By Sahil Patel
New Form Digital, the multi-platform content studio launched by Discovery Communications, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer, has partnered with the USC School of Cinematic Arts on a new year-long program to develop new digital content.
The program kicks off at the start of the 2014–2015 school year, when 15–20 USC film school students will be given the opportunity to develop and pitch their projects. They will be helped by professors David Goetsch (“The Big Bang Theory”) and David Isaacs (“Cheers”), who will instruct the writing classes, and Sean Mullin (“Sam & Amira”), who will instruct the production class.
Per the partnership, New Form will contribute exercises and guest lectures to the program.
At the end of the first semester, three projects will be selected to be developed and produced as web series during the second semester. New Form will then evaluate the finished projects and look to distribute them digitally.
The initiative is being overseen by Jack Epps, Jr., the chair of the school’s Writing for Screen & Television department, and Michael Fink, who heads the Film & Television Production department. They will be assisted by a group of industry executives that includes Kathleen Grace, chief creative officer for New Form, former Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson, former William Morris boss Jim Wiatt, CAA co-chairman Michael Rosenberg, and attorney Craig Jacobson.
“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.”