August 7, 2012

Roach @ SCA

Director/Alumnus Jay Roach Brings The Campaign to SCA

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.

SCA Professor David Isaacs with Jay Roach

“There are different films and different situations.” said Roach. “I came into this film and [Ferrell and Galifianakis] already had a concept. It didn’t have as much structure as I would like. I never know what’s going to work and what isn’t. Working with Will and Zach was so different because Will is an incredibly meticulous performer and Zach is kind of - he’s got a unique ability to be likeable.”

The Campaign stars USC alumnus Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as North Carolina politicians vying for a congressional seat. Roach told the students that Galifianakis and Ferrell had very different processes on set. Roach said his student film from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts helped him into the entertainment industry when it was discovered by comedian Mike Myers.

“A lot of my career was Mike [Myers] giving me a break,” said Roach. “It was a leap of faith. I had my student film, my 480, some second unit sci-fi stuff and a pretentious film about the nature of evil, and Mike said, ‘You can do Austin Powers.’ I just make sure the camera is in the right place and edit them so they look good. I let the performers drive.”

The screening and Q&A, moderated by SCA Professor David Isaacs, were hosted by Comedy@SCA. Designed to position the School as the premier center for comedy instruction in the country, Comedy@SCA allows young talent to develop their comedic voices and validates the study of comedy within an academic setting.

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