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With both entertainment and higher education deeply impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown, top film schools across the U.S. spent the summer break reassessing established curricula. Many programs are moving classes completely online to comply with local and state health restrictions (student films will mostly be shot on cellphones and star family members and roommates). Colleges, universities and conservatories alike are filling in the gaps in their promised programs with Zoom lectures from top talents like Taika Waititi and Spike Lee, and are hoping to hold makeup physical production classes over the spring and summer breaks in 2021, assuming the world returns to relative normality by then.
But no matter how they are handling the pandemic, all of The Hollywood Reporter’s top film programs are committed to ensuring their graduates will be ready for a career in Hollywood — whatever it may look like. Whether it’s adding new virtual and augmented reality labs (like the University of California Los Angeles), or offering more courses in Black film theory (USC, Chapman, CalArts and UT Austin are among the schools to do so), these programs aim to evolve with the industry and educate the storytellers and executives who will shape the future of entertainment — even if that future is currently on hold.
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