News from 2007

Met Live
Opera Presented In HD And 5.1 Sound
December 20, 2007

The School of Cinematic Arts joined in the live HD broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera's performance of Charles François Gounod's ROMEO ET JULIETTE, conducted by Placido Domingo on December 15.

Two Brushes
China Documentary Opens Eyes And Ideas
December 18, 2007

What began as a summer documentary seminar in 2006 has produced not only two successful student exchanges between Beijing and Los Angeles, but also a prize-winning film that gives viewers a unique cinematic glimpse of what happens both in front of and behind the lens when East meets West.

Scripter Award
Jason Alexander Serves As Master Of Ceremonies
December 14, 2007

Tony Award-winning actor Jason Alexander will serve as master of ceremonies for the 20th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award gala to be held February 2 at Doheny Memorial Library.

Eyestorm Productions
Production Alums Make Some Noise With The Newest THX Trailer
December 4, 2007

Although Michael Klima ’03 and Kyle Ruddick ’04 say that their work at the School of Cinematic Arts was just as hard as any project created at their recently launched creative production company Eyestorm Productions, both admit the biggest hurdle before them is juggling multiple opportunities now that their latest collaboration—the next installment of the famous THX trailer gets ready to hit theaters nationwide.

Strike Impact
Writing Division Hosts Forum On WGA Work Stoppage
November 16, 2007

While the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is having an immediate impact on current television and film scribes, SCA students and recent alumni learned during a special forum hosted by the Writing Division that it can have long-term consequences on them as well.

Legendary Publisher
Hugh Hefner Donates $2 Million To The School of Cinematic Arts
November 15, 2007

Hugh Hefner, the multi-media entrepreneur and longtime supporter of the University of Southern California, has donated $2 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts to fund the central exhibition space in the heart of the school’s new 137,000-squarefoot headquarters complex, as well as an archival repository that will house decades of student films, production-related records and other priceless historic resources.

Beowulf Reigns
Alumnus Robert Zemeckis Brings His Newest Feature To USC
November 15, 2007

Academy-Award winning director Robert Zemeckis ’73 delivered an early holiday present to the School of Cinematic Arts with a special screening of his adaptation of the classic Old English epic BEOWULF in Leonard Maltin’s 466 course on November 1 followed by a benefit premiere of the film on November 5.

Most Active Alumni
USC Honors Herb Farmer ’42
October 17, 2007

USC’s Half-Century Club honored Emeritus Professor Herb Farmer ’42 with its Most Active Alumni Award at the club’s luncheon for the class of 1957 during Trojan Parents’ Weekend on Friday, October 12.

Eisenstein Award
Celebrating and Honoring the Work of Costa-Gavras
October 9, 2007

Director, screenwriter, and producer Costa-Gavras presented with Eisenstein Award.

40 Years Later, Larry Turman Reflects On His Iconic Production
October 4, 2007

Producer Larry Turman reflects on a film that still resonates with audiences today, forty years after its debut.

Global Picture
Thinking Outside The [U.S.] Box
October 3, 2007

For years Hollywood success meant topping the U.S. box office, but mastering today’s entertainment world means thinking about the entire world, said Ignacio Darnaude, executive vice president of International Creative Marketing at Sony Pictures Releasing International, during a recent on-the-lot session for Peter Stark Producing students.

Mad Men
Alumnus Matthew Weiner's Hit Show Probes Where The Truth Lies
October 3, 2007

1960s Madison Avenue advertising firms would be the last place you’d expect to look for the truth, but with his new hit Mad Men, Matthew Weiner ’90 has tapped an emotional current that transcends the decades and exposes the reality of life then and now.

Cagney & Lacey
New Book Tells The Tale Behind The Emmy-Winning Series
September 27, 2007

In a contemporary telescape filled with strong female leads, it’s hard to believe there was a time when a program about two women detectives would be considered groundbreaking. But as producer Barney Rosenzweig recounts in his new memoir, the 1982 launch of Cagney & Lacey turned programming, and the industry, on its head.

Media Of Choice
USC Institute for Multimedia Literacy Fuses Image, Sound and Text
September 18, 2007

Since its founding, the IML has worked with over 100 faculty members at USC and beyond, in addition to scores of teachers from K-12, to hone the philosophy and the teaching methods of a literacy based on multiple media—from text to moving- and still-images, to audio files and other databased resources.

Robert Enders
In Memoriam
September 18, 2007

Writer, director and producer Robert Enders, who taught as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Cinematic Arts for 14 years, passed away on September 7 in Los Angeles.

The Producers
Michael Peyser and John Watson Join Production Faculty
September 7, 2007

Seasoned producers Michael Peyser and John Watson, whose credits are among some of the most recognized titles in contemporary film, have joined the faculty of the school’s Film & Television Production Division

Studio System
Stark Producers Benefit From State-Of-The-Art Connection
September 7, 2007

Producers and other filmmakers need information, and Baseline StudioSystem trades in information. The company contributed to this natural alliance by donating use of the online database to the Peter Stark Program students.

Div Docs
New Ph.D. Program Spans All The School’s Divisions
August 28, 2007

A new degree is the second doctoral track in the school, joining the Critical Studies Ph.D., which became the nation’s first Cinema Ph.D. in 1958.

August Director
Veteran Writer John August Helms His First Feature
August 24, 2007

With some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters to his credit, Peter Stark Program alumnus John August ’94 has long enjoyed prominence in the upper echelons of Hollywood screenwriters. Now he's set for a whole new experience when his directorial debut THE NINES opens in Los Angeles and New York on August 31.

Complex Cam
A Bird's-Eye View Of The School's New Facilities
August 14, 2007

Over the course of the summer, visitors to the University Park campus have watched the construction on the new cinematic arts complex make great strides. Now, as construction heightens, any one can track its development thanks to a 24/7 camera.

Winning Writer
Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal To Head Scripter Committee
August 9, 2007

Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal brings her entertainment-industry acumen and her talent for interpersonal observation to the USC Libraries as she prepares to chair the selection committee for the coveted USC Libraries Scripter Award.

Reel Talent
New DVD Compilation To Benefit The School of Cinematic Arts
August 8, 2007

On August 21, a new DVD from Fox Home Entertainment will treat film enthusiasts to a rare glimpse into the formative early works of nine directors who, in addition to having made unique and indelible impressions upon the industry and the movie-going public, can all trace their roots to the School of Cinematic Arts.

Festival Bests
Summer Screening Of Recent SCA Films Thrills Audiences
July 25, 2007

In a first of its kind event, the Office of Alumni Relations in cooperation with the Office of Student-Industry Relations brought students, alumni, faculty and other movie fans together for a summer screening of short and feature films by SCA alumni that have played at recent international film festivals during “Best of the Festivals” at the Frank Sinatra Hall in the Eileen Norris Cinema Theater Complex on July 22.

Big Dig
Complex Construction Heats Up
July 12, 2007

The confetti from last October’s formal groundbreaking for the new Cinematic Arts complex had barely been cleared before construction crews began burrowing down some 25 feet to excavate the footprint of the massive 137,000-square-foot edifice.

Interactive Politics
Launching An Anti-Gerrymandering Video Game
June 14, 2007

An interactive media research team from the University of Southern California, supported by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle and key political reform groups, launched The Redistricting Game on Capital Hill on Wednesday, June 13, 2007.

Global Reach
SCA Teams Teach Abroad, International Students Trek To LA
May 29, 2007

Just because the regular school year has ended doesn’t mean the lazy days of summer have come to the School of Cinematic Arts. With teaching teams deployed around the globe and scores of international students arriving over the next two months—including a contingent funded by an exclusive State Department grant—the SCA has become one of the summer’s hot spots.

Interactive Showcase
Spotlight Shines On M.F.A. Thesis Projects
May 15, 2007

The promise and variation of interactive design was on display at this year’s Interactive Media Division (IMD) thesis show, “Are You Here.”

Commencement Celebration
SCA Confers Degrees On Over 500 Graduates
May 11, 2007

Joined by an Oscar-winning special effects master; a legendary actor, director, producer and composer; and a world-renowned pioneer of electronic games, the School of Cinematic Arts celebrated the past, present and future of entertainment as it heralded the arrival of its newest graduating class on May 11.

Reel Talk
First-Ever Women of Cinematic Arts Conference
May 8, 2007

In their first major conference, the Women of Cinematic Arts brought current students, recent alumni, faculty, and other interested members face-to-face with successful professionals working in the industry who shared their experience, insight, and inspirational stories during the May 5 “Reel Talk” at the Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.

Honorary Alumnus
SCA Bestows Award On Clint Eastwood
May 3, 2007

Acclaimed actor, director and producer Clint Eastwood will receive the first Honorary Alumni Award ever conferred by the USC School of Cinematic Arts during its 2007 commencement exercises on May 11.

Trio Trust
Why Three Stark Alumni Love Mandy Lane
April 30, 2007

For Keith Calder, Felipe Marino, and Joe Neurauter—three 2004 graduates of the Peter Stark Producing Program—attending the School of Cinematic Arts not only gave the trio an opportunity to discover all aspects of an industry they love, but it also resulted in the creation of one of the industry’s hottest new production companies.

No Cuts
Lindsey Shockley Shoots Non-Stop Thesis
April 23, 2007

The average eight to ten days of a thesis film shoot could very well be the most important and stressful time spent on a set for any SCA production student, so when third-year M.F.A. candidate Lindsey Shockley cut that schedule to three days and added the challenge of capturing the entire film in one take, the pressure was enormous.

Rollercoaster Ride
Eric Anderson '01 Charts The Ups And Downs To Success
April 16, 2007

Entertainment industry lore is filled with scores of “overnight sensations,” but in reality success is often the culmination of years of persistent effort, as Eric Anderson ’01 is discovering with his animated short Horses on Mars.

Alternate Endings
Audiences Decide With A One-Of-A-Kind Thesis Film
April 12, 2007

Getting a thesis film written and produced is a daunting challenge for any graduate student, but with a film that encompasses 16 storylines and five different endings, third-year production M.F.A. student Greg Townsend has taken the process to unique heights. Now, after two years in the making, his non linear narrative Alternate Endings is set to be the first of its kind to premiere at the Norris Theatre on April 21.

Monster Maker
Legendary FX Artist Ray Harryhausen Receives Pickford Award
March 30, 2007

Ray Harryhausen, creator of the special effects that made mythological monsters come to life on the big screen, will receive the Mary Pickford Foundation Award at the USC School of Cinematic Arts 2007 commencement ceremony, Dean Elizabeth M. Daley announced today.

Gemini Max
Ben Shalom’s Thesis Uses Full Palette of Digital Animation Tools
March 27, 2007

While the movies have often brought women searching for Mr. Right to comedic or terrifying heights, Animation M.F.A. graduate student Ben Shalom has mixed his imagination with high end animation software and digital arts science to take the familiar scenario to new levels of animated proportions.

In Stride
Alumnus Russell Brown Hits His Pace With Race You To The Bottom
March 26, 2007

Writing about films and making movies, writer/director Russell Brown ’97 is living his dream. Now, 10 years after graduating from USC with a B.A. in critical studies, the creator and co-editor of the entertainment and political online critical magazine The is getting ready for a whole new experience with the Los Angeles release of his first feature film Race You To The Bottom on March 30.

Will Wright
World Renowned Game Designer Named Commencement Speaker
March 23, 2007

Interactive media pioneer, engineer and writer Will Wright, whose Sims game series is recognized around the globe, will be the featured speaker at the USC School of Cinematic Arts 2007 commencement ceremony on Friday, May 11, Dean Elizabeth M. Daley announced today.

Future Of Film
LA Conference Unites Film and Technology Decision Makers
March 13, 2007

Film and technology decision-makers are set to network and share ideas with over 300 of the industry’s most innovative digital media insiders at the very first Future of Film conference in Beverly Hills on March 21, 2007.

Career Czars
Student-Industry Relations Puts Jobs In Focus
March 13, 2007

If you’re wondering what life will be like after graduation, then in the corner of the courtyard at the School of Cinematic Arts is an office under the auspices of Associate Dean Larry Auerbach that, although small in size, will make a huge impact on your career in the industry.

Proving Providence
A Lost Journal Is A Team Effort For A Group Of M.F.A. Students
March 5, 2007

While the weight of a person’s soul may seem to solve the question of faith for a doctor in smallpox-plagued colonial Boston, for a team of production graduate students, the man’s doubt as well as film festival success just may be realized in The Lost Journal of Vice Marceaux.

NAACP Honors “Friday Night Lights” Writer Aaron Rahsaan Thomas
March 1, 2007

When Aaron Thomas’ name was among those nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series with the NBC drama, Friday Night Lights at the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards, Thomas had his own unique response.

Oscar Gold
Three Alums Win Academy Awards
March 1, 2007

The 79th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 25 were kind to three USC alums, who netted golden statuettes for best actor (Forest Whitaker, USC School of Theatre ’82), best live action short film (Ari Sandel, USC School of Cinematic Arts ’05) and best achievement in visual effects (John Knoll, USC School of Cinematic Arts ’84).

Film Family
USC Alumna Continues Legacy With “Jesus Camp” Oscar Nomination
February 14, 2007

Despite being surrounded by generations of cinematic artists throughout her childhood, Jenna Rosher had no intention of entering the entertainment industry when she graduated with a journalism degree from the USC Annenberg School for Communication in 1995.

E. Russell McGregor II
Production Professor Was School's First Interim Dean
February 13, 2007

Dr. E. Russell McGregor II, the first interim dean of the School of Cinematic Arts and former professor in the Division of Film & Television Production, passed away on February 7, 2007 in San Luis Obispo. He was 76.

Charles S. Swartz
Entertainment Industry Leader Passes Away
February 13, 2007

Charles S. Swartz, respected throughout the entertainment industry and academia for his role in shepherding innovations that broke new ground in cinematic content, distribution, and display, passed away on February 10 from pneumonia, his family announced today.

Super Secrets
Heroes Creative Team Gives Students Inside Scoop On Hit Series
February 8, 2007

In an era when network economics are skewing prime-time fare toward reality shows and infotainment programming, launching a big-budget, large-cast, theatrical-quality series would seem a super-heroic feat. But, like the individuals he’s created for NBC’s Heroes, Tim Kring draws his power from the basics: Great characters, solid stories and a clockwork production schedule.

Film Scholar
David James Ph.D. focuses on the link between music and movies
February 6, 2007

David E. James, professor in critical studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, has been named one of two 2007 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Musical Mastery
West Bank Story Takes Ari Sandel From Sundance To Oscar Night
February 6, 2007

From the freezing temperatures of Sundance, to the multinational markets of Dubai, to the mountain scenery of Switzerland, director Ari Sandel ’05 has traveled the world showcasing his musical comedy West Bank Story. But on February 25, no place can compare to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood when the School of Cinematic Arts production graduate walks the red carpet as one of the five nominees for Best Live Action Short at the 79th Annual Academy Awards.

'SC Got Game
Provost's Office Establishes USC Games Institute
February 2, 2007

As the study of video games spreads across disciplines, the University of Southern California is establishing a new USC Games Institute to unify and represent USC game research on and off campus.

Scene at Sundance
SCA Films Screen at Prestigious Festival
January 30, 2007

Though Park City temps were sub-zero, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) alumni, students, and faculty were in the glow as they celebrated the official USC screenings selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Vince Gonzales Captures The Art of Motion Picture Technology
January 30, 2007

While a magic lantern might seem like it belongs with Aladdin and his flying carpet, in reality, the classic piece of pre-cinema history from the late 1700s is coming to life as part of a unique photography show by SCA staffer Vince Gonzales.

Wave Reviews
Public Radio Host James C. Taylor Critiques Global Theatre
January 22, 2007

For some, attending film school is a chance to delve deeper into their cinematic passion, while for others, like alumnus James Taylor ’97, the discovery of what lies before them is a journey filled with experiences of operatic proportions. Now, 10 years after graduating from USC with a B.A. in production, Taylor is one of Southern California’s most provocative reviewers and commentators on the performing arts.

Golden State
USC Project Examines The History Of Jews In California
January 17, 2007

Though the roles of Jewish people throughout California are undeniably important to the state’s cultural development, until now, Jewish California has been a little studied aspect of American history. That’s all about to change as a new interactive media project gets underway.

Cinematic Arts Women
SCA Alumnae Network Boosts Awareness and Access
January 17, 2007

From reporting the latest industry news to the hottest entertainment gossip, reporters have continually stirred a plethora of reactions and measures over what they’ve written amongst industry professionals. And in 2005, following the publication of a New York Times article entitled “Hollywood’s New Old Girl’s Network,” a group of USC women turned something potentially damaging and depressing into something exponentially rewarding by forming the Women of Cinematic Arts group.

Female Forum
Women In Film Salutes Dean Daley
January 17, 2007

Elizabeth Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, was honored last fall at a ceremony celebrating the contribution of women in the film industry.

Page To Screen
Children Of Men Wins Scripter Award
January 16, 2007

The author of Children of Men and the screenwriters of the film based on the book have won the 19th annual USC Libraries Scripter Award.

Entertainment Leader
Hollywood Veteran David Wertheimer To Lead ETC
January 16, 2007

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC-USC), a neutral, non-partisan research organization in the School of Cinematic Arts that studies entertainment technology developments that are critical to the creative community; production companies; content owners, distributors and exhibitors; and technology companies has tapped entrepreneur, technologist, and Hollywood veteran David Wertheimer to lead the organization.

Cinema Manifesto
Documentary Examines Filmmakers '70s Exploits
January 12, 2007

In the early 1970s in San Francisco, Judy Irola, now the head of cinematography in the USC School of Cinematic Arts, was part of a groundbreaking Marxist filmmaking collective called Cine Manifest.

Exporting Expertise
International Students Experience Global Success
January 12, 2007

As an entertainment epicenter, Los Angeles and USC have a long history of drawing artists from around the nation to learn about the cinematic arts. Now those lessons are carrying well beyond the U.S., as scores of undergraduates and graduates from abroad bring the lessons learned at the School of Cinematic Arts to an international audience.

Price Is Right
BOC Chair Is Nominee For Council On Arts
January 10, 2007

Frank Price, a USC Life Trustee and Chair of the Board of Councilors for the School of Cinematic Arts, has been nominated by President George W. Bush to a six-year term on the National Council on the Arts. The council advises the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts on grants to be made by the endowment.

Listen Up
Professor Tom Holman Receives IEEE’s Ibuka Award
January 8, 2007

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named School of Cinematic Arts Professor Tom Holman as the recipient of its 2007 Masaru Ibuka Award, recognizing Holman’s contribution to the development of advanced audio and cinema multi-channel playback systems.

Animation Dedication
John C. Hench Bequeaths $5 Million To Animation & Digital Arts
January 3, 2007

The legacy of using creativity to both inspire and inform people around the globe thrives at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts, which was officially named after the great Disney artist on September 10 through a $5 million endowment gift from the John C. Hench Foundation.

Savage Screenplay
Bringing Murder To Life On The Big Screen
January 3, 2007

One of the hallmarks of the School of Cinematic Arts is an environment where theory and practice interact—even, at times, collide. For faculty who balance careers in the industry and university, it can prove an interesting juggling act. Just ask Howard A. Rodman, who’s spent the past year chairing the writing division and teaching, while at the same time penning a pilot for HBO and edging his adaptation of the 1985 nonfiction book Savage Grace toward the big screen.

Screening Excellence
Alumni Sweep The 12th Annual DGA Student Film Awards
January 3, 2007

Four production graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts have gotten the jump on this year’s award season with an impressive showing at the 12th Annual DGA Student Film Awards.

Much Ado About Dodos
Two USC Filmmakers And A Flock Of Extinct Birds Put The Debate On Evolution And Intelligent Design In Focus
January 3, 2007

The dodo, that famously dumb and dead bird, has been brought back from extinction in a feature film garnering praise everywhere it plays since its world premiere at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. Now, the acclaimed film will have a special USC screening on February 10, 2007 at the Norris Theatre.