USC puts the biz in showbiz classes

The University of Southern California, hoping to place more of its business students with entertainment companies, announced Friday the start of several core classes about financing, marketing and distribution of film.

Two classes, in marketing and new technologies, have been running since the beginning of the year.

By fall, USC plans to add a class in entertainment finance and a distribution course.

Elizabeth Daley, dean of the School of Cinema-Television, said the courses, co-sponsored by the film and business schools, would ultimately form a core concentration in entertainment business.

She said the idea for the courses came from the students themselves, who clamored for more specific training in entertainment business.

“People wanted a sense of what the industry was about before they got out of school,” said one student.

Universal Pictures prexy of worldwide marketing David Weitzner added it was important to the industry that these types of courses were finally offered.

“The entertainment community cannot be let off the hook,” he told a luncheon of business students and media at the Universal City Hilton. “This is the first step toward solving a problem and filling a void that, in fact, is caused by the industry itself.”

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