Charles Schwartz Honored at USC

The late Charles Schwartz (Understanding Digital Cinema: A Professional Handbook), who helped establish the Entertainment Technology Center, the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ (SCA) think tank, was honored with a Chair on Sept 26.

Richard Weinberg, research associate professor at SCA, was installed as the first holder of this Chair.

Describing her late husband as “a futurist,”  Stephanie Rothman said she donated the Chair to the School because it was where Charles Swartz was happy. “USC gave so much to Charles, USC was his true home and I wanted to bring him home again,” she told the gathering of friends and industry leaders. “He experienced some of his happiest work years here.”

“It means so much to endow the Charles Swartz chair at the School,” said SCA Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. “As head of the ETC, he felt honored to be advancing the digital revolution and he did it with an open heart and an open mind. In return, we are honored to have his name linked with the School of Cinematic Arts in perpetuity.”

Following the Chair dedication a panel of industry experts discussed “The Future of Digital Filmmaking.” The discussion was moderated Ken Williams, president/CEO of the Entertainment Technology Center and included panelists writer/director Stephen Sommers (GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Van Helsing, The Mummy), SCA professor and visual effects pioneer Michael Fink (Life of Pi, Avatar, The Golden Compass), industry technologist Spencer Stephens, who is EVP and CTO at Sony Pictures Entertainment, and cinematographer Roberto Schaefer (Leaves of Grass, Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland).

The panelists discussed the rapid pace of innovations in digital filmmaking and the new paradigm shift.  Sommers mentioned that digital modeling has gone beyond real world, which was echoed by Fink.

“For years people like me were the guy you called when you got into trouble and now we are true collaborators,” Fink said.  The Oscar winner added that digital advances have redefined the workflow. Today, he suggested, “There is no pre-production, production, and post-production. There’s just production.”

Photo Credit: Carell Augustus. Dean Elizabeth M. Daley, Charles Swartz Endowed Chair Richard Weinberg, and Stephanie Rothman.


Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Education, Events, Movies, Tech, Virtual Production

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