The Valley Line: USC presents annual Scripter Award

February 27, 2014|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Sipping cocktails before the USC Scripter Award dinner are, from left, Bill Halliday and Phyllis Winnaman, with Sue and Jim Stauffer.
Sipping cocktails before the USC Scripter Award dinner… (Courtesy of USC…)

It is all over — the 2014 Winter Olympics are in the past. The colorful tents have been packed up and put away for four years before the big show opens again in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.

Before final goodbyes were said in Sochi, Russia, it appeared that our own Olympian, Kate Hansen, had filed one more report, but it turned out to be a spoof in cahoots with late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel. Hansen allowed Kimmel's team to take over her Twitter account, where they sent out a link to a faked videotaped encounter with a wolf in the athlete's dorm. The prank fooled a lot of members of the media — as well as the security teams watching out for safety breaches in Sochi. But the hilarious hoax was revealed by Kimmel, with a little help from Hansen, during his TV program the next night. It turns out the animal featured in the video, estimated by its owner to be about 80% wolf, was a domesticated and friendly pet named Rugby and that the "dorm hall" featured was actually a studio set built expressly for the humorous bit.


The stray dogs of Sochi have been making news since the opening of the Games and several of the athletes have made plans to rescue and bring some of them home with them. In fact, Gus Kenworthy, U.S. silver medalist in the ski slopestyle, has adopted four puppies and their mother.

Yes, I did enjoy the Games coverage and I am experiencing severe withdrawal from the nightly telecast on KNBC. I'll recover just in time for 2018.


We are just a few days away from the big film award show, the Academy Awards. I look forward to the show and the red carpet arrivals every year. There have been a few "warm-up" award shows, but the Oscars are the granddaddy of them all.

A most unique award show is the USC Scripter Award that was recently held at the Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library on the USC Campus.

Begun in 1988, the USC Libraries Scripter Award recognizes both the screenwriter and author of an adapted screenplay.

The winner of the 26th annual award was "12 Years a Slave." Screenwriter John Ridley shared the award with relatives of the late Solomon Northup, who published his memoir in 1853.

Ridley based his adaptation on Northup's memoir, a best seller when published in 1853 by Derby & Miller. In the 20th century the work lapsed into obscurity until Louisiana State University Press issued an annotated version in 1968, following work by two Louisiana researchers to verify the story's details.

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