Ron Howard and Brian Grazer's New Form Digital to Offer USC Cinema Program

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Ron Howard and Brian Grazer

Student-developed projects would be distributed digitally

New Form Digital — the multiplatform studio from Discover Communications, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer — has teamed up with the USC School of Cinematic Arts on a yearlong program to develop digital content.

Jack Epps Jr., the chair of the school's Writing for Screen & Television department, will direct the new program along with Michael Fink, chair of the Film & Television Production department. The project will also be helmed by New Form chief creative officer Kathleen Grace, entertainment attorney Craig Jacobson, former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, former William Morris chief Jim Wiatt and Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg

The program, which will admit between 15 and 20 students to work in two-person teams, will begin at the start of the 2014-2015 school year. Professors David Goetsch (The Big Bang Theory) and David Isaacs (Cheers) will instructing the writing classes, and Sean Mullin (Sam & Amira) will instruct the production class. New Form, which launched in April, will contribute to exercises and guest lectures. 

The students will develop projects during their first semester and pitch them to SCA faculty and New Form executives at the end of the term. Three of those pitches will be selected and developed into web series during the second semester. 

"This program is an experiment that we cannot wait to begin," said Epps and Fink in a joint statement. "We're excited that New Form is enabling us to offer our students this unique experience, which moves the academic arena closer to the real-world experience of working with industry professionals in creating content for various distribution platforms."

Added SCA Dean Elizabeth Daley: "We're grateful to New Form for its support and expertise, and to our long-time supporters and alums Ron Howard and Brian Grazer for their invaluable involvement and mentorship."


Aug. 12, 9:57 a.m. A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Michael Rosenberg as co-chairman of CAA. THR regrets the error. 

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