|Motto||Limes regiones rerum|
Motto in English
|Reality ends here|
|Type||Private film school|
|University of Southern California|
|Dean||Elizabeth M. Daley, Ph.D. |
|96 full time|
219 part time
|144 full time|
499 student workers
The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (SCA)’s seven divisions—Film & Television Production; Cinema & Media Studies; John C. Hench Division of Animation + Digital Arts; John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television; Interactive Media & Games; Media Arts + Practice; Peter Stark Producing Program—offer programs in the cinematic arts.
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is led by Dean Elizabeth Monk Daley, who holds the Steven J. Ross/Time Warner Chair and is the longest serving Dean at the University of Southern California, having led the Cinema School since 1991.
When Douglas Fairbanks became the first President of the nascent Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927, one of the more innovative items on his agenda was that the Academy should have a “training school.” As Fairbanks and his enablers reasoned that training in the cinematic arts should be seen as a legitimate academic discipline at major universities, given the same degree considerations as fields like medicine and law. Although cinema studies programs are now widely entrenched in academia, back then it was a novel idea and many universities turned Fairbanks down. But he found tepid acceptance at the University of Southern California that agreed to allow one class, called “Introduction to Photoplay” that debuted in 1929, the same year as the Academy Awards. Determined to make it a success, Fairbanks brought in the biggest industry names of the era to lecture, including Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, William C. DeMille, Ernst Lubitsch, Irving Thalberg, and Darryl Zanuck. From that one class grew a Department of Cinematography (1932) in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, renamed the Department of Cinema (1940), which led to the establishment of the USC School of Cinema-Television (1983), which was renamed the USC School of Cinematic Arts (2006)  .
On September 19, 2006, USC announced that alumnus George Lucas had donated US$175 million to expand the film school with a new 137,000-square-foot (12,700 m2) facility. This represented the largest single donation to USC and the largest to any film school in the world. His previous donations resulted in the naming of two buildings in the school's previous complex, opened in 1984, after him and his then-wife Marcia, though Lucas was not fond of the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture used in those buildings. An architectural hobbyist, Lucas laid out the original designs for the project, inspired by the Mediterranean Revival Style that was used in older campus buildings as well as the Los Angeles area. The project also received another $50 million in contributions from Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company.
In fall 2006, the school, together with the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, created the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts (RSICA) in Aqaba, Jordan. The first classes were held in 2008, and the first graduating class for the university was in 2010.
The USC School of Cinematic Arts announced it would remove an exhibit devoted to actor and former USC student John Wayne, after months of insistence from a small number of students denouncing the Hollywood star’s views and the portrayal of Indigenous Americans in his films. The exhibit has been relocated to the Cinematic Arts library which has many collections for the study of figures whose lives and works are part of society's shared history. These materials are preserved for posterity and made accessible for research and scholarship as will the materials in the Wayne Collection.
The current Chair: is Gail Katz, holder of the Mary Pickford Endowed Chair; Vice-Chair is Susan Arnold.
The Division of Cinema & Media Studies is the central hub for film theory at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The current Chair is Priya Jaikumar.
The John C. Hench Division of Animation + Digital Arts teaches courses in animation and digital arts. These include classic character animation, 2-D and 3-D storytelling, performance capture, visual effects, motion graphics, stop-motion, experimental filmmaking, installations and multimedia, documentary animation, and visualizing scientific research. The current Chair is Teresa Cheng, who holds the John C. Hench Endowed Division Chair.
The Interactive Media & Games Division teaches video games, which make up the fastest growing segment of the entertainment industry. USC has been a pioneer in teaching the foundations of games and interactive media while also moving the field forward with innovative research concepts. The Princeton Review has ranked USC the #1 Game Design school in North America every year since its ranking system began in 2009. The current Chair is Danny Bilson.
The Media Arts + Practice Division (MA+P) creates and analyzes media for fields as diverse as business, medicine, education, architecture, law, urban planning, filmmaking. The current Chair is Holly Willis.
The Current chair is David Isaacs.
Special programs include USC Comedy, which includes a minor in Comedy, and a biennial Comedy Festival; USC Games, a collaboration with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and home of the USC esports team; and the John H. Mitchell Business of Cinematic Arts Program, which oversees programs in entertainment business in collaboration with the USC Marshall School of Business. https://cinema.usc.edu/producing/index.cfm
The School of Cinematic Arts also has an active Board of Councilors who help guide the future direction of the School and work with the Dean to ensure the School is properly resourced.
Donations from film and game industry companies, friends, and alumni have enabled the school to build the following facilities:
At the center of the new television complex is a statue of founder Douglas Fairbanks. He is seen holding a fencing foil in one hand and a script in the other to reflect his strong ties with the USC Fencing Club.
Our over 10,000 living alumni include scholars in teaching institutions throughout the world, artists, technicians, writers, directors, and industry executives, many operating at the highest levels in their fields.
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