By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

‘Argo’ Navigates to USC Libraries Scripter Win

Journalist, memoirist, and screenwriter take the 25-anniversary honor.

USC President C.L. Max Nikias; USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan; Scripter Award winner Joshuah Bearman, author of a Wired Magazine article on which “Argo” is based

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 9, 2013) – Authors Joshuah Bearman and Antonio J. Mendez and screenwriter Chris Terrio received the 25th-annual USC Libraries Scripter Award for their contributions to “Argo.” Selection committee co-chair Howard Rodman announced the winners at the black-tie event on Saturday, Feb. 9, at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library.In his acceptance speech, Bearman said “I think that with adaptation you hope another writer can come and take a look at your work and see a new perspective and add insight, which is certainly the case with Chris Terrio.”“Argo’s” Scripter win adds to the growing number of awards for the Warner Bros. film, including the American Film Institute’s Movie of the Year as well as best motion picture in the drama category and best director at last month’s Golden Globes. The film is nominated for seven Academy Awards.

Scripter, established by the Friends of the USC Libraries in 1988, honors the screenwriter or screenwriters of the year’s most accomplished cinematic adaptation as well as the author of the written work upon which the screenplay is based. Scripter is the only award of its kind that recognizes authors of the original work alongside the adapting screenwriters.

Terrio based his adaptation on Mendez’s autobiographical work “The Master of Disguise,” published by William Morrow in 2000, and Bearman’s article “The Great Escape,” which appeared in Wired Magazine in 2007.

USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan welcomed the attendees gathered in Los Angeles Times Reference Room of USC’s historic Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library.

“In the context of the library, Scripter at 25 years old is a young tradition,” Quinlan said. “But it is a tradition that helps our libraries collect knowledge that is far older than 25 years and one that will support discoveries by our USC community far beyond the next quarter-century.”

Co-chaired by Golden Globe-winning screenwriter Naomi Foner and USC screenwriting professor and vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West, Howard Rodman, the Scripter selection committee chose “Argo” from a field of 84 eligible films. A tie in the first round of voting resulted in six finalist films this year, rather than the usual five.

The 41-member selection committee included film critics Leonard Maltin and Kenneth Turan; screenwriters Geoffrey Fletcher, Eric Roth, and Robin Swicord; authors Michael Chabon and Mona Simpson; and USC deans Catherine Quinlan of the USC Libraries, Elizabeth M. Daley of the School of Cinematic Arts and Madeline Puzo of the School of Dramatic Arts.

The USC Libraries also honored Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana with the Literary Achievement Award for their body of work to date. USC President C. L. Max Nikias presented the honor.

“With deep reserves of imagination and intellect, Mr. McMurtry and Ms. Ossana inspire USC’s entire creative-arts community,” Nikias said. “And for this, we warmly salute them.”

Over the course of their writing partnership McMurtry and Ossana have collaborated on dozens of novels and screenplays, including “Brokeback Mountain,”which won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as the award-winning miniseries “Streets of Laredo,” “Dead Man’s Walk,” and “Johnson County War.”They are currently collaborating on the screen adaptation of Paulette Jiles’s novel “The Color of Lightning.”

This year’s event featured a silent auction, the proceeds of which support the USC Libraries’ collections. Donors to the auction included Bennett Farms, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Hawaii Five-0 and Eye Productions, Hungry Cat Santa Monica, L.A. Saddlery, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Namale Resort & Spa in Fiji, Paperblanks, PGA Tour, Picca Peruvian Cantina, the NFL, Pizzeria Mozza, Pleasant Holidays, South Coast Winery, the Sundance Institute, Terranea Resort, Robbins Research International, Montage Beverly Hills, the Wine of the Month Club, and the USC Thornton School of Music.

In-kind sponsors this year included John and Dana Agamalian and Blue Ice Vodka; Esquire Bar & Lounge of Pasadena, Calif.; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Paperblanks; Penguin Books; and the Wine of the Month Club.

For more information about Scripter—including additional images from the ceremony—visitscripter.usc.edu.

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“Critics have said that I’ve made a career out of confounding expectations. Really? Because that’s all I do? That’s how I think about it. Confounding expectations. Like I stay up late at night thinking about how to do it. “What do you do for a living, man?” “Oh, I confound expectations.” You’re going to get a job, the man says, “What do you do?” “Oh, confound expectations. And the man says, “Well, we already have that spot filled. Call us back. Or don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Confounding expectations. I don’t even know what that means or who has time for it.”
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“There was somebody from Creative Screenwriting Magazine who was here earlier, and she said ‘Have you got any advice for writers?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, write standing up’. Because this time around, I bought a cheap little stand off Amazon, and I wrote standing up, because it’s slightly uncomfortable – it’s not so uncomfortable that you can’t do it, it’s slightly uncomfortable. And it means you don’t end up going on the internet, basically, because you’re there to do a fucking job. So I’ll write for 25 minutes… then I’ll go and play on the PlayStation for a bit. And I do this all night. I go nocturnal. And then I go back and I’ll write a bit more, and then I go back to the PlayStation, and then I go back… And hopefully by then, I’ll lose track of time and then I’ll be writing for fucking ages, and then there’s a point where you get excited about it. So my advice for writers is always: write standing up, and get Scrivener, and write in 25 minute bursts, and get a PlayStation.”
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