Video Overview
Peter Stark Overview Video
Program Information

Chair Lawrence Turman on the value of a film school education: "To be with like-minded, focused, future comrades exercising, honing your creativity whilst learning the practical business matters to enable you to make a living doing what you want to do with/in your life."

The Peter Stark Producing Program believes in the primacy of ideas and imagination. A producer is a creative originator, an entrepreneurial self-starter, whose initiating talent is recognizing ideas that have merit creatively and/or commercially.

The mission of the Peter Stark Program is to expose students to the full spectrum of the entertainment business, thereby enabling them to refine and define their individual career goals. Our curriculum is designed to give our students the practical skills and knowledge by which they can accomplish their creative goals with integrity to their own values.

The curriculum places equal emphasis on the creative and the managerial so as to enhance and develop artistic skills and judgment while providing a sound background in business essentials. Courses are continually updated to ensure that the Stark Program remains responsive and cutting-edge current.

The first class of Peter Stark graduates received M.F.A. degrees in 1981. Today, graduates are entrenched throughout the industry as creative executives, in marketing, production, distribution and business affairs. Some are writers and directors, a few are agents or managers, and, of course, many are producers. Stark graduates have won major awards, including Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes.

Ray Stark, the late distinguished producer, and his wife, the late Frances Stark, made substantial early contributions to the program. For their generous, ongoing support, the program is named to honor their son, Peter, who died in 1970.

The program was created and founded by the late A. D. Murphy, who was its director until the end of 1989. He was succeeded by Charles M. Powell, who served as director until his death. Since 1991, the program has been under the direction of producer Lawrence Turman.

Degree Offered
  • Master of Fine Arts
Contact Information

Graduate Peter Stark Producing Program
School of Cinematic Arts
Richard Shepherd, Associate Director
University Park, SCA 366
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211
Phone: 213.740.3304
Fax: 213.745.6652
pstark@cinema.usc.edu