September 22, 2008

TV Trojans

Ten Alumni Win Emmys

By Mel Cowan

Mad Men star Christina Hendricks.
School of Cinematic Arts alumni cleaned up at this year's Emmy awards, with ten Trojans taking home a total of 12 statuettes. To date, USC alumni have amassed 119 victories, and 2008 marked the 33rd consecutive year that members of the Trojan Family have received the nod for television's highest acclaim.

Following the Primetime Emmy ceremony held at the Nokia Theatre on Sunday the 21st, Matthew Weiner '90 will add two statuettes to his mantel for his critically acclaimed AMC series, Mad Men. The series, which revolves around a 1960’s era Madison Avenue advertising firm, won for Outstanding Drama Series, the first time the award has gone to a basic cable show. Weiner also won for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the show’s pilot episode, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes."

"The Academy's response to our work has been very personal and very generous, and has exceeded anyone's expectations," said Weiner. "There is nothing better than to be recognized by your peers, especially in what I believe is a great year for television." 

Made in LA co-producer/co-writer Robert Bahar, right, with director Almudena Carracedo.
Made in LA, a documentary about the plight of garment workers in Los Angeles, co-produced and co-written by Stark alumnus Robert Bahar '00, won the Emmy for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story-Long Form at a ceremony the following Monday night at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. The film featured numerous 'SC alums in creative roles, including adjunct faculty member Lisa Leeman '81 as a co-editor/co-writer.

"I'm beyond thrilled that Made in L.A. has received this recognition. Of course it's wonderful as a filmmaker, but it's especially exciting because it means that we'll be able to continue to publicize and engage communities around the country with the issues in the film," said Bahar.

Bahar, along with director Almudena Carracedo, organized an extensive series of grassroots-style screenings to get the film and its message to the public. The screening held at USC's Taper Hall of Humanities in March of this year was a particularly important one for Bahar: "So much of what I've learned had its foundation at USC, and I owe a special debt of gratitude to the Peter Stark Program and also to the all the friends and mentors that I met at USC."

Scott Kramer '03, who took home an Emmy for Interactive Media Programming for his work on NBC's Heroes Digital Experience at the Creative Arts Awards ceremony held on September 13 at the Nokia Theatre, echoed the excitement of his fellow awardees. "Being at the event was fantastic, and to win was completely surreal," said Kramer. "They announce the award and before you know it, we're all racing up to the stage, shaking each others' hands, patting each other on the back: it was a huge thrill."

To create an interactive Web site for Heroes, a show entrenched in a fan culture that is deeply attuned to the Internet, was a challenge that Kramer relished. "Being a part of, I've had

SCA Emmy Awards
Robert Bahar Made in LA Continuing Coverage of a News Story-Long Form
Marc Clark Top Chef Editing for Reality Programming
Jim Dooley Pushing Daisies Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)
Kirk Ellis John Adams Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special
Stephen Hunter Flick & Curt Schulkey John Adams
Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special
Scott Kramer Heroes: Digital Experience Interactive Media Programming
Jay Roach Recount Made for Television Movie
Jay Roach Recount Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special
Matthew Weiner Mad Men Writing for a Drama Series
Matthew Weiner Mad Men
Drama Series
Greg Yaitanes House Directing for a Drama Series
the opportunity to work on many large and involved projects in the digital space," said Kramer. "I like to keep up with the always changing world of online video, whether it be content that's derivative from an existing property like Heroes or original productions. I try to see what works, what doesn't, and why, and then apply that to my job." 

Winning aside, when asked about the future of the project, Kramer seems to have taken the cloak-and-dagger elements of Heroes to heart. "The Heroes experience on continues to grow exponentially and offer fans more ways to interact with the show and each other. I'd say more, but I fear agents from Primatech might come after me."