Participant FAQ

1. I got selected to participate in First Team. I’m super-excited. What should I do to prepare for the big networking event?

If you are a writer, prep a two to three minute pitch for your scripts. If you’re a director or producer, be ready to talk about your approach to filmmaking, your sensibilities and goals.

Participants will be asked to submit a pdf of their bios. You’ll also make copies of your bio with your contact info to hand out at the networking event.

On event day, check-in early! You’ll need to talk to the staff before the event so you’ll know exactly what to do and where to go throughout the event. The event is HIGHLY structured. Even if you participated last year, you’ll likely not remember all the ins and outs.

DON’T be late. Once we close the event floor doors, NO ONE will be admitted. So if you are late, you forfeit your slot and your participant fee.

Note: Last year, we generally found folks were surprised at how intense the experience was. It’s fun, even exhilarating. But you should come ready to talk a lot, meet a lot of people, and go non-stop for about four hours. Last year, some of our folks were networking from 2PM to 9PM!

2. What is a “First Team”?

Each First Team must consist of a First Team writer, director and producer who agree to work together on a specific project. The idea for the project must originate from one of the team members.

3. I met so many great people at the networking event, I want to be on five teams!

You can, just not through this program. Individual participants can only be a part of ONE (1) USC First Team. We know how time-consuming developing a quality, industry-ready project is. We want to showcase your very best work.

If you feel strongly about a second project, you may petition to bring us a second project. However, we have the right of refusal.

4. What’s the best way to choose a team?

After the networking event, participants are encouraged to read scripts, watch reels, and meet with each other to discuss the projects further. Participants will choose a project that interests them as well as teammates they click with.

5. What is expected of me if I join a team?

You should treat your team like any production team you’re attached to. This is not school. This is not play. This is not your writers group. It’s a job. You’re working for and with your teammates. They are working for and with you.

You have everything to gain, so take this opportunity seriously. Everyone – USC First Team, the school, the SCA Network, other alumni, the other First Teams – everyone wants you to succeed. This is gonna be very cool.

We have expectations. We expect you to meet deadlines and come to the momentum seminars. We expect you to work hard. If you and your team miss one of the four momentum seminars, miss deadlines, or have attitude issues, we reserve the right not to take your project out to our industry affiliates.

6. What is a “momentum seminar”?

Our momentum seminars are designed to help the teams propel their projects forward and get them ready for Hollywood. Industry professionals will be invited speak to our teams. Topics will be chosen based on our teams’ needs. Topics may include financing, legal, development, pre-production, publicity, distribution, and marketing.

Also, our project deadlines coincide with our momentum seminars. Thus, you’ll be turning in your project on one of those dates.

7. What is the time commitment for the teams?

Beyond the networking event, you’ll also need to attend the quarterly momentum seminars. Please see the program at-a-glance page for the dates.

Your time commitment to your teammates is the same as any professional project you take on. You have everything to gain by putting your time into your project.