Cinematic Arts nurtures new voices
The week that the Academy Awards aired, and as so many discussions have arisen recently regarding diversity in the film industry, the International Business Times published a wonderful story on our School of Cinematic Arts, commenting on the strong diversity among the school’s students. The story noted that our alumnus George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson donated $10 million to provide scholarships for African-American and Hispanic students at USC. Their generous gift gives a strategic boost to our already diverse program, and is particularly timely. As digital technology evolves, new opportunities continue to appear, especially in areas such as virtual reality, and the school remains fully committed to preparing the next generation of students to answer these needs.
More and more films today are being released in large formats such as Imax, which take advantage of advances in special effects while allowing theaters to charge more per ticket. And that’s not just in mature film markets — China will soon have more Imax theaters than any country, and one of its media giants, the Dalian Wanda Group, is Imax’s biggest customer. And last month, Wanda reached a deal with Dolby Laboratories to install 100 of the Dolby Cinemas premium product in its theaters over the next five years. USC has its own Imax lab to give its students a leg up. All the seats retract, and students can experiment with making images and see them immediately on the Imax screen, Daley said. “The world they’ve lived in so much of their life has been the small screen, all the way down to the phone,” Daley said. “What are the implications of images that large — what does that do to the viewers? If I’m making animation for the large screen, what do I need to think about?” Daley said these were the questions posed by the speaker at the lab’s dedication ceremony (none other than Steven Spielberg). And just as the school’s students have the ability to develop almost Imaxnative content, they’re also getting a head start on working in a medium pretty much everyone thinks is the next big
thing: virtual reality
By Ryan Quon