Hot Sheet December - March 2014


Danny Abrahms ’11 has created a comedy web series that premiered at the New York Television Festival. It has since been picked up by the online network My Damn Channel.

Producer Blake Armstrong's '03 and Director Billy Higgins '03 short suspense thriller G.P.S. will screen in LA at the FirstGlance Film Festival April 4-6 and in the SF Bay Area at the Sonoma International Film Festival April 2-6. The film stars USC alums Michelle LaRue and Erica Bardin and features music by USC alums Julia Newmann and Cody Westheimer.

Matt Arnold ’02 wrote Emerald City, which received a 10-episode order from NBC. Arnold will executive produce alongside Josh Friedman.

Lane Shefter Bishop ’93 directed the Jen Klein-penned telepic, The Choking Game, for Lifetime. It stars Freya Tingley and Peri Gilpin. Bishop also executive produced with Jonathan Eskenas, Marilyn R. Atlas and Orly Adelson.

Robert Borden ‘91 and Dan Fogelman have created an untitled comedy project for ABC following the lives of three long-lost friends who reconnect in their sixties. Borden will write and executive produce alongside Fogelman through his Rhode Island Ave. production company.

Ben Cresciman ‘13, has wrapped production on his feature Sun Choke that he wrote and directed. The film was recently featured in an article on Fangoria:

Karen Croner ’87 will write the adaptation for the Ellen Shanman novel Everything Nice. Charlize Theron will executive produce with her Denver and Delilah Films partners Beth Kono and A.J. Dix.

Sam Dickerman ’94 has become Executive Vice President of Production for Disney Studios.  

Ross Dinerstein ’05 executive produced the Amazon original pilot with Ice Cube and Michael Strahan, “The Rebels”.

Josh Donen ’79 will executive produce the upcoming series adaptation Utopia for HBO. Based on the U.K. series of the same name created by Dennis Kelly, Utopia will be written by Gillian Flynn and spearheaded by David Fincher.

Andre Fabrizio ’02 and Jeremy Passmore ’04 wrote the script for Vice, a futuristic thriller based around a resort where the rich explore their most perverse fantasies using synthetic humanoids. Brian A. Miller will direct the Lionsgate film with Bruce Willis and Thomas Jane already set to star.

Dana Fox ’00 is executive producing the MGM comedy pilot Don’t Mess With Texas alongside Bruna Papandrea (Pacific Standard) and Reese Witherspoon, who will also co-star with Sofia Vergara.

David Goyer ’88 is producing Sandman with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Jack Thorne is set to write the script for Warner Bros. Neil Gaiman, writer of the original comic book, will also executive produce.

Brian Grazer ‘74 and Doug Davison will produce the Gary Spinelli-penned script Mena for Universal Pictures. The movie is about pilot, gun-runner and drug trafficker Barry Seal, who transported contraband for the CIA and Medellin cartel in the 1980s. Kim Roth is executive producing and Ron Howard is set to direct. He is also executive producing Empire, a drama set in the world of a hip-hop empire for FOX, written by Danny Strong ‘96 and directed by Lee Daniels.

Nahnatchka Khan ‘94 has written the comedy, Fresh Off The Boat, for ABC. She will executive produce alongside Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar.

Aaron Kaplan ‘90 will executive produce the half-hour comedy pilot Dead Boss, for FOX through his company, Kapital Entertainment. An adaptation of the BBC3 series of the same name created by Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh, Dead Boss follows a woman wrongfully convicted of murdering her boss.He will also executive produce untitled comedy project for ABC, starring Eve in a lead role.

Sasha Knezev ’02 has produced the documentary, American Addict, now available on Netflix, iTunes and Hulu.

Tim Kring ’88 has created DIG with Gideon Raff, a six-episode event series for USA Network with Jason Isaacs set to star. DIG follows an FBI agent who uncovers a 2000-year-old conspiracy while investigating a murder in Jerusalem.

Ken Kwapis is developing a limited series based on the John Scalzi novel Redshirts with his partner Alexandra Beattie and Jon Shestack. Kwapis is set to direct the pilot and executive produce the series with Beattie and Shestack.

Shawn Levy ’94 is producing the Dimension Films picture, The Witches Ballroom, through his company 21 Laps.

Michelle Lirtzman ’13, is the Writers Assistant on Scandal (ABC.)
Jason Lust ‘00 is co-executive producing the Christopher Wheeler-penned script Nemesis through Warner Bros. through Animal Logic Entertainment in partnership with Safehouse Pictures and Weed Road.

Charles McDougall is set to direct the ABC drama pilot for Secrets & Lies, which is based on the Australian crime mystery series of the same name. Aaron Kaplan ‘90 will executive produce through his company, Kapital Entertainment.

Jen McGowan ’05 and Amy Lowe-Starbin ’98 have directed and written the feature film, Kelly & Cal. It is premiering at SxSW and stars Juliette Lewis, Jonny Weston, Josh Hopkins and Cybil Shepard.

Neal Moritz ’85 will executive produce the AMC and Sony Pictures Television series Preacher, penned by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg. Based on a controversial 1990s comic book created by Garth Ennis, Preacher follows a Texas minister who discovers that God has left Heaven and sets out to find Him and uncover why He has shirked His responsibilities.

Don Murphy ’88 is executive producing The Day of the Triffids for Ghost House Pictures. The film is an adaptation of a John Wyndham sci-fi book.

Maren Olson ’03 produced the film Short Term 12, based on the Destin Daniel Cretton short film of the same name.

Douglas Patterson ’11 Associate Produced the independent feature Imperial Dreams, which premiered at Sundance 2014.
A Different Tree, a short written and produced as a Graduate Advanced Project by Victoria Rose ’13 during her time at USC, will be airing on HBO this winter.

Jay Roach ’86 directed the comedy pilot The Brink for HBO, starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins. Jerry Weintraub executive produced the Roberto and Kim Benabib-penned pilot.

Andrew Rothschild’s ‘10 screenplay Sequoia, produced by Ashleigh Phillips ’11, ’14, had its world premiere at South by Southwest.
Ira Rubenstein ’92 is the new general manager of PBS Digital.
Jerome Sable ’09 directed the horror comedy musical Stage Fright, which premiered at SXSW. Sable created original music and lyrics in collaboration with Eli Batalion.

Jenny Sandell ’01 has been hired as Production Coordinator on Marvel’s upcoming ANT-MAN.

Josh Schwartz ’98 and Stephanie Savage will write and produce a live-action movie based on the Mattel doll franchise Monster High through his production company Fake Empire in partnership with Universal Studios. Also, Astronaut Wives Club, a Groundswell Productions and Fake Empire-produced drama series for ABC Studios, will premiere with a 10-episode straight-to-series order.

Ian Shorr ’07, made the 2013 Blacklist with his script Capsule.
Joni Sighvatsson ‘85 is producing Z For Zachariah, an adaptation of the post-apocalyptic novel by Robert C. O’Brien, along with Material Pictures’ Tobey Maguire and Matthew Ploffe, Skuli Malmquist and Thor Sigurjonsson.
Bryan Singer ’89 is producing the digital comedy series Spooked through his Bad Hat Harry Productions.

John Singleton ’90 has signed on to re-write, direct and produce the untitled Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films Tupac Shakur biopic. He also executive produced the documentary Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergency of a People, which had its world premiere at Sundance.

Todd Slavkin ’87 will serve as a co-executive producer and co-showrunner alongside Darren Swimmer and Vaun Wilmott for the upcoming Syfy drama series, Dominion.

Scott Speer ’04 directed the pilot for Finding Carter, an MTV series following a young girl who discovers that her mother abducted her as a toddler and must now return to her biological family.

Adam Stein ’05 and Sam Friedlander ’06 co-created the hour-long drama Flipside, with Mark Feuerstein, which tracks three post-grad friends navigating “the real world.”

Tim Story ’94 is directing and executive producing Ride Along 2. Kevin Hart and Ice Cube will reprise their starring roles.

John Wells ’82 was awarded the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) 2014 Board of Governors Award.

Max Winkler ‘06 will write the ABC family comedy pilot The Wrinklers, starring Winkler’s father Henry. The show is based on Henry Wrnkler’s relationship with his son-in-law, Rob Reinis, who will also star.

Robert Zemeckis ’73, Bob Gale ’73 and Jamie Lloyd will write the musical for Back to the Future for the London stage. Zemeckis has also co-written and will direct a film for Sony about the French high-wire artist Phillip Petit. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is set to star as Petit.

Craig Zisk is set to direct the comedy pilot Two To Go for NBC.

TV Shows on the Air

Gear Heads
James Ganiere, Executive Producer

Matt Kunitz, Executive Producer

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.
Bobby Roth ‘72, Director

Grey’s Anatomy
Bobby Roth ‘72, Director

Bobby Roth ‘72, Director

Films In Release

Bad Words
Andrew Dodge, Writer

Endless Love
Josh Schwartz ‘98, Producer

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Bob Yeoman ‘79, Director of Photography

Joel Silver, Producer

Vampire Academy
Don Murphy ‘88, Producer

Winter’s Tale
Caleb Deschanel, Director of Photography