Year: 2019

  • Mentors

    Our mentors include:

    Lori McCreary

    Lori McCreary is an American motion picture producer and computer scientist. She is co-founder and CEO of the production company Revelations Entertainment, which she co-founded with actor Morgan Freeman.

    McCreary is currently the executive producer of CBS’ Madam Secretary. As Revelations CEO, McCreary most recently produced The Magic of Belle Isle, directed by Rob Reiner. Before that, she produced Invictus, directed by Clint Eastwood, with Freeman starring in the long-awaited portrayal of Nelson Mandela and co-starring Matt Damon. In addition, she serves as the executive producer of Discovery Science’s Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman.

    McCreary sits on the Board of the Producers Guild of America. She is also a member of The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).

    Roberto Orci

    Roberto Orci is the billion-dollar filmmaker behind some of the decade’s biggest films. While his films span genre and scope, Orci has become an expert in the field of science fiction with such films as Star Trek, Ender’s Game, Transformers and Eagle Eye. Orci recently launched his new production banner, Sneaky Shark, and is currently producing Star Trek 3, the latest film in the popular franchise, in addition to producing the new adaptation of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

    Orci’s production banner with Alex Kurtzman, K/O Paper Products, maintains an overall deal at CBS Television Studios. Last fall, CBS premiered to great acclaim Scorpion, the drama inspired by Walter O’Brien, from Orci and Kurtzman with Nick Santora and Justin Lin. Also on CBS, Hawaii Five-0, which Orci created and executive produces alongside Kurtzman, returned for a fifth season this fall. Additionally, Kurtzman and Orci are working on the second season of the hit Fox show Sleepy Hollow. Orci, along with Kurtzman and J.J. Abrams co-created and executive produced the hit TV show Fringe, which ended its 5-season run in 2013.

    Anthony Zuiker

    Anthony E. Zuiker is the creator of television’s hugely successful CSI franchise, currently serving as executive producer of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the newest series in the franchise, CSI: Cyber. In December of 2014, Zuiker made his debut in the kids market with Mysteryopolis, a seven part animated video series which was the first original series to launch exclusively on nabi tablets. Mysteryopolis also introduced the world to a whole new category of kids entertainment called the ”gamified narrative,” which combines Hollywood-style scripted narrative with top-notch interactive gameplay, so that kids don’t watch the episode, they “play” through the episode.

    Clayton Krueger

    Clayton Krueger is Senior Vice President of Television for Scott Free, and a Co-Executive Producer of a recently announced  American Civil War series for PBS, as well as 3001: THE FINAL ODYSSEY for SyFy.  He was a CoEP on HALO: NIGHTFALL, a feature-length digital series for Microsoft, and a Co-Producer on the event series KLONDIKE, Discovery Channel’s foray into scripted programming. Previously Krueger worked as an executive at Jerry Bruckheimer TV, Media Rights Capital, and FX Networks.

    America Ferrera

    America Ferrera is perhaps best known for her fearless portrayal of “Betty Suarez” on ABC’s hit comedy ‘Ugly Betty’. This breakthrough role has earned her an Emmy®, Golden Globe®, and Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards.

    Ferrera first secured her place as one of Hollywood’s most vibrant young talents with her starring role in the Patricia Cardoso film REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES. Her performance earned her a Sundance Jury Award for Best Actress, an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance, and a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance for a Leading Young Actress.

    In 2008, Ferrera launched her own production company, Take Fountain, which has developed projects such as X/Y, The Dry Land and Hacia la oscuridad.

    Gabrielle (Brie) Neimand

    Gabrielle (Brie) Neimand is an entertainment executive and producer currently running America Ferrera’s Take Fountain Productions. Raised in South Florida and a graduate of Northwestern University, Brie has been producing films and television for over a decade. Prior to Take Fountain, Brie worked with producer/financier Participant Media as their Vice President of Narrative Films, producing socially relevant content that sought to entertain while changing the world. During her time as an executive at Universal based Strike Entertainment, she co-produced The Last Exorcism, executive produced its sequel, and executive produced The Thing, a companion piece to John Carpenter’s classic film of the same title. Neimand started her career at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) before moving to 20th Century Fox where she worked on the films I, Robot and Flight of the Phoenix. In addition to her corporate responsibilities, Gabrielle has produced short films, theater projects, and concerts.


    Ada and the Machine Concept Art by Zoe Chevat

    Name: Shanee Edwards
    Title: Ada and the Machine
    Genre: Historical / Steampunk

    Mentor(s): America Ferrera, actress/producer (Ugly Betty, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants); Gabrielle Neimand, Take Fountain Productions

    Logline: In 1832, 17-year-old Ada Lovelace, the real-life daughter of the poet Lord Byron, meets the first computer engineer, a young and dashing Charlie Babbage. A highly skilled mathematician, Ada generates logarithms and creates programs for Charlie’s wild new calculating machines. Together, they adventure through the steam age, obsessed with creating a super machine that can be programmed to “think” like a human.

    After earning her Master’s Degree in Screenwriting from UCLA Film School, Shanee received several awards including the Samuel Goldwyn Excellence in Screenwriting Award, the Women in Film Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Science in Screenwriting Award. Shanee recently made her directing debut in her short film Wink, and is currently the film critic for the online magazine In addition, she produces/hosts the web series She Blinded Me w Science to encourage young girls to explore science and technology. Shanee’s ultimate goal is to write stories for film and television about strong, spirited women whose passion, humor and courage inspire us.

    Rule 702 Concept Art by Luke Freeborn

    Name: Beth Keser
    Title: Rule 702
    Genre: Adventure / Procedural

    Mentor(s): Lori McCreary, CEO and Founder of Revelations Entertainment; President of Producers Guild of America (Madam Secretary, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman); Tracy Mercer, VP of Development, Revelations Entertainment

    Logline: A young and beautiful engineering and science prodigy decides to forego corporate life to pursue a career as an expert witness. She spends her new life traveling across the country to testify in torn-from-the-headlines cases, but in each case she finds a mystery that requires a keen mind and scientific investigation to find the truth.

    Beth Keser, Ph.D., a recognized global leader in the semiconductor industry with over 17 years of real world experience, received her B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Beth’s excellence in developing revolutionary electronic packages for semiconductor devices has resulted in 8 patents, 11 patents pending, and over 40 publications in the semiconductor industry. Based in San Diego, Beth, a rare woman in this industry, leads the Low Cost Device Assembly Technology initiative at Qualcomm. Earlier in her tenure at Qualcomm, Beth’s team qualified over 50 products resulting in over 6 billion units shipped-technology consumers around the world enjoy in cell phones today.

    SECs (Science and Engineering Clubs) Concept Art by Michael Penick

    Name: Jayde Lovell

    Title: SECs (Science and Engineering Clubs)

    Genre: High School Dramatic Comedy

    Mentor(s): Roberto Orci, Writer/Producer (Star Trek, Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow, Hawaii Five-O, Fringe)

    Logline: Emily, a beautiful but snotty teenager, must join the high school Science and Engineering Club to avoid getting expelled, after accidentally setting fire to the school gymnasium during a science fair. She helps the club achieve their dreams of one day coming first at FIRST, the national science and technology competition for teens. It’s Glee meets Mean Girls, with an educational element embedded in each episode.

    Jayde Lovell is a STEM communicator for the New York Hall of Science, and ‘resident science host’ for YouTube’s TYT Network. After enduring a degree in Neuroscience, she decided something had to be done to change the way STEM subjects were communicated. She relocated to New York to launch the YouTube channel ‘Did Someone Say Science’ from YouTube Studios.  She has produced videos for organizations such like NASA, Scientific American, the American Institute of Physics, and Rolls Royce Engineering, and has been featured on BuzzFeed, Men’s Health Magazine, The Peak, and USA Today.

    Q Branch Concept Art by Matthew Zikry

    Name: Craig Motlong

    Title: Q Branch

    Genre: Spy Action

    Mentor(s): Anthony E. Zuiker, creator and executive producer of the CSI franchise

    Logline: You know those gadgets that spies use on dangerous missions? The shoe phones, the laser pens, the gas pellets hidden in watches? Someone goes in the field and invents those. This is her story.

    Craig Motlong is a creative director at an advertising agency in Seattle. He grew up playing with tinker toys, erector sets, and watching the Six Million Dollar Man, fascinated with the way technology keeps pushing humanity forward. He is an avid hiker and reader, and is thrilled to be living in the golden age of television. 
    He is the father of twin preschoolers who are already learning to code.

    Riveting Concept Art by Tim Szabo

    Name: Miranda Sajdak

    Title: Riveting

    Genre: World War II Drama

    Mentor(s): Clayton Krueger, Senior Vice President of Television, Scott Free Productions (3001: The Final Odyssey)

    Logline: During WWII, a local prom queen’s life is turned upside down when her fiancee is killed overseas. Determined to make sure that never happens again, the girl goes to work as an engineer, learning and perfecting her trade to do her part for the war effort.

    Miranda Sajdak is a film and TV writer/producer/director currently living in Los Angeles. She’s worked for producers of films from indie hits like Drive to studio features like Final Destination and showrunners of China, IL, Huge, and My So-Called Life. She co-wrote/produced/directed the short Snapshot with Savannah Dooley, which premiered at Outfest in 2010. In 2012, she co-founded coverage service Script Chix and production company Under the Stairs Entertainment. She also produces with Center Mass Studios. Additionally, she was a finalist in Go Into the Story’s feature film Quest Initiative in 2013. Miranda enjoys hard-hitting dramas, 90s legal thrillers, and anything with a complex female lead.

  • “The Next MacGyver” Top 12 Signature Event


    Twelve competition finalists pitch ideas aiming for the first iconic TV show with a female engineer main character.


    Five winners will be announced (each given $5,000) and paired, on the spot, with successful Hollywood producers as mentors who will help them develop five original pilot screenplays.

    A special session with entertainment insiders on the process “From Script to Screen” will be 
    followed by a rooftop reception for finalists and guests.


    Tuesday, July 28,
    2 to 6 p.m.


    The Paley Center for Media
    465 North Beverly Drive
    Beverly Hills, CA 90210
    John H. Mitchell Theatre


    In partnership with:

    The Paley Center For Media


    Media Contacts:

    Lisa Inouye, PMBC Group, O: 310.777.7546,

    Robert Perkins, USC, O: 213.740.9226, C: 213.220.0017,

    Randy Atkins, National Academy of Engineering, O: 202.334.1508;

    Megan Levy, The Lippin Group/The Paley Center for Media, O: 323.965.1990,

    Watch the exciting LIVE conclusion of “The Next MacGyver” Competition!

    A link to the live stream will be available on July 28.

    Thirty years ago, MacGyver inspired a generation of engineers. In 2015, we’re looking for a new 
    TV show to inspire the next generation of engineers.

    Selected from nearly 2,000 worldwide submissions, 12 finalists will present their visions (complete with visuals from 12 concept artists) of unique female engineer heroes in a variety of genres (comedy, drama, action, science fiction, etc.). Each will receive 10 minutes to pitch their ideas and respond to questions from the judges.

    While judges are deliberating, a special panel session, “From Script to Screen” — illuminating the process of taking a TV show concept from idea to pilot — will be moderated by Katherine Oliver, principal, Bloomberg Associates.

    Who: Judges include:

    Wanda Austin, Aerospace Corporation president and CEO; member, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

    Madeline Di Nonno, Chief Executive Officer of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

    America Ferrera*, actress/producer, (Ugly Betty, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)

    Clayton Krueger*, senior vice president of television, Scott Free Productions (3001: The Final Odyssey)

    Maja J. Matarić, professor and Chan Soon-Shiong Chair in Computer Science, Neuroscience, 
    and Pediatrics; vice dean for research, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Lori McCreary*, CEO and founder, Revelations Entertainment; president, Producer’s Guild of America (Madam Secretary, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman)

    Gabrielle Neimand*, head of Take Fountain Productions; producer (The Last Exorcism, The Thing)

    Roberto Orci*, writer/producer (Star Trek, Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow, Hawaii Five-O, Fringe)

    Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO, GoldieBlox

    Valerie Weiss, Writer, director and producer (Losing Control, A Light Beneath Their Feet)biophysicist, founder, PhD Productions

    Lee Zlotoff, MacGyver creator

    Anthony E. Zuiker*, creator and executive producer, CSI franchise 
    (including the recently launched CSI:Cyber)

    *will be serving as a competition mentor to one of five winners

  • The Next MacGyver Submission Form

    “THE NEXT MACGYVER” COMPETITION SUBMISSION RELEASE AGREEMENT This submission release agreement (the “Agreement”) is made and shall become effective as of the date of submission by the Entrant as defined below (the “Effective Date”), by and between University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering and the National Academy of Engineering (the “Sponsors”), on the one hand, and myself (“Entrant”), on the other hand. This Agreement concerns my rights to my work after submission to “The Next MacGyver” Competition (the “Competition”) and also limits certain causes of action I may assert against Sponsors, the judges, and the mentors in connection with the Competition.


    1. I am submitting to the Sponsors certain material, ideas, themes, plots, stories, characters, dialogue, titles or creative work whether in writing or other format, (hereinafter referred to as “Competition Materials”) in connection with the Competition.

    2. The Sponsors, judges and mentors would not agree to accept, consider or evaluate Competition Materials unless I have agreed to the terms and conditions set forth here.

    3. No confidential, agency or fiduciary relationship exists between me and the Sponsors, judges, or mentors and no such relationship is created by submission of the Competition Materials.

    4. No obligation or duty of any kind is assumed or may be implied against the Sponsors, judges or mentors by reason of the review by Sponsors, judges, or mentors of the Competition Materials.

    5. The Sponsors, judges and mentors assume no responsibility for or liability in connection with any sale by me of the Competition Materials.

    6. I acknowledge that the Sponsors and judges shall have no obligation to edit, retain or provide feedback on the Competition Materials.

    7. I am the sole owner, author and/or rights holder of the Competition Material, and that I have the exclusive and unconditional right and authority to submit the same to the Competition upon the terms and conditions stated herein.

    8. To the best of my knowledge and after reasonable inquiry, the Competition Materials do not and will not infringe upon or violate any third party’s legal rights (including but not limited to copyright, trademark rights, rights of publicity, right to privacy, etc.).

    9. I shall defend, indemnify, and hold the Sponsors, judges, and mentors harmless against any liabilities, losses, claims, demands, costs (including reasonable attorney’s fees), or expenses arising in connection with any breach or alleged breach of the Agreement.

    10. I acknowledge and agree that the Sponsors, judges and mentors have access to and/or may create or have created literary materials which may be similar or identical to Competition Materials in theme, plot, format or other respects. I will not be entitled to any compensation, and may not pursue any action, in law or equity, incident to the use of any such similar or identical material, including without limitation, a claim based on the Sponsors, judges and/or mentors’ alleged copyright infringement or misappropriation of the Competition Materials.

    11. I release the Sponsors, judges, and mentors of and from any and all losses, claims, demands, liabilities, and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs) of every kind whatsoever, known or unknown, that may arise in connection with the Competition Materials, or by reason of any claim now or hereafter made I may assert against the Sponsors, judges, or mentors.

    12. The Sponsors, judges and mentors are not responsible, and will in no event be held liable, for any:

    • (a) lost, late, illegible, misdirected, damaged, incomplete, corrupted, or garbled entries;
    • (b) telephone, computer, or network malfunction or error;
    • (c) communication disruption or other disruptions related to Internet traffic, virus, bug, work, or non-authorized intervention; or
    • (d) damages caused by a computer virus or otherwise resulting to any computer from the submission of entries. If the Competition is terminated before the scheduled end of the Competition period, the Sponsors and judges will determine the winner from all eligible entries received as of the termination date.

    13. I have read and understand the Agreement and acknowledge that no oral representations of any kind have been made to me, and that this Agreement sets forth my entire understanding with respect to my participation in the Competition.

    14. While the Sponsors will make good faith efforts to ensure the continued participation of confirmed judges and mentors, a judge or mentor may cancel and the Sponsors make no guarantee as to the continued participation of initially confirmed judges and mentors.

    15. If any provision of the Agreement or part thereof is held to be invalid, unenforceable or contrary to public policy, then the remainder of this Agreement shall remain valid and fully enforceable.

    16. Any and all disputes that arise with respect to this Agreement and concerning this Agreement, including the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, shall be determined by final and binding arbitration under the applicable rules of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service. I hereby waive any and all rights to litigate any such dispute in court and waive the right to have my case decided by a jury. The arbitration shall be conducted in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, and except as herein expressly provided otherwise, the arbitration shall be governed by and subject to the laws of the State of California and the then prevailing rules of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service. *

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