by Danny Kim
This past Wednesday afternoon, the USC School of Cinematic Arts held a “topping off party” for its latest building. Among those present were George Lucas (Production ’67), the creator of Star Wars, and Dr. Elizabeth Daley, Steven J. Ross/Time Warner Professor and Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts.
The new building, which will be home to the Interactive Media Division and the Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML), is just the latest step in the multi-phase rebirth of the School of Cinematic Arts. Funded by Lucas’s $175 million donation in 2006, the first phase was completed in 2009 with the opening of the primary SCA complex, and the second phase was completed with the opening of SCB – home to the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts -, SCX, and the soundstages.
Lucas and Daley were among the final VIPs to sign the final metal structural beam for the new building. The beam – which was already adorned all over with signatures from SCA students, staff, faculty, and alumni – had a special spot in the center reserved for the VIPs of the day, and once it was signed, the beam was lifted and put into place at the top of the building, ceremonially marking the completion of the building’s frame.
“This was a remarkable day,” Daley stated. “We look up there at the beam and realize that this building is very much where the school is going in the future. [It’s] a chance to really make a statement about our embrace of all emerging media and the new things that are going to be a part of entertainment in the future.”