the historical, anthropological, and cultural aspects of monsters in society. The project represents an unprecedented collaboration between the University’s divisions, including SCA.
SCA Gets “Fresh Off the Boat”
Television Symposium Welcomes Hit Show
April 7, 2015
In 2015, television has undergone a renaissance in diversity. With hit shows Empire and alum Shonda Rhimes’ personal television empire of Scandal, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, andHow to Get Away with Murder, diversity is on the rise in television and Trojans are at the forefront. Fresh Off the Boat, a show run by alum Nahnatchka Khan is the first comedy on a broadcast network to feature a predominantly Asian cast in two decades. On April 6th, Howard Rosenberg’s Television Symposium course hosted Khan, writer Melvin Mar, and writer Sanjay Shah. The Q&A was moderated by Howard Rosenberg and was preceded by a screening of Margaret Cho’s All American Girl, Black-ish, and two episodes of Fresh Off the Boat.
SCA Family Stories: Nina Sadowsky
Writer, Producer, and Professor talks with SCA
April 6, 2015
In a diverse career that has included work as an entertainment lawyer, executive, producer, director, writer, author, and beloved USC professor, Nina Sadowsky recently added one more title to her resume: Mentor for the Humanitas New Voices program. SCA sat down with Nina recently to discuss her new role with Humanitas, her new novel, and her ongoing love of writing and teaching.
Visions and Voices Presents: Measures & Frames
An Immersive Visual Music Event
April 2, 2015
Innovative, immersive, visionary. These are not terms ordinarily associated with contemporary classical music and string quartets. Then again, Visions & Voices’ Measures & Frames, performed for a packed house at Newman Hall this past Saturday, was far from an ordinary concert.
Fritz the Cat
SCA Welcomes Revolutionary Animator Ralph Bakshi
March 27, 2015
The history of animation has many luminaries in art, technology, business, and innovation. None of them are as beloved or bizarre as writer/director and animator Ralph Bakshi, who visited the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) after a screening of his X-rated cartoon feature Fritz the Cat. The screening was followed by a Q & A moderated by SCA Director of Programming Alessandro Ago and was presented by Visions and Voices. Fritz the Cat tells the story of a cat who studies at New York University trying to find truth in the subcultures of the revolutionary 60s.
Ron Meyer Visits SCA
Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal fields questions from students
March 26, 2015
Ron Meyer’s unique blend of wisdom, wit, and raw honesty is always welcome at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. On March 25th, Meyer, the Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal, spoke to a capacity crowd in the Ray Stark theatre in a Q&A led by Associate Dean and Head of Student Industry Relations Larry Auerbach. Meyer covered topics ranging from the theme park business, being a good agent, finishing Furious 7 after star Paul Walker’s death, and the gamble of making a Fifty Shades of Grey film. He also fielded questions from the capacity crowd of students.
March 25, 2015
The Princeton Review ranked USC Games the number one video game program in 2015 for its undergraduate programs. Either the graduate or the undergraduate program has been ranked the number one program for six years straight. USC Games represents an exciting collaboration between the School of Cinematic Arts' and the Viterbi School of Engineering's.
March 16, 2015
USC School of Cinematic Arts held the IMAX Filmmaker Screening Series on March 8 2015, presented by the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA). It was the first major screening for cinema students in our new Michelle & Kevin Douglas IMAX Theater and Immersive Lab in the Robert Zemeckis Center.The Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) screened three films followed by conversations with filmmakers and industry leaders. The screenings were a great opportunity for cinema students to learn more about telling stories for the giant screen.
March 13, 2015
As career week comes to a close here at SCA, students will be walking away from the events with a firmer understanding of the highs and lows of breaking into the film industry, covering everything from how to make a great pitch to crowdfunding a new film project.
March 13, 2015
Team Overly Kinetic of SCA’s Interactive Media and Games program took home the “Ones to Watch” Award at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) video game awards ceremony on March 12, 2015. The core of Team OK is made of up 4 SCA students: Kevin Wong, Alec Faulkner, Catherine Fox, and Esteban Fajardo.
March 11, 2015
iMAP PhD candidate, Laila Shareen Sakr has been featured in the Chronicle for her insightful research into how social media has been used to effect change in the Middle East.
March 11, 2015
It may sound corny and it might sound trite, but any successful filmmaker will tell you that friendships are crucial in the movie business. On March 10th, Oscar-winning filmmaker Norman Jewison and Head of Student Industry Relations Larry Auerbach put their friendship of over three decades on display at An Evening with Norman Jewison at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Jewison and Auerbach’s friendship started when Auerbach was his agent at the William Morris Agency in New York.
March 9, 2015
Starting Fall 2015, students will be able to minor in Media and Social Change at the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). The curriculum for this new major will be geared toward studying how different types of media have propagated social change, the successes and failures of these methods, and how students can create impactful media themselves.
March 5, 2015
Global issues of climate change and resource depletion are hot topics that are coming increasingly under media scrutiny as we move deeper into the 21st century. Hoping to “inform, educate, and document violations to the life and resources of our planet,” Gavin Garrison ’12 produces documentaries highlighting eco-disasters around the globe, including the Costa Concordia crash in the Italian Archipelago in 2012 and the ever-worsening pollution problems in Beijing. Now a producer for Animal Planet’s longest running show Whale Wars, Garrison shared with us his firsthand look at filming in Antarctica on the front lines of one of the world’s longest-running eco-battles.
March 5, 2015
USC Games students and alumni won the Best Design and the Seumus McNally Grand Prize at the the Independent Game Festival on March 4th, 2015.
Movies We Love: The Princess Bride
Cary Elwes Speaks after Beloved Film
March 2, 2015
One of the biggest perks of graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts SCA is being exposed to great films, television shows and video games and the minds behind them. To further this mission, Movies We Love is a screening series at SCA where alumni and friends of the School bring in films to discuss with the filmmakers. On February 25th, alum Tim Dowling hosted actor and author Cary Elwes for a screening of The Princess Bride, the cult film which was rated one of the top 100 screenplays ever written by the Writer’s Guild of America. The Q and A was moderated by Director of Programming Alex Ago.
SCA Family Stories: Jon Noble
The Sloan recipient discusses his film
March 2, 2015
Jon Noble, a recent grad from the USC School of Cinematic Arts was awarded a 2014 Sloan Grant for his story about a group of Polish scientists who fake a typhus outbreak during World War II – ultimately saving thousands of lives. Jon sat down with SCA Family stories to discuss his process, his time at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and how students can take advantage of the Sloan program.
February 27, 2015
Tracy Fullerton, division chair of IMGD and director of USC Games, is being honored as Game Changer of the year at the 12th annual Games for Change Awards.
February 26, 2015
On January 27th, 2015 a special screening of Zombie Killers: Elephant's Graveyard took place at the School of Cinematic Arts. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with Director B. Harrison Smith, Actors Billy Zane, Felissa Rose, Dee Wallace, Executive Producer Jeff Trainer, and Director of Photography Charlie Anderson.
SCA Family Stories: Youngmin Kim
The Director of Room 731 Sits with SCA
February 25, 2015
When Youngmin Kim received his M.F.A. in Film Production in 2014, he took his thesis film, Room 731, to festivals around the world. The film, inspired by true events of the Japanese concentration camp known as Unit 731 during World War II, follows an amnesiac girl as she travels through an abandoned prison filled with tortured spirits who mean her harm. In this interview, Youngmin talks about the rigors of taking a film from conception to the screen, how he approached melding historical fact with an artistic vision, and what it was like presenting his film at festivals around the world.
February 24, 2015
When it comes to making films, sometimes it’s essential to check your ego at the door. From scrapping together the funds to put together a production, to working collaboratively with a team to breath life to a shared vision, there’s no room for anyone giving less than their full effort. It’s a lesson that a team of USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) grads learned in spades while working on their first feature, The House on Pine Street – a largely self-funded venture, initially backed by a successful, but modest Kickstarter campaign.
February 23, 2015
It’s an exciting time for mobile game development. Firefly Games, co-founded by SCA alum Justin “KJ” Lin, has raised $8 million to distribute popular Asian mobile games to the US market. It’s a significant achievement for any organization, and remarkable for a company that was only founded one month ago in January 2015.
Harvey Weinstein Visits SCA
Head of Weinstein Company Discusses his Career with Students
February 23, 2015
There are certain people who, undoubtedly, changed the trajectory of filmmaking, not only in the United States but around the globe. Although writers, directors and actors are often the focus of media and critical attention, executives such as Warner, Eisner, Katzenberg and Tartikoff also fall into this category. In the 90s, independent film rose to the forefront of the media culture and Harvey Weinstein was the architect behind the scenes. With films such as The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Silver Linings Playbook, Pulp Fiction, Clerks and The Artist, Weinstein has cemented his reputation as a singular talent, driving indie filmmaking. On Thursday, February 19th, Weinstein visited the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) for a Q&A with SCA Director of Programming Alex Ago, and SCA students.
Legendary Writer/Director screens Return to Oz
February 19, 2015
An evil queen who removes her head and keeps it in a cupboard. Minions with wheels for feet. An evil gnome king attempting to assume a physical form. A sassy talking rooster. These are the things that cult movies are made of. Return to Oz, the 1985 film depicting Dorothy Gale’s return to the land over the rainbow is one of the most beloved and bizarre film sequels in cinematic history and the USC School of Cinematic Arts hosted co-writer/director Walter Murch and producer Walter Maslansky on February 13th as part of the Movies We Love series.
February 18, 2015
On February 6, 2015, Academy Award-winning director, William Friedkin lit up the Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre with a fantastic talk about his legendary career.
Trojan Vision Can't Stop
After seventeen years, SCA's student operated network is better than ever
February 11, 2015
Just two minutes after you enter the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts, the home of Trojan Vision, it’s clear that this is not a typical classroom environment. Though working at Trojan Vision is a fundamental part of CTPR 409: Practicum in Television Production, the work demands dedication and time that extends far beyond the on-paper requirements.
February 10, 2015
Alum Doug Blush checks in from Park City
February 10, 2015
Numerous USC SCA Interactive Media and Game Design graduates were nominated for their work at the Independent Games Festival (IGF) and the Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) in 2015. The IGF Awards honor the best designers in independent gaming and strive to encourage innovation in game development, while the GDCA are the premier accolades for peer recognition in the digital games industry.
February 5, 2015
Discovering her passion for TV and film in SCA’s Division of Writing, Heather V. Regnier ’08 found supportive communities among her fellow SCA alumni as she embarked on her screenwriting career after graduation. Now writing for not one, but two big hit series, Falling Skies and Sleepy Hollow, Regnier recently discussed her journey as a screenwriter and her definition of success.
SCA Has Banner Year in Park City
February 4, 2015
Careers are made at the Sundance Film Festival. Across generations, filmmakers from Bryan Singer to Ryan Coogler have started their storied careers at the Park City Festival. This year, 33 films with Trojans in key positions were shown at Sundance/Slamdance and 5 films were sold.
February 2, 2015
A team of SCA Alums has taken home the $1,000,000 grand prize in Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” Commercial Contest.
January 30, 2015
In a generous show of support for film education and academia, acclaimed director Ridley Scott has donated his extensive collection of film memorabilia to the School of Cinematic Arts. The collection, which includes scripts, photography, storyboards, production-design boards, and other items, commemorates Scott’s remarkable, 40-year career as a feature-film director.
January 29, 2015
As filmmakers we often hear the saying that documentaries are “stranger than fiction” and that if you wrote this as a narrative script no one would ever believe you. FINDERS KEEPERS that I had the privilege of editing together with directors Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel, takes the term “stranger than fiction” to a new high. It is by far the funniest and most bizarre tale that has ever come my way involving a pitched legal battle over the ownership of a severed leg.
[SUNDANCE BLOG} Ross Putman
Alum Discusses his history at Sundance
January 28, 2015
Sundance is a weird place. It’s a confluence of so many things at one time, it’s often difficult to gain your bearings. And in some ways, it’s as though the festival prefers it that way; your senses off-kilter and unaccustomed, struggling to make sense of the winter wonderland in which you find yourself. There are the massive mansions overlooking the city, designed like one might imagine a mountain-chalet-Vegas-themed casino to look, complete with massive screening rooms, picture windows, and color schemes evincing a particular attachment to shades of brown. There are the theaters, strewn throughout the valley and not easily connected between (or certainly, not with swiftness), holding such varied numbers of people between them that it does not seem inappropriate to read, in the subtext, some prejudice against a particular film built-in to the assignation of a smaller screening venue. Then there are the restaurants, clearly designed almost entirely for the yearly-visiting visiting Angelenos, every guest grumbling at the cost, quietly suspecting that there might, in fact, be a “regular” menu that costs significantly less, distributed literally every day that isn’t during the festival.
[SUNDANCE BLOG] Doug Blush
Documentarian Checks in from Park City
January 27, 2015
Hello to all at SCA and beyond…I’m Doug Blush, currently at Sundance 2015 with the new documentaries THE HUNTING GROUND (as co-editor and associate producer) as well as SEMBENE! in the International Documentary Competition (as consulting editor). This is just a quick first greeting before a big ramble to come about our films, what Sundance is about this year, and what it means to have a premiere (or two!) here. These are my eighth and ninth films in the festival over the last decade, and the first year I also come to Park City as a faculty member…I’m teaching 535 Intermediate Editing at USC this semester!
January 26, 2015
On December 3rd, 2014, a special screening of Print the Legend took place at the School of Cinematic Arts. A Q&A Session with Director Luis Lopez and Co-Producer Andrew Kortschak followed the presentation, in a panel moderated by Alex Ago.
January 26, 2015
SCA swept the winnings for the Humanitas Prize in 2014, with two alumni being honored for their pilot scripts. Both winners are 2014 graduates of the M.F.A. Writing for Screen & Television program.
January 23, 2015
On December 2, 2014, a screening of The Guide took place at the School of Cinematic Arts. A Q&A session with Writer-Director Oles Sanin and Writer Paul Wolansk followed the presentation in a panel moderated by Distinguished Professor, Mark Jonathan Harris.
Sundance Blog 2015
Over 30 Films with Trojans in Key Positions to Debut in Park City
January 22, 2015
The 2015 Sundance Blog is coming just around the corner. This year, over 30 films will be screened at Sundance and Slamdance. See below for the list of names.
To follow the blog, please visit: sundance.usc.edu
Trojans Crash the Superbowl – Again
SCA Grads are finalists for Doritos Contest
January 22, 2015
Every year, the Doritos’ "Crash the Super Bowl" Contest, a commercial competition judged by popular vote, awards a $1,000,000 prize to the winners. This year, two teams of SCA alums made it to the final 10. Middle Seat, a commercial by SCA graduates, Scott Zabielski, Genevieve Younce Zabielski, Chris McKinley, Andrew Huebscher, Jason Cochard, and Shelley LaRue, follows one man’s quest to keep the middle seat in his airplane aisle empty. In the other finalist, Lemonade Stand -- created by SCA duo, Dave Horowitz and Nick Sivakumaran -- a little girl finds a creative new way to maximize her lemonade stand profits.
Don Quixote - A Palm Springs Recap
Massive Student Feature Film Debuts in Class Taught by James Franco
January 21, 2015
Making the student feature film, Don Quixote, was a monumental task. The film took ten directors, a full writers room, a cohort of producers, and Academy Award-nominated actor, James Franco, as an instructor. Don Quixote clocks in as the longest student production in the last two decades at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and was not only a massive accomplishment in storytelling, but also a lesson in the ego-checking art of collaboration. The film debuted at the Palm Springs International Film Festival to a capacity crowd.
Sloan Science Seminar: World Building - The Art & Science of Storytelling
SCA Hosts Exhibition of World Building Technology
January 21, 2015
One of the most compelling developments in modern filmmaking is how evolving technologies influence how artists express themselves. The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) has long been on the forefront of debating the importance of technological developments to creators and, on January 16th, the School hosted a panel discussion on one of cinema’s current cutting-edge applications of technologies: World Building. The panel covered world building as a function of pre-production in films, world building in the modern city and how transmedia is being increasingly controlled by fans.
January 20, 2015
On November 17th, 2014, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, spoke at length to an audience at the School of Cinematic Arts, in a discussion moderated by Dr. Richard B. Jewell.
January 15, 2015
MAP Ph.D. Candidate Nonny de la Peña’s Use of Force – an immersive, virtual reality experience that places users in the eyes of a bystander on the night an undocumented immigrant, Anastasio Hernández Rojas, was beaten to death by U.S. Border Patrol officers – was featured in a new BuzzFeed video. Their coverage highlights the project’s effective use of virtual reality for journalistic purposes, despite the medium’s more entertainment-based focus.
January 14, 2015
White Bird in a Blizzard, written and directed by SCA Alumnus, Gregg Araki, screened at the School of Cinematic Arts on October 19th, 2014. The screening was followed by a Q&A session with Araki, moderated by Katie Walsh.
January 14, 2015
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000), the Academy Award-winning documentary by Distinguished Professor, Mark Jonathan Harris, was selected for addition to the National Film Registry for 2014.
January 8, 2015
Associate Professor of Practice Jason E. Squire was inducted into the DeTao Masters Academy as “Master of Entertainment Industry Studies,” spending Thanksgiving in Shanghai presenting a workshop at the Academy and lecturing at the Shanghai Library.
Publishing that takes the E-Book to New Dimensions
January 8, 2015
All digital writing is not created alike. A student writing for the SCA website might be happy that the illustration of her blog post is just one embedded movie or game trailer. But when working on her thesis project she needs to reference so many different kinds of media that linking, embedding and referencing becomes a new-media nightmare.
January 6, 2015
Gary Rydstrom ’81 is a seven-time Academy Award winner for his pioneering work in sound on such films as Saving Private Ryan, Titanic, Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Rydstrom makes his feature debut as a writer-director on the Lucasfilm animated musical Strange Magic, which releases in theaters on January 23. Juggling a full slate of work in the sound room with his “new” career, Rydstrom recently discussed his unique journey as a storyteller.
Student Games on Display
December 15, 2014
Demo Day is an exhibition of student video games that has been hosted at USC for more than five years. In addition to exhibitions of student games and a video games industry career fair, this fall’s version of USC Games’ biannual event introduced what program director Tracy Fullerton said she hoped would be a “new tradition”—a panel on the future of the industry. Titled “Beyond Platforms and Publishers? A Look at the Future of Video Games,” the discussion was led by Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) professor Richard Lemarchand and featured three alumni, Kellee Santiago of OUYA, Erin Reynolds of Flying Mollusk and Nate Burba of Survios. They were joined on the panel by Ophir Lupu, who heads up United Talent Agency’s (UTA) video games division, and Clinton Foy of the investment firm CrossCut Ventures.
December 15, 2014
Glasgow Phillips, Head of Video at StarMaker Interactive, spoke at special seminar about online content, social media, and creative branding at the School of Cinematic Arts on October 14, 2014.
December 9, 2014
On November 14th, 2014, SCA hosted a special screening of Miss Meadows, followed by a Q&A with Actress Katie Holmes and Producer Rob Carliner, moderated by SCA Alumnus Timothy Dowling
SCA Family Stories: Brenda Goodman
Professor Goodman talks about her new film Sex(Ed)
December 5, 2014
In the overview video which the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) uses to recruit students, producer/Trojan alum Sev Ohanian talks about the faculty’s dedication to their students at SCA and he mentions that, even though he’s graduated, he can still call Brenda for advice at any time. The Brenda in question is director/producer/writer/educator Brenda Goodman, the head of the Producing Track in the Film & Television Producing Division. Goodman is known for her hands-on approach with student filmmaking, her honesty with students and her unique style of mentorship which lasts for entire careers.
December 4, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director, James Gunn spoke at length about his writing process, his directorial vision, and the difficulties of helming a big budget film in a visit to Jason Squire’s Art and Industry of the Theatrical Film class on November 18th. His epic space fantasy, Guardians of the Galaxy, which follows a ragtag band of intergalactic, alien outlaws as they try to save the galaxy from a power-mad warlord, was a massive hit at the box office this past summer, enjoying five non-consecutive weeks at number one and setting the record for the highest August opening in film history.
December 2, 2014
Sylvester “Marty” Shelton’s cinema career began under unique circumstances. Now a retired naval intelligence officer, Marty had been called into active duty during the Korean War, where he was offered the chance to attend the Navy School of Photography in Pensacola, Florida.
December 2, 2014
On October 21st, 2014, SCA hosted a special screening of Nightcrawler, followed by a Q&A with writer-director Dan Gilroy, moderated by Alex Ago.
Alum Directs Web Series on Ballerina
Sheldon Candis' Piece on Misty Copeland Goes Viral
November 25, 2014
Before she rises on pointe for her exquisite relevé – before she gets anywhere near the ballet barre – Misty Copeland’s strength, poise, and grace is undeniable.
November 25, 2014
Instrumental in bringing Twilight to the big screen as a creative director at Summit Entertainment, and now overseeing the Divergent series as Executive Vice President of Production at Lionsgate, SCA alum Gillian Bohrer is a dominant figure in the film industry. Because of the impressive spate of blockbusters released under her helm, Variety has named her one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders in Film.”
Longtime Executive Visits SCA
November 21, 2014
Careers in the entertainment industry rarely last several decades. They rarely cross over from television, film and internet properties. They rarely span the public and private sector. Legendary executive Michael Eisner has beaten the odds on all counts. Eisner is currently the president of the Tornante Company which oversees investments such as candy companies and the television show Bojack Horseman.
AMPAS @ SCA
Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs comes to the School of Cinematic Arts
November 19, 2014
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), visited the School of Cinematic Arts on Monday November 17 for a candid conversation about the Academy’s mission and work. The evening consisted of Boone Isaacs in conversation with Professor Rick Jewell, the Hugh M. Hefner Chair for the Study of American Film, after which she took questions from the audience.
November 14, 2014
The Dhanam Foundation, the education-focused family foundation of technology entrepreneur Ram Shriram and his wife Vijay Shriram, has donated $1.5 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) to create need-based scholarships for its graduate students.
November 13, 2014
Ambulante California, Outside the Box [Office], and Catatonia Films presented a special festival screening of Bering: Balance and Resistance on October 1, 2014. A Q&A with writer, director, and producer Lourdes Grobet, moderated by Dr. Michael Renov, followed.
November 13, 2014
On October 1, 2014, LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 – the first ever documentary about Native activist and national civil rights leader, LaDonna Harris – screened at SCA as part of the Ambulante California 2014 film festival. The presentation was followed by a Q&A with writer-director Julianna Brannum, hosted by Dr. Michael Renov.
November 13, 2014
The two-time Palme d'Or winners and longtime Cannes favorites discussed their long working partnership, storied careers in film, and filmmaking process in an extended question and answer session on November 6th at the School of Cinematic Arts after the screening of their latest critically adored French-language film, Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit) starring Marion Cotillard.
November 12, 2014
Mad Men creator and USC alumnus Matthew Weiner screened his new feature length film Are You Here in the Ray Stark Family Theatre on Tuesday, November 4th. The dramatic comedy, which stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poehler, follows the main characters as they reevaluate their lives, the nature of friendship, and love.
CNTV 457: The Entertainment Entrepreneur: Getting Your First Project Made
A class teaches the necessary entrepreneurship skills for breaking into the entertainment industry
November 11, 2014
In the changing media landscape, entrepreneurship should be a primary skill for media makers at the School of Cinematic Arts. The Entertainment Entrepreneur: Getting Your First Project Made, taught by alumni and adjunct professors, Jason Michael Berman and Michael Jenson, teaches students how to connect the creative side of entertainment with the business side.
November 10, 2014
Italian film, Discovery at Dawn, screened at the EUphoria film festival on September 24, 2014. A Q&A with writer-director Susanna Nicchiarelli followed the event, moderated by Alex Ago.
November 4, 2014
On September 23rd, 2014, SCA hosted a screening of the documentary Sel8nne at the EUphoria Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with NHL Legend Teemu Selanne.
Spring 2015 -- CTWR 431 -- I'll Have What She's Having: The Works for Nora Ephron
November 4, 2014
I'll Have What She's Having: The Works of Nora Ephron -- Open Registration
Tuesdays - 7-10pm, Section #19431R
Instructor: Barbara Nance
November 3, 2014
In an effort to bring to light the under-studied challenges faced by immigrants, the USC Immigrant Health Initiative (iHi) and the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) have produced a short, three-part documentary that follows the stories of three Los Angeles-based immigrant families. The films are currently being shown in classrooms throughout the University and the Keck School of Medicine.
November 3, 2014
From the moment they walked through the USC School of Cinematic Arts gates, Charles Leisenring, Caisy Lun, Cerise Robinson, and Justin Warren — all MFA Production ’14 graduates — were enchanted by the vision they call “Hogwarts”. It was the start of a magical journey for these four friends. Of course, there were some darker, “cupboard under the stairs” moments, but the four agree that SCA’s nurturing professors and bright, creative students have created an extraordinary environment (that has even been rumored to have been originally established by wizards!).
Trojans Honored by DGA
Students bring home 3 Directing Awards
October 31, 2014
The Directors Guild of America today announced the winners of the 2014 DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and Women directors in the West Region. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional diverse directors in film schools and select universities across the country.
October 29, 2014
On September 20, 2014, SCA hosted a screening of Flying Home at the EUphoria Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with Director Dominique Deruddere and composer Wolfram de Marco that was moderated by Alex Ago.
October 27, 2014
On September 20, 2014, SCA hosted a screening of Clownwise, followed by a Q&A session with Director Victor Tauš and Actress Eva Jenícková.
October 24, 2014
After weeks of sleepless nights, the incredibly talented students of SCA’s production and writing classes finally presented their multi-cam sitcom, Entitled, to a live studio audience taping on October 12, 2014 on Stage 4 of the Cinematic Arts School. Judging by the loud roars of laugher in the audience, these 21 students have created a success.
October 23, 2014
SCA presented a screening of The Other Dream Team at the EUphoria Film Festival on September 20, 2014. A Q&A with Director Marius A. Markevicius followed.
October 20, 2014
On September 2nd, 2014, SCA hosted "The Skeleton Twins" director Craig Johnson and writer Mark Heyman for a preview of the film and a Q&A moderated by Alex Ago.
October 20, 2014
On October 9-12, Culver City became the epicenter for indie games when the annual international independent media celebration, IndieCade, returned to town. Game enthusiasts came together with industry leaders, developers, and gamer culture connoisseurs to check out the latest, greatest and most innovative new games on the market. This year, the festival featured a record setting 14 games from USC School of Cinematic Arts students, faculty, and alumni.
Trojans Honored at BAFTA
Four Game Designers from IMGD Nominated
October 16, 2014
After being nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award this summer, the members of Team Overly Kinetic (Team OK) have continued to live up to their name, actively promoting content at events and exhibitions and participating in development competitions throughout Los Angeles, while keeping up with their schoolwork. The group, which includes four Interactive Media & Games students at the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), was recognized in August for its work developing a video game at the Dare to be Digital Challenge and has been nominated for the “Ones to Watch Award”at the 2015 BAFTA Video Games Awards for their multiplayer deathmatch game, Chambara.
October 15, 2014
Animation is in the midst of a revolution, and legendary animator and incoming Chair of the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts, Tom Sito, has seen it the whole way through. Having learned directly from some of the most well-known names in the industry – from the famed 9 Old Men at Disney to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera – and witnessing first-hand the growth and development of digital animation, Sito is the ideal historiographer of the field. With his significant animation credits including beloved classics such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, he is one of the most influential voices in animation today.
Dennis Hopper Honored
SCA Hosts “Part of Being an Artist”
October 13, 2014
Actor/photographer/director Dennis Hopper is widely recognized as one of the singular creative figures of American Cinema. The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), which recently became home to a collection of the actor’s photographs and memorabilia, honored Hopper on October 10th with a reception to mark the public opening of the exhibition Part of Being An Artist: The Dennis Hopper Collection, Selected Works and Ephemera. The event was co-hosted by Visions and Voices, the initiative to bring dynamic arts events to the USC campus. The reception was followed by a screening of Apocalypse, Now which features one of Hopper’s most memorable performances.
October 10, 2014
Producer/alum Susan Downey sat down for a Q&A conducted by Leonard Maltin on October 9th following a screening of her new dramedy, The Judge, for students in Maltin’s Film Symposium class.
Seats Available: CTCS 303
October 9, 2014
Dr. Ellen Seiter’s Japanese Anime covers the theory and practice of the Japanese Animation industry, history and culture. The class explores, from a critical angle, how Anime went from the humble pages of manga to one of the most important cultural forces in the world. Dr. Seiter sat down to discuss her course, what students can look forward to while enrolled and how anime may be one of the best places for artists to explore controversial topics and hard science fiction.
The course has no prerequisites and is open to anyone.
October 7, 2014
SCA Professor Mary Sweeney moderates a Q&A with "The Great Flood" writer/director Bill Morrison.
October 7, 2014
Director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett, and producers Keith Calder and Jessica Wu participate in a Q&A for their film, The Guest.
Seats Available: CTCS 192m
Race, Class and Gender in American Film
October 6, 2014
CTCS 192: Race, Class and Gender—which also addresses issues of sexual orientation, age, ethnicity and their function within Hollywood cinema—is one of the most enlightening, controversial and well-known courses at the School of Cinematic Arts. The course is taught by Dr. Todd Boyd, a highly regarded professor of Critical Studies who was recently named one of LA’s fifteen most noteworthy arts professors. Dr. Boyd’s many books include The Notorious Ph.D’s Guide to the Super Fly 70s and Young Black Rich and Famous. He is the producer/co-writer of the film The Wood. He holds the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture.
Lunch with Larry
Catching up with the chair of the Peter Stark Program
October 5, 2014
The Peter Stark Producing Program has many reputations. To some, it's the "business" program at the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). To others, it's the source of an incredible percentage of Hollywood's interns. To thirty years worth of Alumni, it’s home.
October 1, 2014
Only two years after leaving SCA, producer and writer, Sev Ohanian (MFA Production, '12) is currently working on his seventh feature film. From My Big Fat Armenian Family to Fruitvale Station to the Google Glass short Seeds, Ohanian jumps from project to project with an enthusiasm nothing short of infectious. His early and continuous success traces back to his belief that "it's about being able to be proud of that next piece of work."
September 30, 2014
In a major step forward for student support at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has pledged a $100,000 endowment for financial aid to qualified, international students.
September 24, 2014
For her exceptional filmography and continued dedication to film education, the Cinematographers Guild has awarded Judy Irola, the Conrad Hall Chair of Cinematography at SCA, the Nat Tiffen Award for Excellence in Cinematography Education. USC alum, John Bailey, was also the recipient of the Technicolor Cinematography Journalist of the Year special award. These prestigious awards will be presented on September 26th at the American Society of Cinematographers Clubhouse.
September 23, 2014
On Saturday Sept. 13, the Division of Animation and Digital Arts (DADA) held the Bridging the STEM Divide conference at the Stauffer Science Lecture Hall. Over 100 local high school students attended the event, which was focused on exposing students of color to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) both as academic disciplines and also as career paths.
EUphoria Film Festival brings Europe to USC
5 Days. 13 Countries. 13 Films
September 23, 2014
A collaboration of European Languages and Movies in America (ELMA), the School of Cinematic Arts, as well as the consulates of the participating countries, the inaugural Euphoria Film Festival kicked off this weekend at USC. ELMA, a non-profit organization based in Santa Monica, showcases and celebrates European cinema as an art form, for American audiences. The festival features films from: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Poland.
September 19, 2014
Leonard Maltin hosted an advanced screening of the dramedy This Is Where I Leave You on September 19th in his Film Symposium class, followed by a Q&A with director and producer Shawn Levy and editor Dean Zimmerman. Based on a novel of the same name, the film explores both chaos and comfort when four siblings are forced to reunite for a week under the same roof following the death of their father.
MISC Works with Armani
The film, commissioned by Armani, debuted at the Toronto Film Festival
September 18, 2014
USC student film, iLA, directed and co-written by John Berardo, was one of six short films that premiered at the prestigious 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this month as part of the “Films of City Frames” project initiated by fashion designer and icon, Giorgio Armani. Each of six international filmmakers was given the task of capturing moments of urban landscapes and emotional situations through the filter of Armani’s Frames of Life eyewear line. Armani envisioned a collage of films showing urban encounters—with the eyewear taking on the attributes of a character.
SCA Family Stories: Jen McGowan
The director of Kelly and Cal sits down with SCA
September 18, 2014
Jen McGowan is an up and coming director in indie features. Her debut feature Kelly and Cal is premiering at the Arena Cinema in Hollywood and on VOD this week. SCA Family Stories caught up with her to chat about the transition to professional filmmaking, what she learned in her time as a Trojan, and how sometimes the “extra” things you do in college prepare you just as much as your courses.
Vevo Sparks Creativity for MFA students
Animators collaborate with Vevo
September 11, 2014
Animators collaborated with Vevo.
Imagineering Your Own Theme Park
Walt Disney Imagineers teach course on theme park design
September 9, 2014
Imagination and engineering are making their debut at the School of Cinematic Arts in the survey course “The Imagineering Way: Themed Entertainment Design.”
September 4, 2014
Entertainment media has a profound impact on individual knowledge, behavior and society in general. The USC Media Institute for Social Change (USC-MISC) is a nonprofit organization made up of industry professionals at SCA who create entertainment media with impactful social messages.
September 4, 2014
As a filmmaker navigating across the oft-partitioned worlds of documentary and fiction filmmaking, alum Tracy Droz Tragos ’93 is attracted to stories that are personal and intimate, which have the potential to reveal universal truths.
September 3, 2014
The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has donated $5 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, it was announced today by Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The donation marks the most substantial gift the School of Cinematic Arts has ever received for student support and will create The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Fund for Student Support. The gift will provide financial support to qualified undergraduate students who have demonstrated significant financial need.
September 2, 2014
The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) had two of its faculty named to the Art Career Project “Fifteen Noteworthy Art Professors in Los Angeles.” Jack Epps, Jr., the Chair of the Writing for Screen and Television Division and Professor Todd Boyd, the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture were included in the annual list.
August 28, 2014
Media Arts + Practice Ph.D. candidate Nonny De La Pena's groundbreaking work in Immersive Journalism featured on the BBC's Future Thinking.
August 18, 2014
Jenna Cavelle spreads social messages with the Media Institute for Social Change
August 12, 2014
The game, developed by two USC faculty members, gets recognition in the art world
August 11, 2014
USC Games Director on Bloomberg
August 7, 2014
Award-winning Journalist Teaches Behind the Scenes Television Course
August 5, 2014
Directors and SCA alumni talk about their film, Daylight.
August 4, 2014
August 4, 2014
Author of The Red Queen, and SCA alum Victoria Aveyard talks with Reality Ends Here.
SCA Family Stories: David Sonne
An Oakie Trustee Sits with USC
July 22, 2014
The USC School of Cinematic Arts has strong ties to Hollywood history in the form of endowment, library collections, partnerships and many other avenues.
One of the strongest partnerships at the School is with The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation. Trustees David Sonne and Barry Pascal are known through campus for their innovative and hilarious scholarship presentations every year. Charles Collier is known for his behind the scenes support.
July 15, 2014
The SCA Network, Summer Programs, and Twentieth Century Fox, presented a preview of the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and a Q&A with director SCA Alumnus Matt Reeves on July 7, 2014. Reeves discussed the creation of the film and its visual effects.
July 15, 2014
Outside the Box [Office] and Magnolia Pictures presented a preview of Life Itself, a film about world-renowned film critic Roger Ebert’s life on June 27, 2014. A Q&A with Ebert's wife, Chaz Ebert, moderated by Leonard Maltin, followed the preview.
July 15, 2014
The SCA Network, Summer Programs, Comedy@SCA, and Columbia Pictures, presented a preview of the film Sex Tape at SCA on July 11, 2014. A Q&A with Sex Tape director, Jake Kasdan, moderated by Professor David Isaacs followed. Kasdan and Isaacs discussed comedy and the film's development.
July 15, 2014
Outside the Box [Office] and White Dwarf Productions presented a preview of the documentary Slingshot, on July 10th, 2014. A Q&A with the director Paul Lazarus, co-producer Barry Opper and Douglas Blush, moderated by Michael Renov followed the screening.
July 15, 2014
Outside the Box [Office] and Saboteur Media presented a preview of the film Korengal and a Q&A with director Sebastian Junger on June 12, 2014. Korengal picks up after the film RESTREPO, a film Junger and his colleague Tim Hetherington made following the deployment of a platoon of US troops in Afghanistan.
New Video Explores SCA’s Focus on the Future
July 15, 2014
Interactive Media & Games, Media Arts + Practice, Research in the Cinematic Arts and many other programs at the School of Cinematic Arts are pushing the boundaries of technology in the entertainment industry and beyond. SCA’s new video explores the people and projects that are keeping the School on the cutting edge and redefining what’s possible with the moving image.
Higher Education Video Game Alliance Announced
Top Scholars from around Country to Collaborate
July 7, 2014
Video games have already embedded themselves into American and World culture. At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, they took a major step forward in academic consideration when the Higher Education Video Game Alliance was announced by the Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division and Director of USC Games, Tracy Fullerton. The initiative will bring the top Video Game educators in the world under one umbrella.
July 7, 2014
The SCA Alumni Screening Series, African American Cinema Society (AACS) and Screen Gems presented a Q&A with director and SCA Alumnus Tim Story, producer Will Packer and, Screen Gems Executive James Lopez, on June 8, 2014 with a screening of their film, Think Like A Man Too. Story, Packer and Lopez spoke of how they got started in the movie industry and about their work on the film.
July 7, 2014
On June 10, 2014, SCA hosted "The Signal" writer and director, William Eubanks and actor Beau Knapp for a Q&A moderated by Alex Ago. The talk was followed by a preview of the film.
July 3, 2014
Teng “Eric” Cheng won the Animation Silver Medal for Higher Sky at the 2014 Student Academy Awards
July 3, 2014
Partnered with the Google Glass Creative, a team of SCA alumni and faculty created SEEDS, a short film shot entirely on the Google Glass.
July 2, 2014
Along with her husband and creative partner Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver has written and produced the two most recent films in the Planet of the Apes saga -- including Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which opens nationwide on Friday, July 11. (The film was directed by fellow SCA alumnus Matt Reeves ’88.) After Silver graduated with an MFA from the Writing Division in 1989, her first produced writing credit The Hand that Rocks the Cradle was released three years later. Silver’s other credits include The Relic and Eye for an Eye and upcoming projects Jurassic World, Heart of the Sea, and an Avatar sequel. She recently took time away from her busy writing schedule to answer some questions from Reality Ends Here.
June 30, 2014
Professor Howard Rosenberg moderated a conversation between Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair of the comedy series Playing House, on April 7, 2014. Television Symposium, also known as CTCS 467, is a class taught by Rosenberg that features writers, directors, producers and performers.
June 30, 2014
Mark Johnson, the producer of the popular television series, Breaking Bad and original series Rectify, joined Professor Howard Rosenberg on April 14, 2014, for a conversation part of the Television Symposium. Johnson talked about his experiences working on the show Rectify and other shows. Television Symposium, also known as CTCS 467, is a class taught by Rosenberg that features writers, directors, producers and performers.
June 23, 2014
SCA hosted another evening with Pixar Animations co-creator Ed Catmull, moderated by Andrew Millstein on April 16, 2014. Catmull discussed his book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, which the bookstore, Skylight Books, had on sale, and the lessons he learned during his career at Pixar.
June 23, 2014
Production Perks presented an Evening with James Foley, director of the Netflix series, House of Cards on May 8, 2014. Foley talked with Tom Abrams about his work on the show and his experiences in the entertainment industry. The conversation was followed by the Season 2 finale of House of Cards.
June 23, 2014
On May 7, 2014, SCA alum and Stage Fright writer and director, Jerome Sable, editor Nicholas Musurca and music producer Aram Mandossian, sat down for a Q&A with Ty Strickler. As part of the SCA Alumni Screenings Series and Magnet Releasing, the event featured a preview screening of the film. Stage Fright was an official selection at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival.
June 17, 2014
Alexandre Peralta’s Thesis Recognized
SCA Family Stories: Edd Benda and Alex Bell
The Filmmakers of Superior Talk about their Process
June 9, 2014
Graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts is a time to make hard decisions. Some students turn their internships into entry-level jobs, some take some time off to write but, in the current, digital world, some students are jumping right in to make low-budget features.
June 6, 2014
Sasha Alexander’s (BA Production '97) acting credits include starring roles in films such as Yes Man and TV shows such as NCIS and the hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, where she plays Dr. Maura Isles. What many may not know is that Sasha graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she studied production in an effort to hone her behind-the-camera skills.
Bringing IMAX to Troy
SCA Opens Michelle and Kevin Douglas IMAX Theatre and Immersive Lab
June 5, 2014
On June 4th, 2014, the USC School of Cinematic Arts took a major step forward in its efforts to be the home of the next generation of storytelling technologies. An IMAX Theatre and Immersive Lab, made possible by donations from Michelle and Kevin Douglas and IMAX, opened at the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.
SCA Family Stories: David McCracken
The Director of OstrichLand discusses his process
May 27, 2014
David McCracken ‘13, the director of the award-winning 546 student film OstrichLand, recently hit the real world running. In this interview with SCA Family Stories, McCracken discusses the importance of selecting a good crew, how tough lessons can help a filmmaker develop a voice, and why students should have material ready before they graduate.
May 21, 2014
The 41st Annual Student Academy Awards, one of the highest distinctions for student films in the world, boasts among its winners and nominees this year three students and recent alumni from SCA’s John C. Hench Divison of Animation & Digital Arts.
May 12, 2014
The University of Southern California has a long tradition of pushing the boundaries of video games as an artform and industry. On May 9th, USC Games took another step forward when Tracy Fullerton, the Chair of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division was named the first Director of USC Games.
May 7, 2014
On March 24th, Oscar-nominated filmmaker David O. Russell visited the School of Cinematic Arts and held a conversation with Dino and Martha DeLaurentiis Endowed Professor Mary Sweeney as part of the Writing Presents Speaker Series.
May 5, 2014
Four SCA animation students and alumni have been selected to participate in this year’s Annecy Film Festival – the oldest and most prestigious animation festival in the world, held in Annecy, France. Among the Official Selections for the festival are works by Corrie Francis-Parks (SCA ’06), Miguel Jiron (SCA ’13), Lou Morton (SCA ’13) and Chaoqi Zhang.
SCA Alumni Stories: Tim Dowling
Spotlight on the writer of Role Models and This Means War
May 5, 2014
Tim Dowling ’96 is a successful screenwriter with credits such as Role Models, This Means War, and Just Go With It. He also serves on SCA’s Alumni Development Council and on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors. He recently took time away from his next writing project to answer a few questions from Reality Ends Here.
Bernard and Mona Kantor Remembered
Cinema School Pioneer and Wife’s Legacy Honored at SCA
May 1, 2014
April 29, 2014
The creative team behind Mad Men, the AMC hit about the advertising heydey of 1960s Madison Avenue, visited SCA’s TV SymposiumCourse (CTCS 467) on Monday, April 28 for a special Q&A session moderated by Professor Howard Rosenberg.
SCA Family Stories: Mark D. Manalo
The Director of Present Trauma Speaks to Students
April 28, 2014
Present Trauma is a short film by an all USC crew that tells the story of a Marine suffering from PTSD. The film was recently honored with the Best Drama Award at the School of Cinematic Arts’ First Film festival, which was held at the Director’s Guild of America Theatre on April 17. SCA Family stories recently sat down with Mark D. Manalo to discuss his process, his strategies for tackling tricky material and why working with an untrained dog might mean asking for a migraine.
David O. Russell @SCA
Oscar Nominated Writer Visits SCA
April 24, 2014
Writer/director David O. Russell visited the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) for a Q&A on March 24th. During a discussion in which he talked honestly about how his process has grown in his last three films, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Russell also told the audience how the analysis of other films has helped him grow as a storyteller and that success for him is being able to show the audience why he loves his characters. The Russell Q&A was part of Writing for Screen & Television Division’s Writing Presents Speaker Series, moderated by Mary Sweeney, the Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Professor.
Catmull @ SCA
Disney/Pixar Animation President Visits School of Cinematic Arts
April 17, 2014
Ed Catmull, one of the co-creators of Pixar Animation and current President of Disney Animation and Pixar Animation, is considered one of Hollywood’s great creative minds. He also has a unique perspective on just about everything. On Wednesday April 16 he was interviewed by Andrew Millstein, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Disney Feature Animation, in front of a capacity crowd at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Addressing some of the topics in his new book, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, Catmull spoke to students about storytelling, how to form an organization and the incredible teaching power of failure.
SCA Student Honored with Walt Whitman Award
Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Rae Armantrout selects Hannah Sanghee Park
April 15, 2014
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is the alma mater of Oscar, Emmy, Webbie, Annie, DICE and countless other award winners. In 2014, the School can add Walt Whitman Award winner to that list. The Academy of American Poets and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout have selected current Writing for Screen & Television MFA candidate Hannah Sanghee Park as the recipient of the 2014 Walt Whitman Award, the Academy’s prestigious first book prize.
Coming soon -- CTWR 431: Super-heroic Screenwriting from Comic Panel to the Screen
Guys that Fly, Girls that Fight, Masterminds & Spiderbites
April 11, 2014
Open to all USC students, open registration, and counts towards the Minor in Screenwriting
April 11, 2014
The films and PSAs screened at the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) first “Evening of Social Change Films” told fictional stories, and conveyed very real emotions and social issues.
SCA Family Stories: Danny Abrahms
The showrunner of Self-Help sits down with SCA
March 17, 2014
Self-Help is a new comedy web series where Trojan Danny Abrahms plays both patient and therapist in psychiatric self-diagnosis. The series started as a sketch Abrahms filmed for fun with a friend from USC but slowly turned into something that got the attention of the New York Television Festival. From there, the project was developed for the web by My Damn Channel and will debut on March 18th.
Anatomy of a Web Cartoon
Trojan Filmmakers Tackle the Web with Billiams
March 14, 2014
Students are increasingly turning to the web as a means to get their projects out into the world and the web cartoon Billiams is the latest in a long string of Trojan projects following non-traditional paths. Billiams, a web cartoon with 10 Trojans in key positions, follows a wolf in his first year at a liberal arts college and the eccentric characters he meets along the way.
George Lucas Dedicates Three Chairs at SCA
Alum continues his support of the School
March 14, 2014
Through transformative gifts to the School of Cinematic Arts, alumnus George Lucas has honored his collaborators, friends and cinematic heroes. On Thursday, March 13th, Lucas continued his philanthropy by endowing faculty chairs named for Sergei Eisenstein, George Méliès and Williams Cameron Menzies. Eisenstein, Méliès and Menzies are considered filmmaking pioneers. Their theories and practices are taught in film programs around the world.
Number One in Game Design
USC Games Retains Top Ranking
March 11, 2014
USC has been named the number one School for game design in North America for both its graduate and undergraduate programs. The graduate ranking marks the fifth straight year USC has been on top. This ranking is shared by the Interactive Media & Games Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science.The #1 ranking for its Undergraduate Program marks the fourth year the program has held the distinction.
Sequoia @ SXSW
Film with Five Trojans in Key Positions Debuts at Festival
March 11, 2014
From day one, students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) are taught that success is about collaboration. The films, games, animation projects, scholarly works and all other works produced at SCA are built on the backbone of cross divisional work between the seven divisions of the School. On March 9th at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Sequoia, a film with five Trojans in key positions proved this point brilliantly. Sequoia features five students from three divisions who came together to make the lowbudget dramedy. Sequoia started out as alum Andrew Rothschild’s thesis script in the Writing for Screen & Television Division.
March 10, 2014
Students and alumni at the School of Cinematic Arts gained some insight into the entertainment industry during SCA’s first career week, which took place from March 3-6. Instead of having one career day, the students were given four days to attend a variety of workshops and talks to help them navigate the working world. Hosted by Student Industry Relations, the presentations included speakers from professional companies like Pixar, Sony and Paramount Pictures and USC alumni.
Bateman and Dodge @ SCA
Comedy Duo Screens Bad Words at USC
March 7, 2014
In Trojan writer Andrew Dodge’s debut feature Bad Words, a grown man with anger issues enters the national spelling bee on a technicality where he proceeds to sabotage the hopes of all of the young contestants to bring himself the glory. Tapping into his own past as a “debate kid,” Dodge said he had the idea fully formed after watching the documentary Spellbound.
March 5, 2014
Media Arts + Practice (MAP) Professor at the School of Cinematic Arts Steve F. Anderson was named a 2013-14 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Innovation Fellow for his study of Technologies in Cinema. Anderson teaches in the MAP Division at SCA and is the co-Principal Investigator of the Scalar Labs that are revolutionizing scholarship for the digital age.
February 24, 2014
Standing in front of a room full of students in the new Interactive Media Building on February 12 at SCA, designer, filmmaker and artist Tu Uthaisri traced his unconventional path towards what has been a category-defying career - from graphic artist to filmmaker to Designer, Editor and Filmmaker-in-Residence at the Google Creative Lab in New York City.
February 24, 2014
USC hosted it’s first ever “World Jam” in the new Interactive Media Building this past weekend, running from February 14th until February 16th. Programmers, designers and creators from USC and across the gaming community were invited to participate in creating short, 5 to 15 minute experiences that will eventually be used to help sick children undergoing stressful procedures. Explained Marientina Gotsis, one of the organizers of the jam, “There’s nothing really used for this particular purpose right now. There’s a lot of games, but the narrative arc is not quite appropriate for the experience, the content is not necessarily appropriate, and the immersion is not necessarily high enough.” The goal is to create short, casual, fully immersive content that can entertain children as they wait for an IV or a long and tedious procedure, distracting them from the pain and boredom they might feel.
February 20, 2014
Co-directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco (SCA Alumnus) talked about the story and visual development for the movie, “The Croods”
Les Blank Honored at SCA
The sons of the legendary Trojan Documentarian discuss his life and work
February 13, 2014
Trojan Les Blank changed the face of documentary filmmaking with his films about music, food and all the other ways that human beings, especially marginalized Americans, express themselves. On February 11th the School of Cinematic Arts hosted a screening of three of Blank’s early films, The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968), Spend It All (1971) and his student film, Running Around Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off (1960). The screening was followed by a discussion, led by SCA Vice Dean Michael Renov, with Blank’s sons Harrod, who is also a documentary filmmaker, and Beau. Blank, who attended the School of Cinematic Arts in the 1960s, passed away on April 7, 2013.
February 13, 2014
Drue Metz tell us the story of how his SCA education prepared him for the opprotunity of a lifetime at Apple.
February 13, 2014
The Stanley Parable, created by Bryan Singer Department of Critical Studies alumni Davey Wreden '11, has been nominated for 4 BAFTA awards in the 'Debut Game', 'Story','Game Innovation' and 'Performer' categories. Previously honored by The New Yorker, a win would put Wreden alongside fellow SCA grads thatgamecompany who picked up several BAFTA awards for their game Journey. For more on the BAFTA awards and the complete list of nominations, visit The Telegraph's full article.
World Building Media Lab Honored in Amsterdam
SCA Lab Wins Future Voice Award
February 12, 2014
While the USC School of Cinematic Arts maintains a strong center training the next generation of scholars and media makers, it also has a profound presence in the research of the moving image. One of the primary centers for this research is the World Building Media Lab which was honored at the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) Interaction Design Awards. The Lab is led by award-winning Production Designer/USC Cinema Professor Alex McDowell (Minority Report, Man of Steel, Upside Down).
TERROR: On the Screen/ On the Ground
Panelists compare terrorism on the screen and on the ground
February 11, 2014
Terrorism is a topic that extends beyond federal boundaries and the media. Films and television shows give insight to how terrorists operate and the potential dangers they impose on the public. Yesterday, the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) partnered with the USC School of Cinematic Arts to present how people on the ground and on screen approach terrorism. It was a full house with fans of the show Homeland and 24 and people curious to know more about terrorism. Randy Parsons, Lawrence Wright, Erroll Southers, Bonnie Reiss, Alex Cary, Evan Katz.
Threes! is Number One
Trojan Game Designer Tops App Store
February 11, 2014
Interactive Media & Games graduate Asher Vollmer ‘12 has achieved one of the most difficult things a young game designer can accomplish, creating games with a distinct voice. From his student project Semi-Automatic to his first breakout success Puzzlejuice (which peaked at #11 on the app store) to his newest game Threes!, which recently topped the iTunes App Store, Vollmer’s show a clear progression and growth as an artist.
February 5, 2014
At the close of his Q&A in front of a packed house at SCA’s Ray Stark Theatre, writer Bob Nelson offered some very unconventional career advice, “Write your first screenplay when you’re in your mid-forties and make sure you work with Alexander Payne,” he said. “That’s my advice.”
February 4, 2014
SCA Alumnus Yasaman Hashemian was named a winner of the 2014 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Design, an annual award bestowed by the Vilcek Foundation. Established by Jan and Marica Vilcek in 2000, the Vilcek Foundation was created to raise awareness of immigrants' contributions to American arts and sciences. Today, it carries out this mission by showcasing the work of immigrant artists, giving grants to other nonprofits, and awarding the Vilcek Prizes, which honors and supports foreign-born scientists and artists who have made outstanding contributions to society in the US. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were established in 2009 as a complement to the Vilcek Prizes, to encourage and support young immigrants who show promising talent. Each year, winners are chosen in biomedical science and a changing category of the arts, this year recognizing accomplishments in the field of design. In addition to being recognized, recipients are awarded an unrestricted $35,000 cash prize as well as a commemorative plaque.
Creating a Virtual Syria
Trojan Nonny de la Pena’s Immersive Journalism Hits Big in Davos
January 31, 2014
At the 2014 World Economic Forum, held in mid-January in Davos, Switzerland, the pressing issues of the day were discussed in lectures, panels and meetings. One of the pressing topics being examined at the conference is the ongoing war in Syria and Media Arts + Practice Ph. D. candidate Nonny de la Pena’s brought her signature work in Immersive Journalism to the discussion of the middle eastern conflict. De La Pena’s piece, Project Syria, transforms a YouTube clip of an attack in Aleppo into an immersive experience created in a virtual reality display worn by the participant. This groundbreaking work offers a unique perspective on the conflict, providing context for the suffering in Syria even as it transforms participants into the experience.
January 30, 2014
While turning thirty for many can be a stressful milestone, this year’s Sundance Film Festival took it in stride with its usual mix of sales, screenings, prizes and parties. 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of Sundance and as usual Park City, UT was home to artists of all kinds with films vying for awards, distribution deals, and the ever-gratifying standing ovation. The small, mountain town also reprised its role as a getaway for film enthusiasts eager to see the next big thing in independent cinema. It was a banner year for Trojan filmmakers, with USC alums taking home awards for U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary and Audience Award: Best of NEXT, among others.
January 28, 2014
As part of the second Comedy@SCA Festival, Comedy@SCA hosted alumni of the Harvard Lampoon.
January 27, 2014
The Interactive Media & Games Department had the pleasure of hosting one of the inaugural screenings of New Zealand director Stephanie Beth’s Us and the Game Industry. The screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring thatgamecompany’s Kellee Santiago, Jenova Chen and Austin Wintory.
IMGD thesis project Paralect nominated by IGF
Paralect nominated for excellence in narrative award
January 27, 2014
Paralect, the thesis project of Interactive Media & Games Division alum Loan Verneau, has been nominated for the Independent Games Festival’s Excellence in Narrative Award. Held during the annual Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, the Independent Game Festival (IGF) is one of the largest and longest running gaming awards festivals. This year saw Paralect beat out 656 entrants from all over the world, with an additional 350 entries in the student category.
January 27, 2014
When Keck Hospital of USC received a grant to make a film about coaching kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder issues, it envisioned a sort of public service announcement or educational documentary.
VIDEO: Comedy@SCA Animation Panel
Homer, Shrek and Cleveland Walk Into a Bar
January 21, 2014
Comedy@SCA at the USC School of Cinematic Arts hosted JAMES L. BROOKS (Co-Creator of The Simpsons), DAVID SILVERMAN (Director: The Simpsons Movie, Co-Director: Monsters, Inc.), RICHARD APPEL (Executive Producer: The Clevland Show, American Dad!), VICKY JENSON (Director: Shrek, Shark Tale) and MATT O'CALLAGHAN (Writer: The Great Mouse Detective, Director: Curious George)
Story @ SCA
Alum/Director Tim Story Screens Ride Along
January 16, 2014
Ride Along tells the story of a grizzled detective in the Atlanta PD whose sister’s boyfriend is desperate to join the police academy and gain his approval. The veteran cop takes his sister’s boyfriend on a day in the life in the streets of Atlanta. Director/alum Tim Story screened the film in SCA 108 to a capacity crowd on January 14th. The screening was presented by the SCA Network and Comedy@SCA.
Bob Osher Honored by USC
Executive/Alum Featured at USC Alumni Awards
January 14, 2014
Alum of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Bob Osher ’81 is one of eight Trojans to be honored at the 81st Annual USC Alumni Awards on April 26, 2014, at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Milius @ SCA
Legendary filmmaker/alum honored with screening of Milius
January 13, 2014
Writer/director/producer John Milius graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the sixties and joined a group of filmmakers that changed the film industry forever with films like Jeremiah Johnson, Conan the Barbarian, Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn. On January 9th, at a screening of the documentary Milius in Norris Cinema Theatre, Milius was honored for his work by his classmates, industry friends and students. The documentary will premiere on the EPIX channel on January 11 at 8PM.
SCA Family Stories: Jamari Perry
January 9, 2014
The halls of the School of Cinematic Arts are filled with talks about “voice.” It’s one of the hardest attributes to define for the aspiring filmmaker or scholar. Documentarian Jamari Perry recently sat down with SCA Family Stories to discuss how she found her voice on her award-winning documentary Soaring on Invisible Wings. The documentary about the autoimmune disease Lupus was produced as part of the 547 course in the Film & Television Production Division and recently won the grand prize at the African American Women in Cinema Festival.
January 6, 2014
The Smithsonian Museum of American Art acquired two new video games for this week, one of which, Flower, is the product of SCA-associated studio thatgamecompany. Interactive Media & Games Division graduates Jenova Chen ‘06 and Kelly Santiago ‘06 co-founded the studio while students in SCA’s Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) with the vision of producing high-quality, emotionally meaningful content that stands in contrast to typical AAA gaming fare.
January 3, 2014
The New Yorker named TSP as its number two “Most Crucial Game of the Year”.
January 2, 2014
Happy 85th Anniversary to the USC School of Cinematic Arts
Ambitious Student Commercial Selected as a Top 24 Semi-Finalist in 'Crash the Superbowl'
December 20, 2013
Student films are all about preparation. For every hour spent filming, double or triple the time is spent on location scouting, rehearsing and blocking before the shoot. USC Cinema student Shane Habberstad and recent alum Jack Heston ‘13 took this one step farther with their spec Doritos commercial Dive for the Doritos: Crash the Superbowl contest by filming multiple skydives to recreate a group of skydivers fighting for a bag of tortilla chips.
Simon Wilches-Castro Wins Adobe Design Achievement Award Grand Prize
Hench-DADA MFA Student Takes Home Grand Prize
December 16, 2013
John C. Hench Division of Animation MFA student Simon Wilches-Castro has been awarded the Animation Grand Prize in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards. Wilches-Castro’s film Semáforo beat out thousands of other entries from over 50 countries. The film, described as “a beautiful circus act that becomes a terrifying freak show” is an allegory for the ongoing conflict in Columbia where, Wilches-Castro notes, “Some show the only thing they have left - deformities and amputations, in exchange for sympathetic coins”.
Demo Day @ USC
Demonstrations of Student-Produced Games Held
December 12, 2013
It’s an exciting time for student video game design and production at USC. Year after year, the quality of student games produced by USC Games students continues to get better and the industry is taking notice.
Trojan Collaborators Tackle “Kilimanjaro”
Indie dramedy marks second collaboration for producing pair
November 26, 2013
The first day a student steps onto campus at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, they are told “look to your right and look to your left.” The speaker (Usually Dean Elizabeth M. Daley) tells them that these are people they might be working with for the rest of their careers. Trojan grads and Ryan Piers Williams, Jason Michael Berman and Gavin Kelly took this to heart. The long-term collaborators most recently worked together on their new film Killimanjaro which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin and is currently available on VOD.
Michael Kahn Honored at SCA
Steven Spielberg Dedicates Chair in Editing to Longtime Collaborator
November 13, 2013
Film Editor Michael Kahn first worked with Steven Spielberg on 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. In the years since then they have collaborated on most of the director’s films including Schindler’s List (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998) for which they both won Oscars and last year’s Lincoln. On Monday November 11th, the Director honored their 37-year relationship by dedicating the Michael Kahn Endowed Chair in Editing at the School of Cinematic Arts.
Boots Brings Home the Awards
Television Project by Trojan Grad Hits Festival Circuit
November 8, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is known for its ambitious student projects. Students become adept at transforming sound stages and workspaces into alien worlds, haunted houses or, as a young Trojan named George Lucas did for his thesis film THX 1138, an electric labyrinth. Nowhere is this more evident than in Single Camera Television Dramatic Series,the production class that requires students to produce drama pilots. This year, one of the class’ student projects, a drama titled Boots, continued the School’s proud tradition of ambitious set pieces by transforming Stage 4 of the Cinematic Arts Complex into Los Angeles’ Skid Row.
Howard Rodman Awarded Chevalier Honor
Writing Professor Recognized by French Government
November 4, 2013
VIDEO: Mel Brooks@SCA
Comedian Recieves the Oakie Award
November 4, 2013
In 2009, legendary comedian Mel Brooks recieved the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Masters in Comedy Award. Video in Link.
SCA Family Stories: Vibrancy Studios
USC Sits Down with two Entrepreneurs from Crit Studies
October 21, 2013
Technology has changed everything. From preproduction, to production to post-production to distribution. From video game design to education to architecture. Trojans Steven Corrigan Fine and Marcus Yves Garfinkle are two young businessmen riding the digital wave by founding Vibrancy Studios, known as the Creative Studio of the Digital Generation.
Bryan Singer Honored at SCA
Alumni Gather at Dedication of the Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies
October 14, 2013
This year filmmaker Bryan Singer added his name to the list of Hollywood icons who, over the years, have helped build the programs and facilities of the School of Cinematic Arts. In February, Singer named The Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies with a $5 million gift to the division from which in graduated in 1989. On October 13th the School dedicated the new division with an event that included a Q and A with Singer, a reception and a screening of The Usual Suspects, his 1995 mystery/thriller that is considered a landmark American film.
SCA Family Stories: Priyanka Kumar
An interview with the author of Take Wing and Fly Here
October 14, 2013
USC School of Cinematic Arts alum Priyanka Kumar ‘99 is best known to students for her documentary work on the film The Song of the Little Road. In 2013, Kumar is making the transition to novelist with her debut novel Take Wing and Fly Here.
October 7, 2013
The pioneering work of USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Tracy Fullerton was celebrated this week at the Red Carpet awards for IndieCade 2013. The annual celebration of the year’s top independent video games—the largest in the country—kicked off by honoring the best in visual design, gameplay, storytelling, interactivity and more with a ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown Los Angeles.
Charles Swartz Honored at SCA
Professor Richard Weinberg Installed as Charles S. Swartz Endowed Chair in Entertainment Technology
September 28, 2013
Charles Swartz enrolled in the master’s program in the cinema school in nineteen sixty two because he loved movies. During those two years he fell in love with fellow student Stephanie Rothman, who later became his wife. He also became enamored with the technology of cinema.
September 18, 2013
On Saturday, September 28th, the website is celebrating its launch with an event at the SCA’s new Interactive Media Building. Starting at 10 AM, the event will feature Interacting with Autism’s executive producers and SCA faculty members Mark Jonathan Harris and Marsha Kinder moderating a series of panel discussions around autism. The event is free to attend and open to any interested parties.
September 17, 2013
Henry Jenkins, USC Provost's Professor, media critic and author of books like Covergence Culture, has been selected to join the board of the Peabody Awards.
Student Profile: Fatema Sayed
Using entertainment to break the barriers of gender inequality
September 17, 2013
While Sesame Street has been a titan of children's programming in the United States for over forty years, its revolutionary reach has only recently extended to Afghanistan, a country that is beginning to redefine its traditions. Fatema Sayed Mir Aga, a recent SCA Summer Program student from Afghanistan, recognized the importance of the children's show as a means of demonstrating women’s equality in her country. The show has also been influential in her own personal story.
Gilligan @ SCA
Breaking Bad Showrunner Visits the School of Cinematic Arts
September 13, 2013
When Writer/Producer Vince Gilligan visited the School of Cinematic Arts on September 10th, the conversation focused on his journey as a writer, his time on the X-Files and the similarities between modern television and the studio system in the 1930s. Gilligan also discussed the topic that has been leading watercooler conversations for weeks now: How and why his hit show Breaking Bad will end in three episodes. Gilligan told the capacity crowd that he felt fans and critics were reading too much into his motives regarding the demise or survival of lead character Walter White.
September 12, 2013
Professor Jeremy Kagan is known for his unique and passionate approach to directing and teaching. His new book My Death: A Personal Guidebook tackles a near death experience (or NDE), which shaped Kagan’s approach to life, film and teaching forever.
August 30, 2013
Over the summer, Associate Professor of Practice Jason E. Squire was in Beijing for nearly three weeks at the invitation of Beijing Film Academy.
Lynton joins Board
CEO of Sony joins Trojan Family
August 30, 2013
The School of Cinematic Arts is pleased to announce that Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, Inc., is joining the SCA’s Board of Councilors. Lynton will other luminaries like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas in leading the school’s planning and development, as well as supporting its fundraising efforts.
USC’s School of Cinematic Arts #1
The Hollywood Reporter Ranks Film Schools
August 1, 2013
2013 Emmy Noms
Congrats to our Trojan Nominees!
July 29, 2013
Congrats to all of our Emmy Nominees from the School of Cinematic Arts.
Student-Created PSAs to Debut
Announcements about social issues will run on television stations
July 11, 2013
USC School of Cinematic Arts students have created public service announcements (PSAs) targeting urban violence, veterans’ issues and youth Internet safety that will premiere later this week on CBS 2 (KCBS-TV) and KCAL 9 (KCAL-TV). The three PSAs were developed and directed by students in the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Media Institute for Social Change (MISC) in collaboration with the television stations.
VIDEO: Fruitvale Station Crew @ SCA
Six of the Fourteen Trojans from Fruitval Station at USC
July 3, 2013
On Friday, June 28th, six of the fourteen Trojans who worked on the film Fruitvale Station came home to USC to screen the film and participate in a Q and A with current students.
Anything But Despicable
The writers of Despicable Me 2 visit SCA
June 28, 2013
Those who are still on campus this summer were treated to a 3D, advance screening of the much-anticipated Despicable Me 2, as well as a Q&A with the film’s writers Cinco Paul, MFA Writing ’93, and Ken Duario. Moderated by SCA Director of Programming Alex Ago, the two discussed their methods for collaborating, creating accessible comedies and working with the film’s actors and animators to further the script.
Recent Graduate Wins Student Academy Award
David Aristizabal wins for documentary about canine therapy for PTSD
June 26, 2013
For many Production students, making it to the Oscars is a lifelong ambition. One team of SCA students got a head start by qualifying for the Student Academy Awards, which recognizes outstanding, student-created work before they have finished school. At this year’s 40th Student Academy Awards, MFA Production alum David Aristizabal, who graduated in 2012, was awarded first place for his documentary A Second Chance, which explores and pays tribute to service dogs that help support war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
iMAP Student Earns Intel Ph.D. Fellowship
The fellowship will support Ph.D. candidate’s dissertation
June 17, 2013
When you go to a concert, the audience reacts to the music; however, iMAP Ph.D. candidate Joshua McVeigh-Schultz’ dissertation reverses this process and demonstrates the ways in which technology itself can respond and adapt to the audience. McVeigh-Schultz’ innovation was recently recognized by technology giant Intel, which awarded him with a highly competitive Intel Ph.D. Fellowship to support his work.
Industry Giants “Interact” within SCA’s New Building
The Interactive Media Building Officially Opens its Doors
June 13, 2013
Imagine the entertainment landscape of the future. What does it look like? On June 12, three of the most influential thinkers in entertainment media, filmmakers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and Don Mattrick, the President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, tackled this question at an event hosted by the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA).
VIDEO: Brooks & Moss @ SCA
Legendary Directors Hold Master Class at USC
June 11, 2013
On April 11th, directors James L. Brooks and Larry Moss were invited to teach a master class. The sold-out event was hosted by Comedy@SCA, the School of Cinematic Arts’ academic pathway for the study of comedy in theory and practice.
When Big Leaguers go DIY
CTCS Alum and Co-Producer/Editor of Whedon’s Newest Film Discusses Micro and Big Budget Filmmaking
June 5, 2013
With credits to his name like Marvel’s The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Toy Story, Writer/Director Joss Whedon has earned his keep as one of Hollywood’s most sought after talent. However, the filmmaking process for Whedon’s newest film, Much Ado About Nothing, doesn’t seem too different from that of School of Cinematic Arts students’ approach. Whedon took on the adaptation of the Shakespeare play like a DIY passion project, employing money-saving techniques that students are known for.
Redefining Animation @ SCA
SCA’s Hench-DADA to Host the 25th Annual Society of Animation Studies Conference
June 4, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts’ John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts (Hench-DADA) will host the 25thAnnual Conference for the Society of Animation Studies (SAS) titled Redefining Animation. The event invites scholars, researchers and artists to present, address and critique the expanding art form across disparate media and to contribute their papers, ideas and observations to engage a variety of topics in the ever-evolving field of animation and digital arts. Redefining Animation will take place at USC from June 23-27.
Trojans Get “The Spirit of the Marathon”
New Documentary has SCA Alumni in Key Roles
May 31, 2013
Running culture has become an international phenomenon, with people from around the globe gathering at various locations for scenic, challenging short races and marathons. Seven years ago, SCA alum Jon Dunham changed the face of documentary distribution by creating a one-day event screening for the running community to showcase his documentary Spirit of the Marathon. On June 12th, the sequel The Spirit of the Marathon II will once again be the feature at a one-day screening event. Through Fathom Events, the new film will screen on over 600 movie theatres across the United States.
SCA Welcomes New Division
Media Arts + Practice Becomes the School's Seventh Division
May 22, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is adding a division designed to study cutting-edge digital technology. The new Media Arts + Practice Division (MAP) will focus on emerging forms of storytelling and use of the moving image in diverse vocations and academic spheres. The Media Arts + Practice Division will offer Bachelor of Arts and Ph.D. degrees.
SCA Family Stories: Tadious Odissu
Alum Discusses Newest Film
May 21, 2013
The School of Cinematic Arts houses a diverse body of students, each offering a unique background and point of view that they in turn bring to their work. For Ethiopian Tadious Odissu, his international upbringing would play a significant role in the stories he wanted to tell as a filmmaker.
Recently, MFA Production graduate Tadious Odissu sat down with SCA to discuss his film, What to Bring to America, his experiences as a refugee from Ethiopia to his journey to SCA and how passion is the driving force behind getting a filmmaker’s story told.
Alum in Jeopardy
Hannah Spector Wins Big with Film Topics
May 20, 2013
Hannah Spector had been trying to get on Jeopardy! for 10 years. Here she was with a slim lead heading into the final round, and host Alex Trebek reveals the deciding subject to be “70s Blockbusters.” It's a movie category and she got her graduate degree from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2003.
IMGD Announces New Minors
Four New Minors Added to Available Degree Programs
May 16, 2013
As the marketplace for videogames continues to expand, the demands put on game developers continue to grow and change. Today’s video game professionals need to be skilled in areas as diverse as audio design, animation and entrepreneurship. Fortunately for students at USC’s Interactive Media and Games Division (IMGD), four new minors in Game Animation, Game Audio, Game Design and Game Entrepreneurism are now available to give students a key advantage before entering the industry.
Alumni with a “Cannes-do” Attitude
Two alumni films to compete at Cannes
May 13, 2013
School of Cinematic Arts alumni have two films in competition at this year’s Cannes. Fruitvale (renamed Fruitvale Station) and The Immigrant will be competing in the 66thFestival de Cannes, running from May 15-26. Longtime SCA ally Steven Spielberg will serve as this year’s President of the Jury.
May 10, 2013
USC Games, a joint venture between the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science will host Demo Day on May 14, it was announced today by Tracy Fullerton, Chair of SCA’s Interactive Media & Games Division and Michael Zyda, Professor in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Demo Day will take place on the USC campus at the Eileen Norris Theatre. In its ninth year, Demo Day is an annual industry exhibition that showcases student-developed video games ranging from traditional video games to mobile, iPad games, as well as immersive game experiences. Visit USC Games: games.usc.edu
In Memoriam: Ray Harryhausen
Visual Effects Pioneer was a Lecturer and Alum
May 7, 2013
Ray Harryhausen, an alum and former lecturer at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), died on May 7th in London. Harryhausen is known for pioneering visual effects work on films that include Mighty Joe Young (1949), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), the original Clash of the Titans (1981) and on several Sinbad films. His breakthrough effects featured in the film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), inspired the monster movie genre.
Student Stories: Jorge Molina
BFA, Writing for Screen and Television
May 6, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts profiles students through the year so that aspiring SCA students can know what to expect from their time here. Student Stories recently profiled Writing Division BFA Jorge Molina. Below is that profile.
Tracy Fullerton Named a Technology Innovator Nominee
Chair of IMGD Honored for Work on Mission: Admission
May 6, 2013
Chair of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media and Games Division was named a nominee of the Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2013 Technology Innovator list. Fullerton’s work on Mission: Admission, a video game that teaches kids the ins and outs of applying for college, was featured as an example of Fullerton’s work.
The Iron Men of Marvel
President of Marvel Studios and Writer/Director of Iron Man 3 Visit SCA
May 3, 2013
Last night, students of Leonard Maltin’s Theatrical Film Symposium (CTCS 466) had a special treat for their last class of the semester with an advanced 3D screening of Iron Man 3. Following the film, Writer/Director Shane Black and Producer/President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige visited the School of Cinematic Arts to discuss why “geek is good” and how superhero films are making huge strides today. Filling in for Maltin, Writing Professor Howard Rodman moderated the Q&A.
Crystal @ SCA
Actor Discusses His Latest Film, Monsters University
May 1, 2013
On April 26th, the Cinematic Arts students attending the screening of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University knew that a special guest was coming after the film but didn’t know who. Director of Programming at the USC School of Cinematic Arts Alex Ago told them that their guest was someone who worked at Pixar by the name of Mike Wazowski. When Billy Crystal (who voices the character Mike Wazowski) took the stage, there was a full standing ovation.
USC Launches Industry Summit in Beijing
Dean Daley Discusses the Relationship Between China and Hollywood
April 29, 2013
Hench-DADA Chair Kathy Smith Honored
Smith Honored with Award in Faculty Mentoring
April 26, 2013
One of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ primary missions is to provide a world-class faculty for its students. Kathy Smith, the chair of the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts exemplifies this tradition and was honored with the 2013 USC Mellon Mentoring Award for Graduate Mentoring by Faculty on April 25th at a ceremony at the USC University Club.
SCA Family Stories: Susie Yankou
Student Talks About Her DIY Web Series
April 25, 2013
High school can be a tough time for many teenagers, but it helps when someone else can relate. This is precisely what Susie Yankou ’15 wanted to accomplish when she started a DIY web series called 101 Ways to Get Rejected to chronicle the not-so glamorous blunders of an average high school student.
Writing student Yankou recently sat down with SCA to discuss the making of her web series, how her time at SCA has helped her build a collaborative team and advice for students looking to follow the DIY web series path.
The Simpsons @ SCA
Writers/Producers of TV’s Longest-Running Animated Series Discuss the World of Comedy
April 23, 2013
In the 20th century, the standard way of getting hired as a television writer involved writing a spec script and hoping an executive would like your work. Now, writers and comedians are using previously unconventional outlets like YouTube and Twitter to get their work out to a major audience. On April 17th, Simpsons writers/producers Tim Long and Matt Selman and writing/producing comedy team Tom Gammill and Max Pross (Seinfeld, Futurama) visited SCA to discuss their careers and how anyone who wants to work in comedy can thrive in the digital age.
Bachus-Summers Fund for Innovation in Interactive Entertainment Established
USC Alumni Giving Back
April 22, 2013
Video game industry pioneers and USC alumni Kevin Bachus and Chanel Summers have made a donation to the USC School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) to establish The Bachus-Summers Fund for Innovation in Interactive Entertainment. The gift was announced today by School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) Dean Elizabeth M. Daley and will establish a fund for student support to be awarded to students showing initiative in the emerging fields of interactive and immersive media.
Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live 2
Friday, April 26th. 8 PM to Midnight
April 17, 2013
Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live will light up the School of Cinematic Arts Complex in an eventing of large exterior projections and animated sonic performances. Innovative artists Quayola & Sinigaglia, Miwa Matreyek and Charles Lindsay will perform an eclectic program of contemporary audio-visual art and visual music. The exterior spaces of SCA will come alive with interactive installations and building projections created by faculty and students from USC’s Digital Arts and Animation and Interactive Media divisions.
April 15, 2013
USC | 5D Institute's first live, interactive festival, "The Science of Fiction: World Building in Action," held April 13 at the Norris Theater and SCI building, brought together a wide range of professionals, students, and youngsters to create a near-future LA 2020 in a single day.
Robert Zemeckis Profiled by the DGA
Trojan Alum Talks about the Role of Technology in Film
April 9, 2013
Robert Zemeckis Profiled by the DGA! http://www.dga.org/Craft/DGAQ/All-Articles/1302-Spring-2013/DGA-Interview-Robert-Zemeckis.aspx
2013 Commencement Speakers Announced
Alumni Stacey Sher and Matthew Weiner to Address Student Body
April 8, 2013
Long-time ally of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and legendary producer of Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and Erin Brokovitch Stacey Sher will be the 2013 commencement speaker. In addition, alum Matthew Weiner, the executive producer of Mad Men will receive the 2013 Mary Pickford Alumni Award for distinguished alumni.
On the Towne
Academy Award-winning Screenwriter Visits SCA
April 8, 2013
In addition to classroom work, internships and creating projects, part of the School of Cinematic Arts’ student education is the many guests the School brings in through the year. On April 2, legendary screenwriter Robert Towne made his final of three visits of the semester to discuss Shampoo (1975) and, among a host of subjects, touched on how research is key to making a standout script.
The Science of Fiction Coming to SCA
5D Institute to hold Festival on World Building
April 4, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts emphasises a mixture of technology and storytelling in its curriculum across all six of its divisions. To explore this further, USC’s 5D Institute will host The Science of Fiction, a gathering of leading theorists, practitioners and students in the emerging field of “World Building.” Presented in partnership with Boeing and Warner Bros. Pictures, the festival will feature a live, interactive event where participants will use the narrative design principles of World Building to create a visionary, near-future world. The festival will launch on April 13 at USC’s Norris Theater.
From Vertigo to Avatar: Tom Sito Covers the History of Computer Graphics
Hench-DADA Professor Presents History Book
April 3, 2013
Computer graphics are in the DNA of the cinematic arts. Tom Sito, Professor of Cinematic Practice for the John C. Hench Division of Digital Arts, has written the first book detailing the history of computer graphics as an art form and a workhorse for the entertainment industry. Moving Innovation: A History of Computer Animation is available on Amazon.com.
SCA Family Stories: Talia Myers
Student Discusses her YouTube Video Going Viral
April 2, 2013
Each year, SCA students make countless shorts, music videos, TV pilots and even feature films. Making sure these projects are seen, however, can be a whole different ball game. For SCA student Talia Myers ’15, who recently had a surge of media attention after her YouTube video became a viral hit, the battle of getting one’s name out there just got a whole lot easier.
Myers recently sat down with SCA to discuss her viral YouTube video, “Kate Upton, Will You Go To Prom With Me?,” how her short time at SCA helped her make this project and her advice for students looking to get their work seen.
Trojan Vision Turns Fifteen
Award-Winning Student Television Marks Anniversary
April 2, 2013
Students working at the USC School of CInematic Arts’ television station Trojan Vision have a simple rule. When you are doing your day-to-day activities, you’re a normal student. When you’re at the station, you’re a professional. On April 6 the award-winning station will be celebrating its fifteenth anniversary with a gathering at the station’s headquarters in the Robert Zemeckis center for Digital Arts.
The “Journey” Continues to GDC
Visionary Game form SCA Alumni Wins Six Awards
March 29, 2013
Journey,a downloadable game from for the PlayStation format, won six awards, including Game of the Year, at the 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards on March 27th. Journey was developed and produced by thatgamecompany, a video game company run by alum Jenova Chen ‘06 and co-founded by Kellee Sanitago ‘06.
Summer Program: Applications Open
Unique Program Also Open to Non-Major and Non-USC Students
March 15, 2013
The School of Cinematic Arts Summer Program offers participants from around the world an opportunity to attend intensive and creatively demanding filmmaking classes taught by world-class faculty with the use of state-of-the-art equipment. Offering over thirty classes each summer, SCA Summer Program courses cover all aspects of filmmaking, including cinematography, directing, screenwriting, film and television business studies and computer/hand-drawn animation and gaming. Full semester classes condensed into six or seven weeks creates a total immersion experience unlike any other film school in the world. SCA Summer Program students have gone on to become producers at major companies/studios, independent filmmakers and even Emmy Award-winning documentarians.
USC Games Has Big Night at BAFTA Awards
BAFTA Honors SCA Alumni-Created Games
March 14, 2013
London recently got a little warmer when several of the School of Cinematic Arts alumni indie gamers gathered for the 10th British Academy Games Awards on March 5. USC alumni games The Unfinished Swan and Journey both took home awards, including Outstanding Debut Game, Outstanding Game Innovation and the Game Design award.
ESCoNS @ SCA
USC to Hold 3-Day Event on Groundbreaking Cognitive Therapeutics
March 12, 2013
Following its successful inaugural symposium in 2011, the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society (ESCoNS) is holding its second annual conference from March 15-17 at USC to advance the development of videogame therapy in diagnosing and combating mental disorders, as well as how to improve cognitive learning, brain capacity and function through interactive gameplay. Partnered with SCA’s Interactive Media and Games Division and the Game Innovation Lab, this year’s conference will bring together over 200 attendees in the tops of their fields to create scientific and medical breakthroughs through interactive games and media.
USC Games Number One
Graduate Program Secures Fourth Consecutive #1 Ranking
March 12, 2013
The University of Southern California has been named the number one game design school in North America by the Princeton Review for its graduate program. This ranking is shared by the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Interactive Media and Games Division and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science. USC has been ranked the number one school for game design for each year the Princeton Review has released the college ranking. Additionally, USC took the number 2 position for its undergraduate program.
A “Phantom” in SCA
Filmmakers/SCA Faculty Discuss Latest Movie
March 8, 2013
When filmmakers join the School of Cinematic Arts faculty, they do anything but slow down. Many of SCA’s faculty, adjuncts and professors continue to be an active part of the industry as writers, directors, producers and everything in between. This commitment to the moving image was on display February 22nd when SCA faculty members Todd Robinson, John Watson and Pen Densham screened their newest collaboration, Phantom, at the Ray Stark Theatre. Following the screening, Phantom’s writer/director Robinson joined fellow SCA faculty members/Phantom producers Watson and Densham and Academy Award-nominated actor Ed Harris for a Q&A to discuss how the industry is becoming more open to small-budget films and that students shouldn’t wait until they graduate to start their own collaborations.
The Yellow Brick Road Leads to Norris
James Franco and Zach Braff Discuss Their Time in Oz
March 8, 2013
Students of Leonard Maltin’s Theatrical Film Symposium (CTCS 466) were able to view an advance screening of Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful in Norris Theatre last night, with a special Q&A with the film’s actors James Franco (Spider-Man, 127 Hours) and Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State). The two highlighted their experiences on the blockbuster’s set, the need for keeping a strong relationship and emotional arc in the midst of grand visual technology and the importance of having a strong, collaborative director at the helm.
Putting Games in the Name
IMD Gets a New Name
March 7, 2013
The School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division has long been at the forefront of innovative gameplay. To emphasize its commitment to studying games and playable media in all forms, IMD will be renamed the Interactive Media and Games Division.
SCA Family Stories: Kylie Nicholson and Jack Morgan
Students from SCA’s New B.A. in Media Arts + Practice Give Advice
March 5, 2013
The School of Cinematic Arts is proud to announce the new Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts + Practice as its newest B.A. To celebrate the new degree program, SCA Family Stories sat down with students Kylie Nicholson and Jack Morgan to talk about the new degree program, how students can prepare themselves for the new major and how collaboration is the key to success in the new program and the real world.
The Berlinale Talent Campus in 5D
5D Institute Hosts Two Seminars in Berlin
March 5, 2013
Having a globally diverse marketplace is a key component for groundbreaking collaboration. For mediamakers pushing the forefront of technology, the Berlinale Talent Campus (BTC) hosts just the place for this community of innovative thinkers. As such, Alex McDowell, Co-Founder and Creative Director of the 5D Institute at the School of Cinematic Arts, recently visited the BTC in Berlin to discuss World Building and its impact on technology’s use in design fields.
EA Visits USC
President of Labels Frank Gibeau Coming to Campus
March 1, 2013
Herb Farmer Technology Display at SCA
Visit the Collection of Cinema’s Rich History
March 1, 2013
Today’s moving images are created far differently than its origins: with green screens, motion capture technology, 3D visuals and more, the possibilities are endless. However, the history of cinema is captured not only through the images themselves, but through its advances in technology. To keep filmic history alive, the School of Cinematic Arts is currently showcasing the Herbert E. Farmer Motion Picture Technology Collection within the Hugh M. Hefner Exhibition Hall for viewers to see these pieces of cinematic history firsthand.
Chris Terrio For The Win
USC Alumni Wins Big at Oscars
February 25, 2013
At last night’s Oscars, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) alum Chris Terrio took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Argo. The win epitomizes SCA’s mission to keep an engaging story at the forefront of filmmaking.
SCA Family Stories: Max Taxe
Recent Black List Recipient Sits with SCA
February 25, 2013
Students in the School of Cinematic Arts’ Writing for Screen and Television program are told right off the bat that a career in Hollywood is a marathon, not a sprint. However, for alumni like Max Taxe ’11, their career path could get jump-started more quickly than anticipated when their work receives attention early on.
SCA recently sat down with Taxe to discuss his screenplay Goodbye, Felix Chester, which made the 2012 Black List, his time at SCA and his advice for budding screenwriters.
Trojans at the MPSE Awards
Three SCA Student Films Nominated for Award in Sound Editing
February 22, 2013
School of Cinematic Arts students strive to make their projects at the industry-standard level, and that dedication shows. SCA is known for its ranks of writers, directors, producers, video game designers and editors, but one of its best kept secrets is the caliber of sound editors who graduate from the School every year.
On February 17th, the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) hosted the Golden Reel Awards in downtown Los Angeles to recognize outstanding works by student and professional filmmakers in the field of sound design. Of the eight student films up for the Verna Fields Award in Sound Editing for Student Filmmakers, SCA held three nominations. Two days prior, the SCA Sound Department hosted an event to screen each student film nominated for the award.
School of Cinematic Arts Oscar Noms!
Congrats to our alumni
February 21, 2013
Congrats to the SCA alumni nominated for Oscars!
USC Cinematic Arts Announces Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Practice
New B.A. Will Cover Emerging Media
February 15, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is always on the cutting edge of the digital marketplace and digital technology. In this vein the School is proud to announce a new degree program, the B.A. in Media Arts + Practice.
Jim Gianopulos Joins Board of Councilors
Entertainment Industry Titan to work with School of Cinematic Arts
February 14, 2013
Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film, has joined the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Board of Councilors. The Board of Councilors takes a leadership role in the School’s overall planning and development as well as supports its fundraising efforts.
Thatgamecompany’s Journey Sweeps Interactive D.I.C.E. Awards
SCA IMD Alums’ Game Takes Home 8 Interactive Academy Awards
February 11, 2013
The Interactive Media Division (IMD) at the USC School of Cinematic Arts is known for bringing an unparalleled level of artistry and innovation to video game design. thatgamecompany, which was co-founded by alumni Jenova Chen ‘06 and Kellee Santiago ‘06 exemplifies this approach, with highly-artistic games Cloud, flOw, Flower and, most recently, Journey. On February 16th, Journey was the big winner at the D.I.C.E (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards, which are presented annually by the not-for-profit Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) to honor outstanding achievements in interactive art form. Journey was the Awards’ most recognized game, with eight wins: Game of the Year, Outstanding Innovation in Gaming, Outstanding Innovation in Art Direction, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design, Casual Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction.
Producer Andy Friendly Makes Major Donation to SCA
Friend and Alum Gives Direct Aid to Students
February 8, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is fortunate to have a strong roster of alumni who are eager to give back. Among them are SCA alumnus, producer and executive Andy Friendly ‘73 and his wife, actress Pat Crowley, who have created an endowment to help students who are struggling to complete their education. In January, Friendly augmented his existing gift to the School of Cinematic Arts with an additional $50,000 and renamed the fund the Pat Crowley and Andy Friendly Endowed Fund for Student Support.
USC has Two Options: be “Funny or Die”
Comedy@SCA and Funny Or Die Team Up to Host a Workshop for All USC Students
February 8, 2013
At the School of Cinematic Arts, students are taught to take the study of the moving image seriously, and that includes studying comedy. As a way of providing students with hands-on experience in creating online video content, SCA has teamed up with Funny Or Die, the award-winning, top destination for comedy on the web, for a two-day workshop. Running this Friday and Saturday, February 8-9 at USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts and in the SCA Complex, students will get the chance to prove just how funny they can be.
Bryan Singer Shakes Up Critical Studies
SCA’s Most Populated Division Renamed After Alum
February 7, 2013
From George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to Sumner Redstone to Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ray Stark, the School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) foundation has literally been built through the names of its friends and alumni. Now filmmaker Bryan Singer ’89 joins the ranks of these entertainment industry powerhouses with a major donation to the School, a $5 million gift to name the Critical Studies division, from which Singer received his BA. The Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies will be the first USC School of Cinematic Arts division named for one of its alumni.
Redstone Production Building Opens with a Bang
Entertainment Industry Icon Dedicates Two Soundstages
February 6, 2013
Legendary entertainment industry executive Sumner Redstone has named the Sumner M. Redstone Production Building housing two soundstages at the USC School Cinematic Arts (SCA). On February 5th the School hosted a gala reception in his honor attended by filmmakers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, USC President C. L. Max Nikias, Chairman of the SCA Board of Councilors Frank Price, School of Cinematic Arts Dean Elizabeth M. Daley, and entertainment industry titans Brad Grey, Brian Grazer, Jim Wiatt, Les Moonves and Bob Evans.
SoCal Meets Beijing
Professor Jason E. Squire honored at Beijing Film Academy
February 1, 2013
From writing division professors visiting Russia to IML’s relationship with Effat University in Saudi Arabia and the global outreach of the American Film Showcase, The School of Cinematic Arts has made incredible strides in the realm of international relations. Students from around the globe study at SCA, with one of the largest populations originating from China. As one of SCA’s leading professors interested in both continuing and expanding this discussion between SCA and its international outreach, Associate Professor of Practice Jason E. Squire visited Beijing over winter break for various events and honors.
Fruitvale Sweeps Sundance
Sundance Hit is a Trojan Family Affair
January 28, 2013
Graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) have a reputation for sticking together after they graduate. Fruitvale, the Grand Jury and Audience Award Winner at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, is a prime example of this practice, with fourteen USC graduates on the crew, four of whom met during the production of an SCA student film. Fruitvale was written and directed by SCA alum Ryan Coogler ‘11, with seven other Trojans who either attended or graduated from three different schools in key creative roles.
USC Has Record Year at Sundance Film Festival
Films with SCA Alums in Key Roles Make Deals in Park City
January 28, 2013
A record twenty-one films showcasing SCA talent screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and its sister festival, Slamdance. The festival launched on January 17th and ended last weekend with an awards ceremony highlighting standouts that resonated with critics and audiences. To support the alumni, students and friends of the School who visited Park City this year, SCA hosted two events, a filmmaker breakfast and party, at the Riverhorse Tavern on Main Street.
Sumner Redstone Makes Major Donation to SCA
Industry Icon Names The Sumner M. Redstone Production Building
January 17, 2013
Sumner Redstone has changed the face of the entertainment industry. His leadership at Viacom and CBS will be studied by students of the moving image and the entertainment industry for generations to come. Students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts will now be able to study Redstone’s legacy in a building named in his honor. Redstone has made a $10 million gift to the School to name the Sumner M. Redstone Production Building, part of its expansive new Cinematic Arts Complex.
January 17, 2013
Check out the newset blog posts from USC Students and Alumni! sundance.usc.edu
USC Cinema at the Golden Globes
Five Alumni Honored at Awards
January 17, 2013
At the 2013 Golden Globes award on January 13th, four USC alumni’s films were honored for the categories of Best Drama, Best Series: Musical or Comedy, andBest Miniseries or Movie.
January 14, 2013
USC Cinema Professor Mary Sweeney, the current Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Professor who teaches in the Writing Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, has been elected to the position of sitting Chair of Film Independent. Sweeney, who teaches Graduate Writing Thesis and Dreams, The Brain and Storytelling at SCA, is known for her work on The Straight Story and the indie film Baraboo.
Project Holodeck in Dublin
IMD Video Game Debuts at Trinity College, Dublin
January 14, 2013
Projects from USC Cinema’s Interactive Media Division are often very ambitious. For a project to stand out in the competitive world of IMD, they need to step up in a big way. USC video game Project Holodeck attempts this by taking the science fiction staple of Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise’s Holodeck and making it a reality. This December, the Project Holodeck team presented their project at GAME: The Future of Play, a conference on experimental and future game forms, at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.
January 11, 2013
The USC School of Cinematic Arts would like to congratulate the following alumni for were nominated for Academy Awards!
SCA Family Stories: Chanel Summers
Sound Designer/Adjunct Talks to SCA About Sound Design
December 21, 2012
One of the biggest draws for students considering the USC School of Cinematic Arts is the top-rate faculty. The Interactive Media Division is no exception to this. SCA Family Stories sat down with Chanel Summers, a pioneer in the field of audio design for games, to talk about her role as an educator, what students can do to prepare themselves for the real world and how in the world of videogames, and that innovation usually comes from non-traditional people who explore unorthodox paths.
USC Games Hosts Demo Day
Day Features Career Fair and Student-Made Game Demonstrations
December 19, 2012
On December 12th, The School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division combined forces with SCA’s Student Industry Relations and Viterbi’s School of Engineering to create Demo Day
The Taste of Originality
Two SCA Students Selected for Dr. Pepper Tuition Scholarships
December 14, 2012
Thanks to Dr. Pepper, students are finding themselves hyped up and energetic, but that’s not because of the soft drink. Two SCA students, Katherine Duffy and Xavier Burgin ‘15, were recently awarded tuition scholarships through the 2012 Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway for demonstrating within sixty seconds how they plan to change the world.
Feige @ SCA
President of Marvel Studios Discusses The Avengers
December 5, 2012
Ten years ago, if a studio executive had proposed setting up an entire slate of superhero movies as origin stories for a single film that would bring all of these household names together, they would have been laughed at. Kevin Feige, a USC School of Cinematic Arts alum and President of Marvel Studios, accomplished just this with The Avengers. On November 27, Feige visited Jason E. Squire’s Art and Industry of the Theatrical Film course as the final guest speaker of the semester to explain his role as a creative producer.
The Posters of the USC School of Cinematic Arts
Cinematic History Decks the Halls of the SCA Complex
December 5, 2012
The Posters of the USC School of Cinematic Arts
Whedon @ SCA
Avengers Writer/Director Visits Jason E. Squire's Class
November 28, 2012
Avengers writer and director Joss Whedon is known as one of the prolific television showrunners in history. His credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse and many more. This semester, Jason E. Squire’s Art and Industry of the Theatrical Film (CTPR 386) class analyzed Whedon’s 2012 film The Avengers from Marvel Studios. On November 20th, Whedon visited the class and told the students that he had to adjust his style to work in feature films.
Hench-DADA Unveils a “Blue Sky”
Faculty and Students Produce Music Video for Musician Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra
November 20, 2012
On most projects that come out of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the words psychedelic, Bollywood and English garden usually aren’t the starting point. However, when Associate Professor Michael Patterson and adjunct faculty Candace Reckinger teamed up with a group of their animation students and Electric Light Orchestra musician Jeff Lynne to create a video for the song Mr. Blue Sky, the combination of these ideas helped to create something truly unique.
The Guardians Rise in Norris
SCA Students Invited to a Pre-Release Screening of Rise of the Guardians
November 19, 2012
At the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, students are encouraged to create worlds where anything is possible. They got a taste of how this can be done with an advanced screening of DreamWorks Animation’s new film Rise of the Guardians, in which an unlikely team consisting of Jack Frost, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny band together to save the holidays.
SCA Family Stories: David Litwin
Alum/Creator of Cinely Sits Down with SCA
November 16, 2012
Like many recent graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, after graduation, David Litwin ‘10 found himself asking the question, “What’s next?” Following up on a bit of inspiration from his days in the Production Division, Litwin designed and founded Cinely, a website that allows people in the entertainment industry to share their work and find each other for collaboration.
SCA Family Stories recently asked Litwin what exactly cinely.com is, how the site helps to faciliate both current and future film collaborations and advice for students looking into the entrepreneurial route.
Check out Cinely at www.cinely.com.
Remote Master Class from Skywalker Sound
SCA Sound and Animation connect with Academy Award winner Randy Thom
November 14, 2012
Technology is changing every aspect of the entertainment industry. On November 2nd, the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Sound Department, and John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts' Professor Richard Weinberg took a major leap forward in remote collaboration when they hosted a master class with Oscar-winning sound designer Randy Thom. Unlike other classes at the School, Thom taught the class remotely from Skywalker Ranch in northern California.
SCA Student Lands Women in Technology Award
IML Student Honored With Scholarship
November 13, 2012
There are very few places that math and photography come together. One of them is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML). For sophomore Kylie Nicholson, the two blended well enough to warrant scholarship attention. Nicholson, a student in SCA’s IML program, was awarded a 2012 scholarship through the Association for Women in Technology in recognition of her work in combining digital photography and math.
Kortschak Family Honored
SCA Installs the Kortschak Family Endowed Division Chair
November 9, 2012
One of the most prestigious honors that can be awarded to a professor in academia is the endowed chair. On November 7th, USC celebrated the installation of Michael Taylor as the Kortschak Family Endowed Division Chair in Film and Television Production. The event was attended by Walter, Marcia, Andrew and Sarah Kortschak, USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC First Lady Niki Nikias, Dean Elizabeth M. Daley, newly installed Chair Michael Taylor and over one hundred faculty, staff and supporters of the School.
ETC in 3D
SCA’s think tank helps facilitate testing of new technology
November 5, 2012
3D revolutionized Hollywood. Ever since Avatar (produced by SCA alum Jon Landau) took the technology to the next level of refinement and accessibility, companies across the entertainment industry have been looking for the next big thing when it comes to 3D technology. Earlier in October, SCA’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) helped a team from the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) test a new 3DTV delivery system, for which the ETC provided facilities and participants to assist with MPEG’s test.
Students “Graced” by Film Awards
Two Students Honored by the Princess Grace Foundation
November 2, 2012
During her lifetime, Princess Grace of Monaco was committed to helping emerging artists realize their career goals. This year, two USC School of Cinematic Arts students, Chao Thao and Javier Barboza, joined the ranks of Princess Grace Foundation Award Winners and will continue her legacy of supporting young artists.
“Unfinished Swan” Lands at Sony
SCA alumni score three game deal with game studio
October 31, 2012
The Unfinished Swanis one of the most recent games from USC’s Interactive Media Division to make a splash in the commercial world. In the game, players are dropped into an all-white world and equipped with paintballs to shoot at the walls. As the paint splatters on the world, the geometry is revealed and the player can navigate the landscape.
October 31, 2012
With college application season under way for millions of U.S. high school students, USC researchers on Oct. 29 launched a free Facebook game to help underserved students, often the first in their families to aspire to college, navigate the complicated process of applying for college and financial aid.
Larry Auerbach Makes Major Gift for Finishing Funds
Associate Dean/Head of Student Industry Relations Donates to SCA
October 30, 2012
The Office of Student Industry Relations at the USC School of Cinematic Arts is one of the most respected and unique groups of professionals on the entire USC campus. It’s not surprising that Its head, Associate Dean Larry Auerbach, is one of its most respected and unique people at the School. After a nearly fifty year career as an agent in the motion picture, television and live entertainment business at the William Morris Agency, Auerbach came to USC twenty years ago to help students bridge the gap between school and one of the toughest industries in the world.
Combiform “Connects” with SIGGRAPH Awards
Student-produced game from USC brings home award
October 22, 2012
Games are an important part of pop culture, an important part of the entertainment industry and an important part of the curriculum of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. If Combiform lead designer/IMD student Edmond Yee has anything to say about it, in the future, they will be a major way in which people interact. This year, at the 2012 SIGGRAPH Convention, Combiform was honored with the Best Demonstration in Emerging Technology Award for its unique approach to socializing, using video games
SCA Wins at IndieCade
Two SCA Games Honored within Indie Game Community
October 22, 2012
In the video game world, there’s no greater summit for independent video games than the IndieCade Festival, which honors exemplary up-and-coming video games within the independent game design community. On October 4th, the USC School of Cinematic Arts took home two victories at IndieCade, with Reality Ends Here earning the Impact Award and SCA alum Davey Wreden’s The Stanley Parable winning the Special Recognition Award.
Brandon Tartikoff Honored at USC
The Legendary Television Executive’s Legacy Unveiled
October 19, 2012
The late television executive Brandon Tartikoff’s work has done more to define NBC, the 1980s and American pop culture than any other executive in television history. At NBC and Paramount, Tartikoff was responsible for bringing Cheers, Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Law and Order, The Cosby Show, Hill Street Blues, The A-Team, Miami Vice, Forrest Gump and many others to the screen. On October 18th, the School of Cinematic Arts hosted the Dedication of the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Collection, a collection of personal memos, memorabilia and other items to honor his career and the permanent placement of Brandon’s legacy at USC.
SCA Has a “Paint Party”
Staff and Students Help Paint Classroom at Foshay Learning Center
October 16, 2012
Telling stories with the moving image doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Neither does running a major school at a research university that happens to be in the heart of one of Los Angeles’ most storied communities. Every year, the School of Cinematic Arts hosts events to reach out to the South Los Angeles community.
Students "Mad" for Television Symposium
Television Symposium hosts panel for Mad Men
October 10, 2012
Few shows, particularly those outside of the arena of the main television networks, have made quite the impact that Mad Men has made on modern television series. Its historical authenticity and steamy plotlines give the show a unique combination of high ratings and critical acclaim. On October 8th, Television Symposium delighted its students by featuring a high-profile panel of guests from Mad Men, with a Q&A moderated by Professor Howard Rosenberg. The main takeaway message? Working in television is not for the faint of heart.
Moonves @ SCA
The President and CEO of CBS Visits SCA
October 5, 2012
If there were a Mount Rushmore of legendary television executives, Les Moonves would certainly be front and center. The President and CEO of CBS is known for putting hit shows like Survivor, CSI and Showtime’s Homeland on the air, but he’s also known for not pulling punches in interviews. On October 3rd, the outspoken executive visited the School of Cinematic Arts as a guest of Student Industry Relations and answered questions in a Q and A hosted by the Larry Auerbach Chair at USC, Larry Auerbach.
August in October
SCA Alum/Screenwriter John August visits SCA after a pre-screening of Frankenweenie
October 3, 2012
Summer may be over, but August has returned to the School of Cinematic Arts. On October 2, students gathered in the Ray Stark Family Theatre for a special 3D screening of Frankenweenie, followed by a discussion with the film’s screenwriter and USC alum, John August. The event, with the Q&A moderated by Writing Professor Howard Rodman, was hosted by Writing Presents..., an SCA Writing Division speaker series aimed at bringing top directors and screenwriters to SCA to discuss their work within the industry.
October 3, 2012
In real estate, it is all about “location, location, location.” Last night at The Grove, this mantra applied to filmmaking as three SCA student teams, finalists in “Shoot it at The Grove” competition, unveiled their 60-second short films in an outdoor screening hosted by Rick J. Caruso, Founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated.
Trojans in Music City
Nashville Executive Producer/Director and alum R.J. Cutler Visits
October 2, 2012
ABC’s new show Nashville tells the story of an aging country singer who has to navigate a record company that’s lost their faith in her, a new album that won’t sell and an up-and-coming starlet who is trying to steal her fire - and her band. In Professor Howard Rosenberg’s Television Symposium class on October 1st, executive producer/director and School of Cinematic Arts alum R.J. Cutler visited with students and told them that, although Nashville is set in a glitzy world, the key to making it work was to keep it authentic.
The Creative Media and Behavioral Health Center hosts showcase for cutting-edge projects
September 28, 2012
As games are becoming more proactive than ever before in their mission to get everyone in motion, the School of Cinematic Arts and the Keck School of Medicine are making sure that everyone can be included. On September 24, the Creative Media and Behavioral Health Center (CM&BHC) hosted a showcase for their cutting-edge work of combining exercise-based physical therapy with engaging, interactive experiences as part of an event series through the USC Center for Interactive Media Technologies in Healthcare (CIMTH).
SCA Signs Agreement with Effat University
SCA and Effat Will Collaborate on Media Programs
September 25, 2012
The USC School of Cinematic Arts and Effat University, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, have entered into an agreement to collaborate in the establishment and development of a world-class academic program in Media & Digital Production (MDP).
USC Brings Home Two Emmys
Jay Roach and Danny Strong win for Game Change
September 24, 2012
A USC alum has been nominated for an Emmy Award every year since 1973. This year exceeded expectations with twenty-five nominations. Jay Roach ‘86 and Danny Strong ‘96 won for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, for Game Change the HBO biopic about the 2008 presidential election; with Strong also winning the Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special award for the same project.
Ron Meyer Delivers “Universal” Truth
Outspoken President and COO of Universal Visits SCA
September 21, 2012
Ron Meyer isn’t afraid to tell the truth. When he came to the Ray Stark Theatre at the USC School of Cinematic Arts as a guest of Student Industry Relations, he spoke with his typical candor and enthusiasm. He also discussed the importance of being honest, even when it hurts.
Wixon @ SCA
New Microsoft Endowed Professor Installed at USC
September 19, 2012
SCA Network Members Stay in the Loop
Members of the SCA Network attend a special screening of Looper
September 18, 2012
SCA Family Stories: Sheila Sofian
Hench-DADA Associate Professor talks about new minor
September 17, 2012
Science and art are often put at opposite sides of the spectrum with little overlap in academia. However, starting this year, students can now explore both interests in a single minor with the Minor in Science Visualization offered by the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts.
The Perks of Being a Trojan
Writer/Director of Perks of Being a Wallflower sits with SCA
September 13, 2012
“An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world,” sounds like a typical first year at the School of Cinematic Arts. It’s also the logline for alum Stephen Chbosky’s ‘92 new film The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Playstation @ SCA
Game Platform Hosts Two Days of Events
September 6, 2012
Game design has become a pervasive part of the entertainment industry, and on September 12th and 13th, Sony Computer Education America will be holding two days of events, including an talk from CEO Jack Tretton, which will further the reaches of the game industry and solidify the relationship between PlayStation and USC.
SCA Family Stories: Josh Eiserike
Nicholl QF chats with SCA about his new Subway project
August 31, 2012
Josh Eiserike came to the School of Cinematic Arts without much of a plan. A passionate writer and cartoonist, Josh enrolled in the Production Division. Through his time, Josh found himself writing, directing, producing and basically doing everything that needed to be done.
August 16, 2012
Writing for film and television takes a great deal of dedication, endless rewriting and, in the case of current SCA student Kenny Martin, a few good laughs.
SCA recently sat down with Kenny Martin to discuss his work as a screenwriting student, his passion to explore writing comedy for television and his advice for students joining the SCA family this fall.
Herb and Bea Farmer Foundation Honored
Seventy-One Year Veteran of SCA Donates Technology
August 8, 2012
The USC School of Cinematic Arts emphasizes two integral components of the moving image: story and technology. When the two seamlessly blend together, the result can be a masterpiece. For Herb Farmer, the mission of ensuring and maintaining the technological instruments of film, from its early beginnings to the modern day state-of-the-art, has created a true legacy through an extensive collection that showcases the history of technology in making movie magic.
Roach @ SCA
Director/Alumnus Jay Roach Brings The Campaign to SCA
August 7, 2012
Egomaniacs pushing to get their way. Financiers making key decisions from the shadows. People overcoming unbelievable obstacles to achieve their vision. Students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts have certainly come across these scenarios, and these ideas serve as the themes of alumnus/director Jay Roach’s new film, The Campaign. At the SCA screening of The Campaign on August 6th, Roach commented on earning his stripes by working with actors who create their own characters.