Barco, a global leader in digital cinema technology, is honored to announce the acceptance of an invitation from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) to provide a digital projector for the facility's largest screening room.
Throughout the industry, SCA is recognized as the oldest, largest, and number one-ranked film school in the world. To mark their 80th anniversary, SCA opened a new campus — highlighted by a remarkable 137,000 sq. ft. complex that includes classrooms, sound mixing rooms, post-production suites, sound stages and screening rooms. The largest screening room is the 200-seat Stark Family Theatre, a room that was purpose-built for 16mm, 35mm and digital projection. However, in today's digital production environment, from acquisition through post to delivery, the need for a DCI compliant digital projector was clear.
Once the need was recognized by SCA's faculty and staff, two prominent industry professionals stepped forward and approached Barco. Michael D. Thomson is Senior VP of Operations and Technology, for Malco Theatres Inc., and one of the prime consultants on the SCA project. Tomlinson Holman is Professor of Cinematic Arts at SCA, and in fact, the initials “THX” stand for “Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment,” known throughout the film industry as the renowned THX theatre sound system. Together, the two collaborated to secure the donation of a prototype Barco DP-3000 digital cinema projector — the same brilliant projector shown to the public at the most recent ShoWest exhibition in Las Vegas.
“George Lucas committed millions of dollars to build a new cinema complex for SCA, and other than the two film projectors, everything was digital,” said Thomson. “But they didn't have a DCI compliant, cinema grade projector, where actual releases could be run. Barco responded extremely quickly, with the projector used at ShoWest. It's one of the brightest projectors I've ever seen. The room looks great with it,” explained Thomson, “and the school is most appreciative of Barco's generous gift.”
Within the new Stark Family Theatre, the Barco DP-3000 will be used in a collaborative teaching environment that includes screening movies, trailers, student films, PowerPoint, research, and multi-format projection. The 60' wide by 40' deep room also includes additional state-of-the-art equipment — the majority of which was also donated to the school. Alongside the DP-3000, the room still retains full 16mm and 35mm capability, using two Kinoton FP38E electronic 16/35mm projectors.
“At SCA, we meet every one of the highest industry standards, enabling people to perform to their highest professional levels,” said Holman. “We're extraordinarily happy to have the Barco prototype installed in the Stark Theatre. This is the best projector that Barco showed to exhibitors, and it now takes its place in the school ranked number one, and which remains at the forefront of the profession. With this projector,” Holman summarized, “we're locking down a part of the chain that's essential to our ability to make art.”
“Barco is thrilled to be a part of those companies that are 'giving back' to the very university that's given so much to the entertainment industry,” said Todd Hoddick, Vice President of Digital Cinema, Barco N.A. “As a USC alumnus myself, and having been part of that extraordinary community in the eighties, I know the value of matching superb equipment with superb curriculum. It's an honor to have our system as a fundamental part of the students' introduction to Digital Cinema.”
Construction is currently advancing on additional SCA structures, including the 36,000 square foot Animation and Digital Arts building, and three soundstages with a combined actual production space of over 7,000 square feet. The new campus will be completed in the fall of 2010 and in total, will create nearly 200,000 square feet of instructional and production facilities at SCA.
About the USC School of Cinematic Arts
Established in 1929 and currently celebrating its 80th anniversary as the nation's oldest university-based cinema program, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has fueled and mirrored the growth of entertainment as an industry and an art form. The school offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, and interactive media, all backed by a broad liberal arts education and taught by leading practitioners in each field. Its more than 10,000 alumni are among the world's most distinguished animators, scholars, teachers, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound experts and industry executives. Since 1973 not a year has passed without an alumnus or alumna being nominated for an Academy Award. Visit http://cinema.usc.edu for more information.