New Form Digital has partnered with University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) on a year-long program designed to sponsor and support student-produced entertainment.
Launched earlier this year, New Form is a next media studio from Imagine Entertainment co-founders Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and Discovery Communications.
Both Howard and Grazer are USC alums. Grazer graduated from SCA in 1974, then entered USC’s law school, but dropped out after one year. Howard attended SCA in the early ’70s, but left his studies before graduation to focus on his thriving professional career.
Beginning in the fall 2014 semester and ending in spring 2015, the program will admit 15 to 20 students who will work in 2-person teams. SCA professors David Goetsch (The Big Bang Theory) and David Isaacs (Cheers, M*A*S*H) will instruct the writing classes and Sean Mullin (Sam & Amira) will instruct the production class, with New Form contributing expertise and visiting lecturers.
The student teams will develop and pitch their projects at the end of the first semester to SCA faculty and New Form executives, and 3 projects will be selected to be developed and produced as web series during the second semester of the program. New Form will evaluate the content and oversee its digital distribution.
The directors of the program at SCA are Jack Epps Jr. (Top Gun, Turner & Hooch), chair of the school’s writing for screen & television division, and Michael Fink (VFX supervisor, Avatar), chair of the film & television production division. At New Form, the project will be stewarded by CCO Kathleen Grace, entertainment attorney Craig Jacobson, former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, former William Morris chief Jim Wiatt, and CAA and Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg.