Period. End of Sentence wins Academy Award
Rawson Marshall Thurber and Jon M. Chu Visit
Division of Cinema and Media Studies professor is named SCA's the first Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion.
Nine alumni sat with SCA before bringing their Sundance hit, Searching, to Norris Theater for a special screening before major theatrical release.
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
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.
May 13, 2019
Universal Film Chairman Donna Langley was the 2019 commencement speaker. Nahnatchka Khan was the 2019 Mary Pickford Alumni Award
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.
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.
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.
April 10, 2019
John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television launches Week of Wellness Events encouraged self-care and community
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 11, 2018
Please click to see the videos of the 2018 Commencement Speakers Kevin Tsujihara and Amanda Silver
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 23, 2018
Gisele Tong, Sanford Jenkins Jr., and Mei Li Ying were distinguished among African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and women filmmakers.
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.
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.
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.
February 9, 2018
MA+P alum Kevin McGowan brings his technical and storytelling know-how to the museum.
February 6, 2018
Larry Auerbach announces his retirement after twenty-five years at the School.
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.
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.
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!”
January 31, 2018
Gabe Peters-Lazaro's new documentary, One More Shot, debuts on Netflix!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
October 30, 2017
Alum Daniel Rashid talks about the success of his comedy channel Giggle Break
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
May 12, 2017
Watch the 2017 Mary Pickford Alumni Alumni Award Winner Jennifer Todd
May 12, 2017
Watch the 2017 Commencement Address by Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal Ron Meyer
May 12, 2017
Watch the 2017 Mary Pickford Alumni Award Recipient Suzanne Todd
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.
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
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.
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.
May 2, 2017
Highlights from this years Talent Week at SCA.
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
April 13, 2017
Professor Barnet Kellman and USC Comedy host six recent SCA graduates for a panel discussion and mixer with current students.
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.
March 17, 2017
Endowment is SCA's largest and most substantial fund for international students.
March 13, 2017
Reitman (Juno, Up In The Air) joins Professor Barnet Kellman for night with his two comedy directing classes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
January 30, 2017
Ellen Seiter has been awarded the 2016-2017 Pedagogy Award, from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.
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.
December 19, 2016
InMotion: Raskin August
December 16, 2016
On December 7th the School of Cinematic Arts hosted the 2016 the Winteractive Festival presented by USC Games. This year’s Festival showcase a variety of work from across a broader spectrum of platforms, classes and levels of experimentation including SCA’s Interactive Media and Games Division, the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts, and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering as well as a handful of students from the USC Thornton School of Music and students from outside the University participating.
Remembering Jonathan Bernbaum
SCA alum among those who died in Oakland Fire
December 8, 2016
We learned on Monday that SCA alumnus Jonathan Bernbaum, 34, a talented video and music artist who graduated from the Production MFA program in 2008, was among those who died in the horrific fire at an Oakland warehouse last Friday December 2.
November 21, 2016
Faculty Profile: Bonnie Ruberg
November 18, 2016
SCA Alumni Stories: Fawaz Al-Matrouk
November 10, 2016
With an MFA in Production, Sean Jarrett ’14 has immensely expanded his storytelling strengths and creative sensibility as a documentary editor. Jarrett recently discussed his beginnings as a filmmaker, the valuable emotional impact both documentary and fiction films have on audiences, and his experience in every editing job of learning “something technical, artistic, and something about life.”
Cheryl Boone Isaacs Visits SCA
President of the Academy is First Visitor in Diversity Council Speaker Series
October 27, 2016
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the USC School of CInematic Arts (SCA) are united in a mission to improve the diversity of the entertainment industry. On October 24th, Boone Isaacs was the keynote speaker at “Our Voices - An Evening with Cheryl Boone Isaacs” hosted by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at SCA.
October 20, 2016
Everybody Loves Raymond Creator Visiting Foundations of Comedy USC Comedy is proud to announce that Phil Rosenthal, Emmy winning Writer/Producer of “Everybody Loves Raymond”, will be visiting SCA on the evening of Monday, October 24 to talk about the art of Sitcom Writing with students in CTWR 404, Foundations of Comedy.
October 20, 2016
Comedian Pauly Shore emcees a screening of original short films created by SCA students. Be part of the jury and help award the People's Choice "It's All In Fun" Award. Esteemed members of the USC Comedy Faculty will also judge 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards & scholarships. All films are no longer than four minutes in lengths.
October 20, 2016
Meenakshi Ramamurthy is the comedy writer/director behind the webseries The Fob and I and recent alum of USC School of Cinematic Arts M.F.A Production program. Meena hails from South Texas—that means she’s one of the few Indian people who can tell you where to get a good taco. She is a recipient of the James Bridges Directing Scholarship and the Jack Oakie Scholarship in Honor of Lisa Kudrow.
October 18, 2016
This year marks Dean Elizabeth M. Daley’s twenty-fifth as Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts, making her easily the longest tenured dean in the School’s history. In honor of the School’s tremendous growth under her leadership, and to celebrate the accomplishments of our alumni community over the past year, the Alumni Development Council held a special celebration on Sunday, October 16, with many of the School’s most notable alumni gathering at the Meldman Family Cinematic Arts Park for what some dubbed “a meeting of the SCA mafia.”
October 12, 2016
Faculty Profile: Amanda Pope
October 12, 2016
Pablo Frasconi has been making films since 1969, when, at age 17 won an award a the National Newsweek-Bloex Documentary Film Contest for his film Redevelopment - a critique of the conditions in his hometown. Raised in a family of artists, Pablo gives a brief account to his journey to filmmaking and what it means to him.
October 7, 2016
Faculty Profile: David Maquiling
October 7, 2016
Gabriel Peters-Lazaro is not only a Professor in the School of Cinematic Arts but also a filmmaker, researcher, and media innovator. By asking questions about our culture, society, and identity, his passion for media education has shaped a great deal of his work. He is a member of the MacArthur Foundation's Media Activism and Participatory Politics (MAPP) project and is currently working to develop participatory media resources and curricula to support new forms of civic education and engagement for young people.
October 5, 2016
Ready to “set the world on fire,” Cheryl Rodes ’12 tells honest stories that champion the complex everyday lives of women. Acting since age six and raising herself from age fourteen, Rodes has been a storyteller all her life. With an MFA in Writing under her belt, she hopes to utilize the power of storytelling “to embrace, explore and showcase the complexity of women, who they are, and what they have to deal with.”
September 29, 2016
On September 27th, the USC School of Cinematic Arts opened a three-day tribute to legendary film producer, Ray Stark. Stark and his wife Frances were the benefactors of the School’s Peter Stark Producing Program, which they named for their late son. The opening evening featured a panel discussion about Stark’s work, followed by a screening of Funny Girl, held, appropriately, in the Ray Stark Family Theatre on campus. The retrospective continued on the 28th and 29th with screenings of The Goodbye Girl and Steel Magnolias.
Documentarian/Cinematographer Haskell Wexler Honored at SCA
Wexler remembered as pioneer, inventor, and humanitarian
September 26, 2016
On Sunday, September 25th, friends, alumni and supporters of the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) gathered to honor the late, legendary Academy Award-winning cinematographer and documentary filmmaker Haskell Wexler, and to dedicate the Haskell Wexler Endowed Chair in Documentary. Michael Renov, Professor and Vice Dean of Academics at SCA, was installed as the first chair holder. The Wexler Chair in Documentary was graciously funded by the George Lucas Family Foundation.
Hench DADA’s Alicja Jasina Wins at the Student Academy Awards
Her film Once Upon A Line voted best of the year
September 26, 2016
Alicja Jasina of the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital won the gold medal, for her film Once Upon A Line, at this year’s Student Academy Awards. Jasina was awarded the top prize in the Animation category at a ceremony held in Los Angeles on Thursday September 22nd.
SCA Family Stories: Ted Braun
The Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics Speaks about his Journey
September 26, 2016
Ted Braun has worn many hats during his acclaimed career. As a documentarian, he brought the conflict in Sudan to life with the NAACP Image award winning film Darfur Now. As a screenwriter/director he has covered topics as diverse as the golden age of aviation to the rights of the developmentally disabled for outlets including HBO, PBS, and A&E. As a teacher, he has spearheaded the efforts to bring the development of imagination and personal material to the forefront of the Writing Division.
NIH Awards Grant to USC Researchers
SCA's Marientina Gotsis Among Groundbreaking Team
September 22, 2016
USC researchers awarded $450K NIH grant to develop virtual reality-based system for walking rehabilitation. The interdisciplinary study aims to develop safe, effective game-based treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
September 21, 2016
A new organization works to connect the disciplines
Movie Business Book Marks Fourth Edition
Professor Jason E. Squire Hosted at Barnes and Noble
September 20, 2016
On September 12th, Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles hosted the launch of The Movie Business Book Fourth Edition, published by Routledge/Focal Press and edited by USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Associate Professor of Practice Jason E. Squire, who moderated the panel of his book participants.
September 13, 2016
Events will take place throughout the academic year.
September 7, 2016
SCA alumnus Meera Menon ’12 gained much attention for her unique storytelling with a film winning the Nora Ephron Award at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and the other debuting at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Menon recently discussed her storytelling perspective as a first generation immigrant, the beginnings of her academic career at SCA, and her experience directing widely praised Farah Goes Bang and recent sensation Equity.
August 31, 2016
The USC Games Bridge Program was launched in summer 2015 to aid students in the process of developing their games into full-fledged companies. The companies are then pitched to venture capitalists and game publishers with the hopes of investment or acquisition. The Bridge offers legal and business mentorship from top video games industry professionals and is offers its students full ownership of their company without taking any personal interest. The only exception is if a game makes at least $500,000, in which case one percent goes back to USC Games to re-fund the Bridge program for future cohorts.
August 30, 2016
USC Comedy is excited to announce that distinguished SCA alumnus Tim Story, Director of the hit comedies Barbershop, Ride Along and Think Like a Man will be visiting on the evening of Monday, September 12 to talk comedy filmmaking with students in CTWR 404, Foundations of Comedy. The class is the gateway experience for students interested in exploring their comic voice through USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts extensive comedic curriculum.
August 26, 2016
"Ken was beloved by all of us – students, faculty and staff. He will be deeply missed as an artist, a teacher, and a friend," said Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. "Ken brought an incredible passion and sense of fun to the classroom and his love of teaching touched the lives of countless graduates. Our thoughts are with his family."
USC Ranked Number One
The Hollywood Reporter Ranks SCA #1 for Fourth Year
August 22, 2016
For the fourth year in a row, the USC School of Cinematic Arts was ranked the number one film school in America by The Hollywood Reporter. This year, the trade magazine polled industry insiders to rank undergraduate and graduate programs and, citing developments in virtual reality and major pushes in diversity, USC retained the top position.
Two Trojans Bring Home Student Oscar Noms
Animation and Live Action Represented
August 19, 2016
The USC School of Cinematic Arts has a long history of success at the Student Academy Awards and 2016 is no exception with two nominations. Halima Lucas from the Production Division was nominated for, “Amelia’s Closet,” and Alicja Jasina from the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts was nominated for, “Once Upon a Line.”
August 15, 2016
The Summer Program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts takes students from all walks of life. From industry professionals sharpening their skills to high school students picking up a camera for the first time, the student body is diverse, dedicated, and there to learn how to tell stories with the moving image. Cameron Burnett attended the Summer Program in high school and later transitioned into the Film & Television Production Division as a degree program student. He recently sat down with SCA Family Stories to talk about his experience in the Summer Program, his transition to the degree program side of SCA, and the importance of being harsh in the editing room.
August 4, 2016
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Film Studies at Wesleyan University and working in the film industry for several years, Katie Walsh ’13 launched her academic career at USC, finishing her MA in Cinema and Media Studies. She now works as a nationally syndicated film critic, while on leave of absence from her PhD work in Communications at Annenberg. Walsh recently discussed her beginnings in PR, her academic accomplishments, and her current role as a writer and film critic for the Tribune News Service and LA Times.
Meera Menon Debuts Equity
The recent SCA grad returns to campus with her second feature
July 7, 2016
The recent SCA grad returns to campus with her second feature
July 6, 2016
Recent graduate and multi-talented storyteller, Michael Effenberger ’15 shared his experience, as a double major, of discovering and pursuing a long-time yet unfulfilled passion for games. Effenberger discussed the evolution of his skill set as a creative, his journey as co-founder of Syndicate Atomic, and his ambitions for future projects.
June 8, 2016
Having earned an M.A. and a PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at SCA, Veena Hariharan ’11 displays passion in both her academic and creative works as a tenured professor at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. In a recent interview, Hariharan discusses the great value of the critical analyses and academic pursuits of media and cinema in the context of Indian culture and society.
June 8, 2016
Alan Starbuck, facility manger for the Robert Zemeckis Center for the Digital Arts, was an early adopter of the digital technology that now permeates every aspect of life at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. After graduating from the Division of Film & Television Production, Starbuck joined the staff of SCA and led the Zemeckis Center through its many roles and phases as the go-to building for film, television, animation, and video game production at the School. This summer, Starbuck is retiring and SCA Family Stories caught up with him to talk about his memories of the history of the School, why the transition to digital was a fight worth having, and the people that helped him in his amazing career.
May 26, 2016
iMAP PhD student Clea T. Waite recently presented “Big Moon Hong Kong,” a new site-specific video featured on the ICC Tower, which is the tallest building in Hong Kong and boasts the largest LED screen in the world. Clea’s project is part of the prestigious International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) 2016. The building’s facade is comprised of 77,000 square meters of LED’s, making Clea’s video - of the moon rise - quite spectacular. Clea’s summer will be spent in Greenland, where she is conducting arts-based research on ice and its relationship to time, with funding from the Art, Design and SEM Frontier Collaborations, through the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative.
May 26, 2016
Behnaz Farahi, an iMAP PhD candidate, recently presented a talk at an event titled “This Happened #25” at the Interactive Architecture Lab at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, and another talk at Technarte 2016 in Bilbao, May 19, 2016. Behnaz presented her recent research on wearable technologies, cyborg identities and post-humanism. She will return to Autodesk’s Pier 9 this summer as an artist-in-residence.
MA+P Student Wins Undergraduate Symposium
Jonathan Fudem Honored for Thesis
May 26, 2016
MA+P undergraduate students continue to excel! MA+P senior Jonathan Fudem won first prize for his thesis project, “Privacy Lost: Owning Our Data in Digital Culture,” in the Digital Media category of the 2016 Undergraduate Symposium.
Alumni Paul Feig and Susan Downey Honored at USC School of Cinematic Arts 2016 Commencement Ceremony
PLUS: Feig's Eight Rules to Succeed
May 17, 2016
The USC School of Cinematic Arts 2016 Commencement Ceremony honored alumni Susan Downey, the School's 2016 Mary Pickford Award recipient, and keynote speaker Paul Feig, who offered graduates eight tips for success.
May 10, 2016
With experience working in a plethora of storytelling mediums, Sheldon Candis ’03 possesses a distinct and focused voice as a filmmaker. Candis shared pearls of wisdom about the endurance needed to achieve any artistic dream. He also reflected on his own experience after graduating from SCA, and discussed the ever-evolving nature of his creative voice.
May 10, 2016
Looking to graduation, Allison Begalman ’16 reminisced on the past four years she has spent at SCA as a maturing writer, and an active member and President of the Women of Cinematic Arts.
In Memoriam: Ian Sander
USC Alumnus and Television Professor Passes Away at Sixty Eight
May 5, 2016
Longtime television development, directing and production professor and USC alumnus Ian Sander passed away on May 3rd. He is remembered by faculty, staff, alumni, and students of the School of Cinematic Arts as a true role model and educator who cared deeply for students, and who always had an open door for both current students and alumni of his classes. Sander co-taught a course on television with his wife Kim Moses.
May 4, 2016
Jason E. Squire delivers keynote on the history of English-language comedy and visits the China National Film Museum
Mark Burnett Endows Chair to Support the SCA Summer Production Program
David Weitzner installed as first Mark Burnett Endowed Chair
April 28, 2016
Mark Burnett, Emmy–winning producer and President of MGM Television and Digital Group, was honored on April 27th at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for the establishing The Mark Burnett Endowed Chair at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). The endowment will support the School’s Summer Production Program and it’s first chair holder is the program’s Director, SCA Professor David Weitzner.
April 26, 2016
Filmmaker Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) will deliver the commencement address, and producer Susan Downey (Sherlock Holmes, The Judge) will receive the prestigious Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the 2016 USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) graduation ceremony Friday, May 13 at the Shrine Auditorium.
April 19, 2016
Tim Story gives the Oakie Masters of Comedy lecture at SCA
April 12, 2016
Director Juan Pablo Rothie’s adaptation of Shooting An Elephant will play Tribeca this weekend.
April 11, 2016
For the second consecutive year, a team of USC Games students won the BAFTA Ones To Watch Award.
April 8, 2016
Alum Jason Reitman spoke to students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts after a screening of his 2009 film Up in the Air on April 5th in the Ray Stark Family Theatre. The talk was sponsored by USC Comedy at the School of Cinematic Ars, the Writing for Screen & Television’s Writing Presents Speaker Series, and Movies We Love. The Q & A was hosted by USC alum and screenwriter Tim Dowling.
April 8, 2016
Kate Powers ’07 recently discussed her beginnings as a writer, her thoughts on the evolving relationship between TV and its audience, and her journey as a staff writer on the highly acclaimed television drama series Rectify.
USC Brings Student Films to Major Agencies
First Look Film Festival Changes Format
April 8, 2016
Film Festivals are the chance for new Trojan graduates to take their student films into the real world and show agents, managers, producers, and distributors what they’ve got. This year, the School of Cinematic Arts’ Industry Relations has made it even easier for agents to see student work.They won’t even have to leave their buildings.
April 7, 2016
With graduation quickly approaching, Jonathan Fudem ‘16 reflected on his experiences as a MAP student, his time spent working at Trojan Vision and his role as a research assistant.
April 6, 2016
Alumnus Tim Story to be honored with the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Master of Comedy Lecture Series
April 6, 2016
See the faculty for the USC Comedy Initiative at the School of Cinematic Arts
April 6, 2016
Back in 2010, three long time comedy professionals, SCA professors Jack Epps, Barnet Kellman and David Isaacs, had a dream. To launch an initiative to create an SCA Academy of Comedy. In 2016 the dream has become a full functioning reality.
March 22, 2016
SCA’s Director of Programming and Special Projects brings the world of cinema to campus screens.
A new club, focused on the possibilities of Virtual Reality introduces whole new worlds
March 16, 2016
Virtual Reality (VR) is a burgeoning industry and the big media companies - Google, Facebook, and Microsoft among them—already have money and experts engaged in figuring out how VR will impact our lives. Last spring, School of Cinematic Arts students launched their own expedition through a new club, VRSC (Virtual Reality SC), to explore virtual reality together with their peers from Viterbi, Marshall, and Annenberg, who are also passionate about this groundbreaking new medium for storytelling.
March 7, 2016
LGBT Film Showcase Explores The Nexus of Religion and LGBT Identity.
March 7, 2016
Yo-yo Lin and Will Cherry’s Ricerca is featured in South by Southwest's Digital Domain program.
March 3, 2016
Beginning with his creative journey as an undergraduate at Harvard University, Philip Hodges ’11 has evolved into a multi-talented filmmaker, directing story-driven music videos and utilizing puppetry for effective storytelling. Hodges discussed the details of his filmmaking path, including how his acclaimed SCA thesis project landed in film development at Disney.
March 3, 2016
Influenced by the many strong women in her life, Felicia Hilario ’16 is pushing the boundaries of the male-dominant world of crime thrillers. Hilario writes with conviction and a clear vision to empower women of all ethnicities by challenging the gender norms of the thriller film genre. She recently shared her “flavored” storytelling journey and her hopes for the future.
February 26, 2016
Legendary Disney animator Andreas Deja visits the School of Cinematic Arts with new book.
February 24, 2016
“Before there was IMDB, or any way to find out who did anything,” said SCA alum Matthew Weiner (MFA ’90), “We all knew the name of one movie writer: and it was Robert Towne.”
February 23, 2016
Producers Sev Ohanian and Natalie Qasabian’s romance first sparked at the School of Cinematic Arts. Both are now considered industry up-and-comers, and have been making their alma mater proud with highly regarded projects that have won numerous awards at festivals nationwide.
From the First to the Fiftieth Draft
School of Cinematic Arts Professor Jack Epps Jr. publishes a guide to screenwriting rewrites.
February 17, 2016
Every screenwriter knows that the first draft is just the beginning; that there will be edits and maybe even complete rewrites. This knowledge, however, doesn’t make rewriting any easier. Especially hard is answering that first, most important question: Where to start.
February 17, 2016
The 16th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA), the peer-awarded highest honors in video game development, has named Director of USC Games and Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division this year's recipient of the GDC Ambassador award on February 16th in San Francisco.
February 4, 2016
Film & Television Production Professor Jeremy Kagan is exploring that subject in his new dramatic feature film, SHOT, now in postproduction. He recently sat down with SCA to talk about the filmmaker’s role in covering social issues.
February 4, 2016
With a deep understanding of the power of visual storytelling, Ashley York ’06 has helmed documentaries that reflect her passion to shed light on social issues confronting us today.
February 4, 2016
A true example of compassion and perseverance, Grazyna Kolondra ’16 has dedicated her work to raising awareness of global violations of human rights.
January 7, 2016
With the inspiration of Walt Disney propelling her forward, Heather Blodget ’07 is living her dream, working at Walt Disney Animation Studios and creating positive, uplifting films. Blodget recently shared her creative growth since graduation, discussed finding her dream job, and offered advice to SCA students to be open to all opportunities.
January 7, 2016
As a newly minted Fall graduate, Ayana Baraka ’15 reflected on her time as an SCA student and on lessons learned about creativity, life, and the elusive nature of “success.” Baraka also shared her experience as a cinematographer on The Hunting Ground in which she was able to help young women tell their stories of rape culture on college campuses.
CREED Comes Home to SCA
SCA welcomes Ryan Coogler & collaborating alumni
December 8, 2015
Ryan Coogler and a team of five other fellow Trojans returned to the School last week for an unforgettable screening and Q&A of the new critically acclaimed Rocky spin-off with special appearance from Rocky himself!
December 8, 2015
Continuing to learn the ins and outs of the television business, David Freedman ’10 has made great strides as a producer and writer since graduating from SCA and has successfully headed Just Seen It, a movie and TV review show screened on the nationwide network PBS. Freedman recently shared about his start in the television industry, his experience as the show runner of Just Seen It, and his plans for the coming year.
December 8, 2015
Pursuing her passion of photography and storytelling, Angelique Molina ’16 is currently earning her Masters Degree in Production at SCA. Molina shared about her continued growth as a filmmaker through her experiences as an SCA student, her time with the Diatribe Art Collective in San Francisco, and as a member of the SCA Graduate Student Government.
SCA Goes “Back to the Future”
School Hosts Marathon of Films with Q & A
December 7, 2015
Assuming that our timeline hasn’t been altered by time travelers Marty McFly and Doc Brown, USC School of Cinematic Arts alum Robert Zemeckis’ iconic sci-fi comedy Back to the Future hit the big screen thirty years ago this year. To celebrate the anniversary of the film, SCA hosted a marathon of the Back to the Future trilogy in Frank Sinatra Hall in the Eileen Norris Cinema Complex on December 6th followed by a Q and A with alum/screenwriter Bob Gale, Production Designer (Part II, III) Rick Carter, and actor Christopher Lloyd.
December 4, 2015
Professor Alex McDowell's The Leviathan Project and Professor Tracy Fullerton's Walden, a Game will premiere at Sundance's 10th annual New Frontier program.
December 2, 2015
CTWR-431 — Loners, Stoners, Mean Girls, and Jocks: Writing the High School Story — now open to all USC students!
December 1, 2015
On Monday, November 30th, the popular Television Symposium class invited a very special guest, Conan O’Brien, for a Q&A following screenings of his work. O’ Brien’s work includes writing for HBO’s Not Necessarily the News, Late Night, and Saturday Night Live. He also hosted The Tonight Show and the Annual Primetime Emmy Awards twice. He now produces, writes, and hosts his own talk show, CONAN, which premiered in 2010. Earning himself a high-esteemed reputation as a comedian by audiences worldwide and praise from Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, Conan O’Brien is a true icon of the comedy world.
House on Pine Street Returns
Indie Horror Film by USC Alumni Screens in LA
November 17, 2015
After an international festival tour that earned rave reviews and racked in multiple awards, the notable indie horror flick THE HOUSE ON PINE STREET is returning to Los Angeles for a special one-night-only screening, Thursday, November 19th at 7:30 PM at the Ahrya Fine Arts Theater by Laemmle.
Frank Sinatra Honored at SCA
Artist, Icon, and Humanitarian Recognized on Centennial
November 9, 2015
Frank Sinatra’s artistic career is completely unique and practically unrivaled. Sinatra reached the top of the music industry, Hollywood, Broadway, Vegas and just about everything else he undertook. He has been honored as an actor, singer, arranger, and humanitarian with awards including the Golden Globe, the Oscar, countless Grammys, and a Kennedy Center Honors. As Frank Sinatra reaches the centennial mark (Sinatra was born in 1915), his daughters Tina and Nancy and the Frank Sinatra Family Foundation are honoring his memory by creating the Frank Sinatra Endowed Fund for Student Support at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
MISC & Saks Talk Mental Health
SCA hosts first Mental Health Awareness Festival
November 6, 2015
On October 30, the School of Cinematic Arts' Media Institute for Social Change and the Gould School of Law's Saks Institute joined forces to host USC's first ever Mental Health Awareness Festival.
November 5, 2015
Shortly after graduating from the Peter Stark Producing Program, Lindsay Kerns ’12 has taken great strides toward her goal to become a filmmaker who not only “surprises people,” but also provides her audience with opportunities to engage with the world around them through comedy. Kerns shared about her time as a writer and creative producer at Funny Or Die and her thoughts on the growing presence of women in the industry.
Teaching the New Model
Professor Jason E. Squire hosts DIY Panel
October 30, 2015
Everyone has noticed that the entertainment industry is changing. Gallons of ink have been spilled about the tech revolution in film in television with regards to Virtual Reality, online networks, the smallest pocket-sized cameras, and the largest IMAX films.
October 28, 2015
On Friday, October 23rd, the Ray Stark Theater hosted an eventful evening recognizing the world-renowned director, Hou Hsaio-hsien, with the SCA Eisenstein Award. Named after the early Russian director and film theorist Sergei Eisenstein—a man who traversed the boundaries of theory and practice and took film into other forms of language, narrative and musicality—the award has been presented only three times before, in 2003 to French filmmaker Agnès Varda, in 2007 to Costa-Gavras, and in 2011 to Pedro Almodóvar. The award was presented following the sneak-peak screening of Hou Hsaio-hsien’s upcoming film, The Assassin, which recently earned him the title of Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.
George Lucas and Mellody Hobson Give to Diversity
George Lucas Family Foundation Endows Scholarship Fund
October 27, 2015
With an endowment of ten million dollars, the George Lucas Family Foundation has given a tremendous boost to the The School of Cinematic Arts’ mission to recruit talented students from communities that are underrepresented in the entertainment industry. The gift will establish the The George Lucas Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity at the School.
James Franco Enters The Labyrinth
SCA Anthology Plays on Campus
October 26, 2015
The Labyrinth, a feature film produced in the SCA class co-taught by Academy Award nominated actor James Franco had its premiere SCA screening Friday and was followed by an open-floor Q&A with the directors. This is the second premiere of the film, which had it’s international debut at Screamfest on October 18.
October 20, 2015
A group of talented young women come together to share their artistic visions, collaborate, hone their craft, and leave a mark on the world. They overcome financial pressures, inner-group fighting, and creative differences, finally becoming stronger as artists and closer as friends in the process. Is it the incoming class of the USC School of Cinematic Arts? No, it’s the new film Jem and the Holograms directed by SCA alumnus Jon Chu, written by alumnus Ryan Landels, photographed by alumnus Alice Brooks, camera operated by alumnus Andy Waruszewski, and gaffed by alumnus Jay Murankana. The film was screened pre-release on October 18th in Frank Sinatra Hall in the Norris Cinema Complex and was followed by a Q & A moderated by alum Tim Dowling and attended by Chu, Landels, Brooks, Muranaka, and executive producer/head of Blumhouse Productions Couper Samuelson.
October 16, 2015
GoPro and SCA announce partnership.
October 15, 2015
Former Chair of the Writing for Screen & Television Division and USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Howard A. Rodman has been elected President of the Writer’s Guild of America West. This marks the first presidential term for Rodman after a long career in leadership in the WGA including his most recent role as Vice President. The term is for two years. as
October 6, 2015
The director of the American classic and top-grossing movie musical Grease, Randal Kleiser ’74 has crossed narrative boundaries and has stepped into the world of virtual reality with his sci-fi series Defrost. Since his graduation, Kleiser has had a lasting impact on the industry, beginning with his master’s thesis film Peege, which was the second student production ever to be added to the National Film Registry. Kleiser shared about his time at USC and his recent endeavors with virtual reality.
October 6, 2015
SCA alum, Sam Regnier, is one of five people across the globe to win the 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Regnier graduated from SCA in 2006 with a B.F.A. in Screenwriting, and has gone on to dedicate his time to writing. Regnier won the Nicholl Fellowship for his sports drama, Free Agent, which follows a female NBA executive for the Golden State Warriors who pursues the biggest free agent of her career while also managing a messy divorce and a complicated relationship with a younger colleague and his teenage sister. The rights to the script were pursued and acquired by CBS Films shortly after Regnier was announced as a finalist.
October 6, 2015
With roots in Alabama and Mississippi, Xavier Neal-Burgin ’16 hopes to utilize his work as an avenue of positive social impact. During his time at SCA, Neal-Burgin was selected out of 40 students to direct a film fully funded by SCA (Olde E). He recently discussed his experience directing Olde E, his creative and technical growth as a filmmaker, and also offered advice to fellow SCA students.