News from 2014
Student Games on Display
December 15, 2014
Demo Day is an exhibition of student video games that has been hosted at USC for more than five years. In addition to exhibitions of student games and a video games industry career fair, this fall’s version of USC Games’ biannual event introduced what program director Tracy Fullerton said she hoped would be a “new tradition”—a panel on the future of the industry. Titled “Beyond Platforms and Publishers? A Look at the Future of Video Games,” the discussion was led by Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) professor Richard Lemarchand and featured three alumni, Kellee Santiago of OUYA, Erin Reynolds of Flying Mollusk and Nate Burba of Survios. They were joined on the panel by Ophir Lupu, who heads up United Talent Agency’s (UTA) video games division, and Clinton Foy of the investment firm CrossCut Ventures.
Glasgow Phillips Speaks at SCA
December 15, 2014
Glasgow Phillips, Head of Video at StarMaker Interactive, spoke at special seminar about online content, social media, and creative branding at the School of Cinematic Arts on October 14, 2014.
SCA Hosts "Miss Meadows"
December 9, 2014
On November 14th, 2014, SCA hosted a special screening of Miss Meadows, followed by a Q&A with Actress Katie Holmes and Producer Rob Carliner, moderated by SCA Alumnus Timothy Dowling
SCA Family Stories: Brenda Goodman
Professor Goodman talks about her new film Sex(Ed)
December 5, 2014
In the overview video which the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) uses to recruit students, producer/Trojan alum Sev Ohanian talks about the faculty’s dedication to their students at SCA and he mentions that, even though he’s graduated, he can still call Brenda for advice at any time. The Brenda in question is director/producer/writer/educator Brenda Goodman, the head of the Producing Track in the Film & Television Producing Division. Goodman is known for her hands-on approach with student filmmaking, her honesty with students and her unique style of mentorship which lasts for entire careers.
James Gunn Visits SCA
December 4, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director, James Gunn spoke at length about his writing process, his directorial vision, and the difficulties of helming a big budget film in a visit to Jason Squire’s Art and Industry of the Theatrical Film class on November 18th. His epic space fantasy, Guardians of the Galaxy, which follows a ragtag band of intergalactic, alien outlaws as they try to save the galaxy from a power-mad warlord, was a massive hit at the box office this past summer, enjoying five non-consecutive weeks at number one and setting the record for the highest August opening in film history.
SCA Alumni Stories: Sylvester “Marty” Shelton
December 2, 2014
Sylvester “Marty” Shelton’s cinema career began under unique circumstances. Now a retired naval intelligence officer, Marty had been called into active duty during the Korean War, where he was offered the chance to attend the Navy School of Photography in Pensacola, Florida.
SCA Hosts "Nightcrawler" Q&A with Dan Gilroy
December 2, 2014
On October 21st, 2014, SCA hosted a special screening of Nightcrawler, followed by a Q&A with writer-director Dan Gilroy, moderated by Alex Ago.
Alum Directs Web Series on Ballerina
Sheldon Candis' Piece on Misty Copeland Goes Viral
November 25, 2014
Before she rises on pointe for her exquisite relevé – before she gets anywhere near the ballet barre – Misty Copeland’s strength, poise, and grace is undeniable.
Alum Gillian Bohrer is one of "Hollywood's New Leaders"
November 25, 2014
Instrumental in bringing Twilight to the big screen as a creative director at Summit Entertainment, and now overseeing the Divergent series as Executive Vice President of Production at Lionsgate, SCA alum Gillian Bohrer is a dominant figure in the film industry. Because of the impressive spate of blockbusters released under her helm, Variety has named her one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders in Film.”
Longtime Executive Visits SCA
November 21, 2014
Careers in the entertainment industry rarely last several decades. They rarely cross over from television, film and internet properties. They rarely span the public and private sector. Legendary executive Michael Eisner has beaten the odds on all counts. Eisner is currently the president of the Tornante Company which oversees investments such as candy companies and the television show Bojack Horseman.
AMPAS @ SCA
Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs comes to the School of Cinematic Arts
November 19, 2014
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), visited the School of Cinematic Arts on Monday November 17 for a candid conversation about the Academy’s mission and work. The evening consisted of Boone Isaacs in conversation with Professor Rick Jewell, the Hugh M. Hefner Chair for the Study of American Film, after which she took questions from the audience.
The Dhanam Foundation Makes Historic Gift
November 14, 2014
The Dhanam Foundation, the education-focused family foundation of technology entrepreneur Ram Shriram and his wife Vijay Shriram, has donated $1.5 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) to create need-based scholarships for its graduate students.
"Bering: Balance & Resistance" at SCA
November 13, 2014
Ambulante California, Outside the Box [Office], and Catatonia Films presented a special festival screening of Bering: Balance and Resistance on October 1, 2014. A Q&A with writer, director, and producer Lourdes Grobet, moderated by Dr. Michael Renov, followed.
SCA Hosts "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101"
November 13, 2014
On October 1, 2014, LaDonna Harris: Indian 101 – the first ever documentary about Native activist and national civil rights leader, LaDonna Harris – screened at SCA as part of the Ambulante California 2014 film festival. The presentation was followed by a Q&A with writer-director Julianna Brannum, hosted by Dr. Michael Renov.
The Dardenne Brothers Present Two Days, One Night
November 13, 2014
The two-time Palme d'Or winners and longtime Cannes favorites discussed their long working partnership, storied careers in film, and filmmaking process in an extended question and answer session on November 6th at the School of Cinematic Arts after the screening of their latest critically adored French-language film, Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit) starring Marion Cotillard.
CNTV 457: The Entertainment Entrepreneur: Getting Your First Project Made
A class teaches the necessary entrepreneurship skills for breaking into the entertainment industry
November 11, 2014
In the changing media landscape, entrepreneurship should be a primary skill for media makers at the School of Cinematic Arts. The Entertainment Entrepreneur: Getting Your First Project Made, taught by alumni and adjunct professors, Jason Michael Berman and Michael Jenson, teaches students how to connect the creative side of entertainment with the business side.
SCA Hosts "Discovery at Dawn" Q&A
November 10, 2014
Italian film, Discovery at Dawn, screened at the EUphoria film festival on September 24, 2014. A Q&A with writer-director Susanna Nicchiarelli followed the event, moderated by Alex Ago.
"Sel8nne" Screening and Q&A at SCA
November 4, 2014
On September 23rd, 2014, SCA hosted a screening of the documentary Sel8nne at the EUphoria Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with NHL Legend Teemu Selanne.
Spring 2015 -- CTWR 431 -- I'll Have What She's Having: The Works for Nora Ephron
November 4, 2014
I'll Have What She's Having: The Works of Nora Ephron -- Open Registration
Tuesdays - 7-10pm, Section #19431R
Instructor: Barbara Nance
A New Short Film Series Sparks Increased Awareness of Immigrant Health Issues
November 3, 2014
In an effort to bring to light the under-studied challenges faced by immigrants, the USC Immigrant Health Initiative (iHi) and the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) have produced a short, three-part documentary that follows the stories of three Los Angeles-based immigrant families. The films are currently being shown in classrooms throughout the University and the Keck School of Medicine.
SCA Alumni Stories
November 3, 2014
From the moment they walked through the USC School of Cinematic Arts gates, Charles Leisenring, Caisy Lun, Cerise Robinson, and Justin Warren — all MFA Production ’14 graduates — were enchanted by the vision they call “Hogwarts”. It was the start of a magical journey for these four friends. Of course, there were some darker, “cupboard under the stairs” moments, but the four agree that SCA’s nurturing professors and bright, creative students have created an extraordinary environment (that has even been rumored to have been originally established by wizards!).
Trojans Honored by DGA
Students bring home 3 Directing Awards
October 31, 2014
The Directors Guild of America today announced the winners of the 2014 DGA Student Film Awards for African American, Asian American, Latino and Women directors in the West Region. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional diverse directors in film schools and select universities across the country.
SCA Hosts "Flying Home" Q&A and Screening
October 29, 2014
On September 20, 2014, SCA hosted a screening of Flying Home at the EUphoria Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with Director Dominique Deruddere and composer Wolfram de Marco that was moderated by Alex Ago.
"Clownwise" Q&A at the EUphoria Film Festival
October 27, 2014
On September 20, 2014, SCA hosted a screening of Clownwise, followed by a Q&A session with Director Victor Tauš and Actress Eva Jenícková.
2 SCA Classes. 21 Students. 1 Funny Sitcom
October 24, 2014
After weeks of sleepless nights, the incredibly talented students of SCA’s production and writing classes finally presented their multi-cam sitcom, Entitled, to a live studio audience taping on October 12, 2014 on Stage 4 of the Cinematic Arts School. Judging by the loud roars of laugher in the audience, these 21 students have created a success.
"The Other Dream Team" at SCA
October 23, 2014
SCA presented a screening of The Other Dream Team at the EUphoria Film Festival on September 20, 2014. A Q&A with Director Marius A. Markevicius followed.
SCA Hosts "The Skeleton Twins" Q&A with Director Craig Johnson and Writer Mark Heyman
October 20, 2014
On September 2nd, 2014, SCA hosted "The Skeleton Twins" director Craig Johnson and writer Mark Heyman for a preview of the film and a Q&A moderated by Alex Ago.
SCA Shines at IndieCade Festival
October 20, 2014
On October 9-12, Culver City became the epicenter for indie games when the annual international independent media celebration, IndieCade, returned to town. Game enthusiasts came together with industry leaders, developers, and gamer culture connoisseurs to check out the latest, greatest and most innovative new games on the market. This year, the festival featured a record setting 14 games from USC School of Cinematic Arts students, faculty, and alumni.
Trojans Honored at BAFTA
Four Game Designers from IMGD Nominated
October 16, 2014
After being nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award this summer, the members of Team Overly Kinetic (Team OK) have continued to live up to their name, actively promoting content at events and exhibitions and participating in development competitions throughout Los Angeles, while keeping up with their schoolwork. The group, which includes four Interactive Media & Games students at the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), was recognized in August for its work developing a video game at the Dare to be Digital Challenge and has been nominated for the “Ones to Watch Award”at the 2015 BAFTA Video Games Awards for their multiplayer deathmatch game, Chambara.
A Conversation with Legendary Animator, Tom Sito
October 15, 2014
Animation is in the midst of a revolution, and legendary animator and incoming Chair of the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts, Tom Sito, has seen it the whole way through. Having learned directly from some of the most well-known names in the industry – from the famed 9 Old Men at Disney to William Hanna and Joseph Barbera – and witnessing first-hand the growth and development of digital animation, Sito is the ideal historiographer of the field. With his significant animation credits including beloved classics such as Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, he is one of the most influential voices in animation today.
Dennis Hopper Honored
SCA Hosts “Part of Being an Artist”
October 13, 2014
Actor/photographer/director Dennis Hopper is widely recognized as one of the singular creative figures of American Cinema. The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), which recently became home to a collection of the actor’s photographs and memorabilia, honored Hopper on October 10th with a reception to mark the public opening of the exhibition Part of Being An Artist: The Dennis Hopper Collection, Selected Works and Ephemera. The event was co-hosted by Visions and Voices, the initiative to bring dynamic arts events to the USC campus. The reception was followed by a screening of Apocalypse, Now which features one of Hopper’s most memorable performances.
Susan Downey @ SCA
October 10, 2014
Producer/alum Susan Downey sat down for a Q&A conducted by Leonard Maltin on October 9th following a screening of her new dramedy, The Judge, for students in Maltin’s Film Symposium class.
Seats Available: CTCS 303
October 9, 2014
Dr. Ellen Seiter’s Japanese Anime covers the theory and practice of the Japanese Animation industry, history and culture. The class explores, from a critical angle, how Anime went from the humble pages of manga to one of the most important cultural forces in the world. Dr. Seiter sat down to discuss her course, what students can look forward to while enrolled and how anime may be one of the best places for artists to explore controversial topics and hard science fiction.
The course has no prerequisites and is open to anyone.
SCA Hosts "The Great Flood" Q&A with Writer/Director Bill Morrison
October 7, 2014
SCA Professor Mary Sweeney moderates a Q&A with "The Great Flood" writer/director Bill Morrison.
SCA Hosts "The Guest" Q&A
October 7, 2014
Director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett, and producers Keith Calder and Jessica Wu participate in a Q&A for their film, The Guest.
Seats Available: CTCS 192m
Race, Class and Gender in American Film
October 6, 2014
CTCS 192: Race, Class and Gender—which also addresses issues of sexual orientation, age, ethnicity and their function within Hollywood cinema—is one of the most enlightening, controversial and well-known courses at the School of Cinematic Arts. The course is taught by Dr. Todd Boyd, a highly regarded professor of Critical Studies who was recently named one of LA’s fifteen most noteworthy arts professors. Dr. Boyd’s many books include The Notorious Ph.D’s Guide to the Super Fly 70s and Young Black Rich and Famous. He is the producer/co-writer of the film The Wood. He holds the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture.
Lunch with Larry
Catching up with the chair of the Peter Stark Program
October 5, 2014
The Peter Stark Producing Program has many reputations. To some, it's the "business" program at the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). To others, it's the source of an incredible percentage of Hollywood's interns. To thirty years worth of Alumni, it’s home.
SCA Alumni Stories: Sev Ohanian
October 1, 2014
Only two years after leaving SCA, producer and writer, Sev Ohanian (MFA Production, '12) is currently working on his seventh feature film. From My Big Fat Armenian Family to Fruitvale Station to the Google Glass short Seeds, Ohanian jumps from project to project with an enthusiasm nothing short of infectious. His early and continuous success traces back to his belief that "it's about being able to be proud of that next piece of work."
The Hollywood Foreign Press Makes Gift to SCA
September 30, 2014
In a major step forward for student support at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has pledged a $100,000 endowment for financial aid to qualified, international students.
Judy Irola Named Nat Tiffen Recipient
September 24, 2014
For her exceptional filmography and continued dedication to film education, the Cinematographers Guild has awarded Judy Irola, the Conrad Hall Chair of Cinematography at SCA, the Nat Tiffen Award for Excellence in Cinematography Education. USC alum, John Bailey, was also the recipient of the Technicolor Cinematography Journalist of the Year special award. These prestigious awards will be presented on September 26th at the American Society of Cinematographers Clubhouse.
Bridging the STEM Divide
September 23, 2014
On Saturday Sept. 13, the Division of Animation and Digital Arts (DADA) held the Bridging the STEM Divide conference at the Stauffer Science Lecture Hall. Over 100 local high school students attended the event, which was focused on exposing students of color to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) both as academic disciplines and also as career paths.
EUphoria Film Festival brings Europe to USC
5 Days. 13 Countries. 13 Films
September 23, 2014
A collaboration of European Languages and Movies in America (ELMA), the School of Cinematic Arts, as well as the consulates of the participating countries, the inaugural Euphoria Film Festival kicked off this weekend at USC. ELMA, a non-profit organization based in Santa Monica, showcases and celebrates European cinema as an art form, for American audiences. The festival features films from: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Poland.
Levy and Zimmerman @ SCA
September 19, 2014
Leonard Maltin hosted an advanced screening of the dramedy This Is Where I Leave You on September 19th in his Film Symposium class, followed by a Q&A with director and producer Shawn Levy and editor Dean Zimmerman. Based on a novel of the same name, the film explores both chaos and comfort when four siblings are forced to reunite for a week under the same roof following the death of their father.
MISC Works with Armani
The film, commissioned by Armani, debuted at the Toronto Film Festival
September 18, 2014
USC student film, iLA, directed and co-written by John Berardo, was one of six short films that premiered at the prestigious 2014 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this month as part of the “Films of City Frames” project initiated by fashion designer and icon, Giorgio Armani. Each of six international filmmakers was given the task of capturing moments of urban landscapes and emotional situations through the filter of Armani’s Frames of Life eyewear line. Armani envisioned a collage of films showing urban encounters—with the eyewear taking on the attributes of a character.
SCA Family Stories: Jen McGowan
The director of Kelly and Cal sits down with SCA
September 18, 2014
Jen McGowan is an up and coming director in indie features. Her debut feature Kelly and Cal is premiering at the Arena Cinema in Hollywood and on VOD this week. SCA Family Stories caught up with her to chat about the transition to professional filmmaking, what she learned in her time as a Trojan, and how sometimes the “extra” things you do in college prepare you just as much as your courses.
Vevo Sparks Creativity for MFA students
Animators collaborate with Vevo
September 11, 2014
Animators collaborated with Vevo.
Imagineering Your Own Theme Park
Walt Disney Imagineers teach course on theme park design
September 9, 2014
Imagination and engineering are making their debut at the School of Cinematic Arts in the survey course “The Imagineering Way: Themed Entertainment Design.”
Message from the USC Media Institute for Social Change
September 4, 2014
Entertainment media has a profound impact on individual knowledge, behavior and society in general. The USC Media Institute for Social Change (USC-MISC) is a nonprofit organization made up of industry professionals at SCA who create entertainment media with impactful social messages.
SCA Alumni Stories: Tracy Droz Tragos
September 4, 2014
As a filmmaker navigating across the oft-partitioned worlds of documentary and fiction filmmaking, alum Tracy Droz Tragos ’93 is attracted to stories that are personal and intimate, which have the potential to reveal universal truths.
Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation Established
September 3, 2014
The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has donated $5 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, it was announced today by Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The donation marks the most substantial gift the School of Cinematic Arts has ever received for student support and will create The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Fund for Student Support. The gift will provide financial support to qualified undergraduate students who have demonstrated significant financial need.
Jack Epps, Jr. and Todd Boyd Named Noteworthy Art Professors
September 2, 2014
The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) had two of its faculty named to the Art Career Project “Fifteen Noteworthy Art Professors in Los Angeles.” Jack Epps, Jr., the Chair of the Writing for Screen and Television Division and Professor Todd Boyd, the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture were included in the annual list.
Nonny De La Pena Feature on BBC
August 28, 2014
Media Arts + Practice Ph.D. candidate Nonny De La Pena's groundbreaking work in Immersive Journalism featured on the BBC's Future Thinking.
SCA Student Stories: Jenna Cavelle
August 18, 2014
Jenna Cavelle spreads social messages with the Media Institute for Social Change
The Cat and the Coup acquired by LACMA
August 12, 2014
The game, developed by two USC faculty members, gets recognition in the art world
"How to Obtain a Degree in Video Games" with Director, USC Games
August 11, 2014
USC Games Director on Bloomberg
Television Symposium Gears up for 2014
August 7, 2014
Award-winning Journalist Teaches Behind the Scenes Television Course
SCA Alumni and "Daylight"
August 5, 2014
Directors and SCA alumni talk about their film, Daylight.
Happy Christmas at SCA
August 4, 2014
SCA Alumni Stories: Victoria Aveyar, BFA Screenwriting '12
August 4, 2014
Author of The Red Queen, and SCA alum Victoria Aveyard talks with Reality Ends Here.
SCA Family Stories: David Sonne
An Oakie Trustee Sits with USC
July 22, 2014
The USC School of Cinematic Arts has strong ties to Hollywood history in the form of endowment, library collections, partnerships and many other avenues.
One of the strongest partnerships at the School is with The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation. Trustees David Sonne and Barry Pascal are known through campus for their innovative and hilarious scholarship presentations every year. Charles Collier is known for his behind the scenes support.
"Apes" at SCA
July 15, 2014
The SCA Network, Summer Programs, and Twentieth Century Fox, presented a preview of the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and a Q&A with director SCA Alumnus Matt Reeves on July 7, 2014. Reeves discussed the creation of the film and its visual effects.
"Life Itself" at SCA
July 15, 2014
Outside the Box [Office] and Magnolia Pictures presented a preview of Life Itself, a film about world-renowned film critic Roger Ebert’s life on June 27, 2014. A Q&A with Ebert's wife, Chaz Ebert, moderated by Leonard Maltin, followed the preview.
"Sex Tape" at SCA
July 15, 2014
The SCA Network, Summer Programs, Comedy@SCA, and Columbia Pictures, presented a preview of the film Sex Tape at SCA on July 11, 2014. A Q&A with Sex Tape director, Jake Kasdan, moderated by Professor David Isaacs followed. Kasdan and Isaacs discussed comedy and the film's development.
"Slingshot" to USC
July 15, 2014
Outside the Box [Office] and White Dwarf Productions presented a preview of the documentary Slingshot, on July 10th, 2014. A Q&A with the director Paul Lazarus, co-producer Barry Opper and Douglas Blush, moderated by Michael Renov followed the screening.
Director Sebastian Junger talks "Korengal"
July 15, 2014
Outside the Box [Office] and Saboteur Media presented a preview of the film Korengal and a Q&A with director Sebastian Junger on June 12, 2014. Korengal picks up after the film RESTREPO, a film Junger and his colleague Tim Hetherington made following the deployment of a platoon of US troops in Afghanistan.
New Video Explores SCA’s Focus on the Future
July 15, 2014
Interactive Media & Games, Media Arts + Practice, Research in the Cinematic Arts and many other programs at the School of Cinematic Arts are pushing the boundaries of technology in the entertainment industry and beyond. SCA’s new video explores the people and projects that are keeping the School on the cutting edge and redefining what’s possible with the moving image.
Higher Education Video Game Alliance Announced
Top Scholars from around Country to Collaborate
July 7, 2014
Video games have already embedded themselves into American and World culture. At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, they took a major step forward in academic consideration when the Higher Education Video Game Alliance was announced by the Chair of the Interactive Media & Games Division and Director of USC Games, Tracy Fullerton. The initiative will bring the top Video Game educators in the world under one umbrella.
SCA Alumni Screening Series hosts "Think Like A Man Too"
July 7, 2014
The SCA Alumni Screening Series, African American Cinema Society (AACS) and Screen Gems presented a Q&A with director and SCA Alumnus Tim Story, producer Will Packer and, Screen Gems Executive James Lopez, on June 8, 2014 with a screening of their film, Think Like A Man Too. Story, Packer and Lopez spoke of how they got started in the movie industry and about their work on the film.
SCA hosts "The Signal" Q&A with writer and director William Eubanks and actor Beau Knapp
July 7, 2014
On June 10, 2014, SCA hosted "The Signal" writer and director, William Eubanks and actor Beau Knapp for a Q&A moderated by Alex Ago. The talk was followed by a preview of the film.
Animator Teng “Eric” Cheng won for "Higher Sky"
July 3, 2014
Teng “Eric” Cheng won the Animation Silver Medal for Higher Sky at the 2014 Student Academy Awards
SCA Alumni create viral video, "SEEDS"
July 3, 2014
Partnered with the Google Glass Creative, a team of SCA alumni and faculty created SEEDS, a short film shot entirely on the Google Glass.
Alumni Interview - Amanda Silver
July 2, 2014
Along with her husband and creative partner Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver has written and produced the two most recent films in the Planet of the Apes saga -- including Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which opens nationwide on Friday, July 11. (The film was directed by fellow SCA alumnus Matt Reeves ’88.) After Silver graduated with an MFA from the Writing Division in 1989, her first produced writing credit The Hand that Rocks the Cradle was released three years later. Silver’s other credits include The Relic and Eye for an Eye and upcoming projects Jurassic World, Heart of the Sea, and an Avatar sequel. She recently took time away from her busy writing schedule to answer some questions from Reality Ends Here.
"Playing House" at Television Symposium
June 30, 2014
Professor Howard Rosenberg moderated a conversation between Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair of the comedy series Playing House, on April 7, 2014. Television Symposium, also known as CTCS 467, is a class taught by Rosenberg that features writers, directors, producers and performers.
Television Symposium hosts "Rectify" executive producer
June 30, 2014
Mark Johnson, the producer of the popular television series, Breaking Bad and original series Rectify, joined Professor Howard Rosenberg on April 14, 2014, for a conversation part of the Television Symposium. Johnson talked about his experiences working on the show Rectify and other shows. Television Symposium, also known as CTCS 467, is a class taught by Rosenberg that features writers, directors, producers and performers.
An Evening with Ed Catmull
June 23, 2014
SCA hosted another evening with Pixar Animations co-creator Ed Catmull, moderated by Andrew Millstein on April 16, 2014. Catmull discussed his book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, which the bookstore, Skylight Books, had on sale, and the lessons he learned during his career at Pixar.
An Evening with James Foley
June 23, 2014
Production Perks presented an Evening with James Foley, director of the Netflix series, House of Cards on May 8, 2014. Foley talked with Tom Abrams about his work on the show and his experiences in the entertainment industry. The conversation was followed by the Season 2 finale of House of Cards.
SCA Alumni Screening Series Presents "Stage Fright"
June 23, 2014
On May 7, 2014, SCA alum and Stage Fright writer and director, Jerome Sable, editor Nicholas Musurca and music producer Aram Mandossian, sat down for a Q&A with Ty Strickler. As part of the SCA Alumni Screenings Series and Magnet Releasing, the event featured a preview screening of the film. Stage Fright was an official selection at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival.
Trojan Documentarians Honored
June 17, 2014
Alexandre Peralta’s Thesis Recognized
SCA Family Stories: Edd Benda and Alex Bell
The Filmmakers of Superior Talk about their Process
June 9, 2014
Graduating from the USC School of Cinematic Arts is a time to make hard decisions. Some students turn their internships into entry-level jobs, some take some time off to write but, in the current, digital world, some students are jumping right in to make low-budget features.
SCA Alumni Stories: Sasha Alexander
June 6, 2014
Sasha Alexander’s (BA Production '97) acting credits include starring roles in films such as Yes Man and TV shows such as NCIS and the hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles, where she plays Dr. Maura Isles. What many may not know is that Sasha graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she studied production in an effort to hone her behind-the-camera skills.
Bringing IMAX to Troy
SCA Opens Michelle and Kevin Douglas IMAX Theatre and Immersive Lab
June 5, 2014
On June 4th, 2014, the USC School of Cinematic Arts took a major step forward in its efforts to be the home of the next generation of storytelling technologies. An IMAX Theatre and Immersive Lab, made possible by donations from Michelle and Kevin Douglas and IMAX, opened at the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.
SCA Family Stories: David McCracken
The Director of OstrichLand discusses his process
May 27, 2014
David McCracken ‘13, the director of the award-winning 546 student film OstrichLand, recently hit the real world running. In this interview with SCA Family Stories, McCracken discusses the importance of selecting a good crew, how tough lessons can help a filmmaker develop a voice, and why students should have material ready before they graduate.
Animation Students Honored at Student Academy Awards
May 21, 2014
The 41st Annual Student Academy Awards, one of the highest distinctions for student films in the world, boasts among its winners and nominees this year three students and recent alumni from SCA’s John C. Hench Divison of Animation & Digital Arts.
Tracy Fullerton Named Director of USC Games
May 12, 2014
The University of Southern California has a long tradition of pushing the boundaries of video games as an artform and industry. On May 9th, USC Games took another step forward when Tracy Fullerton, the Chair of the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division was named the first Director of USC Games.
[VIDEO] David O. Russell with Mary Sweeney
May 7, 2014
On March 24th, Oscar-nominated filmmaker David O. Russell visited the School of Cinematic Arts and held a conversation with Dino and Martha DeLaurentiis Endowed Professor Mary Sweeney as part of the Writing Presents Speaker Series.
SCA @ Annecy
May 5, 2014
Four SCA animation students and alumni have been selected to participate in this year’s Annecy Film Festival – the oldest and most prestigious animation festival in the world, held in Annecy, France. Among the Official Selections for the festival are works by Corrie Francis-Parks (SCA ’06), Miguel Jiron (SCA ’13), Lou Morton (SCA ’13) and Chaoqi Zhang.
SCA Alumni Stories: Tim Dowling
Spotlight on the writer of Role Models and This Means War
May 5, 2014
Tim Dowling ’96 is a successful screenwriter with credits such as Role Models, This Means War, and Just Go With It. He also serves on SCA’s Alumni Development Council and on the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors. He recently took time away from his next writing project to answer a few questions from Reality Ends Here.
Bernard and Mona Kantor Remembered
Cinema School Pioneer and Wife’s Legacy Honored at SCA
May 1, 2014
Mad Men @ SCA
April 29, 2014
The creative team behind Mad Men, the AMC hit about the advertising heydey of 1960s Madison Avenue, visited SCA’s TV SymposiumCourse (CTCS 467) on Monday, April 28 for a special Q&A session moderated by Professor Howard Rosenberg.
SCA Family Stories: Mark D. Manalo
The Director of Present Trauma Speaks to Students
April 28, 2014
Present Trauma is a short film by an all USC crew that tells the story of a Marine suffering from PTSD. The film was recently honored with the Best Drama Award at the School of Cinematic Arts’ First Film festival, which was held at the Director’s Guild of America Theatre on April 17. SCA Family stories recently sat down with Mark D. Manalo to discuss his process, his strategies for tackling tricky material and why working with an untrained dog might mean asking for a migraine.
David O. Russell @SCA
Oscar Nominated Writer Visits SCA
April 24, 2014
Writer/director David O. Russell visited the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) for a Q&A on March 24th. During a discussion in which he talked honestly about how his process has grown in his last three films, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Russell also told the audience how the analysis of other films has helped him grow as a storyteller and that success for him is being able to show the audience why he loves his characters. The Russell Q&A was part of Writing for Screen & Television Division’s Writing Presents Speaker Series, moderated by Mary Sweeney, the Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Professor.
Catmull @ SCA
Disney/Pixar Animation President Visits School of Cinematic Arts
April 17, 2014
Ed Catmull, one of the co-creators of Pixar Animation and current President of Disney Animation and Pixar Animation, is considered one of Hollywood’s great creative minds. He also has a unique perspective on just about everything. On Wednesday April 16 he was interviewed by Andrew Millstein, Executive Vice-President and General Manager of Disney Feature Animation, in front of a capacity crowd at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Addressing some of the topics in his new book, Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, Catmull spoke to students about storytelling, how to form an organization and the incredible teaching power of failure.
SCA Student Honored with Walt Whitman Award
Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Rae Armantrout selects Hannah Sanghee Park
April 15, 2014
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is the alma mater of Oscar, Emmy, Webbie, Annie, DICE and countless other award winners. In 2014, the School can add Walt Whitman Award winner to that list. The Academy of American Poets and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rae Armantrout have selected current Writing for Screen & Television MFA candidate Hannah Sanghee Park as the recipient of the 2014 Walt Whitman Award, the Academy’s prestigious first book prize.
Coming soon -- CTWR 431: Super-heroic Screenwriting from Comic Panel to the Screen
Guys that Fly, Girls that Fight, Masterminds & Spiderbites
April 11, 2014
Open to all USC students, open registration, and counts towards the Minor in Screenwriting
SCA Promotes Social Change
April 11, 2014
The films and PSAs screened at the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) first “Evening of Social Change Films” told fictional stories, and conveyed very real emotions and social issues.
SCA Family Stories: Danny Abrahms
The showrunner of Self-Help sits down with SCA
March 17, 2014
Self-Help is a new comedy web series where Trojan Danny Abrahms plays both patient and therapist in psychiatric self-diagnosis. The series started as a sketch Abrahms filmed for fun with a friend from USC but slowly turned into something that got the attention of the New York Television Festival. From there, the project was developed for the web by My Damn Channel and will debut on March 18th.
Anatomy of a Web Cartoon
Trojan Filmmakers Tackle the Web with Billiams
March 14, 2014
Students are increasingly turning to the web as a means to get their projects out into the world and the web cartoon Billiams is the latest in a long string of Trojan projects following non-traditional paths. Billiams, a web cartoon with 10 Trojans in key positions, follows a wolf in his first year at a liberal arts college and the eccentric characters he meets along the way.
George Lucas Dedicates Three Chairs at SCA
Alum continues his support of the School
March 14, 2014
Through transformative gifts to the School of Cinematic Arts, alumnus George Lucas has honored his collaborators, friends and cinematic heroes. On Thursday, March 13th, Lucas continued his philanthropy by endowing faculty chairs named for Sergei Eisenstein, George Méliès and Williams Cameron Menzies. Eisenstein, Méliès and Menzies are considered filmmaking pioneers. Their theories and practices are taught in film programs around the world.
Number One in Game Design
USC Games Retains Top Ranking
March 11, 2014
USC has been named the number one School for game design in North America for both its graduate and undergraduate programs. The graduate ranking marks the fifth straight year USC has been on top. This ranking is shared by the Interactive Media & Games Division at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science.The #1 ranking for its Undergraduate Program marks the fourth year the program has held the distinction.
Sequoia @ SXSW
Film with Five Trojans in Key Positions Debuts at Festival
March 11, 2014
From day one, students at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) are taught that success is about collaboration. The films, games, animation projects, scholarly works and all other works produced at SCA are built on the backbone of cross divisional work between the seven divisions of the School. On March 9th at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Sequoia, a film with five Trojans in key positions proved this point brilliantly. Sequoia features five students from three divisions who came together to make the lowbudget dramedy. Sequoia started out as alum Andrew Rothschild’s thesis script in the Writing for Screen & Television Division.
SCA Career Week
March 10, 2014
Students and alumni at the School of Cinematic Arts gained some insight into the entertainment industry during SCA’s first career week, which took place from March 3-6. Instead of having one career day, the students were given four days to attend a variety of workshops and talks to help them navigate the working world. Hosted by Student Industry Relations, the presentations included speakers from professional companies like Pixar, Sony and Paramount Pictures and USC alumni.
Bateman and Dodge @ SCA
Comedy Duo Screens Bad Words at USC
March 7, 2014
In Trojan writer Andrew Dodge’s debut feature Bad Words, a grown man with anger issues enters the national spelling bee on a technicality where he proceeds to sabotage the hopes of all of the young contestants to bring himself the glory. Tapping into his own past as a “debate kid,” Dodge said he had the idea fully formed after watching the documentary Spellbound.
Steve F. Anderson Named ACLS Fellow
March 5, 2014
Media Arts + Practice (MAP) Professor at the School of Cinematic Arts Steve F. Anderson was named a 2013-14 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Innovation Fellow for his study of Technologies in Cinema. Anderson teaches in the MAP Division at SCA and is the co-Principal Investigator of the Scalar Labs that are revolutionizing scholarship for the digital age.
Tu Uthaisri @ SCA
February 24, 2014
Standing in front of a room full of students in the new Interactive Media Building on February 12 at SCA, designer, filmmaker and artist Tu Uthaisri traced his unconventional path towards what has been a category-defying career - from graphic artist to filmmaker to Designer, Editor and Filmmaker-in-Residence at the Google Creative Lab in New York City.
World Jam @ USC
February 24, 2014
USC hosted it’s first ever “World Jam” in the new Interactive Media Building this past weekend, running from February 14th until February 16th. Programmers, designers and creators from USC and across the gaming community were invited to participate in creating short, 5 to 15 minute experiences that will eventually be used to help sick children undergoing stressful procedures. Explained Marientina Gotsis, one of the organizers of the jam, “There’s nothing really used for this particular purpose right now. There’s a lot of games, but the narrative arc is not quite appropriate for the experience, the content is not necessarily appropriate, and the immersion is not necessarily high enough.” The goal is to create short, casual, fully immersive content that can entertain children as they wait for an IV or a long and tedious procedure, distracting them from the pain and boredom they might feel.
“The Croods”: Millions of years in the making
February 20, 2014
Co-directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco (SCA Alumnus) talked about the story and visual development for the movie, “The Croods”
Les Blank Honored at SCA
The sons of the legendary Trojan Documentarian discuss his life and work
February 13, 2014
Trojan Les Blank changed the face of documentary filmmaking with his films about music, food and all the other ways that human beings, especially marginalized Americans, express themselves. On February 11th the School of Cinematic Arts hosted a screening of three of Blank’s early films, The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968), Spend It All (1971) and his student film, Running Around Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off (1960). The screening was followed by a discussion, led by SCA Vice Dean Michael Renov, with Blank’s sons Harrod, who is also a documentary filmmaker, and Beau. Blank, who attended the School of Cinematic Arts in the 1960s, passed away on April 7, 2013.
SCA Family Story: Drue Metz, '14
February 13, 2014
Drue Metz tell us the story of how his SCA education prepared him for the opprotunity of a lifetime at Apple.
The Stanley Parable nominated for 4 BAFTA awards
February 13, 2014
The Stanley Parable, created by Bryan Singer Department of Critical Studies alumni Davey Wreden '11, has been nominated for 4 BAFTA awards in the 'Debut Game', 'Story','Game Innovation' and 'Performer' categories. Previously honored by The New Yorker, a win would put Wreden alongside fellow SCA grads thatgamecompany who picked up several BAFTA awards for their game Journey. For more on the BAFTA awards and the complete list of nominations, visit The Telegraph's full article.
World Building Media Lab Honored in Amsterdam
SCA Lab Wins Future Voice Award
February 12, 2014
While the USC School of Cinematic Arts maintains a strong center training the next generation of scholars and media makers, it also has a profound presence in the research of the moving image. One of the primary centers for this research is the World Building Media Lab which was honored at the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) Interaction Design Awards. The Lab is led by award-winning Production Designer/USC Cinema Professor Alex McDowell (Minority Report, Man of Steel, Upside Down).
TERROR: On the Screen/ On the Ground
Panelists compare terrorism on the screen and on the ground
February 11, 2014
Terrorism is a topic that extends beyond federal boundaries and the media. Films and television shows give insight to how terrorists operate and the potential dangers they impose on the public. Yesterday, the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) partnered with the USC School of Cinematic Arts to present how people on the ground and on screen approach terrorism. It was a full house with fans of the show Homeland and 24 and people curious to know more about terrorism. Randy Parsons, Lawrence Wright, Erroll Southers, Bonnie Reiss, Alex Cary, Evan Katz.
Threes! is Number One
Trojan Game Designer Tops App Store
February 11, 2014
Interactive Media & Games graduate Asher Vollmer ‘12 has achieved one of the most difficult things a young game designer can accomplish, creating games with a distinct voice. From his student project Semi-Automatic to his first breakout success Puzzlejuice (which peaked at #11 on the app store) to his newest game Threes!, which recently topped the iTunes App Store, Vollmer’s show a clear progression and growth as an artist.
Bob Nelson @ SCA
February 5, 2014
At the close of his Q&A in front of a packed house at SCA’s Ray Stark Theatre, writer Bob Nelson offered some very unconventional career advice, “Write your first screenplay when you’re in your mid-forties and make sure you work with Alexander Payne,” he said. “That’s my advice.”
Yasaman Hashemian Wins 2014 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Design
February 4, 2014
SCA Alumnus Yasaman Hashemian was named a winner of the 2014 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Design, an annual award bestowed by the Vilcek Foundation. Established by Jan and Marica Vilcek in 2000, the Vilcek Foundation was created to raise awareness of immigrants' contributions to American arts and sciences. Today, it carries out this mission by showcasing the work of immigrant artists, giving grants to other nonprofits, and awarding the Vilcek Prizes, which honors and supports foreign-born scientists and artists who have made outstanding contributions to society in the US. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were established in 2009 as a complement to the Vilcek Prizes, to encourage and support young immigrants who show promising talent. Each year, winners are chosen in biomedical science and a changing category of the arts, this year recognizing accomplishments in the field of design. In addition to being recognized, recipients are awarded an unrestricted $35,000 cash prize as well as a commemorative plaque.
Creating a Virtual Syria
Trojan Nonny de la Pena’s Immersive Journalism Hits Big in Davos
January 31, 2014
At the 2014 World Economic Forum, held in mid-January in Davos, Switzerland, the pressing issues of the day were discussed in lectures, panels and meetings. One of the pressing topics being examined at the conference is the ongoing war in Syria and Media Arts + Practice Ph. D. candidate Nonny de la Pena’s brought her signature work in Immersive Journalism to the discussion of the middle eastern conflict. De La Pena’s piece, Project Syria, transforms a YouTube clip of an attack in Aleppo into an immersive experience created in a virtual reality display worn by the participant. This groundbreaking work offers a unique perspective on the conflict, providing context for the suffering in Syria even as it transforms participants into the experience.
Trojans in Park City
January 30, 2014
While turning thirty for many can be a stressful milestone, this year’s Sundance Film Festival took it in stride with its usual mix of sales, screenings, prizes and parties. 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of Sundance and as usual Park City, UT was home to artists of all kinds with films vying for awards, distribution deals, and the ever-gratifying standing ovation. The small, mountain town also reprised its role as a getaway for film enthusiasts eager to see the next big thing in independent cinema. It was a banner year for Trojan filmmakers, with USC alums taking home awards for U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary and Audience Award: Best of NEXT, among others.
[VIDEO] Harvard Lampoon Panel
January 28, 2014
As part of the second Comedy@SCA Festival, Comedy@SCA hosted alumni of the Harvard Lampoon.
IMGD hosts screening of Us & The Game Industry
January 27, 2014
The Interactive Media & Games Department had the pleasure of hosting one of the inaugural screenings of New Zealand director Stephanie Beth’s Us and the Game Industry. The screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring thatgamecompany’s Kellee Santiago, Jenova Chen and Austin Wintory.
IMGD thesis project Paralect nominated by IGF
Paralect nominated for excellence in narrative award
January 27, 2014
Paralect, the thesis project of Interactive Media & Games Division alum Loan Verneau, has been nominated for the Independent Games Festival’s Excellence in Narrative Award. Held during the annual Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, the Independent Game Festival (IGF) is one of the largest and longest running gaming awards festivals. This year saw Paralect beat out 656 entrants from all over the world, with an additional 350 entries in the student category.
Storytellers Inspire Action Through Film
January 27, 2014
When Keck Hospital of USC received a grant to make a film about coaching kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder issues, it envisioned a sort of public service announcement or educational documentary.
VIDEO: Comedy@SCA Animation Panel
Homer, Shrek and Cleveland Walk Into a Bar
January 21, 2014
Comedy@SCA at the USC School of Cinematic Arts hosted JAMES L. BROOKS (Co-Creator of The Simpsons), DAVID SILVERMAN (Director: The Simpsons Movie, Co-Director: Monsters, Inc.), RICHARD APPEL (Executive Producer: The Clevland Show, American Dad!), VICKY JENSON (Director: Shrek, Shark Tale) and MATT O'CALLAGHAN (Writer: The Great Mouse Detective, Director: Curious George)
Story @ SCA
Alum/Director Tim Story Screens Ride Along
January 16, 2014
Ride Along tells the story of a grizzled detective in the Atlanta PD whose sister’s boyfriend is desperate to join the police academy and gain his approval. The veteran cop takes his sister’s boyfriend on a day in the life in the streets of Atlanta. Director/alum Tim Story screened the film in SCA 108 to a capacity crowd on January 14th. The screening was presented by the SCA Network and Comedy@SCA.
Bob Osher Honored by USC
Executive/Alum Featured at USC Alumni Awards
January 14, 2014
Alum of the USC School of Cinematic Arts Bob Osher ’81 is one of eight Trojans to be honored at the 81st Annual USC Alumni Awards on April 26, 2014, at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Milius @ SCA
Legendary filmmaker/alum honored with screening of Milius
January 13, 2014
Writer/director/producer John Milius graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the sixties and joined a group of filmmakers that changed the film industry forever with films like Jeremiah Johnson, Conan the Barbarian, Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn. On January 9th, at a screening of the documentary Milius in Norris Cinema Theatre, Milius was honored for his work by his classmates, industry friends and students. The documentary will premiere on the EPIX channel on January 11 at 8PM.
SCA Family Stories: Jamari Perry
January 9, 2014
The halls of the School of Cinematic Arts are filled with talks about “voice.” It’s one of the hardest attributes to define for the aspiring filmmaker or scholar. Documentarian Jamari Perry recently sat down with SCA Family Stories to discuss how she found her voice on her award-winning documentary Soaring on Invisible Wings. The documentary about the autoimmune disease Lupus was produced as part of the 547 course in the Film & Television Production Division and recently won the grand prize at the African American Women in Cinema Festival.
Thatgamecompany's Flower added to Smithsonian
January 6, 2014
The Smithsonian Museum of American Art acquired two new video games for this week, one of which, Flower, is the product of SCA-associated studio thatgamecompany. Interactive Media & Games Division graduates Jenova Chen ‘06 and Kelly Santiago ‘06 co-founded the studio while students in SCA’s Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) with the vision of producing high-quality, emotionally meaningful content that stands in contrast to typical AAA gaming fare.
The Stanley Parable honored by The New Yorker
January 3, 2014
The New Yorker named TSP as its number two “Most Crucial Game of the Year”.
Happy 85th SCA!
January 2, 2014
Happy 85th Anniversary to the USC School of Cinematic Arts