LOS ANGELES, CA – June 1, 2022 – Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP) announced today a partnership with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts to develop a film based on New York Times bestselling-author Don Yaeger’s “Turning of the Tide: How One Game Changed the South” as a USC Original Film, a new initiative designed to support emerging and diverse filmmakers. This partnership supports Village Roadshow’s aim to consistently source fresh voices, and to support the next generation of innovators.
Under the guidance of veteran producer and USC professor John Watson, VRP has assembled a small group of recent USC alumni to collaborate on the screenplay over a fifteen-week period. The film will be written by Nicholes Brooks, James Grisom, c. Craig Patterson, Erica Sutherlin, and LaDarius Torrey. Watson will also produce.
Co-written by USC fullback Sam “Bam” Cunningham and defensive captain John Papadakis, “Turning of the Tide” is the electrifying true story of the event that changed college football forever—the first integrated football game in Alabama history, played on Crimson soil in September 1970. Legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant’s Tide was the all-white national powerhouse in the SEC; and the USC Trojans, coached by John McKay, featured an all-Black starting backfield that reflected the social changes sweeping the nation.
“This project is an example of a new way to create content and develop material,” says USC’s Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts, Elizabeth Daley. “With multiple writers collaborating on the screenplay, the project models the television writer’s room approach which enables more voices to have a seat at the table. We are thrilled to partner with Village Roadshow Pictures and look forward to seeing what these talented screenwriters achieve.”
Village Roadshow CEO, Steve Mosko, added, “We could not be more thrilled to partner with USC and Dean Daley to tell this unbelievable true story. Our ongoing initiatives at Village Roadshow Pictures align with the strong social message of this project and allow us to foster a creative environment for the future of filmmakers.”
Watson’s past credits include ROBIN HOOD: PRICE OF THIEVES and BACKDRAFT.
ABOUT USC ORIGINAL FILMS
USC Original Films represents a new approach to creating feature films and other creative commercial content under the auspices of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Projects under the USC Originals banner engage teams of recent alumni and advanced students in working collaboratively on each part of their development and creation, with multiple writers, directors and producers working on the same film. The group-creators approach maximizes opportunities for diverse crews of both above and below the line talent. USC Original Films are Executive Produced by veteran producer and professor John Watson.
ABOUT THE USC SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS
The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts is one of the leading media schools in the world. Founded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 over 90 years ago, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The School offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, cinema and media studies, animation and digital arts, production, interactive media and games, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 17,000 alumni are among the world’s most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts, video game designers and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award or an Emmy. https://cinema.usc.edu/
ABOUT VILLAGE ROADSHOW ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
Village Roadshow Entertainment Group is a leading global entertainment company building premier, content-rich businesses in the entertainment industry. VREG employs innovative strategies to produce, acquire and deliver intellectual properties with timeless appeal, while maximizing group-wide strategic and operational efficiencies. VREG is the holding company of Village Roadshow Pictures and Village Roadshow Television. Under its leadership by Vine Alternative Investments, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group diversified its portfolio to include financing and producing projects across multiple formats including film, television and digital.