Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Pollock Theater, UCSB


American Beauty (1999)

Screening format: DCP (122 Minutes)

Director: Sam Mendes

Writer: Alan Ball

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari, & Wes Bentley

"Look Closer....."

Sinister, poignant and ultimately uplifting, this meditation on mid-life crisis under pressure of suburban tedium has been celebrated as a high point of late nineties, darkly comic social drama.

Starring Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham, Annette Bening as wife Carolyn, and Thora Birch as daughter Jane, American Beauty won 5 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Original Screenplay.

The UCSB Script to Screen series is proud to announce its 5th season premiere event: American Beauty. The presentation of the film will be followed by a Q&A with Oscar® winning screenwriter Alan Ball, veteran writer/producer, whose showrunner credits include Six Feet Under and True Blood.

The UCSB Script to Screen series examines the screenplay and its transition to the screen from the perspective of writers, directors, producers, editors, and actors.

UCSB Script to Screen is sponsored by the department of Film and Media Studies, The Carsey-Wolf Center, and The Scott Frank Fund for Screenwriting. It is hosted and executive-produced by the Pollock Theater Director, Matt Ryan, and produced by the Pollock Theater student staff.

Archive of American Television (Emmy) interview with Alan Ball about his work, including American Beauty

American Beauty Movie Trailer


Alan Ball, Writer

Alan Ball is a writer, director, and producer for television, film, and theater. He began his career writing for the TV show Grace Under Fire (1993) and then became writer and co-executive producer on Cybill (1995). In 1999, he transitioned to feature films with American Beauty (1999), which won Best Picture and an Oscar® for himself for Best Original Screenplay.  He returned to television to create/write and executive produce the hit HBO television shows Six Feet Under (2001) and True Blood (2008).

Alan Ball has won numerous awards, which starts with his Oscar® for American Beauty. For Six Feet Under, he won an Emmy and Directors Guild Award for directing and a Producers Guild Award. In 2002, in recognition of the realistic portrayal of gay characters on the show, he received the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Stephen Kolzak Award.


Matthew Ryan, Pollock Theater Director

Matthew Ryan began his career at New York University as Events Manager at the Cantor Film Center, where he produced a range of events from an evening with Martin Scorsese to a media conference with then President Bill Clinton. In 2008, he received a MFA in screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University.

He is director of the amazing Pollock Theater and pioneered the Pollock Theater Internship, which is a selective program offering industry-level experience to students interested in event planning and live TV production. The TV shows produced through this program have generated more than 10.6 million views on UCTV. Many of these episodes come from events in his own series, UCSB Script to Screen, including 12 Years a Slave with Oscar® -winner John Ridley and American Beauty with Oscar®-winning screenwriter Alan Ball.