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Sound Vet Rydstrom Tapped Pickford Winner & USC Commencement Speaker

Renowned sound designer and mixer, as well as USC alumnus, Gary Rydstrom will deliver the commencement address at the 2004 USC School of Cinema-Television Commencement Ceremony on May 14, 2004 at the Shrine Auditorium. Rydstrom will accept the prestigious Mary Pickford Outstanding Alumnus Award, given in recognition of his innovative and prolific work in film sound.

"We are thrilled that Gary Rydstrom will be delivering our commencement address," said Dean Elizabeth Daley. "As someone whose name is synonymous with innovation and excellence in filmmaking, he is a true inspiration to all of our new graduates."

First bestowed upon Robert Zemeckis in 1995, the Mary Pickford Award is presented to an alumnus who personifies Miss Pickford's spirit and legacy as an Academy Award-winning actress, astute businesswoman and original co-founder of United Artists. Past recipients of the award also include William Fraker, Alan Ladd Jr., Michelle Manning, Walter Murch, Stacey Sher, David L. Wolper and Laura Ziskin.

Rydstrom's long list of films include: FINDING NEMO, MINORITY REPORT, STAR WARS: EPISODE I, STAR WARS: EPISODE II, MONSTERS INC., SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, TITANIC, JURASSIC PARK and BACKDRAFT. Rydstrom has received seven Academy Awards throughout his illustrious career. Currently, Rydstrom is at Pixar Animation, where he will develop projects to direct.

In 2004, the USC School of Cinema-Television celebrates 75 years of training the next generation of creative talent and scholars in film, television, and new media. Co-founded by the University of Southern California and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929, the School offered the first bachelor's degree in film in the country and today is consistently ranked as the top program of its kind. Its more than 8,000 graduates are among the entertainment industry's most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives.