News from 2012

SCA Family Stories: Chanel Summers
Sound Designer/Adjunct Talks to SCA About Sound Design
December 21, 2012

One of the biggest draws for students considering the USC School of Cinematic Arts is the top-rate faculty. The Interactive Media Division is no exception to this. SCA Family Stories sat down with Chanel Summers, a pioneer in the field of audio design for games, to talk about her role as an educator, what students can do to prepare themselves for the real world and how in the world of videogames, and that innovation usually comes from non-traditional people who explore unorthodox paths.

USC Games Hosts Demo Day
Day Features Career Fair and Student-Made Game Demonstrations
December 19, 2012

On December 12th, The School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division combined forces with SCA’s Student Industry Relations and Viterbi’s School of Engineering to create Demo Day

The Taste of Originality
Two SCA Students Selected for Dr. Pepper Tuition Scholarships
December 14, 2012

Thanks to Dr. Pepper, students are finding themselves hyped up and energetic, but that’s not because of the soft drink. Two SCA students, Katherine Duffy and Xavier Burgin ‘15, were recently awarded tuition scholarships through the 2012 Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway for demonstrating within sixty seconds how they plan to change the world.

Feige @ SCA
President of Marvel Studios Discusses The Avengers
December 5, 2012

Ten years ago, if a studio executive had proposed setting up an entire slate of superhero movies as origin stories for a single film that would bring all of these household names together, they would have been laughed at. Kevin Feige, a USC School of Cinematic Arts alum and President of Marvel Studios, accomplished just this with The Avengers. On November 27, Feige visited Jason E. Squire’s Art and Industry of the Theatrical Film course as the final guest speaker of the semester to explain his role as a creative producer.

The Posters of the USC School of Cinematic Arts
Cinematic History Decks the Halls of the SCA Complex
December 5, 2012

The Posters of the USC School of Cinematic Arts

Whedon @ SCA
Avengers Writer/Director Visits Jason E. Squire's Class
November 28, 2012

Avengers writer and director Joss Whedon is known as one of the prolific television showrunners in history. His credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse and many more. This semester, Jason E. Squire’s Art and Industry of the Theatrical Film (CTPR 386) class analyzed Whedon’s 2012 film The Avengers from Marvel Studios. On November 20th, Whedon visited the class and told the students that he had to adjust his style to work in feature films.

Hench-DADA Unveils a “Blue Sky”
Faculty and Students Produce Music Video for Musician Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra
November 20, 2012

On most projects that come out of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the words psychedelic, Bollywood and English garden usually aren’t the starting point. However, when Associate Professor Michael Patterson and adjunct faculty Candace Reckinger teamed up with a group of their animation students and Electric Light Orchestra musician Jeff Lynne to create a video for the song Mr. Blue Sky, the combination of these ideas helped to create something truly unique.

The Guardians Rise in Norris
SCA Students Invited to a Pre-Release Screening of Rise of the Guardians
November 19, 2012

At the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, students are encouraged to create worlds where anything is possible. They got a taste of how this can be done with an advanced screening of DreamWorks Animation’s new film Rise of the Guardians, in which an unlikely team consisting of Jack Frost, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny band together to save the holidays.

SCA Family Stories: David Litwin
Alum/Creator of Cinely Sits Down with SCA
November 16, 2012

Like many recent graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, after graduation, David Litwin ‘10 found himself asking the question, “What’s next?” Following up on a bit of inspiration from his days in the Production Division, Litwin designed and founded Cinely, a website that allows people in the entertainment industry to share their work and find each other for collaboration.

SCA Family Stories recently asked Litwin what exactly is, how the site helps to faciliate both current and future film collaborations and advice for students looking into the entrepreneurial route.

Check out Cinely at

Remote Master Class from Skywalker Sound
SCA Sound and Animation connect with Academy Award winner Randy Thom
November 14, 2012

Technology is changing every aspect of the entertainment industry. On November 2nd, the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Sound Department,  and John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts' Professor Richard Weinberg took a major leap forward in remote collaboration when they hosted a master class with Oscar-winning sound designer Randy Thom. Unlike other classes at the School, Thom taught the class remotely from Skywalker Ranch in northern California.

SCA Student Lands Women in Technology Award
IML Student Honored With Scholarship
November 13, 2012

There are very few places that math and photography come together. One of them is the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML). For sophomore Kylie Nicholson, the two blended well enough to warrant scholarship attention. Nicholson, a student in SCA’s IML program, was awarded a 2012 scholarship through the Association for Women in Technology in recognition of her work in combining digital photography and math.

Kortschak Family Honored
SCA Installs the Kortschak Family Endowed Division Chair
November 9, 2012

One of the most prestigious honors that can be awarded to a professor in academia is the endowed chair. On November 7th, USC celebrated the installation of Michael Taylor as the Kortschak Family Endowed Division Chair in Film and Television Production. The event was attended by Walter, Marcia, Andrew and Sarah Kortschak, USC President C. L. Max Nikias and USC First Lady Niki Nikias, Dean Elizabeth M. Daley, newly installed Chair Michael Taylor and over one hundred faculty, staff and supporters of the School.

ETC in 3D
SCA’s think tank helps facilitate testing of new technology
November 5, 2012

3D revolutionized Hollywood. Ever since Avatar (produced by SCA alum Jon Landau) took the technology to the next level of refinement and accessibility, companies across the entertainment industry have been looking for the next big thing when it comes to 3D technology. Earlier in October, SCA’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) helped a team from the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) test a new 3DTV delivery system, for which the ETC provided facilities and participants to assist with MPEG’s test.

Students “Graced” by Film Awards
Two Students Honored by the Princess Grace Foundation
November 2, 2012

During her lifetime, Princess Grace of Monaco was committed to helping emerging artists realize their career goals. This year, two USC School of Cinematic Arts students, Chao Thao and Javier Barboza, joined the ranks of Princess Grace Foundation Award Winners and will continue her legacy of supporting young artists.

“Unfinished Swan” Lands at Sony
SCA alumni score three game deal with game studio
October 31, 2012

The Unfinished Swanis one of the most recent games from USC’s Interactive Media Division to make a splash in the commercial world. In the game, players are dropped into an all-white world and equipped with paintballs to shoot at the walls. As the paint splatters on the world, the geometry is revealed and the player can navigate the landscape.

New Facebook game prepares students for college
October 31, 2012

With college application season under way for millions of U.S. high school students, USC researchers on Oct. 29 launched a free Facebook game to help underserved students, often the first in their families to aspire to college, navigate the complicated process of applying for college and financial aid.

Larry Auerbach Makes Major Gift for Finishing Funds
Associate Dean/Head of Student Industry Relations Donates to SCA
October 30, 2012

The Office of Student Industry Relations at the USC School of Cinematic Arts is one of the most respected and unique groups of professionals on the entire USC campus. It’s not surprising that Its head, Associate Dean Larry Auerbach, is one of its most respected and unique people at the School. After a nearly fifty year career as an agent in the motion picture, television and live entertainment business at the William Morris Agency, Auerbach came to USC twenty years ago to help students bridge the gap between school and one of the toughest industries in the world.

Combiform “Connects” with SIGGRAPH Awards
Student-produced game from USC brings home award
October 22, 2012

Games are an important part of pop culture, an important part of the entertainment industry and an important part of the curriculum of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. If Combiform lead designer/IMD student Edmond Yee has anything to say about it, in the future, they will be a major way in which people interact. This year, at the 2012 SIGGRAPH Convention, Combiform was honored with the Best Demonstration in Emerging Technology Award for its unique approach to socializing, using video games

SCA Wins at IndieCade
Two SCA Games Honored within Indie Game Community
October 22, 2012

In the video game world, there’s no greater summit for independent video games than the IndieCade Festival, which honors exemplary up-and-coming video games within the independent game design community. On October 4th, the USC School of Cinematic Arts took home two victories at IndieCade, with Reality Ends Here earning the Impact Award and SCA alum Davey Wreden’s The Stanley Parable winning the Special Recognition Award.

Brandon Tartikoff Honored at USC
The Legendary Television Executive’s Legacy Unveiled
October 19, 2012

The late television executive Brandon Tartikoff’s work has done more to define NBC, the 1980s and American pop culture than any other executive in television history. At NBC and Paramount, Tartikoff was responsible for bringing Cheers, Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Law and Order, The Cosby Show, Hill Street Blues, The A-Team, Miami Vice, Forrest Gump and many others to the screen. On October 18th, the School of Cinematic Arts hosted the Dedication of the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Collection, a collection of personal memos, memorabilia and other items to honor his career and the permanent placement of Brandon’s legacy at USC.

SCA Has a “Paint Party”
Staff and Students Help Paint Classroom at Foshay Learning Center
October 16, 2012

Telling stories with the moving image doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Neither does running a major school at a research university that happens to be in the heart of one of Los Angeles’ most storied communities. Every year, the School of Cinematic Arts hosts events to reach out to the South Los Angeles community.

Students "Mad" for Television Symposium
Television Symposium hosts panel for Mad Men
October 10, 2012

Few shows, particularly those outside of the arena of the main television networks, have made quite the impact that Mad Men has made on modern television series. Its historical authenticity and steamy plotlines give the show a unique combination of high ratings and critical acclaim. On October 8th, Television Symposium delighted its students by featuring a high-profile panel of guests from Mad Men, with a Q&A moderated by Professor Howard Rosenberg. The main takeaway message? Working in television is not for the faint of heart.

August in October
SCA Alum/Screenwriter John August visits SCA after a pre-screening of Frankenweenie
October 3, 2012

Summer may be over, but August has returned to the School of Cinematic Arts. On October 2, students gathered in the Ray Stark Family Theatre for a special 3D screening of Frankenweenie, followed by a discussion with the film’s screenwriter and USC alum, John August. The event, with the Q&A moderated by Writing Professor Howard Rodman, was hosted by Writing Presents..., an SCA Writing Division speaker series aimed at bringing top directors and screenwriters to SCA to discuss their work within the industry.

SCA “Shoots It” at The Grove
October 3, 2012

In real estate, it is all about “location, location, location.” Last night at The Grove, this mantra applied to filmmaking as three SCA student teams, finalists in “Shoot it at The Grove” competition, unveiled their 60-second short films in an outdoor screening hosted by Rick J. Caruso, Founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated. 

Trojans in Music City
Nashville Executive Producer/Director and alum R.J. Cutler Visits
October 2, 2012

ABC’s new show Nashville tells the story of an aging country singer who has to navigate a record company that’s lost their faith in her, a new album that won’t sell and an up-and-coming starlet who is trying to steal her fire - and her band. In Professor Howard Rosenberg’s Television Symposium class on October 1st, executive producer/director and School of Cinematic Arts alum R.J. Cutler visited with students and told them that, although Nashville is set in a glitzy world, the key to making it work was to keep it authentic.

Game Therapy
­­The Creative Media and Behavioral Health Center hosts showcase for cutting-edge projects
September 28, 2012

As games are becoming more proactive than ever before in their mission to get everyone in motion, the School of Cinematic Arts and the Keck School of Medicine are making sure that everyone can be included. On September 24, the Creative Media and Behavioral Health Center (CM&BHC) hosted a showcase for their cutting-edge work of combining exercise-based physical therapy with engaging, interactive experiences as part of an event series through the USC Center for Interactive Media Technologies in Healthcare (CIMTH).

SCA Signs Agreement with Effat University
SCA and Effat Will Collaborate on Media Programs
September 25, 2012

The USC School of Cinematic Arts and Effat University, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, have entered into an agreement to collaborate in the establishment and development of a world-class academic program in Media & Digital Production (MDP).

USC Brings Home Two Emmys
Jay Roach and Danny Strong win for Game Change
September 24, 2012

A USC alum has been nominated for an Emmy Award every year since 1973. This year exceeded expectations with twenty-five nominations. Jay Roach ‘86 and Danny Strong ‘96 won for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, for Game Change the HBO biopic about the 2008 presidential election; with Strong also winning the Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special award for the same project.

Ron Meyer Delivers “Universal” Truth
Outspoken President and COO of Universal Visits SCA
September 21, 2012

Ron Meyer isn’t afraid to tell the truth. When he came to the Ray Stark Theatre at the USC School of Cinematic Arts as a guest of Student Industry Relations, he spoke with his typical candor and enthusiasm. He also discussed the importance of being honest, even when it hurts.

Wixon @ SCA
New Microsoft Endowed Professor Installed at USC
September 19, 2012

If you are reading this sentence on a computer, a tablet or a mobile phone, chances are, the new Microsoft Endowed Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division, Dennis Wixon, had something to do with the creation and implementation of your experience. Wixon has designed intuitive interfaces for keyboards, XBOX controllers, online game tutorials and many other devices, and on Tuesday, September 19th, he added a new chapter to his extensive biography by joining the USC School of Cinematic Arts as the Microsoft Endowed Professor.

SCA Network Members Stay in the Loop
Members of the SCA Network attend a special screening of Looper
September 18, 2012

Guests have travelled forward in time to catch the much-anticipated thriller Looper before its release date. Or, they may have simply been members of the SCA Network, which hosted the film on September 16 in Norris Auditorium.

SCA Family Stories: Sheila Sofian
Hench-DADA Associate Professor talks about new minor
September 17, 2012

Science and art are often put at opposite sides of the spectrum with little overlap in academia. However, starting this year, students can now explore both interests in a single minor with the Minor in Science Visualization offered by the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts. 

The Perks of Being a Trojan
Writer/Director of Perks of Being a Wallflower sits with SCA
September 13, 2012

“An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world,” sounds like a typical first year at the School of Cinematic Arts. It’s also the logline for alum Stephen Chbosky’s ‘92 new film The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Playstation @ SCA
Game Platform Hosts Two Days of Events
September 6, 2012

Game design has become a pervasive part of the entertainment industry, and on September 12th and 13th, Sony Computer Education America will be holding two days of events, including an talk from CEO Jack Tretton, which will further the reaches of the game industry and solidify the relationship between PlayStation and USC.

SCA Family Stories: Josh Eiserike
Nicholl QF chats with SCA about his new Subway project
August 31, 2012

Josh Eiserike came to the School of Cinematic Arts without much of a plan. A passionate writer and cartoonist, Josh enrolled in the Production Division. Through his time, Josh found himself writing, directing, producing and basically doing everything that needed to be done.

SCA Family Stories: Kenny Martin
August 16, 2012

Writing for film and television takes a great deal of dedication, endless rewriting and, in the case of current SCA student Kenny Martin, a few good laughs.
SCA recently sat down with Kenny Martin to discuss his work as a screenwriting student, his passion to explore writing comedy for television and his advice for students joining the SCA family this fall.

Herb and Bea Farmer Foundation Honored
Seventy-One Year Veteran of SCA Donates Technology
August 8, 2012

The USC School of Cinematic Arts emphasizes two integral components of the moving image: story and technology. When the two seamlessly blend together, the result can be a masterpiece. For Herb Farmer, the mission of ensuring and maintaining the technological instruments of film, from its early beginnings to the modern day state-of-the-art, has created a true legacy through an extensive collection that showcases the history of technology in making movie magic.

Roach @ SCA
Director/Alumnus Jay Roach Brings The Campaign to SCA
August 7, 2012

Egomaniacs pushing to get their way. Financiers making key decisions from the shadows. People overcoming unbelievable obstacles to achieve their vision. Students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts have certainly come across these scenarios, and these ideas serve as the themes of alumnus/director Jay Roach’s new film, The Campaign. At the SCA screening of The Campaign on August 6th, Roach commented on earning his stripes by working with actors who create their own characters.

Humanitas Prize Announced
Three Alumni Nominated for Award
August 2, 2012

Every year, students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts use the moving image to demonstrate the endless experiences, joys, trials and tribulations that are doubtlessly a part of life. From animation, to scholarly work, to narrative films, documentary and even cutting-edge interactive experiences, the stories and experiences created at the School explore just about every facet of what it means to be human. This year, three alumni are nominated for Humanitas Prizes, which celebrate stories that uplift the soul. They include Caitlin Parrish, who won for her television pilot for Painkiller, and Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson for the script to their film LUV, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Puzzlejuice on a Roll
SCA Graduate’s Game Puzzlejuice Ranked Top Ten
August 1, 2012

Puzzlejuice is pitched as a “game that will punch your brain in the face.” The game was designed by recent SCA alum Asher Vollmer and has been racking up accolades since it was released in January of this year. Puzzlejuice  combines block sorting, word spelling, and color matching in a way that tests the brain’s ability to be pulled stretches the brain in three different directions simultaneously.

DreamWorks @ SCA
SCA Unveils DreamWorks’ DreamWorlds Exhibit
July 26, 2012

On July 31st,  The USC School of Cinematic Arts hosted  the dedication of the “DreamWorlds Behind the Scenes: Production Art from DreamWorks Animation” exhibit in the Mary Pickford Lobby, which featured DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and other members of DreamWorks Animation’s creative, executive and outreach teams.

SCA Family Stories: Jess Dang
Recent production division graduate sits with SCA
July 26, 2012

With SCA’s diverse range of opportunities and concentrations for students to explore, it is merely a question of each student finding their particular passion. Be it drama, romance, comedy, avant-garde or anything in between, each SCA student is well equipped to find their niche.
For SCA MFA Production alum Jess Dang, this road led her talents toward documentary filmmaking. Dang recently sat down with SCA to discuss her film Made By Me, the nature of documentary filmmaking and advice for students who are interested in the doc route.

SCA Number One
SCA named #1 Film School by The Hollywood Reporter
July 26, 2012

The USC School of Cinematic Arts was named the number one film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter. The trade magazine credited the School with being firmly rooted in the entertainment industry and for having an eye for the technology and techniques of modern media making.

SCA Family Stories: Bart Fisher
The Writer of How To Fall in Love sits with SCA
July 17, 2012

With the rate of technology expanding faster than ever, Internet media content can now literally fit in the palm of your hand. For many filmmakers, part of their success has been their ability to adapt to the ins and outs of a new, Internet-based society while still meeting the timeless need for captivating storytelling.
MFA Production alum Bart Fisher recently sat down with SCA to discuss his new project with Hallmark Channel, How to Fall in Love, premiering on July 21 at 9pm ET/PT, 8C on Hallmark Channel, as well as the ways in which he has adjusted his filmmaking techniques to fit the ever-evolving digital age.

Stone @ SCA
Legendary Filmmaker Oliver Stone visits SCA
July 17, 2012

Oliver Stone needs no introduction at the School of Cinematic Arts. Few filmmakers have tackled controversial contemporary issues the way that world-renowned director, writer and producer Oliver Stone has done. With films like Platoon (1986) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989),  On July 13th, the visionary filmmaker came to the School of Cinematic Arts to speak to students about his new film Savages. He discussed the process of adapting a beloved novel.

Rose Family Foundation Fellowship Established at SCA
Activision Blizzard Executive donates to IMD
July 5, 2012

The Interactive Media Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts has the backing and attention of many top video game companies and personalities. This July, Activision Blizzard executive George Rose joins their ranks by establishing the Rose Family Foundation Fellowship for Interactive Entertainment.

SCA “Marvels” at New Exhibition
Marvel Studios displays collection in SCA
July 5, 2012

 Thor’s hammer. Captain America’s shield. Hawkeye’s bow. After The Avengers, characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow have become as much a part of the fabric of pop culture as any other cinematic creation in history. The USC School of Cinematic Arts is currently hosting a number of production stills, storyboards and other memorabilia in the Hugh M. Hefner Exhibition Hall until the end of July.   

The Duke @ SCA
The Wayne Collection Installed at SCA
June 22, 2012

On June 20th, the USC School of Cinematic Arts dedicated the Wayne Collection which was curated by John Wayne’s late son Michael, and donated by Michael’s widow Gretchen Wayne.  The collection, comprised of movie posters, memorabilia, awards and personal correspondence, is on permanent exhibition within the SCA complex.

Dennis Wixon “Interfaces” with IMD
Pioneer in User Interfaces Installed as Microsoft Endowed Professor
June 7, 2012

Ranked the number one game design school in North America by the Princeton Review and GamerPro Media for the third year running, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division is home to renowned faculty and staff. Coming this fall, IMD will add another exemplary member to its ranks in the form of user research pioneer Dennis Wixon, who will serve as the Microsoft Endowed Professor.

Jon M. Chu and Hieu Ho Launch DS2DIO
New YouTube Channel Will Focus on Dance Lifestyle
June 4, 2012

It’s impossible to talk about School of Cinematic Arts alumni Jon M. Chu ‘03 and Hieu Ho ‘07  without talking about dance. This summer, the two partners will be teaming up with Google to create a new YouTube original channel, DS2DIO (pronounced D-Studio).

Bringing “Reality” to the Student Oscars
Hench-Dada Alum Wins Student Academy Award
May 22, 2012

The USC School of Cinematic Arts has had a long tradition of winning student Academy Awards. This year, Amanda Tasse, John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts alumna and current Ph. D. student of the Interdivisional Media Arts and Practices, kept the tradition alive by winning in the “Best Alternative” category for her stereoscopic 3D film "The Reality Clock". The film was funded in part by a grant from the Sloan Foundation.

Tarik Jackson from Cannes!
SCA's Student Blogger Updates from France
May 17, 2012

Production Division grad student Tarik Jackson is blogging for the School from the Cannes Film Festival. In this update, Jackson talks about his first visit out of the country to the international film festival.

Michael Fink Goes Virtual
SCA Teaches Class in Advanced Digital Effects
May 4, 2012

From explosions, car chases and outer space, the use of green screen in production can be an excellent way to create a visual world. However, this task is hardly an easy one; it requires meticulous detail and technical knowledge to bring these stories and environments to life. For Professors Mike Fink and Peter Sollett, teaching students how to direct with a green screen and advanced visual effects while creating a world grounded in storytelling is top priority.

SCA Student Stories: Olivia Bonin
The Trojan Vision Producer gives advice before leaving SCA
May 4, 2012

Olivia Bonin ’12, made the most of her time at SCA. The graduating senior not only completed degrees in Critical Studies and Neuroscience, but she found time to work at Trojan Vision, work with a Theatre Group and land a job.
Before exiting SCA, Bonin sat down with SCA Family stories to talk about her time and to give advice to incoming students on how to navigate the tricky job market.

So Cal in Beijing
SCA Professor Jason E. Squire Lectures in China
May 4, 2012

When it comes to the movie business, USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor Jason E. Squire literally wrote the book. Having made his mark in American film, for the past five years he has made it his business to know China’s movie business. Over Spring Break, he traveled to Asia for a fifth time to teach in the Cultural & Creative Industry Management Program at Beijing’s Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business.

SCA’S IMD Reaches Uncharted Territory
Leading Game Designer Richard Lemarchand to Join IMD
April 30, 2012

Ranked the number one game design program for the third consecutive year by the Princeton Review and GamePro Media, the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media Division has paved the way for the innovative creation of interactive entertainment. Now, with the addition of leading game designer Richard Lemarchand to the faculty list beginning in Fall 2012, the bar has been raised even higher.

SoCal in Newport
SCA Student Films Screening at Newport Beach Film Festival
April 30, 2012

Student films originating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts have a longstanding level of excellence and intrigue. Many of these films screen on campus as part of varying class showcases to celebrate these achievements; however, several student films are heading to coast to demonstrate their talent at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Marvel Avenges Norris
Marvel’s Newest Film The Avengers Screens in Norris
April 27, 2012

Marvel Studios’ newest film The Avengers is just about as massive as a film can get. Heroes are assembled, villains are challenged and cities are destroyed. However, when the president of Marvel Studios, alumnus Kevin Feige ‘95 visited with Leonard Maltin’s 466 class on April 26th, he said that he still thinks about being economical.

Interacting with Nature
IMD game Walden awarded an NEA Arts in Media Grant
April 26, 2012

In France, cinema is often referred to as “the seventh art” because of its relatively short history compared to the other six humanities. On April 25th, video game design made a giant step on its way to becoming the eighth art when the National Endowment of the Arts announced it was providing an Art in Media grant to the video game Walden, a game. Walden was developed at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Interactive Media Divisions’ Game Innovation Lab with IMD Chair Tracy Fullerton serving as lead designer.

SCA Family Stories: Jay Gammill
The Director of Free Samples sits with SCA
April 19, 2012

It takes a truly dedicated filmmaker to take on the responsibilities of creating a feature film, whether it’s their twelfth film or their first. As the industry changes and offers more opportunities for new directors to emerge in the independent scene, these responsibilities are no less challenging and require the utmost commitment to complete. For Jay Gammill, these experiences came firsthand with Free Samples.

Story @ SCA
Director of Think Like a Man Visits SCA
April 19, 2012

Alumnus Tim Story is known for his candor when he speaks to students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. On April 17th, the director of Barbershop, Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer visited with students in the Ray Stark Theatre for the second year in a row

Jason Segel Keeps his “Engagement”
Filmmaker visits Leonard Maltin’s Class
April 13, 2012

Leonard Maltin’s class has hosted executives, directors, technicians, editors and countless other storytellers but, on April 12th, they hosted a world-class puppeteer. Maltin held a panel for actor/screenwriter/executive producer Jason Segel (Popularly known for his roles in How I Met Your Mother, I Love You Man and The Muppets), director/screenwriter/producer Nick Stoller (The Muppets, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), and producer Rodney Rothman (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Year One) to discuss their new film, The Five-Year Engagement.

Ratner @ SCA
Director of Rush Hour Trilogy Visits SCA
April 13, 2012

Brett Ratner can be called many things. He’s known as a director, producer, documentarian, and philanthropist but, one thing he’s not is know for is being shy about his opinions. When Ratner visited SCA on April 11, 2012, he participated in a Q and A filled with stories, lessons and cautionary tales about his work as a filmmaker. He talked about his career, his time at NYU as a film student and why every student should take advantage of their time at SCA.

SCA Family Stories: Joshua Dinner
Reality TV Producer/Alum sits down with SCA
April 13, 2012

Film students aren’t strangers to tackling tricky subjects. Religion has always been a topic of both interest and conflict. It can certainly be a tough topic to discuss, and Critical Studies alum Joshua Dinner ‘05 knows all about the trials and tribulations of making a reality-television series with the center being religion.

DKA Gives Back
School of Cinematic Arts Fraternity Teaches Youth
April 4, 2012

Working in the entertainment industry certainly isn’t for the selfish. Every film, video game or media installation takes an army to produce, and collaboration is key to each project’s success. The men and women of the professional fraternity Delta Kappa Alpha have taken the concept of collaboration one step further by approaching the world of philanthropy. Recently, DKA members visited West Vernon Elementary School in order to teach short filmmaking to the next generation of media makers, or in this case, gifted fourth and fifth graders.

SCA Students Answer “Open Call”
New Series on KCET Features Student Films
April 3, 2012

The students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts know how to make films. In the end, what vexes some of the brightest minds at SCA is how to get a film out into the world once it’s done. On Thursday, April 5th, KCET will help a handful of students out by broadcasting their work as part of their Open Call series.

Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Honored at SCA
The Legendary Producers Install an Endowed Professorship
April 2, 2012

Everyone who met larger-than-life producer Dino De Laurentiis has a story to tell and, on April 1st, the USC School of Cinematic Arts hosted a panel including producer and widow Martha De Laurentiis, producer and daughter Raffaella De Laurentiis, director Michael Mann, director Jonathan Mostow and former Governor of California and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger

SCA Family Stories: David Jay Lasky
The Producer of Of Corset’s Mine sits down with SCA
April 2, 2012

Although the most populous of the School of Cinematic Arts’ divisions, Critical Studies tends to be one of the most misunderstood divisions. Most assume that a Crit Studies student either wants to be a professor of a film critic. However, Producer David Jay Lasky not only challenges this perception but also proves that it is possible to use Critical Studies as a basis for a successful career as a producer.

Phase III Building “Beamed” Up
The top piece of steel of the new building placed
March 30, 2012

“Topping off” events have become a tradition at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. When the highest piece of steel in a new building is placed, students, faculty, alumni and friends get the opportunity to sign the beam before it goes up.

Beam signers for the new Phase III building included director George Lucas, Dean Elizabeth M. Daley, Chairman of the Board of Councilors Frank Price, CEO of EA John Riccitiello,  director Tim Story, Associate Dean of Research Scott Fisher, Chair of the Interactive Media Division Tracy Fullerton, Senior Vice President for University Advancement Al Checcio, Chief Product Officer at Bebo Kevin Bachus, founder of Syndicate 17 Chanel Summers, Matt Construction head Paul Matt, professor and game designer Laird Malamed, Toper Taylor, Angelo Garcia and many others.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Discuss the Details
Academy Award-Winning Composers visit Jason E. Squire’s Lecture
March 29, 2012

Film is a collaborative effort requiring talented individuals to come together and make sacrifices for the greater good of the final project. One, often overlooked element is the meticulous nature of sound editing and the powerful effect it can have on the viewer.  On March 27th, Academy Award-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross visited with Professor Jason E. Squire’s class to discuss their work on the music and sound of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Comedy@SCA Makes a Big Bang
SCA Hosts Writers of Hit Show
March 21, 2012

Two nerds living in an apartment talking about comic books, video games and science sounds like the average day in the life of a SCA student. When showrunner Bill Prady started The Big Bang Theory in 2007, he hit a nerve with the nerd subculture. On March 21st, the writers of Big Bang visited with students from the School of Cinematic arts to talk about the trials and triumphs of writing for television as well as offering advice for aspiring TV writers.

Awards Season Roundup
Congrats to all of the SCA Family
March 19, 2012

USC School of Cinematic Arts
Alumni Nominations 2012

SCA Family Stories: Virginia Kuhn
Associate Director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy
March 19, 2012

It’s been a very big year for Assistant Professor of Cinema Practice Virginia Kuhn and the Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML). After more than five years of working with supercomputing centers, Kuhn recently received an award to pursue her large-scale media analytics project as part of the National Science Foundation's Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). The startup allocation includes 30,000 service units on the first flash-memory supercomputer (think giant thumb drive), at the San Diego Supercomputing Center as well as one year of dedicated effort by experts at supercomputing centers around the country.

Anatomy of a Trapeze
The “Motion Capture” class in the Zemeckis Center Suspends Stunt Performer
March 16, 2012

On the script page, “She dives through the air and PHASES through multiple floors” seems simple enough. To the trained director, line producer or VFX supervisor, these words are a nightmare. In Eric Furie’s CTAN 565L class, Motion Capture Performance, these words were a challenge, but not impossible thanks to the technology in the Robert Zemeckis Center’s Motion Capture Stage. On March 15th, Furie’s students suspended an actress from a trapeze rig to capture an action sequence as part of a student's final project.

Celebrity SC: CAPS Award
Freshman Allison Tate-Cortese Honored by CAPAS
March 9, 2012

Freshman film student Allison Tate-Cortese was recently named the receipent of a $9,500 award by the CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) sponsored awards competition CAPAs (California Population Awareness Awards).

Christine Lahti Gives Students “Perks”
Actor/Director teaches master class at SCA
March 9, 2012

A film set can be a scary place. Filmmakers need to worry about safety, budget, lighting and a million other little problems but, on March 7th, when actor/director Christine Lahti visited with students as part of the Production Perks lecture series, she told them that one thing they should never be afraid of is the talent.

SCA Family Stories: Dina Gachman
The Author of Fling Girl Speaks to Students
March 9, 2012

Recent SCA graduate Dina Gachman ‘07 has taken on two seemingly impossible tasks: breaking into the film industry and dating in Los Angeles. After graduation, instead of taking the assistant or PA route, Gachman showed unique initiative by producing her own online graphic novel, Fling Girl.

Esq. Productions Makes it “Legal”
Legal Experts Visits SCA
March 6, 2012

For many students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the first step into the real world can be daunting. In addition to generating a good idea, executing the idea and getting the product into the right hands, students also have to worry about the business and legal ramifications of their creative work. Thankfully, on March 3rd, Esq. Productions hosted a panel called Get it Right: Getting it Made Without Giving it Away at SCA to discuss common pitfalls of the first step into the real world. One theme of the morning was transparency.

Keeping it Diverse
Two SCA Alumni Selected for the Fox Writers Intensive
March 5, 2012

Tina Mabry ’05 and Eric Nazarian ’99 are two very busy filmmakers who graduated from the Production Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Between the two of them, they have eight IMDb credits as writers, directors, cinematographers, actors and producers, primarily in the indie film world.  This May, they are going to be able to add graduates of the Fox Writers Intensive to their long resumes.

SCA Family Stories: MediaHound
The Minds Behind a New Entertainment Aggregator App Sit Down with SCA
March 2, 2012

With the end of the semester quickly approaching, it’s that time of year for seniors to begin deciding what choices to make with their lives beyond SCA. Whether it’s choosing a grad school, working as a freelance filmmaker or anything in between, the next step is sure to be an exciting yet intimidating one.

Games Number One
USC #1 School for Game Design for Third Straight Year
March 1, 2012

For the third year in a row, The Princeton Review has named USC the top school in the nation for studying video game design for both undergraduate and graduate programs. USC has led the category every year since the list debuted in 2010.

Lisa Pollack Gives Students “Reality”
Veteran Agent Visits SCA
March 1, 2012

To some students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, “Reality” is a four-letter word. Years before the advent of reality television, the words Reality Ends Here were emblazoned above the archway of the building. On February 29th, reality television agent Lisa Pollack spoke to students at a Student Industry Relations event about not being a snob against reality TV.

Rudy @ SCA
Legendary Football Player Visits Professor Hall’s Class
February 24, 2012

It’s deep into the second semester for USC School of Cinematic Arts students. After long nights of editing, studying, writing and designing, the ability to keep moving forward can feel like a daunting task. In Ken Wannberg Endowed Chair for Music Editing’s advanced sound class on February 13th, former Notre Dame football player Daniel “Rudy” Ruettigger, an icon of motivation and effort, visited the students for a pep talk.

SCA Family Stories: Reed Simonsen
Multi-Telly Award Winner Sits Down with SCA
February 24, 2012

Creating a student film is no easy undertaking, from gathering location permits to securing qualified actors, to each and every minute detail in between. To meet these conditions is a feat in itself; to go beyond them, remarkable. For USC SCA grad student Reed Simonsen, his recently award-winning student film Molly Goes West exemplifies this admirable effort.

IMD Professor Earns “Cred”
New Music Sharing App Adds Game Mechanics to Music
February 23, 2012

The students of the USC School of Cinematic Arts are known for their good taste and, thanks to the work of the Interactive Media Division, promoting their new favorite bands is entering the digital age.

Smart Power Diplomacy Gets Oriented
New Program Starts with a Bang
February 16, 2012

On February 11th, over fifty filmmakers, film experts and diplomats came together at the USC School of Cinematic Arts for the inaugural orientation of the American Film Showcase.

SCA’S “LUV” Child
Sundance Hit Comes to Maltin’s Class
February 13, 2012

In the Sundance hit LUV, Woody, a young boy from Baltimore, is taken by his uncle Vincent around the streets of the city in order to learn what it takes to be a man. The gritty portrayal of the city is both grim and poetic which; according to writer/director Sheldon Candis ’03 is because it’s true.

Immersing in Sundance
Hunger in LA makes strong presence at Sundance
February 10, 2012

In Nonny De La Pena’s new immersive journalism piece Hunger in Los Angeles, the participants experience a dramatic incident at a local food bank where a man collapses in line while waiting his turn. Hunger in LA marks a major push forward in the field of Immersion, which the USC School of Cinematic Arts has been on the forefront of for years.

SCA Family Stories: Jonah D. Ansell
February 10, 2012

The writer/director of Cadaver sits down with SCA Family Stories to talk about life after film school

Sling Baby Wins Big
SCA Alumni win Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” contest
February 10, 2012

On the first day film school, students are told that working with babies or producing elaborate stunts is bad business in low-budget filmmaking so, naturally, when USC School of Cinematic Arts alumnus Jason Dennis ’03 decided to enter a commercial into the Doritos: Crash the Superbowl contest, the idea of flinging a baby on a slingshot came to mind.

An Evening with David N. Weiss
Leading Animation Writer Visits SCA
February 9, 2012

Last night I got the chance to see the man who wrote my childhood.

The cast and crew of indie hit vist SCA
January 31, 2012

Celebrity SC: Yesterday evening the cast and crew of Sushi Girl visited USC as part of the SCA’s 

So Cal in Park City
SCA Marks Banner Year at Sundance
January 31, 2012

For the twelfth consecutive year, the USC School of Cinematic Arts attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Thirty-two USC alumni were featured on eighteen films with an additional four alumni and three films at the Slamdance Film Festival.

Extremely Tiny and Incredibly Far Away
SCA Professor Receives Award for Digital Cinema Microscopy
January 30, 2012

If you need to see something very small, but it's in another city or country, and you want to see it live, and blown up to a theater sized screen, SCA research associate professor Richard A. Weinberg, Ph.D., can help. Weinberg is the project leader of a team  thatwill receive the Innovations in Networking Award in the Experimental and Developmental Applications category for " Digital Cinema Microscopy" from CENIC , the Corporation for Educational Network Initiatives in California, during their annual conference in March. His work allows the streaming of live ultrahigh resolution microscopy from USC to locations ranging from San Diego to Tokyo.

Tartikoff’s Letters Coming to USC
The Widow of Legendary Television Executive Donates Letters
January 26, 2012

The late television and film executive Brandon Tartikoff’s vast collection of industry correspondences and effects is being donated in its entirety to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts by his widow Lilly Tartikoff.

Sundance Live Blog!
Follow us now as SCA hits Park City
January 20, 2012

A Day in the Life of Dr. Drew Casper
Follow the Iconic SCA Professor
January 19, 2012

Read the profile of SCA's legendary professor.

CELEBRITY SC: Play Publshed
MFA Screenwriter David Murray publishes play
January 17, 2012

Second year MFA screenwriter David Murray’s play “Land O’Plenty: My Journey as the Only Boy in an All-Girls School” was recently published by Playscripts.

Anatomy of a Game
SCA's new ARG "Reality Ends Here" makes splash
January 13, 2012

SCA Launches new Alternate Reality Game - Reality Ends Here

SCA Family Stories: Brie DaSilveira
First Year Undergrad Discusses the Transition to SCA
January 13, 2012

The first year of undergraduate study is a daunting task. Between balancing an academic workload and a lifestyle overhaul, many incoming students to the USC School of Cinematic Arts can feel overwhelmed

Immersing in Emerging Cities
Professor Scott Fisher Unveils Interactive Project
January 12, 2012

Dean of Research and Founding Chair of the Interactive Media Division Scott Fisher has a long record of building immersive environments for educational purposes. This past year, Fisher’s work on planned cities under sixty years old was featured at the 2011 Shenzen & Hong Kong Bo-Coty Biennale of Urbanism Architecture as part of the 6 Under 60 exhibition.

The Wonderful Women of SCA
January 10, 2012

Stacey Sher produces films that make waves — titles ranging from The Fisher King to Pulp Fiction, from Erin Brockovich to Contagion. But on the set of Gattaca, Sher herself was stirring the waters.

Matthew Quandt, Critical Studies
January 6, 2012

USC School of Cinematic Arts Blog Profiles Matthew Quandt