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Matt Reeves and Prentice Penny Highlight USC School of Cinematic Arts Graduation

Spotlight Stories

Sony Partnership Envisions the Future of Entertainment

Sony Cinema
Partnership Annoucnement

SCA Productions Go GREEN!

Green Film School Alliance
New Initiative

GLAAD Brings Real-World Advocacy to SCA Workshops

SCA Council on Diversity & Inclusion
New Partnership

Producer-director Kay Zhang takes Mother in the Mist to Cannes
August 2, 2022

En route to the Cannes Film Festival for a screening of her 2021 short Mother in the Mist, Chinese native Kay Niuyue Zhang met the man who unwittingly taught her how to speak English. Zhang explains, "Growing up in Wuhan, I learned English by watching random American TV shows like "Prison Break" when I was in the sixth grade. Even crazier, on my flight to Cannes, the guy who sat next to me was the actor John Abruzzi, who played the alpha gangster guy. I told him, "I learned English watching you on 'Prison Break.' He said, "You grew up watching the wrong show!"

Alumni Spotlight: Kuba Soltysiak '18 & Tim Schauer '18
August 1, 2022

Kuba and Tim discuss their collaborations over the years and their recent breakthrough into the film industry.

Alumni Spotlight: Nicole L. Thompson '19
July 21, 2022

Nicole joins us to discuss her directorial debut Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story and her multifaceted career in the entertainment industry.

BLOCKS Make Waves at IMGD
July 21, 2022

Adam Morina wrote for The Young and Restless soap opera in L.A. around the same time that Ingram Mao was studying interior design at New York City's Pratt Institute. After enrolling at Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) MA degree program, the odd couple met mid-pandemic over the Discord chat app, where they swapped jokes, talked video games, and debated the virtues of PC versus Mac. "We both have artistic backgrounds and we're both sort of contrarians," Morina recalls, "So Ingram and I sort of gravitated toward each other. It started as a friendship but then our skill sets lined up so well that we decided 'Oh let's make something together.'" 

SCA Alumnus Prentice Penny is Giving Back!
July 6, 2022

Penny ’95 launches The First Up program at SCA for BIPOC Writers.

Major Tech CEO Donates $14 Million to The USC School of Cinematic Arts
June 24, 2022

John Riccitiello, CEO of San Francisco-based Unity Technologies establishes the John Riccitiello Fund and John Riccitiello Chair in Games and Interactive Media at the School

Alumni Spotlight: Erich Rettstadt '16
June 13, 2022

Erich joins us to discuss his award-winning queer musical short Tank Fairy and finding inspiration in the filmmaking process.

Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Cenicola '19
June 4, 2022

Ryan joins us to discuss his career in transmedia story experiences and his recent work with Coachella 2022.

SCA Disability Rights Organization Launches with Oscar-winning Film
May 31, 2022

A screening and panel of CODA was a sold-out event.


SCA’s First Jobs Program Surpasses Over 1,000 Alumni Hired
May 31, 2022

Landing Your First Industry Job with the Help of SCA’s Industry Relations  

2022 USC Games Expo
May 26, 2022

USC Games, North America’s No. 1 Game Design Program for eleven years according to the Princeton Review, continues its collaboration with long-term partner, Jam City to bring the 2022 USC Games Expo.

Matt Reeves and Prentice Penny Highlight USC School of Cinematic Arts Graduation
May 13, 2022

The ceremony returns to the Shrine Auditorium for the first time since the pandemic.

Alumni Spotlight: Ari Karczag '15
May 9, 2022

Ari joins us to discuss his journey of discovering his passion for VFX and becoming a motion capture and performance artist.

Alumni Spotlight: Raqi Syed '03
April 11, 2022

Raqi joins us to talk about the development of her award-winning immersive experience MINIMUM MASS and further discuss her experiences as an immersive media artist.


SCA Productions Go GREEN!
March 30, 2022

Sustainable filmmaking is underway at SCA and will be required for all SCA productions beginning fall 2022.

SCA professor Ted Braun on Gustavo Dudamel documentary ¡Viva Maestro!
March 30, 2022

The first four notes. That's what Gustavo Dudamel focused on when he rehearsed Beethoven's Fifth Symphony with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra. That iconic ba ba ba BOMM motif also served as entry point Viva Maestro!, Ted Braun's new documentary about Los Angeles Philharmonic's charismatic Music and Artistic Director that opens April 8 in L.A. and New York. Braun, who teaches screenwriting at School of Cinematic Arts, says "The film was initially intended to be about the genius of Gustavo and the artistry of conducting. It's not just some person with magic hands who imposes ideas upon a group of technicians in the orchestra. I wanted to capture this fluid dynamic that happens back and forth between an orchestra and a conductor."

Alumni Spotlight: Jacqui Barcos ’96 and Sarena Khan ’07
March 7, 2022

Jacqui and Sarena join us to speak more about their artistic journeys and filmmaking in the wildlife crime genre.

Alumni Spotlight: Mike Nicoll '12
February 7, 2022

Mike joins us to discuss his latest project, LYNCHPIN: Inside the Business of Basketball, and a career in sports filmmaking.

An Unexpected Friendship Leads to a Magical Disney Documentary
January 27, 2022

Acclaimed documentary short Sophie & The Baron from USC School of Cinematic Arts alumna, Alexandria Jackson and Lauren Brown is shortlisted for an Oscar

Defining Cinematic Research
January 18, 2022

SCA’s research labs are innovating creative, multidisciplinary approaches to problem-solving societal issues.

Sidney Poitier's Commencement Address
January 12, 2022

Sidney Poitier delivers Commencement Address to SCA's Graduating Class of 2000.

Alumni Spotlight: Ilan Benjamin '16
December 13, 2021

Ilan joins us to discuss his creative journey from writer’s room to Tik Tok.

The Power of the Web Series
December 3, 2021

The web series is an ideal format for storytellers interested in exploring identity and creative approaches to storytelling. While Hollywood continues to grapple with inclusion, the internet has allowed for more diverse narrative screen characters and stories as multicultural, LGBTQIA+, indigenous, disabled, female, and marginalized creators have been empowered to create low-budget and successful web-based stories. On November 5th the SCA Council for Diversity and Inclusion held a discussion with creators of acclaimed web series.

Vitória Vasconcellos Makes Mark in Horror
November 18, 2021

Vitória Vasconcellos, a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies program, is a prime example of that very ethos. As an actor-director, Vasconcellos flexes her expertise both in front of and behind the camera, capturing everything from conventional coming-of-age dramas to experimental horror films.

Ethan Lee
BA in Animation and Digital Arts '25
November 12, 2021

An interview with Animation and Digital Arts freshman Ethan Lee.

Layla Yun
Media Arts & Practice '23
November 12, 2021

An interview with Media Arts & Practice junior Layla Yun.

Ryan B Wilson
BA, IMGD '25
November 12, 2021

An interview with IMGD freshman Ryan Beltré Wilson.

Alumni Spotlight: Ken Kwapis
November 8, 2021

Ken joins us to discuss his recent book, But What I Really Want To Do is Direct, as well as the director’s craft.

Voodoo MacBeth Makes a Splash
November 4, 2021

LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. That’s the heading on the application to join USC’s Feature Film Production class. Faculty Advisor/Producer John Watson (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) was looking for a way to give more of his students feature film experience and came up with the groundbreaking concept of uniting ten directors for a single full length film. Like a TV series, where episodes are often assigned to different directors, Watson’s directors are each assigned to a scene in the film. “We have consistent actors, a consistent DP, consistent production designers, consistent heads of departments across the board. The element that changes is the director,” says Watson.

Activist Filmmaker Daniel Kennedy Debuts Documentary Suicide Bridge
The SCA Summer Program film opens the Coronado Film Festival on November 10th
November 3, 2021

The SCA Summer Program film opens the Coronado Film Festival on November 10th

Akkad Endowment Launched at SCA
November 1, 2021

Malek is the producer of the films that gave us Michael Myers, the horror genre’s most enduring “boogeyman.” The character has been terrifying audiences since Jamie Lee Curtis first took that fateful babysitting gig in 1978’s Halloween. The original films were produced by Moustapha Akkad, Malek’s father, who fueled his son’s early love of filmmaking by giving him odd jobs on his productions, including mopping up fake blood on the set of Halloween 4. Malek has produced the Halloween sequels for the last twenty years, including Halloween Kills which debuted atop the box office on October 17th.

Trojans Help Open the AMPAS Museum
September 29, 2021

Two Cinema & Media Studies graduates and one current CAMS Ph.D student from the USC School of Cinematic Arts helped curate the new Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science Museum in Los Angeles. The contributions of Manouchka Labouba, Emily Rauber-Rodriguez and Sophia Serrano were invaluable in the groundbreaking new museum.

Freshman Brings Hong Kong Vision to Cinema & Media Studies Program
September 23, 2021

The Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies program transforms students into skilled artists, media makers and leaders in their chosen fields with a unique, interdisciplinary learning experience. Throughout their studies, students are encouraged to bring their own productions to life through filming and editing, highlighting their distinct points of view and backgrounds. 

Justin Accardi Foundation for the Arts Launched
September 8, 2021

Justin Accardi found his joy in the arts. As a student in the Business of Cinematic Arts (BCA) program, he was as much interested in what was happening on the stage or in front of the camera as what it took to make it all happen. Accardi, who died in 2019, was a talented performer himself. He sang acapella with UnderSCore and performed with sketch comedy while attending USC. He also enjoyed losing himself in a movie in any of the screening rooms at the School of Cinematic Arts.

New Podcast Explores Neuroscience and Art
FLOAT from Mary Sweeney and Jonas Kaplan Covers Narrative and Dreamscapes
September 6, 2021

The USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences share a long history of exploring consciousness and the human experience from different points of view. Beginning September 5th, the podcast FLOAT from Mary Sweeney, the Dino and Martha De Laurentiis Endowed Chair in American film and Jonas Kaplan, from the Brain Creativity Institute and Co-Director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center, will shine a light on how science and art are closer than many people would expect. The podcast is supported by a grant from the USC Provost’s program for Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Alumni Spotlight: Jivitesh Dhaliwal '21
September 1, 2021

Jivitesh joins us to talk about the extensive game design process and his journey as an artist.

Microsoft Contributes to Gerald A. Lawson Fund
August 9, 2021

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios announced today that it will make a significant contribution to USC Games’ Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund for Black and Indigenous Students, which was established in May with the goal of increasing inclusion and representation in the games and tech industries.  The Fund, which is named for one of the first Black engineers in gaming, offers financial support to Black and Indigenous students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in USC’s #1 ranked game design program. Students who receive support from the fund will be known as Lawson Scholars.