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SHOCK VALUE: THE MOVIE

October 17, 2014, 7:00 P.M.

Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall, 3507 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90007


The USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive, USC School of Cinematic Arts,
and USC Visions & Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative

Invite you and a guest to the World Premiere of

SHOCK VALUE: THE MOVIE — How Dan O’Bannon and Some USC Outsiders Helped Invent Modern Horror

7:00 P.M. on Friday, October 17th, 2014

Norris Cinema Theatre/Frank Sinatra Hall

3507 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA
USC University Park Campus

In a fascinating feature-length horror anthology, Shock Value: The Movie—How Dan O’Bannon and Some USC Outsiders Helped Invent Modern Horror, archivist Dino Everett proves that USC students O’Bannon, John Carpenter and others began redefining the horror genre while at the School of Cinematic Arts in the 1970s.

Followed by a Panel Discussion with Alec Lorimore, Terence H. Winkless, Jason Zinoman, Diane O'Bannon, and Mary Burkin, moderated by Dino Everett, Hugh M. Hefner Archivist, USC School of Cinematic Arts.

FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPs REQUIRED.

RSVP at the links below:

USC Students, Staff and Faculty: click here
USC Alumni: click here
General Public: click here

About Shock Value: The Movie

Using New York Times writer Jason Zinoman’s book Shock Value as inspiration, USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive archivist Dino Everett assembled a feature-length compilation of SCA student works from the late ’60s and ’70s entitled Shock Value: The Movie—How Dan O’Bannon and Some USC Outsiders Helped Invent Modern Horror. The compilation features recently uncovered and previously unseen student films by O’Bannon (Alien, Total Recall) and John Carpenter (Halloween, Escape from New York)—including their very first pairing in 1968, Good Morning Dan! Along with Carpenter’s Captain Voyeur and 2 versions of O’Bannon’s Blood Bath, a film which cemented Carpenter’s desire to work with O’Bannon outside of film school (see Carpenter interview in 1980 issue of Cinemafantastique -Vol 10 no. 1 pg 9-). In addition, films by their classmates Terence H. Winkless (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The Nest), Alec Lorimore (an Oscar-nominated documentary producer) and Charles Adair’s (Bleeders) zombie film The Demon, to show how USC was a major birthplace for the redefining of the horror genre in the 1970s.

The crown jewel of the program is a short by Winkless and Lorimore and starring O’Bannon entitled Judson’s Release. Made in 1971, Judson’s Release is the blueprint for films such as Halloween, Black Christmas, He Knows You’re Alone and countless others, and O’Bannon’s relentless and emotionless portrayal of the killer resembles Jason, Michael Myers and many other film killers who would follow.

Everett likens it to watching Keith Richards learn how to play guitar, “There are moments of brilliance coupled with moments that remind us these legends were still learning. Even in a dark comedy like Captain Voyeur you can see shots resembling the horror to be found in his later films”

 

About the Films

BLOOD BATH (1969, written and directed by Dan O’Bannon) B/W (original 16mm) 7 min.

A slovenly young man commits suicide out of curiosity and boredom.

THE DEMON (1970, written and directed by Charles Adair) B/W (original 16mm) 19 min.

A woman left alone in a desert home begins to feel she is being watched.

GOOD MORNING DAN (1968, written and directed by Dan O’Bannon, camera by John Carpenter) Color (original 8mm) 19 min.

Set in what was then the distant future of 2006, an old man reminisces on his days back at USC.

CAPTAIN VOYEUR (1969, written and directed by John Carpenter) B/W (original 16mm) 7 min.

A dull office worker transforms into a costumed peeping tom at night.

BLOOD BATH (1976, written and directed by Dan O’Bannon) Red tint (original 16mm blown up to 35mm) 8 min.

O’Bannon revisited this short after the aborted DUNE project and while working on Star Wars, making it slightly longer and giving it a blood red tint.

JUDSON'S RELEASE (1971, written by Alec Lorimore, directed by Terence H. Winkless) (original 16mm) Color 15 min.

A young man returns to a small town and begins to torment a girl who is babysitting a little boy.

Total program time: 80 minutes.

 

About the Panelists

ALEC LORIMORE (Writer, Judson's Release, SCA Alumnus)

Alec Lorimore is a twice Oscar-nominated filmmaker with over 30 years experience as a production executive, producer, writer, and director of financially successful, award-winning theatrically released documentary films. In addition to an extensive narrative screenwriting career with the major studios, he has produced six of the top fifteen most financially successful giant screen (i.e. "IMAX") documentaries of all time -- including the 1998 mega-hit Everest, which generated over $150 million in box office, making it the highest grossing documentary film ever released at that time. Cumulatively, the over 20 IMAX titles he has produced have garnered over $750 million in theatrical revenues worldwide.

He was first nominated for a Best Documentary Academy Award in 1995 for The Living Sea and was nominated again in the same category in 2000 for Dolphins. Other notable titles include The Magic of Flight (Producer) and At Sea (Writer, Producer), for which he was honored with the prestigious Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement by the Navy League of the United States.

From 1993 to 2005 he was Vice President, Production & Development at MacGillivray Freeman Films, the most commercially successful production and distribution entity in the giant screen, 70mm IMAX film industry. During his tenure he personally pioneered the participation of major stars as narrators and on-screen hosts of giant screen films, working with such notables as Meryl Streep (The Living Sea), Liam Neeson (Everest, Journey Into Amazing Caves, Coral Reef Adventure), Tim Allen (Top Speed), and Pierce Brosnan (Dolphins). He was also personally responsible for persuading major musical stars to collaborate on the films' soundtracks, including Sting (The Living Sea, Dolphins), George Harrison (Everest), and Crosby, Stills & Nash (Coral Reef Adventure).

Most recently he served as Executive Producer of Spark: A Burning Man Story, a feature documentary which premiered at the 2013 South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas and subsequently debuted as the number one documentary on iTunes after completing its theatrical run. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences since 1995, he currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Academy’s Documentary Branch.

TERENCE H. WINKLESS (Director, Judson's Release, SCA Alumnus)

Director/Writer/Producer/Actor Terence H. Winkless was born in Massachusetts, raised in Kenilworth, Illinois and went to New Trier High School, like alumni Rainn Wilson, Ann-Margaret, Charlton Heston, Bruce Dern among many others. He’s a USC Film School alumnus, and American Film Institute intern on Soylent Green. Terence worked on the original Gone in 60 Seconds, played the guitar and sang on "Benson, Arizona" in the John Carpenter classic Dark Star. He’s the first American director to make a theatrical feature in Bulgaria following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Winkless got his start inside a gorilla suit in The Banana Splits Adventure Hour as a boy. Following success directing The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers he’s gone on to produce his own films including Twice As Dead. Terence is married to writer Raly Radouloff with whom he created his favorite production, his daughter, Lara.

JASON ZINOMAN (Author, Shock Value)

Jason Zinoman has covered culture for the New York Times for over a decade, as both a reporter and a critic, and for the last three years, he has written its biweekly column on comedy, the first of its kind at the paper. He is the author of Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror (Penguin Press) and Searching for Dave Chappelle (Kindle Single). And he is currently working on a book for Harper Collins about David Letterman. He was also the Theater Editor at Time Out New York and reviewed Broadway and Off Broadway for Slate and the Times. He was born and raised in Washington D.C. and currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters who like scary things probably more than they should.

DIANE O'BANNON (Wife of Dan O'Bannon, SCA Alumna)

Diane O’Bannon met Dan at USC in 1970. They were married 16 years later. Diane was his wife and amanuensis for 25 years before his death, and is now his public relations manager, agent, archivist and spokesman.

MARY BURKIN (Actress, Judson's Release, SCA Alumna)

Mary has most recently appeared in SkyPilot Theatre Company's production of Keith Haring, Pieces of a Life. Mary has written, directed and/or produced five short videos for the 168 Hour Film Project. Her short video, The Death of Takmos, won a place on the 168 "Best of" DVD for 2010. Other SkyPilot starring roles include the sold out production of To the New Girl from the Former Mrs., Rewind, and Lights Out, Eyes Closed. Since becoming a member at Theatre West, she has played leading roles in their productions of Short Stay at Carranor and Westfest. Professional theatre credits also include Love and Friendship, Clara Barton, The Fantasticks, Henry IV, Silly Shakespeare, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Film credits include The Take with the wonderful John Leguizamo, and of course,  Foster's aka Judson's Release. Mary is also a playwright and freelance film and theatre critic. Her romantic comedy, Finders Keepers is available on Amazon.com. She is currently revising a paranormal romance tentatively titled Voices. After getting her BA in Drama, from USC and her MA in Theatre Arts from CSULB, she decided to find a good "B" job, and went for her Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School.

 

About Dino Everett, Hugh M. Hefner Archivist, School of Cinematic Arts

With a professional background covering all forms of media and archiving, Dino Everett is the new archivist of the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive. Beginning with 35mm carbon arc projectors to earning a masters’ in Moving Image Archive Studies, Dino has spent his life involved in the moving image field. He comes to USC from UCLA Film & Television Archive where he worked for eight years in various departments including the Stanford Theatre Film Lab. Dino possesses both hands on technical preservation experience, as well as archivally specific optimization skills to best control, preserve and promote the extensive media held here at USC.

Since earning his BA in Critical Studies from USC in 2005, Dino has published and presented articles both in the moving image field and film history, and actively supports the safe use of archival material for public exhibition. His personal research interests include silent cinema, early moving image technology, and the unique positioning of the punk rock subculture within the overall temporality of media history.

Learn about the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive at: http://uschefnerarchive.com

Background of the Project -- Dino Everett, Hugh M. Hefner Archivist

It all began when I took over the archive in 2010 and set a goal to find John Carpenter’s student films, because I grew up on horror and knew that he had attended USC back in the day. My motivation was that most of the writing has only ever mentioned The Resurrection of Broncho Billy which won an Oscar in 1971, but is not really a “John Carpenter” film since he was not the writer and director. Within the first year I found Carpenter’s 310 entitled Captain Voyeur and was able to restore it through a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF). I then set off to find other important horror-related USC students films such as those by Dan O’Bannon, but kept coming up empty. I knew the name of one of O’Bannon’s films, Blood Bath, but I was unable to locate any material and so my quest went into hibernation.

A year or so later I picked up a new book by NY Times writer Jason Zinoman, entitled SHOCK VALUE: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror. Upon reading the book I realized that he had some specific details about Blood Bath and so I reached out to him, and he told me that he saw a version of the film that was loaned to him from Dan’s widow, Diane O’Bannon and he put me in touch with her. It took a while to actually connect face to face with Diane who had been dealing with the death of her husband and the large amount of material he had left behind, not to mention finishing the release of a book on screenwriting that Dan had finished entitled Dan O’Bannon’s Guide to Screenplay Structure. Once I did she pulled out of storage a number of boxes that contained not only the elements to Blood Bath, but all of O’Bannon’s original 290’s, and a film he starred in, Foster’s Release. When I saw the material I jumped like a little kid, and immediately brought it to USC to investigate. What I found was spectacular material, with Foster’s Release being simply one of the most important films I have ever seen, because it turned out to be the blueprint for many of the classic films in Zinoman’s book, most notably Halloween.

My next plan was to reach out to the makers of Foster’s Release and find out more details. The first thing I found out was that the film was really called Judson’s Release and only took on the “Foster’s” moniker when they got a small distribution deal with the educational film company Pyramid in the early 1970’s. The film’s director Terence Winkless stated that the company had already finished printing their new catalog, and the only way for their film to appear was if it started with the letter “F”, because that was the only section left with some space. They changed the name and the film did its small run as a scare tactic babysitting awareness film and then disappeared for 40 years while Winkless, and the film’s screenwriter Alec Lorimore, went on to have mostly non-horror careers in Hollywood. Carpenter’s Halloween came out in 1978 and he went on to legendary status, while O’Bannon had a successful career in Hollywood, but never quite reached the success of Carpenter.

From the research I did compiling this project I soon learned that O’Bannon was this unsung hero, not only of modern horror, but also for his time here at USC. His work here in the 1960’s was really quite advanced and ahead of its time compared to many of his classmates, and he seemed to not only be a jack of all trades, such as writer, director, actor, makeup and effects, but also seemed to be a one man creativity catalyst contributing often to his fellow classmates’ projects.

The other thing I learned through all of this was that he was a fiercely loyal individual and showed a caring side that many might not suspect. In the 1990’s an old classmate of Carpenter and O’Bannon’s named Charles Adair (who made the zombie film The Demon, included in this project) was in failing health and in need of funds for his medical bills. O’Bannon co-wrote a script with Adair for a horror project called Bleeders (1997) and gave Adair all of the profits made from the writing job to help with the bills.

PRESERVATION OF THE FILMS

At this point the only project which has been properly and completely preserved would be the Carpenter film Captain Voyeur, thanks to the funds granted from the NFPF. The remaining films have only been scanned in at 2K for this project with the hopes that funds acquired from the screenings will help pay for proper photochemical preservation of the remaining shorts.

At present no prints exist for Blood Bath, only the negative A & B rolls and extra elements for the 1976 versions. The Demon has one print and the negative elements, and Judson’s Release and Good Morning Dan (the only 8mm print) only exist as a single answer print, but no negatives. There was one project that I wanted to include very desperately which was John Carpenter’s 480 thesis film Lady Madonna, but as yet only the sound element has been located.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.

Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #4, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & Royal Street. We recommend Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

About USC Visions & Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan; to communicate USC's core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

For more information, visit www.usc.edu/visionsandvoices

SHOCK VALUE: THE MOVIE TRAILER 2014 from HMH Archive on Vimeo.

Contact Information

Name: Dino Everett
Email: deverett@cinema.usc.edu