February 8, 2013

USC has Two Options: be “Funny or Die”

Comedy@SCA and Funny Or Die Team Up to Host a Workshop for All USC Students

At the School of Cinematic Arts, students are taught to take the study of the moving image seriously, and that includes studying comedy. As a way of providing students with hands-on experience in creating online video content, SCA has teamed up with Funny Or Die, the award-winning, top destination for comedy on the web, for a two-day workshop. Running this Friday and Saturday, February 8-9 at USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts and in the SCA Complex, students will get the chance to prove just how funny they can be.  

The workshop kicks off Friday night with a Q&A panel discussion with Funny Or Die executives, writers and directors, followed by a reception.  On Saturday, students will be divided into small groups with members of the Funny Or Die creative staff to help guide the students’ ideas into Funny Or Die videos. The students will then have a week to turn in their completed videos, which will all be screened and judged by Funny Or Die editors.  The winning video will premiere on the site’s homepage.

“We are thrilled to be working with Funny Or Die,” said Jack Epps, Jr., the Chair of the Writing for Screen and Television Division at USC and the holder of the Jack Oakie Chair in Comedy at USC. “USC has a strong commitment to studying comedy through our Comedy@SCA initiative. Our students bring so much enthusiasm and heart to their comedy creation and, to get them in the same room with a company the caliber of Funny Or Die is going to be incredible. It’s partnerships like this that are going to take the study of comedy at the School of Cinematic Arts to the next level.”

Comedy@SCA is an innovative, interdisciplinary program to train students in the creation of comedic entertainment in film, television and interactive media that offers specialized instruction through a concentration of writing and production classes, animation, interactive media and critical studies. The courses are open to any School of Cinematic Arts student. Designed to position the School as the premier center for comedy instruction in the country, Comedy@SCA allows young talent to develop their comedic voices and validates the study of comedy within an academic setting.

Launched in April 2007, Funny Or Die has quickly become an award-winning, top destination for comedy on the web. The site has over 19 million unique users per month, over 60 million video views per month and has grown into a vertically integrated, 21st century digital studio that produces high quality content over numerous platform. Funny Or Die's founders are Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy), Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Randy Adams and Michael Kvamme. USC Cinema alum Judd Apatow is also a principal partner in Funny Or Die.

Funny Or Die has been a great launching pad for up and coming talent,” says Mike Farah, President of Production for Funny Or Die.  “This workshop is a great opportunity to nurture writers and directors by giving real-world experience to students who are passionate about comedic filmmaking.  Plus Will Ferrell went to USC and made us do it,” he added.