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Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan speaks at USC

first_imgVince Gilligan, creator, writer and executive producer of the Emmy award-winning TV series Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul, spoke Tuesday night in the Bing Theatre about the changing landscape of the television industry, the importance of organic writing and the inspiration behind his most popular shows.The event, hosted by the Undergraduate Student Government Program Board, USC Special Events Committee and USC Speakers Committee and moderated by Interim Dean of the School of Dramatic Arts David Bridel, featured a question-and-answer period with Gilligan, followed by a meet and greet.Gilligan, who started out writing for The X-Files before pioneering his own show with Breaking Bad, described the process that got him into the television industry as somewhat fortuitous. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Gilligan spent the first five years after graduating from college writing film scripts, a career he had dreamed of since the third grade. However, after a chance meeting with Chris Carter, the screenwriter for The X-Files at that time, he embraced television as a new medium for creative expression.“It was very cinematic filmmaking [on The X-Files], and I’d been a movie fan all my life, but I really started learning about cinema on that show,” Gilligan said. “That means telling stories through pictures instead of talk; some of the best moments on The X-Files and some of the best moments on Breaking Bad are the moments between characters, the looks that pass between people, the nonverbal storytelling.”A native of Richmond, Virginia, Gilligan was initially hesitant to make the move to Los Angeles in order to begin his work in the television industry; however, after settling in, he spent seven years writing for The X-Files before breaking off to write on his own. The slump period that followed was the inspiration for what would become Breaking Bad; Gilligan recalled a conversation with a fellow unemployed writer, who joked that the two of them should get rich quick by installing a meth lab in an RV. Although Gilligan knew that he would never realistically turn to cooking meth for his livelihood, he wondered what it would take to convince an average-law abiding citizen to take someone up on that offer, a thought process that eventually created the character of Walter White.“I was interested in taking a good, straight arrow, boring guy and turning him into a real villain, a real criminal,” Gilligan said. “I wanted to see how bad this guy could get and have people still interested.”Viewer interest drove Gilligan to keep writing, developing much-loved characters such as Saul Goodman and Jesse Pinkman beyond the original frames he had for their characters. It also led him to defy many commonly-accepted rules for television writing, such as the need to start with quick action or witty dialogue. Instead, Breaking Bad utilizes a slower form of storytelling, one that draws its viewers in visually, a characteristic that Gilligan said is especially important in the rapidly changing world of entertainment.“In a world where we have everything pulling at us with different forms of media, YouTube, all the channels, the Internet, conventional wisdom says that you have to hook [viewers] fast,” Gilligan said. “I really think what’s held us in good standing on Breaking Bad is going the opposite way because most of the time folks don’t.”Gilligan’s approach toward screenwriting parallels his belief in a careful exposition; when describing his advice towards burgeoning writers, he emphasized the need to allow characters to develop naturally rather than forcibly. As a result, the story would flow, but only if the writer is willing to flow along with it.“I was so lucky about how much I didn’t know [going into the show],” Gilligan said. “I didn’t have any clue in those first years that the show would blow up like it did, so I treated it like an experiment. If, as a writer, you get too rigid, you cease to be able to make lemonade out of lemons and you lose out on a lot of good stuff.”last_img read more

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Chancellor Kent Syverud among attendees at Syracuse men’s basketball watch party in Schine

first_img Published on April 3, 2016 at 1:06 am Contact Alexa: atorrens@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ A piece of paper that read “Reserved for Chancellor” was taped to a small table in the Schine Student Center on Saturday night. A student sat on the chair before it, eyes set on the projector showing Syracuse in a hopeful but ultimately hopeless battle against North Carolina.The actual chancellor of Syracuse University spent the majority of the first half pacing the perimeter between the food court area of Schine Dining and the dining area. He cheered and clapped quietly when the men’s basketball team scored, but his nervousness showed as he moved from place to place, at one point receding behind the curtain separating the food court and dining area.Syverud said he’d been nervous that way twice before in the Tournament, and the team had turned it around both those times. But Syracuse couldn’t turn it around on Saturday.Despite Syracuse’s unsuccessful attempts to play catch-up for the majority of the game, the nervous energy in Schine remained hopeful. Every SU point resulted in claps and cheers, and, eventually, the sighs and groans for every North Carolina point quieted down. Watch party attendees even giggled at a slow-motion shot of men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim closing his eyes and breathing out in exasperation.Some students were there because they thought Schine would be a good place to go to watch the game with a lot of people. Others went because all the bars were over 21, and they were underage.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyverud, who had been in Chicago for the men’s Elite Eight victory over the University of Virginia, said he was in Schine on Saturday because he had been teaching all day and wanted to be at a public event for the game with students. Syverud spent the entirety of the first half at Schine but left shortly after the half’s end.Two friends at the watch party, Kelsey Thompson and Yazmin Curiel-Ruth, said they were “freaking out” to see “Kent” there.Curiel-Ruth, a freshman communication and rhetorical studies major, said she was “kind of surprised” to see Syverud because she thought he’d be in Houston — the site of the men’s Final Four — but added that he’s the chancellor and likes to make appearances.“It was cool because he’s actually stuck around,” said Thompson, a freshman in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. “That to me was, it was a nice time to show that he’s not just here to show up and then leave. He’s actually here for and with the students.”Things headed further south for Syracuse when the second half started, as the Orange crept closer to North Carolina’s lead only to be outpaced by the Tar heels.But one SU student said being in the Final Four felt “amazing” after last season, when the men’s basketball team was restricted from post-season play in a series of sanctions by the NCAA.“I feel like I’m in the Final Four, even though they’re playing, I feel like I’m in the Final Four for the team,” he said.On how they’d feel if the Orange lost, the student and his friend agreed: “F*ck yeah, go ‘Cuse.”Other students in Schine seemed to feel similarly, applauding fifth-year senior Michael Gbinije when he fouled out and effectively ended his time on the court as a student athlete. Respectful applause also erupted more than a minute later at the game’s end, with the final score 83-66.Some students let their real feelings shine through, though.“Grandma’s going to go and sleep,” one student said with a sigh, moments after the game ended and students were emptying out of Schine.“Yeah, we’re sad,” her friend replied. “We’re sad.” Commentslast_img read more

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Volleyball players earn Pac-12 weekly honors

first_imgSophomore powerhouse outside hitter Brooke Botkin goes up for a kill against Northern Iowa where she recorded eight kills and 11 digs to lead USC to victory on Saturday morning. (Sarah Kim | Daily Trojan)Following the Women of Troy’s dominating performance this past weekend at the Trojan Invitational, two standouts earned Pac-12 weekly awards. Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Botkin was named Offensive Player of the Week, and freshman setter Raquel Lázaro was selected Freshman of the Week. These honors were career firsts for both players. While the undefeated weekend was a team effort, these two players carried the load.Hailing from Pearland, Tex., Botkin had an outstanding performance over the weekend, boasting 19 kills against Kentucky and 25 against Creighton. Her defense remained consistent with 11 and 12 digs, respectively. In the grueling five-set victory over Creighton on Saturday night, she added two aces to help ultimately put the Women of Troy on top. Botkin had a total of 52 kills throughout the three matches with a .248 hitting percentage.“[Botkin] is really going to have a big step forward from her freshman year,” head coach Brent Crouch said prior to the season opener. “It’s going to be really fun to watch her in that position.” During the 2017 season, Botkin appeared in 22 matches, recording a total of 151 kills and four aces. In her best match that season, she had 20 kills and 10 digs for the first double-double of her career. She has already surpassed her best record from last season.Lázaro made her college debut in the first match of the Trojan Invitational against the Kentucky Wildcats, stunning everyone in Galen Center with 55 assists. This marks the highest number of assists in a single match for the Trojans since Hayley Crone’s 58 assists in 2012. Against the Bluejays on Saturday night, she recorded her first career double-double with 53 assists and 22 digs. Throughout the weekend, she led the team to an impressive .248 hitting percentage and 175 kills. From Soria, Spain, Lázaro played for the country’s national team for six years before coming to USC. She won two gold and four silver medals with the Spanish National Team. In 2017, she made eight appearances in the European League Championships. Lázaro hopes to bring her high-level experience to the Trojans this season, a task that she has already succeeded in. The No. 7-ranked Trojans will travel to the University of Florida this weekend to compete in the Bubly Invitational Tournament, where their opponents include No. 4 Florida, UCF and Louisville. Botkin and Lázaro will continue to lead the team, along with junior outside hitter Khalia Lanier and senior libero Victoria Garrick. The Women of Troy are now looking to roll with their momentum and hold on to their undefeated season.last_img read more

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Cahir Ladies go for glory in Parnell Park

first_imgCahir reached the final in 2012 but Parnells of London got the better of them on that occasion.Its been a busy year for Cahir as 17 of today’s panel won Munster Intermediate camogie medals last weekend as well.Cahir manager Karl McCarthy told Tipp FM Sport  the determination of the team has shone through so far this year.last_img

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Golf: Amate, Osarumwense Pick AGWC Slots

first_imgOlawale Ajimotokan in AbujaAhmed Amate and Chris Osarumwense both from lBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja over the weekend emerged the country’s flag bearers to the all expense- paid Amateur Golf World Cup (AGWC) that will hold in Spain this year.Amate booked his passage after producing the best nett score of 72 in the division 1 that featured ladies with handicap 19-36 and men with handicap 15-28. The 16-handicap player beat Chijioke Iloghalu on the count back, while a 73 nett left Uche Okpuno one shot off the pace.However, it was Osarumwense that posted the day’s best net of 69 and was handed the second qualifying ticket to Spain.The seven-handicapper, who competed in division 1 that paraded handicap 0-18 ladies and handicap 0-19 men, won by three strokes, beating MB Hassan and Faridah Wada, who shot 72 net a piece.The international final of the AGWC that holds from September 15-20 at Le Club, Murcia, Spain will feature contingents from 20 countries, including Nigeria.Amate exuded enthusiasm after the keenly contested final, saying he couldn’t wait to represent Nigeria at the global amateur golf showpiece.” I have never been to Spain and I can’t wait to get there and do Nigeria proud.“It is a great feeling to win the ticket and go to Spain and represent my country,” Amate said.The Nigerian final organised by TW Mulmedia Limited, had amateur players from across the nation scrambling over 72 holes.The Country Partner of the TW Mulmedia Limited, Faridah Wada, charged Amate and Osarumwense to work on all aspects of their game and aspire to bring laurels for Nigeria in Spain.“The two people who have won the tickets to represent us have to be on top of their game. I am going to keep eyes on them that it is not over yet until we get to Spain and comeback with the trophy,” Wada, a one time Lady Captain of IBB Club said.She urged other sponsors to emulate Well Charlton Hotel and Apartment and Nigerian Local Content Board for their support and commitment to the development of the game of golf in Niger.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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