Executive Director of the Institute
Michael Taylor has 35 years experience in the media and entertainment industry and has held the position of Chair at USC’s Film & Television Production Division over the last 8 years. Taylor also sits on the Advisory Board of the Hollywood Health & Society (HH&S), a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, which provides entertainment industry professionals with accurate and timely information for health storylines. Taylor also maintains an active career as a producer of theatrical and television films. He produces within the studio system as well as in the independent film arena. Mr. Taylor's credits include Last Embrace, Bottle Rocket, Phenomenon , The Hi-Line, Instinct, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, Mrs. Munck, Princess of Thieves, Phenomenon II, The Commuters , and Copying Beethoven. Among other honors, Taylor is the recipient of the National Board of Review Award, the Fourteenth Annual Genesis Award for Outstanding Feature Film, the Santa Clarita International Film Award for best Tela-Feature, the Variety/EDI $100 Million Award and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Professor and Chair, Film and Television Production
Executive Director, Media Institute for Social Change
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Peter Samuelson has thirty years experience at the intersection of media and social change. A member of the initial board of Participant Media, Samuelson has produced and executive produced 25 motion pictures including Wilde, Arlington Road, Revenge of the Nerds, and Tom & Viv, as well as television and interactive media. In 1982, Samuelson founded the Starlight Children's Foundation www.starlight.org, a leading multi-national charity now serving 4.6 million seriously ill children and their families each year. In 1995, Samuelson and Steven Spielberg co-founded Starbright World, the first fully interactive multi-media, online social network, a virtual playground for ill children that still operates 24 hours a day. In 1999 Peter co-founded www.firststar.org, a national advocacy non-profit representing abused and neglected children and, in 2006, he launched www.edar.org, a non-profit that provides single-user portable housing to our nation's urban homeless. Peter has lectured extensively on philanthropic entrepreneurship and pro-social media. He served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Panavision, Inc. and serves on the Committee that selects the winners of the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting of the Academy of Motion Picture.
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