Plugged in

A look at top film schools implementing new-media programs.

American Film Institute Conservatory, Los Angeles
"AFI provides our (students) with an overview of the new media, and the institute is proud to house the Digital Content Lab, which brings together leaders in content, technology and design to incubate next-generation new-media properties." -- Robert Mandel, dean
Notable alumni: Darren Aronofsky, Jon Avnet, Caleb Deschanel, Marshall Herskovitz, David Lynch, Wally Pfister, Paul Schrader, Gary Winick, Edward Zwick

Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
"Pretty soon, we're just going to be looking at this as the universe of distribution possibilities. Our students are just going to think of it as ways to get their story out, so we want them to be very conversant with it." -- Ross LaManna, chairman, undergraduate film department
Notable alumni: Roger Avary, Michael Bay, Tarsem Singh

Columbia College Chicago

"We're bringing discussions about the different formats of exhibition into interpretation of the material when the directors are making their films." -- Bruce Sheridan, chairman, film and video department
Notable alumni: Janusz Kaminsky, Genndy Tartakovsky, Robert Teitel, George Tillman Jr.

Columbia College Hollywood, Tarzana, Calif.
"What we're trying to do is prepare the students to understand and anticipate (technological developments) and create content that can be put on it." -- Richard Kobritz, president and CEO
Notable alumni: Timothy Linh Bui, Robert Schwentke

North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem
"We like to say, 'We're not really a film school; we're a content-creation school.' (Our) students are going to create content for lots of different media, including media we can't anticipate." -- Dale Pollock, dean
Notable alumni: Travis Beacham, David Gordon Green, Tim Orr

NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, New York
"What we're doing at the moment is looking into what the students need -- what the workplace looks like for the future -- and trying to make our evaluations based on what we've seen out there." -- Phil McNagny, chairman, new-technology committee
Notable alumni: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Felicity Huffman, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Adam Sandler, Martin Scorsese, M. Night Shyamalan, Morgan Spurlock, Oliver Stone, Jeffrey Wright

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Los Angeles
"History doesn't stop with film and television -- there will be new media forms -- and it's important, particularly at a university, to be there to speculate on what that future will be and explore its creative possibilities." -- Robert Rosen, dean
Notable alumni: Shane Black, Francis Ford Coppola, David Koepp, Frank Marshall, Alexander Payne, Rob Reiner, Paul Schrader, Brad Silberling, Darren Star, Ben Stiller, Gore Verbinski

USC School of Cinema-Television, Los Angeles
"The goals of the interactive-media division are basically to create the same type of creative thinkers, designers and businesspeople the film school is famous for in terms of traditional media, but reaching out into new media such as games, interactivity and pervasive media (such as) mobile devices."
-- Tracy Fullerton, assistant professor, interactive-media division
Notable alumni: Judd Apatow, John Carpenter, Brian Grazer, Taylor Hackford, Grant Heslov, Ron Howard, James Ivory, Richard Kelly, Doug Liman, George Lucas, Jay Roach, Walter Salles, Bryan Singer, John Singleton, Robert Zemeckis, Laura Ziskin