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April 21, 2008

First Pitch 2008

Alumnus Matthew Weiner (Mad Men, The Sopranos) Hosts

By John Zollinger

The freshest film and television writing talent from USC will go one-on-one with reps from leading agencies, management firms and production companies during First Pitch, hosted on Monday, May 5 by alumnus Matthew Weiner, Dean Elizabeth M. Daley announced.

“Solid, compelling stories are the heart of any great film or television project and these students have certainly created an impressive lineup in all genres,” Daley said. “First Pitch offers unique access to new ideas and approaches from our undergraduate and graduate writers, all in one place at one time,” she added.

Mad Men creator Weiner, whose work on the Sopranos landed him the Emmy, graduated from the school in 1990 with an M.F.A. in production. A sampling of past First Pitch participants who parlayed their experience into writing careers includes: Caroline Dries (Smallville), Christina Kim (Lost), Kam Miller (Law & Order SVU), Brad Riddell (American Pie Band Camp) and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (Friday Night Lights).

First Pitch 2008 is sponsored by Albert Friedman and the Samuel Friedman Foundation. Since its inaugural session in 2002, First Pitch has drawn representatives from some of the entertainment industry’s most prestigious firms, including  CAA, William Morris, ICM, UTA, Paradigm, Endeavor, Fuse, Management 360, Sony, Paramount and Thunder Road, to name but a few. The format features a series of rapid-fire five-minute sessions in which the soon-to-graduate writers advance from table to table for meetings that match their stories with the specific interests of the industry representatives.

The invitation-only event will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills beginning with appetizers and hors d’oeuvres at 6:00 p.m.