Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were on hand to dedicate the new 137,000-square foot main campus for USC’s new cinematic arts program, along with Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. The opening marks the 80th anniversary since USC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created the nation’s first university-based film classes at USC in 1929. Fittingly
enough, the two wings of the main, 4-story building, are named after Lucas and Spielberg. Lucas is a graduate of USC’s cinematic arts program, but Spielberg was–now famously–rejected when he applied in 1980.
The new campus–which is comprised of 10 classrooms, 19 conference rooms, 8 screening rooms, 6 editorial labs, 3 mixing rooms, 9 sound editorial rooms, 3 picture editorial rooms, a student production office, Foley and ADR stages and other facilities–cost $175 million to build. Lucasfilm Foundation provided $75 million in addition to $100 million for the school’s endowment. Still under construction is the Animation and Digital Arts building and three production buildings that will house four sound stages and production services. These are anticipated to open by 2010.
Other industry players who donated money to the new campus include the Fox Entertainment Group, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, the Dana and Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli Foundation, and Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg. These new donations join a long list of previously announced pledges, including the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Entertainment Partners.
This new campus finally enables the school to move beyond standard definition resolution, for both capture and post. USC digital systems specialist Eric Furie reported that the new campus is entirely HD, and has the infrastructure to handle 2K. A few students have expressed interest in shooting with the RED, he reported. The post production is heavily based in Avid gear: Avid Unity Isis storage of 80 terabytes is linked to the 170 Media Composer systems. The main
sound mixing room has an ICON mixer. While this reporter was visiting the suite, two USC students were watching Scott Weber mix a scene from the TV series he works on, Lost. Avid executives Gary Greenfield and Kirk Arnold were on hand to answer any questions.
Entertainment Partners’ software is used in the student production room for budgeting and scheduling. All 2,000 annual student productions begin in this room. Furie said that the facility will include a DI suite, but they haven’t yet decided how to equip it. The facility’s largest screening room–200 seats–is outfitted with a Sony 4K projector as well as film projectors. He also reported that the facility intends to install gear for 3D stereoscopic viewing in two of the screening rooms, one system each from RealD and Dolby.
Topics: Blog Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Animation Avid Technology Cameras Cinematography digital intermediates digital workflow Dolby editing Entertainment Partners General George Lucas HD Post-production Production RealD Steven Spielberg USC School of Cinematic Arts
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