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USC Games Holds 2020 Expo

News

In Memoriam: SCA Remembers the professor/writer of Raging Bull and New York, New York

Mardik Martin
Faculty Profile

The Hench DADA Division hosted studio executives for a day of insider advice

Studio Day
Event Profile

USC Launches the John H. Mitchell Endowed Chair in the Business of Entertainment

Bonnie Chi
Faculty Profile

Latest News

SCA alumni lead Student Academy Awards Wins
September 19, 2020

Four USC Alumni recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts.
 

Alumni Spotlight: Joshua Griffith '16
September 3, 2020

Joshua shares his journey from SCA student to co-writing the series finale of FX's Mrs. America in this month's Alumni Spotlight

SCA Students Make Animation on Zoom
The Animation Division Collaborates to Make Art on Video Meeting Platform
August 28, 2020

In the era of COVID-19, Zoom is everywhere. Zoom meetings. Zoom fatigue. Zoom classes. Now, thanks to the creativity of USC School of Cinematic Arts students and faculty in the John C. Hench Division of Animation + Digital Arts, Trojans can now add Zoom Animation to the conversation.

Trojans Shine Bright with Student Academy Award Nominations
August 20, 2020

A Student Academy Awards is one of the highest honors a School of Cinematic Arts student can achieve. This year, nine student projects are represented among finalists and semi-finalists for the student academy awards. 

ETC and Partners to Pilot Test Virtual Production Capabilities
August 17, 2020

The Entertainment Technology Center at USC has selected filmmakers Hannah Bang, Margo Sawaya and Sabina Vajra?a to receive the 2020 Innovative Technology Award for their virtual production-based project, “The Ripple Effect.” The trio developed the futuristic live-action project with the aim of testing the limits of virtual production. “With Unreal Engine, we can minimize on set crew and provide better controls for talent and staff,” explained executive producer Erik Weaver. “We want to get people back to work while keeping cast and crews safe.”

Alumni Represent USC in 72th Primetime Emmy Awards Race
August 3, 2020

Thirty-three USC SCA alumni received nominations for their work in some of the most popular shows of 2019-2020.
 

Alumni Spotlight: Caroline Friend '16
July 9, 2020

Caroline joins us to talk about double-majoring in Production at SCA and History at Dornsife, how she blends the two in her work, and the life changing journey that began with a black and white photo she saw at Leavey Library. 

A Tale of Two Siblings: A Soldier in Iraq and a USC School of Cinematic Arts Student Reunite Halfway
June 11, 2020

While serving his country, an Army specialist missed most of sister’s milestones—but not this time, thanks to a group of SCA students and their professor who made it their mission possible.

#ShutDownAcademia
June 10, 2020

The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) supports #ShutDownAcademia, a grassroots movement that designates June 10, 2020, as the beginning of a “transition to a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in Academia and STEM.” The movement asks institutions within academia to use the day to focus on how Black academics and Black STEM professionals can be better supported within our institutions.

Danny Bilson Discusses Spike Lee Joint Da 5 Bloods Which He Co-Wrote with the Late Paul DeMeo
June 7, 2020

USC Games director Danny Bilson says he'll be proud to see his writing credit appear on Da 5 Bloods when Spike Lee's new Netflix movie starts streaming June 12. After all, he and longtime collaborator, the late Paul DeMeo, came up with the film's premise: Vietnam vets reunite in present-day Ho Chi Minh City intent on retrieving gold they'd left behind in the jungle decades earlier during the heat of battle.

Project Blindfold
June 5, 2020

Justine Sophia created and produced the music video Project Blindfold, bringing awareness to the epidemic of homeless youth on Skid Row.

Alumni Spotlight: Adam Habib '09
May 29, 2020

Adam shares his post-SCA journey, his time at Pixar, and how he defines the role of a cinematographer across the different formats of cinema in this alumni spotlight.

USC School of Cinematic Arts Graduation Celebration
May 16, 2020

Fight on Class of 2020

First Look 2020: Breach of Trust
Winner of the Industry Award for Best Documentary
May 15, 2020

The First Look Film Festival is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ celebration of the best advanced student films of the year. Presented by the Office of Industry Relations.  This is one in a series of stories about the filmmakers’ motivations behind their First Look projects: Breach of Trust, winner of the Industry Award for Documentary.

Alumni Spotlight: Merawi Gerima '18
May 11, 2020

Merawi takes us through the process of making his very personal feature film debut Residue and the importance of being authentic.

First Look 2020 Awardees Announced!
The USC School of Cinematic Arts Recognizes the Year’s Outstanding Student Films.
May 11, 2020

The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Office of Industry Relations today announced its First Look Awards for outstanding SCA student films. A jury of made up of industry professionals chose winners in six categories: Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Social Change, Thriller/Sci-fi/Horror. Awards were also given to individual students in seven specialties—Directing, Cinematography, Editing, Producing, Production Design, Screenwriting and Sound—with winners chosen by SCA faculty members.

First Look 2020: Go! Go!
Go! Go! Wins Industry Award for Animation
May 11, 2020

The First Look Film Festival is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ celebration of the best advanced student films of the year. Presented by the Office of Industry Relations.  This is one in a series of stories about the filmmakers’ motivations behind their First Look projects: Go! Go!, winner of the Industry Award for Animation.

First Look 2020: Piggy Bank Proposition
Piggy Bank Proposition Wins Industry Award for Comedy
May 11, 2020

The First Look Film Festival is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ celebration of the best advanced student films of the year. Presented by the Office of Industry Relations.  This is one in a series of stories about the filmmakers’ motivations behind their First Look projects: Piggy Bank Proposition, winner of the Industry Award for Comedy.

Gameplay in a Bottle
May 8, 2020

Creative Director Brooke Jaffe tells us how a cancer diagnosis led to the creative process of creating the game Bottles.

Stack ‘Em Up for a Co-op Game of Hilarious Fun!
May 8, 2020

Director and Lead Artist Christine Xu talks about the team’s inspiration and process in creating ShortStacked, a new game based on a classic comedic scenario

A Masterclass in Vertical Filmmaking
With Tribeca winner Girls Room, alumnus Ruben Contreras offers lessons in shooting for mobile
April 30, 2020

School of Cinematic Arts alumnus Cinematographer Ruben Contreras talks working on award winning IGTV series, Girl's Room.

A Warning about Life After COVID
School of Cinematic Arts graduate Julio Vincent Gambuto goes viral with a prescient essay
April 23, 2020

SCA Film and Television Production  student Julio Vincent Gambuto warns that companies will try to position their products as the feel-good antidotes to all the trauma and inequities the quarantine uncovered.

Animation Alumnus Van Phan Premieres at Tribeca
His VR project Upstander is available online beginning April 17
April 17, 2020

Van Phan has been making notable animated films since graduation from the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts with an MFA in 2000. However, he finally achieved one of his career goals this year when his VR film Upstander, which challenges viewers to confront bullying, was accepted into the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.

Alumni Spotlight: Edson Oda '15
April 7, 2020

Edson takes us through his journey writing Nine Days, how he's coping with COVID-19, and why he keeps returning to campus to write.

The Show Will Go On! USC Games Expo 2020 Announced!
USC Games and Jam City Announce a Digital Event to Showcase the Future of Gaming
April 3, 2020

The USC Games Expo presented by Jam City is the largest University-sponsored gaming and esports event in the world. It provides a glimpse into the nation’s leading game design program and the next generation of tabletop, mobile, AR video games and other interactive projects from the university’s diverse students, alumni and faculty. 

Zoomanji
An SCA virtual challenge for USC students and alumni
April 2, 2020

SCA alumni Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian host a Q&A for their 2018 film Searching and help announce a new virtual filmmaking challange.

A Message from Dean Daley
March 26, 2020

A video message from Dean Daley

Studio Day for Animation Students
The Hench DADA Division hosted studio executives for a day of insider advice
March 19, 2020

The John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts (Hench DADA) held its annual Studio Day on Monday March 9, transforming the SCA Gallery into a meeting space for students and studio executives who came to campus to give career advice and recruit students for internships and jobs.

Alumni Spotlight: Eric Hoyt
THE 21ST CENTURY ARCHIVIST
March 10, 2020

SCA Alumni is revolutionizing archival research with Lantern Digital search engine. 

Alumni Spotlight: Davah Avena
SCA SCRIBE HAS CARVED OUT A WRITING CAREER IN COMEDY, AND DRAMA
March 4, 2020

SCA Alumni Davah Scribe has carved a career writing for successful comedy and drama series.

Alumni Spotlight: Nonny de la Peña
THE GODMOTHER OF VIRTUAL REALITY
March 4, 2020

SCA Alumni Nonny de la Peña is creating new media's storytelling language. 

Esports arrives at USC
A NEW VARSITY TROJAN TEAM TAKES THE (VIRTUAL) FIELD
March 3, 2020

USC's varsity esports team joins 

Stark 40th
Stark Production Program Celebrates its 40th Anniversary
March 3, 2020

On October 20th, 2019, SCA welcomed the Stark program alumni back to campus to reminisce and celebrate this milestone together.

A TRANSFORMATIVE TROJAN
JOHN SINGLETON’S INFLUENCE ON A NEW GENERATION OF FILMMAKERS
February 26, 2020

A Los Angeles native, John Singleton belonged to every subset of the SCA family, continuing to influence new generations of filmmakers and auteurs.  

Como Caído del Cielo is a Netflix Hit!
February 19, 2020

Alumnus Pepe Bojórquez and SCA Professor Chris Chomyn find success with their Spanish-language comedy
 

New Issue of In Motion Available Now
SCA magazine remembers John Singleton
February 14, 2020

SCA magazine remembers John Singleton in its cover story

Nine Days Screens for SCA Students
February 12, 2020

The Sundance standout film brought tears and laughter to the Theatrical Film Symposium Class
 

The New DKA
February 12, 2020

The Cinema Fraternity that started at USC gets a campus reinvention.

Starkies at Sundance
Ten creators from Peter Stark Producing Program take Park City
February 11, 2020

Conversation with Peter Stark production students about their trip to Sundance film festival.

A Conversation with Emre Okten, 2019 Student Academy Award Winner 
December 4, 2019

On October 17th, Okten’s animated sci-fi short, Two, which tracks a robot named ‘2’ on an abandoned spaceship, was awarded the bronze medal for animation at the Student Academy Awards. Okten was born and raised in Turkey. His work merges his interests in technology and art, and his love of science fiction. 

USC eSports Union Conquers Conquest
December 2, 2019

Please check out USC Annenberg News' coverage of USC eSports Union at Conquest

John H. Mitchell Endowment for the Business of Entertainment Launched
November 22, 2019

On November 19th the School of Cinematic Arts celebrated the establishment of the John H. Mitchell Endowment for the Business of Entertainment, which will support classes in entertainment business and will provide financial support to students training for jobs in the industry’s executive suites.
 

Stark Turns 40!
Alumni of the Peter Stark Producing Program come back to campus for a reunion celebration
November 18, 2019

In the fall of 1979, the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program opened its doors to its first class of students. A lot has changed in the industry since then, but the program's core values endure.

"Making Waves"
SCA Professor Midge Costin documents our visceral response to cinematic sound
October 16, 2019

Costin covers working with students on sound, her film, the progression of cinematic sound throughout history, and her love of cars (for their sounds!)

“Now, the Floodgates are Open"
Suzanne Todd ‘86 visits Film Symposium to talk Disney+, Call of Duty, Jexi, and Storytelling
October 11, 2019

Todd visited Leonard Maltin's class after a screening of her newest film, Jexi.

Coming Out, Italian Style
Valentino Misino '19 uses his thesis documentary to show his true self
October 4, 2019

Valentino talks growing up in Italy, his influences, and the conception/making of his thesis film Swipe Me Tender

“Don’t Chase the Now, Chase the Timeless”
Notes from Stephen Chbosky’s Visit to the Writing Division's 'Conversations With...' Series
September 27, 2019

Chbosky (Perks of Being a Wallflower, Wonder, Beauty and the Beast) talks the craft, telling teen stories, his time at SCA, and his next projects.

Grazer & Daley in Conversation
September 17, 2019

Collaboration. Networking. Relationship Building. These human connections are the building blocks of success in the entertainment business. That was the message legendary producer Bryan Grazer brought to the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). It’s also the theme of his new book Face to Face: the Art of Human Connection.

"Enter the Anime"
Alex Burunova ‘09 talks first feature (Netflix’s Enter the Anime) and her creative process
September 13, 2019

Burunova's feature debut dropped on Netflix in August. Here, she talks her creative process, bringing the project to life, and what's next.

In Memoriam: Mardik Martin
Screenwriter of Raging Bull and Mean Streets was 82
September 12, 2019

USC School of Cinematic Arts Faculty member Mardik Martin passed away on September 11, 2019. Martin is remembered by faculty, staff, and students for his energetic teaching style, passion for storytelling, and incredible memories from the “New Hollywood” era of filmmaking.

"Pioneers in Skirts"
Ashley Maria MFA '12 on Rallying Against Gender Discrimination via her New Feature Documentary
September 11, 2019

Ashley Maria MFA '12 talks her latest documentary, "Pioneers in Skirts," which tackles the trials and tribulations of gender discrimination  –– issues that "chip at away at a woman, hurt her potential, and make her feel like she must re-think her dreams".  
 

River Gallo '18 Reps New Jersey, the Intersex Community, (and SCA), with Buzzworthy Short Ponyboi
July 25, 2019

Through the writing, shooting, and piecing together of the Ponyboi, Gallo grew into his identity, and then, was shocked to find out, became the creator of the first film written by and starring an intersex person in film history. “I actually didn’t believe it until we looked it up,” he laughs, “and there’s nothing! No one before this.”

Matt Schrader '11, Elena Bawiec '16, and Peter Bawiec '15 talk "Blockbuster"
The Pioneering, Genre-defining Lucas/Spielberg Podcast and its SCA Roots
June 25, 2019

From scripting to top-of-the-line sound design, "Blockbuster" is working to change the way stories are told in the podcast medium, starting with the tale of two Hollywood giants and their humble beginnings.

USC Among Three Universities to Share $50 Million Gift from The Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts
The gift honors television trailblazer John H. Mitchell and will support initiatives in Diversity
June 20, 2019

USC is one of three universities that will share a gift of $50 million, focused on ethics and diversity in business, areas that have become of greater importance and concern in recent years. The gift, from the Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts, was conceived by the late philanthropist Patricia W. Mitchell to honor the legacy of her husband, John H. Mitchell, a television pioneer who died in 1988, and was President of Columbia Pictures Television in the 60s and 70s. It is administered by William C. Allen, trustee of the Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts. The other two universities to benefit are UCLA, which will receive $20 million; and the University of Michigan, John Mitchell’s alma mater, which will receive $10 million.

90th Anniversary Alumni Conversation Series
’90s Alumni Talk 290, Collaboration, Pursuing Passions
May 30, 2019

Susan Downey '95, Rian Johnson '96, Rick Famuyiwa '96, Danny Strong '96, Sasha Alexander '97, Joe Nussbaum '96, Richard Kelly '97, spend a night in Norris, talking USC, their careers, and answering student questions in an extended Q&A

Alumni Spotlight: Cinematographer/Director Tanmay Chowdhary ‘18
May 29, 2019

Chowdhary discusses his work in India and the U.S., sharpening his cinematographic focus at USC, and his new award-winning film (which he shot and directed) Color of November.

Commencement Speakers 2019
May 13, 2019

Universal Film Chairman Donna Langley was the 2019 commencement speaker. Nahnatchka Khan  was the 2019 Mary Pickford Alumni Award

SCA Mourns Alumnus, Director John Singleton
May 1, 2019

In the School’s hallways and on social media, SCA students, faculty and staff shared remembrances of John Singleton. He was 51.

Game Innovation Lab Nabs $300,000 Grant to Expand "Walden"
April 29, 2019

Ten years in the making, USC Game Innovation Lab's award-winning "Walden, a game" immerses users in a bucolic environment inspired by Henry David Thoreau's classic memoir. The virtual world of "Walden" comes fully loaded with lush visuals and thought-provoking paths of inquiry centered on Walden Pond circa 1847, when the nature-loving philosopher built a cabin in the Massachusetts woods. Lauded for incorporating themes like ecosystems, culture, and political activism into its gameplay, "Walden" recently earned a spot in New York City's prestigious "Design: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial" exhibition, running through January.

Rosenberg and August at SCA
April 25, 2019

Film, television, and interactive media are permeated with alumni of the Peter Stark Producing Program. Graduates from the USC producing master’s division form the backbone of many Hollywood companies and function as a “Trojan Mafia” within the “Trojan Mafia.” This past Tuesday, two Starkies gathered at the USC School of Cinematic Arts to hold a talk and Q and A to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the School.
 

90th Anniversary Alumni Conversation Series: Behind the Curtain
Kevin McCollum (MFA ’89) & Karey Kirkpatrick (BFA ’88) Swap SCA Stories, Sing Songs, Sling Advice
April 23, 2019

Reminiscing on SCA times together, performing songs and unreleased demos, or passing on sage wisdom, Kirkpatrick and McCollum put on quite a show. 

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: Re-animated!
Six USC Schools, Over 140 Students, Sow Shelley’s Story into Collaborative Creation
April 16, 2019

On Thursday, April 11, 2019, USC and the local community gathered in front of Doheny Library for a breathtaking display of light and sound projected against the facade of the building. The project was a joint collaboration between the School of Cinematic Arts, the Kaufman School of Dance, Roski School of Art & Design, the School of Architecture, the Thornton School of Music, and the School of Dramatic Arts. It is the first collaboration of its kind and has been in the works for 18 months.

Shattering the Glass Frame; Breaking the Ice
Women animators call for change, and a regular forum
April 16, 2019

Six months ago at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, hundreds of attendees showed up for an event that had the potential to be a new battleground against systematic gender inequalities that seem everpresent in the entertainment industry. This fight was particular to the field of Animation and the event was titled Breaking the Glass Frame (BTGF).

AMPAS Celebrates 90 Years of USC Cinema
Featuring a Discussion with Oscar Nominees and USC Alums
April 10, 2019

In a night of movie watching and movie talking, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences welcomed and celebrated 90 years of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television launches Week of Wellness
April 10, 2019

John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television launches Week of Wellness Events encouraged self-care and community
 

SCA Mourns Professor Norman Hollyn
March 19, 2019

Norman Hollyn, tenured SCA professor of twenty years and the inaugural holder of the Michael Kahn Endowed Chair in Editing, died unexpectedly on Sunday, March 17th. He was 66 years old.

Day of SCervice 2019: Alums Welcome Thomas Jefferson High School Students to SCA
March 15, 2019

On USC's annual day of community service, SCA welcomed a group of local high school students to tour the campus,
speak with alumni, and learn about the school, the industry, and the opportunities available to them.

Carving a Path Out of Hollywood’s History
Xavier Burgin MFA ‘15 on Social Media, Storytelling, and his latest ‘Shudder’ Documentary
March 4, 2019

Burgin's feature film documentary debut, Horror Noire, premiered on streaming service Shudder in February.

A Great Night for USC at 2019 Academy Awards!
February 25, 2019

SCA alums enjoyed a victorious night at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

 

SCA Alums Win Best Short Documentary Oscar
Period. End of Sentence. chronicles the issues women face when their periods are considered taboo
February 25, 2019

Period. End of Sentence. is directed by production alum Rayka Zehtabchi '16, shot by production alum Sam Davis '16, and executive produced by Helen Yenser, who graduates from the Wells Writing Division in May. 
 

Rawson Marshall Thurber & Jon M. Chu
February 13, 2019

Alumni Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) kick off our 90th Anniversary Series in a conversation with each other about their experiences at SCA and throughout their careers.

True Crime, Teaching, and Top Knots
Skye Borgman MFA ’05 Reflects on Her New Documentary
February 13, 2019

Borgman discusses her Netflix documentary Abducted In Plain Sight, her filmmaking process, her past work, and teaching at the school where she honed her craft.

In Motion Magazine Winter 2018-19
January 14, 2019

The USC School of Cinematic Arts' Alumni Magazine

SCA Family Stories: Stu Pollard '95
The Producer of Rust Creek on his Time Inside and Outside of USC
January 7, 2019

Stu Pollard is a Trojan in more ways than one. The Trojan family is a blend of students, faculty, staff, supporters, parents, and alumni who come together to make one of the best film schools in the world (number one according to the Hollywood Reporter.) Pollard graduated with his MFA in 1995 and returned to his alma mater to teach film production years later.
 

From Egypt to SCA and Back Again
December 21, 2018

Alumnus Adam Nazih Makary, who graduated in 2018 with an MFA in Film & Television Production, is now in Cairo, Egypt working on his debut feature. Makary, a former journalist, is adapting the classic novel Beer in the Snooker Club, a story of identity, politics, and coming-of-age in the midst of an Egyptian revolution.

THE MISC LIST: The 15 Most Significant Social Impact Films of 2018
December 21, 2018

USC MISC (Media Institute for Social Change) ranks the year's most popular and acclaimed films that entertained and also contained impactful social change themes. 

Alumnus Maintains His Creative Drive While Battling ALS
December 4, 2018

Jon Huntley, who graduated in 1997 from the School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Production, recently wrote and edited the short film Matt and Maya. Huntley has been living with advancing ALS, a nervous system disease that impacts all physical functions, rendering him unable to speak or move his arms or legs. However, while living in long-term care at care at the Wasserman Campus of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, Huntley found the support and resources to live out his dreams. Read more about Huntley's journey in making Matt and Maya.

Pam Douglas’ Book Gets 4th Edition
Writing Professors’ Iconic Work in Stores November 1st
November 20, 2018

Television has been called the new novel by media scholars. Women and men who wish to express themselves in modern times turn to the small screen as often as they turn to the written word or the film industry. John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television Professor Pam Douglas was ahead of the curve on treating television drama as an art form. Her book Writing the TV Drama Series was a pioneering work that treated TV as art and continues to be the go to instructional book for aspiring writers.
 

SCA Comedy Fest: Women Running the Show
November 20, 2018

Prominent show-runners Yvette Lee Bowser (executive producer of Netflix’s Dear White People), Natasha Leggero (co-creator and executive producer of Comedy Central’s Another Period), and Gemma Baker (co-creator and executive producer of Mom on CBS) kicked off Saturday of SCA Comedy Fest. They sat down for an insightful, inspirational, and informative panel discussion about the ever-changing voice and influence of television. Read about their experience-from how they came to find their own writing voices, to making the transition to a management role, to advice for other women hoping to break into television.

Frasier: 25th Anniversary Celebration
November 19, 2018

The Eileen Norris Cinema Theater was home to a lively reunion for part of the classic sitcom Frasier’s cast and crew. They reminisced about the creation process, and hinted at what the future hold for the iconic Frasier characters. Read about the most popular event from the fourth installment of USC Comedy Fest. 

Kenya Barris Honored with the Jack Oakie & Victoria Horne Oakie Masters of Comedy Award
November 19, 2018

The creator of the critically acclaimed TV show black-ish joined SCA for the fourth edition of the USC Comedy Festival. Barris was the guest of honor at the Jack Oakie & Victoria Horne Oakie Masters of Comedy Lecture Series, which was moderated by SCA alumnus and celebrated filmmaker, Tim Story.

From the School of Cinematic Arts to Pixar Animation Studios
November 15, 2018

Mahyar Abousaeedi, who got his MFA in Animation in 2004, is amazed that it has been 15 years since he started working at Pixar. He sat down with his alma mater to share the unconventional story of how he decided to change careers and moved to California on an artistic hunch. Read about how Abousaeedi's time at SCA prepared him for a career in animation during a time of great technological change, and his advice for future filmmakers. 

Documentarian Finds Herself Behind the Lens
November 2, 2018

MFA candidate Mary Gerretsen has found a unique way of understanding her own life experience through the stories of others. Gerretsen came to SCA after working in television in Canada with a clear focus of wanting to make documentaries. She grew up with filmmaker parents, who taught her the power of cinema and the importance of laughing through pain. Now, Gerretsen is exploring those same themes in her work. Read about her journey of success and sel-discovery.

Animation Student Creates VR Game for Oculus
October 15, 2018

Senior Brenda Chen's VR game Chrysalis, which was commissioned by Oculus for its Rift headset, is now available online. Chen was one of 14 winners of the Oculus Launch Pad competition, and her demo was chosen from hundreds of pitches to be funded by Oculus to become a fully realized game. Chrysalis is a virtual reality exploration game where the player gets swallowed by a giant sea creature and goes on an adventure in its belly, filled with puzzles, plot twists, and goofy characters along the way.

Writing Student Wins Million-Dollar Screenplay Competition
October 15, 2018

Stanley Kalu, senior in the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television, has won the 2018 The LAUNCH screenwriting competition, which offers at least one million dollars in film financing and a $50,000 education grant to the winner. The competition was open to students in accredited institutions from all over the world, and Kalu's screenplay, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, was selected and is now in development.

SCA Wins Big at Student Academy Awards
October 12, 2018

The Student Academy Awards recognizes the best projects made by students enrolled in
colleges and universities around the world, with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals going to
awardees whose films emerge as the best of their categories. Of the more than 1500 entries
from 400 schools represented in this year’s competition, USC School of Cinematic Arts student
films claimed prizes in narrative, documentary and animation categories for U.S.-based
programs:

SCA Rocks the Vote
October 9, 2018

SCA Votes organizes a Pizza+Democracy day to get the community registered to vote!

John Carpenter Brings Halloween to SCA
Alum screens iconic horror film
September 26, 2018

When talking about the alumni of the School of  Cinematic Arts who have changed the film, television, and video games industry, any list will be incomplete without horror icon John Carpenter.  Most notably, his work with fellow alumi Dan O’Bannon and Nick Castle.

Sundance Hit Searching Gets Major Theatrical Release
August 23, 2018

The highly anticipated thriller Searching, which was written, directed, filmed, edited, scored, and produced by USC alumni, played to a full house at Eileen Norris Cinema Theater on July 18th. Searching, which opens in theaters nation wide Labor Day Weekend, is the first feature film to be made entirely from the vantage point of a computer screen. The young and innovative alumni sat down with SCA before the screening for an intimate conversation about their journey from film school to the big screen. 

Christine Acham Named Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion
August 20, 2018

The Division of Cinema and Media Studies professor is the first to hold this permanent deanship at SCA, highlighting the School's commitment to educate, empower, and engage all students, faculty, and staff. Read her perspective on the new position and program plans for the coming year. 

Crazy Rich Asians Screened at USC Opening Night
August 17, 2018

Alumni Jon Chu and Kevin Tsujihara brought their highly anticipated movie to SCA, followed by a lively Q&A about culture and representation in Hollywood. Director Jon Chu, who graduated from the Division of Film & Television Production in 2003, shared his experience and advice with the audience, while 1983 USC graduate and Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros, Kevin Tsujihara, reflected on his Trojan Family legacy and the future of Asian Americans on the big screen.

Documentary Filmmaker With Many Stories To Tell
August 2, 2018

2017 MFA graduate Yongle Wang is at the beginning of an exciting and diverse career! A writer, director, and editor with a unique perspective on the world, Wang has found a true passion for addressing large social issues through the lens of individual stories. She sat down to share her own personal and educational experiences, explaining how they have shaped her global understanding of humanity and the types of stories she hopes to tell. 

A Unique Summer Education for Chinese Directors in Partnership with Shanghai Tech
July 31, 2018

For the last three years, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has offered a 9-week summer master class in directing to working Chinese professionals looking to perfect their craft. The program begins with a four-week production workshop in Los Angeles, followed by travel to Shanghai to film final projects. Film & TV Production Professor Sheldon Larry is currently in Shanghai with the 12 directors selected in 2018 for this competitive program, and they sat down to share their experiences before departing! 

Student Receives Prestigious Opportunity Through the US-UK Fulbright Commission
June 1, 2018

Leila Hoffpauir, a sophomore in the Cinema and Media Studies Division, was recently chosen to participate in the Fulbright Summer Institute for Film and Media at the University of Birmingham. For three weeks this summer, Leila will travel to the United Kingdom with participants from all over the country on one of the most selective summer scholarship programs operating world-wide.

Film & TV Production Student is Chosen for HBO Access Writing Fellowship
May 24, 2018

MFA candidate Sara Alize Cross was one of eight people selected from over 3,000 submissions to get one-on-one script mentorship from an HBO executive. In her journey of academic and artistic success Cross has refined her skills as a writer, and found her utmost passion for storytelling as a director.

Alumni Profile: Bomani Story
May 22, 2018

Bomani Story is a writer, producer, and director that, since his time at USC, has made short films and written a feature, Rock Steady Row, which won the audience and jury award at the 2018 Slamdance.

Alumni Profile: Romi Barta
May 21, 2018

Romi Barta is a television writer and graduate of USC Comedy that has written for shows such as Santa Clarita Diet and Foursome. Drawn to sitcoms from a young age and a former improv performer, she discovered that she enjoyed making people laugh and wanted to find a way to create a career doing that. 

2018 USC Games Expo Showcases Over 80 Games
May 16, 2018

This year the School of Cinematic Arts teamed up with the Viterbi School of Engineering to highlight all of the work students, faculty, and alumni put into the innovative world of game design. Sponsored by Jam City, an L.A. based mobile game development company, the event transformed the SCA campus into an interactive game play space for the entire community. 

2018 Commencement Speakers
May 11, 2018

Please click to see the videos of the 2018 Commencement Speakers Kevin Tsujihara and Amanda Silver

SCA Alumni Stories: Noopur Sinha
May 9, 2018

Stark graduate Noopur Sinha ‘15 discusses her success in short film and digital content, her experience working in both Hollywood and Bollywood, and her web series The FOB and I. She also shares the story behind Kat, a short form series that covers the millennial struggles of its lead character, a cat, that she helped to produce for Amazon.

Tim Story Gives Advice to Future Filmmakers
May 8, 2018

Director of box office hits such as Think Like a Man, Ride Along, Barber Shop, and Fantastic Four sat down with SCA students for a question and answer session as part of the Our Voices series of events held by the School’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion.

SCA Celebrates the Dedication of the John C. Hench Endowed Chair
May 4, 2018

Teresa Cheng, head of the Division of Animation and Digital Art, became the first recipient of the School of Cinematic Art's 31st endowed chair. Cheng, who has worked in animation for over 30 years, was joined by trustees of the John C. Hench Foundation as well as her colleague Andrew Millstein, President of Walt Disney Animation. The evening honored the extraordinary legacy of John C. Hench's 65 years of work in the world of Disney, and spoke to the vision Cheng has for the future of her division. 

Lisa Kudrow Receives Oakie Master of Comedy Award
April 27, 2018

The Emmy Award winning actor took some time to discuss her career with Sex and the City writer Michael Patrick King as part of the annual Oakie Masters of Comedy Lecture Series presented by USC Comedy. 

Mark Hamill Discusses His Career and Gives Advice to Students
April 27, 2018

The legendary actor, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in George Lucas's Star Wars, gave a master class at the USC School of Cinematic Arts Norris Theater. From his early days in Hollywood to the celebrity brought on after Star Wars, Hamill shared his experience and wisdom with students.

USC Games Expo
An Exhibition of Student Games
April 25, 2018

USC Games Expo is an exhibition of the years’ best, most innovative games and interactive projects from across campus, showcased under one roof. For the first time, in 2018, thanks to the support of marquee sponsor Jam City, the event has expanded to beyond current students, and includes alumni, faculty, and other strategic partners. The core of the event is the culmination of a collaborative effort between the School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, with participating students from SCA’s Animation, Writing, MA+P, Cinema & Media Studies, and Production divisions, as well as students from across USC’s campus.

SCA Students Shine at Getty Center's College Night
April 20, 2018

Students from the Interactive Media & Games, Animation, and Media Arts & Practice divisions were represented at the unique event showcasing different genres of artistic work. 

SCA Alumni Stories: Frank Balkin
April 6, 2018

Frank Balkin ‘90 explains the role of talent agencies and how to navigate them. Drawing from his own experience as Partner and Head of Television at Worldwide Production Agency, Balkin sheds light on how to actually become an agent, and how he came to represent notable clients such as Michael Goi (American Horror Story), Hunter Via (Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy), and more.
 

Faculty Profile: Irving Belateche
March 23, 2018

Screenwriting Professor Irving Belateche discusses his own work, the inspiration he receives from his students, and the growing trends in expectations from modern audiences.

Alum Wins WGA Award
March 22, 2018

Andrew Rothschild, who graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts from the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television, recently won the 2018 Writers Guild Award for Adapted Short Form New Media.

Alum Documentary Featured in Game Developers Conference
March 19, 2018

Nicholas Dobkin's feature film, Touching Sound: The Technika Documentary, will be screened on March 21st as part of the first film festival at the Conference. 

Highlights From Planet of the Apes Exhibit
March 19, 2018

Featured at Hugh Hefner Exhibit Hall in the George Lucas Building through May 2018, this exhibit accompanies the retrospective "50 Years of Planet of the Apes."

Planet of the Apes Impact and Evolution
March 19, 2018

Filmmakers from throughout the decades gather to discuss the franchise on its 50th anniversary. 

USC Games #1: 2018 Edition
The Princeton Review Names USC the Number One Video Game Program for the Seventh Year
March 14, 2018

The Princeton Review ranked USC Games the number one video game program in 2018 for its undergraduate programs. Either the graduate or the undergraduate program has been ranked the number one program for game design for seven out of eight years. USC Games represents an exciting collaboration between the School of Cinematic Arts' Interactive Media & Games Division and the Viterbi School of Engineering's Department of Computer Science.
 

SCA Alumni Stories: Ann Austen
March 13, 2018

Having written for Power Rangers as well as various Disney Channel original films, Ann Austen '85 shares her experiences in children's feature and television writing. She also shed light on her 2016 Emmy winning Pre-School Children's Animated Program, The Snowy Day, based on the children's book that broke the color barrier in mainstream publishing.

Documentary Filmmaking and Social Change
March 9, 2018

2017 Cinema & Media Studies alum Audrey Emerson has taken her amazing accomplishments at USC and translated them into the beginnings of an impactful career in documentary film production. Working in the intersection of media and social advocacy, Emerson shares her story of success and advice for future students. 

Faculty Profile: Martzi Campos
March 2, 2018

Martzi Campos, an alumna of the School of Cinematic Arts and current designer at the school’s Game Innovation Lab discusses new developments in video game design, as well as the undergraduate courses she teaches at SCA.

Lalo’s House Screening and Discussion Brings Awareness to the Realities of Human Trafficking
March 1, 2018

MFA Alum Kelley Kali’s thesis film, which won the Programmers’ Award for Best Short at the Pan African Film Festival, offers an artful and socially evocative portrayal of horrendous human rights violations occurring in Haiti. The creators and stars of the film sat down with social change advocates to discuss their ambitious project, and plans of making Lalo’s House into a full-length feature. 

Directors Guild of America Honors Alumni at the 23rd Annual Student Film Awards
February 23, 2018

Gisele Tong, Sanford Jenkins Jr., and Mei Li Ying were distinguished among African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and women filmmakers.
 

SCA Alumni Stories: Gwydhar Gebien
February 23, 2018

Gwydhar Gebien ‘16, a graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts production program discusses her own story at USC, her career in film production, as well as her current role with the Jacobson Group, an accounting firm that provides services for major entertainment organizations.

Ph.D. Student Finds New Ways of Understanding Holocaust Rememberence
February 13, 2018

Maria Zalewska from the Cinema & Media Studies division incorporates her work in media and memory studies with cinematic representations of the Holocaust.

John Wells Names the Writing Division
February 9, 2018

The TV boom that began more than a decade ago and shows no sign of slowing down—currently referred to as the “Platinum Age” of television—has influenced the evolution of the Screenwriting program at the School of Cinematic Arts. This spring, one of the architects of television’s rise made a major gift to the program which is now known as the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television.

The Getty Center's "Savant of Media"
February 9, 2018

MA+P alum Kevin McGowan brings his technical and storytelling know-how to the museum.

The End of an Era: Larry Auerbach Retires
February 6, 2018

Larry Auerbach announces his retirement after twenty-five years at the School.

Professor Howard Rodman to be inducted into Final Draft’s Screenwriters Hall of Fame
February 5, 2018

Renowned screenwriter, novelist, and educator Howard Rodman will be inducted into Final Draft’s Screenwriters Hall of Fame on February 8th. Rodman is Professor and Former Chair in John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television.  He is known for the screenplays Saving Grace and August, which both debuted at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and Joe Gould’s Secret, which opened Sundance in 2000. His screenplay F. was voted one of Hollywood’s Ten Best Unproduced Screenplays by Premiere magazine. Rodman is also the artistic director of Sundance Institute Screenwriting Labs and USC’s Scripter Awards. Grace was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award in the Best Screenplay category. He is past President of Writer’s Guild of America, West.

Faculty Profile: Sonja Warfield
February 2, 2018

Sonja Warfield, a lecturer with the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television, as well as a graduate of the School of Cinematic Arts, discusses her work at SCA, her inspirations as an educator, and offers advice for aspiring screenwriters.

Hollywood Foreign Press Association Funds $2 Million Scholarship
February 2, 2018

Last summer in Oxfordshire outside of London, 18-year-old Amy Sotnick was hanging out by the river with a few friends enjoying the warm evening air when she got an email on her phone. She recalls, “It was from USC and I’d already been accepted, so I wondered ‘What’s this?’ Then I read that I’d won a scholarship from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. It was a massive surprise!”

MA+P Professor Takes on Infertility Myths in New Film
January 31, 2018

Gabe Peters-Lazaro's new documentary, One More Shot, debuts on Netflix! 

From USC to Virtual Reality
January 30, 2018

Alum Scott Stephan is on the forefront of virtual reality innovation. His inspiring  journey of success, and advice for cinema students. 

SEV OHANIAN AND ANEESH CHAGANTY ARE SUNDANCE WINNERS
The SCA alums win the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Sundance/Amazon prizes for the film Search
January 24, 2018

Search, co-written, produced and directed by SCA Alums Sev Ohanian (MFA, Production, ’12) and Aneesh Chaganty (BA, Production ’13) is one of Sundance’s most buzzworthy films this year. Told entirely through a computer screen, it follows a father, played by John Cho, who enlists a compassionate detective (Debra Messing) to track down his missing daughter. The daughter’s computer holds the most clues about her disappearance and the dogged father/detective team becomes engrossed in her online life.

SCA Alumni Stories: James Morosini
January 19, 2018

A USC graduate, James Morosini '14, discusses his experiences acting in major television shows such as American Horror Story, what it is like to work at the helm of one's own projects, and reflects on his time as a student at USC and his journey since then. 

Showcase Magazine
SCA’s undergrads launch a digital publication to share and celebrate personal projects
January 17, 2018

This year the SCA Undergraduate Student Council sought to create a space for undergraduate cinema students to connect and interact with the creative work of their peers. As the President of the SCA Undergraduate Student Council, Raphael Rosalen led the charge, and the new innovative magazine Showcase was created.

SCA Alumni Stories: Drew McClellan
January 11, 2018

Turning his passion for helping children into a career in academia, Drew McClellan '11 now serves as Senior Program Specialist and Department Chair of Cinematic and Visual Arts at the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts where he encourages the next generation of filmmakers to create their own work at a professional level. McClellan recently reflected on his time at USC, while also giving advice to students who are just starting their careers in the industry.

Alumni Spotlight HIKARI
January 10, 2018

Is there a theme you feel like you keep going back to in your work?”
This was one of my first questions to SCA alumna, artist, and director, Hikari Mitsuyo Miyazaki, who is also known as HIKARI.
She paused for a second, then gave a big toothy smile: “I like to focus on family.”


 

Faculty Profile: Michael Bodie
December 13, 2017

Media Arts + Practice Professor discusses his career as a media creation educator

USC Games Projects to be Showcased at Playstation Experience
Lineup Led by Walden, a game
December 9, 2017

The University of Southern California’s premier video games program USC Games will feature hands-on playable code for three of its key releases at Sony’s 2017 PlayStation Experience on December 9th and 10th in Anaheim, California: Walden, a game, The Night Journey, and Cat and the Coup.

SCA Alumni Stories: Valerie Meraz
December 6, 2017

Valerie Meraz '99, SVP of Content & Acquisitions for Turner Entertainment Networks, opens up on her journey as a Peter Stark alumna to becoming a trailblazing executive for Showtime and Turner Networks. She gives invaluable advice to prospective entertainment executives and shares the impact of diversity within the C-suite.  

Teresa Cheng Named Animation Chair
Veteran Animation Executive to Lead Visionary Division
December 6, 2017

Veteran Animation executive to lead John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts.

SCA Students Win Hack Music LA
November 16, 2017

LA Phil’s Music and Artistic director, Gustavo Dudamel believes, “music is a fundamental human right.” So for the first time Hack Music LA partnered with LA Phil Harmonic to create a hack-a-thon that brings technology and music together to find new and innovative ways to make music accessible. Students could apply as individuals or teams of three and were encouraged to work with partners in different disciplines, from musicians to animators to filmmakers.

Q and A: Kara Keeling
Read about about her teaching and writing, and what you should be watching
November 13, 2017

Professor in the Bryan Singer Division of Cinema & Media Studies talks about her teaching and writing, and what you should be watching

Queer Cut
Camaraderie and Community at USC and Beyond
November 13, 2017

Queer Cut, an organization straight out of SCA, is dedicated to promoting the visibility of LGBTQ media on campus and building support amongst LGBTQ students, professors, and allies.

SCA Adds Mexican Grant
November 13, 2017

This year the School of Cinematic Arts is a first-time recipient of a $10,000 IME-BECAS grant. Funded by the government of Mexico, the grant will support SCA students from Mexico or of Mexican origin with demonstrated financial need.The Government of Mexico established the scholarship program in 2005 with the objective of facilitating “the academic and profession development of Mexicans in the United States in order to better integrate and contribute to the society in which they live as well as to link their knowledge to development of their places of origin in Mexico.”The scholarships support students across the United States including many studying at California colleges and universities.SCA’s first IME-BECAS scholars were awarded in the 2017-2018 academic year.

SCA Alumni Stories: Arjun Rihan
November 10, 2017

Arjun Rihan '08 has worked on some of Pixar's biggest animated movies such as Brave, Finding Dory, and its latest film Coco, which celebrates the richness of Mexico's culture and Dia De Los Muertos. Arjun credits his success to SCA's Hench Animation program, which gave him the necessary tools and mentorship to create Topi. This award winning, USC thesis film garnered the attention of Pixar, where he has been working for the past nine years, since graduating from SCA. 

Professor Jason E. Squire Hosts Micro-Budget Panel
DIY movie-making discussion packs SCA 108
November 7, 2017

On October 18, 2017 the question on every film student’s mind was asked in SCA 108, “What does someone do after they graduate?” There was a different feel in the room at Jason E. Squire’s DIY and the Micro Budget Feature Model because,on this particular evening, the panel was made entirely of people who had made those first steps into the professional world through small films and they had a clear answer.

Gifting a Cinematic Education to South and East L.A. High Schoolers
Entrepreneur and SCA Professor Diego Berdakin underwrites a Good Neighbor program
November 2, 2017

Diego Berdakin has pursued many endeavours in his professional career. A successful entrepreneur and investor, Berdakin is a founder of various consumer internet-based businesses including BeachMint, a Santa Monica based social commerce company that is now part of The Lucky Group. He is also an investor in several prominent companies including Dropbox, Uber, NastyGal, and Postmates; and a partner in FabFitFun, Re/Done, iEscrow, and Weaving Capital. Yet he also makes time for the role of Professor at the School of Cinematic Arts, teaching his methodologies to students aspiring to make their own way in media business.

“Giggle Break”: One Alum’s Big Break into the World of Funny
October 30, 2017

Alum Daniel Rashid talks about the success of his comedy channel Giggle Break

Media Arts + Practice Student Aroussiak Gabrielian Wins Rome Prize
October 30, 2017

Aroussiak Gabrielian, a Ph.D. candidate in Media Arts + Practices is a 2017-2018 awardee of the Rome Prize, among the most prestigious awards given for scholarship in the art world.

Teresa Cheng Named Animation Division Chair
October 20, 2017

The USC School of Cinematic Arts unanimously selected veteran animation executive and producer Teresa Cheng as the new Chair of the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts.

Media Arts + Practice students featured at this year’s ARS Electronica Festival
October 6, 2017

Four Media Arts + Practices students had works featured at the world famous ARS Electronica Festival

SCA Alumni Stories: Trey Alsup
Creator of the Situation Room at the Reagan Library
October 5, 2017

Trey Alsup '94 is the writer and creator of "The Situation Room Experience," a simulated, interactive game at the Ronald Reagan Library educating and enabling participants to recreate fictional, crisis scenarios. Alsup is also known for his extensive experience designing live-action role-playing games (LARPS), and writing and producing national gaming conventions, including Gen Con. 

SCA Donor Hugh Hefner Dies
September 29, 2017

Hollywood legend Hugh Hefner, who passed away on September 27 at age 91, was a longtime friend, supporter, and benefactor of the School of Cinematic Arts, having generously donated to the School.

Fourth Consecutive Starkie Awarded the PGA’s Debra Hill Fellowship
September 18, 2017

The Producers Guild of America has awarded its prestigious Debra Hill Fellowship to a Peter Stark Producing Program graduate for a fourth consecutive year. This year's recipient is the fifth overall from the Stark Program, more than any other University, and USC is the only university to win the fellowship in consecutive years, let alone four straight. ?The fellowship was established in 2005 following the passing of pioneering producer Debra Hill, who was committed to mentoring next-generation producers. 

Kevin Feige Establishes Endowed Fund at the USC School of Cinematic Arts
Marvel Studios President Donates $500,000 to further Creative Producing
September 18, 2017

Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, has made a gift to his alma mater, the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), to further the art and craft of creative producing. The Kevin Feige Endowed Fund for Creative Producing will help to provide support for classes on how to take projects from idea to distribution, fostering the skills needed to successfully turn a pitch into a commercial product.

SCA 2017 Grad Ariel Heller wins Student Academy Award
September 14, 2017

Recent MFA Production grad Ariel Heller is a Student Academy Award winner in the narrative filmmaking category. We spoke to Ariel about the inspiration behind his winning thesis film, Mammoth, which deals with the turmoil of terminal illness, and about his current projects.

SCA Alumni Stories: Matthew Jensen
September 12, 2017

Cinematographer, Matthew Jensen '94 has earned numerous television and film credits on some of Hollywood's biggest projects ranging from Game of Thrones to Wonder Woman. Jensen recently reflected on his process, while also sharing advice for those looking to pursue a career in this field.

Inside the Movie Business: The Upside of Disruption
August 23, 2017

Associate Professor of Practice Jason E. Squire’s scholarly work was honored at The Museum of the Moving Image in New York with a panel discussion based on The Movie Business Book Fourth Edition, “Inside the Movie Business: The Upside of Disruption.”

SCA Alumni Stories: Yvette Amirian
August 8, 2017

From reality TV to documentary filmmaking, Yvette Amirian ’05 has utilized her talents as an editor to craft dynamic, entertaining stories. Now an adjunct professor at USC School Of Cinematic Arts, Amirian continues to share her wisdom with her students. She recently discussed her passion for editing, the road that led her back to SCA, and her advice for current students.
 

IMGD's Tracy Fullerton and Lishan AZ are Games For Change Winners
Fullerton's Walden, a game, takes the top prize for Most Significant Impact
August 1, 2017

Tracy Fullerton, Director of the USC Game Inovation Lab, received several awards last night at the Games for Change awards for Walden, a game, while recent alum Leshan AZ's Tracking Ida took Best Gameplay

Danny Bilson Named Interactive Media & Games Division Chair
July 28, 2017

Video game executive, screenwriter, and producer Danny Bilson, who has taught at SCA since 2005, will be the new Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division.

The Global Exchange Program
July 26, 2017

Each summer since 2006 film students from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and Communication University of China team up to create documentaries as part of the Global Exchange Program, which was created by SCA professors Marsha Kinder and Mark Jonathan as a partnership between the two schools. 

Pepsico's Pepsi and Mountain Dew Contest at SCA
July 17, 2017

Pepsico recently invited students from the School of Cinematic Arts to create short films for its Pepsi and Mountain Dew brands, with the winning films going live on YouTube and Facebook this summer.

SCA Alumni Stories: Josh Scherr
July 12, 2017

After a trip to see Star Wars ignited an interest in special effects and animation, Josh Scherr ’97, honed his skills as a member of the first graduating class of SCA‘s Animation Division. Now, through his work on the Uncharted series at Naughty Dog, Scherr continues to push the envelope in the world of narrative gaming, first as an animation lead, more recently as a writer. He recently reflected on his work while providing helpful tips on breaking into the industry.

AFS Documentary Filmmaker Workshop
June 28, 2017

The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) has partnered with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to foster cultural understanding through filmmaking. 

Faculty Profile: Lisa Leeman
“From the Heart to the Head”: An SCA Film Professor’s Take on Narratives and Social Change
June 12, 2017

Lisa Leeman, SCA professor and alum, is an award-winning filmmaker best known for her social-issue documentaries that are driven by powerful character-driven narratives. In this interview, Leeman talked about her classes, inspiration, and experiences working on her directorial debut, Metamorphosis: Man into Woman, which follows a transgender animation artist’s transition. The film is thought to be the first American film to chronicle a gender transition and was awarded Sundance’s Filmmakers Trophy (1990).
 

Robin Williams Remembered at Chair Dedication
June 9, 2017

SCA Professor and USC Comedy Co-Founder Barnet Kellman honored as inaugural Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy, graciously funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

SCA Alumni Stories: Yuechuan Ke
June 7, 2017

Director and cinematographer of Once Away, an episodic documentary for China Central Television, Yuechuan Ke ’06, opens audiences to various global perspectives through his engaging work that promotes love and equality.

Alumni Profile: Raquel Korman
The Director of Forever Home Speaks on her BAFTA Shortlisted Film
June 5, 2017

Raquel Korman ‘16 is a documentarian and video game designer, who uses her skills as a storyteller and media maker to give voice to those often overlooked in society. In her new documentary Forever Home, Korman follows the story of a family in California who adopt a group of foster children with different backgrounds and challenges.
 
The documentary was produced in the USC School of Cinematic Arts course CTPR 480 and, after a successful festival run, was shortlisted for a student BAFTA.

The Women of the Business Office
June 5, 2017

From processing payroll for all School of Cinematic Arts employees, professors and student workers, to handling the Dean’s accounts and those of student media makers, the women of the business office serve every member of the SCA community. 

COMMENCEMENT 2017: Jennifer Todd
May 12, 2017

Watch the 2017 Mary Pickford Alumni Alumni Award Winner Jennifer Todd

COMMENCEMENT 2017: Ron Meyer
May 12, 2017

Watch the 2017 Commencement Address by Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal Ron Meyer

COMMENCEMENT 2017: Suzanne Todd
May 12, 2017

Watch the 2017 Mary Pickford Alumni Award Recipient Suzanne Todd

An Experience for all the Senses: Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live 3
May 9, 2017

Rhythms + Visions / Expanded + Live 3 will light up the outdoor spaces of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex in an evening of music, interactive animation, projection mapping, animated inflatables, and virtual reality. Innovative artists Refik Anadol, Miwa Matreyek, and Patterson + Reckinger will perform an eclectic program of contemporary visual music and audio-visual art.

SCA Professor Ted Braun honored with The Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics
May 4, 2017

The Chair honors the prolific American mythologist who is recognized for extensive work in comparative mythology, and was instrumental to the ‘Star Wars’ phenomenon

SCA Alumni Stories: Christine T. Berg
May 3, 2017

With the creative versatility as a writer-director of narrative storytelling and virtual reality, SCA alumna Christine T. Berg ’09 tells stories with great compassion and bold honesty. Berg recently discussed her winding path to becoming a storyteller, her experience writing and directing her laborious work of love called Wonder Buffalo, and her exciting time spent in the VR world.

Open Letter to John Singleton
May 2, 2017

Often you will hear the old adage, “Hollywood is all about who you know.” We hear it time and time again. Somewhere in the middle of my journey of becoming a filmmaker, it hit me: this is an incomplete statement. The entire back half of the sentence is missing.

Talent Week April 17th-21st
May 2, 2017

Highlights from this years Talent Week at SCA.

USC Comedy Presents: 30th Anniversary Screening of HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE
April 26, 2017

New SCA Professor Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans screened talk about the making of their classic film.

Larry Auerbach Honored at SCA
Head of SCA’s Industry Relations Office Retires after Twenty-Five Years at School
April 14, 2017

An era at the USC School of Cinematic Arts came to an end on April 12th as Associate Dean of Industry Relations Larry Auerbach celebrated his retirement after twenty-five years at the School. His retirement w

USC Comedy Hosts Young Alumni Mixer
April 13, 2017

Professor Barnet Kellman and USC Comedy host six recent SCA graduates for a panel discussion and mixer with current students.

Faculty Profile: Eric Hanson
March 29, 2017

Eric Hanson is a professor in the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, where he teaches courses on animation and virtual reality. Professor Hanson brings his experience as a visual effects designer to his VR work and his classroom. During our interview, Professor Hanson shared some of his favorite VR work such as Oculus’ Dear Angelica, which drew a lot of attention at Sundance.  
 

Ron Meyer Announced as Commencement Speaker
Jennifer and Suzanne Todd Honored with Pickford Alumni Awards
March 23, 2017

On Friday, May 12th, the newest class of graduates from the USC School of Cinematic Arts will be welcomed to the Trojan Family by 2017 Commencement Speaker NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, the former President and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency and one of the entertainment industry’s longest-serving executives. In addition, Producers Jennifer Todd (Live by Night) and Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) will each receive the Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the ceremony.

HFPA Endows $2M Fund for International Student Support
March 17, 2017

Endowment is SCA's largest and most substantial fund for international students.

Jason Reitman Leads SCA Student Directing Workshop
March 13, 2017

Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air) joins Professor Barnet Kellman for night with his two comedy directing classes.

SCA Dedicates The John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television
March 3, 2017

On Thursday, March 2, the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) dedicated its newly named John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television with a celebration of the Division and its benefactor, writer/director/producer John Wells.

SCA Alumni Stories: Sam Rosenthal
February 23, 2017

Creative Director and Founder of The Game Band, SCA Alumnus Sam Rosenthal discuses the design principles that go into his games as well as independent game making. Rosenthal shares his enthusiasm for the art and craft of game design as well as the commonalities interactive stories have with other forms of entertainment.  

Student Spotlight: Laurie Gardiner
February 22, 2017

Current MFA Film and Television Production candidate, Laurie Gardiner, has recently been accepted to a prestigious summer program, the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) this summer in Graz, Austria.

Alumni Profile: Xaiver Burgin
February 16, 2017

SCA Alumni, Xaiver Burgin at the Sundance YouTube New Voices Lab, the writer/director participates in the inaugural story lab for short form digital series

SCA Family Stories: Jean de Meuron
From the Summer Program to the Oscars
February 13, 2017

All alumni of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Summer Program make short films. Some of these films go on to have successful screenings. Some of these films go on to do well at film festivals. Some of these films launch careers. Of all these films, one film, La Femme et le TGV (2016), has climbed the mountain to receive a nomination for the highest award available in the medium -- an Oscar nomination.

SCA Alumni Stories: Ruth Vasquez
February 9, 2017

Self-named the “Mary Poppins of visual effects,” SCA alumna Ruth Vasquez recently discussed her career as one of the industry’s top render managers. Vasquez shared about the underappreciated yet vital nature of data management and offered advice to students who have yet to find their passions.
 

Faculty Profile: Ellen Seiter
February 1, 2017

Ellen Seiter is a professor in the Bryan Singer Division of Cinema and Media Studies. She also holds the Nenno Endowed Chair in Television Studies. She recently won the 2016-2017 Pedagogy Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. The award is given for instruction, publication and development of educational materials, and service/value in Cinema and Media Studies Pedagogy. 

Student Spotlight: Evan Dodson
Writing Division undergrad is on the 2016 Black List
February 1, 2017

Evan Dodson is a junior in the School of Cinematic Arts’ Writing for Screen & Television Division. In December he became the youngest screenwriter to make The Black List, the annual survey of Hollywood executives’ favorite unproduced screenplays. 

[SUNDANCE BLOG] Peter Bawiec
A Sound Designer Reflects on Park City
January 31, 2017

Peter Bawiec is a sound designer and re-recording mixer. He graduated from USC School of Cinematic Arts in 2015 with an MFA in Film & TV Production. Within just one year from his graduation, he held key creative positions on 18 feature films and 3 television pilots. Three titles got into the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, two of which screened this year.

Ellen Seiter is Cinema and Media Studies’ Teacher of the Year
January 30, 2017

Ellen Seiter has been awarded the 2016-2017 Pedagogy Award, from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

SCA Alumni Stories: James Foley
January 12, 2017

Director of two installments of the Fifty Shades saga, James Foley ’79 made his directoral debut with Reckless (1984), starring Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah, and since then has cultivated a versatile career. Foley recently recounted his time as a student at SCA, discussed his experience directing the critically acclaimed House of Cards and the highly anticipated Fifty Shades sequels, and offered his insight into the ingredients needed for a fulfilling career.