Blackmagic Design is forming a strategic partnership with the USC School of Cinematic Arts to provide hardware and software to the film school over the next three years. How does that affect the 2017 Trojan alliance with RED? It won’t really, as this deal is mostly about TV.
“Blackmagic is known for providing high-quality equipment that filmmakers and other content creators find accessible,” said Elizabeth Daley, Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts. “We are thrilled our students get to use Blackmagic Design tools because we know that means they will be better prepared for the work environments they will encounter after graduation.” – Blackmagic Press Release
With a massive contribution of 4K broadcast hardware and software, students stuffing broadcasting at USC will now be able to broadcast USC’s student TV channel, Trojan Vision, in ultra high definition. Currently, the USC student channel broadcasts in HD, and thanks to Blackmagic’s contributions, the facility will be able to make the transition to 4K broadcasting. Ironic, considering that the vast majority of television broadcasting isn’t even in 1080p. Most are either 1080i or 720p. So in some aspects, USC is on the bleeding edge with the new endowment.
Blackmagic is providing URSA Broadcast cameras, along with ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K switchers, ATEM Camera Control Panels, HyperDeck Studio Pro recorders and Mini Panels to edit in Davinci Resolve 15.
“It’s important for our students to learn in an environment that closely resembles the industry,” said Meri Weingarten, Director of Digital Media & Technology at the School. “We know this will improve their skills.”
In addition to being provided for the study of broadcasting, the products will also be used by USC students studying filmmaking and post production. And while USC has enjoyed a lucrative partnership with RED, it’s good for students to have familiarity with a wide variety of camera platforms because they can often change from project to project, like a kind of digital version of film emulsion.
Consequently, it’s also beneficial that Blackmagic is also including URSA Mini Pro Cinema Cameras for more cinematic applications. “Blackmagic has done a great job creating a compact, multi-purpose camera that captures a beautiful image,” said Greg Vannoy, head of Trojan Vision. “We are always interested in the newest and best tools the industry is using and we’re excited to see what our students do with the URSA Mini Pro.”
It’s a clever, and long term plan on the part of Blackmagic to get the next generation of filmmakers accustomed to using the URSA and other BMD products in their daily workflows. Since 1973, there has been a USC grad nominated every year for the Academy Awards, which is usually dominated by ARRI. By courting the next generation of filmmakers, Blackmagic is laying down seeds that could take root for wider cinematic and broadcast saturation.
I like it. Even if it is USC. (I’m a UCLA fan)